May 4, 2006 at 12:35 am #1218489
We’ve had more than our usual quota of precipitation in the PNW this year, and so I’ve been looking for quick-drying clothing, especially baselayers.
Capilene holds more water than I would like. For example, after a 4.5 oz top was dunked in a bucket of water and then wrung out, it weighed 14 oz. So the capilene is holding 200% of its weight in water. Of course it’s not going to get that wet in normal use, but after several rainy days it could get pretty wet.
Brynje (http://www.brynje.no/public/index.php?cccpage=hovedside&set_language=en) claims that it’s mesh baselayers
absorb only 30% of their weight in water. Has anyone tried the thermomesh or micromesh? Any comments on performance and weight?May 4, 2006 at 11:49 am #1355872
Net undergarments have been used off and on since WWII. It was popularized by Collin Fletcher (The Complete Walker) The idea was that worn under a windproof layer, the net trapped air and provided insulation. Allowed to breathe, it would provide evaporative cooling. Warming and cooling in one garment… Kalu, Kalay.
Unfortunately, the original cotton net had all the disadvantages of cotton. In addition, the net would emboss your shoulders under the pack straps leaving you with a neat pattern of blood blisters, bruises and abrasions. The solution was to make the shoulder and yoke from regular jersey knit. I’ve still got one of those. I think they stopped making them around 1975.
Brynje makes cotton and polypro mesh underwear. Their claim that the polypro products won’t absorb water is probably accurate. I don’t have any of their stuff, so I can’t say if the mesh is deep enough to do the jobs of both warming and cooling. The opinion current with the older products was that the mesh should be at least 3/32 of an inch deep and preferably closer to 1/16″ to function properly. I see that Brynje’s tops are all mesh. Therefore, I suspect they are likely to be uncomfortable under pack straps.May 4, 2006 at 12:13 pm #1355877
Anders BentsenBPL Member
Check this link :http://www.brynje.no/public/?set_language=en&cccpage=webshop_l1&set_z_qm_product_grp1=9
They have models with jersey on the shoulders. I’ve used them and they’re great.May 4, 2006 at 4:47 pm #1355892
As Anders points out, it seems that Brynje still make a backpackers version of the thermomesh, with jersey fabric on the shoulders and mesh elewhere.
Anders, can you give us some idea of the maximum comfortable temperature for thermomesh? Is it useful in rainy weather a few degrees above freezing, or is it strictly a winter garment? Also, would the thermomesh be useful with just a windshirt on top, or do you need to add a midlayer? Finally, how does Brynje compare with ‘normal’ baselayers, eg Lifa ?May 4, 2006 at 6:57 pm #1355914
Wow! I missed that when I checked their site.May 4, 2006 at 10:32 pm #1355924
Brynjes slogan is “the original & authentic viking wear”. Vikings did not use polypropylene. The name is norwegian for “chainmail”.
I have never used brynjes underwear, but the norwegian army mesh shirt is certainly working in the way described erlier in this thread. Luckily, the grid pattern fades with time…May 5, 2006 at 1:07 am #1355928
Anders BentsenBPL Member
I’ve been using the top in winter under a windproof. If it gets too cold adding a wool baselayer over the mesh.
Under a waterproof near freezing temps it’s good. So it works with a windshirt as well. If it gets wet it dries quickly and you may use it for prolonged periods without smelling too much. I think the mesh works better than most synthetic baselayer.I have no experience with Lifa so I can’t say. But I’ve been using Helly-Hansen Prowool and that works to. But the mesh dries quicker than most.
In windy conditions it’s best to use with a windshirt, the wind cuts right through without.May 5, 2006 at 10:46 pm #1355975
Anders, thankyou for describing the performance of the mesh baselayers in cold, wet and windy weather. The fast-drying mesh sounds like it could work well in the wet PNW. I’ve emailed Brynje to ask about the weights of several garments, and if they reply then I’ll post the weights here.May 6, 2006 at 8:11 am #1355990
I emailed Brynge to see about US availability of tops with non-mesh overlays. They are available only directly from the company. Neither of the 2 US outlets carries them.
