With base layers, breathability trumps all—especially here in the Pacific Northwest. Sure, warmth is important, but as soon as you get wet, insulating base layers become a soggy mess. No amount of high-end outerwear feels good when your core is soaked, and base layers can sometimes be the most important part of what we wear to the mountain. That’s why the Homeschool Snowboarding Airbreather top and pants have been my go to base layers this season.
Homeschool is a new company for 2011-12 based out of Portland, Oregon and run by snowboarders. Their key ingredient is Cocona-tech infused polyester—yup, that means coconut fibers—and the Airbreather is clearly a product of the PNW. Lightweight and quick drying, much like Homeschool’s outerwear, the Airbreather setup has served me well from 25-degree storm days to the early February mid-winter hiatus where temps crept into the low 50s. I have yet to try it in true cold, but will soon be bringing the Airbreather to the Canadian Rockies where, coupled with a warmer mid-layer, I expect it to do its job of transferring sweat away from the body and keeping me dry.
From pre-dawn splitboard missions to resort laps and camera-pack-laden bootpacks, the Airbreather has proven its worth over the first half of the 2011-12 season and it still looks like new—undoubtedly frequency Approved.