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Which Midlayer is Right For You?

Flylow makes a lot of different midlayers—from flannels and fleeces to lightweight micropuffs and supremely warm down jackets. So, how do you know which one to wear on any given day? Don’t stress. We’re here to help.

Some days, you can just roll out the door with a base layer and a jacket. Talk about simple. But with fluctuating weather conditions, temperatures, and body heat throughout the day, it’s always a good idea to bring some layering options. (For more on the imperfect science of layering, we’ve got you covered here.)

The definition of a midlayer is exactly that: a layer you wear in the middle. Duh. It’s the cream cheese in your bagel; the sliced turkey in your sandwich. It’s the insulating, lightweight puffy you throw on under your shell when the storm kicks up in the afternoon, or it’s the breathable gridded fleece you wear over your baselayer on a backcountry tour. Not to diminish the importance of the base layer or the shell (because those matter, too), but the midlayer might just be the most valuable part of the layered cake. (Sorry, we’ll stop with the food analogies now.)

Here are some of our favorite Flylow midlayers and how to wear them to get your most dialed layering system yet.


A breathable fleece is a smart midlayer anywhere there’s snow on the ground. It’ll add a touch of warmth but without a ton of extra material to bunch up. But when it comes to fleece, you have a few options. Full-zip or pullover? Hooded or not hooded? Those are up to you. Check out the men’s Micah Fleece or the women’s Sondra Fleece for a streamlined pullover option made from a stretchy gridded fleece fabric. If you prefer a full-zip option, the women’s Felice Jacket (unhooded) or Katinka (hooded) or men’s Pierogi Hoody make for great year-round layers. 

Synthetic Insulation

You’ll choose synthetic insulation because it’s breathable, it stays warm when it’s wet out, and it’s lightweight. The women’s Mia Jacket and Lynx Jacket and men’s Crowe Jacket and Bear Jacket, made with synthetic insulation, are designed to keep you warm even when wet but also release heat when you’re on the move. And if it’s a wet storm day, these layers will dry quickly. So, if you’re resort skiing and want to head up for a quick bootpack to a side bowl, thanks to breathable panels on the side, you can do that without sweating out your insides.

If you prefer non-hooded midlayers, take a look at the Lupine Jacket and Dexter Jacket, micropuff full-zip midlayers made from quick-drying synthetic insulation. The PrimaLoft Eco insulation is made from 60 percent post-consumer recycled goods, so it reduces waste while keeping you warm and dry (win, win).

Down Insulation

On extra cold days, you’ll opt for down insulation as a midlayer because it’s ultra warm and packable without adding a lot of bulk. The women’s Betty Down and men’s General’s Down are 800-fill goose down jackets, which means they’re not messing around when it comes to warmth. We also now make non-hooded versions of those coats, the General's Down Sweater or the Betty Down Sweater, if you prefer not to have a hood when layering. Put them under your shell when you’re skiing Mad River Glen or Bridger Bowl on a frigid day and you’ll be toasty.


Some days, you don’t need all that much in the form of a midlayer. Something light that’s comfortable and practical but won’t overheat will do the trick. Enter tech flannels. You could go for a lightly insulated flannel like our Sinclair Insulated Flannel or Penny Insulated Flannel. Or you could keep it simple with a quick-drying, moisture-wicking tech flannel that basically serves as a secondary baselayer, like our Brigitte Tech Flannel or Handlebar Tech Flannel. The May Flannel and Angus Flannel are a touch sturdier and warmer. Bonus: Flannels also transition nicely into après-ski or serve as a good travel shirt on your next ski trip.


Never underestimate the power of a vest. Sure, it doesn’t have sleeves. But these winter tank tops pack a punch when it comes to warming up your core without overheating the rest of you. Flylow’s Larry Vest for men and Laurel Vest for women pack down small and are made from 600-fill down feathers for the ultimate light to warmth ratio.

Check out our full collection of women’s midlayers here and men’s midlayers here.

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