Home Running Greatest Base Layers for Girls of 2023 – iRunFar

Greatest Base Layers for Girls of 2023 – iRunFar

Greatest Base Layers for Girls of 2023 – iRunFar


Best Base Layers for Women - trailrunning in the Paka Women’s Everyday Base Layer - feature photo

Base layers might be worn as a stand-alone high or as a part of a layering system for colder temperatures. Photograph: iRunFar/Kelly Fain

“There’s no such factor as dangerous climate, solely unsuitable clothes,” not less than so sayeth Alfred Wainwright in his 1973 ebook Coast to Coast, and absolutely he had base layers in thoughts when considering clothes methods. One of the best base layers for ladies will preserve you heat, dry, and cozy, and you’ll put on them as a stand-alone layer or as a base for extra insulation.

We sought to compile a flexible checklist of merchandise that will be helpful for various teams of ladies. Our testing began by narrowing our testing pool right down to choices from 10 manufacturers and taking them out in all sorts of climates, from the San Juan mountains of Colorado to the excessive deserts of Utah to western North Carolina. We chosen each wool and artificial layers, and we additionally paid consideration to some budget-friendly choices. A few of these base layers are previous familiars, and a pair are from newer firms. Our purpose was that can assist you select the most effective base layer on your wants.

On the high of the checklist is Patagonia’s Girls’s Capilene Air Crew, adopted carefully by Smartwool Girls’s Basic All-Season Merino Base Layer Lengthy Sleeve, light-weight sufficient to layer or stand-alone and with wonderful wicking functionality. The Oiselle Flyout Lengthy Sleeve held down the tremendous light-weight class.

For extra background details about the varied base layers available on the market and the way we selected our winners, see our shopping for recommendation, testing methodology, and steadily requested questions under the picks.

Greatest Base Layers for Girls

Best Base Layers for Women - watch window of the Oiselle Flyout Long Sleeve

The Oiselle Flyout Lengthy Sleeve has a handy watch window. Photograph: iRunFar/Kelly Fain

Best Base Layers for Women - Patagonia Women’s Capilene Air Crew - product photo


  • Nice match
  • Sturdy
  • It doesn’t choose up odor


  • Hefty price ticket
  • Doable snag-ability

With a seamless 3D-knit construction, the Patagonia Girls’s Capilene Air Crew boasts wonderful heat and is many runners’ go-to cold-weather base layer. This base layer makes use of merino wool from New Zealand that’s blended with Capilene, a recycled polyester, for enhanced heat balanced with wonderful wicking, sturdiness, and drying time. Its slim match affords consolation with out feeling restrictive, and its seamless construction means it’s much less prone to rub or trigger chafing throughout lengthy runs beneath a hydration vest or in moist circumstances.

This layer deserves credit score for its means to withstand odor, substantial wicking prowess, and noteworthy means to dry shortly. It additionally has a mean UPF ranking of 34 to offer solar safety. Testers tout its heat and breathability as causes for this being their favourite layer. Longtime wearers of this base layer additionally observe that it’s fairly sturdy and in a position to face up to months (and years!) of lengthy runs with out turning into too worn. Chances are high in case you are operating or racing in chilly climate with a bunch, not less than one in every of them can be sporting this layer and can let you know how a lot they prefer it and its versatility. Lots of the testers for this information have been utilizing this base layer for years.

Patagonia stays dedicated to its environmentally pleasant practices, and the wool for this base layer is responsibly sourced. The principle disadvantage to this product is its price ticket, which is hefty.

Materials: 51% responsibly sourced merino wool, 49% recycled polyester | Match: Slim | Precise Weight: 5.2 ounces (147 grams)

Store the Patagonia Girls’s Capilene Air Crew

Best Base Layers for Women - Smartwool Women's Classic All-Season Merino Base Layer Long Sleeve - product photo


  • Light-weight
  • Wicks properly
  • Odor resistant


The Smartwool Girls’s Basic All-Season Merino Base Layer Lengthy Sleeve has been a staple in lots of runner’s chilly-weather arsenals for a very long time and with good motive. It’s light-weight and never cumbersome, so it will probably simply be layered beneath heavier objects in freezing climate, however it’s substantial sufficient to put on alone.

