Kari Traa Base Layer Review

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Kari Traa

I first learned about Kari Traa on my trip to Norway.

We visited in winter and not only did it snow a ton, it was full of stylishly dressed Norwegian women going out and about in the cold! Everyone’s mantra seemed to be, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.”

So I started paying attention to the gorgeous base layers and fleeces that they all had on. 

I soon learned the distinctive Norwegian-style clothes were made by Kari Traa.

So I thought I’d share the secret on Kari Traa and tell you all about my favorite base layer company. 

 

Kari Traa

Available on Zappos, Backcountry, MoosejawAmazon

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Kari Traa Base Layers

Kari Traa makes some of the prettiest and most functional thermal underwear for women. Base layers are an absolute must in winter, and there are few brands that specifically cater to women.

The brand was founded in 2006 by Norwegian Kari Traa, an Olympic champion freestyle skier.

She often knit beanies in her free time and customized her own ski wear, and started creating headbands and hats for friends and family. Eventually, she turned her hobby into a sportswear brand focused exclusively on girls and women. 

Most of the patterns are inspired by Scandinavian traditions and rugged Norwegian conditions. They’re colorful without being too loud or clash-y, and they’re fitted for women’s bodies without being too tight or uncomfortable. 

Kari Traa makes everything from jackets to sweaters but the brand is most famous for its base layers.

 

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Kari Traa Review

I have multiple sets of base layers from Kari Traa: the wintery Rose set and the geometric Smekker set.

I wear them as thermal underwear when I go skiing.

The pretty patterns contrast nicely with a solid color pair of snow pants and I find that the subtle prints especially pop underneath one-piece snow bibs.  

For now, Kari Traa makes just women’s thermal underwear but I think they should expand into a men’s line! I love Norwegian patterns and think the distinctive patterns could go great with men’s ski pants too. 

 

Kari Traa Rose Half-Zip

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I love the Rose base layer set

It’s made from 100% merino wool, and has a nice lightweight fabric.

The top is relatively fitted, which is great since you wear base layers closest to the body and want it to trap the body’s warmth. 

The sleeves are long and I like that the thermal top comes in several different neckline options.

Personally, I recommend the half-zip style because it’s the warmest.

You can keep it zipped up like a turtleneck to protect your neck in the cold (especially important if you’ll wear it to ski), or folded down when you’re relaxing. 

The top is pretty long, and covers half my butt. I usually tuck it into the bottoms!

Shop on: Zappos, Backcountry, Moosejaw & Amazon.

Read my in-depth review of the Rose base layer set here.

 

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Kari Traa Rose Leggings

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I love the side panels.

They’re a solid navy that contrasts from the pale blue and baby pink winter pattern, and creates the illusion of more curves on the butt. But, they’re also practical!

The side panels on the sides of the legs are ventilation panels to help disperse sweat.

Cold sweat can easily cool you down and make you shiver, no matter how many layers you bundle up in, so it’s important to wear base layers made from a sweat-wicking fabric like merino wool.

Tops and bottoms are sold separately, so you can mix and match sizes for the ideal fit.

Shop on: Zappos, Backcountry, Moosejaw & Amazon.

Read my in-depth review of the Rose base layer set here.

 

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Kari Traa Smekker Half-Zip

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I love an all-black outfit. 

I picked up another Kari Traa base layer set in the Smekker pattern, because the black and white pattern looked fun! 

Again, these are made from 100% merino wool (always check the actual wool percentage when buying winter clothes!) and relatively fitted. 

The top has sections of different patterns so that it’s not too loud or dizzying. I love that even the zipper has a contrast stripe pattern and that its neatly hidden!

Plus, the seams are designed to lay flat so that they don’t chafe against your skin.

Shop on: Zappos, Backcountry, Moosejaw & Amazon.

Read my in-depth review of the Smekker base layer set here.

 

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Kari Traa Smekker Leggings

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Like I mentioned, most base layers for women come in basic black or pepto-bismal pink. 

There are surprisingly few options out there for women!

So Kari Traa’s designs really stand out. The Scandinavian prints and color options range from subtle muted options to bolder patterns. 

Most of the thermal underwear is available in both full length and crop options. I recommend getting the capri length if you plan to ski or snowboard so that the leggings don’t go in your boots. 

But I bought the full length so that they would be more versatile (I just roll them up when skiing). 

They’re so cozy and in the winter, I usually layer them under pants or loose jeans for extra warmth! 

Shop on: Zappos, Backcountry, Moosejaw & Amazon.

Read my in-depth review of the Smekker base layer set here.

 

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Overall, I love Kari Traa’s winter clothing!

Whether you’re looking for cute base layers for an upcoming ski trip, or want something cute and cozy for a winter getaway, Kari Traa is a great option.

The clothing is well made, highly functional and really cute.

I guarantee you won’t reach for your all-black tops and leggings after trying out a set of these base layers!

 

Shop Women’s Base Layers


 

 

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I posted a couple try-on hauls of all the ski wear brands that I’ve tried. You can check them out on my Youtube channel here.

 

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