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How to buy Clothing Layers

Below is a list of important things to consider when choosing clothing layer.

Base Layer Clothing

  • Keeps skin warm and dry.
  • Should be made from material that wicks moisture.
  • Insulates.
  • Merino wool and other natural materials make good base layers.

Mid Layer

  • Should have a lot of versatility (Your mid layer is the layer you’ll add to, or take away from, depending on the conditions).
  • Insulates.
  • Warm and breathable.
  • Down, Fleece and Merino wool work well in this layer.
  • Keep light to ensure comfort.

Outer Layer

  • Keeps out the elements.
  • Retains body heat.
  • Use materials that are wind and water proof.
  • Soft shells.
  • GorTex and other waterproof breathable apparel work well in this layer.


  • Protection for the head, hands, and feet is important – reduces body heat lost to the elements (this is especially important for the head).
  • Sock type should be matched with the conditions and activity (avoid white tube socks).
  • Layer your extremities just like anything else - use thin wool gloves and warmer fleece mitts overtop.

Layering in Summer

  • Base Layer – Something that wicks moisture to keep you cool and dry.
  • Mid Layer – Light and breathable to ensure comfort, don’t worry too much about insulation here.
  • Outer Layer – There to keep out elements while letting body heat escape. Look for wind and water resistance.
  • There are levels of breathability in clothing, and depending on your activities you’ll want to adjust accordingly.
  • During the summer, it’s also important to consider UV protection in your attire.

Layering in Winter

  • Base Layer – Merino wool.
  • Mid Layer – Light fleece, light insulated jacket, softshell, down, and/or sweaters.
  • Outer Layer – Keeps the elements out while keeping body heat in.