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Nine Pairs of Long Underwear for Men

A buying guide to men's base layer bottoms

by Bailee Wolfson in Tech on 17 December 2010

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The Union Suit

More traditional types might try The Vermont Country Store's 100% cotton, red union suit ($35) that might add a little bulk, but looks good layered under a button-down for any mountain man or urbanite. Putting their brand spin on the classic wintertime base layer (or pajamas, for many), Burton calls their Midweight Union Suit a "classic Dutch oven" that will keep you warm on the slopes and off. The Dryride Ultrawick fabric keeps moisture to a minimum while you stay mobile. ($60)

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Three-Quarter Long Underwear

A technical layering item, Icebreaker Bodyfit / 260 short leggings are made of natural and sustainable wool for high-level breathability and odor control, demonstrating their record of 196 days of constant wear in extreme conditions holds up. ($75) German label Schiesser offers a multitude of base layer options, but we like their 3/4 Thermo Trousers for their quick-drying, microclimate fabric. Also low on odor, Schiesser pants will keep you warm without making you sweat and are machine washable for constant wear. (€36)

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Natural Fiber Long Underwear

Made of moisture-wicking silk fabric, REI's classic long underwear bottoms are known for being lightweight and thin yet super warm. Soft to the touch and machine washable, they're perfect for everyday wear. ($33) Like wearing another layer of fat that you can thankfully take off, SmartWool's Microweight Long Underwear is next-to-skin comfortable and ultra warm thanks to its fine merino fabric. Chafe-free seams, anti-itch wool and a guarantee they won't shrink with constant washing are all reasons they top our list this winter. ($65)

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Synthetic Long Underwear

An even sportier offering from Nike, their Pro-Core Compression Speed Hyperwarm Tights feature mesh panels through the inner thigh and butt, keeping you warm and dry through carefully-placed ventilation and dri-fit polyester. A perfect fit that minimizes chafing and the dreaded "swamp ass," these were as great on the soccer field as they were sitting at our desk all day. ($55) The Patagonia Capilene 1 Silkweight Bottoms ($45) are made using recycled bottles. While these are excellent, Patagonia's lightweight merino bottoms are a more versatile choice and favorite of CH editor Tim Yu, designed for a wide range of activities. ($89) Uniqlo's Heat-Tech long underwear claims to be a high-tech fabric that actually creates heat. We can't vouch for that, but the acrylic, polyester, and rayon blend sure does keep you warm. Best part is they're super thin, so they fit perfectly under your tightest jeans. ($15)

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