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Re: Which layers are a must?

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Which layers are a must?
November 09, 2009 07:06PM
I was reading The Backpackers Handbook about using layers and wicking fabrics, breathe ability, etc. I took a look at REI online to see what all these great garments cost. It seems that I could easily spend $1000 to get one set of layers. Base layer, mid layer, soft shell, rain suit etc. I am not likely to come up with that in time for my planned trip in June. I am wondering what layer is most important. I am less worried about weight or space than I am the potential of bad weather at Glen Aulin in June. It's not that I don't have warm clothes, it is the fancy fabrics that I am thinking about. If you were going to mix regular clothes, flannel shirts, long underwear and inexpensive rain suit, what layer would you choose to go hi tech on? Which layer is most important to have the good fabrics, and which is 2nd and 3rd etc.
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 09, 2009 07:08PM
Quote
traildad
inexpensive rain suit

That's a swiss army knife and a trash bag. Cut three holes and you have yourself a keedug.
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 09, 2009 07:44PM
Have you checked Campmor and Sierra Trading Post? Also, consider locating a Patagonia outlet (one in Reno that I know of) or other manufacturer outlet (like Eddie Bauer, North Face)
Columbia makes good relatively cheaper stuff.

Wet from sweat is the most common problem I have seen, so I would argue against flannel. Wool is a decent substitute.

Consider getting some women's pantyhose for emergency base layer.
1. I am a big fan of hooded sweatsuit tops and a quick-dry front zip poly-pro or fleece would be my first choice (with hood if possible).

2. Second choice would be some "quick dry" pants program. Not necessarily fleece but for wind protection and quick drying. Don't wear cotton blue jeans.

3. Third choice would be quickdry shirt, long sleeves.

4. Fourth, consider some thin glove liner type gloves and certainly some kind of hat for warmth.

Good luck and Happy Trails!

ps I just found out that the REI store in Missoula, Montana has a sale of returned or demo merchandise one Saturday each month. Perhaps the REI near you has a similar sale day. Check on it. You have probably found the REI sale/outlet website.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan




Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/09/2009 07:55PM by Frank Furter.
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 09, 2009 09:07PM
Never EVER go anywhere without your Marmot Precip jacket -- it works as a windbreaker AND rain jacket, and instantly doubles the effect of any fleece underlayer.

The best $$$ you will ever spend; the rest is negotiable (because the UNDERLAYERS will be DRY as long as they are some sort of moisture transporting fabric)

Just about everyone I know on two forums owns the same jacket, but different underlayers.

b



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/10/2009 09:04AM by Bee.
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 10, 2009 07:13AM
Quote
Bee
the rest is negotiable (because it will be DRY)

If you mean that YOU will be dry because of the jacket, ok, but if you're saying there will be no precipitation...? Can't guarantee that in TM in June. I've encountered some pretty blustery weather and snow there into July (just the way I like it).

To the OP:

It looks like you're getting a lot of different (but valid) opinions. A lot depends on what works for the individual. Personally, I have a cheap shell. If it starts to rain heavy I find a spot out of the weather to wait it out. I've had a hooded polartech for over 20 years that I won't go anywhere without. I got it at Campmor. Definitely check them out, they have everything from expensive good (great?) gear to inexpensive (will get you by) gear.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/11/2009 04:03PM by sierranomad.
Re: Which layers are a must?
November 10, 2009 06:21AM
Any type of t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, and jacket have always worked fine for me. The space age fabrics that wick away moisture while massaging your muscles look very nice, but I can't help but think that a lot of the stuff is industry hype.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/10/2009 06:21AM by bbb.
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 10, 2009 12:44PM
Quote
bbb
Any type of t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, and jacket have always worked fine for me. The space age fabrics that wick away moisture while massaging your muscles look very nice, but I can't help but think that a lot of the stuff is industry hype.

There's nothing really all that "space age" about polyester or nylon fabrics when it comes to "moisture management". These materials have been used for clothing since about the middle of the 20th century. The material itself simply doesn't suck water into the core fibers and is superior when it comes to to transporting moisture along the edge of the fiber. The US military has shifted to at least cotton/poly blends. I believe they don't go with 100% poly for some applications for fire resistance.

