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What do smart travelers have in common? They all try their best to pack light, and their secret to cold weather travel is thermal underwear! Read on to discover our top ten brands for thermal underwear for women.
For a full packing guide, read how to pack for cold weather like a boss!
Best Thermal Underwear for Women
Why Thermal Underwear Works
Thermal underwear is a type of clothing worn beneath your top layers to keep your body warm, especially during harsh winter temperatures. Made from specialty fabric to protect against the cold, thermal underwear traps body heat to provide warmth.
Popular and recommended fabrics are merino wool and polyester blends because they are lightweight, ultra-warm, and wick away moisture. Outdoor brands specifically choose certain fabrics that are ideal for traveling in the winter.
Start by reading these general tips on packing for winter travel:
- Capsule Wardrobe for Winter
- How to Pack for Cold Weather
- How to Stay Warm in Cold Weather (without the bulk)
- The Best Travel Shoes for Winter
Another smart traveler secret is to re-wear clothing more than once without washing. Read more tips about this strategy here!
Below, we’ve lined up a few brands that offer the best thermal underwear for women.
A TFG favorite, outdoor brand Ibex ensures your warmth in frosty weather with high quality items. Their thermal underwear is made with New Zealand-sourced merino wool but their fibers, other fabrics, and garments are sourced all over the world.
I like how they include a breakdown of the fabric’s origin in each clothing item description; it feels like each piece has its own travel story.
I’m currently living in their 220 weight woolies top and bottom because it’s so cold in England and the worst is yet to come. What I particularly love is that I can wear their solid black thermal as a top and it doesn’t scream “outdoor brand”!
I also love their Mansfield dress. They are definitely TFG APPROVED!
The ski-inspired brand Burton not only sells rad snowboards but also stylish winter wear, including base layers that are perfect thermal underwear for women.
They’re made with merino wool and polyester blends and offer fun designs. Their quick-dry, heat-insulating apparel has odor-neutralizing properties and chemical-free fabric.
They score high on TFG’s must-have list with their high tech “drirelease” fabric products. The AK drirelease top and bottom are currently keeping me warm in the UK; I wish they had the pants in black because the fabric would make great leggings!
A supremely cute name for a brand that specializes in cozy clothing, Cuddl Duds is best for affordability. From fabric to fit, they offer winter wear that can be worn in layers to provide warmth without breaking the bank. You can choose from different waffle-knit designed patterns and colors to match your lifestyle.
TFG readers love their classic thermal underwear for women, especially for their budget-friendly prices.
It’s a brand that explicitly states what it’s meant to do: break the ice. Made for the adventure traveler, Icebreaker creates clothing options to match your outdoor necessities. Their base layers are 100% merino wool, perfect for winter hikes, camping, and travel.
The USA-manufactured brand is an advocate of green living. Their apparel is dubbed as “next to skin”, and combines textile innovations and modern designs. Polarmax’s thermal underwear is made with dry-moisture wicking and anti-microbial properties for winter wear.
Their selling point is acclimate dry polyester that wicks, breathes, and dries fast.
This sub-brand by Champion invites users to “hold on to the heat”, and they make it possible with their league of thermal underwear! Their snug-fitting, moisture control products are made with cotton, polyester, and spandex blends. Solid tops and bottoms can easily be paired and layered with other clothing against the cold.
One of the biggest perks is the price: their mid-weight bottoms start around $10 and the higher grade tops start around $25.
Base layers from Terramar are made with 100% silk pointelle knit. Their anti-microbial comfort technology is a plus when you want to re-wear your clothing.
While they also offer fleece-lined tops and bottoms, their silk layers are most noteworthy. The fabric offers optimal warmth but is ultra lightweight. Stay warm without the bulk!
As a plus, they’re also one of the most affordable companies for silk thermals I’ve found. I’ve got the silk scoop neck top and bottoms on my holiday wish list for sure!
The name speaks for itself: this brand’s expertise is all about wool. Merino33 makes use of sustainable, 100% merino wool in all their clothing offerings. Their thermal underwear is made with basic and bright colors that work as mid-weight base layers for your cold weather wardrobe.
As an added bonus, did you know merino wool makes a great base layer for dry suit scuba diving?
Coldpruf is part of the Indera Mills Company, a family-owned brand in North Carolina. ColdPruf creates knitted and thermal underwear products that give off a familiar, cozy feeling. Their products are made with a polyester and merino wool blend that’s perfect for base layering.
What’s most eye-catching about this brand is their cost effective merino wool products, including this dual layer bottom and top.
The Amazon-based Angelina brand offers winter wear, including fleece-lined thermal underwear for women. Not only are their prices super affordable, but their products come in a wide array of colors so there’s something for every personality.
Their inexpensive, fleece-lined leggings are one of the most popular and best-selling items featured in TFG’s ten best leggings for women who travel and I’m definitely going to get them the next time I’m in the US!
They also offer fleece-lined tops which sound absolutely amazing as I write to you from my bitterly cold English flat. Brrrrr!
Want to see my Ibex thermals in action? Read this post on how to stay warm in cold weather and not look like a snowman!
Who gets your vote for the best thermal underwear for women? Comment and share!
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For more winter travel tips, please read:
- 5 Brands that Make the Best Travel Underwear for Women
- Layering for Cold Weather: Best Outdoor Jackets
- The Onion Layering Strategy for Winter Weather
- 10 Step Guide to Packing for Multi-Weather Trips