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By The Numbers: What’s the Best Base Layer Fabric? Wool vs. Alpaca vs. Polyester

In this paper, I subject base layers in various weights made from merino, merino blends, and alpaca to the suite of tests I have developed to evaluate base layer performance. I then compare the performance of these base layers with those of the polyester base layers I have recently reviewed. We also see if my preconceived notions about merino hold water. Finally, we will see how to choose the fiber for our base layers.

By The Numbers: Patagonia Capilene Thermal Weight vs. Patagonia Capilene Midweight Performance Comparison

How does Patagonia Thermal Weight Capilene stack up against Midweight Capilene?

By The Numbers: Testing the Performance of Mountain Hardwear AirMesh Garments

Is Mountain Hardwear AirMesh a breakthrough product or a prisoner of wicking base-layer physics?

Why is my base layer soaked?

Sometimes a wet base layer just can't be avoided. Soaked-based layers happen. Here is why it will happen to you.

By the Numbers: Compression Resistance of PrimaLoft Gold vs. Climashield Apex (Part 4)

PrimaLoft Gold outperforms Climashield Apex as the more resilient (durable) insulation, capable of retaining more of its original warmth and loft in response to repeated compression.

Do moisture-wicking fabrics work?

Moisture-wicking fabrics (base layers and underwear) are designed to move sweat away from the skin. In this study, we test if Polartec and other base layer fabrics meet manufacturer claims.

Synthetic Insulation Degradation Part 2: Thermal Performance vs. Compression

How bad does high-loft synthetic insulation (Climashield Apex and Primaloft Gold) degrade when subjected to repeated compression cycles? What's the impact on backpacking gear and apparel?

By the Numbers: the Search for a High-MVTR Waterproof Breathable Shell Jacket

A high MVTR waterproof-breathable shell jacket may be the holy grail that can replace both a wind shirt and a rain jacket. Do they exist, and where do we find them?

By the Numbers: Crushing It – How Bad is Thermal Degradation in Synthetic Insulation?

In part two of this investigation, we see what happens when you crush insulation beneath a stack of concrete pavers - again and again.

The Search for a Fleece Replacement – A Close Look at Active Insulation and the role of MVTR

What is MVTR's role in active insulation garments?

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