A Definitive Guide to Long Underwear

Ah, Long Johns.

Without question in the top echelon of clothing cognomen. Forgotten hero of wintry wardrobes. And versatile enough to pull double duty as a makeshift pajama bottom.

The right pair of long underwear is an elegant and cozy solution to a number of familiar cold-month situations, from crushing a snowshoe in the mountains to wondering why you’re paying for four streaming services from your couch. Point is: a good pair of LJs goes a long way.

Herewith: a very necessary ranking of the boxer brief’s long-legged cousin, as categorized by the chilly pastime that pairs best with each.

For a robust winter hike or dusting off your nordic skis …
Patagonia Men’s Capilene® Thermal Weight Bottoms
As a general rule, Patagonia makes clothing you look down at a decade later and realize you’re still wearing. This number may last two long, comfy decades. It’s a warm but not too-warm base layer ideal for fly fishing, hiking, skiing or just kicking it. Breathable and durable, made with environmentally conscious fabric. What’s not to like?

For your next Arctic expedition …
PrimaLoft Insulated Long Underwear
Perfect for exploring glaciers in Iceland, or … shoveling your driveway. These guys share a sizable chunk of DNA with snowpants, without overdoing the bulkiness. Smooth finish on the outside in case some snow finds its way in (it always does), fleece-lined sock gaiters and a trusty back pocket.

For making snow bunnies swoon in your hotel room in Aspen …
HUGO+ Thermal + Long Johns
Whoever said Long Johns can’t be sexy must’ve been thinking of a dinner date at Long John Silver’s. These are the long-form boxer briefs you save for a snowed-in evening with the missus. Good-lookin’ waistband, soft jersey fabric, maximum comfort. Oh, happy days.

For refusing to transition your running routine to a treadmill …
Icebreaker BodyfitZONE Winter Zone Leggings
A toast to the weekend warrior. Whether you’re getting in shape for the Turkey Trot or suiting up for the annual family-wide flag-football championship, you’ve got to keep those calves toasty and safe from injury. These leggings are built for all that and far more, boasting a blend of merino wool and stretch Lycra that will conquer the chills … and your little cousin.

For finally ripping through that show everyone at work won’t shut up about …
Saxx Underwear Sleepwalker Pant
A bit looser down the leg, and that’s by design. This is the pant you’re wearing when Netflix says, “Next episode starts in 5-4-3 … You sure about this?” Yeah, you’re sure. Especially in these bad boys. Built by some folks that know their underwear, they’ve got fine Modal fabric, hand pockets and a reliable waistband. Get ready to finally join those water-cooler chats.

For adding a little extra warmth at the office …
Hanes X-Temp Thermal Pant
Consider it an economical alternative to the flannel-lined jean. A comfort boost to your commute or work day for the price of lunch. The pant is a straightforward waffle knit with a fly front and tailored ankle. Cotton blend. If it’s good enough for Jordan, it’s definitely good enough for you.