Finding the best base layer for cold weather and extreme cold weather hunting can be difficult since we all have different preferences.

We reviewed the 10 best base layers for hunting to make sure you get the right base layer for cold weather hunting and extreme cold weather this season.

The Best Base Layer for Cold Weather Hunting

base layer for hunting in cold weather The base layer of clothing for hunting can really be the deciding factor between you freezing, being comfortable, or sweating uncomfortably a few hours of sitting in your tree stand or behind your hunting blind.

So we set out to find the best base layer for hunting, including the best midweight base layer, the best heavyweight base layer, the best merino wool base layer, and several other base layer options to consider based on the environment you are hunting.

We specifically detailed out a few hunting base layer options based on the temperature ranges they are good for, including:

  • Cool-weather hunting base layers (38° to 50° F)
  • Cold-weather hunting base layers (15° to 40° F)
  • Extreme cold-weather hunting base layers (< 20° F)

Below is a summary of the five best hunting rain poncho options, then I dive into each of these options a little bit more.

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*Special Note – This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission to support my writing if you click a link and purchase anything at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your support of my passion. Cheers!

Best Midweight Base Layer for Hunting

Fabric Weight: 200 to 260 g/m2

Ideal Outside Temperature: 38° to 50° F

Best Heavyweight Base Layer for Hunting

Fabric Weight: 260 – 320 g/m2

Ideal Outside Temperature: 15° to 40° F

Best Ultra Heavyweight Base Layer for Hunting

Fabric Weight: 320 – 400 g/m2

Ideal Outside Temperature: < 20°F

Best Base Layer Hunting Balaclava Mask

Best Cool Weather Hunting Base Layer Set

Thermajohn Thermal Fleece Lined Underwear Long Johns Set

The Thermajohn thermal fleece lined long johns are the best midweight base layer set for hunting.

Made of a mixture of polyester and spandex, the Thermajohn hunting base layer is a very lightweight and relaxed fit. These do not fit tight like compression base layers. They are a bit more of a loose-fit hunting base layer that will not impair your mobility.

Even though they are lightweight, the added extra layer that is moisture-wicking material right over the body and underneath your other layers of hunting clothes that helps to retain your body heat. This added moisture-wicking layer also prevents sweat from building up, even when wearing cotton clothes over them.

Things I Like:

  • Lightweight, yet effective
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Loose fit
  • Perfect for cool weather

Things I Don’t Like:

  • Not good for extremely cold weather without a few layers over the set

Best Cool Weather Hunting Base Layer Top

MERIWOOL Midweight Merino Wool Base Layer Hunting Shirt

The Meriwool midweight hunting base layer is made of merino wool, one of the warmest lightweight base layers you can get.

Some people hear the word wool and think itchy and annoying. This is far from it, as it is soft and will not make you itch.

This merino wool base layer hunting shirt is 250 g/m², which is a breathable and moisture-wicking lightweight thickness perfect for cool to cold weather.

One of the best features of merino wool is the ability to reduce and prevent odor, which helps with not scaring off the deer.

Things I Like:

  • The warmest midweight base layer
  • Thin and breathable
  • Odor prevention
  • Can be used as a mid-layer

Things I Don’t Like:

  • Buy a size up larger, as the shirts run small.

Best Cool Weather Hunting Base Layer Pants

MERIWOOL Midweight Merino Wool Base Layer Hunting Pants

Like the Meriwool midweight hunting base layer above, these merino wool base layer hunting pants provide all the same benefits for the lower half of your body.

The Meriwool merino wool hunting base layer pants are 250 g/m², which is breathable and moisture-wicking. They are lightweight and work to actually help regulate for optimal temperature, rather than just trapping all your body heat as some base layers perform.

Like the merino wool hunting base layer shirt, these pants help to reduce and prevent odors from impacting your hunting success.

Things I Like:

  • Breathable, moisture-wicking, and odor preventing
  • Help regulate body temperature
  • Loose, comfortable fit
  • Can be used as mid-layer

Things I Don’t Like:

  • The price can be expensive for merino wool products

Best Cold Weather Hunting Base Layer Set

LAPASA Men's Thermal Fleece Lined Base Layer Set

The Lapasa thermal base layer for hunting is a mid-heavyweight base layer set that is 260 g/m².

This is a fleece-lined base layer set that is perfect for cool to cold weather hunting. It is especially nice for those planned long days in the woods when a semi-cold temperature.

At 95% polyester and 5% spandex, this is a very comfortable and flexible base layer. The material is very breathable and has naturally moisture-weakening properties, which helps prevent from trapping excess heat or sweat.

These are very comfortable to use even beyond hunting. I personally have a few sets and wear them around the house watching TV, under work clothes, and even to bed.

Things I Like:

  • Very comfortable
  • Best for mild to cold temperatures
  • Good price

Things I Don’t Like:

  • Buy a size up as the pants and arms may be short

Best Cold Weather Hunting Base Layer Top

SITKA Gear Merino Heavyweight Base Layer Hunting Half-Zip

The Sitka merino wool base layer is an awesome base layer for hunting.

Yes, it is a half zip, making it work as a mid-layer, too. Honestly, I wear this as a base layer since it is a performance tighter fit and really comfortable.

