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  1. #1
    Senior Member skidoc22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Schodack, NY Pic: Allen!

    Baselayer suggestions

    I know this has been discussed in the past but I 'd like to get some current thoughts on baselayer tops for those of us with, shall we say moisture management issues. I am not looking for suggestions on anything other than brands and fabrics which people may have found to transmit moisture away most efficiently. I have tried most of the fabrics in the EMS stores such as techwich and the featherlight mocks, but nothing has kept me dry. EC2, Marmot and many generic wicking and breatheable have been tried unsuccessfully. The only solution I have found is bringing multiple shirts and changing frequently. If anyone has overcome similar problems and found a magic fabric or brand I'd love to hear about it.
    Do what you love, love what you do

  2. #2
    Senior Member ecc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Ashokan, NY
    If you are a profuse sweater, you may need to dress more lightly. Carry a thick top layer for when you stop, but wear something really thin when moving, making sure whatever you wear will still block the wind enough to keep frost bite away. This works for ski touring. It may not work if you're at altitude though.

    PS I like a silk weave for my bottom layer. Soft wool is good too.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Neil's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Big time sweater here.

    This year I got turned on to the Mountain Hardware Transition Featherweight base layer shirt. It's by far the best I've tried yet. You want it nice and tight for max outward movement of moisture.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sapblatt's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
    Massachusetts Avatar: "Heads or tails?!"
    Even when it is very cold, I try not to overdress - as soon as you start getting your hike going you will sweat - try to start the hike with the layers you think you will need when you warm up - the real trick is to know that when you stop you need to get a layer or two on quickly for a break - I will often put a parka and a warmer, dry hat on immediately at a stop when it is cold.

    I usually where a snynthetic undershirt (under armour is nice) and then one or two coolmax shirts on top - this way I have wicking shirts wicking other wicking shirts...keeps the moisture moving away.
    - Mike

    How bad can it be?

  5. #5
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    Bedford, MA; Avatar: eggs anyone?
    Your problem may be technique rather than fabric or specific shirt.

    The basic goal is not to sweat because your clothing will get wet and you will have to replace the lost electrolytes and water. Ideally, you should always be slightly cool below timberline and slightly warm above timberline.

    Your first layer should be the thinnest available. As you warm up, remove insulation and shells so that you do not sweat. Finally, you may be left with only the first layer (for me this occurs if the temp is 20-25F or warmer and no wind). (You may also choose to take the first layer off too.)* If you continue to overheat, you either have to slow down (ie reduce the heat production) or just sweat it out. If you are wearing something like a thin polyester shirt it will not hold much water--this allows you to simply dry it with body heat without losing too much heat if you start to cool down. (Or you can change it.)

    * While it is easiest to adjust one's above-the-waist insulation and hats, one can also reduce the insulation below one's waist. For instance, some wear shorts (or zip-off leg pants) over a thin first layer. Side-zip insulating pants and wind pants allow easy adjustment of leg insulation.

    Of course, the converse is also true--you should increase insulation/shells as you cool down or anticipate cooling down.

    Note: different people produce different amounts of heat--you have to learn how your own body responds and how to dress accordingly.

    Note2: Some people have the idea that because it is cold out, you have to wear lots of insulation. This is only true if you are not active and not producing much heat. As you become more active and produce more heat, you have to reduce your insulation to dissipate the additional heat. The goal is to keep the body temp at neutral--neither hot (and sweating) nor cold. I have seen people sweating buckets while hiking with an expedition down parka on at temps ~20F. And I have also helped to rescue some of them...

    Last edited by DougPaul; 01-25-2008 at 08:33 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Paradox's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Holderness, NH, Avatar: Pine Marten on Mt Field
    Something I have noticed. As I get in better shape I sweat less to achieve a certain amount of work.. ie. getting in shape has helped me become more comfortable on the trail. Certainly technology of clothing is important, but shedding some pounds will make your body more efficient and you will need to burn less calories to travel a given distance, which leads to less heat produced, less body mass to be cooled, and less need to sweat to keep cool.

    Perhaps you know all this, you are in great shape already, but sometimes I need to hear myself say it to help myself. And that is my too scents.
    WNH4K:48/48, SLAT50:50/50, NEHH:100/100, NE115:115/115,
    TW72:60/72, WADK46: 18/46, 52WAV:16/52, Cat35:9/35(39)

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