What is the warmest thin under a hoodie top when I exercise outside?
November 1, 2020 12:56 PM   Subscribe

I am working outside with my trainer now in Ontario. The temperature now is 41F, 5C. It promises to get colder. I am wearing a tank top and hoodie and it's way too cold for me now. Please suggest the best base layers that will keep me warm, are not too expensive, and where I'll still be able to move easily doing all the exercises. I know it's all about the layering. Thank you so much!!
posted by Tziv to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Not cheap, but Lululemon underlayers stuff comes in great materials and is well made. I'm happy to pay for the quality, though. Lots of options. Most of the materials are cottony but are still "slippery" so there's little chaffing or bunching between layers.

I'm on the slender end and the cuts in men's small work well for me wrt range of movement. I have a couple of zip-up hoodies from 3 and 4 years ago and they've worn/ lasted exceedingly well.
posted by porpoise at 1:26 PM on November 1, 2020

Obligatory Capilene mention.
posted by rhizome at 1:47 PM on November 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Icebreaker base layers are great (https://www.icebreaker.com/en-us/baselayers) but a bit pricy.
I ran outdoors in Duluth, MN, all through the last winter in the Kohl's house brand heatkeep + heavy polyester long sleeve running shirt + smartwool vest. I found that my hat and gloves were far more important for keeping warm once I got going. I feel like I'm bragging when I say this, but seriously, all the way down into the teens I was just fine with my Kohl's base layer + shirt + vest. Exercise will keep you warm!
posted by dbx at 2:16 PM on November 1, 2020

I've been cycling in Toronto with Under Armour base layers under a dri fit shirt or shell and it's been warm enough so far this year. They make heat gear, which is thinner and cooler and cold gear which is thicker and warmer.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:03 PM on November 1, 2020

Uniqlo's HEATTECH line is great, and inexpensive for how well it wears. It comes in Extra Warm and Ultra Warm versions as well. My favorite are probably the Extra Warm crew necks and scoop necks. They have a thin layer of soft fuzziness on the inside and they really, really keep me warm. If you haven't shopped at Uniqlo before, check the size charts - they run smaller than typical North American stores.
posted by rachaelfaith at 3:51 PM on November 1, 2020 [3 favorites]

Anything merino wool should work too. I normally do a merino wool tank/sleeveless base layer + long sleeved base layer and then a vest or hoodie on top of that.
posted by something_witty at 4:10 PM on November 1, 2020

Was coming here to suggest either Capilene (linked above) or silk long sleeved jerseys. I use both together or separately depending on how cold it is and I think both are useful.
posted by jessamyn at 4:52 PM on November 1, 2020

Seconding either merino or silk base layers if you can afford them--I like Icebreaker, and their sales are good--or Uniqlo Heattech if you are on a tighter budget. I live in an extremely cold winter climate, where it can get down to -40 C, and I'm very impressed by Uniqlo Heattech. And yes, Uniqlo runs small, so really pay attention to the size charts and the customer feedback on sizing for particular pieces.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:29 PM on November 1, 2020

Costco has Paradox "Merino" wool base layers for good prices. They are only 11% wool but they wear like iron (or at least one ones I bought several years ago). I basically wear them 16 hours a day in winter as my first layer after underwear and often the tops as my only layer on the chillier fall/spring days.
posted by Mitheral at 7:34 PM on November 1, 2020

Also at Costco, 32 Degree base layers, Heat Tee and Heat Pant. Inexpensive. Durable, and warm.
posted by artdrectr at 11:40 PM on November 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm out walking in the same weather every day and my preference is a non-cotton long-sleeve paired with a fairly heavyweight and loose hoodie. When it's a bit colder, I sometimes add a merino wool long-sleeve shirt from MEC that's incredibly warm for its size (very thin). I don't see that exact item listed there anymore but any merino wool layer would be pretty similar. That may actually be a bit too warm for you though (the one time I wore it under a hoodie this year, it was around 5C and I took it off after walking a few minutes and overheating) so I would maybe try a cheaper synthetic first, but YMMV especially if your hoodie is pretty light.

Make sure you have something that effectively blocks the wind if it's windy, and starting around this temperature you may also want something to keep your ears and hands warm. Wool socks can also help.
posted by randomnity at 1:23 PM on November 2, 2020

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