Best Golf Mid Layers
When it comes to playing golf in winter conditions, it's crucial that you layer up correctly so you can keep as warm and loose as possible. Whether it is donning one of the best golf base layers, or simply one of the best golf sweaters, it's important that you are keeping warm not just for your golf's sake, but also health's sake.
One other garment that you can apply to your winter gear is a high-performing mid layer, which is perfect for adding an increase in warmth without adding to much bulk and restriction to your golf swing. A number of companies produce premium performing mid layers and, in this guide, we have listed what we consider the best from our testing. What's more, it's not necessarily just winter when they can be worn, with a mid layer making a welcome addition to a cool spring and autumn morning, or when the wind is slightly up. This is why we have tested a lot of models from loads of brands, to be able to put this guide together on our favorites.
If a mid layer isn't for you, then Golf Monthly have also created numerous guides on a whole range of apparel, such as the best golf tops and best golf windbreaker. But without further ado, let's get to the models.
Best Golf Mid Layers
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Colors: 4 (collegiate navy, black, white, wonder blue)
+ Classic looking style
+ The ideal mid-layer
- Touch tight making sizing important
Adidas regularly gets the quarter zip right and this latest version continues that theme. It is a very versatile top that has sustainable construction at its core and a well thought out design that lends itself to a lot of usage.
I think it works well as a thin layer on those warmer days and teams up perfectly with another larger garment on those colder days as well. It is worth saying it does offer a pretty tight fit and whilst there is a bit of stretch, I would probably recommend going up one size if you want a touch more room.
But overall it looks great, feels good on the skin and has enough sizes and colors to keep a lot of people happy.
+ Retains heat very well
+ Four-way stretch
+ Water repellent material
- Fits fairly loose and long
This half-zip is perfect to give you the heat and comfort you are looking for, all from a lightweight, breathable material. The soft brushed ColdGear fabric is smooth on your skin, while the use of fluorine-free water repellent treatment on the outside see’s any showers you get caught in, simply fall off the material.
While this midlayer does already come in a looser style fit and does run half a size larger, the four-way stretch allows for superb freedom of movement while swinging. When temperatures drop this midlayer will very much be worn in a layering system and you would benefit from wearing one of the best golf jackets over the top, but for cooler mornings this still works well.
Colors: 4 (Cool grey/Navy, Blue/Navy/White, Forged Iron/Black, White/Cool Grey/Aqua)
+ Impressive warmth
+ Soft and stretchy material
+ Stylish, modern design
- Look of the back pads won’t please all
This warm and stretchy pullover will serve you well on those chilly early morning outings. This is thanks to Galvin Green’s impressive Insula fabric, which traps warmth from the body very extremely to keep you warm while also being breathable.
Pads on the back and shoulders help with this while also providing some extra protection for those that like to carry their bag. The fit is pretty snug, but the movement in the material means you can swing unrestricted, and the design of the cuffs means they stay in place and won’t be a distraction. You get a lot for your money here given how stylish and versatile this mid layer is.
Sizes: XS - XXL
Colors: 2 (Navy; Black)
+ Ample warmth and wind protection
+ Subtle yet stylish design
+ Plenty of flex in the fabric
- Comes up quite large/baggy
Castore is making a name for itself in the golf apparel space and with mid layers like this soft shell 1/2 zip, it’s not hard to see why. Substantial enough to offer excellent protection from the elements while also feeling quite lightweight, it strikes the balance golfers are looking for.
The fit is on the looser side, but this allows you to add additional layers underneath for colder outings while also ensuring your swing isn’t restricted. The ribbed pattern and subtle Castore branding ensure this is a stylish piece, while the zipped scorecard pocket at the front make it a practical one too.
Colors: 5 (Blue, Teal, Red, Apricot, Dark Shadow)
+ Soft, flexible material
+ Can be worn on and off course
- Warmer mid layers are available
The Farah Tisdale mid layer offers a stylish and contemporary look. It’s available in a wide selection of colors meaning there should be an option to suit most tastes. The 50% polyester, 50% cotton material feels soft and warm, although it’s by no means the warmest mid layer available.