It options Core Spun know-how, consisting of merino wool fibers wrapped round a nylon core. This provides sturdiness to the fabric whereas holding the consolation and wicking properties of ultra-soft, responsibly sourced merino subsequent to the pores and skin. The raglan lower on the sleeves means hydration vests don’t trigger friction on the shoulders, and the merrow stitching down the sleeves is super-smooth, strengthened, and really comfy.

The excessive merino wool content material means this layer might be washed much less steadily, including to shelf life, because it repels odor-causing micro organism. This high dries shortly, so rinsing it throughout multi-day fastpacking journeys isn’t any huge deal.

One tester skilled a hydration bladder leak whereas operating up Mount Leconte in Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park in Tennessee and famous that the layer saved her heat regardless of being soaked all down the again.

This layer is on the market in quite a lot of shade decisions and sizes and can also be out there as a ¼ zip high if you wish to have the choice of further venting.

Smartwool makes use of ethically sourced and recycled wool practices to scale back the environmental footprint of their merchandise.

Materials: 88% merino wool, 12% nylon | Match: Slim | Precise Weight: 5.3 ounces (150 grams)

Store the Smartwool Girls’s Basic All-Season Merino Base Layer Lengthy Sleeve

Best Base Layers for Women - Janji Repeat Merino Long Sleeve - product photo


  • Odor-resistant
  • Thumbholes
  • Recyclable packaging


  • Greatest for cool or transitional climate

Selecting the most effective base layer for ladies was a troublesome job, and the Janji Repeat Merino Lengthy Sleeve scored excessive in lots of classes for a lot of of our testers. This ultralight layer has a tee-shirt-type match and was a favourite for cold and transitional climate. Testers famous that it was a snug layer for runs that begin chilly however regularly warmth up, because it isn’t overbearing in its heat stage. The thumb holes on the finish of the sleeve made it simple to get a bit bit of additional safety over the fingers, and it additionally saved the sleeves from using up after we put an additional layer on over it.

The merino is Accountable Wool Commonplace (RDS) licensed, and the nylon is bluesign licensed, that means it’s free from dangerous chemical compounds and is fabricated in a manner that meets a excessive environmental commonplace. The mix of nylon and wool makes for a sturdy materials that maintains all of wool’s moisture-wicking and odor-control properties. It’s also fairly breathable; we may put on it a number of occasions between washes.

Janji has a clearly acknowledged environmental mission and is a part of the two% for Clear Water program.

Materials: 47% RDS-certified merino wool, 53% nylon | Match: Tee-shirt | Precise Weight: 9.9 ounces (282 grams)

Store the Janji Repeat Merino Lengthy Sleeve

Best Base Layers for Women - Under Armour Women’s HeatGear Compression Long Sleeve - product photo


  • Wicks properly
  • Nice worth for the worth
  • Vegan


  • Not essentially the most breathable
  • It felt too tight in locations on some testers

If you would like a base layer that can preserve you heat and doesn’t include a big price ticket, the Underneath Armour Girls’s HeatGear Compression Lengthy Sleeve is a superb selection. It’s an approachable, available, and budget-friendly possibility, and this light-weight layer didn’t disappoint. It’s manufactured from the model’s HeatGear material, a four-way stretch materials, and the flatlock seams supply a chafe-free match.

It is a compression high, and a few individuals may not just like the tightness of the match. The science on utilizing compression clothes for efficiency enchancment is inconclusive, however many individuals just like the assist and really feel of it, particularly throughout longer runs the place all components of the physique begin to damage by the tip. If you happen to’re not into the compression, think about sizing up.

Testers report that this layer depraved comparatively properly and was bearable even as much as 55 to 60 levels Fahrenheit, nevertheless it wasn’t preferrred for these temperatures. Additionally they famous that though this can be a artificial layer, it supplied wonderful odor resistance.

