heated thermal clothing - HeatPerformance

Thermal clothing, what is it and when should you wear it?

A question we often hear is when exactly to wear thermal clothing. To answer that question, it would be helpful to know exactly what thermal clothing is, what its properties are and the different types that exist.

What is thermal clothing?

Thermal clothing is nothing more and nothing less than a collective term for clothing that keeps your body warm as optimally as possible. The materials are composed to maximise heat retention and quickly wick away moisture.

Many people think of heated underwear, heated trousers, a shirt or vest, but heated socks and heated gloves are also considered thermal clothing.

When do you wear thermal clothing?

Thermal clothing is worn in any cold conditions where your body fails to keep itself sufficiently warm. These include on ski slopes, on tennis courts or while running, mountain biking, hiking or cycling on cold days.

The major advantage of thermal clothing is that you don’t have to wear four layers of clothing on top of one another just to feel warm. Layers on top of one another only get in the way, especially when exercising. A single pair of thermal leggings and a thermal shirt under your sportswear is enough to keep you adequately warm in most situations, and this way you’ll maintain maximum freedom of movement, even on those chilly days in the autumn and winter.

The following are the features of thermal clothing

As mentioned above, the most important feature of thermal clothing is its ability to retain heat. Body heat is released during exercise and it is the job of thermal clothing to retain this heat to the fullest extent possible.

The second role of thermal clothing is to wick away sweat and let in as little moisture (rain) as possible. When you’re on the slopes sweating from your runs, your body will cool down faster because of the moisture on your skin.

A dry body not only feels more comfortable but is much better able to keep itself warm.

A final important property of thermal clothing is that it is comfortable to wear and (in the case of thermal underwear) that it fits snugly to the skin, so that your thermal leggings or shirt can be worn under your normal clothing.

The best thermal clothing is made of these materials

Pay close attention to the material composition when purchasing your thermal clothing. Good thermal clothing is always made of more than one material, unless it is merino wool or cashmere. Despite the excellent insulating and moisture-wicking properties of wool, the downside of these fabrics is their cost. Plus, although merino is a soft wool, many people find it itchy.

Polyester is a commonly used material for thermal clothing. A polyester fibre can be very finely woven so that it effectively retains heat. Additionally, polyester is a durable fibre (in the sense that it lasts a long time and is capable of withstanding many washes in the washing machine). However, you should avoid products that are made entirely of polyester – this synthetic fibre is not able to properly wick away moisture. Polyester clothing tends to stay moist for a long time, which in turn makes you cool down faster. As such, it’s important to include other materials that do possess moisture-wicking properties, like cotton, merino wool or CoolMax.

In most cases, thermal clothing also incorporates spandex or elastane, giving the fabric excellent stretch properties that allow your trousers or shirt to fit snugly against the skin and not restrict your movement.

These types of thermal clothing are available

Thermal clothing can be divided into underwear and outerwear. In addition, there is a further distinction to be made between clothing with heating and clothing without heating.

The table below provides a handy overview at a glance:

Without battery

With battery


Thermal underwear, thermal sportswear, socks

Heated thermal leggings, heated thermal shirt, heated socks


Sports sweatshirt, jacket or vests, gloves

Heated jacket, heated bodywarmer, heated down jacket, heated gloves

Heated clothing

If normal thermal clothing is not enough for you, you should opt for heated thermal clothing.

In heated clothing, carbon thermal conductors run through the fabric and distribute pleasant heat to strategic areas by means of a small battery. These thermal conductors are so flexible and thin that you won’t feel them while wearing them. The conductors are powered by a high-performance, compact and rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

Our range includes a bodywarmer with heating, a heated jacket and heated underwear. Our range of underwear includes heated thermal leggings and a heated shirt. Both can also be worn as pyjamas in bed.

If you often suffer from cold feet, check out our range of heated socks. Cold hands can also be a thing of the past with our heated gloves.

Questions about our products? Let us know or take a quick look at our range of heated clothing.

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