Gear Trends: Baselayers get more strategic (and trendy) mesh cutouts, and more colors - SNEWS

Gear Trends: Baselayers get more strategic (and trendy) mesh cutouts, and more colors

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Baselayers face demand for fashion and performance.

Tight is Right

Not everyone wants to wear baselayers as pants. For athletic pursuits, a tighter fit equals better performance. More skin contact means improved wicking and easier layering. This year, tights incorporate mild compression sections in the lower legs and thighs for energy-saving and muscle-recovery benefits, and to help garments maintain their shape. Some wool brands are wrapping merino wool around a nylon core to improve product durability and longevity.

Right Place, Right Fabric

In baselayers bottoms, body mapping carries over as the main organizing concept. Front-facing wind panels—either nylon fabrics or extra-thick zones—help protect against excessive wind-cooling and evaporation during stops or breaks. Mesh panels, often placed in high-heat places like inner thighs, counter heat build-up by promoting ventilation. Baselayer tops trended warmer this year, with brands seeking the right interplay with synthetics and wool to provide winter warmth without sogginess.

Relaxed Fits

Then again, some people do wear baselayers on the outside—as tights or shirts—and brands are responding with relaxed silhouettes that are versatile enough to be seen in public. “We’ve added more colors, patterns and premium details that help our baselayers make the transition from performance activity to casual, everyday adventures,” says Molly Cuffe, Smartwool’s global brand marketing director. Look for bold, eye-distracting patterns, and fits that are more flattering.

Photo courtesy of Terramar

Photo courtesy of Terramar

The Beast ($55) from Terramar is a heavyweight poly crew for low- to moderate- output activities in very cold weather. The slim fit, articulated elbows, and off-shoulder seams translate into a wide range of motion, and a fleece liner helps wick sweat off the skin.

Photo courtesy of Smartwool

Photo courtesy of Smartwool

Lifestyle meets technical in Smartwool’s Women’s Merino 250 Baselayer Asym Top ($115). It’s a slim-fit top, but bold colorways and a 12-inch asymmetrical zip make it cute enough to wear with jeans. The shoulders are seamless to reduce friction under a pack.

Photo courtesy of Minus 33

Photo courtesy of Minus 33

Technically a baselayer, Minus 33 positions its Juneau Leggings ($TBD) as go-to winter bottoms. The heft of the heavy wool rebuffs wind while its gusseted build increases flexibility.

Photo courtesy of Helly Hansen

Photo courtesy of Helly Hansen

Helly Hansen overhauled its baselayer line for 2017, introducing two new pieces at the warm end of its range. The two-layer Lifa Merino Seamless ½ Zip ($110) uses two-layer construction to up comfort and wicking performance. Available in men’s and women’s styles.

Photo courtesy of Merrell

Photo courtesy of Merrell

Merrell mixes venting sections with a thicker knits in its Trektech Seamless Tight ($60) for men. The tough Cordura construction gets a ventilation assist from meshy panels located along the inner thighs and the backs of the knees.

-M.T. Elliott 

This article was originally published on p. 22 of the Day 0 issue of Outdoor Retailer Daily Winter Market 2017.

Related

Photo courtesy of Smartwool

Gear Trends: Socks get a svelte makeover

Socks get techier this year thanks to svelter fibers. Thinner Threads As hiking boots get more flexible and sneaker-like, socks, too, are thinning out. “Throwing a thick pair of socks in a lightweight hybrid boot just feels weird,” says Jimmy Funkhouser, owner of Feral Mountain ...read more

orwm15_baselayers_thumb

Gear trends: 2015/16 Baselayers

Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2015 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Jan. 20 – 24. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update ...read more

orwm15_shells_thumb

Gear trends: 2015/16 Shells

Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2015 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Jan. 20 – 24. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update ...read more