Europe Packing – Its all about the base ….. layer, that is!


keep-calm-it-s-all-about-that-base-3

So it’s pretty easy to see that surviving winter is all about layering in a country with weather more changeable than Taylor Swift’s latest boyfriend. Now the most important layer in my book is the ‘base layer’ because that is the layer that will be doing the most of the work right up close against your body.

EVERY SINGLE outdoor store I visited swore that the only way to go is Merino Wool, singing its praises about how warm, temperature regulating, moisture wicking, Anti Stink (their words not mine) and low maintenance it is. The main problems for me are two fold really, firstly its super expensive with one long sleeve thermal costing on average $80 to $100. The second one for me is that it find it itchy, yes even the softest Merino wool is just going to make my skin crawl, so Merino is out.

Well, whats left you ask. Surprisingly, quite by accident I go lost in Emporium in Melbourne wandered into a large three story store not really knowing what it was and in this store I found my Mecca for base layer thermals. Oh yes I found it, the holy grail in non itchy, warm, reasonably priced base layers and that paradise is called Uniqlo. The store itself it totally and completely overwhelming with so many options, levels and colours it made my head hurt just thinking about it. When I got over my shock at the sheer size of the place and focused on finding only what I felt I needed things got easier. For me and my base layers it was all about a product called Heattech. Uniqlo, claim that their clothing actually creates heat using the moisture from your body. They say that the heat it creates is then stored in pockets so it not only creates heat, but stores it so that you can continue to stay warm and cozy. Its sounds pretty amazing to me but the proof is in the pudding so I purchased two of these long sleeve thermals and decided to test them out.

Texture wise they are softer than soft, I was worried that because they were so soft and fragile they wouldn’t wash up well but I just throw them in the machine with everything else and they still haven’t shown any wear and tear yet after at least 5 washes. Fit wise they sit close to the body which is a good thing when you consider how many other layers will be on top, they are just long enough to sit half way down my bum so no creeping up.

As for warmth, they really do bloody work. I usually freeze my arse off during my husbands Ice Hockey games and I could feel the difference these things made. I accidentally paired one of these up with a fleece jumper and nearly overheated, the two of them put out that much heat.

Finally, lets talk price, most of their heattech items seem to be around the $20 range which is ridiculously good value for what it is. Once I had confirmed how great these were my entire family purchased all of their thermals from this brand with their online shopping website simple and easy to navigate. Two final suggestions or tips on this brand;

  1. Avoid the thermal tights, they are very very thin and when my husband and I tried them not particularly flattering with a saggy bum and thin knees.
  2. Plan ahead, there are plenty of these available in winter but if you are travelling to Europe the seasons are reversed so you will need to buy during the mid winter sales because now in October there are very limited options in terms of color, style and size.
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