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  1. #1
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    base layers for the skinny and sweaty

    I'm in search of a new lightweight base layer.

    I tour mostly in Washington where it's damp and not that cold, and I seem to run hot, I especially sweat a lot on the way up. For the climb I generally wear a base layer with a BD Alpine Start hoody on top (fantastic jacket for this purpose). I have at times used a thin merino base layer, but I think it's not breathable enough. I also use an ancient Helly Hansen Lifa polypro top which breathes well, will apparently never die, yet may someday kill me as it's stench continues to gain power over the years.

    I've heard good stuff about Patagonia's modern capilene, including their lightest "cool daily" or whatever. But it seems everything Patagonia makes fits me like a garbage bag. I'm 6'2", 170 lbs, and usually try to fit into a medium. Patagonia's limbs are too short and the rest of the garment flaps around.

    So I'm looking for something that fits well and preferably minimizes stink. Can anybody recommend a top with both the fit and fabric I'm looking for? Has HH Lifa improved in any way in the last 20 years?
    that's all i can think of, but i'm sure there's something else...

  2. #2
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    OR echo hoody? Light, but synthetic so will eventually stink I guess. I have similar sizing problems with Patagonia stuff but generally fit in OR.

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  3. #3
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    a merino t shirt is the cheapest wool & won't stink for a base layer, I like a patagonnia R-1soft shell over that
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  4. #4
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    Have you tried the 150 weight Smartwool?
    I got some on sale for around $50
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
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  5. #5
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    I've used 2 different thin merino shirts, I think Icebreaker and some Norwegian brand, both the thinnest available (probably 150), they don't seem to breathe well enough. Smartwool also looks like a rectangle that isn't going to fit that well, though I could be wrong. Icebreaker even suffers from this though at least the arms are long enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    a merino t shirt is the cheapest wool & won't stink for a base layer, I like a patagonnia R-1soft shell over that
    Touring uphill in an R1 seems inconceivable to me, even if it's cold. I wear only an R1 under a shell for average lift skiing around here.

    I have wondered about using a wool t-shirt and my thin softshell for the climb, but it feels like having so little coverage on my arms won't be pleasant, still I should try it.
    that's all i can think of, but i'm sure there's something else...

  6. #6
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    Lots of wool options but the La Sportiva Stratosphere is excellent and won't smell. May be heavier than what you're looking for. Doesn't stink.

  7. #7
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    the R-1 is a soft shell on the thinner side so it breatehs well, works good for me with just a thin wool t-shirt, up here it might be colder but everyone is different

    all the wool ends up full of holes but it does not stink IME
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  8. #8
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    Are you talking about something other than the classic R1 fleece? I never had one with any softshell properties.

    https://www.patagonia.com/product/me...ver/40110.html
    that's all i can think of, but i'm sure there's something else...

  9. #9
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    I think XXX-er is talking about the R1 Techface pieces. I have several of them, and they are nice for skinning when it's blustery and cold. They are a light softshell material with a very short-napped grid fleece backer. They breathe well, but don't wick moisture very effectively, so you need to wear a baselayer next-to-skin with them. Less stretch than the OR Ferrosi garments, but similar weight.

    Take your hat and gloves off to skin, and push your sleeves up above your wrists. Doing those three things will have a bigger impact on how much you sweat on the way up than the precise fabric or weight of your baselayer. Also, unzip your fly in addition to the thigh vents on your pants for more of the "bellows effect."
    Last edited by glademaster; 11-28-2020 at 03:58 PM.
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  10. #10
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    This is the kind of innovation I expect from TGR!

    I often go hatless, but haven't tried bare arms.
    that's all i can think of, but i'm sure there's something else...

  11. #11
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    https://www.patagonia.ca/product/men...ody/83575.html

    This ^^ one, I find it a windproof-ish soft shell on the more breathable side i don't sweat very much wearing it , i like it enough i would buy another one if it got lost

    what you could also try is a soft shell with NO baselayer which I have also tried, seemed to work even in very cold temps like -25 in rogers pass, the puffy goes on as soon as I stopped



    no 2nd amendment in Canada so we don't have the right to bare arms eh
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  12. #12
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    For PNW kind of conditions - fall season around here - I go with a base layer like the hockey players use. Synthetic stuff from Marks Workwear called driWear works well for this. Then I put a stanfield wool henley over that. When stopped, I'll put a windbreaker over top. Same height as you, but 50lbs heavier, so can't speak to torso fit for you though.

  13. #13
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    Get the cheapest long sleeve synthetic dryfit type shirt you can. It's warm here and your priority is wicking/breathability- not warmth. I'm in a similar situation and I prefer fitted long sleeve workout shorts from Eastbay nearly everytime over my nuyarn wool base layer from Trew.

    My skiing baselayers are my gym wear... And my mtb wear as well. Merino is for folks who get cold. Synthetic is for folks who sweat and are always hot.

  14. #14
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    IME merino is no more warm or cold than plastic actualy a thin wool t-shirt works great in hot weathr cuz it doesnt stink which is the biggest reason to use merino

    but wool gets holes if you look at it sideways
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  15. #15
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    https://www.eastbay.com/product/east...s/6858602.html

    This is what I use at 6'3" 190lbs. It's fitted, not compression, and it's $13. Available in a whole bunch of colors. I also buy my compression shorts and 3/4 tights from Eastbay.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    IME merino is no more warm or cold than plastic actualy a thin wool t-shirt works great in hot weathr cuz it doesnt stink which is the biggest reason to use merino

    but wool gets holes if you look at it sideways
    IME wool holds onto moisture like a sponge compared to how quick synthetic shirts evaporate moisture away. BUT synthetic is 1-use, 1-wash because of stank, while you can wear wool baselayers multiple times between washes. I use a nuyarn t-shirt and a couple pendleton button downs on ski trips to reduce baggage as I can wear them on the hill and then to dinner multiple times no problem.

  17. #17
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    " No sweat in the arctic " they say and so the trick is to not sweat,

    plastic or wool if its thin i sweat less

    an extra t-shirt is to change at the top is a good idea

    I also take the thinnest merino Tshirts on vaca to hot places and hopefully i stink less
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

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