Best Mens’ Hiking Thermals for the UK in 2020 (September Update)


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Best Mens’ Hiking Thermals for the UK in 2020 (September Update)

Whether you’re hiking in the back country, climbing mountains, sitting around the campfire, or just walking your dog in winter, keeping warm is critical to your enjoyment and well-being.

The key to getting the right temperature and comfort levels during hiking comes down to correctly layering your clothes.

Regardless of what activity you’re undertaking, layering is the simplest way to protect your body from cold weather. Bear in mind that no single layer of clothing will protect you from all conditions.

When you’re out hiking you need to stay dry and warm and should have four key layers: a base layer that wicks moisture and keeps you warm, a wind proof layer, an insulated thermal layer to keep heat in and cold out, and a hardshell layer that keeps the rain out.

For this all to work well you need the best base layer as your foundation.

Top 3 Best-Sellers

Bestseller No. 1
Mountain Warehouse Talus Mens Thermal Baselayer Top - Quick Drying Winter Jumper, Easy Care, Long Sleeves, Round Neck Sweater, Breathable, Lightweight...
490 Reviews
Mountain Warehouse Talus Mens Thermal Baselayer Top - Quick Drying Winter Jumper, Easy Care, Long Sleeves, Round Neck Sweater, Breathable, Lightweight...
  • Breathable - The fabric allows perspiration to pass out of...
  • Easy Care - This garment is machine washable
  • High wicking - Actively wicks moisture away from the skin,...
  • Isotherm - Densely packed fibres to retain heat & warmth...
  • Lightweight - Great for travelling, comfortable to wear and...
Bestseller No. 2
NEW 4 pairs Mens Arctic Comfort ® Thick Thermal Wool Socks High Tog Rating UK Size 6-11 EUR size 39-45
1,299 Reviews
NEW 4 pairs Mens Arctic Comfort ® Thick Thermal Wool Socks High Tog Rating UK Size 6-11 EUR size 39-45
  • SIZE UK 6-11 EUR 39-45 Extra heavy bulk wool for warmth and...
  • Intensive inside terry for extra soft feel
  • Warm, durable and very strong
  • For work,leisure activities, winter socks
  • ONCE RECEIVED PLEASE USE SCISSORS TO REMOVE PLASTIC WIRE...
Bestseller No. 3
Mountain Warehouse Merino Mens Long Sleeve Thermal Baselayer Top - Lightweight Jumper, Warm, Antibacterial & Quick Drying Sweatshirt - Great for...
21 Reviews
Mountain Warehouse Merino Mens Long Sleeve Thermal Baselayer Top - Lightweight Jumper, Warm, Antibacterial & Quick Drying Sweatshirt - Great for...
  • Naturally Antibacterial – Fibres of this men’s essential...
  • High Wicking – Actively wicks away moisture from your...
  • Breathable – Airy & lightweight, let’s moisture out of...
  • Easy care - Fully machine washable

There are hundreds of options for mens’ thermals to choose from, ranging from budget to top-of-the-range performance gear.

To make things easier, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite options on the market right now in order of price.

We looked only at thermals that offer a good degree of sweat-wicking, comfort, freedom of movement for outdoor activities, layering abilities and durability.

  1. Mountain Warehouse Merino Long Sleeve

Key Features:

View on Amazon

  • Fabric: 80% Merino, 20% Polyester
  • Warmth rating: 2/5

Mountain Warehouse are known for providing excellent kit for those on a budget. That’s not to say they don’t still perform and this base layer is a perfect example.

High-wicking and breathable by nature, this merino long sleeve measures up just as well as competitors that are double the price.

And unlike some of the pricier options, it can be thrown in the washing machine for easy care.

The slim fit keeps warmth trapped around the body and the garment holds its shape well, due in part to the polyester mix.

Highly breathable fabric lets moisture out, making sure you stay dry on the inside, with sweat and moisture beading up on the surface for easy evaporation.

The only real issue is that it is thin. This isn’t a problem for any UK-based trips but could be a no-go for those who are planning to go mountaineering or skiing. This thinness will also impact its robustness, making it more likely to snag and tear in the long run.

Though we didn’t notice this, some users have reported as much. That said, the bonus of its thinner weave is that it folds down small and is super light.

