Long gone are the days where snowboarders are doomed to spend their time on the mountain either freezing to death or sweating their balls off - modern fabrics like merino wool, spandex and polyester mean that not only can you keep warm in any conditions, but best of all you'll stay sweat and stink free too.

But we're not dumb, we know that as well as performing well snowboarding kit has to look good - you wouldn't want to be wearing something a road cyclist would for after shredding beers - so we've taken styling into account too.

We've got together some of the best thermal and first layer protection in the business and put them through their paces - just hit the left and right arrows to browse.

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  • Price: £75
  • Material: Merino wool
  • Fit: Long & loose
  • Style: Steezey
  • Warmth: 7/10
  • WL Rating: 8/10

New Zealand based Mons Royale were one of the first brands to take the magical material that is merino wool - poached from the ubiquitous woolly sheep dotted around the South Island - and turn it into something trendy. Allegedly named after their founder's wife's rude bits, they've been turning heads on and off the slopes down under for years now.

The original longsleeve is still the bomb when it comes to base layers. It has a loose and relaxed fit with comfortable reinforced thumbholes it's snug without limiting your movements at all. So comfy you won't want to take it off, you'll wear it so much the pricey tag will be well worth it!

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  • Latitude 60s - LS Crew
  • Price: £65
  • Material: Merino wool
  • Fit: Comfortable
  • Style: Basic but soft
  • Warmth: 6/10
  • WL Rating: 7/10

A new brand based in Chamonix and run by Brits, Latitude 60s are bringing supersoft NZ merino to Europe in their basic but functional range. Our testers agreed that theirs was the softest of all the tops we tested, plus the simple stylings make it great to keep on for apres.

They're a new brand with some great ecological ideas so keep an eye out for them and give them some support!

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  • I/O Merino - Altitude Zip
  • Price: €71
  • Material: Merino wool
  • Fit: Tall & slim
  • Style: Athletic
  • Warmth: 5/10
  • WL Rating: 7/10

I/O Merino are an Australian family brand who claim that they've 'been working with wool since not long after sheep were invented" and it shows: the fit is slim and athletic whilst being long enough to tuck into your pants without fear of them riding up.

Though they're not the warmest out of the bunch, they're perfect for hiking or splitboarding when sweat can cool you down too much. And as they're made from high-grade merino it'll keep the stank away too.

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  • Burton - Midweight Long Neck with Dyride
  • Price: £45
  • Material: Polyester
  • Fit: Fitted
  • Style: Athletic
  • Warmth: 9/10
  • WL Rating: 8/10

Of course when Burton do thermals they do them good - though this one ain't merino, their polyester/spandex blend still has a 'Stink Proof' finish. The most obvious thing about this piece is the built in face mask that - once tucked into a hat a goggles - guarantees that you won't get any snow down your front.

Be warned though, as it's a midweight top it does get pretty warm so it's not for those who run hot. However, if you're the type that ends up shivering in a coffee shop around 11am then this'll keep you toasty and shredding for the whole day! Plus, it comes in a bunch of rad colour ways including the camo print pictured.

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  • Icebreaker - Oasis LS Crewe
  • Price: £75
  • Material: Merino wool
  • Fit: Comfortable
  • Style: Bodyfit
  • Warmth: 6/10
  • WL Rating: 7/10

We have to admit, Icebreaker have never really been on our radar of brands to look out for, but when we got their bundle through the post we were confronted with a whole lot of style and quality!

Their merino blend is slightly heavier than the others, but that translates into a lot more warmth than tops of similar thickness. It's obviously built to last with high strength stitching and a fit that keeps in snug to the body without chaffing. The rest of the Icebreaker range this season is rad too so make sure you check out their site.

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  • Burton - [ak] drirelease Wool Hood
  • Price: £75
  • Material: Polyester & merino
  • Fit: Long & loose
  • Style: Backcountry badass
  • Warmth: 6/10
  • WL Rating: 9/10

Our favourite out of all the pieces we tested was this: the Burton [ak] drirelease wool hood. Like the rest of the [ak] range it's built for backcountry domination - light but great for wicking sweat and with a built in hood that pops up under your beanie to give you a little extra warmth and keep snow out of your neck.

Its thumb holes are snug without chaffing, but the cuffs are just the right fit that if you choose to use a jacket gaiter instead there's no danger of them riding up your arms. In short: it's a well thought out and executed piece of kit, perfect for shredding in this winter.

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