The more modern stuff uses thinner "microfibers" that are considerably more comfortable than the older relatively thick filament polyester. Comfort is really the primary advantage of the newer stuff.

I really do believe that 80-100% cotton sucks when it comes it doing any sort of cooler to cold weather activity. I tried hiking in cotton socks and a long sleeve cotton t-shirt once on the Upper Yosemite Fall Trail in winter. I was wearing a Gore-Tex jacket, but the sweat that built up was unbearable. The problem with most finished cotton is that it just sucks up moisture in all the little pores in the fiber and it's hard to release the water without a heat source such as a dryer. It also loses its loft (with a reduction of its already poor insulation properties) once it gets wet. It's also rather abrasive when wet. A poly t-shirt still insulates when wet (I can attest to that), doesn't stay wet as long as cotton, doesn't cause as much chafing when wet, and keeps you warmer when it's dry.

Even before "technical fabrics" the choice for most serious winter enthusiasts was wool. Wool is actually pretty close to polyester when it comes to retaining moisture. Of course the problem is that it typically smells when wet and can be itchy. It can also be very, very pricey for wool that's tolerable when it comes to itching.

You can do pretty well with cheap poly t-shirt. The following has some pretty nice long-sleeve baselayers in the $12-20 range.

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/d/189_Mens-Wicking-T-Shirts-and-Tops.html
http://www.sierratradingpost.com/d/164_Mens-Long-Underwear-Tops.html

The other thing is going to discount or sporting goods stores and getting the "house brand" stuff on sale. Sports Authority has their "Alpine Design" brand that's generally a good value. I shop at outlet malls and have found some pretty good stuff from the Nike, Adidas, or Reebok outlet stores.

But to answer the original question, This is what I took on my trip a couple of years ago and what I paid:

2 long poly sleeve tees ($7-15 each)
2 short sleeve poly tees ($12 for a Nike poly tee on sale and $30 for an Under Armour tee with my school logo)
Fleece jacket ($50) - although a fleece shirt would do.
Waterproof membrane rain jacket ($50).
Waterproof pants ($50).

All told it was less than $200 and I use these clothes on a regular basis at home (great when it's rainy). I also had some hiking pants and a pair of shorts.
Re: Which layers are a must?
November 10, 2009 06:39AM
The ultimate evil in gear: steapandcheap.com It's the instant markdown outlet of backcountryoutlet.com. You download an announcement bar to your desktop, and about every 20-30 minutes they bring up the "deal of the moment". You can check out the inventory from which they draw at bco, and it's random, so it's very much an instant gratification sort of thing. I've gotten COUNTLESS good things from them, service is great, and you have until June. That's actually how i outfitted my dad for Whitney last year: Sierra Designs rain jacket/pants, long sleeve polypro short, hiking pants (I made him buy his own boots). A word of warning, however: SAC can be addicting!

As for layers, I am a technical wool convert. The brand I like the best is Icebreaker, (which luckily, is listed on SAC regularly) and I must have ten different tops right now between short/long sleeve and different weights (thickness of the wool). They are lightweight, comfortable in ANY weather (yes even in heat!), and dry extremely fast in any weather. This stuff is also machine washable/dryer safe. It also doesn't hold onto your stink, unlike all the polypro tops. It's a bit more expensive, but I think worth the cost. I have had friends complain of itching when they are REALLY sensitive to wool, but for the most part the way they treat the garments this complaint is not common.

As for rain gear: the top (jacket) is the more important, IMHO, since keeping your trunk/head warm and dry is going to keep you warm and comfortable. I also am a big fan of the Marmot Precip.

Hope this helps, good luck!

-L smileys with beer
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 10, 2009 06:56AM
I don't contest the value of the outer shell (carry one myself, from North Face). As initial post seemed to be more concerned with cost than weight, it seems that a costly shell may not be best investment. There are many options for a raincoat or for breaking wind. It is just hard to sleep in a rain shell. You can almost live in fleece ( had a daughter who wore same fleece "overall" outfil 24/7 until we pried it off her to launder).



