If you’re planning your first trip to the Snowy Mountains you should definitely consider getting multiple layers of warm clothes. Shocking, isn’t it? Wearing multiple layers of warm clothes in Australia. Not many people get to hear those words, but then again, not many people have experienced the cold climate of the Snowy Mountains, especially during the colder months of the year. That being said, pack a sweater, a jacket, a bunch of hoodies, and don’t forget your thermal underwear.
Thermal underwear, are you insane? Why?
For several great reasons. First and foremost, thermal underwear is sweat-wicking, comfortable, improves body insulation, and increases your freedom of movement when performing outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, etc. It’s important to look for performance, durability, and comfort when buying thermals, regardless of whether that’s long johns or a sleeve top.
More importantly, it’s important to look for the proper fit that will support your body but not constrict it. Look at it this way – thermal underwear should function as a second layer of skin, creating an insulating layer between the fabric and your body. For cold weather, look for snug-fitting thermals that trap your body’s heat and boost comfort. On the other hand, for warm weather conditions, your underwear should be loose. The fit is extremely important because if it doesn’t fit properly, you might get hot pockets instead of an evenly distributed warmth, which can make you quite uncomfortable.
Furthermore, consider buying thermal underwear made of lightweight fabrics. The most commonly used thermal underwear fabrics are typically synthetic-made. The most common materials are polypropylene, polyester, lycra, nylon, and spandex. Usually, these fabrics are combined with natural fibers to provide the ideal amount of moisture-wicking properties and heat retention. Synthetic fabrics are usually stretchable, bacteria resistant, and loft.
Other fabrics thermal underwear can be made of include wool, silk, and cotton. Wool is great for providing you with moisture management and balancing your body temperature. Silk is very lightweight and ideal for activities in moderately cool weather, while cotton retains perspiration, leaving you wet, clammy, and cold. Even though cotton is the most affordable type of thermal underwear, it’s the least preferred option.
In order to get the most out of the thermals you buy, you need to carefully read the care instructions. Synthetic fabrics are very easy to care for and dry very quickly. They’re best washed inside-out, and it’s safe to use warm water. Additionally, they’re dryer-safe and keep their original shape even if they’re hung out to dry. Cotton should be washed in cold water so that it doesn’t shrink. Moreover, it takes longer to dry. Silk should be hand-washed, but you can also put it in a washing machine if you use the more delicate options. Lastly, wool is washed similarly to cotton – in cold water and it requires to be dried for longer time periods.