Skip to content
Orders over €50 qualify for free shipping!
Orders over €50 qualify for free shipping!

An Essential Clothes Layering Guide for the Irish Winter

Are you wondering how to stay warm and comfortable while exploring the outdoors in winter in Ireland? The answer lies in understanding and implementing the three-layer system. This tried-and-true layering technique is the key to dressing effectively for diverse weather conditions and activities. 

In this essential guide, we unravel the basics and essentials of layering, helping you choose the ideal outdoor clothing for your adventures in Ireland this winter.

How to Layer Properly in Winter

Woman hiking with hiking gear

When it comes to layering properly during an Irish winter, there are three fundamental components to keep in mind:

  1. Base layers
  2. Mid layers
  3. Outer layer

Each layer serves a unique purpose, but they all share the common goal of keeping you warm and comfortable throughout your outdoor endeavours. But why should you bother with layering when you could simply wear a warm, waterproof coat? 

Layering provides the flexibility to adjust your clothing based on the ever-changing weather conditions, ensuring you stay comfortable outdoors no matter what. Embrace the outdoors well equipped with high quality baselayers for women and baselayers for men, each meticulously designed for their respective needs.

Base Layer: The Foundation of Warmth

woman running with baselayer

The base layer is the one closest to your skin which forms the foundation for effective layering. Its primary role is moisture management, wicking away sweat to keep you dry, warm, and comfortable. When selecting a base layer, there are two main options for the material you opt for:

Mid Layer: Providing Essential Insulation

men walking with high quality baselayers

The mid layer's purpose is to provide insulation and warmth. Generally, the thicker the mid layer, the warmer you'll be. When selecting your mid layer, consider both synthetic and natural options, including:

  • Polyester Fleece: Classic, affordable, and hydrophobic, but not windproof, necessitating an outer layer to protect against wind.
  • Synthetic Insulated Jackets: Warm, affordable, generally wind and water-resistant, keeping you warm even when damp, unlike down insulated jackets. However, they may not be as lightweight and packable as down jackets.
  • Down Insulated Jackets: Offering the best warmth-to-weight ratio and extreme packability, although more expensive, these jackets are guaranteed to keep you warm, packable, and lightweight—perfect for backpacking. Note that down jackets lose their warmth when wet, so a waterproof shell is vital on damp and rainy days. Additionally, down jackets require extra maintenance to perform at their best.

Find out more about the Basecamp insulated jacket collection.

Outer Layer/Shell: Defence Against the Elements

man in mountain with outerlayer or shell

The outer layer, often referred to as a shell, primarily serves to keep wind and rain at bay. They are typically synthetic and cater to different activities:

  • Waterproof Breathable Shells: Highly effective and usually a bit more expensive, these shells keep you comfortable in various conditions.
  • Water-Resistant/Breathable Shells: Repel light rain and offer wind resistance, suitable for high-intensity outdoor activities on days unlikely to experience heavy rain.
  • Soft Shells: Prioritise breathability and flexibility, often more stretchy than other shells, offering light wind and rain protection, along with light insulation.
  • Waterproof/Non-Breathable Shells: Ideal for low-intensity activities, such as standing around all day fishing or attending a concert or a match. However, as you start to pick up the pace, you may find yourself damp from the inside out due to the low breathability of these jackets.

Bestselling Basecamp Products for Winter Outdoor Layering

Nexus Full-Zip Jacket

nexus men midlayer

The Nexus Jacket is a lightweight mid layer designed for mobility and comfort. Crafted from Thermic™ stretch fleece, it offers freedom of movement during hikes and climbs. With low bulk seams for easy layering, it keeps you warm with a regular fit. 

Features such as the YKK® front zip, zipped hand pockets, and a close fit under a helmet hood ensure warmth even on those chilly days. If you're planning a mountain getaway, the Nexus Jacket is your go-to lightweight technical fleece.

Read more about the Nexus Full-Zip Jacket.

Spirit Jacket GTX

Montane Men Spirit Waterproof Jacket Lightweight

The Montane Men’s Spirit Waterproof Jacket offers lightweight and durable weather protection in rain and heavy showers. Seam taped, with an adjustable hood and GORE-TEX membrane, it keeps you dry and comfortable. 

Lightweight, packable, and highly breathable, it's the perfect lightweight waterproof option that stashes away easily in your pack, ready for unpredictable Irish weather. 

Read more about the Spirit Jacket GTX.

Cirrus Alpine

Cirrus Alpine Hiking Jacket

The Cirrus Alpine Jacket is tailor-made for winter hikes and cold-weather climbs. Its 100% recycled synthetic PrimaLoft® Silver Insulation Luxe™ provides high-loft protection. Made with soft, 30D, 100% recycled Pertex® Quantum ripstop shell, it’s water-repellent, compressible, and efficient. 

Featuring zoned micro-baffle stitch-through construction, under-helmet elasticated hood, harness-compatible pockets, and an adjustable hem, it’s your go-to alpine all-rounder. 

Read more about the Cirrus Alpine.

M 200 Oasis LS Crew

M 200 Oasis LS baselayer

For the ultimate Winter weather adventures, the M 200 Oasis LS Crew is a 100% merino, 200gm Everyday Bodyfit™ top. It layers effortlessly under mid and outer layers, ensuring maximum comfort. Designed with offset seams to prevent irritation from heavy pack straps and flatlock seams to prevent chafing, it offers optimal breathability with underarm gussets.

Read more about the M 200 Oasis LS Crew.


In preparation for the Irish winter, mastering the art of layering is your gateway to conquering the outdoors. As the elements shift and the weather takes its unpredictable turns, the right layers really do make a big difference. At Basecamp, we offer a carefully curated selection of top-tier products, each designed to enhance comfort, mobility, and protection against the harsh Irish elements.

So, whether you're ascending the hills, embarking on a mountain adventure, or simply navigating the Irish countryside, our extensive collection of women's baselayers and men's baselayers will keep you warm and prepared. Do you love hiking? Explore our full range of outdoor and hiking gear!

Previous article 10 Practical Gift Ideas for Outdoor Lovers
Next article 8 Tips for Your Next Hiking Trip