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 10, 2009 06:57AM
Daddy,
Dis what the handler uses:

Hiking: REI Sahara long pants and long sleeve shirt. (and undies)
Darn Tough socks (theses socks RULE the planet)

Sleeping: Lightweight longjohnies top and bottom

Extra stuff: Marmot Precip (heard this before)
Fleece top, Fleece Pants
Winter cap
If you want rain pants (Go-Lite Reed)

That's it. I use this stuff 3+ seasons.

Stay Warm and Dry and Enjoy your trip



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 10, 2009 07:00AM
btw... I wanna c the dog in those womens panties hosies.

Rolling on floor laugh



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 10, 2009 07:05AM
Quote
chick-on
btw... I wanna c the dog in those womens panties hosies.

Rolling on floor laugh

I knew that comment was going to be trouble.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 10, 2009 08:12AM
I want to see the woman that would fit into the same size pantyhose that would fit me.



Old Dude
Re: Which layers are a must?
November 10, 2009 08:33AM
Base Layer for sleeping or emergencies: REI brand, off the clearance rack, midweights top and bottom - about forty bucks
Alternate Base layer for sleeping in colder weather: REI expedition weight top, twenty bucks on clearance rack
Daytime: nylon pants from clearance rack (about twenty bucks) and synthetic T, long or short sleeve (also clearanced at Sport Authority or other big box, five bucks apiece)
Mid/outer layer when it's cold and I need another layer while active: powerstretch fleece (30-40 on clearance rack)
Mid/outer layer: Montbell thermawrap parka (normally 175 retail, picked up for 75 used online) or Marmot light down jacket (most expensive at 120 on 30% discount at REI) - neither of these weighs much but they are quite warm especially under:
Windbreaker: Marmot, 3-4 oz, on sale at Sierra Trading Post for thirty bucks, normally 60-70.

I have also picked up 400-500 dollars worth of clothing (street and/or hiking, much of the above was from there) at Sierra Trading Post for 250 - you sign up and get 60% coupons in your email, combine it with ongoing sales, and there you are.

All of these items were purchased as I went along, whenever I ran across them. I also have a rain shell that I rarely use. Most often on a chilly day, I am in the T and windbreaker to hike, and when I stop the parka or jacket comes out. It has to be in the 40s consistently all day while hiking in shaded regions for the powerstretch to come out. In rain most often I use a poncho (driducks, cheap and light) for trail walking. In the evening when I know we're stopped for the night I use a wet wipe to "bathe" and change into clean socks, base layer, then add the nylon pants and jacket or windbreaker to lounge around camp. In the morning it's back into the day clothes and we're off. On longer trips I heat a little extra water each morning to rinse the last used pair of underwear and leave them to dry on the pack. Socks get rinsed in cold, wrung out and hung from the pack, to become the clean pair the next night. On cold nights I put the dirty socks on over the clean for warmth. I also have cheap fleece pants (Walmart) and rain pants (on sale at REI) for those shoulder season trips - rain pants are an excellent warm layer and rain is more likely to be significant in shoulder seasons anyway.

Obvious that I went high tech on the jacket - those can be cheap and bulky, or expensive and light, just like sleeping bags. But I don't go out in the depths of winter and I don't need six inches of down on my jacket. In June, on Tioga Pass, I would not even take all these layers - I'd go with the poncho, powerstretch and windbreaker for a day hike, and with the base layer, powerstretch, jacket, windbreaker and poncho for a backpacking trip, because the longer you are out there, the more likely the weather will change. In June there will still be snow patches at elevation and it will still be spring. Nights can dip into the low 30s all year at elevation. In late September I start to take more layers and have a heavier pack. I'm also more likely to hike in a light baselayer with heavier pants and to take fleece pants for sleeping in. Last weekend I slept in a midweight plus expedition weight top, fleece pants, two pairs of socks and was quite happy I had them. We woke to ice on the lake...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/10/2009 08:43AM by AlmostThere.
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 10, 2009 09:39AM
You don't have to spend that much, and you don't even necessarily have to go "name brand" with any of the big-name outdoor companies. You can often find decent technical fabric clothing at Wal-Mart, Target, etc. They may not be the nicest looking and the brand names may not give you "trail cred" but there's certainly nothing wrong with a generic long sleeve poly tee.