The material doesn’t have the shiny finish of many modern mid layers meaning it is a lot more suited to off-course wear than some of the other options out there. The textured silicone F logo on the front is a classy look while the 'F' zip puller also adds a sophisticated touch. Be sure to check the size as the large fitted me perfectly, despite usually being a medium.
Colors: 2 (Navy, Grey)
+ Smart look that’s incredibly versatile
+ Lightweight and stretchy fabric
- Some may prefer a more athletic fit
If you are looking for a lightweight mid layer, FootJoy has a new HYPR garment that’s available in two simple color options, navy and grey. The fit is fairly traditional and as you’d expect, the lightweight fabric is noticeably stretchy.
In fact the first thing you’ll notice about this quarter-zip is how lightweight it is. Whilst you might not want to wear it as an outer layer on a cold day, it can easily fit beneath a heavier sweater or waterproof without adding too much bulk and restricting your swing. Overall for me, this is an ideal garment to leave in the golf bag during the summer months, whilst the simple styling adds versatility.
Colors: 1 (Navy)
+ Thin, lightweight feel
+ Understated styling
+ Versatile design
- Offers limited warmth/protection
For chilly mornings when you want to throw something over your polo shirt, this thin and lightweight quarter-zip mid layer is an ideal option. It has a more traditional feel thanks to the fine tech jersey fabric yet has been brought right up to date with the stretch properties, ensuring your range of motion isn’t compromised. It only comes in the one color option, navy, but it will pair smartly with the G/FORE Two Tone Rib Collar Tech Jersey polo shirt and even has moisture wicking properties for when you want to keep it on as the temperature rises to maintain the perfect comfort. While the brand produce some of the most vibrant golf apparel on the market, this has a much more understated design.
Colors: 6 (Bordeaux, Blue Poppy, Navy, Iron, Grey, Lily Pad)
+ Lightweight, warm fabric
+ Looks good on and off course
- Other models offer rain protection
Fleeces seem to have taken a back seat when it comes to performance fabrics used for golf clothing but this Microfleece showcases its benefits. This half zip features a stretch performance fabric that provides maximum warmth and comfort but allows an unrestricted swing.
There are two side pockets that are suitable for tees, ball marker and pencil. Available in 5 colors from black to an eye-catching Lilly Pad green. One thing to highlight is that the fit is snug. You may on that basis want to think about going up in size if you want a looser fit.
Colors: 3 (Grey, Blue, Navy)
+ Very soft and comfortable top
+ Graphic print looks cool
- Waist adjusters
The Elevation midlayer from Ping is a favorite of ours, it made our Editor's Choice list, for several reasons. To start the brushed fleece was extremely comfortable in testing and it stretched nicely throughout the swing as well. The cuffs felt comfortable on the wrists or forearms, whilst the collar felt soft and in no way irritable around the neck.
The design itself, which is inspired by the Ping Split golf ball, looks cool and has a nice texture to it, although we aren’t sure if this top has much versatility because of the print. We also weren’t big fans of the waist cuff adjusters which were a little fiddly. That being said, once you find the fit for you, this top is excellent out on the golf course and we like the three colors it comes in too.
Colors: 2 (Navy, Grey)
+ Classic premium styling with a twist
+ Performance fabric offers warmth and is easy care
- More color options would be welcome
Renowned for their eye-catching designs and pushing the boat out when it comes to golf style, G/Fore brings attitude and coolness to the game, and this mid layer does exactly that. It is at the more understated end of the brand's collection and will appeal to a range of players, but it still comes with touches of flair, including the signature 'Daytona' tricolor detailing on the zips.
While this is a low key design, which in many ways shows its quality, it is a top-quality technical garment. The super stretchy material allows total freedom in your swing and it also offers a lot of warmth thanks to the luxurious ‘mossed’ interior. It is also worth highlighting that this mid layer delivers the perfect arm and body lengths.
Colors: 5 (Black, Grey, Blue, Red, Dark Grey)
+ Extremely comfortable
+ Versatility to wear anywhere
- Runs slightly long on length
As you can imagine from the name, the Cloud quarter zip 2.0 is one of the softest and most comfortable quarter zips on the market. It features an extremely soft fleece fabric that remains extremely breathable. The Cloud 2.0 has a modern fit, one that is not too tight, yet not baggy and acts as a stylish option for a cool day on the course.
