Kari Traa baselayer
Kari Traa baselayer
Kari Traa baselayers are everywhere.
Falling somewhere between performance wear for outdoor activities, and mountain chic athleisure, Kari Traa baselayers appeal to women of all ages.
I was first introduced to the brand at Outdoor Retailer. Afterwards, I began to notice the cozy knit apparel displayed in shops at Copper Mountain, Devil’s Thumb Ranch, and other ski areas that I frequented.
Fast forward one year later, I spotted them being worn in places nowhere near a ski slope; the grocery store, brunch, REI, etc. not just by 20-somethings, but by women twice their age and inbetween.
With its variety of prints and styles, Kari Traa baselayers have become wildly popular in the last few years outside of the ski set. In an outdoor apparel industry saturated with baselayers, the baselayer from a company named after Norwegian Olympic freestyle skier Kari Traa is as mainstream as the ubiquitous Patagonia down jacket.
I myself have acquired a few different sets over the years. Today, I’m writing about my favorite (and the most popular), the Kari Traa Rose collection, reasonably priced (MSRP $90 to $120) and available in extended sizes.
For a baselayer worn during outdoor recreation activities, the Rose collection does fine.
Constructed from 100 percent Merino wool with 4-way stretch, the jacquard knit Rose collection is soft and thicker than other Kari Traa baselayers and does not pill. They stay in place, do not bunch up, and are warm enough that I often skip the midlayer; especially during spring skiing.
Other features include: stretch fabric mapping for better movement, flatlock seams for a smooth finish, embroidered logo and contrast details.
I’ve worn them skiing, lounging, and snowshoeing. And, because we’re in the middle of a pandemic, more lounging. They were a good choice to wear on a minimalist weekend backcountry hut trip where I wore them the entire time and was pleased (as I’m sure my companions were) to discover they really are odor-resistant.
Beyond the performance aspect, Rose collection’s popularity lies in the material’s softness, fun jacquard designs, and myriad of style options.
Since I don’t have the most athletic body, I appreciate how flattering the snowflake design doesn’t draw attention to my midsection (thanks, high waisted pants!). I also like the variety of pieces available (Rose Wool Half Zip, Rose Wool Pant, etc.), so I can keep it interesting.
My favorites are the Rose Capri (MSRP $90) and the Rose Wool Hood (MSRP $120) that are more fashion athleisure than performance pieces. Like my favorite hooded sweatshirt in college, I wear them when I want to feel comfortable.
Final word? The Kari Traa Rose collection’s universal appeal comes from the variety of prints, pieces, and cozy knit Merino wool fabric. Worn skiing on lounging, the base layers are a crowd pleaser for all ages.
Dr. Of Stoke
Freelance writer, bicyclist, outdoor recreation enthusiast, social justice advocate, and mom to her furbaby, Utah the Adventure Dog.
A Colorado native, Kate considers the outdoors her mother ship. She brings her passion for bicycling, the environment, and issues of diversity to her writing. Her primary outdoor recreation activities are mountain biking, fat biking, snowshoeing, camping, peak bagging Colorado’s 14ers, road cycling, and Nordic skiing. After suffering two major knee injuries within four years, Kate hopes to return to alpine skiing next season.
Kate earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Colorado State University and later an MSEd and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Purdue University. In addition to her education, Kate’s background serving on the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee and experience working for non-profits and bicycle sales well position her to bring depth and understanding to the complex changes currently taking place in the outdoor recreation industry.
We also heard she has a (slight) obsession for blue heelers.