Best Budget Base Layer For Men & Women

By Charles •  Updated: 01/15/21 •  9 min read
This post contains affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, Alpha and Omega Outdoors may earn from qualifying purchases.

Are you looking for the best budget base layer for hunting, hiking, camping, fishing, and everything in between? When you head into the great outdoors, it’s always a good idea to have a decent base layer that can keep you warm, dry, and comfortable.

That said, many specialized hunting and hiking equipment items, such as clothing, can be quite pricey. This article discusses the best budget base layer I have found for both men and women – something to keep you warm and dry without bending your budget.

My Choices For Best Budget Base Layer

Check Prices On Amazon
Upgrade Choice For Men & WomenForce Heavyweight Thermal Base Layer
Editor’s Choice – MenThermal Underwear Set by CL Convallaria
Editor’s Choice – WomenRocky’s Thermal Underwear for Women
Best Value For Men & WomenHerobiker line of Thermal Underwear
Honorable MentionAmazon Essentials Base Layer

Upgrade Choice – Best Budget Base Layer

Carhartt’s Force Heavyweight Thermal Base Layer is my Upgrade Choice for the best budget base layer for both men and women. The upgrade choice is for those of us that are willing to pay a higher price for the absolute best quality. You may be paying a higher price, but you are getting a higher quality product that should last for years to come.

If you’re looking for a higher quality base layer that is still pretty budget friendly but is still durable, the Carhartt Force Heavyweight Thermal Base Layer is an ideal option to consider.

Review

The Carhartt Force Heavyweight Thermal Base Layers do not come as a set and you must purchase the pants and shirt separately.  A great bonus of this option is that there are separate designs to fit men and women. While this option is a bit pricier than the other products I reviewed for this article, the quality is also better.

  • This base layer is warm as it is made with a mix of wool, polyester, and unique thermally insulating materials that are ideal for cold days.
  • The cool part about the blend of materials is that it will keep you very warm, but it is also temperature regulating, so you should not overheat.
  • This option is also moisture-wicking and quick drying.
  • Rugged flex technology makes sure that it does not inhibit your range of motion.
  • I particularly liked that the shirt has thumb loops to help prevent the sleeves from riding up your arms, plus a convenient chest located zipper pocket for a bit of storage.
Upgrade Review Pick - Best Budget Base Layer
Men’s Force Heavyweight Thermal Base Layers
Women’s Force Heavyweight Thermal Base Layers

Pros

  • Machine washable
  • Comfortable and flexible fit
  • Quick-drying and moisture-wicking
  • Very warm
  • Flatlock seams + tagless label

Cons

  • These should be considered more of a mid-weight layer instead of a heavyweight layer

Editor’s Choice – Best Budget Base Layer

For my Editor’s Choice for the best budget base layer, I have chosen different options for men and women. The editor’s choice provides the perfect mix of quality and price. You will not be disappointed in the quality of these base layers. In addition, the price is still within reason and will not break the bank.

Editor’s Choice – Men

The Thermal Underwear Set by CL Convallaria is my Editor’s Choice for the best budget base layer for men. 

Review

To start things off, this is a very affordable thermal underwear set for hunting, hiking, fishing, or whatever outdoor activity you enjoy.

  • I especially like that this is a set and you get two pieces, a long-sleeve shirt and a pair of long underwear.
  • What’s nice about this thermal underwear set is that it’s made with a polyester and spandex mix. The polyester is very durable, comfortable, and easy to wash, and the spandex ensures a tight and secure fit. This fit can stretch and conform to your body.
  • Not only do they stretch in all the right places, but they also don’t have any exposed seams that might chafe your skin.
  • Thanks to the reasonably tight design, they also offer a good deal of support for sore muscles and joints.
  • I also like that this thermal underwear set is lined with high-quality fleece. On a side note, the men’s underwear features a windproof layer in the most important spot.
  • Other than that, this set is very breathable, so you stay warm but don’t get too hot; plus, it also has excellent moisture-wicking capabilities to help keep you dry.
Editors Choice Review Pick - Best Budget Base Layer

Pros

  • Underwear and long sleeve shirt
  • Great price
  • Tight yet stretchy
  • Very warm and well insulated
  • Breathable
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Quick-drying

Cons

  • Not ideal for extreme cold
  • Runs quite small so you may want to order a size larger

Editor’s Choice – Women

I have chosen Rocky’s Thermal Underwear for Women as my Editor’s Choice for the best budget base layer for men. 

