View Poll Results: Why do we buy fleece when wool is the better fiber?

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  • fleece is cheap

    17 28.33%
  • fleece is more available

    12 20.00%
  • fleeece is lighter & I don't care if it's cold when wet

    15 25.00%
  • I'm a victim of advertising

    4 6.67%
  • that's what everyone else is wearing so it's cool

    4 6.67%
  • wools is heavy when wet I don't care if it's warmer

    8 13.33%
  • wool isn't stylish

    2 3.33%
  • fleec is made from recycled junk, wool is a natually plentiful and renewable fiber, who cares

    6 10.00%
  • fleece feels better

    22 36.67%
  • I don't care, I wear what I like.

    29 48.33%
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Thread: Why Do We Buy Fleece

  1. #46
    Senior Member Tim Seaver's Avatar
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    My favorite fleeces have been the lighter ones like Malden's Polarlite, which is quicker drying and more packable than the full weight stuff, although not as warm (I used to be a mechanic at their mill here in Vermont, and we could buy it direct for $4 a yard - lots of homemade gear back then!).

    My favorite wool item is a pair of ghastly lilac-colored Dachstein mitts from the 80's - these are THE ticket for controlling high-speed sledding - you can drag them over really rough ice and snow that would shred your fancy $120 ice climbing gloves in a heartbeat, and they get much better friction. Oh, and they are much better for putting out stove fires. Or so I have heard.

    I am with cbcbd - thin synthetics are great!

    EDIT - Some interesting info here: The History of 'Pile'
    Last edited by Tim Seaver; 01-05-2010 at 09:47 PM. Reason: added link
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  2. #47
    Senior Member cbcbd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Seaver View Post
    ... shred your fancy $120 ice climbing gloves in a heartbeat...
    Funny you mention. I just gave up on getting more fancy $100+ gloves for ice climbing after shredding my nth pair. Here is what I'm using now:


    $7 at your local hardware store - never had such a sticky glove with such a durable palm that does not freeze over the course of the day. Only thing it needed was some waterproofing spray just to keep it more water resistant on top.

    Warning: do not use if allergic to latex
    Doug

  3. #48
    Senior Member timmus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbcbd View Post
    Funny you mention. I just gave up on getting more fancy $100+ gloves for ice climbing after shredding my nth pair. Here is what I'm using now:


    $7 at your local hardware store - never had such a sticky glove with such a durable palm that does not freeze over the course of the day. Only thing it needed was some waterproofing spray just to keep it more water resistant on top.

    Warning: do not use if allergic to latex
    Hey, I use the exact same gloves for bushwhacks ! We have something in common my friend

  4. #49
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    Hmmm? A few thoughts

    I once spoke with a Himilayan expeditioner who proclaimed the one singlely most important benefit of wool over synthetic clothing - when you wearing the same long underwear for 3 weeks it has to be merino wool or you'll die from the smell.

    For me, I generally stopped wearing fleece (or wool) for insulating layers as they don't fill my need to match my clothing to my metabolic rate. Meaning, when I hike I only need a skin layer (25F+) or a skin layer and light shell (-10 to 25F) Of course this assumes low wind. This covers most of my hiking conditions.

    On the rare case that I need to add extra layers to keep warm (-25 to 0 or cold days with extended above treeline sections), I used to add a fleece as it is lighter and thus more easily carried if the day warms up as it usually does. Lately I've been double shelling meaning I use a light Marmot Wind shirt under a second shell. This gives me more flexibility for later in the day vs carrying the fleece.

    When I break during a hike, the use of a 200 or 300 wt fleece or a wool layer to insulate with the lower metabolic rate is woefully inadequate. So I limit my breaks to less than 2 minutes without adding layers. In the case where I choose or must stop longer, I add a big puffy coat filled with petro fibers or down. I find this layer heavy but essential as emergency gear. Plus it is much easier to put on and take off vs. thin layers - this is something I find important - speed in the transition reduces the likelyhood of hypothermia.

    At home I use alot of fleece because it is easy and cheap to clean and dry.

    Of couse I use wool socks.
    "I've been kicked by the wind, robbed by the sleet, had my head snowed in, and I'm still on my feet, and I'm still,...willin"

  5. #50
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    I couldn't answer the poll, because I don't often buy fleece. I usually get them as gifts and they hang in the closet until I bring them to the Goodwill store. My main reason to wear wool is because of its moisture management properties as described here.
    The second reason is wool garments don't smell skunky. What the link does not mention is that for wool to transmit moisture properly, your outer shell has to be breathable enough.

  6. #51
    Senior Member J.Dub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John H Swanson View Post
    I once spoke with a Himilayan expeditioner who proclaimed the one singlely most important benefit of wool over synthetic clothing - when you wearing the same long underwear for 3 weeks it has to be merino wool or you'll die from the smell.
    ^^^Iz troo.

    A buddy spent three weeks on Denali last spring and said he and his climbing partner both reached terminal stank* after about 8-9 days. Given that I'm blessed with an overly-developed olfactory system (making up for my overly-crappy eyesight ), I'm slightly anxious about how I'll deal with spending a week on Rainier next June.

