Best Midlayer For Skiing

Best Midlayer For Skiing: Men & Women Reviewed 2024

Last Updated on January 7, 2024 by James

Mountain weather can be unpredictable. Sun, wind and snow are all interchangeable throughout the day; so you need to make sure you’re prepared.

In order to maintain comfort in all conditions, you need to make sure your clothing is up to the challenge. Staying warm and dry will allow you to perform at your best on the slopes, while also helping you ski with a smile.

Midlayers may not be at the top of you ski shopping list, but they can make a big difference. They provide an additional layer of warmth and waterproofing underneath your ski jacket, keeping you protected in adverse weather conditions.

In this article, we outline the best midlayers for skiing. We have given you the key features of each option and assessed the pros and cons, helping you choose a product that suits your needs.

Best Midlayer For Skiing At A Glance

Best Men’s Midlayer

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Summary

Price

    • Water-resistant and windproof fabric

    • Super lightweight 'Lifaloft' insulation

    • Fully water repellent outer layer

        

        

    • Warm and lightweight down insulation

    • Highly compressible design for easy storage

    • Moisture and wind resistant outer fabric

        

        

    • Soft and comfortable fleece construction

    • Polyester collared neck with zip closure

    • Budget friendly price

        

         

    • Compressible jacket fits into its own pocket

    • 'Thermoball' insulation provides great warmth

    • Water-resistant outer fabric is durable

         

         

    Best Women’s Midlayer

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    Summary

    Price

      • Breathable and moisture-resistant outer fabric

      • Lightweight and compressible

      • Warm down and synthetic insulation blend

          

          

      • Warm 'Thermoball' synthetic insulation

      • Durable water repellent outer coating

      • Lightweight and packable design

          

          

      • Lightweight brushed fleece construction

      • 100g polartec material provides insulation

      • Budget friendly price

          

           

      • Heat reflective interior lining traps warmth

      • Synthetic down insulation provides warmth

      • Water-resistant shell and fleece-lined collar

           

           

      Why Do I Need The Best Midlayer For Skiing?

      Midlayers provide additional protection between your ski jacket and base layer. They usually come in the form of sweaters or jackets, providing various amounts of warmth and waterproofing.

      Having enough clothing to prepare for any weather is a must. A good midlayer is a great way to do this, giving you an extra layer of warmth when it’s cold.

      Most midlayers are lightweight and can pack into small spaces. This makes them easy to stash in your ski backpack on warmer days, giving you the tools to prepare for any weather.

      Modern midlayers are stylish and adaptable, making them a great way to stay warm at the après ski bar. In addition, some of the waterproof options can even be worn as a sole ski jacket during warmer ‘spring skiing’ days.

      Skier wearing a midlayer
      Modern midlayers are stylish and versatile

      How To Choose The Best Midlayer For Skiing

      Material

      Midlayers can come in a range of different materials. The fabric used will often dictate its waterproofing, weight and warmth.

      Synthetic materials have become the most popular option in recent years. They provide a high level of water resistance, while also remaining lightweight and durable.

      Wool is also a common option, providing great insulating properties and a comfortable fit. However, it’s not always the most durable option, so keep this in mind when making your purchase.

      Another material that you will come across is fleece. It’s relatively warm and water-resistant, with its quick drying properties making it a popular midlayer fabric.

      Skiers wearing midlayers
      Getting the best midlayer for skiing wiil keep you warm on the coldest days

      Insulation

      If you’re looking for a midlayer to keep you warm, you want to make sure it’s insulated. Every midlayer will provide a varying amount of insulation, with an array of materials used.

      Most midlayers will use a synthetic insulating material. Polyester is a common choice, providing water-resistance and warmth. It also continues to insulate when wet, which is a valuable property in adverse weather conditions.

      Down is another popular choice, providing durable and lightweight warmth. However, it can be expensive.

      Some midlayers will not provide any additional insulation. These are often the best choices for skiers who don’t tend to feel the cold, or are heading to warmer resorts.

      Weatherproofing

      If you want to stay warm, you need to be protected from the weather. Wind and rain can have a huge impact on heat retention, regardless of air temperature.

      Many midlayers are not designed to be waterproof. Since they will be used underneath your ski jacket, water-resistant synthetic or wool materials are often seen as adequate.

      If you are looking for maximum protection, look for products that are fully waterproof. Some options come with a special waterproof coating, designed to keep you dry in all conditions.

      If you plan on using your midlayer as a jacket when you’re not skiing, make sure it’s waterproof and windproof. This adds versatility, allowing you to enjoy wearing it year-round.