I liked the old cotton net stuff well enough to give Brynge a try.May 6, 2006 at 11:35 am #1355995
@owareLocale: Steptoe Butte
I have a polyprop mesh top that you can have. I believe it might be a second cause the neck is very
large. Email me an address.
I much prefer the old wool ones, softer than the
cotton and all the benifits of wool. I haven’t found
a modern source for them.May 6, 2006 at 2:19 pm #1356000
Sure. I’d like to try it.
I’ll bounce you the address.
ThanksMay 6, 2006 at 5:48 pm #1356009
Douglas FrickBPL Member
> so I’ve been looking for quick-drying clothing, especially baselayers.
You might check out Underarmor stretchy compression shirts (80% polyester/20% spandex). Similar shirts are occasionally available under the brand name Athletic Works at WalMart, and under the brand name NordicTrack at Sears. I get mine completely soaked and it dries fairly quickly when the rain stops (15-20 minutes). When completely wet and allowed to stop dripping, it still holds 125% of its weight in water. Regardless, this is my shirt of choice for hiking in Hawaii (my Capilenes never did dry out there). If it isn’t raining then the shirt stays mostly dry because it moves moisture so well.
Just an alternative to consider.May 7, 2006 at 7:01 pm #1356055
Douglas, thanks for the tip on the Underarmor tops. Given that they contain 20% lycra, I’m surprised that they hold less water and dry faster than capilene (100% polyester). Is the weight of the underarmor fabric comparable to silkweight capilene?May 7, 2006 at 8:31 pm #1356063
Douglas FrickBPL Member
>Is the weight of the underarmor fabric comparable to silkweight capilene?
I’m not sure about Underarmor brand, but the Athletic Works XL tee is 4.8 oz and the XL tank is 4.0 oz; the NordicTrack XL tee is 5.1 oz. What I particularly like about these shirts is that they are cool when wet (good in hot & humid weather) but feel warm when dry. When you’re right on the edge of sweating it can be a disconcerting feeling as the shirt flashes off the moisture.
I wore the Athletic Works tee as my base layer on all of my ski and snowshoe trips this winter. No matter how hard I was working it never felt wet.May 8, 2006 at 6:05 am #1356078
carlos fernandez rivasBPL Member
@pitagorinLocale: Galicia -Spain
Here in spain several cycling brands sell mesh underwear ….
Actually I´m using a shirt from nalini (an italian brand)
Maybe us cycling manufacturers had mesh underwear ¿?
spainMay 13, 2006 at 10:45 pm #1356352
These weights were provided by Brynje:
Zip polo with inlay: 170 gr (6.0 oz)
Long johns with inlay: 168 gr (6.0 oz)
The size was not specified.
Reliableracing.com stocks Bryne baselayers without the inlay. Baselayers with the inlay (which reduces pack chafing) can be special ordered from Bryne.
The sizing table at,
can be used to convert Bryne’s sizes (XS, S, M, L, …) to US sizes.Jun 21, 2006 at 6:14 pm #1358348
Thomas McDonald, MDMember
@mc1donaldLocale: SF Bay Area
I’ve been using them for a year- very pleased w/ comfort range and quick drying time. I cycle to work, and unlike most of my base layers, the Brynje’s dry out in the locker room. And very nice for backcountry skiing in variable conditions. I recently did the Evolution basin/Lamarck loop in the Sierra’s, and wore the Brynje mesh under Schoeller Extreme outer layers- a nice combo.
Yes, many of the bike clothing companies make mesh baselayers that are also nice. I have a vest top from Craft that’s versatile. Assos, Nalini, Campy, other also make nice one’s.
tomJun 21, 2006 at 7:24 pm #1358352
@pyeyoLocale: pacific northwest
I’ve also been using Brynje mesh and Craft all last winter and early spring…nice stuff. I purchased my Brynje from reliable racing online.
Also Wiggy’s out of Colorado has mesh line that is similar to the old fishnet stuff, not a micro mesh.
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