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Best Snowboard Base Layers 2020-2021 | Our pick of the best base layers to keep you dry and warm on the mountain

Whether you're more likely to tackle damp and wet conditions or teeth chattering cold, we've listed our favourite base layers to take you through anything

Why is it important to choose a snowboard good base layer? The main purpose of a base layer is its ability draw sweat away from the body, pushing the moisture towards the mid-layer which in turns pushes it towards the outer layer which will finally push the moisture out in the air. This is why it’s important to choose all of your snowboard layers well, so that moisture can escape your body instead of being trapped within the multiple layers (leaving you cold and miserable as a result).

Our body temperatures fluctuate throughout the day. It’s important to keep the elements out, but it’s equally important to let the moisture created while moving around to escape. The base layer is where it all begins, hence why it’s so important your base layer that is made out of wicking materials (a fabric that moves moisture away from your body). It’s also why cotton, with its lack of wicking properties, is not a suitable option for your base layer.

“The main purpose of a base layer is its ability draw sweat away from the body, pushing the moisture towards the mid-layer which in turns pushes it towards the outer layer which will finally push the moisture out in the air”

Base layers are mainly made out of merino wool, synthetic materials, or a mix of the two. The choice of the fabric may result in differences in the thickness of the base layer. No matter how thick the base layer, however, it should always be tight fitted. This makes it easier for it to trap the air next to the skin and insulate the body from the cold.

Women’s model

Synthetic

Synthetic base layers are often made out of nylon, polyester or a polyester blend. They’ve got great wicking properties. They dry quickly, feel comfortable on the skin and are often more affordable than merino wool. However, synthetic materials do have a slower temperature regulation than wool while also offering little to none odour protection – meaning you’ll be needing to wash a synthetic base layer after nearly every use.

“Realising that a base layer can hold up to that much of your own sweat might sound a bit grim but due to wool’s fibre construction, the material remains breathable”

Merino Wool

Merino wool is nature’s answer to keeping us warm. This soft, warm and comfortable material is produced from the wool of Merino sheep. It doesn’t exactly have wicking capabilities as such, but a base layer made out of merino wool can hold up to about 30% of its own weight in water absorption before starting to feel wet.

Realising that a base layer can hold up to that much of your own sweat might sound a bit grim but due to wool’s fibre construction, the material remains breathable – providing both temperature regulation and odour resistance. In fact, merino wool resists odour a lot better than any synthetic material, meaning you won’t need to wash your base layers as often. And as it is a natural material, it is both 100% recyclable and biodegradable too. The only real downside is that it doesn’t dry as quickly as synthetic materials.

It is not uncommon for companies to use a mixture of merino wool and synthetic materials.

Once you’ve chosen the best base layer for you, take a look at our favourite mid-layers for this season. We’ll tell you all about how to choose the right mid-layer for you in our run through of the best snowboard mid-layers.

Best Snowboard Base Layers 2020-2021


Airblaster Ninja Suit Pro

PRICE: £260 / €300 / $270

The Airblaster Ninja Suit Pro is designed to protect you from falling snow and ridge-top gusts, making it easier to focus on quick transitions and logging more laps. By using a 4-way stretchy woven-wool blend Schoeller Nanospshere softshell fabric at the hood, shoulders and knees, the suit provides excellent water repellence, breathability and movement. In other words, it keeps the water from entering whilst making sure the moisture created when sweating finds its way out.

Selected for The Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the Airblaster Ninja Suit Pro here

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Burton AK Helium Power Grid Base Layer

PRICE: N/A

Built for high aerobic activity, Burton’s the AK Helium mid and base layer line is perfect when you’re looking for something to stack underneath your snowboard jacket and pants when heading out on a slightly more strenuous adventure.

Selected for The Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the Burton AK Helium Power Grid Base Layer here

  • BUY DIRECT FROM BURTON
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    Airblaster Classic Ninja Suit

    PRICE: £120 / €140 / $120

    Remember when you first saw someone rocking the Airblaster Ninja Suit in the Apres and all you could think about was what a hassle it must be when you need to visit the lavatories? Well, 10 odd years have passed since we first laid eyes on it and Airblaster, well, they’ve got that lavatory issued well and truly nailed as this is still one of our favourite base-layers around.

    Click here for the full review on the Airblaster Classic Ninja Suit.

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    Airblaster Merino Ninja Suit

    PRICE: £210 / €240 / $210

    Following its predecessor’s immediate success, Airblaster decided to tweak the Classic Ninja Suit and provide the riders faced with teeth-shattering cold a more suitable option – the Airblaster Merino Ninja Suit. As the name implies, this suit is made out of a merino wool mix, to keep you warm even when the temperatures drop way below zero.

    Click here for the full review on the Airblaster Merino Ninja Suit.

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    Burton AK Baker Power Wool Base Layer

    PRICE: N/A

    In order to get the best of both worlds, Burton’s AK Baker Power Wool base layer combines the warmth and odour resistance of merino wool with the quick-drying wicking abilities of synthetic fabric.

    Click here for the full review on the Burton AK Baker Power Wool Base Layer.

  • BUY DIRECT FROM BURTON
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    Eivy Icecold Hoodie Top and Tights

    PRICE: N/A

    Hailing from the Swedish mountain Mecca Åre, Eivy brings high-quality female snowboard clothing to brighten up our days. The brand’s signature styles and colourways stand out from the rest, and for 20/21 a few of their products got an upgrade – including the Eivy Icecold base layer.

    Click here for the full review on the Eivy Icecold Hoodie Top and Tights.

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    Mons Royale Bella Tech Top

    PRICE: €90

    Mons Royale’s Bella Tech base layer top is a perfect choice if you’re looking for an all-year all-rounder. This baselayer works as well on sunny spring days as it does when the temperatures drop below zero.

    Click here for the full review on the Mons Royale Bella Tech Top.

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    Mons Royale Olympus 3.0 Base Layer

    PRICE: N/A

    Mons Royale is known for offering one of the best and most durable merino base layers out there. The Olympus 3.0 midweight top and leggings are the warmest base layer in the Mons Royale range, and guaranteed to keep you warm.

    Click here for the full review on the Mons Royale Olympus 3.0 Base Layer.

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    Patagonia R1 Air Zip-Neck

    PRICE: £110

    Made out of fleece, a material more commonly used in the mid-layer game, the Patagonia R1 Air is a breathable base layer with a quick-drying time. Thanks to its ability to retain heat and remove moisture it also offers comfort in terms of warmth. The R1 Air makes a good companion when you’re about to tackle high-exertion activities in cold conditions – it keeps you both warm and dry.

    Click here for the full review on the Patagonia R1 Air Zip-Neck.

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    Smartwool Bryan Iguchi Mountains Merino Base Layer

    PRICE: N/A

    A good base layer is key for feeling comfortable on the mountain. Smartwool continues to partner up with Bryan Iguchi to bring you the best of the best. Take the Smartwool x Bryan Iguchi Mountain Merino 250 top, for example.

    Click here for the full review on the Smartwool Bryan Iguchi Mountains Merino Base Layer.

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    Smartwool Women’s Intraknit Merino 200 Crew Base Layer

    PRICE: $120 (top) & $120 (bottom)

    What makes the Smartwool Intraknit fabric stand out is that it has fewer seams and a more articulated performance, ,body-mapped, fit to increase ventilation and cut down on bulk. This allows for better movement. In other words, the guys behind this techy fabric have spent loads of time down in the lab.

    Click here for the full review on the Smartwool Women’s Intraknit Merino 200 Crew Base Layer.

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