As an outdoor enthusiast, you know that the right gear is essential to ensure your safety, comfort, and enjoyment while exploring nature. Among the most crucial pieces of gear is a base layer, which serves as the foundation of your outdoor wardrobe. A good base layer regulates your body temperature, wicks away moisture, and protects your skin from the elements. That said, let’s now explore the benefits of a well-fitting, comfortable, and functional base layer for women adventurers and how you can find the perfect base layer for you.
Understanding Women's Unique Needs for Adventuring
No two adventurers are built alike; each woman is going to have unique needs, and the base layer that she should choose will correspond to these unique needs. Despite this fact, finding outdoor apparel that fits and flatters your body type is a challenge. Most companies on the market who offer base layers, only offer their base layers in multiple sizes, not multiple fits. It is important when looking for the base layer that will respect who you are as a person to establish whether the company you’re looking at offers multiple fits in addition to multiple sizes. If they don’t, you may not attain from your activewear the confidence and comfort you expect.
The Role of a Base Layer in Your Outdoor Wardrobe
A base layer is the foundation of your outdoor wardrobe, providing a barrier between your skin and other layers of clothing. The base layer's primary purpose is to regulate your body temperature, keeping you warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather. It does this by wicking moisture away from your skin and allowing it to evaporate, creating a cooling effect. A base layer provides insulation, even when wet, which is crucial for outdoor activities where you may be exposed to rain, snow, or other moisture.
Choosing the Right Material for Your Base Layer
There is a multiplicity of base layer materials on the market – which one you choose will depend on a number of factors. If you’re practicing sustainability regularly, and are mindful of where the materials in your garments come from, then you might prefer a synthetic material, which, in many cases, will be classified as vegan. In certain synthetic blends, you might also find recycled fabrics. On the other hand, if you prefer a natural material, then you might like to opt for a merino wool base layer – however, be sure to verify whether this merino wool is responsibly certified; otherwise, you might not feel the best about wearing it.
Some other things to be mindful of, beyond the material nature of the garment itself, is what the material promises you as the wearer in terms of advantages. A synthetic material, especially one infused with silver, promises odor resistance for prolonged periods of time – very helpful for an extended camping or hiking trip in the wilderness. If made with considerable attention to detail, this same garment will also protect you against the sun, feel great against your skin, and inspire confidence with every step.
Conversely, a natural material, like merino wool, may not offer the same degree of odor protection, and, because most merino wool base layers on the market are 100% merino wool, the fabric tends to degrade over time. However, it’s difficult to surpass the virtues of merino wool, if we are looking to keep ourselves toasty during our winter expeditions.
Selecting the Perfect Fit for Your Base Layer
As mentioned above, most base layers on the market come in multiple sizes, but not in multiple fits. At this point, it’s important to elaborate on why this is an essential distinction. When it comes to size, unless you fit perfectly within a small, medium, large, or XL base layer, then you will not experience a flattering fit from your garment – that’s because size is really just the expansion of a uniform shape. Fit, on the other hand, acknowledges different dimensions in its construction, and is more properly defined as shape, not size.
When in doubt, consult the company’s size chart – if the company doesn’t offer multiple fit options, and you’ve historically had trouble finding a regulated size that fits your unique frame, then opt for a company that does, like Alpine Fit, for example, where you can find two base layer fit options: the Azalea Fit, which is designed for women with a curvier figure, or the Wild Iris Fit, which is designed for women with a more athletic build.
Balancing Style and Functionality in Your Base Layer
Now, size and fit aside, let’s talk about style and function. Your base layer should, of course, be both stylish and functional, a combination which will invite you to look and feel good, while staying comfortable and protected in the great outdoors. As a rule of thumb, you will want to balance your personal preferences, with respect to color and aesthetic, with the features of the base layer you’re considering. To reiterate, the materials you choose for your base layer, along with the fit you opt for, should you decide that shape is more important than size, will determine the function for which the base layer is worn. Merino wool base layers are great for the winter time; a synthetic base layer will, if constructed correctly, serve you all year round.
Caring for Your Base Layer
Proper care is essential for maintaining the quality and longevity of your base layer, especially your merino wool base layer, which, as a natural fabric, is less durable than your synthetic fabric. It is recommended that you wash your base layers on a gentle cycle or hand wash them and lay them flat to dry, or tumble dry them on low heat. If you’re curious about all the ways in which you can properly care for your base layer, Alpine Fit offers comprehensive guides for proper cleaning, storage, and handling, so you can keep it in top condition for your next outdoor adventure.
Quality and Sustainability: The Future of Base Layers
It is no secret that a driving force behind 21st century consumerism is sustainability – we want to know where what we’re buying comes from, how it is sourced, the labor ethics behind its production, and the connection the overall product has to the environment and the future of our planet.
There are a great many apparel companies pioneering sustainability, and paving the way for smaller, locally owned businesses to contribute meaningfully to the progress of thoughtful consumer behavior. Alpine Fit, neatly nestled in the Alaskan backcountry, owned and operated by women aspiring to lead this movement with respect to base layers, is committed to providing high quality material that is ethically sourced and sustainably produced. Alpine Fit’s base layers are developed, tested, and produced for the Alaskan wilderness, and the fabrics used in the base layers’ construction are locally sourced. In their merino wool base layers, you’ll find 87% responsibly certified merino wool and 13% recycled nylon, for added durability. Their flagship Sterling garment, infused with real silver for permanent antimicrobial performance, while synthetic also incorporates recycled fibers as part of Alpine Fit’s commitment to environmental stewardship.
Your next outdoor adventure is coming soon. And now, when you look eagerly forward to it, you can do so with a complete understanding of what to look for in your next base layer purchase: the right balance of size and fit, comfort, style, function, longevity, and durability. You might also find that Alpine Fit has just what you’re looking for – a perfect match for your next adventure.
Experience your next wilderness adventure with gear that's designed to last. At Alpine Fit, we're dedicated to crafting top-quality gear that's built to handle anything nature throws your way. Our garments are meticulously crafted and tested, so you can trust that they'll perform no matter where your next hike takes you.
Don't settle for second-rate gear that might fail when you need it most. Choose Alpine Fit for the confidence and peace of mind you need on your next outdoor excursion. Shop adventure clothing today and gear up for your next adventure!
Did you enjoy this post? Here are three to read next: