I'm trying to drop some weight in the clothing category, and I was hoping to get some opinion and suggestions. I live in the Southeastern US and backpack around the TN and NC mountains. I also travel several times a year to camp, last year I went to Glacier and Zion, this year I'm going to Iceland. The trips away are typically going to be late spring through late summer trips - I don't intend for this clothing to be used in the Rocky Mountains during the middle of winter. Though I do camp around here when temps are down into the mid-20s.
I have a 45 degree Big Agnes Yampa sleeping bag, and insulated Big Agnes Air Core. I tend to sleep hot, so this works for me even down into the 20s, and I regulate my temp using clothing.
These are the clothes I currently use for layering while hiking (and sleeping if necessary):
Generic (bought from Academy Sports) lightweight polyester longjohn shirt (6.6oz)
Generic (bought from Academy Sports) lightweight polyester longjohn pants (5.8oz)
Nike midweight Dryfit t-shirt (6.4oz)
ExOfficio Air Strip Lite shirt (I didn't weigh this as it will always be worn and never in the pack)
Columbia Fleece Jacket (16.8oz)
REI Heavy Fleece Jacket - only when I know it's going to be sub freezing (21.8oz)
REI Ultralight Rain/Wind Jacket (16.8oz)
GoLite Tumalo Rain Pants (7.4oz)
Clothing accounts for 25% of my total pack weight right now. I've already bought a Marmot Zeus Down Jacket to replace the fleece just because I got it on sale for $94, and it comes in at 14.8oz. I should say that these weights may differ from what is listed by the manufacturer. These are the weights that I have based on weighing them on my personal scale, accurate to 0.2oz. Anyway, I'm not tied to the Zeus jacket, as it is on the heavy end as well, and may just keep it for a non-camping jacket. The majority of my weight is between my rain/wind jacket and down or fleece jacket
I've been researching lighter weight gear, and had several questions.
The super light rain jackets, such as the Marmot Mica or the Outdoor Research Helium II - they never mention anything about blocking wind. Can I expect that capability in the ultralight rain jackets? Or should I be looking at an additional layer just for wind?
I considered the Montbell UL Down jacket, but I was concerned about warmth and durability. It looks like a shiny trashbag - which, and maybe it's unfounded - but makes me think it's going to rip pretty easily. But since I also will potentially use this layer for warmth while sleeping, I was concerned with how warm this jacket on top of a thermal layer would be. I'm not set on Montbell particularly, that one just stood out because of it's weight. Another jacket I was considering is the MontBell Ultralight Thermawrap Jacket. It is listed at 8.8oz.
For base layers, I was considering going with merino as people seem to swear by how good it feels, wicks moisture, etc. Sure is expensive though. Another product I had considered was the Terramar Thermasilk, but reviews of it being thin and like a full body pantyhose scared me off.
So, that's where I'm at. I've been researching gear and comparing until my eyes are crossing. I've been backpacking for a while, but this is really my first foray into really cutting weight. I'm sitting a little over 16 pounds dry weight right now, and my goal is to be at 15. Baby steps... Thanks for reading all of this and I appreciate your suggestions!