The importance of base & mid layers

Typhoon International

October 06, 2022

Everyone remembers their mother telling them to wrap up warm and offering the sage advice: use layers. 

And that is never truer than when you’re on the water. 

When autumn strikes, it’s time to make practical decisions about how to stay warm and comfortable to extend your season for as long as you can. If you’re layered properly, you’re going to be fine. And we’ve got you covered.  

But before we detail the things you need to think about, here’re the technical elements behind what your mother told you. 

Layers are key. It’s all about moisture control and insulation. While one dense, thick layer may feel super snuggly, it’ll not get rid of moisture and trap air in the same way layers do. It’s the air between each thin layer which acts as insulation, holding onto the heat you’re generating and keeping you toasty. Wearing multiple thinner layers means you can remove one easily to cool down without losing all your heat. And each layer has a specific purpose. 

It’s key that you choose the right materials for those specific layers. What you don’t want is for all your exertions (and let’s not kid ourselves, we mean sweat) to work against you, leaving you feeling cold and clammy. So, we’ll start at the base: 


Wick away moisture with a base-layer 
This layer is crucial to success and where it’s definitely time to veer away from old advice. Do not go with cotton as a base layer. Cotton will just collect your sweat and stick it damply to your skin. What you need here is a fabric which will keep you warm at a regular temperature and wick away the moisture from your body.  

Typhoon’s Orkney long sleeve T-Shirt is just that. It’s a base layer made from recycled yarns, with high wicking properties and is quick drying. And, it comes with the added benefit of an anti-bacterial finish which, thankfully, helps to reduce the threat of body odour from all that wicked away moisture.  


Seal in the heat with a mid-layer 
Your mid-layer is your insulation layer. This is the one that’s going to capture any excess heat you’re exerting and keep it keeping you warm. Plus, this layer will be repelling cold air that’s looking for a way in. Your mid-layer will also need to wick away any excess moisture that your base layer is dealing with. You’ll be looking for micro-fleeces, thin insulated jackets and/or soft shells for your mid-layer . . . anything that is breathable (but not cotton). 

Typhoon’s Narin Therma Topis a mid-layer with attitude. This one’s all about performance on the water and has had seams removed from its paddle zones to allow for increased stretch and improved performance with reducing chafing. It’s made of 95.5% Polypropylene, 4.5% Spandex and offers thermal insulation when wet and dry. Plus, there are also matching trousers with foot stirrups to make sure the whole of your legs stay snug too.  

The Typhoon all-in-one undersuits are another fabulous option as a mid-layer and are designed to keep you warm and snug underneath your drysuit. Ingenious designs ensure complete comfort, while a choice of advanced fabrics provides the ultimate in thermal insulation for a cosy experience, available in a variety of different thicknesses, dependent on the conditions you expect to encounter. 

In conclusion, layering – while thinking about breathability and movement –  layering is the best way to stay warm on the water. 

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