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powerstretch vs merino
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Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
powerstretch vs merino on 10/13/2009 07:33:11 MDT Print View

I have a pair of microwt (150gram)merino tights and a pair of ltwt (190gram) merino. Also a pair of terremar silk long johns. Weights are 5.75oz, 7oz & 3oz respectively. I'm looking at a pair of power stretch pants (Mountain Hardware, Wild Things) at 7oz and wondering is it would be worth the money? Any experience w/either? Or could I get the same warmth from a combo of what I already own? In my experience, fleece drys a bit faster than merino. I'm looking for a mid-layer for cold (below 20F) for active pursuits (running, snowshoeing, etc.) to wear over the silk base layer. Probably rules out the PatR1 tight as too warm. (I have the R1 hoody)


Derek Goffin

Locale: North of England
powerstretch vs merino on 10/13/2009 07:40:28 MDT Print View

compared to merino, powerstretch is warm for its weight and tough (hard wearing). Merino has the anti smell advantage but I would not design a system that had anything but the thinnest base layer of merino, powerstretch has my vote.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
warmth/weight on 10/13/2009 07:50:47 MDT Print View

Thanks. I was wondering about the comparative warmth/weight ratio. On Mike C!'s winter gear list, he has Pat Cap 1s under a 100wt fleece layer, which is what got me thinking.

Christian Holmes
(christiandholmes) - F
Merino advantage on 11/20/2009 23:41:09 MST Print View

When you consider the lack of smell merino would have compared to the synthetic though, its size/temp ratio changes.

I always go for merino if I can, even if it means I sacrifice a little warmth, because I can wear it for so long without washing.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Day vs. multi-day Re: powerstretch vs merino on 11/23/2009 08:46:12 MST Print View

For just a day trip the stink factor isn't an issue- presuming you shower and wash clothes at home.

I really like merino base layers- I've worn a merino undershirt to work daily for about two years.

Under some windpants my favorite winter layering system for the lower body is:
40F+ Antimicrobial synthetic boxer briefs;
25F-40F add Merino long johns 150 weight;
5F-25F add 100 weight stretchy fleece pants.

This is presuming high activity levels such as backcountry skiing or snowshoeing. For lift skiing I have some lightly insulated overpants and use much thicker synthetic base layers almost equal to 100 weight fleece. Then I've used up to 300 weight fleece mid-layer (skiing in -35 temps at Lake Louise)

Full side-zip mid-layers are great. Drop your wind pants to ankle level, zip on or off the mid layer, then pull the wind pants back up. You don't even have to take off your skiis. Shell layers with full side zips are also good but more for venting.

Fleece pants are nice because they don't compress much, so sitting or kneeling on cold surfaces is much more comfortable than with a compressible insulation. If you're backpacking though the bulk of 300 weight fleece pants is huge- I'd stick with 100 weight plus puffy pants for extreme cold.

I read Ray Jardine's blog about skiing to the south pole. He, and others mentioned, suffered frostbite on the front of his thighs. This was from spending long days skiing into a heavy headwind. They were wearing very warm puffy down pants. I think that going with fleece pants and slightly thinner down pants would have been better.

Edited by jimqpublic on 11/23/2009 08:53:39 MST.