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    A Simple Guide to Choosing the Right Base Layers for Men

    A Simple Guide to Choosing the Right Base Layers for Men

    By Alex ToddGear Reviews

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    Choosing the right base layer is a critical task if you want to ensure that you will stay dry, comfortable, and smelling fresh on your adventures. This simple guide to choosing the right base layers for men will help you to discover some of the best base layer options, regardless of if you are travelling the world or exploring the outdoors closer to home.

    Finding the perfect clothing article can be a challenge even for your everyday wardrobe, let alone when you are trying to nail down your travel or outdoor packing list. So what is the best approach when it comes to choosing the right base layers for men?

    Selecting a great base layer top is certainly easier than finding the perfect bottoms, as you can’t exactly walk into a store and ask an associate to try on all of their different underwear options. It can be a bit frustrating to buy a pair of base layer bottoms and bring them home, only to find that they don’t fit exactly how you wanted them to or don’t perform as advertised.

    That’s why we’ve put together this simple guide to choosing the right base layers for men, with the hopes of helping you narrow down a few good options for tops and bottoms that you can take on your next adventure – wherever or whatever that may be!

    Choosing the Right Base Layer Bottoms

    As mentioned above, choosing the right base layer bottoms can take a bit of trial and error, often leaving you feeling as though you’ve wasted a bunch of money without finding a real solution. We’ve tested out a few different base layer options below to provide you with an overview of their strengths and hopefully come out with the perfect pair of underwear for your next adventure:

    Icebreaker Merino Anatomica Boxers

    Icebreaker offers a decent selection of merino base layer bottoms that are all slightly different with their own unique attributes.

    The Cool-Lite Merino Anatomica Boxers, to us, seemed a bit on the short and thin side, and there was certainly a worry as to whether they would last a long time or wear out quickly. However, what they seemed to lack in durability, they more than made up for in temperature control, staying cool and comfortable in a number of different activities.

    The Merino Anatomica Boxers, on the other hand, offered far more in the way of comfort, even though they were just a bit longer. The thicker fabric felt durable as well, making it a great option if you were more concerned with comfort over temperature control.

    Lastly, the Merino Anatomica Long Boxers offered all the benefits of the regular Anatomica Boxers, with an even longer leg for a more comfortable fit. The extra fabric length nearly eliminated chafing and they felt more durable than the Cool-Lite Boxers, which led us to believe that they would be able to better stand up to the rigors of the outdoors.

    Base Layer Bottoms

    Arcteryx Motus SL Boxer

    In our opinion, the Arcteryx Motus SL Boxer is a hard piece of kit to beat, as it offers the ideal combination of comfort, durability, and quick-dry capabilities. Not only do these boxers keep you dry while out on the trail, but they are great for travel as you can wash them whenever/wherever and know that they will be ready to put back into action in no time. The fit of the Motus SL Boxer is another plus, as the extra length in the leg prevents chafing, which is always a plus in our book!

    Outdoor Research Echo Boxer Briefs

    The Echo Boxer Briefs by Outdoor Research are another great base layer option to help you tackle any travel/outdoor related activity. These are similar to the Arcteryx boxers above, but come in at a cheaper price point. The fit on the Echo Boxer briefs isn’t as great, but overall they are a great budget pick if you want to overhaul your wardrobe ahead of an upcoming trip.

    Choosing the Right Base Layer Tops

    While it can definitely be easier to find a great base layer shirt (hey, at least you can try them on in the store!), there are so many different options available that can make choosing the right base layer top a bit confusing. In the same manner as the base layer bottoms above, we’ve pulled together a few of our favourite options when it comes to base layer tops so that you can find the perfect shirt to fit your style:

    Icebreaker Tech Lite II, Sphere II, and Anatomica V Neck T-shirts

    Once again, when it comes to base layers Icebreaker offers a number of different tops that will work hard to keep you dry and comfortable, no matter what gets thrown your way. Classic merino t-shirts are a great item to own several of, as they can be used for outdoor activities or as a casual piece of clothing for travel, making them a versatile part of your wardrobe that you would be wise to invest a bit of money in.

    The Tech Lite II is one of the more versatile t-shirt options from Icebreaker, as it features a great combination of stretch, durability, odour-resistance, and temperature regulation. This means you can safely wear it for just about any activity or in any weather conditions and rest assured that you are covered by a comfortable base layer.

    Similarly, the Sphere II offers a good balance of breathability and odour-resistance, but is also made with Icebreaker’s Cool-Lite jersey fabric, which provides excellent temperature regulation and ranks even higher in terms of comfort.

    Lastly, for those who are looking for something a little different in terms of style, the Anatomica V Neck t-shirt is a great option to explore. While it doesn’t offer the same odour-resistance or durability as the above options, it is a comfortable base layer with good breathability and stretchability, making it ideal for everyday use or travel.

    Base Layer Tops

    Arcteryx Motus Crew Neck Short Sleeve

    If you are looking for a great all-round base layer top, the Arcteryx Motus Crew Neck Short Sleeve is a solid option to explore. Designed with trail running in mind, the Motus Crew Neck excels at breathability and moisture management, making sure that you stay comfortable outdoors. The fit on this base layer top is a bit on the athletic side to increase moisture wicking performance, so if you are looking for more of a casual style then you may want to choose a different option.

    Under Armour Rush Energy Short Sleeve

    Coming in at a bit of a lower price point, the Under Armour Rush Energy Short Sleeve is a great base layer top if you need something to keep you dry and comfortable, without the hefty price tag. This shirt provides great moisture wicking capabilities in a loose/casual fit, making it ideal for either outdoor exploration or travel.

    Base Layer Summary

    As we’ve mentioned above, when it comes down to choosing the right base layer, you want to make sure that you are covered in every area. Taking into consideration the fit, odour resistance, moisture wicking capabilities, and durability of all of the above options, we think we’ve narrowed down the best choice for both tops and bottoms – at least in our eyes!

    In terms of the best base layer top for men, we found that the three different icebreaker options offer the highest quality and performance. The Sphere II, Tech Lite II, and Anatomica V-Neck are all of the highest quality (which is certainly reflected in the price), but they are also incredibly lightweight and great for any type of travel. If we had to choose just one, we would go for the Sphere II, thanks to its soft jersey fabric and excellent temperature regulation.

    When it comes to base layer bottoms, the Arcteryx Motus SL boxer takes the top prize. Although they are a bit more expensive than some of the other options on the list, the comfortable fit eliminates chafing, and the quick dry material means that you can wash and dry them quickly in any climate.

    While these were the options that we found to be the best performers, do keep in mind that certain factors - such as fit - can be a bit subjective, as everyone is built differently. You can’t exactly go out and test drive a new pair of underwear before buying them, so hopefully this guide to choosing the right base layers for men will provide a bit of guidance and help you select the perfect base layers for your upcoming adventures!

    Put Your Base Layers To The Test

    Put Your Base Layers to the Test

    Looking to put your new base layers to the test on a thrilling adventure? Download the 10Adventures Trail App on iOS or Android to discover a world of outdoor activities at your fingertips.

    Want to test the durability of your base layer clothing while travelling further abroad? Then be sure to check out our amazing adventure tours that will have you wearing your new wardrobe in every corner of the globe:




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