By: Blonde Two
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It is well documented that we Blondes are fans of thermal layers for walking. A thin pair of leggings and a long sleeve top underneath your regular clothing makes all the difference when it comes to trapping heat and keeping you comfortable (and even safe) when you’re out hiking the hills.

For example, I never go wild camping without my merinos.

Which is the best fabric for thermal layers?

There are plenty of different types of thermals available.

In fact, we’ve spent the last twelve or so years making sure we test a wide range of different fibres and styles to help you (and us) make wise purchase decisions. From bamboo, to synthetic fibres, to merino wool, we’ve taken thermals out onto the hills (and often slept in them).

Because staying warm is important to us!

Finding the best thermal clothing base layer for you depends a lot on what activity you’re planning to be doing, and how much you want to spend. The really good news is that thermal leggings and thermal tops are more widely stocked than they used to be and much easier to purchase at a range of prices (and even second hand if you choose).

But we have even better news than that.

Thermal tops and leggings aren’t just for the outdoors!

In fact, during the autumn and winter months, you’ll rarely find me not wearing mine. Even when I’m inside, if you peeled back the layers, you would find a pair of thermal leggings underneath my jeans and a long-sleeved thermal top under my jumper.

And if it’s really cold, both of those will be made from merino wool.

Extra layers can save you money on your heating bill

Like many people I’ve become more careful with how and when I use the heating. This is mostly because heating costs have risen so much but also because I’m really keen to reduce my carbon footprint and use of fossil fuels.

It might be a dip in the ocean but every little bit counts.

I’ve found wearing my thermals around the house as well as outside keeps me perfectly warm and cosy. In fact, these days, I have a heating checklist I use before I turn the heating on. It goes like this…

  1. Am I wearing warm socks and slippers?
  2. Do I have my thermals on?
  3. Have I chosen a wool jumper?
  4. Could I move around to get warm?

The dog, by the way, really likes number four as the answer usually means he gets to go for a walk.

The best thermal under layers for wearing around the house

The thing about wearing thermals all day is that they have to be comfortable and thin enough not to restrict everyday activities. I’ve found that synthetic fibres are great on warmer days but that bamboo and merino wool ones do the job best when I’m going to be sitting at my desk for long spells or the temperatures have dropped.

Sitting still can be a chilly business.

The merino top in the image above was gifted from adidas and is a classic example of the type of thin, warm layer I prefer when I’m working from home or even just lounging around (as well as when I’m outside). The adidas’ Terrex collection includes a range of base layers that have been designed for the outdoors but would be equally suited to inside life.

Merino isn’t perfect, it tends to be a bit more fragile than synthetic fibres, and I always hand wash mine to protect them. But merino clothes are warm, breathable and odour-resistant, which means my merino thermals don’t need washing anywhere near as often as my synthetic ones.

One thing ladies might like to take note of is that merino, because it is a thinner fabric, tends to show a close outline. We can also recommend the range of women’s sports bras from adidas if you need some help with that.

When it comes to washing, I’m a big fan of the sniff test!