Sep 17, 2006 at 10:46 am #1219615
I read that a 100 weight fleece is a good insulation layer but I’m having difficulty locating light weight examples of this garment. Could someone post some? I would like to use it doing winter mountaineering. Ontop of a Capilene shirt and below a light water resistant jacket unless you recommend a different system.Sep 17, 2006 at 11:05 am #1363136
@richard295Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
100 Series (frequently called Micro Fleece) weighs 5.9-6.2 oz/yd2 and is .944-.992 clo.
With only moderate activity it is good for about 50F used with your light water resistant jacket.
Campmor has an excellent sale on this item, $19 versus $45 retail at http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=32399196&memberId=12500226Sep 17, 2006 at 2:07 pm #1363141
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
I team the 100w fleece or Polarfleece PowerStretch with insulation like a polyfill vest or pull-over like the Patagonia Micropuff garments.
My favorite combo is a long sleeve silkweight base (Capiliene or Golite C-thru), a 1/2 zip long sleeve Mountain Hardwear Power Stretch Zip tee and a full zip Moonstone Cirrus vest (Thermolite Plus fill), with a Montane LiteSpeed windshirt. I’m using a cape shelter for raingear. A step up for colder weather would be a Patagonia Micropuff pull-over jacket and the windshirt could stay behind. For a rain shell for day hiking or winter coastal hikes, I use a Marmot Precip.
Think of system that will keep the moisture moving and allow multiple combinations. I like light fleece as you can wear it against your skin and it is perfect for sleeping it. The stuff is cheap to buy, easy to maintain and dries fast. I like 200w fleece vests and pullovers on a cold rainy day under a shell, but they work better for day hikes or around town stuff.
UL clothing makes big demands on versatility and multiple use. It took more thinking outside the box for me with clothing than any of the other areas of UL gear. If you are day hiking, you can select your clothing for the activity and season with a resonable survival back-up. Soft shells are marketed heavily (no pun intended), and they work great for skiing, climbing, or travel/commuting, but they are too heavy for the amount of insulation/wind/precipitation protection they provide vs. an equivalent mix of microfleece/polyfill/windshirt. Once you step into multi-day hikes and climate zones from lowland forests to above tree-line, you need a broad spectrum of clothing.
There are microfleece garments that are really more like a heavier base layer, gradually increasing in weight to something like a 100w fleece, and that too keeps increasing on up to a 200w fleece. From everything I’ve been able to find out, once you start to go to 200w fleece, you mught as well have light down or polyfill garments and you gain wind protection at the same time.
Campmor 200w Polartec pullover: 13.2 oz.
Patagonia Micro Puff pullover: 12.5 oz.
The Micro Puff is easily double the loft, has some wind resistance and DWR too. But the street price is about $100 vs. the Campmor fleece which is just $25. So, for moderate weather, the Campor is a pretty good buy. The Micro Puff is a better on compressibility. I don’t have the raw data on insulation for either, but some of the folk here may be able to provide that.
Ratchet down to 100w fleece and expedition weight base layers.
For reference: silkweight GoLite and Patagonia LS tees run 5.5-6oz.
Duofold Varitherm Expedition Weight 360° Stretch Two-Layer LS tee: 7oz.
Patagonia Capeline 4 zip neck tee: 9oz.
Mountain Hardwear Power Stretch zip neck tee: 10oz.
Campmor 100w Microfleece Zip-T Neck: 14oz.
Mountain Hardwear Micro Chill Zip T (100w Polartec): 7oz.
Mountain Hardwear Micro Chill V Neck: 6oz.
Red Ledge Reverse Layer Microfleece Zip-Tee (360g fleece): 11oz.
The figures for the Mountain Hardwear Micro Chill shirts were a surprise to me— looks great on paper. I really want to get one on a scale!
What I’m missing is the actual loft of each garment. Figures on loft, air permiability, and moisture transport would make choosing these base/intermediate layer garments easier.
All in all the differences are probably small. I’m wondering if the $75 shirts are markedly different than the $20 models.
The other challenge for me was to build a layering system that works in a wide range of temperatures while working hard and still keep me warm in camp and sleeping. It’s not very hard to stay warm cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or hiking up a series of switchbacks, but when you stop, you have a whole different set of needs. I am surprised that the larger manufacturers like Patagonia or Mountain Hardwear don’t make coordinated sets of clothing.Sep 17, 2006 at 2:24 pm #1363143
“With only moderate activity it is good for about 50F used with your light water resistant jacket.”
this is a pretty subjective statement.
