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kmehrtens

Smartwool vs. Capilene

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I am sure that this topic has already been debated, but I can't seem to find it. I am going to Rainier this summer and need to decide between the two for a base layer for both uppers & bottoms. I like the idea of wool, since it still warms when wet and does stink as quick. But I like the synthetic material because it dries quickly.

 

What is everyone's opinion?

 

The next question is what weight.

Capilene 1, 2 or 3?

Smartwool Micro, Lightweight, Midweight?

 

 

Thanks

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either way ok. no one way is best for all, only what works for you.

 

what works for me is a synthetic t shirt, synthetic long sleeve shirt (like a pata R1), windshirt, and lw puffy and a goertex jacket for the nasty times. Never used the swartwool due to cost.

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My personal experience with Merino Wool base layers is that they are comfortable, less funky smelling, but take way too long to dry. I hardly ever use my wool stuff climbing anymore, and stick to my Capilene. For summer, I like the thinest variety in white or light grey for sunny weather, and like Genepires, layer over it. In winter, I will go for Capilene 3 or R-1 hoody for baselayer. Hope that helps, but either one should work just fine.

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Thanks for the opinions. It sounds like the capilene is the way to go. And maybe a 1 or 2 weight. Now I just need to find them on sale somewhere.

 

I still interested to hear other opinions.

Thanks.

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I go with the crowd that synthetic is the way to go for active use in summer. Better breathability and drying.

 

That being said, I do love the feel of wool against skin for cooler weather. It just has a nice fuzziness in contrast to the silkiness of capilene. I pack it as an extra layer during summer if I think I might get chilled. Nothing like pulling the woolies over the sticky legs and climbing into a down bag! It probably adds 5-10 degrees of warmth.

Edited by curtveld

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For long underwear or pants I like modern synthetic materials but for years we climbed in army surplus wool pants and they worked just fine. For a tee shirt I've always worn cotton. I like a buttoned short sleeve shirt as a tee shirt when I'm going to be hiking with a pack. I work hard not to overdress and overheat and, when it does get wet, I may dry it out by taking it off and wearing it over a sweater at a rest break or camp. I don't like the feel of synthetics, I like having a breast pocket for a map or food bar, and the cotton shirt tail works better to wipe my glasses.

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