Overall, a great budget base layer that will keep you warm without overheating and is naturally antibacterial to stay fresh and odour-free.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Naturally anti-bacterial
  • Soft / non-itch
  • Holds its shape
Cons
  • Less durable than expensive counterparts
  • Only suitable for cool (not cold) climates
  1. LAPASA 100% Merino Wool Base Layer

View on Amazon

Key Features:

  • Fabric: 100% Merino
  • Warmth rating: 2/5

This LAPASA thermal is made with 100% Australian Merino wool and offers great insulation and warmth when the temperature drops.

The highly breathable wool fabric lets moisture out to keep you dry throughout your hike or climb.

Its all-natural design and moisture-wicking fabric resists odour and bacterial build-up to spare you having to regularly handwash it whilst on the road.

What’s more, Merino is lightweight and perfect for layering.

This base layer is a little thicker than a long t-shirt but thinner than a sweater, meaning it can be worn alone for autumn weather or is the perfect first layer in winter conditions.

The clever thing about a light Merino long sleeve is that it keeps you warm in cool conditions and cool in hot ones.

As a result, this men’s merino wool base layer is the perfect companion for year-round outdoor performance from trekking and hiking, to camping or skiing.

This LAPASA thermal also comes in varying weights and with the option of adding in bottoms.

It is certainly thinner than other base layers on the market, which doesn’t dmassively etract from how warm it is but will decrease its longevity.

Some users noticed holes starting to form after a few wears and washes, though this could be avoided through careful washing and drying.

In terms of a light weight base layer, this 100% Merino LAPASA model serves the purpose well and is tough to beat on price.

Pros
  • Lightweight and non-bulky
  • Soft and all-natural
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Not durable
  1. Under Armour Coldgear Long-Sleeve

Key Features:

View on Amazon

  • Fabric: 87% Polyester, 13% Elastane
  • Warmth rating: 2.5/5

Under Armour have been a go-to brand for sporting gear since the dawn of time and this is the base layer to turn to when the mercury drops.

For anyone that is looking for a thermal to train in – whether that’s hiking, running or climbing – this should be on your shopping list.

Under Armour’s ColdGear range eliminates the need to wear heavy, bulky gear in cold weather by combining a thin fleecy inner material with a stretchy sporty outer layer.

This long sleeve has a crew neck and compression fit with the notion of it acting like a second skin.

Soft flatlock stitching reduces any friction and the four-way stretch design allows maximum freedom of movement.

Made from polyester and elastane it is extremely warm for how light it is, even when damp.

This makes it perfect for cold wet training days or walks when the weather has turned.

Suited to early spring and late autumn, you’d still want another thicker layer to throw on top in the depths of winter.

The breathable fabric wicks sweat and regulates body temperature to keep you cool and dry.

However, because it is 100% man-made, you’ll need to get it into the wash after every workout or day on the trails.

Under Armour have incorporated anti-odour technology to prevent the growth of bacteria but after a few sweaty sessions you’ll start to notice the smell.

Despite its compression design, it is surprisingly comfortable and one of the best mid-weight insulating layers on the market.

Pros
  • Stretches for extra comfort
  • Warm but light
Cons
  • Completely synthetic
  1. Extreme Essentials Merino Long Sleeve

Key Features:

View on Amazon

  • Fabric: 50% Merino, 50% Polyester
  • Warmth rating: 3/5

For a premium base layer that will keep you warm and dry in challenging environments without breaking the bank then look no further.

Extreme Essentials’ latest model has found the optimum mix of fibres to get the best of both worlds.

The Polyester makeup is a 50/50 split of Thermocool and Thermolite fibres for warmth, ability to dry quickly, lightness and durability.

The Merino wool offers heat regulation and natural anti-bacterial properties.

The 200 gsm thickness and 17.5 micron Merino build make it perfect for everything other than the iciest of conditions, as well as being naturally odour-resistant.

The fact that it is slightly thicker than our above options means that it will last significantly longer, especially thanks to the double stitching being used throughout the garment.

A major plus of this long sleeve is that is has a longer back to prevent ride-up and cold spots – a real bonus for anyone with a longer torso.

The top is designed to fit close to the body and flatlock stitched seams and raglan sleeves reduce the chance of chafing.

The fitted cuffs keep heat in and can be tucked into gloves on really cold excursions.