    For the Woolies among us, do they make merino baselayers in various weights (light, med, heavy, expedition) like they do for synthetic baselayers? Any preferred brands besides Ibex, mentioned above? Do the merino baselayers wick as well as the synthetics?


    *The condition of odiforous maximus whereby you just can't smell any worse, regardless of how long you go without a shower.
    "Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball."

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  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.Dub View Post
    ^^^Iz troo.

    For the Woolies among us, do they make merino baselayers in various weights (light, med, heavy, expedition) like they do for synthetic baselayers? Any preferred brands besides Ibex, mentioned above? Do the merino baselayers wick as well as the synthetics?


    *The condition of odiforous maximus whereby you just can't smell any worse, regardless of how long you go without a shower.

    I bought mine in New Zealand. I went on the med/light side of weight as I find the wool layers warmer than synthetic
    "I've been kicked by the wind, robbed by the sleet, had my head snowed in, and I'm still on my feet, and I'm still,...willin"

  8. #53
    Senior Member Jason Berard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.Dub View Post
    ^^^Iz troo.

    A buddy spent three weeks on Denali last spring and said he and his climbing partner both reached terminal stank* after about 8-9 days. Given that I'm blessed with an overly-developed olfactory system (making up for my overly-crappy eyesight ), I'm slightly anxious about how I'll deal with spending a week on Rainier next June.

    For the Woolies among us, do they make merino baselayers in various weights (light, med, heavy, expedition) like they do for synthetic baselayers? Any preferred brands besides Ibex, mentioned above? Do the merino baselayers wick as well as the synthetics?


    *The condition of odiforous maximus whereby you just can't smell any worse, regardless of how long you go without a shower.
    I like "minus33". I can usually find them on sale somewhere online, and they do make them in different weights.

    One more thing about wool....I have had problems with moths, so I keep my wool stuff in a plastic tub now. It seems to help.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Berard View Post
    I like "minus33". I can usually find them on sale somewhere online, and they do make them in different weights.

    One more thing about wool....I have had problems with moths, so I keep my wool stuff in a plastic tub now. It seems to help.
    I ziplock mine for the same reason
    "I've been kicked by the wind, robbed by the sleet, had my head snowed in, and I'm still on my feet, and I'm still,...willin"

  10. #55
    Senior Member Juniper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.Dub View Post
    ^^^
    For the Woolies among us, do they make merino baselayers in various weights (light, med, heavy, expedition) like they do for synthetic baselayers? Any preferred brands besides Ibex, mentioned above? Do the merino baselayers wick as well as the synthetics?

    I pretty much only wear merino wool - summer and winter. Ibex, Icebreaker and Smartwool are all good...every now and then they have deeply discounted Icebreaker shirts on Steep and Cheap. Might have to check out the other brands mentioned here...

  11. #56
    Senior Member Little Rickie's Avatar
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    Lets see what we have so far:

    Top Three Survey Choices

    19 Don't care
    17 Feels better
    14 Cheap


    Honorable mention
    11 Don't care

    It looks like the survey says: "I really don't care if I feel good and it's cheap."

    Other thoughts?
    Peace

    "How one parses a question tells you as much about the person as how they answer the question."

    Oldee Won Balogeena

  12. #57
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Ibex's Merino wool products are outstanding. My favorite hat for under-the-helmet-cycling and for XC skiing and for hiking is from Ibex. I switch to the MH windblock (Dome Perignon) when it gets really cold + windy like above treeline. The icing on the cake is that I got it free at a bike race in VT.

    http://www.ibexwear.com/shop/product...nisex-meru-hat

    It's been machine-washed dozens of times (never heat dried though) and it looks great, and fits the same as when it was new.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  13. #58
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Berard View Post
    One more thing about wool....I have had problems with moths, so I keep my wool stuff in a plastic tub now. It seems to help.
    I prefer to keep clothes comparatively ventilated so my antidote for moths, which seem to find easy entry to my really old house, is to make sure there is red cedar around. Whenever I remodel or redecorate I install considerable cedar on closet walls. I use scraps to line an occasional dresser drawer and also keep scraps near and on the sweateres ... so far so good. Kits are also available with sufficient pieces to line most dresser drawers.

    BTW, I understand moths are drawn to the sweaters by the lanolin in the wool. Alpaca does not contain lanolin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Rickie View Post
    It looks like the survey says: "I really don't care if I feel good and it's cheap."Other thoughts?
    The poll doesn't accurately reflect our opinions because it starts with the premise that "we buy fleece". Many have indicated a preference for wool for certain clothing but I think you have captured the sentiment of those who responded to the poll.
    Last edited by Stan; 01-06-2010 at 12:23 PM. Reason: add info on alpaca and lanolin

  14. #59
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Berard View Post
    One more thing about wool....I have had problems with moths, so I keep my wool stuff in a plastic tub now. It seems to help.
    100% wool is prone to moth problems, however they supposedly do not like blends with nylon (and probably polyester). My 35 year-old Stil-Longs (85% wool, 15% nylon) have been stored in open containers (or out in the open) and have no moth damage. Of course, it is also possible that moths simply don't like my house (or me)...

    Doug

  15. #60
    Senior Member arm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    I don't believe we should be exploiting animals and making them suffer for our own comfort.
    Shizzy has been "exploiting" farm animals for years ... for the sake of "mutual comfort"

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