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Favorite Mid-Layer?
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eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
midlayer on 10/30/2010 18:04:43 MDT Print View

is handy for freezing rain

which will chill me to the bone, if i wear just a base, winshirt and windjacket

in those cases you want fleece or synthetic ...

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: mid-layer on 10/30/2010 19:13:38 MDT Print View

"I like to use a very light top base layer (Merino 1 or Cap 1) and then if needed, layer a R1 (or similar) over it as my mid layer. I still carry a windshirt and I still carry an appropriate insulating layer."


Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: mid-layer on 10/30/2010 19:26:05 MDT Print View

The way you use the R1 is what I had in mind. I've settled on a LS 1/4 zip Power Stretch shirt or a full zip Power Stretch vest for that function.

The vest is a very recent addition and I like it. 8oz, warm, adaptable, easy to stow, and just enough to take the chill off. Perfect under a rain shell. One of these days I'll get a deal on a Power Stretch hoodie-- they are kinda spendy for my tastes.

My current lineup for fall/winter layering is:

LS or SS silk weight base layer
Power Stretch LS shirt, or vest, or fleece hoodie (see below)
GoLite "original" windshirt
Mountain Hardwear Compressor Jacket
Patagonia Rain Shadow rain shell

Silkweight polyester long johns
OR Pursuit or MH Tanglewood softshell pants
Marmot Precip rain pants

I have a really different sort of hoodie made by Lowe Alpine that has variable fleece insulation. It's about the same loft as an R1, but shaved here and there to add more insulation or more breathabilty. It looks strange, but works well. I've slept in it and the hood worked great. In camp it layered up well with my windshirt.

Lowe Alpine Ninja Hoodie:
Lowe Alpine Ninja Hoodie

Edited by dwambaugh on 10/30/2010 19:35:40 MDT.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
lowe hoody on 10/30/2010 19:42:19 MDT Print View

hadn't seen that before, ^ looks like they've replaced that, w/ this

little lighter at 10-ish oz (about the same weight as the R1)

personally I prefer a pullover (and carry a R1 balaclava)

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Mid layer on 10/30/2010 22:25:23 MDT Print View

I like a 100wt fleece when I am expecting cold rain (approx below 45F). In these conditions I get chilled in just a base layer and hard shell or wind shell. I would also carry a BPL Cocoon in these conditions for in camp use (worn with the fleece if the fleece wasn't too wet).

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Favorite Mid-Layer? on 10/30/2010 23:12:47 MDT Print View

I often use a North Face Impulse Hoodie, which unfortunately they make anymore. They still make the Impulse 1/2 zip (1/4 zip?) which is another similar option to the 1/4 zips mentioned above.

I also like the Mountain Hardwear Transition line of tops.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
same as others on 10/31/2010 09:24:16 MDT Print View

depending on my mood i'll either rock a 100 weight fleece zip top, a light merino sweater (only if it's pretty cold), or the marmot driclime... all 3 work pretty well

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Favorite Mid-Layer? on 10/31/2010 17:27:21 MDT Print View

light weight high loft insulated vest. Over the years this has been the original patagonia puff, montbell thermwrap vest, and now a western mountaineering flash vest. None of them come out until it's below 30F when hiking, but they are using in warmer conditions when I am stopped.

When I am moving it's typically just a base, or base + shell. Used to be supplex shirt until it was below 50F, and then you would typically find me in a featherweight powerdry base + windshirt.

When it's 30F or less most often you will find me with a Patagonia R1 hoody + Rab Alpine Shell with a high loft vest or jacket that gets layered over when I stop.


Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Favorite Mid-Layer? on 11/01/2010 15:14:48 MDT Print View

I find that midlayers are only good for light activity, such as camp chores, etc... & of course for added warmth under the primary insulation layer. Otherwise they're just too warm. While we all develop our personal preferences & priorities, I "budget" a proportionately high number of ounces toward my midlayer. It tends to be the "warm fuzzy" feelin' thing I wear around camp, at night, at rest stops, etc.

Having worn the powerstretches, cap 4s & 100wts, driclimes, & others I've finally settled on 250-350-ish g/m2 merino, preferably in a hoody. It's a much more adaptive layer than a synthetic insulated piece, allows me more flexibility & a great range of comfort. I've been using a Patagonia wool 4 hoody; mine weighs something like 13.5 ounces. I have similar hoodies from Ibex & Icebreaker that are a little heavier, but still in a reasonable range for my tastes.

As part of the above "defining layers" discussion, the piece I put on & pretty much don't take off until done is my baselayer. My midlayer is described above. Then I carry the insulation layer, which right now is a ~5oz down vest. Top it all off w/a hard shell. That combo'll take me through any 3-season stuff, happily.