While a warm jacket should never be counted out, the base layer is really the unsung hero of cold weather clothing. As the name implies, a base layer is the first thing you put on, to be followed by mid-layers and outer layers. But rather than a plain cotton t-shirt, cold weather base layers are typically made out of performance fabrics and cut in a way that retains warmth. While there are many kinds of base layers, some of our favorites right now are compression shirts. The best cold weather compression shirts for men help you regulate your temperature and stay warm during those winter workouts.
That’s because compression shirts designed specifically for cold weather help your body retain warmth while promoting blood flow. Compression shirts are worn in all seasons by athletes, which is why the cold weather varieties are so useful. Not only do they help you beat the cold while you’re on your commute or at home, but they’ll also promote performance during those blistering cold early morning runs. After all, it’s not so easy to run while wearing a bulky winter parka.
However, the best compression shirts for men go beyond simply retaining warmth. It might seem counter-intuitive, but you should actually look for base layers that allow some air to pass through. If your base layer holds in all of your body warmth, it will also trap sweat. That trapped moisture will lead to body odor, but it will also make you colder. Without anywhere to go, cold sweat will sit on your skin instead of evaporating like it’s supposed to. And if you’re working out, you also want the fabric to stretch with your body movements. That might seem like a lot to ask of your average shirt, the best cold weather compression shirts for men do all of the above. To help you find the best products, we’ve rounded up some compression layers that are up to the task.
Whether you’re sitting in an overly air-conditioned office, jogging to catch the train, or doing high-intensity training, these cold-weather compression shirts are the ticket to surviving winter. They’ll keep you warm while letting your skin breathe, and provide compression without limiting your range of motion. Read on for our picks.
1. TSLA Men’s Compression Baselayer
This base layer from TSLA is designed with comfort and warmth in mind. It has a microfleece interior lining that provides softness against the skin and helps retain warmth. Four-way stretch allows you to comfortably move while working out. The fabric is also designed to be breathable both ways, letting in some air from the outside and releasing some from the inside. Since it’s a compression shirt, it’s meant to fit tightly, which can help promote blood flow. It’s made from a blend of polyester and spandex.
Pros: Microfleece interior lining for exceptional warmth and ventilation. Flat-lock seams are designed to reduce discomfort from the stitching.
Cons: Because of the snug cut, some customers may want to size up.
2. Under Armour ColdGear Compression T-Shirt
Under Armour is known for making reliable and reasonably priced workout gear, and their cold-weather compression shirts for men are a great bet whether you’re working out or just trying to keep warm in the colder months. It has long sleeves and a mock-neck design. The neckline comes up higher than a crewneck but not as high as a turtleneck, providing some extra warmth without being too restrictive. If you’re planning on wearing it by itself at the gym, you can choose from a range of eye-catching colors or subdued neutrals. It’s primarily made out of moisture-wicking polyester but also contains 13% elastane, which provides a comfortable 4-way stretch.
Pros: Affordable quality from a top fitness brand. Dual-layer fabric with warm interior lining. Flat seams that reduce discomfort and 4-way stretch for ease of motion.
Cons: Sleeves may be too tight for more muscular men.
3. TCA Men’s & Boy’s Pro Performance Compression Shirt
This pick from TCA features a crewneck design and long sleeves, and it comes in a variety of muted and eye-catching colors. Four-way stretch allows for ease-of-movement throughout the day. As for the material construction, it’s made from 88% polyester and 12% elastane. The polyester fabric is designed to be moisture-wicking and quick-drying, drawing moisture away from the body and reducing sweatiness. From this listing, you can also choose from mock neck designs that provide additional warmth around the neck.
Pros: Four-way stretch for a comfortable range-of-motion. It comes in a variety of eye-catching and muted colors. Mock neck designs are available from the same listing.
Cons: Thinner than some of the other options, making it better suited to cold but not overly cold conditions.
4. DRSKIN Men’s Thermal Compression Baselayer
This pick from DRSKIN features a mock neck design, which provides additional warmth to the neck area without feeling too constricting. The interior of this long-sleeve shirt has a microfleece lining for additional warmth. Two-way circulation allows moisture to escape and fresh air to get through, preventing you from overheating while working out in cold conditions. And since the sun doesn’t stop shining just because it’s cold, this shirt also provides UV protection.
Pros: This base layer has a warm mock-neck design; two-way circulation allows breathability. UV protection is ideal for sunny winter days.
Cons: Somewhat on the thin side. Customers who want a slightly looser fit should order a size up.
5. DEVOPS 3-Pack Baselayer Workout T-Shirts
If you’re looking to stock up on the best cold weather compression shirts for men, then consider this 3-pack option from DEVOPS. From this listing you can choose between various colors and crew neck and mock neck options are available. It’s constructed from 87% polyester and 13% spandex and is designed to offer a tight fit. Plus, UV resistance makes it suitable to wear in any condition. It’s not specifically designed for cold weather, making it a good all-weather workout layer. However, it will still help keep you warm in colder conditions.
Pros: Each order includes three shirts, making it a good value compared to many of the single shirt options on this list.
Cons: Somewhat thin compared to other products; may not be ideal for very cold weather.
6. LAPASA Men’s Thermal Base Layer
While many of these options have contrast stitching that gives them distinctly sporty looks, these crewneck shirts from LAPASA look more like regular t-shirts. That makes them better suited to wearing on their own, especially in non-athletic settings. Stylish basic colors include black, navy, heather gray and white. There are two styles available: lightweight and mid-weight. In addition, you can choose between a 1-pack or 2-pack. The polyester wicks away moisture, spandex adds sketchiness, and a microfleece lining provides softness and warmth.
Pros: Stylish plain shirts in classic colors like white and navy. Lightweight and mid-weight styles available, making it easy to stock up for various seasons.
Cons: Sleeves are somewhat short.
7. Thermajohn Thermal Compression Baselayer
These compression shirts from Thermajohn have minimal styling, eschewing contrast stitching and raglan sleeves for a traditional crew neck t-shirt design. The colors are classic, too, and they include white, black, navy and gray. The microfleece design provides warmth, and the 8% spandex and 4-way stretch allow for an easy and full range of motion. It’s also very lightweight, meaning it won’t add bulk when layering.
Pros: Soft and warm microfleece lining. Classic crewneck t-shirt styling. Four-way stretch and moisture-wicking.
Cons: Single shirt is more expensive than some of the two-packs.