TeleBest: Warmest tops to combat winter chill
Want to stay snug on the hill? Make sure you have some insulating tops in your ski kit bag. By Sally Newall.
1. Montane women's Primino long-sleeve T-shirt: £55, Cotswold Outdoor
For faff-free layering, we like this lightweight long-sleeved tee. It's a merino, primaloft and polyester mix, so is sweat-wicking and quick-drying. We've found Montane pieces to be seriously comfortable on the slopes - and crucially don't ride up when you're tackling the moguls or powering through powder.
2. Zakti Levitate Merino base layer: £30, Zakti
From the Mountain Warehouse stable, Zakti is the specialist women's brand, and its pieces are great value, if you're skiing on a budget. This one is a merino-polyester mix, so it won't quite stand up to scrutiny in the pong test if you wear it on multiple days, but it's warm and the ruching means that it's more flattering than some out there.
3. Icebreaker Vertex long-sleeve turtleneck fairisle: £100, Icebreaker
If you're skiing in low temperatures, this one will work as a really warm base layer. It's made from thicker-than-average merino and the low turtleneck helps keep out the wind chill, while not poking out from your jacket. Like all merino, it's cosy but breathable and shouldn't start to smell, even if you have to wear it a couple of days in a row. The jazzy pattern means you could get away with wearing this one for après too. If you don't want to spend this much, look out for Icebreaker's good-value basics range.
4. Sherpa Dikila zip tee: £50, Sherpa Adventure Gear
This base layer is not as tight-fitting as some on the list, it's made of a super-comfy, moisture-wicking material. The polyester-nylon mix means it dries quickly, and the half zip lets you get a bit of air in if you get too hot spring skiing. The material is UPF 50, so will protect you from the sun if you wear it in the summer, too. Perhaps not one for minus 15-type temperatures, but it has fast become one of our favourites.
5. Snow Finel lightweight merino wool jumper: £85, Snow Finel
British brand Snow Finel is a newcomer to the base layer game, but we're impressed with its flattering take on skiwear. It's the little details that stand out: the neon zip and snowflake embroidery on the front and back, and the fine merino wool that's soft against the skin. There are matching merino leggings, with the sort of wide waistband you can imagine some people showing off in the bar.
6. Helly Hansen warm flow high neck half zip: £70, Cotswold Outdoor
In our opinion, Helly Hansen makes some of the best quality, long-lasting gear out there (we've had a version of its Dry Original with the trademark stripe along the sleeve for the last decade). It's made from 100% merino wool, so it's really warm, and Helly says these wick-away moisture quicker than other brands on the market. We can't guarantee that, but after a three-resort day in the Alps, ours dried impressively speedily.
7. Sweaty Betty scandi ski seamless long sleeve top: £60, Sweaty Betty
We love Sweaty Betty's range of skiwear that really stands out in the style stakes. This Nordic-inspired one is really warm and breathable, and wicks-away moisture effectively. It's more flattering than some, and it genuinely is one that looks decent in the chalet, or out on the town, if you don't have time to go back to base and change. Our only gripe is the threads on the reverse side - they catch easily so be careful when taking it on and off.
8. Kari Traa rose half zip top: £85, Cotswold Outdoor
We were recommended the former Olympic freestyle skier's range by a guide in Chamonix last season. She told us that she needed warm, flexible tops that would dry quickly and not get smelly when she was taking groups out on multiple-day touring trips. She said she had tried loads, and these patterned-merino tops won hands down, as well as looking jazzier than your average base layer when you shed a layer. At the time, they weren't stocked in the UK, but you can now buy them on Cotswold Outdoor.