Before you know it, the icy grips of winter will be here. One of the most understated, yet essential pieces of gear to survive the colder weather are a good pair of thermal underwear (aka long underwear or long johns). Even the Farmer’s Almanac suggests having a pair on hand. To help you in your search, we’ve assembled the best thermal underwear for brisker days and longer nights.
Saxx Kinetic Tight, $60
Saxx makes some pretty comfortable underwear, good for just about any occasion. These tights are designed for a mobile lifestyle thanks to 360-degree action stretch mesh fabric and special engineering specific to high-output activities. Each pair has an ergonomic pouch, multi-panel construction, and special seams for added stretch. They’re sleek, breathable, and won’t break the bank either.
C9 Champion ¾ USA Compression Tight, $23
Target’s collaboration with legacy outfitters Champion makes quality workout gear that’s built on the older brand’s sporting foundation. If you ever feel like an Olympic athlete while working out or tackling a trail on a cold morning, these tights are for you. Duo Dry+ technology helps wick away moisture, while the supportive fit provides circulation in warm weather. Before you know it, you’ll be imagining Bob Costas yelling your name as you cross the finish line.
Duckworth Vapor ¾ Legging, $80
Up in Montana, Duckworth is changing the wool game. The company sustainably harvests its own wool, which boasts extra durability and style due to the sheep grazing and living above 5,000 ft. This ¾ edition of the brand’s popular leggings are meant to pair up with high-top hiking or skiing boots. The structure is semi-fitted with a full inside leg gusset, so the thermal underwear won’t bunch up. Coupled with the proprietary wool blend, it will keep you comfortable and ready to move all day long.
Hanes X-Temp Thermal Pant, $13
Hanes has been a gold standard of sorts in the underwear world for as long as any of us can remember. This pair of 100-percent cotton thermals is built shrinkage control, so you won’t have to replace it after a couple washes. This is definitely a roomier option, so the underwear work just as great in front of the fireplace as they will in the outdoors. At less than $20, Hanes is also the cheapest option on our list.
Patagonia Capilene Thermal Weight Bottoms, $44-$89
Patagonia’s reputation for durable, warm outdoor gear is well-known, so it comes as no surprise that this Polartec base layer is built for cold treks. It features all sorts of special engineering for extra warmth, flexibility, and comfort, with a functional crotch and flatlock seams. The Capilene are also primarily built from recycled polyester, so you can feel good about wearing this pair.
Bonus: Airblaster Ninja Suit, $110
We’d be remiss not to include a onesie for those looking for something a little bolder. The Oregon-based Airblaster has built a following with its various Ninja Suits, which are full-body coverings with a 350-degree zip for easy bathroom trips. It’s a great, mid-weight base layer or party pant, depending on your style.