Materials: 87% polyester, 13% elastane | Match: Compression tight | Precise Weight: 5.0 ounces (143 grams)

Store the Underneath Armour Girls’s HeatGear Compression Lengthy Sleeve

Best Base Layers for Women - Paka Women’s Everyday Base Layer - product photo


  • Amazingly tender
  • Good look
  • Heat but wicking


  • Excessive value
  • Lengthy-term sturdiness not but decided

The Paka Girls’s On a regular basis Base Layer scored excessive amongst testers with its tender texture and cozy match. This base is a mix of alpaca wool and Tencel, making for a sturdy and tender materials. The highest may be very light-weight with a type of body-skimming, nearly liquid texture, nevertheless it affords a lot of heat, particularly for the way mild it’s. Testers scored it extremely on match, breathability, and drying time, and we discovered it to work properly solo and beneath outer layers. We additionally appreciated that this merchandise was good sufficient to be worn as an on a regular basis piece of clothes, and it grew to become a staple for informal put on along with being a practical piece of drugs.

Not like lots of the manufacturers included on this information, Paka is comparatively new to the market, so we’re uncertain if this base layer will final so long as others we’ve used for years.

We appreciated Paka’s transparency and sustainability practices. They use compostable packaging to ship their merchandise, and customers can hint clothes to the precise coordinates the place fiber for his or her merchandise was sourced.

Materials: 80% Tencel, 20% Royal alpaca | Match: Informal | Precise Weight: 4.9 ounces (139 grams)

Store the Paka Girls’s On a regular basis Base Layer

Best Base Layers for Women - Oiselle Flyout Long Sleeve - product photo


  • Thumbholes
  • Watch home windows
  • Vegan


If you need a mild base layer for these shoulder-season chilly however not chilly runs, the Oiselle Flyout Lengthy Sleeve has loads to supply. Oiselle makes use of its proprietary Flyout material with HoverFit know-how. They declare the fabric can hover above the pores and skin, serving to with warmth and water switch. We discovered that this layer does certainly breathe properly.

Oiselle is a model that provides gear made particularly for lively girls’s our bodies, and objects can be found in an inclusive vary of sizes. The raglan design helps to remove seams chafing across the arms and shoulders, and testers commented that this layer boasts an ultra-soft hand really feel. We cherished the thumb holes that saved the sleeves down and warmed our fingers, and we additionally appreciated the watch window, which allowed us to keep watch over our splits and tempo with out having to roll up our sleeves.

Oiselle seeks to supply supplies responsibly and upcycled supplies to scale back waste with their Material Ahead Program.

Materials: 65% polyester, 32% Tencel, 3% spandex | Match: Pores and skin tight | Precise Weight: 3.8 ounces (109 grams)

Store the Oiselle Flyout Lengthy Sleeve

Best Base Layers for Women - CEP Compression Run Tight 4.0, Women - product photo


  • Good compression stage
  • Heat but breathable


  • Value
  • Compression may not work for some runners

If you happen to repeatedly put on compression socks or calf sleeves, the CEP Compression Run Tight 4.0, Girls are a fantastic cold-weather various. Whether or not you put on compression clothes for all your runs, only for racing or lengthy coaching runs, or for restoration, these tights present a excessive stage of assist in a heat bundle. These compression tights are high-waisted with no aspect seam, have a wire drawstring with anti-slip coating, and have a big again pocket. These tights ranked excessive for staying the place they’re imagined to, that means no stopping to hike them up or regulate leg seams. The design consists of mesh in locations, which helps decrease the possibility of chafing and will increase breathability. These tights should not lined with further insulation however are substantial sufficient to maintain legs heat on chilly runs.

These tights are fairly expensive however appear sturdy sufficient to solely want one pair for a number of seasons. The ankle space has further abrasion resistance in a spot that tends to wear down for a lot of runners.

Materials: Compression – 58% polyamide, 42% elastane, Mesh – 84% polyamide, 16% elastane. | Match: Compression tight | Precise Weight: 6.0 ounces (172 grams)

Store the Compression Run Tight 4.0, Girls

Evaluating the Greatest Base Layers for Girls

Shopping for Recommendation: How you can Select Base Layers for Girls

When looking for the most effective base layer for ladies, there are various particulars to think about, together with the place you’ll be operating. Is the local weather dry or humid, or will you seemingly sweat or keep dry? How chilly will or not it’s? Will you be uncovered to the solar and require UPF safety? Does the layer want to suit beneath a number of extra layers for heat, or will you put on it as a stand-alone layer? All these elements come into play when selecting the best base on your run. Our staff discovered that the Patagonia Girls’s Capilene Air Crew was the right combination of all of the elements, making it a fantastic base layer.