The Cloud quarter zip 2.0 optimizes what the Travis Mathew golf range is about, clothing that is performance enhancing, yet stylish enough to be worn anywhere. This quarter zip is fairly light for how much warmth it provides and we are fans in particular of the enclosed zip and simple logo detailing. A mainstay in The Masters champion Jon Rahm's tournament attire.
Colors: 3 (Black, Mediterranean Blue, Caviar)
+ Athletic fit
+ Soft material
- Too tight for some
This quarter zip mid layer is lightweight and super soft. As soon as you slip it on you can feel the quality and softness of the material used however it is not all that thick making it not the warmest midlayer. The material offers a bit of stretch and give but there’s not much room for many layers underneath so you would have to wrap up over the top.
My suggestion would be to go one or two sizes bigger than you normally would. For those that like an athletic, muscle fit top this midlayer is perfect for you. The soft material is great against your skin without being too tight or restricting your golf swing. It comes in three colors so there is a midlayer to match all your golfing outfits.
Colors: 3 (Grey/Stone, Charcoal/Grey, Navy/Slate)
+ Smart, modern styling
+ Very lightweight
- Has to be worn with layers on a cold day
FootJoy are a big name when it comes to producing some of the best golf shoes on the market, and the same goes for pretty much all of their apparel wear. This stylish half-zip mid layer works well during the changing seasons but surprisingly delivers a lot of warmth and comfort, despite how lightweight it feels.
We really liked the modern dotted styling which looks great in all three available color options. The grey and stone version works particularly well with navy trousers creating a smart, modern look for the course. While it's not designed for maximum warmth in the cold, it will sit neatly underneath an outer layer without restructuring your range of movement.
Colors: 3 (Black, French Navy, Slate Grey)
+ Breathable and lightweight
- Not very fashionable for off course
This product is the epitome of value for money, delivering fashionable looks and excellent comfort. With a contrast chest and back panel that gives the product an almost camo feel, this looks great paired with any golf outfit. Although the reflective Stuburt badge is something that won't appeal to everyone, but it is a standout feature.
This mid-layer is clearly a golf product and not one that you would think would be worn out to the pub. But it is a very solid performer on the course as it provides both a thermal and windproof layer of comfort. The price of the product is also one that will appeal to many, to be able to purchase a well-designed mid-layer at this price point is something that will appeal to many.
Colors: 2 (Black & Navy)
+ Extremely lightweight
+ Very waterproof windbreaker
- Simplistic design
- Would need several layers in cold weather
We all have that garment that we keep in the golf bag for an emergency, whether it is for a unsuspecting shower, or the wind has got up and you need an extra barrier of protection. In both cases, the Laguna Quarter Zip Jacket would make an excellent companion.
Firstly, this is a really lightweight option, keeping it in your bag would not lead to any extra weight to carry about. It isn’t completely basic though, as there are zipped pockets as well as clever material that is quite and doesn’t lead to excess rustling noises when moving. Waterproof zip and elasticated cuffs mean that the weather really can be kept at bay - but do be aware that this will only keep the cold out for so long, extra layers may be required on bitter days. Very solid design and thinking from Oscar Jacobson.
Colors: 1 (Blue)
+ Lightweight yet warm material
+ Superb four-way stretch
- Can’t currently be shipped outside the U.S
The Torrance is one of the most versatile quarter zips we have worn this year. It’s smart-casual style, with only one embossed logo sitting under the collar at the rear, this piece wouldn’t look out of place away from the course. The MadeFlex performance four-way stretch allows you to move athletically on the course and the moisture wicking fabric keeps you cool when things heat up.
It comes in an athletic fit that we particularly enjoyed and the additional zip pocket on the chest is a nice detail. As much as we love the blue color of this quarter zip we would love to see more color options and for this product to be available for those wishing to purchase outside of the U.S. For more excellent layering options, check out our best golf vests guide!
