The Best Women’s Baselayers of 2024

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With so many options, it can be difficult to know how to choose the best baselayers for wintry endeavors. It’s okay to want high-performance base layers that are also cute, even if they’re hidden under your ski jacket all day. There are plenty of brands, styles, materials, and fits available, ranging from big box warehouse basics to high-end, tech-forward super fabrics produced sustainably. Don’t worry ladies, we sorted through the myriad options for you. These are the best baselayers for skiing, touring, and winter backpacking this season.

The Winners at a Glance

  • Kari Traa Edith Half-Zip Top and Bottom
  • Ortovox Swisswool Hybrid Short Pants
  • Lé Bent Feathertop Ultralight Hooded LS Tee
  • Minus 33 Long-Sleeve Henley and Woolverino Bottom

The Reviews: Best Women’s Baselayers of 2024

Kari Traa Edith Half-Zip Top ($110) and Bottom ($100)

Kari Traa Edith Half-Zip Top ($110) and Bottom
(Photo: Courtesy Kari Traa)

Sizes: XS-XL
Key Material: 100 percent Merino wool
Best For: Resort skiing

Top Bottom

The manifestly feminine jacquard knit top has subtle spacing for bewbs, hugs in at the waist, and sits just below the hip for a fetching fit. The half-zip style gives you the option to vent or bundle up and looks cute either way. Both the top and bottom have airy side panels for better breathability and movement. The pants have a generously wide waistband that plays well with bibs and pants alike. Because they’re made from 100 percent responsibly sourced Merino wool, they are naturally odor-resistant and will keep you toasty whether you’re on the chairlift, slashing pow, or celebrating the snowy weather apres ski. Our testers noted the caveat to wearing these baselayers is that you often get stopped by women wanting to know who makes them and where they can buy their own. Kari Traa’s Nordic-inspired patterning and flattering fit baselayers have developed a cult following. Once you buy into the brand it’s easy to clock the distinctive design and you’ll fit right in if you’re wearing it in Oslo or Svalbard. The Edith Half-Zip performed perfectly during high and low output days at the resort, staying dry and providing a cozy line of defense when temps dropped into the low teens and the wind and snow came to roost.

Ortovox Swisswool Hybrid Short Pants ($220)

Ortovox Swisswool Hybrid Short Pants
(Photo: Courtesy Ortovox)

Sizes: XS-XL
Key Materials: Swisswool, Merino fleece
Best For: Backcountry ski touring

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Somewhere between Grisons and Valais in the Swiss Alps, a mountain sheep living its best life is growing the wooly fibers that will soon become a staple in your ski wardrobe. This cropped baselayer pants from Ortovox are made exclusively for women and won over our testers during long days in the backcountry by punching above their 60g weight class in insulation. These versatile hybrid short pants have thin seam cuffs that hit below the knee to meet at the ski sock cuff and can be worn with other layers beneath shell pants without feeling bulky. Though the waistband could be slightly wider, it was plenty soft and stretchy. If your shell waterproofing fails, this layer will keep you warm even if it gets wet, and it dries considerably fast to boot. Articulate German engineering presents in the clever body mapping with Swisswool inserts on the front and back of the thighs, where you need to retain heat, while light Merino fleece lines the sides, crotch, and back of knees where you need more airflow.

Lé Bent Feathertop Ultralight Hooded LS Tee ($160)

Lé Bent Feathertop Ultralight Hooded LS Tee
(Photo: Courtesy Lé Bent)

Sizes: XS-L
Materials: Merino wool, elastane
Best For: Backcountry ski touring

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This ultralight 125-gram long sleeve hoodie is made with raw bamboo blended with twist-free technically spun Merino wool and elastane by using Nuyarn technology, which releases the natural performance characteristics of wool fibers that outperform synthetics and produces a super-fine yarn. It has a noticeably creamy texture and a markedly thin loft that belies its proficiency. This top outperformed other layers in its category during high-output days in the backcountry by drying faster and offering more thermal retention and elasticity. You may get sweaty while you’re hustling uphill, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through damp layers on the way down. The fabric also has built-in UPF 50+ sun protection, which came in clutch when the sun came out and outer layers came off. Wear it with another layer under your ski jacket on colder days or on its own during spring corn farming. It’s form-fitting and will keep its shape after several cycles of wear and wash, plus it doesn’t get stinky—even if you forget to wash it.

Minus 33 Long-Sleeve Henley ($90) and Woolverino Wool Leggings ($85)

Minus 33 Long-Sleeve Henley ($90) and Woolverino Wool Leggings
(Photo: Courtesy Minus33)

Sizes: XS-2XL
Key Materials: Merino wool, nylon, spandex
Best For: Winter backpacking

Top Bottom

In addition to performing well during winter backpacking trips to and fro in temperatures ranging from 10 to 60 degrees, our testers loved that these baselayers looked and fit like sporty tops and leggings rather than winter long johns, and that they have UPF 50 sun protection built-in. The Woolverino midweight bottoms feature a yoga-style wide waistband with a small stash pocket and a compression-style silhouette. They are made with a blend of Merino wool, nylon, and spandex so they will keep their shape even if you wear them hiking all day, sleep in them, and then wear them to breakfast the next day. The Henley top is made from 100-percent Merino Wool with a regular fit and flatlock stitching so it’s comfortably worn with a backpack and doesn’t bunch up or rub on your shoulders. The three-button front-closure style adds a bit of flair and airflow while the slightly longer sleeves and hemline add to its classy profile.

How To Buy Baselayers

When shopping for baselayers, consider how they will perform when you’re out in the wild. First and foremost, are they comfortable? These are your next-to-skin layers so they need to feel nice on your body. Are the seams compatible with backpack straps? Does the hem work well with your ski pants? Does the half-zip, button-up, mock neck, or crew neck satisfy your style? Are you looking for something to wear during long days of uphill travel in the backcountry or will you be spending the day riding chair lifts? Merino wool fibers are naturally odor-resistant, moisture-wicking, and breathable, but generally less durable as synthetic materials. Because synthetics are usually a blend of fabrics, they are popular with those keen on stretchiness and moisture management. It’s better to buy something that is thoughtfully designed and durable rather than something whipped up in fast fashion that will fail you on the mountain. Beyond the technical details, you may also want to determine if what you are buying is sustainably produced. Most reputable brands have information about their sustainability practices available on their websites.

How We Test

  • Number of Testers: 9
  • Number of Products Tested: 53
  • Coldest Day During Testing: 10 degrees F (Yankee Harbor, Antarctica)
  • Warmest Day During Testing: 60 degrees F (Southern Utah Desert)
  • Number of Continents Tested On: 4

Meet Our Testers

We asked our lady gear testers, who get after it daily, to put these baselayers to the test to see how they fit and felt during their everyday adventures and epic endeavors. We wore them in the Arctic and Antarctic, hiked and skied in them, and then hiked and skied in them some more, just to be sure. Category manager and Outside contributor Melissa McGibbon is a freelance adventure travel writer and editor. Melissa is based in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, and skis almost every day. Other key testers include Team F3 Endurance athlete, Stephanie Shew, DPT, civil engineer and snowboarding ace, Lindsay Minck, and Alta Ski Area’s Lady of the Lifts, Shannon Corey.

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