The best moisture wicking layers: warm, breathable and high-performing base layers

Whether you’re a cyclist, skier, hiker or mountaineer, the value of having the best moisture wicking layers is massive. (image credit: Castelli)
Fortunately, we’re here to guide you through the finest base layers out there - from the ultimate merino-based options to synthetic rivals. (image credit: Montane)
Icebreaker’s Merino 200 Oasis Thermal Top is a superb and natural base layer for all manner of energetic activities. (image credit: IceBreaker)
Its warmth to weight ratio is impressive, weighing in at a mere 197g. Woven from 100 per cent Tasmanian merino wool, it wicks moisture away brilliantly. (image credit: Ortovox)
Comfort is king here and chafing isn't an issue. This is thanks to well thought-out seam construction, such as shoulder panels designed with a backpack in mind. (image credit: SmartWool)
Montane’s shirt is one of the finest synthetic base layers out there. Its polyester construction give you many of the benefits of natural merino. (image credit: Montane)
Woven from high-loft SottoZero Fleece multi-denier 100 per cent polyester fabric, it gives you an excellent warmth to weight ratio. (image credit: Castelli)