07 Apr Breaking Down the Benefits of Base Layers
When it comes to base layers, many people are not aware of what base layers are or what they do – never mind the benefits of wearing them.
We are here to inform you about everything you need to know about base layers and the benefits of wearing them. This blog will hopefully inspire you to go and try our base layers so you can feel the benefits for yourself.
What are Base Layers
A base layer is the first layer of clothing that sits against your skin, underneath all and any other layers of clothing you might have. Not only that, they are specially designed to regulate your body temperature, which is particularly good when you are running, hiking, or playing any kind of sports in cold, wet or hot weather conditions.
Base layers come in many different forms, whether that be a base layer top in the form of a t-shirt or long-sleeve. You can also buy base layer bottoms and these can come in the form of leggings or shorts.
Base layers help to keep you warm by trapping in the heat and also help to keep you cool, which is why base layers are so excellent. They work by wicking sweat away from your body, helping you to feel comfortable at all times. To work effectively, base layers should fit snug to your body and act as a second skin.
What Are Base Layers Made Of?
Most base layers are made from moisture-wicking fabrics, which work by pulling moisture away from your skin by absorbing it into the fibres. The moisture then moves through the fabric and evaporates through the exterior of the fabric.
Materials such as nylon, polyester or a polyester mix are most commonly used. Other base layers are available in materials such as merino wool. No matter which base layer material you go for depending on your needs, all these materials regulate your body temperature effectively.
The Wrong Materials
It is important to wear a base layer that is made from the correct material. If you were to wear a layer of clothing made from cotton against your skin, cotton will absorb any perspiration moisture and will make your clothing feel heavy and clammy against your body.
You do not want a material to absorb perspiration without drying quickly – this is totally unsuitable for exercising, as once you stop for a break, damp cotton will make you feel chilled.
Polyester is the most widely used material for base layers – it is good for base layer purposes and a popular choice by many due to being inexpensive and offering great performance aspects too. It absorbs 0.4% of its weight in water, it is lightweight and therefore dries extremely fast.
A downside to polyester is that it does not stay odour resistant for a very long time, so would not be a good choice for very long hiking trips for example.
Merino wool is known for having high levels of moisture-wicking ability; it can retain a lot of liquid relative to its weight, which is actually better than synthetic materials.
Particularly popular for hikers, it is naturally antimicrobial and it is not only suitable for cold weather, it offers superb temperature regulation. Many still believe that wool is an itchy material, but due to merino wool being thinner than traditional thicker wool, it is actually a very comfortable, natural material.
Nylon is similar to polyester, but not as popular for base layers due to its poor performance at temperature regulation. Creators often add ventilation panels that are made from more breathable materials such as polyester to increase a garments’ overall breathability.
What nylon is good for is that it is quick-drying and absorbs little water. Nylon is recommended for hiking activities in warmer weather conditions as it is durable and dries quickly.
How They Should Fit
Base layers should fit snug against your skin, however, if you are not comfortable with skin-tight clothing, then that’s ok. A base layer does not have to be skin tight, as long as they are snug then this will be ok. A base layer should act as a second layer of skin in order to work most effectively, remember you can always add a looser layer on top if you are not into snug-fitting clothing.
Benefits of Base Layers
Base layers will work in any weather condition. Not to be confused with ‘thermals’, base layers will regulate your body temperature whatever the weather.
This is a huge benefit for any kind of training or general exercise. Specially designed base layers are often made for different kinds of exercise or sport, from football base layers, cycling base layers, to hiking or cricket or even if you don’t specifically do a certain sport or activity – you can benefit from wearing a base layer, even if you are just out walking the dog, it doesn’t have to be for intense exercise.
Base layers keep you warm in cold weather and cool in hot temperatures or when your body temperature rises from exercising. They are magic pieces of material and clothing, and anyone and everyone should know about base layers and try them out for themselves – as everyone can benefit from them.
Base layers are super comfortable which is essential when it comes to exercising. Besides the huge beneficial aspect of temperature control, the compression fit in our Mizos Base Layers help to improve blood circulation. They also compress your muscles which will limit the vibrations of your muscles when exercising.
Compression will stop energy from being wasted and will ultimately help cause less risk of injury and trauma to your muscles. Runners wear base layers as it has been proven that compression assists with blood flow which helps with muscle fatigue and therefore helps to boost and improve your performance.
View our Mizos base layer collection today and try our base layers out for yourself – so many athletes cannot be wrong.