When contemplating match, weigh what you’ll put on on high of your base layer. A base layer generally is a stand-alone garment for some climates or transitional climate. Among the layers we examined have been excellent for cold climate and had a looser match for ease of movement and luxury. The Paka Girls’s On a regular basis Base Layer was reported to have one of many softest and most comfy on a regular basis suits, however its body-skimming lower may not be preferrred for layering.

The compression layers on this information, together with the Underneath Armour Girls’s HeatGear Compression Lengthy Sleeve, are designed to suit very tightly, and there are a number of skin-tight layers within the information, as properly, just like the Oiselle Flyout Lengthy Sleeve, which are tight, however not compression-tight. A tighter layer generally is a little much less cumbersome, which some runners desire, particularly in the event that they search heat from a mid-layer on high of their base. Moreover, compression layers promote blood circulate and oxygenation to muscle mass and can be utilized to assist fatigued muscle mass.

Seam dimension and site are necessary. Lots of the layers we examined featured a raglan-style lower to remove the seams across the shoulders and had specialty stitching in different places to scale back the potential of chafing. The Janji Repeat Merino Lengthy Sleeve combines merrow stitching and thumbholes that perform properly to maintain issues in place on lengthy runs and beneath hydration vests.

Best Base Layers for Women - seams of the Smartwool Women's Classic All-Season Merino Base Layer Long Sleeve

The seams of the Smartwool Girls’s Basic All-Season Merino Base Layer Lengthy Sleeve decrease the possibility of chafing. Photograph: iRunFar/Kelly Fain


Historically, many runners have turned to merino wool for his or her base layer. Merino wool is thought for being insulating, even when moist, and for serving to regulate temperature by controlling the speed of moisture evaporation from the pores and skin. This can be very breathable because of the porosity of the fibers and you’ll keep dry at the same time as you sweat. So far as heat for the buck, merino will do a fantastic job of holding you insulated from colder temps. A light-weight merino or merino-blend base layer is a superb possibility for cooler temperatures, whereas a mid- or heavyweight merino will preserve you toasty within the coldest climates. The Smartwool Girls’s Basic All-Season Merino Base Layer Lengthy Sleeve has a really excessive merino content material, that means it retains runners cozy in all circumstances and affords heat and breathability even whereas moist.

Relating to sustainability, runners should weigh the place they stand on the moral implications of utilizing assets to boost livestock and the impact on local weather change, in addition to utilizing animal merchandise in clothes.

If you happen to’re vegan or trying to find extra budget-friendly choices on your base layer, look to synthetics. Usually, a polyester or polyester-blend base layer will excel at wicking and holding you tremendous dry. Artificial base layers can be found in quite a lot of suits, together with compression. They usually have a tighter match, which is superb if you wish to add layers on high for heat or climate safety. Due to their wicking functionality and quick-drying attributes, artificial layers will decrease chafing and preserve you from overheating. Whereas not overly budget-friendly, Oiselle’s Flyout Lengthy Sleeve checked the containers for our vegan runners and people who most well-liked artificial materials to wool.


Usually talking, you’ll need to select the layer that can greatest match most of your operating circumstances. Light-weight layers are greatest for reasonable to chill temperatures and runs that may start in chillier climate that warms up through the day. Midweight layers are efficient for chilly temps, and heavyweight layers are for these frigid below-freezing runs. One factor to think about is that the primary job of a base layer is to maintain the wearer comfy and dry. Further heat is sort of all the time decided by what’s worn on high of the bottom, together with the outer layers. Discovering essentially the most comfy and wicking base layer in opposition to your pores and skin is paramount. The Smartwool Girls’s Basic All-Season Merino Base Layer Lengthy Sleeve was light-weight sufficient to behave as a base layer, and we discovered that its ¼-zip cousin labored nice as a mid-layer that may be unzipped to vent. Most layers examined for this purchaser’s information have been light-weight or midweight choices.

