Bagging your prey is the entire purpose of going on a hunt. But whether you use a rifle or a bow, the climatic moment of the hunt may last just moments.
Between those moments of triumph, you’ll be waiting. And depending on the time of day and the season, you may be spending a significant amount of time in the cold without a heater in sight.
The solution to this problem is to bring some heat of your own, and there’s no better way to do so than with a base layer of women or men's long underwear. Of course, there’s not just one type of long underwear: when on the hunt for long underwear, you’ll be confronted with options made from performance fabric or 100% silk, crewneck sweaters, turtlenecks, and everything in between.
To help make that task a little easier, we’ve organized the little guide below. Read on to discover what is the best long underwear for hunting.
The first matter to consider is the choice of fabric. This may sound surprising at first, but silk is one of the best fabrics for long underwear. Yes, whenever the words “silk,” and “underwear,” come together, you may imagine something that’s a little more delicate and unsuited to a long day in the field. But the truth is that silk is one of the toughest and most resilient fibers out there–particularly if it’s made with an interlock knit.
Better yet, silk acts as a natural insulator. But unlike some insulating fabrics, it’s also highly breathable. Forget whatever hang-ups you may have regarding silk underwear, and slip into a pair of long silk underwear to experience warmth and comfort.
But silk isn’t the only game in town. Modern innovations have lead to performance fabrics like Thermaskin. Thermaskin is a synthetic fabric made from polyester and spandex that manages to combine a light weight with heavy-duty insulating power. It also wicks away moisture, and even controls odor. If there’s even a chance that you may encounter rain or moisture on your hunt, you’ll want to make sure that your base layer can stay dry.
There’s not a great matter of difference when it comes to the bottom half of long underwear. But the top half can vary greatly, based on the construction of its collar. The most basic type of long underwear shirt is one that doesn’t have a collar at all: a crewneck. Like your favorite t-shirt or sweatshirt, a crewneck ends just below the neck. This means that it can be totally concealed by your choice of shirt or winter coat, and easily fits under multiple layers of clothing.
In contrast, long underwear shirts with a quarter-zip construction can provide a higher amount of coverage. But thanks to their zipper, they can be adjusted if a bit more air or breathability is desired.
For the highest possible amount of coverage, a long underwear shirt with a mock neck or turtleneck should be considered. A mock neck may seem similar to a turtleneck from the first look, but the difference is that a mock neck does not fold over itself the way a turtleneck will. Think of a mock neck as a great in-between choice that increases the area of coverage without going full turtleneck.
But if the temperature and wind conditions call for going full turtleneck, you won’t regret it. The heighted coverage zone of a turtleneck, and the extra insulation provided by its fold-over quality, is the best defense your neck can have against cold and chill.
So the next time you find yourself on the hunt, remember that dressing for the activity involves more than just camouflage jackets and bright orange vests. A good pair of long underwear will keep you comfortable longer, and in the field until the hunt is finished.