Is Thermal Layering The Way To Go?

Have you ever wondered whether you really need to wear thermals? Is layering the way to go? And what fabrics are best to achieve moisture wicking, dry, warmth? 
Well firstly, yes thermals are an absolute must if you want to ride in dry, warm comfort. You see.. Thermals are made of either synthetic or wool fabrics that encourage moisture to release rather than materials such as cotton that hold moisture in and make you cold. The key to staying warm in the snow is making sure your layers are breathable. It may be cold out, but you are working up sweat slashing those powder pockets!
The best combo to ensure you ride in comfort are.. Either a wool or wool blend or a synthetic first layer. 
Secondly, you want a mid layer.. Something that also breathes well, like polar fleece, down or wool. 
Finally, your outerwear should be waterproof yet BREATHABLE, make sure you check the breathability on your jacket. Anything upwards of 10000 will ensure you are releasing moisture and staying warm. 

Base Layer

Your base layer can either come in the form of a short sleeve, vest, long sleeve and pant. They should fit quite firmly like a second skin, so make sure you like the feel of the fabric. Thermal layers or base layers come in different weights. A lightweight thermal will usually be around 200g and should do you for most Australian conditions. Midweight thermals are usually 250-300g and are well suited to colder temperatures or perhaps someone that does really feel the cold. Upwards from 300g are for really cold climates such as Alaska. If you need something a little more technical because you enjoy a lot of time in the backcountry or spend a lot of time on snow in general, something with anatomical seems and or compression could be of use. 

Choosing between natural fibres or synthetic fibres is personal preference, they will both wick moisture. A lot of people opt for wool as it is undoubtedly very warm and ethical to manufacture. However, a lot of people prefer something synthetic as it generally doesn't irritate the skin as much. We will say... Wool has come a long way and there is generally little to no itch in leading thermal brands these days. Our best advice is try before you buy!

Mid Layer

Your mid layer is the layer between your base and your outerwear. It's what provides the most warmth. Your mid layer needs to be breathable so your not trapping any moisture, deeming your base layer pointless. A micro fleece is a great mid layer for our Aussie conditions. There are many weights of fleece to choose from depending on your needs. Wool is another great mid layer because, as discussed before, it is very warm and very breathable. For colder conditions a down jacket is a great option to keep that core warm whilst realising moisture. 

Last Layer

Your final layer is your outerwear! Your jacket and pants. Now if your layering correctly you might want to opt for something a little lighter in weight for you final layer as you should have sufficient warmth in your first two layers. Depending on the climate you spend most of your time riding in you could choose from a shell right up to a heavy weight jacket and pant. Make sure you check breathability, you will find this next to the waterproof rating on the tag. As discussed earlier, you are looking for upwards of 10000. 

Now follow these simple instructions and you really should ski and snowboard in warmth and comfort this season, with little reason to go in for hot choccys! Yew savings for the pocket and more time on snow! We know what's important. 

Fabric Choice; Pro's and Con's



Very warm, dry's quickly, breathable, minimal to no oder, great stretch


Itchy, expensive, can shrink if not looked after correctly




Cheaper, dry's fastest, softer on skin


Smells if not washed regularly, less ethical manufacture


We hope we've made it easy for you to decide on the right layers!