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Southeast Insulating layer
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Phillip Asby

Locale: North Carolina
Southeast Insulating layer on 10/04/2012 11:50:22 MDT Print View

I've been looking for an insulating layer to add to my shell and windshirt - currently I'm just using fleece of one variety and might go for a better one (Patagonia R) if that makes sense - or a synthetic middle layer. My issue is having too much warmth given I am mostly in North Carolina and South Carolina - generally I won't be out in temps below 20 even at night and 30s-40s are more common.

I think a light synthetic layer is the best option - don't think I need down. But am curious what other folks in the SE find most useful?

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Best warmth:weight ratio on 10/04/2012 12:18:33 MDT Print View

For the often damp southeast I'd go with a light synthetic insulated jacket (Climashield or Primaloft Sport insulation) because it has the best warmth for the weight when compared to fleece. A hoodie is an option.

P.S. Plus the shell gives fairly good wind resistance. You can use it to extend the warmth of your sleeping bag as well.

Edited by Danepacker on 10/04/2012 12:19:24 MDT.

Ernie Elkins

Locale: North Carolina
Re: Southeast Insulating layer on 10/04/2012 12:26:33 MDT Print View

Given that you're also in the Charlotte area, I'm guessing that we frequent many of the same places. I've been very happy with the Lowe Alpine Micro-Grid lightweight fleece pullover that I picked up at STP many years ago. It's similar in weight to an R1 top and, when I'm on the go, works perfectly for me in temps from the uppers 20s to the lower 40s. I usually wear a lightweight Capilene base layer underneath and top it off with a windshirt on the cooler end of the spectrum or if it's especially windy.

Edited by EarthDweller on 10/04/2012 12:28:50 MDT.

Tyler Barcelli

Locale: Southeast
Re: Southeast Insulating layer on 10/04/2012 12:33:39 MDT Print View

Well I frequent the Southern Appalachians and I use a down sweater. Feathered Friends Daybreak to be exact. I tried a synthetic layer but I didn't see the advantage of the extra weight. I've never had a problem setting my jacket in the sun to dry when it rarely got damp from humidity. If you go the down route this jacket is perfect for me for anything but winter. 3oz of glorious down. It's like wearing a cloud. And they happen to be on sale right now from FF.

Ernie Elkins

Locale: North Carolina
Re: Southeast Insulating layer on 10/04/2012 12:36:24 MDT Print View

Just to clarify, Phillip, are you talking about an active layer or something for rest breaks, around camp, etc.? I assumed that you meant the former, but Eric's and Tyler's replies made me realize that I might have been mistaken. If the latter, then I'd definitely recommend a synthetic (my preference) or down insulated vest or jacket. I have three options in the closet -- a Patagonia Nano Puff vest for mild weather, a Golite Coal for in between temps, and a Patagonia DAS Parka for when I expect temps to dip below 20. I could probably get by with the Coal as an all-around solution, but I like the versatility of having all three and I really love the warmth that the DAS Parka offers, especially to boost the warmth of my sleeping bag.

Edited by EarthDweller on 10/04/2012 12:37:39 MDT.

Phillip Asby

Locale: North Carolina
To clarify on 10/04/2012 13:10:42 MDT Print View

Thanks for the question and I should have been clearer - this would be for rest/camp area, not for moving. "Insulating layer" being a tad bit vague...

Ernie Elkins

Locale: North Carolina
Re: Southeast Insulating layer on 10/04/2012 14:02:34 MDT Print View

A lightweight synthetic jacket like Eric suggested would be a sensible place to start (MontBell Thermawrap, Patagonia Nano Puff, etc.). As he noted, they'll be warmer than a fleece jacket of similar weight, they pack down small, and they're less affected by moisture and a bit more affordable (in general) than down. If I were starting over, I'd probably go with a Thermawrap jacket in place of my Golite Coal jacket and Nano Puff vest. I'd think that the Thermawrap jacket under a shell would be good down to the upper 20s to lower 30s.

Mike Feldman

Locale: SE USA
Use BMW Cocoon on 10/04/2012 16:18:49 MDT Print View

I do mostly SE USA BPing trips, for past 5-6 years have used a Bozeman Mountain Works Cocoon pullover, large is 9.1 ounces. It is a great camp/rest break jacket, w/baselayer/windjacket/rainjacket have been in snow/windy 25 degrees and was reasonably comfortable. With a light load have hiked on ridge top and cold conditions a coupled times..They pop up on Gear trade every so often..

Chad "Stick" Poindexter
(Stick) - F

Locale: Wet & Humid Southeast....
Grid fleece... on 10/04/2012 16:46:44 MDT Print View

Hi. I am also here in the Southeast. The best layering system that I have found that works for me while hiking is a Cap 2 long sleeve crew as a base layer and then my R1 Flash Pullover on top. The pullover has a deep zip and works well in a wide variety of temps. Then I can pull on my wind shirt if I get cooler, or if it rains I will put on my hard shell.

In camp, if the temp is cold, I also use a MB UL Down Inner Parka. Then of course I can still also layer my wind shrit (usually under the down) and the hard shell over the down, which gives me a total of 5 layers, 3 of which have hoods.

I really like the grid fleece and think that they work very well while hiking. Also, for a slightly less expensive version, i bought my wife a campmor grid fleece pullover and she likes it well...

Ryan Spurlock
(RyanS) - F
synth jacket on 10/04/2012 21:26:39 MDT Print View's-Zonal%E2%84%A2-jacket/OM4783,default,pd.html
i have the previous model which i've even seen today on steep and cheap for around $90. it works well with me. having the hardshell would help keep the heat while sitting.

i found the model i have, if your an rei member theres a members sale from the 5th through the 14th with 20% off rei- outlet all sizes are available right now

Edited by RyanS on 10/04/2012 21:34:01 MDT.

insulating on 10/04/2012 21:35:58 MDT Print View

I use a melanzana fleece hoody for insulation most of the time. I will hike in it in morning till I warm up before taking it off, and it goes on at breaks in cool weather (when Im soaked with sweat and chill fast ). Goes back on immediately when reach camp and I sleep in it too. Under it I just wear a SS or LS baselayer depending on how low the temps are.

If temp is cool enough around camp, maybe < 45-50F, I throw on a montbell ex down jacket over it. Really depends how wet and tired I am mostly moreso than the ambient temp.

Edited by livingontheroad on 10/04/2012 21:38:57 MDT.

Richard Fischel
in the western carolinas in winter 99% of the time on 10/05/2012 07:33:53 MDT Print View

you will be more than fine with an outer insulating layer like a hooded patagonia micro puff or the dead bird atom sv, both similar with 100g of synthetic insulation. this might even be a little heavy in some situations, but seldom will you be cold and it's typically not good to be cold. this would be layered over the equivilant of a nike dry fit long sleeve shirt, power stretch hoodie and hooded wind shirt. As an alternative to the hoodie/windshirt, depending on the forecast and my plans, i switch to a wild things hooded insulite top which is equivalent of a nano puff or the an atom lt with 60g of synthetic insulation. It has the same outer shell as my windshirt (epic) power stretch side panels like the lt and I prefer the single over two layer, even if the two layers might give you some additional flexibility. you can mix-and-match any of these layers to keep you warm on the go and at rest in pretty-much any winter weather condition in the western carolinas.

Edited by RICKO on 10/05/2012 07:39:01 MDT.

Brad Fisher

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: in the western carolinas in winter 99% of the time on 10/05/2012 18:02:02 MDT Print View

My Montbell EX works great.