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Author Topic: Comfortable base layer  (Read 1876 times)

Offline Hutchy

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Comfortable base layer
« on: April 12, 2018, 07:50:36 pm »
So, I am 6'2", 230 lbs and of all the base layers I have, I generally hate most of them. When I am trapping, snowshoeing, winter camping, running etc, I generally wear a good ol cotton T shirt for one reason. Comfort. I make so much heat that a damp t shirt has never been a problem. Damp one minute, dry five mins later. Most so called base layers make me overheat like crazy. I much prefer a loose t shirt and loose insulation layer. I have Under armor cold gear, Marmot microfleece, and a couple others. They all feel tight and restrictive, and hold in too much heat when I need to vent it out. A t shirt so far has worked fine because my insulation layer I always wear is a 200 or 300 weight zip up fleece, which is loose enough I don't sweat much.  My usual winter layer for my legs for snowmobiling, snowshoeing, etc is microfleece long johns and wind pants. My current ones are gore tex. Spend a couple days in a tree stand this December at fifteen to twenty below and used another fleece layer on my lower half as an insulation layer. it was adequate. 

I wore a t shirt and helly hansesn thin down puffy for a run last week and soaked the sleeves with sweat.

Just looking for comfortable all around base layer that wont cling to me, is comfortable and isn't too warm. Just trying to get away from cotton which I know is supposed to be a no no... despite being what I have worn for years.


Any suggestions?
Used to be the man made the gear, now it seems the gear makes the man...

Offline Moondog55

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Re: Comfortable base layer
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2018, 08:25:51 pm »
Why not simply wear the fleece layer as-is against the skin?

While I usually use a very thin and light Patagonia Powerdry base layer I do find the Cap4 so called Expedition/Thermalweight excellent for moving sweat away
I usually wear the Cap4 when skiing Yo-Yo because it is so good at moving sweat and lift serviced skiing goes from intensive short burst of activity to doing nothing in intervals.
It is expensive but I purchased an equivalent from REI 30 years ago and it still usable although a lot tighter than it was when I first bought it. This season I am going to experiment further with doubling up the 2 Patagonia base layers as somebody here has recommended that combination in deep cold but in conjunction with an UL more breathable windshirt
In fact this windshirt in the link and I have a couple coming, an XL and an XXL to see which works better.
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/XXLarge-Arktis-A192-Stowaway-Windshirt-PCU-Level-4-Tundra-Snow-Camo-SAS/322916528392?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649


Offline rbinhood

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Re: Comfortable base layer
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2018, 08:32:56 pm »
Merino wool.

Pluses-Passes moisture, warm when dry and reasonably warm when damp, and takes a lot to make it stink.

Downsides---not a good idea if you are allergic to wool, it's usually expensive compared to synthetics(I watch for it on sale), depending on the source, may not be abrasion resistant (but most base layers aren't), usually has to be washed and rinsed in room temp water with a detergent that preserves the natural oils in wool, moths and other bugs will eat the stuff if you don't store it carefully.

I love my merino. Synthetics feel clammy and greasy to me and I have yet to find one that doesn't stink once you start sweating in it.

You can get merino in blends with synthetics, but I really like 100% wool. Wool has been keeping sheep warm since there were sheep. Wool was the clothing choice of the old loggers and trappers and hunters.

Years ago I fell through a pond while hunting, up to mid thigh, when it was 5 below zero F. I had on wool longies with cotton jeans on top. My jeans froze like stove pipes, but my wool longies kept my legs warm.
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Offline Hutchy

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Re: Comfortable base layer
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2018, 10:55:45 pm »
yep. when you go through when its cold you end up with a hinge at the knees and stove pipes everywhere else! nothing like having to thaw your pants to get out of them lol
I have heard good things about the capilene, and the merino. I generally dont like wool against my skin, but ill maybe go try a few out.
Used to be the man made the gear, now it seems the gear makes the man...