Review

  • One of the best things about this option is that you can choose from a lightweight option made of spandex and polyester, which is ideal for chilly days, or you could choose from a heavyweight option that has an additional fleece lining, suitable for the coldest days.
  • Of course, this base layer set is designed to fit women’s bodies. They feature an elastic waistband to make sure that the long underwear stays in place.
  • As a whole, this base layer set is designed to be relatively tight against the skin, thus making it comfy when wearing other layers on top, not to mention that the materials used here are designed for flexibility and maximum motion.
  • Also, the microfiber will wick away moisture from your skin; it allows for very quick drying. The other cool part is that this base layer comes in many color and pattern options.
Editors Choice Review Pick - Best Budget Base Layer

Pros

  • Specially designed for women’s bodies
  • Skin-tight and flexible for comfort
  • Heavyweight or lightweight options available
  • Many colors and patterns
  • Moisture-wicking and quick-drying
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • When our ladies tried these, they said they felt they run small and said it may be a good idea to size up
  • They are somewhat limited on durability compared to higher priced options

Best Value Choice – Best Budget Base Layer

The Herobiker line of Thermal Underwear is my best value pick for best budget base layer for men, women, and children. This simply means that I feel this line of base layers is still of sufficient quality to be a good buy while having a lower price than our other choices. This item will get the job done or I would not recommend it at all.

Review

  • I really like this base layer line and especially like that they offer options for men, women, and children.
  • This option comes as a set, offering both tops and bottoms.
  • They are a warm, flexible, and comfortable option that should retain plenty of heat.
  • This base layer set is made with a mix of spandex and microfiber. The spandex allows for great flexibility, so you can retain your full range of motion, and the microfiber provides for plenty of heat retention.
  • Although this base layer is very flexible, it’s also designed to be skin-tight, so wearing it under other clothing is as comfy as can be.
  • Moreover, although this base layer is hot and easily able to retain plenty of heat, it’s also super lightweight.
  • The materials used in the making of the Herobiker Thermal Underwear Sets are also made to be rapid drying and moisture-wicking, so you can stay both warm and dry. Keep in mind that this base layer set is also machine washable.
Best Value Review Product
Men’s Herobiker Base Layers
Women’s Herobiker Base Layers
Kid’s Herobiker Base Layers

Pros

  • Very flexible
  • Comfortable to wear under other clothes
  • Good heat retention
  • Moisture-wicking and quick-drying
  • Top and bottom included
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Somewhat limited durability
  • Not for extreme cold

Honorable Mentions – Best Budget Base Layer

While I did not choose the Amazon Essentials Base Layers as one of my top three picks, this option is worth a mention.  This base layer system is among the most affordable options. However, it does not come as a set and I do not feel the quality is on the same level as my top three picks.

This article is about budget base layers though and the Amazon Essentials Base Layers deserve a mention. If you are looking for something that will not be put under a lot of stress or use this line will be perfectly fine for you.  In addition, they offer choices for both men and women.

Review

Pros

  • Super affordable
  • Good at retaining heat
  • Quick-drying and moisture-wicking
  • Skin-tight comfort
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Lower quality and limited durability

Conclusion

Of course, you can choose to go for the single-piece budget base layer items here, such as just a pair of long underwear or a thermal shirt, but for the best results, we recommend going for a two-piece set to cover both your legs and upper torso. Whatever you choose, as long as it’s warm and comfortable, you really can’t go wrong.

Featured Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

Charles

Charles is a man who loves the outdoors. He moved to Wyoming specifically to spend more time in the mountains and wilderness. A hunter and fisherman, Charles knows how to enjoy nature and all that it has to offer. He is an outdoorsman through and through, and he wouldn't have it any other way. Charles is the President of Absaroka Enterprises, an company focuse on outdoor entertainment and endeavours. He's also an Editor for Alpha and Omega Outdoors, an online hunting, fishing, camping, trapping, and all around outdoors blog.