The Best Winter-Staple Thermals for Women and Men.
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The Best Winter-Staple Thermals for Women and Men

Unless you plan on hibernating till spring, you might want to stock up on a few thermals. Whether in the form of long underwear or a breathable hoodie, adding a base layer can help lock in your body heat, keeping you toasty even in sub-zero temps. Or, if you're visiting somewhere milder (lucky you), you can wear many of these comfortable staples alone or as light outerwear. They're the ultimate closet staple. To help you build out your collection of cold-weather essentials, we’ve put together a list of the best thermals for men and women.

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The Best Thermals for Women

1

Uniqlo HeatTech Extra Warm Turtleneck T-Shirt

Uniqlo cranked up the dial on its infamous HeatTech thermal technology for this snug yet lightweight turtleneck (the fabric here is 1.5 times warmer than the usual stuff). While it works well as a base layer (spandex = no bunching), it can also be worn by itself over jeans or trousers. The rayon-acrylic blend is breathable and sweat-wicking, so you’ll feel nice and toasty but not at all suffocated.

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2

Reebok Thermowarm Training Base Layer Top

The key to winter dressing is layers. But not just any layers—moisture-wicking layers. Reebok’s Thermowarm top fits the bill: Mesh vents allow air to circulate during high-intensity gym seshs, while the proprietary Speedwick fabric soaks up sweat. Lightweight enough to wear under a sweater during the day but cozy enough to wear to bed, it’s also super versatile (no one needs to know it’s an exercise top).

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3

GapFit Breathe Pullover Hoodie

Gap’s Breathe sweat-proof hoodie will keep you dry whether you’re running outdoors, hiking in the Black Forest, or just sprinting to the rental car. It stretches comfortably yet retains its shape and has extra-long sleeves and thumbholes to prevent cold air from sneaking in. Bonus: Flat-sitting seams keep underarm chafing at bay (no bueno).

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4

Lululemon Cross-Wait Yoga Pants

Technically, they’re yoga pants, but these high-rise, ankle-cropped leggings also make a stellar base layer. The self-described “buttery soft,” “barely there” tights fit seamlessly under regular pants, thanks to a stretchy Lycra-fiber fabric. Plus, like any good yoga pant, they’re moisture-wicking, so you won’t have to sit in your own sweat on the hotel shuttle or on the slopes (gross). 

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5

Adidas Z.N.E Hoodie

Whether you’re a seeing a new country by bike or the comfort of a tour bus, Adidas’ lightweight hoodie will make you look like a badass. The sporty staple wears well under bulkier coats in winter but keeps you warm on its own in shoulder seasons. A full front zip allows for airflow, while its high collar and thumb-cuffed sleeves shield you from the blistering elements.

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6

Under Armour ColdGear Leggings

You’ll log plenty of miles in these guys. Moisture-wicking, fast-drying, anti-chafing, extra-warming—Under Armour’s ColdGear leggings check all the boxes. Layer under heavier gear for cold-weather adventures or wear them as standalone workout pants when the temps get a bit warmer. Get them in all three colors, because you won’t want to take them off.

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7

The North Face Ventrix Mid-Layer Slope Shirt

Breathable and insulating all at once, The North Face’s Ventrix shirt has thumbholes to keep your wrists warm and side-zip ventilation to keep you cool. The aerodynamic design gives you maximum mobility as you’re shredding black diamonds—or, er, pizza-wedging your way down the bunny slope.

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The Best Thermals for Men

8

Uniqlo HeatTech Extra Warm Crew Neck Long-Sleeve T-Shirt

Frigid winds and drafty rooms are no match for this long-sleeve tee, which is 1.5 times warmer than the brand’s standard HeatTech fabric. Whether you wear it as an everyday base layer or to sleep in, you’ll find it stretches nicely but never loses its shape. We especially love the slightly shorter-than-usual sleeves, which disappear under sweaters and jackets.
 

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9

Nike Therma Training Hoodie

This light, water-repellent jacket is a perennial staple, though it’s especially useful under bigger coats on bone-chilling days. The hoodie is fully insulated and has a full-zip front that allows airflow as needed. Tuck your phone or cash into the zipper shoulder pocket and you’re good to go for a winter run—or a winter cocktail.

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10

Tommy John Sport Leggings

New York-based Tommy John is quickly becoming a big name in underwear, so it’s no surprise these stretch-fabric leggings make a great base layer. They don’t ride up or chafe, and mesh “cooling zones” prevent you from overheating in a stuffy museum or crowded restaurant. Plus, outdoor runners, listen up: There’s a reflective swatch on the lower legs to keep you safe on night jogs.

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11

Old Navy Thermal-Knit Long-Sleeve T-Shirt

Sure, you can wear this thermal under a sweater or flannel, but it’s also perfectly acceptable on its own for a casual dinner on the town or hosting friends at your mountain cabin rental. The waffle-knit, crew-neck shirt is fitted, but not too tight, and has just enough stretch to keep you comfortable while shaking up martinis. Plus, a muted pop of color (brick red, mustard yellow) brightens even the grayest of days.

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12

Adidas Alphaskin Climawarm Tee

Like giving your body a warm hug, Adidas’ stretchy fleece workout tee forms to your body and moves with it, keeping you cozy and dry. The raised neck traps heat up top without feeling restrictive, while moisture-wicking insulation zaps away sweat. It’s an outdoor runner’s essential, but we won’t judge if you wear it for a day of sightseeing.

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13

The North Face Wool Blend Boot Tights

These easy-fitting tights may look like an average pair of long johns, but they’re surprisingly functional (they are from The North Face, after all). The lightweight polyester-wool blend preserves dryness and wicks away moisture to keep you warm in every situation. Wear them under trousers during chilly travel days, by themselves when lounging around the house or hotel, or as a sub for pajamas—they’re that comfortable.
 

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14

Burton Lightweight Base Layer Crewneck Tee

This playful ski-and-snowboard base layer wears well year round. It’s lightweight, breathable, and insanely stretchy, plus keeps you toasty all the way to your mitts, thanks to thumbhole cuffs on each sleeve. The best part, though? It’s completely odor-proof, so no one will know it hasn’t been cleaned in weeks (though, um, maybe do throw it in the wash now and then).

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