The 4 Best Base Layers for Hunting – Reviews 2021

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Photo by South Dakota / CC BY

A base layer is the initial layer of clothing between the skin and the rest of the outer layers. Your base layer is one of the most important layers you can have, especially if you’re out hunting in the snow or other inclement weather. Obviously, the layer needs to be capable of keeping as much body heat as close to the body as possible, but since base layers also cling to the body, it’s also important they wick away sweat and moisture—this way you remain dry and warm.

Base layers should also have long sleeves as shirts and full pants. Hunters need to remember, though, that these are underwear so you do not need a layer underneath them. Below are our recommendations for the best base layers for hunting. Take a look!

Carhartt Base Leggings

Different base layers are designed for different things. Some base layers are designed for sporting use, others for general use, and some are designed for work. The Carhartt base layer leggings and shirts are designed for those who have to work in the cold. The leggings are tight and form fitted, which aids in the ability to wick away moisture. They will leave your skin nice and dry, which means nice and warm.

Since they are form fitting they may feel somewhat tight and it may be wise to order a size up for increased comfort. The materials are top notch and the stitching is reinforced in important areas. This lets you remain flexible as you move, jump, climb, or crawl. The Carhartt base layer leggings never make you feel restricted or bound up. The inherent flexibility of these pants make them excellent for a wide variety of roles.

They are reinforced enough to avoid ripping or breaking after heavy use. They can be beaten up, washed a hundred times, and still be ready for work. The material is 100 percent cotton, and ring spun knit. The leg cuffs are tight on the outlets and this helps keep the heat in. It’s also stain proof material, so if you’re a messy eater like me you are covered. These are among the best base layers for hunting period.

Made by Hand: Carhartt Made in USA

ColdPruf Platinum Layer

ColdPruf makes some high quality gear designed for active individuals making their way in cold weather. Be in skiing, snowboarding, working, or simply roughing it through the woods, ColdPur has you covered. They use their own blend of Merino wool and polyester at 30% to 70% respectively. The use of Merino wool keeps the user extremely warm and polyester keeps the material lightweight and strong.

The ColdPruf leggings are tagless for comfort and use flat seams in the front and back of the leggings. The seams are reinforced and travel the entire length of the leggings. These seams are quite well stitched and strong, while permitting easy movement. These leggings are designed for heavy activity and to fit comfortably while moving. This specific pair of leggings is made for very cold to extremely cold weather. It keeps the legs warm and toasty. It does this through the use of two thin layers in the pants. This traps air between the layers and provides a natural layer of warm air.

The ColdPruf leggings provide the user with odor control to reduce the user’s scent. This allows the user to sweat and sweat all day without becoming “that stinky guy” (or “stinky gal”; let’s be equal with our bad jokes here). The ColdPruf pants are comfortable, fit well, and give the use an excellent option for working hard in cold weather.

COLDPRUF Classic Merino Wool Baselayer

NIKE Men’s Pro Hyperwarm Shirt

Nike’s long history of extremely high quality sports gear ranges from shoes to jerseys and everything in between. More than a few sports play during the winter, and quite a few actually depend on the cold to play. Something designed for athletes will often feature a few desirable features for hunters looking for weather gear. NIKE Men’s Pro Hyperwarm Shirt has a list of qualities applicable to anyone hunting in the winter. First off, it’s warm! In fact, it uses the hyper-warm Nike Technology that maintains core heat with little escape of body heat.

The shirt is close to skin tight, but athletic fit is probably a better descriptor (see full specs). The tight nature keeps the body heat in and wicks moisture away. In fact, in terms of moisture wicking, this is one of the best base layers for hunting. The Nike Dri-Fit materials really wicks away the sweat you build while you’re hunting or working (or hunting and working if that’s your livelihood). The NIKE Men’s Pro Hyperwarm Shirt, while tight, also allows for very easy movement.

Nike Hyperwarm Fitted Crew Top 1.2 SKU:#7791490

Under Armour Base Layer 3.0

Under Armour is probably the number one company for creating warm and effective base layers. Under Armour truly changed the game when they produced their wicking material. Still not the cheapest option, Under Armour is certainly one of the more effective options for a base layer.

The Under Armour Base Layer 3.0 (see full specs) is an improvement upon their older system. The UVA 3.0 is very light and quite comfortable and serves a variety of purposes. From the forest to field to the pasture, it’ll keep you warm and dry. The UA Base layer has a brushed negative grid interior that traps hot air and prevents it from escaping with its tight cuffs and collar. The 4 way stretch fabrication material allows you to maintain 100% range of movement.

The UA Base layer is also built with anti-odor technology. Not only does it keep you smelling fresh and clean as a bar of Irish Spring soap (okay, that might be an exaggeration but you get the idea), but it prevents the growth of infectious microbes. This makes it an excellent choice for camping and hunting expeditions where a shower maybe a few days away. We can safely say this is among the best base layers for hunting period.

Underarmour base layers


A base layer can easily be the most important layer you wear. Because it directly contacts the skin of intimate or sensitive areas it has to be comfortable and supportive. At the same time, it’s your first line of defense against losing body heat and wicking moisture away. It certainly pays to invest in a solid base layer, and with the options above, we’re sure you’ll find the right one for you. Good luck!

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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