I am still trying to fine-tune my layering system for my upcoming summer trip in Colorado. Again, I'm expecting temps between 40-80 degrees ((I'll be hiking around treeline or above). After doing bit a more research, I've noticed the following trends among the ultralight crowd:
1. Alot of people seem to be wearing a long-sleeve merino wool crew as their baselayer top AND as their primary hiking shirt as well. My concerns are a) overheating and b) durability, but I must say that having tried on a Smartwool Microweight shirt at REI yesterday, I must say that it was very comfortable (in the store).
2. Alot of people are wearing a windshirt as their primary insulating layer while on the move (at least in mid-summer environments) and not bringing a fleece at all. My only concern here is: Isn't a windshirt redundant when I have to bring my rainjacket anyway? Is a windshirt sufficient as a midlayer for those unexpectedly cold temperatures?
3. Alot of people are bringing a synthetic fill pullover (e.g. Cocoon) as their camp insulation layer. Again, here it seems like the fleece would be more versatile, serving as a layer for on the move and while resting. I can't imagine using the Cocoon to hike in.
I'm curious to see how you would address these concerns and whether the (traditional) baselayer-fleece-rainjacket combo wouldn't be more versatile.
My summer layering system from last year is the following:
-REI lightweight MTS short sleeve tee, 5 oz.(worn)
-REI midweight MTS long sleeve tee, 7.5 oz. (in my pack, worn over the above in colder weather)
-REI heavweight MTS long-sleeve zip-tee, 9.75 oz. (in my pack, used as mid-layer over the above for colder weather and in camp)
-REI Ultralight rain jacket, 12.75 oz (in my pack, used as shell layer during wind and rain)
TOTAL = 35 oz.
-REI silk bottoms, 3.5 oz. (in my pack, worn during colder weather and in camp)
-Mountain Hardwear convertible pack pants, 17.5 oz. (worn)
-Sierra Designs Microlight windpants, 5.75 oz. (packed, worn during wet weather)
TOTAL = 26.75 oz.
This year, I was thinking about making the following changes:
a) replace both the lightweight MTS tee and the midweight MTS long-sleeve with a Smartwool Microweight long-sleeve tee (again, the concern about overheating):
http://www.rei.com/product/711814 (no weight listed)
b) replace the REI MTS heavyweight long-sleeve with a 100-weight fleece as my midlayer, such as the R1 or something of similar weight and/or add a windshell
c) replace windpants with wp/b pants such as Golite Reed (6 oz.) or Mountain Hardwear epic pants (7 oz.)
I'd love to hear your suggestions on how I can improve while losing pack weight...