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Thread: Base Layer

  1. #1

    Default Base Layer

    For years I have used poly pro and polyester for a base layer. I even have some of the under-armor stuff but haven't been real impressed with its ability to wick. Personally I think that the UA stuff is over-rated AND over-priced. I am considering trying either some Patagonia stuff (hate to because they are anti-hunters) or a base layer from another retailer made from merino wool. I need something that is going to wick exceptionally well, dry quickly AND keep me warm. Any suggestions?

    Also, what layering techniques work best for you?

  2. #2
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Have you been using the tight fitting UA or one of the looser fitting style? I can't stand the tight junk but I have found a couple cheap poly shirts that work for me. You could also experiment with the smartwool base layer shirts.

  3. #3
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I also think that UA is over rated. I have bought marino wool and poly pro shirts at Sportsman's Warehouse that work much better than my UA stuff. I have found tons of poly pro at Value Village and even at the Salvation Army..garage sales are good places too. I have never been able to tell the performance difference between cheap polypro and expensive stuff.

  4. #4
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    When I get a few more coins together I want to try Smart Wool base layers.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  5. #5

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    I dont like UA either and have several of each loose/cold/and heat gear stuff. The tight stuff is just plain uncomfortable and I havent seen any of it work any better than regular poly pro, capilene, or any of the synthetic combo's I have bought from Cabelas over the years. Whatevr you buy as long as it wicks well, drys quickly and doesn't stink too bad, its done its job.

  6. #6
    Member oakman's Avatar
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    REI outlet has a discount on their capilene long underwear. It is normally 40 something and it is now 30 something. Free delivery to the Anchorage store. The only color that is on discount is brown. I have usually used the level 2, but I am going on a late hunt this year and decided to get the 3 for a little extra warmth.

  7. #7
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaCub View Post
    I dont like UA either and have several of each loose/cold/and heat gear stuff. The tight stuff is just plain uncomfortable and I havent seen any of it work any better than regular poly pro, capilene, or any of the synthetic combo's I have bought from Cabelas over the years. Whatevr you buy as long as it wicks well, drys quickly and doesn't stink too bad, its done its job.
    Being the gear junkie that I am I actually wrote UA back in 05 about the bennefits of their tight fitting clothing. Alot of the guys and girls I was stationed with in Iraq really liked the tight fitting shirts but the Group commander found them shall we say too "revealing". In their website they list one of the bennefits as "compression". I wrote and asked them if they could forward me any studies they had performed to show that "compression" offered some sort of a bennefit so I would have a decent argument for why my coworkers, who worked outside 10-20 hours per day, should be allowed to continue using the shirts. UA responded quickly but to my "surprise" there was no such study it was all just a marketing BS behind listing "compression" as a bennefit Luckily by 2006 Duke had come out with their aproved line of loose fitting Dri-Duke 100% poly shirts that cost around $7 and were more comfortable than the UA and met the "commander aproval". I still love those Dri-Duke shirts and you can them in the light tan from AAFES if you are military.

  8. #8
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Capilene

    When I'm active, nothing seems to perform as well as Patagonia's Capilene.
    Best wicking functional base layer for me overall. I watch for sales/discounts, esp end of season. Simms also works well - I wouldn't hesitate to buy their stuff, but it seems less often on sale.

    But merino is very warm. I started buying it for wet/cold steelhead conditions. For those conditions, with long periods without hiking, it's performed well. End of season discounts are widely available from online merchants, many mentioned in the gear threads on this website.

    Good luck.

  9. #9
    Member bigdog's Avatar
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    I really like the Cabelas heavy weight silk long underwear bottom and top... Was thinking about a pair in white, just in case of warm weather and the final approach on a sheep...Just my two cents...

  10. #10
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
    I really like the Cabelas heavy weight silk long underwear bottom and top... Was thinking about a pair in white, just in case of warm weather and the final approach on a sheep...Just my two cents...
    Something about stalking sheep in silk underwear sure does leave the door open for a redneck joke or two

  11. #11
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Cabelas..

    Below is polar tec from Cabelas. Great stuff. Just put polar tec in the search box at Cabelas. They make all kinds of stuff.


    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...+tec&noImage=0
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  12. #12
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    I'll second Capilene.

    Brent

  13. #13

    Default Another vote for Polartec

    I've used this stuff on late season muley hunts out west and it works really well.
    Loving God, Loving People, Loving America--Serving All Three

  14. #14

    Default UA, Smartwool, Capalene

    I've used the UA, Smartwool, and Capelene. Personally, the UA seems to be my favorite for high activity things in warmer (0-20F) weather. It took me awhile to get used to the compression fit, but it's growing on me. It seems like with the UA though, once I get hot, I get super hot and almost need to stop what I'm doing to cool down. I've been using the capelene for 10 years now and it has been really good stuff. I personally like their silk capelene shirts and stretch long sleeve zip turtlenecks. The necks on the capelene's are really tall and great for snowmachining where keeping wind and spin-drift out of the neck is important. The capelene seems to get a strange "funk" smell to it after extended use that I have yet to detect in the UA or Smartwool. The Smartwool is wonderful stuff as well and is my favorite for winter wear. There's something wonderful about wool that feels like cotton. Another great wool base layer is made by WoolPower. It's really pricey, but is top of the line.

  15. #15

    Default

    I have never used merino wool for a base layer. Do you think that it wicks as well as capilene and is it warmer? I have always believed that what you wear next to your base layer is very important in letting the base layer do its job--carrying sweat away from your body where it can evaporate through the next layer. For those of you who wear merino or capilene, what is your next layer comprised of? By the way, thanks to all who have offered their advice.

  16. #16

    Default Wool Wicks

    The Smartwool I use seems to wick better than polypro in my opinion. I just found this on a website concerning wool, polypro and wicking:

    Wicking" is a term used by manufacturers of synthetic clothes to persuade people that they're as good as Merino. They're not. Polypropolene is the most "hyped" product in the world. People actually believe that it "wicks" water away from the skin and keeps you dry. It doesn't. It's a petrochemical derivative developed to try and mimic the properties of Merino. In fact these synthetics have to be treated with hydrophilic/hydrophobic chemicals to boost their performance.
    http://www.querycat.com/faq/5ad19ed6...19edcdcd943d18

    Anyways, after my base layers, I almost always have some sort of fleece that can continue to keep transporting the moisture away from me. If it's really cold, I'll go with another thick layer or go with a down coat followed by a windproof shell. I like to wear vests as well and they really seem to keep the core heat system warm and dry when used with the right layering. Now, on warmer days, I'll just go with the base layer and a camp pant or pullover and call it good. It all depends on the temperature, activity and moisture I'm surrounded by.

  17. #17

    Default

    I looked at WoolPower's web site. The info there and products seem to be top end. A little pricey but if the stuff works to me it is worth it. I have almost zero body fat and as a result, I have a difficult time staying warm. Do you think in wet cold conditions that the merino will be harder to dry out? I am sure it is the ticket for frigid temps, but I am afraid that for the same reason I don't wear wool (hard to dry out in a tent...) that this stuff may not dry as quickly as capilene. Any advice?

  18. #18

    Default

    +1 on the Patagonia capilene. Best stuff out there despite their politics.
    "The days a man spends fishing or spends hunting should not be deducted from the time he's on earth. " Theodore Roosevelt

  19. #19
    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Romo View Post
    +1 on the Patagonia capilene. Best stuff out there despite their politics.
    Any company this ANTI Alaska will never get a dime from me!
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

  20. #20
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Anti Alaska?

    Tell me how they are Anti Alaska. I did not realize this. They don't need my money either if that is the case. What is the deal?
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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