Ski base layers – the answer to the winter blues

I have a new weapon in my winter armoury this year – ski thermals.

I have a new weapon in my winter armoury this year – ski thermals.

As regular readers of this blog may know, I am obsessed – perhaps to an unhealthy degree – with thermals. It’s because thermals are a total necessity here in nowheresville, especially when a bitter north-easterly sweeps up our land and hammers the house with its icy fist. The woodburner may pump out 20kw, but it’s got its work cut out in this 70sqm living room. 

I’ve tried virtually every kind of thermal that exists: thermolactyl from Damart, cotton ones from army surplus, angora ones from Lidl, merino ones from M&S, silk ones from Winter Silks, mulberry ribbed ones direct from China, but this year I’ve made another find – ski thermals. 

Alright, it was the DH who actually found them (how, I wonder, since neither of us skis?) and I must admit, I hadn’t realised that microfibre had come on in quite such leaps and bounds. You can now buy microfleece base layers (note the vocabulary – base layers, sometimes written as baselayers) that are like suedette to the touch, or microrib thermals that feel like silk and are wicking as well as warm. 

Ski thermals wear, wash and dry as easily as silk, but keep their shape better, and best of all, they are astonishingly cheap. We picked up our unisex Regatta fleece base layers for £20 a set (for zip-up polo-collar top and longjohns), while the Five Seasons Superwoman or Superman set, in microrib, range from £15 for a set of poloneck top and longjohns. These are specifically designed to be worn next to the skin, and the fine rib traps a layer of air.

The Five Seasons Superwoman set is available in black, white and ivory, but you can also pick up shades of pink and bright turquoise in the women’s designs if you’re lucky (men’s and women’s designs do differ, with the male longjohn being cut for the male anatomy and the sleeves being raglan rather than set in). The same firm’s Adine set is almost identical, but with a slightly sportier contrast side panel – I got a pair of purple ones – and they have brought out patterned designs called Pure and Muriel, in shades of turquoise and pink. 

So impressed was I with the Five Seasons offerings that I bought six sets for myself (the DH has three) and also gave them as gifts for Christmas. After all, in a bitter winter, with fuel bills rising, nothing says I love you like a pair of warm knickers.

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