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upper body layering
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John Witt
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
upper body layering on 04/02/2006 22:01:55 MDT Print View

For years, my basic 3-season upper body setup for the Rockies/Sierras has been:

silkweight capiline (5 oz) never take it off

driclime windshirt (10 oz.) worn at rest stops, on cold days, to sleep in

micropuff pullover (11 oz), worn in camp, on rest days, to sleep in, as emergency warmth

Now, I've got a hooded, unlined windshirt, montane litespeed (5 oz), that I like for the same reasons everyone else does.

Problem is the driclime doesn't really fit in the system anymore, but the silkweight capiline and unlined windshirt isn't always warm enough, and the micropuff's too hot to hike in.

So, add a patagonia R1 vest (7 oz), or mont-bell chameece vest (5.5 oz)? A highloft vest would obviously be warmer for the same weight, but moisture transfer is an issue as I'd be hiking in it. Any advice?

Also, anyone know of a cheap alternative to the R1 vest? I'm thinking of cutting up an old expedition weight capilene shirt I have...

Edited by johnbrown2005 on 04/02/2006 22:03:11 MDT.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
capilene wife beater on 04/03/2006 09:48:41 MDT Print View

I'm thinking of cutting up an old expedition weight capilene shirt I have...
I've used a capilene shirt with the sleeves cut off for a couple of seasons now. It makes a good extra layer without the unnecessary weight of sleeves.

Jason Shaffer
(PA_Jay) - F

Locale: on the move....
Re: upper body layering on 04/03/2006 13:28:38 MDT Print View

If you're specifically looking for something w/ more moisture transfer / breathability than R fleece, I'd check out the Possumdown vest (6 oz) sold here. I've been wearing mine for about a year, anytime my smartwool and litespeed isn't warm enough while on the move. I think it fills its niche very well--if I'm overwhelming its breathability, then I'm generating enough heat to just take it off. However I try to only take it when its cold enough to wear, even when really moving fast -- otherwise, yes there are higher warmth:wt items out there.

As for cheap alternative to R1 -- sure, go to any thrift store and pick up a thin Polartec, grid/shag fleece, or microfleece vest. This stuff may not get a lot of attention anymore, but it still works better than alot of stuff that does. ESPECIALLY in combo with a good windshirt, in which case really it beats, say, windstopper, on so many points: dry-time, warmth:wt, versatility. Best of luck.

Edited by PA_Jay on 04/03/2006 13:49:05 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: upper body layering on 04/04/2006 11:15:57 MDT Print View

I've run into the same problem with the driclime windshirt. I'm not getting rid of it, but it doesn't fit into the UL pallet as well.

I've decided on an insulated vest, either fleece or light polyfill like the Patagonia Micro Puff or in my case, a Moonstone version of the same. I'm using both long and short sleeve silkweight polyester base layer (and silkweight polyester long johns too), for trail and to sleep in as needed.

I went through a tone of insulating tops in a couple stores and the Mountain Hardwear Power Stretch Zip Tee came up as my choice. It is marketed as a base layer and feels great and you can wear it over a silkweight base or alone. It has a lot of loft for a wicking layer and would be really comfortable to sleep in to extend the range of a light bag. I would call it "expedition weight microfleece."

I have some Campmor long johns that are very nearly the same stuff and both together would make good sleeping gear.

So my (3 season) top layers are:
Base: silkweight polyester (Patagonia Capeline or GoLite C-Thru)
Middle: Mountain Hardwear Powerstretch Tee
Insulation: Polyfill or 200 weight fleece vest
Outer: Montane Lite-Speed windshirt.
Rain: SMD Gateway cape or Marmot Precip jacket (per shelter needs)

For Winter I would add a Marmot polyfill sweater and keep or subtract the vest per the conditions.

Edited by dwambaugh on 04/04/2006 16:09:30 MDT.