I've have mixed results with some of the stuff I've gotten from Sierra Trading Post. The well-known brands are certainly great, but I've also had some of the bargain bin base layers made with synthetic materials that pills like crazy. It'll definitely work to keep you dry. I remember hiking (in the snow) up Upper Yosemite Fall in a shirt I bought for $7 (plus an Under Armour T-shirt over that) and I stayed pretty dry. Sometimes I've even had some brand names that didn't work too well. I bought these shirts from Terrarmar, where the thread used was stiff and I was itching like you wouldn't believe where the seams rubbed against my skin. I have a feeling that's why STP got them at closeout.

I've found some great deals at The North Face Outlet in Berkeley. They have a few outlet stores around the country, but I think the current owners (VF) keep around the Berkeley store because that used to be their headquarters years ago. When they have additional sales it can get crazy, but the big events are the somewhat randomly timed sample sales. The only problem is that pretty much everything is "medium" sized although it's a little bit odd what's considered "medium" sometimes. I've bought a boatload of stuff there where "medium" seemed to be generously sized enough for me (who generally wears men's large). The other thing I haven't seen in a while is Mountain Hardwear's warehouse sale. They used to run it out of their small warehouse at their headquarters in Richmond, CA near where Costco is. They've since moved their headquarters (to a different part of Richmond) and I'm not sure if they still run them.

Another place I head for is Sports Basement in the Presidio of San Francisco, although they have other stores. They seem to get closeouts and overstocks. They also have clearance racks where some of the deals they had were crazy. Then what I do on top of that is use my 10% AAA discount. I recently got a pair of Gore-Tex pants for $50 (minus the AAA discount) although that was just purely chance that I noticed it. There's also Wilderness Exchange in Berkeley. They also get a lot of overstock as well as some brands that I've barely heard of.

Sometimes the best stuff can be found at off-price stores. I've seen Patagonia Capilene at a Ross store, but that's rare. I've got a quarter-zip mid-weight mock long-sleeve that would have been around $50, but I bought for under $20. It's worth every penny given how comfortable it is and how it stays looking so new. I found that a lot of the poorer made fabrics tend to pill or develop runs.
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 10, 2009 01:30PM
Bee, Dale, and anybody else using the Marmot Precip:

REI reviews regarding the waterproof feature are all over the map. Some say it does not do a good job at all in moderate to heavy rain, that it leaks at seams and is especially poor at the hood. If I'm going to spend $100. for an outer shell it better hold up in a strong rain storm. I value opinions here from people I'm more familiar with more than I do at REI reviews so I would like you to expand your comments on this jacket in respect to rain storm performance. Thanks in advance.

Jim
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 10, 2009 02:11PM
Quote
tomdisco
Bee, Dale, and anybody else using the Marmot Precip:

REI reviews regarding the waterproof feature are all over the map. Some say it does not do a good job at all in moderate to heavy rain, that it leaks at seams and is especially poor at the hood. If I'm going to spend $100. for an outer shell it better hold up in a strong rain storm. I value opinions here from people I'm more familiar with more than I do at REI reviews so I would like you to expand your comments on this jacket in respect to rain storm performance. Thanks in advance.

The problem may not be the design or materials. These jackets are made in many different countries and different factories - by different workers. There's bound to be quality differences where the seams are properly sealed or not.