It is a heavier marino wool camo hunting shirt at 260 g/m². It is also a marino wool blend, with 59% of it being 17.5-micron merino wool, 6% being nylon core-spun blend, and the remaining 35% polyester.

The polyester is the inside fleece layer that touches the skin – really soft! It also has Polygiene odor control, which is a new technology within the fabric that works to stop bacteria growth than may cause odors during your hike to the hunting spot.

Things I Like:

  • For cold to extreme cold temperatures
  • Very comfortable and soft
  • 4 camo color options
  • Proprietary odor stopping technology

Things I Don’t Like:

  • Performance fit – take time to look at the sizing chart!
  • Too heavy with a few layers over it above 30° F
  • Can be expensive for those on a budget, but worth the investment!

Best Cold Weather Hunting Base Layer Pants

SITKA Gear Merino Heavyweight Base Layer Hunting Pants

The Sitka merino wool base layer pants are very warm at a weight of 260 g/m², the same as the matching shirt from Sitka I discussed above.

These base layer pants are made of the same marino wool blend as the half zip (59% of 17.5-micron merino wool / 6% nylon core-spun blend / 35% polyester).

They have a soft fleece backing, yet aren’t heavy like most other fleece-lined hunting base layers are. These hunting base layer pants also have the Sitka Polygiene odor control to stop odor-causing bacteria growth.

For the cold weather around deer hunting season like we get here in Wisconsin, these are invaluable to me as I don’t like wearing several layers of pants that weigh me down.

Things I Like:

  • Cold to extreme cold temperatures
  • Tight, yet flexible fit
  • Proprietary odor stopping technology
  • Soft, next to skin layer

Things I Don’t Like:

  • Too heavy with a few layers over it above 30° F
  • Can be expensive for those on a budget, but worth the investment!

Best Extreme Cold Weather Hunting Base Layer Set

J JINPEI Heated Ultra Heavyweight Base Layer for Hunting

I could not write an article on the best base layer for hunting in extreme cold weather without mentioning the best heated base layer for hunting.

The J Jinpei heated base layer will keep you warm for 3.5 – 6 hours of continued use, depending on which of the three settings you choose; low, medium, or high. Turning it on and off for a blast of heat can extend this heated base layer to last an entire day, especially since 2 batteries are included with this set.

The six-carbon fiber strands laced through the sections indicated in the product’s picture heat up within 15 seconds after turning it on.

The 4000 mAh battery takes roughly 3 hours to charge, which can easily be done overnight even if you stay up late with the guys and still want to get to your stand before the sun rises.

If you will be hunting in potential temperatures ranging from 10 to -20° F, you will not regret investing in a set of heated long underwear. Especially since you will most likely be one of the only guys out there that can weather the cold with these.

Things I Like:

  • Heat on demand
  • 3 temperature settings
  • 2x batteries, 3.5 – 6 hr duration each
  • Warmest hunting base layer option
  • 1-year warranty

Things I Don’t Like:

  • Too heavy for mild temperatures
  • Cost is at the high end, but comparable to quality non-heated options

Best Extreme Cold Weather Hunting Base Layer Top

Minus33 Merino Wool 400g Ultra Heavyweight Hunting Base Layer Shirt

Minus33 merino wool base layer pants are a thick wool base layer with a weight of 400 g/m². This is a very heavyweight merino wool base layer – one of the heaviest we could find!

The shirt is made out of 100% 18.5-micron merino wool. It is the highest rated 400 g/m² merino wool base layer shirt made with interlock knit construction with flatlock seams. Very heavy weaves, yet not bulky.

Since it is wool, it has natural moisture-wicking abilities when worn next to the skin as a direct base layer. However, many people find this shirt can also be used as a mid-layer.

To wear as a mid-layer, put on a more fitted polyester shirt underneath this merino wool base layer crew neck shirt to help with holding even more heat close to your body. This way you gain an even better moisture-wicking ability that comes with polyester shirts. Also, there is no chance of your skin potentially becoming irritated from the wool.

Things I Like:

  • 400 g/m² ultra-heavyweight
  • 100% marino wool
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Base or mid-layer use

Things I Don’t Like:

  • Black is the only color choice
  • Cost is at the high end since it is 100% wool and one of the thickest base layers you can get.

Best Extreme Cold Weather Hunting Base Layer Pants

MERIWOOL 400g Merino Wool Heavyweight Base Layer Thermal Hunting Pants

The Meriwool 400 g/m² thick merino wool base layer pants are the warmest base layer pants for hunting.

The pants are made of 100% 18.5-micron merino wool, just like the Minus33 merino wool shirt in the section above.

These also have natural moisture-wicking abilities when worn next to skin as a direct hunting base layer with one or two more layers on top of them.

The Meriwool marino wool hunting base layer pants are extremely warm. There is a chance you can be too hot if you are wearing them in warmer weather or with too many layers over them.

To prevent from getting too uncomfortable in your stand or behind a hunting blind, wear these on cold to extremely cold days only.

 

Things I Like:

  • 400 g/m² ultra-heavyweight
  • 100% marino wool
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Competitive cost for how well they work
  • Hassle-free 30-day returns
  • 1-year warranty

Things I Don’t Like:

  • Black is the only color choice
  • Too warm for mild weather – best hunting base layer for extremely cold weather

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