25 Best Thermal Underwear for Men in 2022: Base Layers from Fear of God, Patagonia, and Smartwool
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Long before the days of electric blankets (or electricity, period) the best thermal underwear for men was the only thing separating you from frostbite in the dead of winter. Their appeal is actually pretty simple: in winter you freely swaddle your upper half with coats, beanies, sweaters, and scarves, so why leave your legs out in the cold with nothing in the way of insulation beyond a layer of cotton or corduroy? Thankfully, we’re here to remedy the imbalance immediately.
These days, thermal underwear isn’t exactly a necessity on most early winter days, but it’s precisely the type of product you’re going to be glad you own for those, ahem, truly brick moments in February—when polar vortexes descend upon your hometown and you can’t so much as scroll through your favorite meme page without your fingers going numb. Below, we’ve rounded up the best thermal underwear for men on the market today, from old-timey versions crafted of durable, always-acceptable cotton to the high-tech, moisture-wicking riffs you’ll sport under your snow gear while carving up a Black Diamond trail.
The Best Entry-Level Long Underwear
At this stage, Uniqlo’s Heattech has, like Google and Kleenex before it, entered the common lexicon. As in, Oh, it’s going to be 20 below before windchill today? That’s Heattech weather. Or, You’re driving up to Quebec for that ski trip this weekend? Better stock up on Heattech. That ubiquity is well earned: the stuff is warm as hell, easy on the skin, and affordable enough to buy in bulk. These days, Uniqlo makes three levels of Heatteach gear—regular, Extra Warm, and Ultra Warm—and we’re fans of the middle option, which has a brushed lining for extra insulation but is still breathable enough that you won’t sweat bullets indoors.
The Best Long Underwear for Hitting the Slopes
If you’re planning on spending time on a mountain this winter—whether that means hiking up or skiing down—these are the ones you want. Fashioned from merino wool to ward off odors and regulate your body temperature, with flatlock seams to sidestep any chafing, Icebreaker’s technical base layers are engineered to keep you warm and comfortable on the move.
The Best Old-Fashioned Long Underwear
When you imagine long underwear, these are probably what you picture first: heavy ribbed, button-fly henleys and long johns in heather gray and white. Hemen’s hardily-constructed organic cotton takes are as traditional as can be, but they’ll still be up to snuff heat-wise on your chilly morning commutes.
The Best Long Underwear to Luxuriate In
On the awfulest winter days, when you wake up feeling extra gloomy, this set will serve as a worthy motivator to get you out of bed and moving in the right direction. Thanks to an opulent blend of merino and silk, they’re deceptively light and airy, feeling like absolute heaven against your body while still packing in the heat. Dropping nearly $300 on undies might seem crazy, but we’d argue that choosing to live in a cold climate isn’t totally sane, either. Treat yourself. You deserve it.
The Best Long Underwear You Can Wear on Their Own
At the end of the day, thermal underwear is meant to be just that—underwear. So leave it to Fear of God’s Jerry Lorenzo to turn a pair of ultra-cozy waffle knit long johns into a henley-and-sweats combo you could—and should!—wear out of the house. They can still be worn as intended if you’re say, heading to the office (or any place, really, where hanging out in skivvies-adjacent loungewear is a no-go), but that slim silhouette means they’ll look just as rad under a topcoat and with a beanie when you run out to grab coffee on a milder winter day. The best part of the whole set? Those nifty pockets, so you can easily stash your keys, wallet, and phone on said early-morning coffee run.