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Which layer first
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Jace A. Mellinger
(jacemell) - F
Which layer first on 12/11/2006 16:04:00 MST Print View

I would like a few opinions on windshirts and insulative clothing. Which one should be worn on the outside. I personally use montbell thermowrap and a marmot ion. I usually put the insulation on the inside but I have seen a few people talk about putting the windshirt on the inside.
Theories, Comments?

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Which layer first on 12/11/2006 19:07:40 MST Print View

My insulation's shell is just as windproof as my windshirt (Pertex Quantum) so it doesn't matter. If I used fleece for insulation or anything else not windproof I would definitely put it inside the windshirt (assuming it was windy) so as not to lose heat to convection.

b d
(bdavis) - F

Locale: Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
Re: Which layer first on 12/11/2006 19:44:28 MST Print View

I use the GoLite Ether windshirt. It is cold and synthetic feeling next to my skin. I didn't like it at all, and it seemed to be pretty damp or sweaty feeling when climbing a grade. It seemed to block the wind, but conduct the cold from the air/wind -- even under a base layer.

Normally I use my old capilene (Patagonia) midweight (I don't know what it is called in their new 1 - 4 or 5 rating system)next to my skin for the upper (6 oz.), and my old expedition weight Pat. capilene long johns for lower base layers (8 oz.), if I wear any long johns -- depends on the weather. I don't even notice them.

I use a 1 oz. Mountain Hardwear balaclava and Micro dome (1 oz.) for head cover if it is windy under the hood on the GoLite Ether in pretty cold weather and I don't get cold, or too cold. I am looking at a heavier, lined balaclava, the OR Gorilla Windstopper (3.5 oz.) to add to my gear for heavier weather. I love the hood on the windshirt over that gear.

Because of the discussions here I ordered a Patagonia #2 merino wool synthetic blend pullover long sleeve for the upper. It is 3.5 oz., same as the GoLite Ether. I believe it is going to be very comforatble, avoiding using the windshirt next to the skin.

So torso inner layer is going to be 3.5 merino wool/synth. blend, windshirt is 3.5, then if I use the Drop Stoppers or a Poncho it is all together about 12 oz. for the uppers. When exercising in moderate weather I figure that will get me down to 10 F with precipitation/snow or cold rain. Under 10 F I am going to replace the Drop Stoppers with a heavier Gore-Tex Jacket or hooded jacket of some kind, presently use my old North Face ski jacket when worried about geting wet, but it weighs like 18 or more oz.

IMO my mid layer of Polartec, deep zippered, pullover pushes the temp. rating down to 0 F and the weight to 18 - 20 oz. using the Drop Stopper jacket. So far that system has worked down to 10 F frequently when hiking or exercising, like carrying or cutting wood in the wind. I believe it will work down to 0 F, the few times it has been zero it worked. When I use the gear in weather then I assume it will actually work for shorter periods down to below zero, but then it becomes a safety issue for me so I wouldn't push it until I get more experience.

That is my system so far, but I am learning so much here it is hard to say what it will be in a month.

The windshirt is always with me, but it is most useful to me when worn outside the base layer and the mid-layer, when I wear one -- which is often. I wear it that way because it does what it is supposed to do w/o being next to my skin - because it feels weird and gets cool, or once or twice cold.

What I really like about the windshirt is the hood when the wind picks up all of a sudden and I don't want to bother with a balaclava for 5 minutes until the wind dies down.

In any case, it appears to be a real personal preference matter, after reading lots of different comments and posts related to the topic here at BPL. (Just ordered Ryan Jordan's book of essays on mountain clothing and gear.)

Edited by bdavis on 12/11/2006 19:59:33 MST.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
re:Which layer first/one not two on 12/11/2006 20:35:44 MST Print View

I also own the thermawrap (the UL type, there are two), and the Marmot Ion. In my experience the thermawrap is 95% nonpermeable, so I would not carry one or the other, not both.