I would say a similar jacket (waterproof and unlined) is the North Face Venture jacket. It can be had at a similar price to the Marmot PreCip. All the major outdoor clothing manufacturers have something similar. There really is nothing terribly special about the materials that go into a Marmot jacket. They've got a trademark name (PreCip) where they just have their manufacturing contractors use an off-the-shelf fabric/membrane from a company like Toray and attach their own proprietary name to it. TNF, Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia, etc all do the same thing. Sometimes a company like Toray might do a special pattern on the white side (TNF Hyvent DT has little squares), but it's essentially their material.
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 10, 2009 03:42PM
Jim,
Yeah, a friend of mine hates the Precip. He is ubber picky though... so I was trying to prove him wrong
and I saw the same reviews you did. I can only tell you that I am very very happy with it.
I've walked in the rain and snow with it a number of times and have been very pleased. It's pretty light
and if you're not hiking uphill then you can keep dry. Once you start exerting alot of energy I don't
care what you got on... you're gonna get wet from perspiration. Depending on when you go you can
definitely get away without anything but a very very light windbreaker in Yosemite.
I probably end up using it about 10% of the time... and then mostly only for wind.
All that being said the Precip I know has changed and like y_p_w is probably manufactured in different
places so bad reviews may be due to that.

I mainly got this due to it's light-weight and carry it all the time now instead of taking a wind breaker OR
rain jacket depending on the weather. For me it was worth the money.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Which layers are a must?
November 10, 2009 05:53PM
Lots of great answers. If I was to condense it down, I am getting the impression that the answer is, don't skip any layers and just go cheap. I think that could work for me.
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 10, 2009 07:05PM
TrailDad,

You will figure your own method out like everyone else.

I spent more money on key items like a precip, and much less on items such as Target bought polyester base layers, or special on sale Sport Basement Columbia long sleeve button up shirt.

The key is layers and staying warm. Over time, I began to choose cheap lightweight stuff. One hopes to choose wisely what to take depending on that particular trip conditions.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/10/2009 07:08PM by Catalonian Burro.
Re: Which layers are a must?
November 10, 2009 11:02PM
Yes I am working on figuring things out now. A complete set of clothes can be had for around $250 on the Sports Authority web site. I can wear my PVC rain suit. It keeps out all rain, it just doesn't do a good job letting sweat out. There are ways to avoid the rain. I want to be sure I don't soak my clothes with sweat and end up cold for the week. I think I will start with the base layer and work up from there.
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 11, 2009 06:30AM
"Which layers are a must?"

Consider the following less common definitions of "must":

must
2–noun
new wine; the unfermented juice as pressed from the grape or other fruit.
3–noun
mold; moldiness; mustiness: a castle harboring the must of centuries.

Short of a tropical deluge, I prefer rain wet to sweat wet.

Walking slowly enough to reduce sweating helps somewhat.

It takes some self control not to put on too many layers prior to exercise.

Finally, wasn't there a "Myth Buster" episode on getting wet during rain where
they showed that walking quickly or running resulted in getting wetter than slower walking?

More validation for those of us that move like glaciers.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 11, 2009 07:53AM
Quote
traildad
Yes I am working on figuring things out now. A complete set of clothes can be had for around $250 on the Sports Authority web site. I can wear my PVC rain suit. It keeps out all rain, it just doesn't do a good job letting sweat out. There are ways to avoid the rain. I want to be sure I don't soak my clothes with sweat and end up cold for the week. I think I will start with the base layer and work up from there.

It might sound a bit pricey to be buying clothes specifically for hiking/backpacking. I sort of justify the expense by actually wearing these clothes when I'm closer to home. A decent base layer can keep me warm/dry in cold and/or rainy conditions at home. They work fine at a football game in cold conditions. Of course there are items that I bought and either never used or barely used. The thinner rain pants have been great, but the ones more suitable for snow conditions have more or less sat in the closet.

I think not sacrificing on base layers is important because there's always a risk of hypothermia. At the very least you probably don't want to be miserable for several nights feeling cold and clammy.
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 11, 2009 08:03AM
Having a dry set of a base layer to change into after stopping for the day is a must especially in the early spring, late fall, and winter when the air temp is below 60,50,40,and even 30 at the time the sun goes down. It can be very cold but with a dry base layer comfort is close.