      Durability

      Quality ski gear should always be viewed as an investment. It should be designed to last for many years, not just one winter.

      If you’re looking for durability, synthetic materials are usually the way to go. They tend to last a lot longer and are often easier to clean.

      Some midlayers will use a blend of synthetic and natural materials. This aims to get the best of both worlds, providing quality warmth with durability.

      Just like any item of clothing, different items will be made with different build quality. Look through the pros and cons of each option to check for any durability issues.

      Midlayer skier
      A durable midlayer is great on and off the slopes

      Best Men’s Midlayer Reviewed

      Helly Hansen LIFALOFT Men’s Midlayer

      Key Features

      • Weatherproof: Water Repellent, Windproof
      • Insulation: Synthetic
      • Best For: Best Synthetic

      If you’re looking to stay dry on the slopes this winter, the Helly Hansen LifaLoft is a great choice. It has a water-resistant outer shell that has been treated to make it fully water repellent and hydrophobic.

      This midlayer uses ‘LifaLoft’ synthetic insulation that creates air pockets within the jacket for maximum warmth. It also uses a fibre structure that is designed to be lightweight and windproof.

      If you’re looking for synthetic warmth without added weight, this LifaLoft midlayer is a great option. It has high-quality insulation and is designed to keep you dry in all weather conditions.

      Pros

      • Waterproof and windproof
      • Hydrophobic fibres evaporate sweat
      • Warm ‘LifaLoft’ synthetic insulation
      • Lightweight construction
      • Wind protected front zipper
      • Durable ‘fibre-proof’ fabric

      Cons

      • Fit can be a bit large and loose
      • Outer fabric could be thicker

      Arc’teryx Cerium SL Hoody Men’s Midlayer

      Key Features

      • Weatherproof: Moisture & Wind Resistant
      • Insulation: Down & Synthetic
      • Best For: Best Down

      The Arc’teryx Cerium SL provides an exceptional level of lightweight warmth. It’s constructed from a combination of down and synthetic insulation for maximum heat retention and water-resistance.

      This midlayer uses a super lightweight and compressible design that maximises packability. It also has moisture-resistant outer fabric and a water repellent coating to combat the elements.

      The Arc’teryx Cerium SL provides a great warmth to weight ratio. It’s made using high quality insulation and has excellent weatherproof properties, making this a great midlayer for the coldest climates.

      Pros

      • Warm down and synthetic insulation
      • Super lightweight design
      • Compressible and packable
      • Wind resistant
      • DWR finish repels water
      • Great warmth-to-weight ratio

      Cons

      • Not the most breathable option
      • Top price bracket

      Columbia Steens Mountain 2.0 Men’s Midlayer

      Key Features

      • Weatherproof: Water-Resistant
      • Insulation: Fleece
      • Best For: Budget

      If you’re looking for warmth on the budget, this Columbia Steens midlayer is a great choice. It’s constructed from water-resistant microfleece material that has a soft and comfortable feel.

      Crafted from 250g MTR filament, this midlayer is a great way to provide and extra layer of defence against cold weather. It also features a comfortable and flexible collar that provides extra warmth around your neck.

      The Columbia Steens Mountain 2.0 is a one of the best fleece midlayers on the market. Its super comfortable fit, versatile design and budget friendly price makes it the preferred option of many skiers.

      Pros

      • Soft and comfortable fabric
      • Water-resistant fleece material
      • Polyester filament provides warmth
      • Warm and comfortable collar
      • Machine washable
      • Budget friendly price

      Cons

      • Not windproof
      • Not fully waterproof
      • Lacking insulation compared to other options

      The North Face Thermoball Men’s Midlayer

      Key Features

      • Weatherproof: Water Repellent, Windproof
      • Insulation: Synthetic
      • Best For: Best of the Rest

      The North Face Thermoball is capable of providing an extra layer of warmth in harsh conditions. It uses ‘Thermoball’ synthetic insulation that traps heat within small air pockets to retain warmth.

      The outer shell of this midlayer is windproof and water repellent, while also using ripstop fabric for improved durability. It’s also lightweight and compressible, making it convenient to carry on warmer days.

      The North Face are a known producer of quality ski clothing. This Thermoball midlayer is no exception, providing warmth and waterproofing that will last for many winters.