(dealtoyo) - F

Locale: Mt Hood
Re: Which layer first on 12/12/2006 02:17:53 MST Print View

I have a Thermawrap and a Patagonia Houdini. I'll put the Houdini over the Thermawrap so that if there is some light precip. the wind shirt acts as another barrier to keep the insulation dry. If it's just for wind, I'm usually already wearing the wind shirt for hiking and just throw on the insulation over the top.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Which layer first on 12/12/2006 08:56:25 MST Print View

Duane, I have the Thermawrap Vest and the Houdini and do the same thing you do. I haven't really tested this yet, but I would guess that the windshirt over the insulation would be slightly warmer. More air pockets that way, but it might compress the insulation slightly making it a wash. If it's slightly wet out I do put the windshirt over the vest to protect it further. If it is dry and windy or cool it's the other way around just out of convenience.

Edited by ericnoble on 12/12/2006 08:59:26 MST.

Mitchell Keil
(mitchellkeil) - F

Locale: Deep in the OC
Re: Which layer first on 12/12/2006 12:34:37 MST Print View

Lightweight merino wool crew neck long sleeve shirt next to my skin and Patagoina dragonfly next. That's my usual day long treking combo. Works well under almost any temperature and wind conditions. The wool wicks and the dragonfly allows the water vapor to transpire through the dragonfly fabric keeping my very comfortable. Since I live in SoCal and usually hike in the local mountains and the Sierras, I don't have to deal with the wet or humid conditions which others posting here may encounter. When I do, I add my Precip Anorak to the mix as my outer waterproof breathable layer. Depending on how cold it is in camp, I may add my MB UL down jacket or my down Flight jacket over the dragonfly and under the Precip. I'm sure that if I did live where humidity and wet conditions prevail, I would own and use a Thermawrap jacket in place of my down jackets.

(dealtoyo) - F

Locale: Mt Hood
Re: Re: Re: Which layer first on 12/12/2006 14:31:34 MST Print View

Eric, I think your right. Putting on your windshirt over insulation allows you to create another chamber of dead air space, thus making the systerm more thermally efficient. To put the windshirt on first then insulation, the secondary dead air space is reduced almost to nothing because of the snug nature of the Thermawrap jacket. This is not fact just personsal observation.

I've always been warmer with the wind shirt on the outside, I do however sometimes put the insulation on the outside just because I'm lazy.

IMO I don't think that the windshirt will compress your insulation enough to notice, unless its soaking wet. If it gets to that point, your most likely soaked to the bone anyway.

David Couch
(Davidc) - F

Locale: England
Re: Re: Re: Re: Which layer first on 12/12/2006 17:44:36 MST Print View

I often wear the windshirt over whatever fits the temperature while walking (but not next to the skin), then need extra insulation during a stop. So I fit the extra insulation over the windshirt and take it off again when I restart walking. Windshirt on the outside is most thermally efficient, but not worth the effort/heat loss of taking off and putting a windshirt on again twice for a brief stop.

I agree with Duane that the windshirt is unlikely to compress your insulation enough to notice.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
re:Which layer first on 12/12/2006 18:22:44 MST Print View

Speaking of that insulation layer, if yours is full-zip you can put it on backwards for short intervals when you dont want to take off your pack. A trick I learned recently.

Don Wilson
(don) - MLife

Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
Re:Which layer first on 12/12/2006 18:33:58 MST Print View

Agree with most of the comments here.

I've rarely where a windshirt while hiking, preferring something with a little more breathability if I'm getting any kind or aerobic exercise. Around camp, resting, or maybe on a cool down. But if I do where one, it's on the outisde.

I'm in the habit of throwing on an insulation layer as soon as I take a rest, just to keep from cooling off too much. Like others here, I will nearly always just throw the insulation over whatever I am currently wearing - windshirt, WP/B, whatever.

Don't think I'd like wearing a windhsirt against the skin.