Offline Moondog55

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Re: Comfortable base layer
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2018, 11:38:13 pm »
An alternative natural fibre I have tried but found way too hot above -25C is Cashmere but the cashmere jumper I was using was a fairly heavy one, a Ralph Lauren pirate made from recycled cashmere. If you like the idea of a cashmere underwear top try Uniglo when they come on sale, just that they only have very minimum stocks of XXL, on sale they are often far cheaper than brand name merino stuff, ditto the Uniqlo lambs wool sweaters but those do not last very long being so soft

Offline Jawax

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Re: Comfortable base layer
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2018, 05:15:29 pm »
I'll echo rbinhood - Merino wool. 

I also produce a lot of moisture when exercising so transport and warmth when wet are key for me.  For years I wore synthetic base layers from REI (sort of a US version of MEC).  On a whim I found some merino wool socks on sale somewhere and bought 5 pairs.  They quickly became the go to socks I wanted all the time.  With their success I tried a pair of Smartwool bottoms, and they too were instantly my favorites.  They dealt with moisture as well or better, they were warmer, and they just feel better on my skin.  I too hate tight, restricting clothing.  I do wash the bottoms and socks with other cloths, but I do hang dry the bottoms. The tops I bought were cheaper and a bit oversized, and they don't seem to shrink to much. I do still often wear a synthetic T-shirt under my wool base layer top, but when I end up getting some better quality tops I may stop this. 

Should add that I agree the merino wool seems to be less abrasive resistant.  I have worn some holes in my first pair of merino long jons faster than I did for synthetic, but I liked them so much better I still will keep being them. 

Offline rbinhood

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Re: Comfortable base layer
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2018, 07:58:47 pm »
The thing I have found with laundering merino is you need room temperature water because it is the shock of going from one temp to another that causes wool to shrink.

Here, during the Winter, our water comes from a huge municipal water tower that is exposed to the outside air temp. By January, it is ice cold, which is fine if you want to drink it, but not good if you fill your washer on the cold cycle and then throw your expensive woolies in it. Even though most wool says cold water wash only, you can shock wool and shrink it by throwing it in ice cold water when the wool is room temp. You are better off using the warm wash cycle and checking the temp with your hand before throwing your wool clothes in. When you can't tell the water temp from the room temp, it is just right.

Some wool also seems like it will keep shrinking after many washes. I have some Pendelton wool shirts that kept shrinking every time they were washed, till they got so small I couldn't wear them anymore.

There are different qualities of Merino wool. Smartwool makes great stuff, as does Icebreaker, and Woolrich. Ibex made great wool clothes, but recently went out of business. Some of the really thin stuff from off brands wears through easily. I have some merino that I have worn for years, almost every day during the Winter, and it still is in very good shape. As with anything, you get what you pay for. Shop the sales at Campmor, Campsaver, Moosejaw, REI, Sierra Trading Post, etc.
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Offline Old Guide

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Re: Comfortable base layer
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2018, 03:49:51 pm »
Some wool will always shrink and sometimes that has to do with the weave as well as the wool used.
If I wash wool in the machine once it is done I always put it on, doesn't matter to me if it is wet and cold I'm trying to save it, to help stretch it back to size...then am careful in how to dry it [slowly and either hanging or stretched].


And Woolite does woes work better than most other detergents.

Offline brianw

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Re: Comfortable base layer
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2018, 07:45:15 pm »
So, I am 6'2", 230 lbs and of all the base layers I have, I generally hate most of them. When I am trapping, snowshoeing, winter camping, running etc, I generally wear a good ol cotton T shirt for one reason. Comfort. I make so much heat that a damp t shirt has never been a problem. Damp one minute, dry five mins later. Most so called base layers make me overheat like crazy. I much prefer a loose t shirt and loose insulation layer. I have Under armor cold gear, Marmot microfleece, and a couple others. They all feel tight and restrictive, and hold in too much heat when I need to vent it out. A t shirt so far has worked fine because my insulation layer I always wear is a 200 or 300 weight zip up fleece, which is loose enough I don't sweat much.  My usual winter layer for my legs for snowmobiling, snowshoeing, etc is microfleece long johns and wind pants. My current ones are gore tex. Spend a couple days in a tree stand this December at fifteen to twenty below and used another fleece layer on my lower half as an insulation layer. it was adequate. 