      Pros

      • Windproof and water-resistant fabric
      • Water repellent treated shell
      • Warm synthetic insulation
      • Durable ripstop outer fabric
      • Lightweight and compressible
      • Durable ‘VISLON’ front zip

      Cons

      • Fit can be too slim for some
      • Seam stitching can lack durability

      Best Women’s Midlayer Reviewed

      Arc’teryx Cerium LT Women’s Midlayer

      Key Features

      • Weatherproof: Water Repellent, Windproof
      • Insulation: Down & Synthetic
      • Best For: Best Down

      The Arc’teryx Cerium LT is one of the warmest and lightest midlayers on the market. It uses a combination of down and synthetic insulation to provide a blend of warmth and water-resistance, making it ideal in severe weather.

      The outer shell of this midlayer is fully windproof and uses a water repellent coating for full protection from the elements. In addition, its construction allows it to remain lightweight and breathable, making it perfect for all conditions.

      If you’re looking for superior warmth, the Arc’teryx Cerium LT might be your best bet. Its down and synthetic insulation provides a great weight-to-warmth ratio, making it one of the best midlayers for skiing.

      Pros

      • Warm down insulation
      • Synthetic insulation used in ‘moisture buildup’ areas
      • Windproof and water-resistant fabric
      • Water repellent outer coating
      • Lightweight and compressible design
      • Highly versatile

      Cons

      • Top price bracket
      • Outer shell material not the thickest

      The North Face Thermoball Eco Women’s Midlayer

      Key Features

      • Weatherproof: Water Repellent, Windproof
      • Insulation: Synthetic
      • Best For: Best Synthetic

      The North Face Thermoball Eco provides a high level of warmth and waterproofing. It uses a water-resistant and windproof outer fabric with a durable water repellent finish.

      With warmth in mind, this midlayer uses synthetic ‘Thermoball’ insulation that will keep you warm in wet conditions. It also has a packable and compressible design that is versatile enough to be used on and off the slopes.

      The North Face Thermoball Eco has a great level of water-resistance and insulation. Its stylish design works great in a variety of situations, making it one of the most versatile options available.

      Pros

      • Windproof and water-resistant fabric
      • Water repellent finish
      • Warm synthetic insulation
      • Packable in warmer weather
      • Environmentally friendly choice
      • Versatile design

      Cons

      • Not the lightest option available
      • Size can run small

      Helly Hansen Daybreaker Women’s Midlayer

      Key Features

      • Weatherproof: Water-Resistant
      • Insulation: Fleece
      • Best For: Budget

      If you are looking looking to stay warm on a budget, the Helly Hansen Daybreaker could be your best option. It’s constructed from water-resistant fleece material that will help to fend off the elements.

      The synthetic ‘Polartec’ fabric provides warmth, while also remaining lightweight. In addition, it has a comfortable and versatile design that allows it to be worn casually when you’re not on the mountain.

      The Helly Hansen Daybreaker can add a layer of warmth to your ski clothing. It’s designed with quality and provides supreme comfort for a bargain price.

      Pros

      • Water-resistant fleece design
      • ‘Polartec’ fabric adds warmth
      • Lightweight design
      • Low bulk flatlock seams
      • Budget friendly price
      • Versatile for skiing or casual wear

      Cons

      • Not waterproof or windproof
      • Lacking insulation
      • Body length can run short

      Columbia Heavenly Women’s Midlayer

      Key Features

      • Weatherproof: Water-Resistant, Windproof
      • Insulation: Synthetic
      • Best For: Best of the Rest

      Columbia know how to make quality ski clothing, with the Heavenly midlayer being a great example. It has a heat reflective lining that retains body heat, providing excellent warmth without added bulk.

      The synthetic insulation is designed to mimic down, giving this midlayer a lightweight feel without compromising warmth. The outer shell is water-resistant and windproof, while also dissipating moisture to keep you dry.

      The Columbia Heavenly uses advanced technology to provide warmth without weight. Its durable and intelligent design makes it one of the best midlayers for skiing.

      Pros

      • Heat reflective lining
      • Breathable fabric dissipates moisture
      • Warm synthetic insulation
      • Flexible and ergonomic design
      • Comfort cuffs add hand warmth
      • Versatile on and off the mountain

      Cons

      • Lacking water repellent coating
      • Seam stitching can lack durability

      Summing Up

      Midlayers provide additional warmth and practicality on the slopes. They help you retain hea in harsh conditions, but can easily be removed on warmer days.

      When choosing the best midlayer for skiing, assess the level of warmth and waterproofing you will need. Many of the options on this list are highly versatile, allowing you to enjoy them on and off the slopes.

      Take the time to analyse the pros and cons of each option, while looking for key quality indicators. If you stick to the products on this list, you are sure to be warmer on the slopes this winter.