At 50F and moderate activity, I personally am wearing not much more than a synth t-shirt, let alone a jacket over the top of it.
Were I wearing 100 weight PT under a jacket at moderate activity, I would be comfy to at LEAST freezing temps… but, thats just me.
As a mid layer between a long sleeve T-shirt and my outer layer, I often use a 100wt vest… when moving, Im plenty warm, even above 10K in winter. Obviously Im wearing a good hat and gloves and its not warm enough to wear alone while resting, but on the move its plenty. For me. YMMV.Sep 17, 2006 at 5:46 pm #1363153
@mlarsonLocale: Southeast USA
Dale writes: “I’m wondering if the $75 shirts are markedly different than the $20 models.”
From my experience, the difference in price shows up in terms of durability. The off-brand stuff will tend to flatten, pill, and flake. On-brand products tend to stay loftier and have a nicer finish over the lifetime of the garment.
My solution? I look for shirts made for running and aerobicwear. One of my top 3 favorite shirts ever is a Brooks microfleece 1/3-zip pullover. Just an amazing garment.
In local mass-market clearance stores like Marshall’s, Ross, & TJ Max, You can get name-brand quality for about 30-70% off. It’s much, much easier to find a nicely discounted shirt from New Balance, Brooks, Nike, Reebok, Asics [etc.] than it is to find one from Patagonia, Marmot, or other outdoor specialists.
-MarkSep 18, 2006 at 3:36 am #1363170
@richard295Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
J R-Referencing your post stating in part…”With only moderate activity it is good for about 50F used with your light water resistant jacket (RN)…” this is a pretty subjective statement (JR). Yes this is a pretty subjective statement. I will explain my subjective assumptions (SAs) that lead to that statement in this post.
First, I made the (SA) that Marc had a metabolism similar to the average soldier studied by the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick, MA. Not all soldiers require the same layers to sustain them at the same temperature ranges, therefore, each solider must determine the level of protection he requires as does Marc. None-the-less, the Army provides a simple mid point insulation requirement for given scenarios. That information is what I gave Marc.
Second, I made the SA the “light water resistant jacket” was not insulated but was an effective protection against the convective losses that Marc would be subjected to in “winter mountaineering”.
Third, I made the SA that the 50F was the WBGT (how the temp feels). This is a composite temperature comprised of thermometer temp, wet bulb temp, and radiant temp.
Fourth, I made the SA that Marc’s average sustainable activity level for winter mountaineering was 6 METS. The Army defines 6 METs as Heavy Work. Marc’s burst activity could be as high as 16.5 METs but this is limited to a few minutes maximum. JR – your insulation experience is probably related to your ability to sustain a MET output greater that 6… this can be achieved by trained athletes with hourly supplements of CHO in the range of 240C.
Fifth, the clo value for Polartec 100 (assumes comparable insulation to Polartec 100 on the rest of the body) and the Army BDU have the same clo of approximately 1. The Natick comfort studies list the comfort level at 50F for the above SAs.
A YMMV recommendation given close to the center point of a large set of experiences tend to help people without relevant experience the most.Sep 18, 2006 at 3:55 am #1363171
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> “With only moderate activity it is good for about 50F used with your light water resistant jacket.”
> At 50F and moderate activity, I personally am wearing not much more than a synth t-shirt, let alone a jacket over the top of it.
Agree with you there. I wear a Taslan windshirt down to about 40 F – with a pack on. Below that to freezing I might add a light thermal for half an hour, until I warm up.
CheersSep 18, 2006 at 6:38 am #1363176
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Mark wrote: “From my experience, the difference in price shows up in terms of durability. The off-brand stuff will tend to flatten, pill, and flake.”
I agree, and I wasn’t clear– I was thinking more of a Polartec garment from Campmor vs. one from REI– the fabric is the same. Warranty, zippers, features, etc count too, but the insulating vaue is the same. With my liking for thrift store stuff, I can vouch for the cheap stuff not holding up– I’ve gone through racks of tired junk. My simple point is that, given the same fabric, the insulating value is the same. When I see a fleece sweater for $135 my eyebrows shoot up!
Your techniques for looking for running and aerobic gear and the mass-market stores are excellent ways to get good gear for less. Running gear is well suited to UL hiking. I’ll add that some biking gear works well too, but the prices tend to be as steep as the hiking stuff.
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