I wore a t shirt and helly hansesn thin down puffy for a run last week and soaked the sleeves with sweat.

Just looking for comfortable all around base layer that wont cling to me, is comfortable and isn't too warm. Just trying to get away from cotton which I know is supposed to be a no no... despite being what I have worn for years.


Any suggestions?

You might be a candidate for Wiggy's Fishnet base layers. 

https://www.wiggys.com/clothing-outerwear/fishnet-long-underwear/

There are videos on the page that describe the product and why it works.

Cheers

Brian

Offline h_t

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Re: Comfortable base layer
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2018, 09:50:14 am »
I think I know how you feel, I generate a lot of heat when I move.
I will sweat in the coldest weather, the biggest problem is stop and go activities or even more so - changing wind (going in and out of cover, up and down the hills etc)

I am sure there are better ways than a cotton t-shirt.
I usually wear Patagonia zip neck, it's pretty light weight, I think it's capilene.
This one is probably my favorite (I think ADND likes them too).
Zip neck helps release heat build up.
I used to wear old Goretex jacket in the winter for wind protection, I stopped (largely thanks to this site). I either wear 1-2 fleeces (or wool sweater) on top of the base or if it's really windy I wear Marmot DriClime wind jacket (this one's 20 years old), but they still make similar models.
The Marmot lets moisture out so much better.
Years ago I had to work outdoors in horrible weather - wet snow. I didn't have all my gear, so I was wearing light to medium fleece and insulated jacket on top. The fleece would get pretty soaked from perspiration, but then it'd dry pretty fast. So it worked ok.

Offline Moondog55

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Re: Comfortable base layer
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2018, 11:45:14 pm »
Here's a thought if you sew or know somebody who does.
A pullover shirt stitched from a double layer of No-See-Em mesh, one of our local brands had something similar a decade or so back and it was pretty good apparently. I can't offer any more as I never owned one

Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: Comfortable base layer
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2018, 10:57:19 am »
Here's a thought if you sew or know somebody who does.
A pullover shirt stitched from a double layer of No-See-Em mesh, one of our local brands had something similar a decade or so back and it was pretty good apparently. I can't offer any more as I never owned one

Hmm. Potential for jogger's nipples I would have thought!

I have been very impressed by a couple of garments in Polartec Powergrid.

I have a long back so have been caught a few times by shirts cut too short, but both the MEC version and the Arcteryx one are cut very long so don't pull out of pants when I bend over. No I didn't pay full price for the Arcteryx!
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Offline Moondog55

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Re: Comfortable base layer
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2018, 05:46:55 pm »
Not really as the purpose of the base layer isn't warmth but moisture transport away from the skin, but put a wind barrier over that mesh and you get 5 to 7mm of free insulation

Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: Comfortable base layer
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2018, 07:39:51 pm »
Sorry thought the intention was to put the mesh next to the skin, hence my allusion to chafing!

Although I can see see that a mesh would allow moisture vapour to pass through I suspect it would not be very good at moving liquid sweat condensing on the skin. The differentialy woven fabrics are very good at this.
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Offline Moondog55

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Re: Comfortable base layer
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2018, 08:02:41 pm »
This is true but I offered it as a possible alternative to Brynje fishnet underwear.
Of all the available materials the Polartec PowerDry stuff is the best and the Polartec used by Patagonia called Cap 4 Thermal weight is the best of those in my experience.

PowerStretch is a good compromise between warmth and water transmission for those that don't mind a tighter fitting garment and what I usually wear for ski touring [ not for sled hauling tho I sweat too much when sled hauling so I use much lighter base layers then] granted it is hard to really extrapolate -8C down to -30C but that is where the highly breathable windshirt layer seems to work best for me.
Most currently available windshirts seem to be made for runners and other mountain athletes but I just bought one from Arktis in the UK that seems like it will work just fine
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/XLarge-Arktis-A192-Stowaway-Windshirt-PCU-Level-4-Tundra-Snow-Camo-SAS/222740232864?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

No-See-Em mesh is soft and doesn't chafe at all by the way, I used to have runners longs made this way and it was fine against the skin, the seams need to be inside out tho as it is the seams that rub