UPF Ranking

UPF stands for ultraviolet safety issue, and a few base layers carry a tag with a UPF ranking for solar safety. The UPF ranking refers to how a lot UV the material of the garment blocks. Normally, a darker-colored material will supply extra UV safety, as will a material with a tighter, denser weave. Artificial supplies like polyester present extra safety than pure fibers like merino, and a looser match affords extra safety than an merchandise stretched tightly throughout the pores and skin. In case your runs take you to environments that have you ever open and uncovered to the solar’s rays, UPF safety is necessary for holding you secure. If you happen to’re at a better elevation, have sun-sensitive pores and skin, or are taking medicine that makes you weak to the solar, a UPF ranking could also be necessary to think about. Not all base layers supply a UPF ranking, and garment makers have their very own testing protocols. Patagonia devotes a web page of its web site to explaining the intricacies of UPF, which is one more reason the Patagonia Girls’s Capilene Air Crew got here out on high on this information.


Arguably, breathability is among the most necessary elements of a base layer. There’s nothing worse than being drenched in sweat or precipitation and feeling like you possibly can’t escape it. Materials, weight, and openness of the weave all contribute to a layer’s breathability. Light-weight merino and artificial base layers are typically extra breathable than heavier ones. Merino, specifically, is thought for its thermo-regulating properties, because it has superior wicking functionality whereas additionally holding you heat even when moist. The Smartwool Girls’s Basic All-Season Merino Base Layer Lengthy Sleeve supplied a fantastic heat and breathable merino layer, whereas the HoverFit know-how of the Oiselle Flyout Lengthy Sleeve made it rating excessive on the breathability scale for synthetics.

Best Base Layers for Women - Running in the Janji Repeat Merino Long Sleeve

Kelly Fain checks base layers in cool fall circumstances. Photograph: iRunFar/Kelly Fain

Odor Prevention

Merino wool is the clear winner in stinkiness prevention. The wicking nature of merino contributes to its odor-resistance. As a result of it stays dry, permitting water to evaporate earlier than it soaks the fabric, there’s much less likelihood for odor-causing micro organism to flourish, thus much less funkiness brought on by microbes. Merino layers don’t have to be washed as usually, and any time you will get a couple of run from a layer is a win. Our testers may run in Smartwool’s Girls’s Basic All-Season Merino Base Layer Lengthy Sleeve and within the Janji Repeat Merino Lengthy Sleeve for a number of back-to-back outings with nary a wash or rinse.


Lots of the base layers available on the market require shelling out a bit little bit of dough, so in fact we wish this stuff to final for so long as potential. One other plus for merino or merino blends is that they cut back odors, in order that they have to be washed much less steadily. Much less frequent washing can prolong the shelf lifetime of a garment. We advocate air-drying base layers, particularly wool ones, which ought to by no means be put within the dryer, to assist prolong their lifespan as properly.

A number of staff members have owned Patagonia’s Girls’s Capilene Air Crew for years and have been impressed with its long-term sturdiness. For path runners specifically, objects are inclined to get put by the wringer as we are able to encounter slender singletrack, which might improve the potential of snags and tears, so we wish supplies that may get up to make use of.

Having to interchange objects steadily has an environmental affect, however extra on that later.


When selecting the most effective base layers for ladies, think about local weather and setting. Ideally, we need to choose the lightest and most practical base layer for that day’s effort. Base layers might be light-weight for cool to chilly climate, midweight for chilly climate, or heavyweight for excessive chilly. Further heat might be supplied by a mid-insulating layer and high shell, relying on circumstances, so there’s no have to attempt to have the bottom layer be the one layer in harsher climate. The Smartwool Girls’s Basic All-Season Merino Base Layer Lengthy Sleeve is a traditional base layer that works properly in chilly temperatures however might be worn beneath further layers as temperatures drop.


There are numerous types to select from on the earth of the most effective base layers for ladies. Some can be found in short-sleeve lengths in addition to lengthy sleeves. Our runner-up, the Smartwool Girls’s Basic All-Season Merino Base Layer Lengthy Sleeve, is on the market in a crew type and a quarter-zip possibility. There are a number of base layers available on the market now that even have hoods.

Inside this testing, the Paka Girls’s On a regular basis Base Layer ranked excessive within the fashion class, with runners commenting that the layer is so good wanting and dries so shortly that it simply goes from run to city. It’s prone to double as a non-running merchandise in lots of closets as properly.


