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12 thermal brands to wear on a winter hike

Hiking during the winter can be surprisingly relaxing and therapeutic despite the cold weather. However, you must be prepared to handle low temperatures. The best way to ensure that you stay as warm as possible is by wearing thermal clothing.

There are many thermal brands to choose from, but above everything else, you need to look for a few crucial features to ensure they’ll keep you warm.

In this article: Fruit of the Loom Women’s Micro Waffle Premium Thermal Set, MeetHoo Women’s Thermal Underwear and Romision Men’s Thermal Underwear.

Snug fit

If you’re not a fan of slim-fitting clothing, you’ll have to adjust if you want to stay warm on your winter hikes. Thermal clothing is designed to hug the body to prevent heat from escaping, which helps you stay warm for extended periods. Most thermal clothing feels tight against the body, However, they are usually made with a four-way stretch construction, so you don’t feel constrained.

Moisture-wicking technology and fabrics

Even if you walk slowly, you’ll eventually notice that you’re sweating after a few minutes of hiking. Sweating can make you uncomfortable, but if you’re wearing thermal clothing made with moisture-wicking materials and technology, you’ll find that it absorbs your sweat and dries fast. Fabrics like wool and cotton are excellent for keeping warm, but they don’t have moisture-wicking properties, so it’s best to wear those materials over a thermal base layer.


The last thing any hiker wants to deal with is an annoying tag that makes them itchy. It can be frustrating if you’re constantly itchy because of a tag, but the good thing about most thermal clothing is that they don’t have any. However, if you purchase a set of thermal underwear or clothing with tags, consider removing them before heading out for your hike.


The downside to thermal clothing is that it can stink up pretty quickly if you wear them for physical activities, including hiking. However, the best thermal brands make clothing with an inherent odor-management system that prevents unpleasant odors from accumulating. You should wash your thermal clothing often, but you should be able to hike for several hours in them without noticing an unpleasant odor.


Some thermal clothing is too delicate for the washing machine and may shrink in the dryer. However, the best thermal brands make machine-washable clothing that won’t shrink. If you plan on hiking often, buying machine-washable clothing is best so you’re not constantly spending time hand-washing your base layers.

Best thermal brands

Under Armour Men’s ColdGear Armour Leggings

These breathable compression leggings are made with moisture-wicking fabrics and are excellent for cold-weather hiking. They have an ultra-warm interior, a smooth exterior, a four-way stretch construction for increased mobility and anti-odor technology.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Fruit of the Loom Women’s Micro Waffle Premium Thermal Set

If you’re looking for an affordable thermal underwear set to keep you warm on your winter hikes, Fruit of the Loom is a trusted brand. This set includes a crewneck T-shirt and leggings made with a blend of soft cotton and polyester.

Sold by Amazon

DSG Women’s Cold Weather Compression Turtleneck Shirt

This compression turtleneck is excellent for keeping the elements at bay and will keep you warm for extended periods. The soft jersey fabric offers a four-way stretch for superior comfort and mobility, and the thumbholes help keep the sleeves in place.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

MeetHoo Women’s Thermal Underwear

This thermal underwear offers excellent mobility and flexibility. It works best as a base layer for cold-weather outdoor activities, such as hiking, skiing and ice skating. It absorbs sweat quickly, and the slim fit ensures bunching around the waist for optimal heat retention.

Sold by Amazon

The North Face Women’s Winter Warm Essential Crew Long Sleeve Shirt

The North Face is a well-known brand that makes high-quality activewear gear, and it doesn’t disappoint with this warm long-sleeve thermal shirt. The side panel gives it a feminine shape, and FlashDry-Pro wicks away moisture and sweat.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Romision Men’s Thermal Underwear 

These long johns offer a flexible feel that makes them perfect for winter hiking and other activities, such as hunting, skiing and jogging. It has strong seams for superior durability, an elastic waistband for a custom fit and no tags to prevent itching.

Sold by Amazon

Heat Holders Men’s X-Warm Base Layer

This lightweight thermal top has a multidirectional stretch construction for maximum mobility and a carefully brushed interior and exterior for increased heat retention. It is machine-washable, offers a non-chafe fit and has advanced moisture- and odor-management technology.

Sold by Kohl’s

Nike Women’s Therma-Fit One Mid-Rise Leggings

These leggings provide a tight, body-hugging feel and are made with a durable stretch fabric that ensures you can squat without worrying about tearing. It has two hidden pockets and a V-shaped waistband for a contoured, smooth silhouette.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Carhartt Women’s Force Utility Knit Leggings

These slim-fit leggings are versatile enough to wear on their own or as a base layer. The mid-rise design allows them to sit below the waist for increased comfort, and the reinforced knee panels offer improved durability.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Duofold Women’s Baselayer Thermal Pants

These Duofold base layer leggings are an affordable, excellent set of thermal pants to wear on outdoor adventures. They have a moisture-wicking waistband that's free of tags and a knit construction that traps air between two thermal layers to block the cold.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Baleaf Women’s Thermal Fleece

This long-sleeve shirt is made with high-quality fleece-lined thermal fabric for superior warmth and a soft feel. The thumbholes keep your wrists warm and help retain heat, and the side zipper pocket is perfect for storing small valuables.

Sold by Amazon

Smith’s Workwear 2-Piece Thermal Set

If you’re looking for extra warmth for hiking in frigid weather, you’ll need a midweight thermal set like this one. It offers a relaxed fit for long-lasting comfort and tight cuffs and hem for increased heat retention, and it comes in six colors.

Sold by Kohl’s

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Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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