Old Dude
Re: Which layers are a must?
November 11, 2009 09:08AM
If I were caught out with a minimal set of layers, I would hike wet, get to camp, pitch the tarp, and change into dry clothes then put on the rain gear. Then I would build a fire, start boiling water on the stove and proceed to get rehydrated and carb'd up so my body would stay warm through the night. If the clothes don't dry by morning they go back on damp and I hike in them while the night clothes stay dry. Wool socks still wick and keep you warm while damp (not soaking, but damp). I don't like Goretex in my boots because I'd much rather be damp than soaked.

Some people think putting the clothes in the bag with you at night will dry them - it probably works if they aren't drenched. Wringing them out and hanging them near a fire (if it's stopped raining) helps more.

So my absolute MUST would be a midweight base (I'm usually cold, being a girl) and extra socks, and the clothes on my back, plus a rain poncho or rain pants/shell. Extra layers are for comfort. Of course, when backpacking for leisure, I'm all about comfort. In winter another warm layer becomes a must.
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 11, 2009 11:24AM
Quote
AlmostThere
Some people think putting the clothes in the bag with you at night will dry them - it probably works if they aren't drenched. Wringing them out and hanging them near a fire (if it's stopped raining) helps more.

Heavily damp clothes generally need to be exposed to air to dry properly. If it's cotton then you might need wind to help it out.

Polyester really does dry quickly. Last night I machine washed a long-sleeve tee and hung it to dry in the closet. It had the advantage that the spin cycle made it nearly dry by itself and it was probably bone dry within a couple of hours hung in an area without a lot of air circulation.
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 11, 2009 12:00PM
Quote
AlmostThere
Some people think putting the clothes in the bag with you at night will dry them - it probably works if they aren't drenched.

I personally wouldn't do this because I'm obsessed with being comfortable at night (I don't mind being somewhat uncomfortable during the day as long as I know that I can be warm & dry when I go to bed.) This makes me somewhat anal about keeping my sleeping gear dry. The damper the bag is, the heavier it will be and less loft it will have (usually I use a down bag, so of course this is less of an issue if you go with synthetic).
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 11, 2009 12:38PM
On the subject of fabrics, anyone have an idea what the differences are among the following types of fabrics (besides what Y_P_W has already written on this thread):
polypropylene
polyester
rayon
dacron
acetate
acrylic
nylon

I have heard that "synthetic fleece" is made from recycled plastic bottles (presumably PET) is this correct?



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 11, 2009 12:57PM
Quote
Frank Furter
On the subject of fabrics, anyone have an idea what the differences are among the following types of fabrics (besides what Y_P_W has already written on this thread):
polypropylene
polyester
rayon
dacron
acetate
acrylic
nylon

I have heard that "synthetic fleece" is made from recycled plastic bottles (presumably PET) is this correct?

Let's see what I remember (or what I can look up):

polypropylene - plastic material commonly used for food containers. Fibers used for fabrics tend to be a bit scratchy. It does insult better than most synthetic fabrics, but comfort seems to be an issue. Holding onto body odors seems to be a big problem.

polyester - plastic material used for a bunch of things. Mylar sheets are polyester. Some water/drink bottles are PET - another type of polyester. Found from anything from synthetic fleece material to almost cotton like fabrics. There are some polyester fabrics that are extremely soft to the touch and very, very comfortable. I particularly like Patagonia's Capilene material. They use some sort of special weave and surface treatment that makes their mid-weight material really nice against the skin.

rayon - semi-synthetic material material made from cellulose - primarily wood. It's only made as a fiber. Apparently not a terribly good insulator. Might be called something else like viscose.

dacron - I'm sure that's a brand name of a particular type of polyester material.

acetate - could mean a variety of things.

acrylic - another plastic material. As a fiber it's coarse and somewhat like wool.

nylon - yet another plastic material. I've seen solid nylon before, and it's rather soft. As a fabric it has some pretty good properties, but the one thing I recall is that it can absorb up to 10% of its weight in water. Most other plastic materials used for fabrics absorb zero water into the core material. Most plastics can absorb water between the fibers, but not in them.
Re: Which layers are a must?
November 11, 2009 01:08PM
And, of course, wool. Which is warm when damp, tends to be less funky, but for my purposes must be high quality to not make me ITCH like crazy, so unless I find some Patagonia or Icebreakers in a thrift store it's a little out of my reach. I do my best to get wool or wool blend socks, which is the one area I refuse to cheap out - it really does make a huge difference having socks you like. Thorlos, Bridgedale, and the REI merino hikers are my usual. Costco also has some decent merino socks.