Many runners are typically comparatively aware customers, so contemplating sustainability is a good way to slender down decisions when investing. Some points to consider when selecting a garment are the producer’s manufacturing unit emissions, together with fuel emissions and something that will finally find yourself in a water supply, whether or not producers and plant staff are compensated pretty, how uncooked supplies are sourced, and the way the corporate as a complete provides again to our group and our world.

Within the group of merchandise we selected, nearly all the merino used was ethically sourced and licensed by a third-party group. Relying on animal circumstances, merino might be thought of eco-friendly because it consists of proteins and amino acids and finally naturally breaks down in water and soil.

We’re additionally impressed by firms utilizing recycled packaging. Patagonia, Smartwool, and Janji have been all standouts on this space, and Paka took it one step additional with their Paka Girls’s On a regular basis Base Layer through the use of compostable packaging and a system that permits one to hint the fibers of their garment again to their supply by way of their web site.

Why Belief Us

For this information, we examined ten completely different manufacturers of base layers. Girls from all around the nation, together with Colorado, Utah, Tennessee, and North Carolina put these layers by their paces in quite a lot of environments, elevations, and climate circumstances. We tackled the paths, ran roads, and crushed some gravel. We used the bottom layers in colder climates and a few hotter climate to check breathability and wicking capabilities. We referred to a few of our previous acquainted merchandise that we all know and love, and we threw some newcomers and outliers into the combination to slender our checklist right down to the most effective base layers for ladies.

We routinely replace our purchaser’s guides based mostly on ongoing testing and analysis by our authors and editorial staff. Our purpose is to search out the most effective merchandise available on the market so to run your greatest.

Best Base Layers for Women - seams of the Smartwool Women's Classic All-Season Merino Base Layer Long Sleeve

The seams of the Smartwool Girls’s Basic All-Season Merino Base Layer Lengthy Sleeve decrease the possibility of chafing. Photograph: iRunFar/Kelly Fain

Regularly Requested Questions on Base Layers for Girls

What makes merino wool a very good base layer materials?

Lots of the greatest base layers for ladies are manufactured from merino wooden. This material has the distinctive property of permitting water vapor out of your pores and skin to evaporate earlier than it turns into water droplets. This comes from the porosity of the fibers and helps them keep dry whereas wicking moisture away out of your pores and skin. Merino wool, equivalent to that used within the Smartwool Girls’s Basic All-Season Merino Base Layer Lengthy Sleeve, additionally insulates even when moist and helps regulate temperature by controlling the evaporation charge. That, mixed with the odor-resistance of this materials talked about above, means it stays recent longer between washes. It dries exceptionally shortly when washed or moist with precipitation or sweat. Washing much less steadily provides to the shelf lifetime of the layer.

What’s the greatest kind of base layer for operating?

One of the best base layer for ladies would be the lightest and most comfy whereas nonetheless assembly the wants of the runner’s local weather and setting. Merino appears by far and away to be the frontrunner, however a number of synthetics and blends that additionally supply heat and robust wicking efficiency can be found. Our staff cherished the Patagonia Girls’s Capilene Air Crew and named it the most effective general base layer for ladies.

What are the most effective sorts of base layers for excessive chilly?

For very chilly circumstances, it is perhaps needed to decide on a heavyweight base that’s completely going to carry out with superior wicking functionality. Usually talking although, midweight base layers, just like the heaviest layer we examined, the Patagonia Girls’s Capilene Air Crew, used with different layers will get most runners by most circumstances. Bear in mind, the primary job of a base layer is to maneuver moisture away out of your pores and skin with out getting moist, so a extremely heavy base layer may not be the best choice.

Are there heat rankings for base layers?

Base layers might be light-weight, made for cool to chilly climate, midweight for chilly climate, or heavyweight for essentially the most frigid circumstances. Further heat might be supplied by including further layers on high of your base layer. Selecting the lightest, most comfy, wicking layer for the circumstances ought to preserve you able to run for all of the miles. A light-weight base layer just like the Janji Repeat Merino Lengthy Sleeve is a superb start line for including further layers.

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