Kids Base Layer: Keeping Your Little Ones Warm in Winter

The winter chill is fast approaching, and it’s important to make sure your kids are prepared. While a good coat and boots are essential, there’s more to keeping them warm than meets the eye. It all starts with the right base layer. Layering is key to regulating body temperature and ensuring your little ones stay comfortable and cozy. So, let’s dive into the world of kids’ base layers and discover the best options out there!

A Note About Base Layers in 2022-23

Before we delve into our top picks, we want to emphasize that this season has seen an unprecedented demand for kids’ base layers. Many popular brands are nearly sold out, so don’t hesitate to make your purchase. If one brand doesn’t suit your needs, be sure to explore other options. Now, let’s get to our favorite kids’ base layers!

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Kids Wool Base Layers: Quick Picks

  • Chasing Windmills: Our absolute favorite for kids and women! Their traditional merino wool long johns are durable and long-lasting, while their ribbed merino thermals are incredibly soft.
  • Iksplor: Lightweight and soft, perfect for comfortable layering under any outfit.
  • Reima Taitoa: Super soft bamboo-lined base layers for a luxurious feel.
  • Reima Kinsei: Basic and affordable option for everyday wear.

Kids Synthetic Base Layers: Quick Picks

  • Shred Dog: Thicker and super warm with a brushed lining for added softness.
  • Reima Lani: Great for layering and excellent at wicking moisture.
  • LL Bean Expedition: Very warm, stretchy, and features a cool hood.

We’ve got you covered with some fantastic discounts as well:

  • Iksplor: Get 20% off with code “bringthekids”
  • Reima: Enjoy 15% off with code “BRINGKIDS15”
  • Shred Dog: Get 25% off with code “BTK25”

Dressing Your Kids in Winter: The Layering Guide

To keep your kids cozy during winter adventures, follow these simple steps:

  1. Base Layers: Start with a high-quality base layer. Merino wool and synthetic options are both excellent choices. Having a lighter and heavier weight set ensures your little ones stay comfortable in various conditions. Base layers are versatile garments that can be worn for skiing in winter or camping in summer.

  2. Socks: Opt for wool socks to keep their feet warm. One pair is enough—doubling up can lead to discomfort.

  3. Mid-Layers: Add an insulating layer, such as a fleece, but avoid over-layering to prevent sweating.

  4. Coats: Invest in good-quality outerwear that will last. Check out our handpicked selection of the best waterproof coats for kids.

  5. Snow Pants: Waterproof snow pants are a must-have. No need for anything fancy; just ensure they keep your kids dry. Read our review of the top kids’ snow pants!

  6. Boots: Keep their feet warm with a reliable pair of winter snow boots.

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What Are Base Layers?

Base layers are the first layer of clothing that kids wear to stay warm. Gone are the days of uncomfortable waffle-weave cotton thermals. Nowadays, most children’s base layers are made of either wool or synthetic materials. Cotton should be avoided due to its poor insulation and performance when wet.

Base layers are not meant to be worn alone but rather as part of a layering system. They make excellent pajamas and can be worn under regular clothes. Wondering how many layers your kids should wear to stay warm in winter? We recommend one base layer, one mid-layer (such as fleece), and a layer of outerwear.

Can You Wear Base Layers Under Clothes?

Absolutely! In fact, base layers are designed to be worn under clothes. They regulate body heat and provide extra warmth. Your kids can wear them under jeans, dresses, or even when they go running. Base layers are perfect for maintaining a comfortable body temperature.

Boys Base Layers vs. Girls Base Layers

Just like underwear, boys’ and girls’ base layers may have slight differences. If you want your kids’ base layers to be passed down from boys to girls, opt for a flat-front design in boys’ base layers. As for whether to wear underwear underneath base layers or long johns, it’s a personal choice. In our family, we prefer to wear underwear under base layers for added comfort.

The Best Merino Wool Base Layers for Kids

Merino wool has gained popularity for good reason. It offers several benefits for adventure-loving kids:

  • It helps regulate body temperature.
  • It’s naturally antibacterial, absorbing odors and reducing the need for frequent washing.
  • It’s lightweight and wicks moisture effectively.
  • It’s incredibly soft and comfortable.
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Our top recommendations for merino wool base layers are:

Chasing Windmills Kids Merino Base Layers

Pros: Most durable with reinforced knees, affordable prices.