Sizes: S - XXL
Colors: 3 (Light Grey, Navy & Light Blue)
+ Keeps heat in very well
+ Design can be worn both on and off the course
- Slightly baggy fit won't appeal to all
Glenmuir are known for their woollen items and the g.Solway 1/4 Zip, is another fine example, with the 95% combed cotton and 5% cashmere construction providing excellent heat control. Overall, this item would be perfect for a winter's day - it keeps heat in incredibly well!
Design-wise, I found it came up slightly baggy, but that didn't affect the swing, with the g.Solway providing plenty of freedom of movement. What's more, the aesthetic and feel screams premium, with the YKK zip just one of the many stylish touches. It's also worth noting that it has a PFC-free water-repellent finish that kept me dry, but I would personally not wear this in rainy conditions given the material used.
Sizes: XS - XXL
Colours: 2 (Dark Navy & Pebble)
+ Plenty of stretch across back and shoulders
+ Minimalist design is very smart
- Limited colors
The Overlay 1/4 Zip combines Lyle & Scott's Merino wool blend for the body and synthetic material panelling for the chest and shoulders to create a really smart and stylish piece. In testing, the main stand-out was the stretch, specifically around the shoulders and back, which allowed for plenty of freedom of movement.
For me, personally, I felt the sleeves were slightly baggy but, when pushed up the forearm, they did seem to keep in place throughout. What's more, the 1/4 Zip design meant that the temperature and breathability was exceptional, with the overall look suggesting it could be worn both on and off the course.
How we test golf apparel
When it comes to testing golf mid layers, and indeed all apparel, our ethos and methodology revolves around putting the gear on, and using it out on the golf course, in different conditions. Obviously to test comfort and temperature control we game the apparel in a number of conditions to make sure it's as effective as possible.
We think though that the best way of actually testing golf products is to use them thoroughly on the golf course, over a number of rounds, but we also try them off the golf course too because some models are extremely versatile. We then use these experiences to create reviews and buying advice content. Speaking of which we should make very clear, no manufacturer can buy a good review from us, we tell it how we see it.
What to consider
So what are some of the factors you need to consider when trying to find the right golf mid layer for you? Let's take a look.
Protection and warmth
Like any mid layer, it must provide protection as it is designed to supply warmth whilst not being too bulky. There are usually an array of options of mid layer designs also, such as full or quarter zip, as well as models that have, and don't have pockets. Mid layers also need to be warming to add another layer of insulation to your golf outfit. You can wear them on their own or pair them up with a coat or baselayer to deliver more comfort and warmth. The best mid layers though help to keep the wind and rain out - so if you're regularly playing in poor weather conditions, make sure to look out for one of these.
If you are wearing it, you have to like what it looks like. Although mid layers are often worn under layers, you still want them to look smart and stylish. In this case, it's simply deciding on a design and color you like.
Freedom of movement
No one wants their swing restricted when they're out on their round. Therefore, it's important that you find a garment that will allow for rotation and full freedom of movement. Usually, a mid layer is designed to offer a slight boost in warmth without adding a lot of extra bulk, but it is worth checking out what the sizing options are, with it varying from brand to brand.
Finally, be aware of your budget so you can find a mid layer that fits into it nicely. Importantly there are models above which come with premium, and value price points so there is something for everyone.
What are golf mid layers?
Golf mid layers are usually made from technical fabrics that are moisture-wicking, offer stretch and a layer of warmth without restriction. They can be worn under layers or, depending on conditions, can be worn as the top layer. Plus, with the design of a mid layer, it can be worn for both on and off course activities.
Who produces the best golf mid layers?
There are a number of brands that produce golf mid layers, with companies offering a variety of options at a number of different price points. When looking over the availability, FootJoy, adidas and Under Armour make some quality items, but it all comes down to the taste of the individual.
How should a golf mid layer fit?
A good golf mid layer needs to find a delicate balance. It needs to feel slightly snug to keep you warm, but not so tight it restricts your swing. Usually, the cuffs will stay tight to the wrists, with a zip design allowing for breathability and temperature control.
While you're here, why not also check out our guides to the best golf sweaters, best golf quarter zips and best golf hoodies, for more advice and examples on some of the best and most insulating golf gear on the market.
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Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
- Sam TremlettE-commerce Editor