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To get out and about in the cooler fall and spring months, an undershirt is the way to go. This simple layering piece adds warmth to your core, is comfortable, packable, smaller, and less expensive than a full jacket. But the undershirt market is diverse, from casual to performance, and includes many possible types of warmth.

Downlight 2.0 Hooded Vest

This stylish down undershirt from Eddie Bauer fits snugly and features the brand’s StormRepel super-durable, waterproof finish to keep you protected in all weather conditions. GH analysts love its roomy hood and zippered side pockets with soft fleece lining. The entire jacket compresses easily for storage and portability. Featuring an 800-fluff Responsibly Sourced Down lining, this option is warmer, so it’s perfect for wearing this winter.

Patagonia Women’s Down Sweater Vest

Patagonia thought of everything when it came to the design of this down undershirt. (As always.) It’s light as a feather – or, for that matter, a few down – but very warm, especially thanks to the many pockets and the drawstring hem that locks in body heat. Not only does it have two hand-warming pockets in the front, but you can also store essentials in the interior pockets without hassle. Now comes the hard part: narrowing down which of the six color options you like best.

Brooks Shield Hybrid Vest 2.0

The Brooks Shield Hybrid Vest 2.0 has all the features you want in a running undershirt: warmth, breathability, wind and water resistance, and plenty of storage space! This new and improved version of the full-zip offers extra warmth while remaining lightweight (so you don’t feel heavy). Thermolite insulated front panels and a mock neckline keep you warm, while stretch panels on the sides and back allow you to move freely. If you want as many pockets as possible on your running clothes, this undershirt has you covered! It has two open slit pockets, a built-in zippered chest phone pocket and two concealed side pockets for secure storage. This sustainably made undershirt also features a comfortable chin guard and a convenient windproof flap snap closure that allows air to circulate (when zipped) while ensuring the fit stays in place. The Shield Hybrid 2.0 is your best line of defense for reliable weather protection without the bulk.

ExOfficio Women’s FlyQ Vest

The FlyQ undershirt is for the ubiquitous female traveler, from the occasional jungle trek to exploring big cities and safaris. With many different pockets – one of which is RFID shielded – the FlyQ keeps all your essentials within reach on any adventure, all arranged in a charming style that’s perfect for anywhere.

Built-in water, wind and stain resistance ensures this undershirt keeps up with all your adventures, and the durable construction will keep it in rotation for the many trips you’ll take in the future!

Chloe Recycled Denim Vest

Chloe’s Recycled Denim Women’s Suit Vest maintains the brand’s signature French style with a fresh, eco-conscious twist. We’re here for all of it. The cut-and-fit fit is effortless. And the dark wash elevates it with an air of sophistication. We love this blazer undershirt, paired with the brand’s matching high-waisted flared jeans, chunky jewelry and comfortable flats for a chic and casual look.

Final Thoughts

When the air starts to get cold and you need an extra piece but don’t want to overheat, an undershirt is a great option. It’s an outer garment that covers your core, but doesn’t have sleeves like a jacket. Even if it doesn’t cover your arms, an undershirt can replace a lightweight jacket. It keeps your core temperature high, which helps your body increase the blood flow to your extremities, thus keeping your hands and arms warm.

Undershirts are especially useful when you are out in cold weather but need to be in full motion. Jackets with bulky sleeves can sometimes restrict your arms. If you’re playing sports, chopping wood, setting up a campsite or working in a barn, you need to make sure your core is protected while your arms are fully mobile.

You also don’t want to get too warm when you’re active, which sometimes happens when you’re wearing a heavy jacket. With a good undershirt, you can maintain a comfortable body temperature no matter how strenuous the activity. It provides just the right amount of coverage at moderately cool temperatures.

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