TREK TRENDS

LAYER UP! MASTERING THE LAYERING SYSTEM

Solange Rivard

May 2, 2022

Tilley's layering system

Every seasoned trekker knows that success on the trail begins with appropriate preparation. That means a well thought-out pack, and a foolproof layer- ing system. Establishing a layering system that works for you takes some trial and error, but there are three universally acknowledged components that every system must include. Shop our top picks.

A Moisture-wicking, breathable baselayer.

As much as we all love cotton, it won’t serve you well in performance layering. There is a place for beautiful cottons and a hot day on the trail isn’t one of them – the last thing you want when temperatures drop is something sweat-soaked and damp next to the skin. Instead, opt for something synthetic that breaths as well as your favourite tee but won’t hold onto moisture. Bonus points for sun protection and extra stretch, so you can safely and comfortably wear it alone when things warm up midday.

Look for breathable styles made with UPF50+ fabrics.

A Light-weight, insulating mid-layer.

Once you’ve established your baselayer, next up is what goes between your base and outer-most layer; the mid-layer. What you’re looking for here is something moisture wicking like your base, but with a little added cozy factor. Look for fabrics that keep you warm without adding bulk, like fleece. You want this layer to fit comfortably between your first and last layer, so opt for a slightly roomier fit.

Learn more about styles designed to keep you warm.

A Water-repellent Shell.

The last piece of the layering puzzle is the shell, so-called because it should be equipped to keep you protected. This piece should be breathable like the other two layers but with the capability to keep you insulated from wind, rain, and snow. Keep an eye out for products boasting DWR finish and seam-taping, which will help keep water out. Bonus points for small- packability and extra pockets!

Learn more about styles made with durable water repellent (DWR) fabrics.