The only downside of these cuffs is that they are too tight to be rolled up, making it tricky to dump heat on the go.

Thicker than the alternatives mentioned above whilst still being affordable, lightweight, comfortable and even delivered in eco-friendly packaging, this thermal is truly hard to fault.

Pros
  • Stretchy and comfortable
  • Quality construction
  • Tail and cuffs for extra warmth
Cons
  • Cuffs can’t be rolled if/when too hot
  1. Brass Monkeys – 100% Merino Wool Base Layer – Long Sleeve

Key Features:

View on Amazon

  • Fabric: 100% Merino wool
  • Warmth rating: 3/5

Despite being a lesser known brand when it comes to outdoor clothing, Brass Monkeys have created a top-quality thermal long sleeve .

At £60 it isn’t exactly the cheapest option available but you definitely get value for money with this garment.

Built purely from 215 gsm, 19.5-micron Merino wool, the long sleeve regulates body temperature in both warm and cold climates.

Tiny air pockets draw excess heat away from the body but also retain heat in colder conditions (down to -20°C), even when wet.

The fit is excellent, despite not having added polyester for stretch, and the comfort is on par.

Its soft finish means zero itchiness, and the stitching and crew neck allow for zero chafing.

A shaped tail provides extra warmth and the natural antibacterial properties mean you can wear it multiple times without needing to wash it.

Rather than being churned out in a Chinese factory, these thermals are ethically sourced and manufactured in New Zealand – the true home of Merino.

As such you can expect to have this long sleeve for many years of hiking.

For a climate-controlled workout in an all-natural product, this long sleeve is a top contender.

Pros
  • Softest Merino wool
  • Perfect fit
  • Ethically sourced
Cons
  • Relatively pricey
  1. Merino & More Thermal Base Layer

Key Features:

View on Amazon

  • Fabric: 56% Merino wool, 30% Polycolon, 14% Polyamide
  • Warmth rating: 3/5

Merino & More is a young Austrian company, and if anyone knows how to stay warm in the winter, it’s them.

This thermal is a step up from some of the others on our list and pricey, but we think it’s a great example of how spending a little more can really pay off.

Probably the biggest selling point is the dual-layer system. The Merino & More team have combined super-fine Merino wool with hydrophobic, high-performance polypropylene fibres to create a comfortable yet incredibly practical top.

Polycolon, a type of polypropylene, is a functional fibre that is lightweight, breathable, sweat-repellent and easy to care for.

The polycolon yarn wicks perspiration to the outside to keep the body dry and warm, whilst the antibacterial properties of the Merino wool neutralise odour and regulate heat.

Another major bonus is the seamless knitting technology not seen in most other brands.

These base layers are created without any shoulder or side seams, eliminating chafe and increasing the longevity of the top.

Made in Europe and developed in collaboration with high-performance athletes, this is an investment you won’t regret.

Pros
  • Robust
  • Comfortable/stretchy
  • Low maintenance
Cons
  • No tail
  • Expensive
  1. Smartwool Midweight 250 Crew Thermal

Key Features:

View on Amazon

  • Fabric: 100% Wool (Merino)
  • Warmth rating: 4/5

If you’re going to buy only one thermal, this should probably be it. Toasty warm, comfortable, soft and all natural, this base layer ticks all the boxes.

The Merino wool is high quality and feels soft next to the skin whilst allowing just enough stretch for full movement when out and about.

SmartWool’s Mid 250 Crew Top boasts Slim Fit craftsmanship that makes it follow the natural contours of your body.

The crew neck with set-in sleeves makes it perfect for layering and shoulder panels eliminate top shoulder seams for extra comfort when wearing a backpack.

Flat lock seams are incorporated throughout to reduce chafing.

SmartWool also treats all of their wool in a way that makes it itch-free and shrink-resistant. It is naturally moisture wicking, anti-microbial and anti-odour, allowing it to perform well in a range of temperatures.

The fabric weight is 250 grams per square meter, meaning this crew top is plenty warm but not overly heavy. For those that don’t need such a high level of warmth, SmartWool make the same long sleeve in a 150 weight.

The thinner model is lighter and slightly more breathable (and therefore dries more quickly) making it use-able as sun protection with the sleeves rolled down on warmer days.