Synthetics are a great starter for the cheap hike-a-holic but tend to get funky and stay that way. Washing with a cup of white vinegar will help a lot. (No, you don't smell like an easter egg after.) I have a capilene, polypro and lots of polyester, all quite serviceable.
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 11, 2009 03:59PM
Why can some wool now be washed?
See below:
<http://www.kswpa.com/woolprocess.htm#3>;

Several chemical finishes may be applied to wool, depending on their end use. Products labeled SUPERWASH , a trademark owned by The Wool Bureau, Inc. are 100% wool that can be machine-washed (using ordinary laundry detergent) and machine-dried. The process that qualifies SUPERWASH certification is a mild chemical treatment applied to the fiber to form a permanent microscopic film of resin which spreads evenly over the fiber surface, coating the scales of the wool fiber. The finish reduces friction and fiber entanglement and eliminates felting shrinkage that usually occurs if wool garments are machine-washed and dried. Wool can also be treated chemically to make it highly resistant to moths, stains, moisture and fire.

merino wool is reportedly the best wool fiber (more lanolin, longer fibers, less itchiness)



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
November 11, 2009 05:45PM
Quote
AlmostThere
Synthetics are a great starter for the cheap hike-a-holic but tend to get funky and stay that way. Washing with a cup of white vinegar will help a lot. (No, you don't smell like an easter egg after.) I have a capilene, polypro and lots of polyester, all quite serviceable.

Many of the newer synthetic fabrics contain silver compounds for its anti-stink properties. It kills bacteria and the reduction in bacterial populations is supposed to reduce human body odors that are retained by the fabric. A host of outdoor clothing companies are using silver nanoparticle treatments. A lot of them are labeled as "anti odor". It's a bit controversial too, as that means silver is being released into the waste water which may kill useful bacteria or be toxic to fish. Samsung actually produces a washing machine that's designed to release silver into the wash to kill microbes and leave a residual antimicrobial finish.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_compounds#Clothing

I remember buying a couple Champion "Double Dry Cotton" 100% cotton tees. It was supposed to have some sort of special surface treatment that they called "wicking windows" that was developed by Cotton Inc (the industry group that does all those cotton promotional commercials). They certainly felt like cotton and they might have dried a little bit faster than regular cotton. They didn't insulate better than dry cotton and didn't air dry overnight like polyester. When it got soaked in the wash I'd see the interior side sort of soak preferentially in this noticeable 1mm checkerboard pattern until it got completely soaked. They definitely did something to it that was more than just regular cotton fabric.

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Frank Furter
merino wool is reportedly the best wool fiber (more lanolin, longer fibers, less itchiness)

Cashmere. Anyone want to pay $125 for a long-sleeve cashmere tee?

http://www.waldokelly.com/men/1199687839/
avatar Re: Which layers are a must?
December 03, 2009 10:46PM
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AlmostThere
Synthetics are a great starter for the cheap hike-a-holic but tend to get funky and stay that way. Washing with a cup of white vinegar will help a lot. (No, you don't smell like an easter egg after.) I have a capilene, polypro and lots of polyester, all quite serviceable.

Just a note. The latest versions of Capilene from Patagonia aren't what I remembered. Before the had the lightweight, midweight, and heavy weight. The lightweight was a silk-like polyester. The midweight is what I've got. I never saw any heavy weight. The weave was patterned one way on the outside and sort of dimpled on the inside. The newest versions come in 1 to 4 to reflect the insulating value. It just doesn't look the same or feel the same. They've got odor control now and maybe the weave dries faster. However - it just doesn't seem to have the soft feel that made it so nice to wear.
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