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alakso

Windproof Mid layers

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I've been considering getting the MH Windstopper tech jacket and vest to use as a mid layer. But a Mountaineering friend of mine has mentioned that these pieces of gear are a tad heavy.

 

Any recommendations on windproof mid layers for Mountaineering?

 

One of the things I like about the above mentioned MH mid layers is the pit zips for regulating temps. during strenuous activities.

 

I also love wool and have used wool as a mid layer (sweater) and shell (jacket and pants) when I used to hunt. I've been looking at wool as a base and mid layer for Mountaineering use. Would a windproof wool mid layer breath enough for strenuous activities like Mountaineering?

 

Everyones thoughts are greatly appreciated! alakso

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i'm still tuning my layers as well but here's me .02 .

 

Wool works great for a base layer, but i haven't really seen windproof wool stuff for mid-layers? It does seem a bit beefy though. Most people I know have kind of moved away from fleece for. It's a heavy and doesn't compact well compared to down/primaloft. It also seems easier/lighter/more compact/and more flexible to get an insulating layer of some sort and lightweight windshirt (they're down to 3 or 4 oz). For cool temps I often break out a slightly heaver windshirt (MH Transition) or a softshell as a mid/outer layer.

 

The windproof fleece I have almost never leaves seattle anymore. To warm for strenuous stuff, but not as a warm as a belay jacket for standing-around and shivering.

 

Not to sound like a salesman, but take a look at the Pro Mountain Sports website. Jim's got a good discussion of his take on a lightweight versatile layering system entails.

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windproof mid layers for Mountaineering?

Don't get one. Windproof fleece stuff is heavier, takes longer to dry, and doesn't transfer moisture nearly as well.

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Thanks selkirk for the info! I appreciate it very much my friend.

 

An online Mountaineering friend of mine has also told me the same things about fleece vs. lightweight insulating Mid layer. I'll check out the info you suggested.

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I've found vests and pullovers with the newer lightweight synthetic materials such as primaloft or polarguard to be almost the perfect windproof midlayer. When things warm up a bit they make a pretty good outer layer as well. I personally use a Patagonia Puffball vest or a Micropuff pullover but there are many choices out there.

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I'd have to vote for the Marmot DriClime windshirt as the best mid-layer wind protection around. Not only does it break the wind and add some warmth, but it's slick, so it doesn't bind on anything you wear over it. I've worn the shirt and pants under my Nomex flight suit for hoist work in some really cold conditions, and it works great.

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I'd have to vote for the Marmot DriClime windshirt as the best mid-layer wind protection around. ... I've worn the shirt and pants under my Nomex flight suit for hoist work in some really cold conditions, and it works great.

 

I'm sure Marmot DriClime like everything else is a synthetic material. When we fly we are strictly to wear Nomex material. Nomex flight suit with Nomex long underwear (wool is also acceptable). It would be nice to wear all the great climbing cloths but I would hate to have it go up in flames on me and/or melt to my skin. I keep all my climbing cloths in my pack when flying until I need it.

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I don't disagree with you--the only time I have worn the DriClime is when I'm actually riding the hoist in the winter. It does cut the wind, however, which is why I mentioned it here.

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Good point.

We don't hoist but use Short Haul Operations. The Nomex underwear actually works well. If it wasn't for the fire issue, synthetic definitely would be the way to go.

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I guess it's risk/benefit thing--I'd rather not be wearing any synthetics but in that situation, it's been worth it. It's the same as flying to a water/ice rescue in a wetsuit or drysuit--very bad if something happens on the way, but not something you can get into standing on the skid over the victim.

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Perhaps wool worn next to the skin might mitigate the burns from a synthetic wind shirt should it catch fire. I have seen old timers who get away with wearing cotton Carharts outdoors in the wet Northwest by coating them with Scotchguard. I wouldn't want to do any strenuous climbing in Carharts though . . .

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Thanks everyone for your thoughts and info. I now see the error of my thinking! After reading everyones posts and reading up on soft shells at Andy Kirkpatrick's psychovertical.com website I've learned quite a lot about mid layers and soft shells. As an Indian Guide here in Maine, USA I've used wool as a soft shell system because it's quiet in the woods, insulates when wet, and breathes really well. So the Paradime shift from "layering" and "Hard Shells" to "soft shell" wasn't that big. I've also learned that the Marmot DriClime windshirt is perfect as a soft shell. The only problem I've encountered is that Marmot doesn't offer the DriClime windshirt with a hood anymore, BUMMER! And IMHO for a soft shell to replace layering and hard shells 90% of the time it must have a hood. So I'm searching for a soft shell with a hood and have been considering garments with Schoeller WB-400 or DrySkin as a fabric.

 

Beyond Fleece makes some nice garments with these fabrics that can be custom made with a hood.

http://www.beyondfleece.com/customize/cold_fusion_mens_soft_shell_jacket/

http://www.beyondfleece.com/customize/cold_play_mens_soft_shell_jacket/

 

I've also been checking out the Paramo Fuera Smock:

http://www.paramo.co.uk/UK/acatalog/FueraSmock-15-163.html

 

I'm also checking out the Rab trail smock, the Montane Duality Smock, and some Montbell and Arcteryx soft shell stuff.

 

For base laers I have a Patagonia Capilene Union suit which I love! But Patagonia isn't making this anymore and mine is 15 years old and showing it's age.

 

I'm going to try a Merino wool base layer from Ice Breaker.

http://www.icebreakernz.com/our-clothing/DisplayProduct.aspx?p=157&c=125

 

I'm also considering some Ibex or Smartwool base layer garments.

 

For Insulation I really like Nunatak's stuff:

These Jackets/Parkas and Pants/Bibs are available with the following fabrics:

http://www.nunatakusa.com/Down_Jackets_Sleeping_Bags_Bibs_Fabrics.htm

 

Nunatak Skaha Plus Hoodie sweater:

http://www.nunatakusa.com/down_sweater_skaha_hoodie.html

Nunatak Mountain Jacket:

http://www.nunatakusa.com/Down_Jacket_Kobuk.htm

Nunatak Mountain Pants:

http://www.nunatakusa.com/Down_Pants_Kobuk.htm

Nunatak Expedition Torre Parka:

http://www.nunatakusa.com/Down_Torre_Parka.htm

Nunatak Expedition Torre Bibs:

http://www.nunatakusa.com/Down_Bibs_Mountain_Bibs.htm

 

For a waterproof shell for really nasty wet weather use like in Alaska I'm leaning hard towards an eVent Parka like the Rab eVent Latok Guide Jacket.

http://www.rab.uk.com/products_extreme_latokgu.html

 

I received a MH Exposure II parka for Christmas but it's a tad heavy and doesn't fit into my clothing Paradime. I'll use it for static conditions in wet weather when weight isn't a concern, i.e. truck camping, fishing, etc..

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I have knock-off copy of the MH Tech jacket by Campmor. I have worn it on many climbs both winter and spring (-20F to +40 F). Did Mt. Hood in May during white out condition to the top 2 years ago with it. Absolutely no problems and only about $70. cool.gif

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