Sometimes, it can be hard to figure out what base layer to wear for skiing, and which base layer is the best for cold weather. In the spring, we wrote about unique pieces that stood out during SIA, including fun base layers dreamed up by Kari Traa. Kari Traa is a the ultimate snowgrrl. She’s a Norwegian former Olympic freestyle skier with three medals to her name. Kari has used her familiarity with sports and creativity to design a line of great looking sportswear that “lets you live life in full color.” Since SIA concluded, we’ve had the opportunity to test several base layers that are available in the U.S. The Kari Traa line bring happiness, because of the quality construction and cheerful colors. We were lucky enough to try out the Ulla half-zip, the Vrang long sleeve top, and the Rose half-zip tops.
When trying to determine which base layer is best, snowgrrl looks for warmth, comfort, and durability. The Kari Traa base layer tops differ slightly in their color and construction. The Vrang long sleeve top is made of a durable blend of 60% merino wool and 40% lenzing modal. The comfortable jacquard knit and flat-lock seams felt soft and dreamy next to my skin. Strangers complimented me in the lodge on first day I wore the top in Park City, Utah. The fun pink and gray color scheme and very flattering bright pink shaped seams make this top stand out from boring plain colored base layers. On the mountain under a mid-weight jacket, the top was breathable and warm. I never felt too hot or too cold.
Similarly, the Rose and Ulla half-zip tops have now claimed permanent status as ski season wardrobe favorites. I will admit, I first tried out the Rose top at Starbucks (paired with jeans and Uggs). Because of the bright contrasting seams, this top really shows off curves. Fashionable looking women approached me to ask where I got the cute top. It consists of 100% merino will. The front zip design provides ventilation. The fabric and construction provide comfort, warmth and stretch when and where you need it.
Because of the warmth and quality, I am very happy to welcome Kari Traa’s lively and well-made pieces into my winter wardrobe and can’t wait for more of her line to be available in the U.S. They seem to answer the question of which merino base layer is best in cold weather!