Select Your Ideal Base Layer

By Mark Roberts

Too many tees. Too, too many tees. The outdoor industry is awash with ‘technical tees’, each claiming to be more technically advanced than the next.

Unless you can go into a shop and try on a couple you like the feel of, choosing between them all is an utterly bewildering experience.

Phrases like ‘moisture-managing’, ‘temperature-regulating’ and ‘ultra-wicking’ can quickly make you feel like you’re buying clothing to survive on the Internation Space Station, rather than choosing clothing to keep you cool and dry out in the great outdoors!

Here at Alpkit, we like to keep our ranges small, but perfectly formed. Each of our base layer tees has been conceived by the Design Team to do a very specific job - and to be worn for as many different activities as possible so you don’t have to buy millions of different ones!

Here’s a quick run-down of the range to help you sort your Keplers from your Koulins and your Picus from your Vaypers!


What is it?

Our do-it-all base layer tee for wearing alone or as part of a layering system. Made from wicking polyster with mesh panels for increased breathability under layers.

What makes it special?

It’s incredibly versatile. The polyester fabric is durable under rucksack straps or for scraping over over gritstone and gabbro. Plus mesh panels under your armits increase its breathability in a key area (pe-ew!) when wearing under layers. And there’s a zipped pocket for your keys.

What’s it good for?

Anything and everything: hiking, climbing, running, biking. With short and long-sleeved, round-neck and zipped necks options, we’ve tried to cater for everyone’s requirements.

Is it sustainably made?

We’ve used Polygeine® anti-odour treatment for a small extra cost. This increases the number of times you can wear your tee before washing it, reducing the tee’s footprint over time (particularly with regards to water usage).

Buy Mens Koulin

Buy Womens Koulin


What is it?

A true next-to-skin base layer made from an ultralight polyester material and treated with Polygeine® for better odour-resistance. Designed to move sweat away as quickly as possible.

What makes it special?

As well as fitting neatly under other layers, the Vayper’s next-to-skin cut helps it to draw sweat away from the skin quicker and the ultrafine material is incredibly fast-drying. It will also trap a thin layer of warm air next to the skin when worn under other layers.

What’s it good for?

Wearing under other layers for a range of high-intensity activities. It’s close-fitting enough to be worn under fleeces for hillwalking and climbing or even under bike jerseys for cycling. Because it’s so fast drying, it also makes a great stand-alone tee for running, or hiking in really hot weather.

Is it sustainably made?

We’ve used a fabric made from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester, reducing our dependence on virgin polyester, and the Vayper is Polygeine® treated to reduce washing.

Buy Mens Vayper

Buy Womens Vayper


What is it?

A merino wool top using 100% ultrafine merino wool fibres: naturally breathable and odour-resistant with a fantastic warmth-to-weight ratio.

What makes it special?

The ultrafine merino wool fibres we use are much softer next-to-the skin, dry quicker and have a higher warmth-to-weight ratio than heavier fibres. As well as being naturally pong-proof and breathable (it transports sweat vapour through its fibres), wool has some very clever properties which keep you cool in the heat and warm in the cold.

What’s it good for?

Keeping you comfortable, dry and at the perfect temperature. It’s not as fast-drying as our other base layers, so is less suited to high intensity activity and hot conditions, but it can’t be beaten for comfort in all other situations. The ultrafine fibres will trap lots of warmth in cold weather and wool’s incredible odour resistance makes the Kepler perfect for multi-day trips.

Is it sustainably made?

We only use merino wool from non-mulesing sources. Mulesing is a cruel and unnecessary practice used by some farms to reduce labour costs and increase profits. Wool is a completely natural and sustainable material and its natural odour-resistance means it requires very little washing, (usually a quick air on the line will do), reducing its footprint.

Buy Mens Kepler

Buy Womens Kepler


What is it?

A fast-drying and wicking poly-cotton tee designed to feel as comfortable next to the skin as a cotton t-shirt.

What makes it special?

The blend of organic cotton and drirelease® branded polyester results in a really soft-feel tee that wicks and dries almost as quickly as polyester base layer and around 4x faster than pure cotton.

What’s it good for?

Seamlessly moving from social settings to activities in great outdoors. Any situation where you want the performance of an outdoor tee but don’t want to look like you’re dressed head-to-toe in outdoor gear - the Picu makes a great tee for travelling in hot climates.

Is it sustainably made?

The Picu uses Drirelease Eco fabric made from organic cotton and 100% recycled polyester.

Buy Mens Picu

Buy Womens Picu


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published