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Wicking baselayers, a thought experiment


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Viewing 12 posts - 26 through 37 (of 37 total)
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  • #3793247
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    For me, in the summer, a light merino wool layer proved to be too heavy to carry, given that in the Sierra it’s typically warm and I couldn’t use it while hiking, except in the mornings. Plus I’d sweat and wet it out. Plus it’s not mosquito proof at all. My SPF 50 nylon hiking shirt is still somewhat hot, but it IS mosquito proof and doesn’t absorb moisture. Plus it’s somewhat wind blocking. Again, the merino was heavy for just wearing around camp. I gravitated towards bringing a serious down jacket and leaving most layers behind. It proved to be a weight saving swap, and the puffy is a delicious pillow when stuffed into a pillowcase. I love the merino as a layer in around town cold weather, or in my apartment, or anytime I’m not reaching a sweat threshold.

    #3793248
    Brian W
    BPL Member

    @empedocles

    This is interesting to me. I overheat in the summer in a nylon hiking shirt. I’ve tried a couple from Columbia. I overheated pretty badly at Capitol Reef NP. 150 wool worked much better for me with short sleeves, so I gave up on Nylon. Experienced the same in the Sierras.

    This feels like shoes, where you have to experiment to figure out what works best.

    #3793250
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    “150 wool worked much better for me with short sleeves, so I gave up on Nylon. ”

    I entirely understand this. I put a priority on sun and bug protection. I would never hike in short sleeves. And you’re right, I pay a price in heat. I wear this shirt with nothing underneath, and perhaps sweat helps to cool me. I also will unbutton if bugs aren’t bad. Sort of like unzipping a rain jacket.

    #3793251
    Terran Terran
    BPL Member

    @terran

    Generally I’ve been using a “cool” weave poly shirt with a Patagonia R2 over it. Then I bring a down vest and a Patagonia LW DAS hoody.
    Thermasilk or Arms of Andes 250 leggings. Torrid pants.

    #3793275
    HkNewman
    BPL Member

    @hknewman

    Locale: The West is (still) the Best

    What works best for you when you’re hiking or backpacking?

    Wicking-wise? A number of polyester baselayers from Columbia or Patagonia.  Merino wool works too, but for longer hikes it wears out too fast as a more expensive layer.  Actually one of the Columbia layers in a crew neck wore out very fast too.  So my choices are the old Columbia Silver Ridge Light or the Patagonia Capilene Cool-Daily (wicking, “feel”, snag resistance, miles used/price, recyclable).

    Any polyester will wick, but the sport layers have a treatment that speeds it up reportedly.  Otherwise we’d all be using button-front office polyester shirts from the discount rack.   Then add fabric “feel”, cost, etc..  I actually didn’t like the perennial favorite OR Echo as a LS baselayer due to feel against my skin.

    I have a merino wool t-shirt as a sleep baselayer primarily. While merino works for quite a few activities, I optimize its temperature stabilizing abilities as a sleep layer while avoiding using it hiking where abrasion and snags can kill it.

    #3793287
    Brian W
    BPL Member

    @empedocles

    Has there been any research here on the efficiency of these fabrics for regulating core body temps?

    I know that my heart rate goes up to cool myself down when I’m hiking in warmer temps. I will often shift from zone 2 to zone 3 or 4 even hiking on flat ground. Now, I’m not an endurance athlete. I don’t run marathons. But I am curious about the thermo regulation of base layers on core body temps for the average hiker/backpacker. I don’t care about wicking efficiency as much as body temp regulation and comfort.

    #3793360
    HkNewman
    BPL Member

    @hknewman

    Locale: The West is (still) the Best

    I don’t care about wicking efficiency as much as body temp regulation and comfort.

    That probably gets into individual comfort zones and reading reviews.  I will say there’s a definite cooling effect on a hot day using Patagonia Capilene Cool (Daily) as that’s how the fabric is “designed”.  On the flip side, I feel a chill with a bit of sweat if hiking as the sun gets low around dinnertime (easily taken care of by stopping and quitting sweating.. or speeding up).

    I tried the OR Echo others like but found it feels plastic like against my skin (though it really lets a breeze through).  Besides reviews by authors with similar problems (heavy sweaters, running hot, running cold, etc..) to narrow it all down, think buying new on sale and testing is the only real way.

    #3793364
    Tom D.
    BPL Member

    @dafiremedic

    Locale: Southern California

    Lately, I’ve been hiking in a UL polyester sun hoodie. I’m finding it more comfortable when I start sweating than the merino wool shirt I have.

    #3793536
    Brian W
    BPL Member

    @empedocles

    Ordered the OR Echo and the equivalent smartwool sun hoodie. Planning a 15.5 mile hike locally, and I want sun cover to avoid applying sun screen every two hours. Hopefully one of these will work out in day hike tests.

    Will do 1000+ elevation gains with both before choosing one. Not really a problem with over heating when hiking flat trails.

    Lots of sales, so cheaper to experiment now.

    #3793742
    Stephen Seeber
    BPL Member

    @crashedagain

    #3793918
    Brian W
    BPL Member

    @empedocles

    Stephen Seeber:  Thanks.  I’ll read it later today.

    I did test out the sun hoodie Echo by OR on a hike yesterday with 1k feet of elevation gain.  The hood is definitely better than the hood for the comparable Smart Wool equivalent.  I hiked between 60-65 degrees fully exposed on a desert hike with wind gusts between 10-15 mph.  The hoodie didn’t do much for the wind, and the material didn’t feel as suffocating as the Columbia hiking shirts that I own.  However, being that I picked one up in the black camo (on sale), it was still a bit hot when I was doing the last bit of climb.  The hike has 500 ft of elevation gain in 0.5 miles.  And the at the end of the hike, I found my back more damp than I wear wool.  I’ll need to try this sun hoodie as much higher temps.  But over 80 degrees, I’m going to look for a lighter colored one.  The Columbia one failed me in 85+ temps in Utah.

    I’ll test out the Smart Wool sun hoodie on a hike next weekend.  I already know that I don’t like the hood as much as the OR Echo’s hood, but I’m interested in how I feel doing elevation gains in it compared to the Echo.  I also know that I like the material, but with long sleeves, I wonder the impact.  It’s a light blue.

    However, if I find I like the wool better, I’ll still need to find a brand with a better hood.

    I’ll try these out up to 90ish degrees, but I’ll swap out the OR Echo for a lighter color fabric above 80 degrees.

    #3793926
    Iago Vazquez
    BPL Member

    @iago

    Locale: Boston & Galicia, Spain

    If you are looking for a a wool sun hoodie with a hood that is extra large to allow good airflow and coverage in combination with a cap or visor, my preference is the Ridge Merino Solstice.

Viewing 12 posts - 26 through 37 (of 37 total)
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