Pros
  • Flat lock seams
  • Shoulder panels
  • Very warm
Cons
  • Pricey
  1. Venture Heat Men’s Heated Thermal

Key Features:

View on Amazon

  • Fabric: Polyester and Spandex
  • Warmth rating: 5/5

In the quest for the ultimate climate control and warmth, Venture Heat has gone above and beyond. For anyone that really suffers in cold weather, this is the answer.

The heated long-sleeve features core front heating, shoulder heating and lumber heating using built-in carbon fibre elements.

Small fibres run through three heating zones to provide quick warmth to your key regions.

The customised slim battery has a 5V 5000 MAH capacity and tucks smoothly into your shirt pocket without weighing you down.

The accessible button control is found on the left sleeve and with one quick press the top starts to warm up.

Using the same button you can increase or decrease the amount of heat being released.

What is most impressive is that the heating elements are designed to move as you do with a four-way flex and can be machine washed.

The battery pack has a life of over six hours when the infrared system is on low or two hours when running on high. It can be recharged from any portable power bank or mains plug and even has a USB port to charge your phone as you go!

For most people, this will be far more heat then they need whilst out hiking or climbing, but it is perfect for when you’re back in camp or sitting around and getting cold.

For moderately cold environments the base layer is a great thermal without even switching on the built-in fibres.

A waterproofed quarter-zip collar, thumb holes and moisture-wicking fabric are all designed to keep heat in and moisture out.

Although it might be a little tough on the wallet, this Venture Heat base layer is the ultimate investment in thermal-wear technology.

Pros
  • Ultimate warmth
  • Collar and thumb holes
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Surplus to most users’ requirements

What to look for when buying thermals

The words base layer, thermal underwear and thermals are used interchangeably and refer to exactly the same thing.

The perfect thermal will keep you warm whilst wicking away sweat.

Good base layers are formfitting, shouldn’t hold any odour and should layer well under other garments.

Because you won’t be taking off this layer it needs to remain comfortable throughout the day.

By opting for something cheap you’ll suffer that wet, clammy feeling beneath next to your skin.

Although natural, 100% cotton t-shirts trap all the moisture in, making for an uncomfortable experience.

Choosing between different base layers comes down to your primary use.

Consider which fabric type is best-suited to your needs out of synthetic and wool, as well as the fabric weight.

The garment’s thickness will have a significant impact on how warm it’s going to keep you.

Fabric

Your first consideration (outside of price) will probably be what your base layer is made of.

Wool thermals are typically made from natural merino fibres that balance your body temperature whilst providing great moisture management.

On top of this, wool is naturally anti-bacterial, meaning it will be able to go longer between washes. Just be sure to wash it once before your first use to avoid any itching.

Good synthetics are designed for extreme cold conditions but by themselves can get damp quickly.

Polyester, nylon and lycra are often combined with natural fibres to provide the right amount of moisture wicking and heat retention.

If you want to travel light bear in mind that the warmth to weight ratio of synthetic fabrics like acrylic and polyester are four to eight times higher than knitted or woven fabrics like wool or cotton.

The downside? Acrylics need to be washed after every wear to avoid smelling.

Silk is a lightweight option for activities in moderately cool weather though it is not very durable or as good at wicking away sweat droplets.

Cotton base layers are the most affordable but retain perspiration and should be avoided.

Warmth

This seems obvious – you’re buying a thermal because you want to stay warm. However, just as being too cold is an issue, being too hot make for a terrible hiking experience.

The weight of the fabric determines the level of warmth provided by the underwear so look out for numbers that usually range between 100 and 300.

If you’re not taking on icy conditions, something towards the lower end of this will work perfectly.

Alongside the outdoor temperatures you should consider your own metabolism.

Do you get hot quickly when on the move or do you tend to stay cold even during exercise?

Combining a thin base layer with a warm insulating layer will give you the best wicking and warmth combination in moderate to cool temperatures.

Comfort

Again, it goes without saying that you want to be comfortable.

Because your base layer will be in direct contact with your skin you need it to be soft with no scratching seams, labels or stray fibres.

Thermals with flat lock seams and no zips will vastly reduce chafing.

Your comfort will also be dependent on your base being able to breathe well so that your skin is kept warm and dry.

Mobility

Also influencing comfort will be how closely the garments fits.