Chasing Windmills offers exceptional merino wool base layers. Their long johns are not only durable but also incredibly soft, making them a favorite among kids and women. The brand also offers ribbed merino thermals that provide unmatched comfort. These base layers fit well and come in cute patterns and colors. They grow with your child, ensuring prolonged use. Starting at just $77 per set, including both top and bottoms, Chasing Windmills offers sizes from 3 months to age 12.

Iksplor Kids Merino Base Layers

Pros: Lightweight, super soft (ideal for sensitive skin).

Iksplor’s merino wool base layers are some of the best we’ve come across. They are lightweight, making them perfect for layering throughout winter and even into summer. The softness of the merino wool is unparalleled and ideal for kids with textile sensitivities. These base layers are naturally odor-absorbing, making them an excellent choice for frequent wear. Iksplor’s base layers are generously sized and proudly made in the USA! Explore their full range of products for even more options.

Use code “bringthekids” at checkout for 20% off your Iksplor purchase.

Reima Taitoa Merino Wool/Bamboo Blend Kids Base Layer

Pros: Super soft, warm, fun patterns.

Reima has truly outdone themselves with this blended wool and bamboo base layer. The bamboo lining provides an incredibly smooth feel and excellent moisture absorption. The outer wool layer keeps kids warm and regulates temperature. The Reima Taitoa base layers are perfect for kids who value comfort. Use code “BRINGKIDS15” for 15% off your Reima purchase.

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Reima Kinsei Merino Wool Kids Thermals

The Best Kids Base Layers - The Secret to Staying Warm In Winter

Pros: Stretchy, affordable.

Reima Kinsei offers stretchy merino wool thermals that grow with your child. They are perfect for active kids who need to maintain a stable core temperature. These base layers are available in sizes up to 14, making them suitable for teens as well.

The Best Synthetic Base Layers for Kids

Synthetic materials are another excellent option for base layers, with polyester and polypropylene being the most common choices. Here are our top picks:

Shred Dog Foundation Base Layers: Best Thicker Base Layers

Shred Dog specializes in high-quality ski clothing for kids, and their Foundation base layers are no exception. These base layers are incredibly soft with a smooth outer layer and a brushed lining. They provide optimal comfort and warmth. Although we haven’t tested them extensively in extreme winter conditions, our initial impressions are very positive. Shred Dog base layers are not only great for skiing but also make for comfortable everyday clothing. Prices start at just $30.

Remember to use the code “BTK25” for 25% off any Shred Dog order or “BTK35” for 35% off orders over $400.

Reima Lani Best Kids Thermals: Lightweight

Pros: Lightweight base layers perfect for layering.

Reima Lani offers fantastic lightweight thermals that excel at wicking moisture away from the skin. These base layers are ideal for layering beneath other clothes, providing additional warmth. They are suitable for teens up to size 14.

Use code “BRINGKIDS15” for 15% off your Reima purchase.

LL Bean Wicked Warm Expedition Weight Long Underwear

LL Bean’s Wicked Warm base layers are incredibly cozy and perfect for extremely cold days. With their lightly brushed interior, they offer superior comfort. These base layers come in a variety of styles, including a hooded option with a balaclava—a great choice for those who wear face masks. The thumbholes in the shirt keep wrists warm. LL Bean Expedition Weight Long Underwear starts at $25 per piece and is available in sizes 4-18.

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Stripes Gear Thermals for Kids

Stripes Gear, a Canadian brand, produces base layer thermals for the whole family. Their kids’ long underwear base layers are made of polypropylene, effectively wicking moisture away from the body. True to their name, their sets come in fun stripes and colors. These thermals are stretchy, warm, and feature double knees for added durability. Stripes thermals start at just $20 per piece and are available in sizes 2-12.

LL Bean Wicked Warm Midweight Long Underwear

For a quality winter base layer, LL Bean Wicked Warm Midweight Long Underwear is an excellent option. While not as soft or comfy as the LL Bean Expedition weight, these base layers still provide adequate insulation. The shirt features thumbholes for added warmth. LL Bean Midweight Long Underwear starts at $20 per piece and is available in sizes 4-18.

For more ways to stay warm this winter, check out our buying guides on waterproof snow boots, the best kids’ coats, puffy coats, and the top kids’ gloves, mittens, and snow pants.

Remember, Thumbuddy To Love offers a wide range of base layers to keep your kids warm all winter long. Visit Thumbuddy To Love for more information and to explore their fantastic collection.

Stay warm out there, and happy winter adventures with your little ones!