One trend I’m really excited about when it comes to workwear is the move toward more performance-oriented gear. New options like the Milwaukee WorkSkin Cold Weather Base Layer are making us more comfortable on the jobsite, while at the same time allowing us to maintain the same kind of productivity we enjoy during the summer months because we can move easily.
The concept is really taken from the playing fields. If companies like Nike and Under Armour can make gear designed for the kind of environments where top performance is absolutely required and durability is as well, then it certainly makes sense to bring it to the jobsite.
In fact, the Milwaukee WorkSkin is so similar to what we see professional athletes wearing, it’s almost impossible not to compare it to those athletic companies.
As a runner, cyclist, and former triathlete, I don’t let the weather determine whether or not I’m going to be outside training, so I’m very familiar with what to expect from performance gear. So without further ado, let’s dive in and see what WorkSkin has to offer.
Unless you are hardcore cotton fan, then you’ve likely got polyester clothing somewhere. Dri-Fit Clothing for the summer that wicks moisture away is made from polyester and even Milwaukee’s Hooded Jacket that we just reviewed is also made from polyester. It’s a versatile material capable of keeping you cool when you need to be as well as warm when the weather conditions change.
With this polyester construction, the Milwaukee WorkSkin straddles the line by being both warm and breathable. It’s very similar to Under Armour cold weather gear. The polyester design also resists pilling that comes with other light workwear. Additionally, polyester is better at reducing the amount of odor that gets trapped in the garment, particular compared to cotton.
There’s nothing terribly complex about the design of the Milwaukee WorkSkin. It’s a loose fitting base layer with several integrated sweat zones to help keep you dry. You’ll find those zones on the upper back and under the full length of your arms and armpits.
One subtle design element is that the seams have been moved off the shoulder. This helps eliminate some pressure points that occur when you’re in a harness, wearing a backpack, or otherwise having straps across your shoulders.
As I mentioned, the WorkSkin is a loose-fitting garment as opposed to the compression style gear that you’ll find athletes wearing underneath their jerseys. It’s a little more akin to what you might find in the running community where a loose-fitting garment makes it easy to both move and breathe. I’m personally a bigger fan of the compression gear, but a loose fit makes more sense for the jobsite.
You’ll want to take a look at Milwaukee’s sizing chart to be sure you order the right size. For most performance clothing I wear a large, but with Milwaukee I wear a medium.
Even though it seems like I’m going down a size, the fit is actually very good. The sleeves are plenty long enough and the overall length of the garment is intentionally designed to wear longer so that when you’re lifting your arms over head, you’re not exposing your back and stomach to the cold.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, the Milwaukee WorkSkin is a durable, warm base layer that’s comfortable enough for every facet of life from lounging around the house to hiking, biking, and of course, working on any jobsite. It’s comparable to any of the performance athletic gear out there, yet feels more durable with extremely tough stitching and competes well with a $49 price tag.
It will come as no surprise to the people that know me that I’m getting just as much use out of this for weekend mountain biking excursions as I am staying warm and productive on the jobsite. The Milwaukee WorkSkin is a very easy recommendation for me to make for any professional on any jobsite.
Milwaukee WorkSkin Cold Weather Base Layer Key Features
- Fast Wicking Sweat Zones move moisture away from under arms and upper back
- Durable body fabric resists pilling and fights odor to extend product life
- Drop tail extended back provides extra protection
- Seamless shoulders reduce abrasion from straps and harnesses
Milwaukee WorkSkin Cold Weather Base Layer Specifications
- Model: Milwaukee 401G
- Material: 210g Polyester (Main Body), Quick Dry Mesh (Sweat Zones)
- Available Sizes: S – 3XL
- Cleaning: Washer and Dryer Safe
- Warranty: 1 year
- Price: $49