Thermals should be neither too tight (which will hinder movement out on the trail) nor too loose (which will lead to material bunching and rubbing).

For maximum mobility, choose a fabric with a good four-way stretch.

Some tops come with an extended tail to help keep the shirt from riding up and keep your lower back covered.

Crew or zipper neck

A crew cut is the most comfortable and also easier to layer but provides less coverage of your neck area, leaving your throat exposed to the cold.

Having an incorporated zipper makes it easy to dump heat in a hurry without having to take any layers off – ideal when you’ve finally reached the summit of your hike.

Zipper options are normally either quarter or half length.

Another good way of trapping in heat is by looking for a thermal with thumb loops, keeping your wrists warm on the move.

Mens’ Hiking Thermals – Best-Sellers

Bestseller No. 1
Mountain Warehouse Talus Mens Thermal Baselayer Top - Quick Drying Winter Jumper, Easy Care, Long Sleeves, Round Neck Sweater, Breathable, Lightweight...
490 Reviews
Mountain Warehouse Talus Mens Thermal Baselayer Top - Quick Drying Winter Jumper, Easy Care, Long Sleeves, Round Neck Sweater, Breathable, Lightweight...
  • Breathable - The fabric allows perspiration to pass out of...
  • Easy Care - This garment is machine washable
  • High wicking - Actively wicks moisture away from the skin,...
  • Isotherm - Densely packed fibres to retain heat & warmth...
  • Lightweight - Great for travelling, comfortable to wear and...
Bestseller No. 2
NEW 4 pairs Mens Arctic Comfort ® Thick Thermal Wool Socks High Tog Rating UK Size 6-11 EUR size 39-45
1,299 Reviews
NEW 4 pairs Mens Arctic Comfort ® Thick Thermal Wool Socks High Tog Rating UK Size 6-11 EUR size 39-45
  • SIZE UK 6-11 EUR 39-45 Extra heavy bulk wool for warmth and...
  • Intensive inside terry for extra soft feel
  • Warm, durable and very strong
  • For work,leisure activities, winter socks
  • ONCE RECEIVED PLEASE USE SCISSORS TO REMOVE PLASTIC WIRE...
Bestseller No. 3
Mountain Warehouse Merino Mens Long Sleeve Thermal Baselayer Top - Lightweight Jumper, Warm, Antibacterial & Quick Drying Sweatshirt - Great for...
21 Reviews
Mountain Warehouse Merino Mens Long Sleeve Thermal Baselayer Top - Lightweight Jumper, Warm, Antibacterial & Quick Drying Sweatshirt - Great for...
  • Naturally Antibacterial – Fibres of this men’s essential...
  • High Wicking – Actively wicks away moisture from your...
  • Breathable – Airy & lightweight, let’s moisture out of...
  • Easy care - Fully machine washable
Bestseller No. 4
MEETYOO Men’s Thermal Underwear Set, Wicking Long Johns Quick Dry Base Layer Sport Compression Suit for Workout Skiing Running Hiking
565 Reviews
MEETYOO Men’s Thermal Underwear Set, Wicking Long Johns Quick Dry Base Layer Sport Compression Suit for Workout Skiing Running Hiking
  • 1.Warm & Light: This thermal set comes with fleece lining...
  • 2.Free movement & Preventing Strain: The long sleeve johns...
  • 3.Instantaneous absorption of sweat & Prevent Body Odor: The...
  • 4.Second Skin: Use as fleece base layer cold weather mens...
  • 5.Customer Satisfaction Guarantee: Please feel free to...
Bestseller No. 5
MEETYOO Men's Thermal Underwear Set, Wicking Long Johns Quick Dry Base Layer Sport Compression Suit for Workout Skiing Running Hiking,Black,M
1,189 Reviews
MEETYOO Men's Thermal Underwear Set, Wicking Long Johns Quick Dry Base Layer Sport Compression Suit for Workout Skiing Running Hiking,Black,M
  • 1.Instantaneous absorption of sweat & Prevent Body Odor: The...
  • 2.Warm & Light: This thermal set comes with fleece lining...
  • 3.Second Skin: Use as fleece base layer cold weather mens...
  • 4.Free movement & Preventing Strain: The long sleeve johns...
  • 5.Customer Satisfaction Guarantee: Please feel free to...

Last update on 2020-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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