The REI Co-op Midweight Base Layer Crew is a high-performance active-wear base layer suited perfectly for year-round use. Its affordable price tag and performance through a plethora of conditions earns it our Best Buy award winner this year. The soft polyester-spandex blend provides a versatile and long fit for all body types. It's easy to layer, making it simple to wear with a cozy mid-layer or jacket. Thanks to its thinner construct, it doubles as a fantastic wear-alone piece in the warmer months or while breaking a sweat during your favorite winter sport.
We tested this base layer while winter running, fall hiking, and skiing both in the backcountry and at the resort. While it's quite breathable, it's not nearly as warm or comfortable as the Arc'teryx Rho LT Zip Neck, featuring a fleece-lined interior and a skin-tight fit. While it kept us comfortable and warm on the move, it wasn't our favorite for standing around in super cold temperatures because the fabric seems to retain moisture more readily than other merino-wool based contenders. That said, it's perfect for more aerobic sports in the winter, and as a great stand-alone piece in the summer months. To boot, its durable and the price for just $50 (retail) isn't bad either. If you're looking for a base layer that won't empty your wallet while providing decent performance overall, this Best Buy award winner is our best recommendation.