What's the warmest pair of men's long underwear you can get...
July 23, 2008 5:16 PM   Subscribe

What's the warmest pair of men's long underwear you can get that will fit comfortably underneath jeans/khakis?
posted by JamesJD to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I think my silk long underwear are extremeley warm and they fit easily under pants.
posted by stewiethegreat at 5:26 PM on July 23, 2008

These from Cabela's work for me. Not too much crotchular bunchilation.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 5:26 PM on July 23, 2008

I've been a skier for 40+ years, and have tried everything. Silk or polypro(pylene) is the only way to go; thin and super-toasty but still wearable indoors.

Polypro tends to get a little funky after awhile, though.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:30 PM on July 23, 2008

I lived in Latvia last year - same latitude as southeast Alaska, pretty snowy, etc. - and happily went off to work in blizzard-like conditions wearing on my legs only a pair of wool chinos and some leggings from Icebreaker made of warm, cozy, machine washable (this is KEY!), non-itchy, soft-as-silk merino wool. They've got six different models; I think the Bodyfit 260 is the warmest. You can order from their website or hunt around your local trendy outdoor store.
posted by mdonley at 5:32 PM on July 23, 2008

I used to wear these to work all the time under jeans & khakis. Very light (like a pair of women's nylons almost, not elasticized/tight though) and somewhat improved warmth. Like the description says, not really for getting sweaty or very cold weather, but a lot better than jeans alone.
posted by GuyZero at 5:32 PM on July 23, 2008

Oh, also, they don't hold odor.
posted by mdonley at 5:34 PM on July 23, 2008

I'm the coldest person I know and wear long underwear under my jeans quite often in the colder months.

Would have to 2nd Benny Andajetz's polypro suggestion. I like, and wear, Patagonia capilene and REI's MTS longies.
posted by Incognita at 5:36 PM on July 23, 2008

Just go to your local camping store and check out their cold weather gear. They'll have something thin, light, and built to keep in heat like a furnace.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:39 PM on July 23, 2008

2nd Incognita. I once asked a coworker from Wisconsin and she swore by the Patagonia Capilene.
posted by rhizome at 5:51 PM on July 23, 2008

Definitely Capilene. I've found regular polypro gets trashed and fuzzed out pretty quickly whereas Capilene stays the same forever.
And you really don't need much in the way of weight or thickness, just light or medium weight will do. Always been fine for me, through Quebec & Alberta winters.
posted by Flashman at 6:03 PM on July 23, 2008

I'm not a man, but I second mdonley's icebreakers suggestion. I used to do the silk longjohns thing, but when I started skiing, I crossed over to the icebreakers. So warm, so dry, so non-odoriferous. Plus, unlike the silk, they don't run when washed and generate much less static electricity. I get all my icebreakers gear on sale at sierra trading post.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:04 PM on July 23, 2008

OK, I'm going to draw criticism here, but a rather exhaustive study from the military suggested that the material barely matters at all. The two things that are most important in insulation: thickness, and coverage.

That is, assuming that the clothing is perfectly dry, (how much of your body area is covered) X (how thick the clothing) = a rough correlation with insulation.

That being said, as soon as you put a human into the mix, there's going to be moisture added, and soon the wet-insulation values (which vary wildly) factor in, as well as how fast does it dry? Since much of our experience trying to stay warm also includes exercise (hiking, playing around outdoors, etc), this simplified outlook doesn't gibe with our experiences.

If it's not going to get very damp, silk dries nicely. If it's going to get wet, but not worn for days on end, wool has fantastic wet insulation properties (but dries more slowly than almost anything else; both are due to the hollow fibers).

Otherwise, synthetics dry well, and tend to have moderate to good wet insulation values. They dry faster than wool, and often faster than silk. Polypro retain smells much worse than wool, as noted above, but many newer fabrics actually resist smells.
posted by IAmBroom at 6:27 PM on July 23, 2008

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