When it comes to keeping warm under extreme conditions, thermal underwear is unrivalled for comfort and practicality. Fine wool or silk long johns for men who work or play outdoors are a great way to combat the winter weather, and are just as good when it comes to keeping off the chill while you are at home.
“Long Johns” were the name given to the long john underwear for men that became popular in the early 1900’s. While early thermal pants were made of itchy wool, things have evolved quite a bit since then. Plenty of people want the best long underwear for cold weather and ask what the best material is. Synthetic fibers like polypropylene are cheap but suffer from lack of breathability (they smell bad!), and cotton tends to absorb sweat like a sponge, so this leaves only wool and silk as the top contenders.
Silk VS Superfine wool – which makes the better long john underwear for men who work outdoors?
Most people know that silk is wonderfully smooth and strong, but not everyone realises that high grade wool (usually from Merino sheep) can also be woven into very fine, soft long john underwear for men who are exposed to extreme cold. Both are used in top end thermal underwear (aka long johns) and carry a similar price tag. Lets run through the pro’s and cons of both.
SILK: Silk fiber is collected from the spun cocoon of the silk worm, and woven into fabric. Silk long johns for men are not cheap, but they are soft and very comfortable. They are great to wear under multiple layers of clothing, because they are very thin, and thanks to its very light weight, you will practically forget you are wearing this fabric. If you are after some warm sleepwear, then silk long johns for men or women are a great option.
The downsides? Silk is not as warm as wool, nor does it have the same water shedding properties. Still, silk is a great choice especially if you want a luxurious feeling pair of long johns to wear underneath your work wear, and they make great insulated underwear for men to wear to bed when it is very cold.
WOOL: The individual fibers in superfine wool are only slightly thicker than silk fibers, and as such, wool is a good alternative to silk long johns for men. Although it lacks the luxury smoothness of silken fabric, wool is a better insulator and is favored by people who work outdoors or engage in winter sports. Apart from breathing and wicking moisture from the skin surface, wool has the advantage of drying quickly and insulating reasonably well even when damp (or even when wrung out from soaking wet). So woolen long john underwear for men is a great choice for more extreme situations…or more extreme people that is. Wool is quite stretchy when woven, so can be worn for most sports. It makes good running underwear for women or for men, and is great for watersports like canoeing.
In summary, few people would be disappointed with quality wool or silk long johns. Both carry a similar price tag, and both are delightfully comfortable. For lounging around the house, or wearing under your business suit, silk long johns for men or women or kids are a great choice. For serious adventures though, you can’t pass up pure wool or mild wool-polyester blend insulated underwear.