Comfortable cross-country skiing – tips for layering

The right kind of clothing is a must for enjoyable skiing. This is an activity where you’ll quickly work up a sweat, but when taking a break or for more leisurely cross-country skiing the chill can catch you by surprise. Layering is the key to solving this problem. And this is where Svala can help.

As strange as it sounds, a reliable rule of thumb for winter sports is that if you’re not a little cold when you leave the house, you’re most likely too heavily dressed. Thick padded clothing is not suitable skiwear even when it’s freezing. Clothing must be light and easy to move around in.

Proper dressing for skiing may well be the deciding factor between a highly enjoyable experience and a painful slog. So pay attention to the right clothing! Staying warm and dry is possible by layering your clothes, and Svala’s collections have just the right thermal wear for cross-country skiing.

Layering for skiing

A base layer to keep you dry

For skiing, choosing the right thermal wear is key. Comfort always starts from the layer closest to the skin.

When it comes to underclothing, you can’t beat Svala’s Airbase long-sleeve mesh thermal shirts and long mesh thermal underpants. They keep the skin dry by effectively wicking moisture to the outer layers, preventing the skin from getting cold when you’re on the move. The heat generated by vigorous exercise is stored in the mesh, and also warms up the body during periods of rest. The flat seams do not rub or press against the skin, ensuring comfort of movement.

A warming mid layer

Choose a mid layer that provides a suitable amount of warmth for the weather, cross-country skiing style and the distance you’re going to cover. A mid layer may not be needed over the mesh base layer outfit in milder weather or when going for a brisk run, but for longer-lasting activities in cold weather, such as cross-country skiing, we warmly recommend cosy merino wool mid layers from Svala’s Merino Active and Merino Extreme collections.

A protective shell layer

The purpose of the shell layer is to protect the skier from wind, rain and snow. In addition, the outermost layer wicks moisture and excess heat underneath it to its outer surface, either through the fabric or through the ventilation openings. The skier’s shell layer should be a snug fit and light, as it is difficult to ski in thick padded clothing. The base layer and mid layer help to keep the body at a comfortable temperature during your ski.

Warm extra layer for breaks

For longer ski trips, it’s always nice to stop for a break to enjoy lunch, the natural beauty around you, and pleasant company. For these occasions, it’s a good idea to pack warm clothes, such as a soft Power Stretch Pro fleece outfit and a woolly cap, gloves and socks.

Good to know

Whatever you do, avoid cotton on every layer. Cotton clothing absorbs moisture and dries slowly. Outdoor activities will be no fun at all in damp clothes, and they quickly become cold during breaks.


All Svala products are made in Finland, and meet the most demanding quality criteria. We only use raw materials from suppliers that are audited and whose materials are certified. All the merino wool Svala uses comes from healthy sheep that are not subjected to mulesing.

The materials used in our products are of the highest quality, easy to care for, durable – and above all, comfortable. All the materials used in our products have top-class properties, thanks to which they do not need to be washed as often as ordinary clothing.

Read more about our sustainability actions here.