The Best Thermal Underwear for Braving the Cold Weather Ahead

On December 21st, the winter solstice officially ushers the Northern Hemisphere into the winter’s frosty air. Just because it’s cold out outside doesn’t mean we’re spending the next few months trapped indoors, though. With the right layers, even the chilliest days and nights can be spent enjoying fresh-air activities.

Grab a couple of pair of our favorite long johns and get skiing, snowboarding, hiking, snow-shoeing, curling, sledding, ice-skating, or, OK, we give in — just lounging around inside.

Jockey Waffle Pant – $30
best thermal underwear jockey long

Let’s start with the classic. Jockey has been making underwear since the 1800s, and its thermal, waffle-knit long underwear is the stuff that those of us in northern climes grew up on. While Jockey’s latest pants maintain their signature Y-front fly, they are updated with a cotton, polyester, and spandex blend for comfortable movement and to maintain shape. 

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Mack Weldon Warmknit Long Underwear – $58
best thermal underwear mack weldon warmknit long

Mack Weldon’s micro-waffle fabric uses Thermolite technology to keep you warm even longer since it’s designed to trap heat without adding any weight. The Modal and wool blend is soft, moisture-wicking, and odor-fighting. They’re also available in a merino wool blend and tech cashmere, to be even more luxurious. 

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Patagonia Capilene Midweight Bottoms – $59
best thermal underwear patagonia capilene long

Patagonia’s most versatile base layer comes in the company’s signature Capilene fabric (a moisture-wicking polyester). So these midweight bottoms have a smooth face for easy layering; a Polartec Power Grid interior for superior warmth and breathability and wicking; and Polygiene® permanent odor control. 

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CDLP Long Johns – $60

From aquavit to meatballs, we trust the Swedes for great design, and Stockholm-based underwear company CDLP doesn’t disappoint. Made from lyocell for a smoother than silk finish and great softness, this long underwear also offers a nice bit of stretch. CDLP included an enhanced pouch construction to keep the boys comfortable, too. 

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Saxx Thermoflyte Tights – $75
best thermal underwear saxx long 1

If you’ve already tried Saxx’s regular underwear,  featuring a hammock-shaped pouch to (ahem) keep everything in place…then you know just how comfortable they can be. The company applies that same level of accommodation to its tights, keeping you warm and happy. The tights also offer Saxx’s trademarked Three-D Fit,” odorless tech, and reflective details.

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Tommy John Long John Bottoms – $60
best thermal underwear tommy john long

Tommy John is known for perfecting the T-shirt. It’s achieved that same level of perfection with a Temperature Control smart fabric that will keep you toasty and warm during outdoor activities in cooler climates, but you won’t overheat when you head back inside. The stretch fabric is also engineered to prevent moisture build-up. 

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Duckworth Maverick Legging – $100
best thermal underwear duckworth long

Merino wool is one of nature’s natural performance fibers, wicking away moisture while keeping things toasty. Duckworth uses it to create a breathable first layer that regulates temperatures in all condition without the stink effect that some wearers experience with man-made fiber underwear. Duckworth’s wool and leggings are grown, spun, knit, and sewn all in the USA. Woo!

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Hanes Thermowool Pant – $29
best thermal underwear hanes long

Another classic underwear brand, Hanes, blends wool with polyester microfiber to create a fabric that breathes and manages moisture effectively. Its double knit construction ensures comfort and ease of movement, while flat, no-rub seams, feel smooth against skin and help prevent chafing.

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Now that you’ve got your long underwear in hand, it’s time to branch out a bit and check out other must-have winter accessories.

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