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Just Say No To Wicking: Non-Traditional Base Layers Based on a Next-to-Skin Fishnet Model
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David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: US dealers on 11/14/2012 14:59:44 MST Print View

Michael Martin
(MikeMartin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Dealers in the US? on 11/14/2012 16:47:20 MST Print View

Michael wrote: "Is Brynje available in the US?"

I've purchased Brynje from Reliable Racing ( in the past. I'm not sure what items they currently carry.

peter vacco

Locale: no. california
what's old news is new again ! on 11/14/2012 19:05:49 MST Print View

peter tried introducing fishnet to the bpl group in the late 90's, and it just has to be better now that they added wool. as a poly only fabric, it was ok, but not as versatile for the weight as a light wt merino zip-t.
the initial idea at that time was as spaced armor in defense of insects, while keeping cool enough to cover ground. at the same time, we thought it might help add padding and some warmth on coolish days.
it's still a valid concept, and it need not be right on the skin to insulate, as it provides a handy way to increase depth between any two layers.2000

you need to be careful not to appear in public in this stuff .. it can trash your rep.


Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: what's old news is new again ! on 11/14/2012 19:22:03 MST Print View

"you need to be careful not to appear in public in this stuff .. it can trash your rep."

As my wife calls them wife beater t-shirts. These look too similar.

Michael Danielson
(mcd57) - MLife

Locale: Middle TN
Fishnet Model on 11/14/2012 19:52:20 MST Print View

I read that it was used in the 1940's. They also had it available in the 1970's. Surprised it took so long to come to the attention of this site. Thanks for the article.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Fishnet Model on 11/14/2012 20:01:50 MST Print View

"Surprised it took so long to come to the attention of this site."

It didn't. Someone mentioned them last year, if I recall correctly. At least that's when I think I bought some after reading about them on BPL. They work great, I really like them when winter backpacking. Like Mike Martin, I also bought mine at Reliable Racing.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
fishnet on 11/14/2012 20:10:39 MST Print View

It doesn't have to be fishnet to work. Quite some years ago, very loosely woven mesh polos and T's were common, and they worked as well, perhaps even better, than the fishnet. And looked much better, coming in different colors and tailoring.
Unfortunately, a lot of them were cotton or cotton-polyester, and while much more effective under an outer layer than plain woven cotton, wore out quickly. Several days of rainy hiking on the AT rotted out the last of my mostly cotton ones.

Then manufacturers made the mesh denser to improve their view of appearance; but this greatly reduced the fishnet factor. An example of this end stage development was the 'mesh' polo from Royal Robbins with the embroidered hiker on the chest.
When PC's came out, spent hours on the web searching for light mesh polos with no luck. What is called mesh now still has some advantages, but is nothing like the loosely woven material of yesteryear.

Can't comment on your science; but what I liked so much about these garments was the comfort and wide temp range. They were airy and cool on hot days; but when the mountain air got cold, just the addition of a windshirt over them warmed me up faster than anything else, and remained very comfortable during exertion. They also provided great comfort and warmth for weight under GTX shells for rainy hiking.

'Fashion trumps function,' was the comment made about the demise of true mesh on this site several years ago. The much denser polyester mesh sold today isn't bad, but doesn't hold a candle to the earlier stuff.

Maybe your article will encourage some product redevelopment. Hope so.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: fishnet on 11/14/2012 20:16:09 MST Print View,, and sell mesh - you could make something

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Traditional Base Layers are Best on 11/14/2012 20:34:28 MST Print View

In 1969 Colin Fletcher spent two pages extolling the virtues of fishnet underwear in the Complete Walker)pp 199-200). In 1984 (Complete Walker III), he went into more detail on how it works along with comments on other materials like Polypro. Also both editions have some firsthand anecdotal comments about the WWII British connection (as stated earlier).

I have been using a fairly wide mesh shirt since the 80's (REI brand). At one time I had a dozen, but 10 of them wore out over time. I currently have a sleeveless and a short sleeve with a snap 1/4 top. They breath extremely well in desert heat and work well under other layers. Made from 100% polyester. The material is somewhat thicker than most baselayers we see today. Very comfortable under pack straps.

So I guess we can call this a traditional base layer.

REI Mesh Shirt
Close up of REI mesh shirt.

Super close up of mesh material.
Super close up of mesh material.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Just Say No To Wicking: Non-Traditional Base Layers Based on a Next-to-Skin Fishnet Model on 11/14/2012 20:44:10 MST Print View

I used a fishnet top in the 70s, but under a long underwear top.

And since no one else will say, I'll sae it - Ike's post is the clear winner in this thread!!

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
controlling sweat by activity level on 11/15/2012 06:19:29 MST Print View

@RJ - many people talk about controlling sweat by changing activity level (among other options like taking off layers etc) does that fit with daylight and the time you have to hike a given trail...

I know that for me (and i am by no means super fit or a hiking guru or anything) i need to keep on pushing (especially if its uphill) to make good time to be able to hike longish days...especially since i tend to hike off season (in autumn) when trails are many times timed for peak season sunlight

do you REALLY slow down just in order not to sweat - even though from a fitness perspective you could push on???


WV Hiker

Locale: West Virginia
US Dealers on 11/15/2012 06:27:37 MST Print View

I looked into sourcing the Brynje after the article a few days ago on baselayers. Reliable Racing seems to be the only US distributor but they only carry the synthetic versions not the wool. I did find a Canadian distributor - Chromasport Canada, that apparently has the entire line. Their website is not fully functional but I've read that you can email the contact person and they will happily work with you.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: US Dealers on 11/15/2012 10:55:03 MST Print View

Reliable racing has them on sale but only has small size available.

Bjørn Grenness
Norwegian webshops on 11/15/2012 14:30:39 MST Print View

You can buy Brynje from Norwegian webshops, but its pricy. One example;

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Earlier Thread on 11/15/2012 17:08:04 MST Print View

I did send a polypro top to Vic Hines in 2006 to try. Didn't hear back on how it worked.

Edited by oware on 11/15/2012 17:08:43 MST.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
wiggys on 11/15/2012 17:10:32 MST Print View

Haven't tried them.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: wiggys on 11/15/2012 20:01:10 MST Print View


I ordered one from Wiggys. Thanks.

Gustav Bostrom
(gusbo) - MLife

Locale: Scandinavia
Aclima Woolnet on 11/16/2012 02:40:46 MST Print View

Nice to see that fishnets gets some attention. I've tried many a baselayer, but these are by far the most comfortable I have tried for high activity. My main reason for choosing fishnets both for summer and winter is not saving weight, the total weight is higher. The reason is comfort. I feel so much drier in these clothes. It's worth the extra weight.

In summer I use a nylon shirt on top of a synthetic short sleeve Aclima net (I like to have shirt pockets and it's cooler than a windshirt.). In winter for cross-country skiing I use another layer on top, or if needed due to exertion just the fishnet under a jacket.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: what's old news is new again ! on 11/18/2012 18:04:02 MST Print View

"Bennett" liked fishnet too.

Going commando too

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Great article on 11/20/2012 08:48:33 MST Print View

I had fishnet long underwear top and bottoms that I used off and on for years. Good job explaining the pros and cons.

To me fishnet can be a good choice when I expect to be soaked. The set I had was not as comfortable for backpacking because it would chafe under the shoulder straps. I suspect there are more comfortable weaves and materials now. For something like thru-hiking fishnet would not be my choice. I often wear my base layer as my only layer and then conventional is the way to go. I can only imagine how long it would take to hitch into town wearing fishnet long underwear with shorts.