Lets talk thermals

A place to chat about gear and the philosphy of ultralight. Ultralight bushwalking or backpacking focuses on carrying the lightest and simplest kit. There is still a good focus on safety and skill.
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Lets talk thermals

Postby warnabrother » Wed 24 Jan, 2018 8:18 am

I'm over merino.. I've tried a few and I just don't like them..

So looking for some synthetics that are light and warm.. where to from here ???

Capalene ??

Any suggestions..
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby Zapruda » Wed 24 Jan, 2018 8:37 am

Hey Warnabrother.

For staying warm in camp I think a light fleece pant/top is perfect. They weigh about the same as merino as well and dry a lot faster. Something with a "grid" like the capilene is good.

If its for use while moving I would suggest the Mont silkweight powerdry stuff https://www.mont.com.au/power-dry-silk-weight-l-s-crew-shale. They breath really well and don't get too smelly.
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby warnabrother » Wed 24 Jan, 2018 8:45 am

Hi Zapurda

Yeah, for when moving - and possibly sleeping.. I already have light fleece for around camp..
I'll go take a look at those Mont's,, they look interesting.. just been looking at Bogong and saw them.. Have you used them in close to 0 deg. temps ?
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby Zapruda » Wed 24 Jan, 2018 10:23 am

Yep, I used the top and bottom a couple of times while Ski touring last winter. I used them in conjunction with a light fleece top and softshell pants while moving. They worked fine quite early in the morning with temps around -5c to 0c, I'm guessing. They dried completely by the time I went to bed so I didn't need to change into my merino sleep clothes. I was really impressed.

Anything heavier and I think I would get to hot but YMMV.

They run a bit small as well.
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby johnrs » Wed 24 Jan, 2018 10:52 am

Hi WB
Polypro is good stuff,
But stay away from the extreme budget end of the market.
And a 200 wt (gms/sqm) light fleece goes well on top of a polypro top.
I like to get a model with a zippered neck, a bit obscure but extends the temperature range.
The Sherpa stuff has been fine.
Do not tumble dry.
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby slparker » Wed 24 Jan, 2018 11:57 am

If you mean 'thermals' and not base layer (i.e. to keep you warm) there is a fluffy grid fleece that macpac produce that is some kind of polartec variant. It is the warmest thing in existence and doesn't feel to clammy when working hard. BPL rated it as the best 'moisture transfer' properties of any base.

i can only wear it skiing or genuinely cold weather walking.
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby warnabrother » Wed 24 Jan, 2018 3:13 pm

slparker wrote:If you mean 'thermals' and not base layer (i.e. to keep you warm) there is a fluffy grid fleece that macpac produce that is some kind of polartec variant. It is the warmest thing in existence and doesn't feel to clammy when working hard. BPL rated it as the best 'moisture transfer' properties of any base.

i can only wear it skiing or genuinely cold weather walking.


yes, to keep me warm - are you talking about the Macpac Geothermals ?? I'll take a look at their site..
I am generally not one to feel the cold - shorts all year round, sleep warm and a warm walker..
but as I plan to do more winter walking this year.. i need to do something so I can ditch the merinos..
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby slparker » Wed 24 Jan, 2018 4:32 pm

warnabrother wrote:
slparker wrote:If you mean 'thermals' and not base layer (i.e. to keep you warm) there is a fluffy grid fleece that macpac produce that is some kind of polartec variant. It is the warmest thing in existence and doesn't feel to clammy when working hard. BPL rated it as the best 'moisture transfer' properties of any base.

i can only wear it skiing or genuinely cold weather walking.


yes, to keep me warm - are you talking about the Macpac Geothermals ?? I'll take a look at their site..
I am generally not one to feel the cold - shorts all year round, sleep warm and a warm walker..
but as I plan to do more winter walking this year.. i need to do something so I can ditch the merinos..


mmm... the one I have don't exist on their website now. they had a furry grid on one side and very stretchy smooth fleece on the other
the other macpac base i have is a 'warp' t-shirt made from polartec powergrid - they are like a non-scratchy merino, good in cold weather but better than merino for hot - they have a very fine grid on one side and smooth on the other. i think they are the ducks guts - I use them running/cycling/bushwalking/travel/casual etc - great wicking/drying - they don't look too startrek so OK for travel.

Now on clearance:
https://www.macpac.com.au/clearance/men ... -mens.html

I have some mont and kathmandu powerdry baselayers - equal performance but kathmandu is generally cheaper. good stuff for hot or cold conditions. powerdry gets great ratings for performance by tech geeks but to me feels no different than any other thickish woven thermal. but i could be confused because all the polartec layers are similarly named.

I don't have a baselayer fetish - i use them as t-shirts all year + they are multisports tops.
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby Neo » Wed 24 Jan, 2018 5:10 pm

Top: I like a stripy Kathmandu polypro, also have some Cape brand ones. Haven't tried Capilene yet.

Bottom: Uniqlo heat tech and the extra warm version are good. Didn't like the Kathmandu polypro on my legs (high waist/low crotch).

Outer: use a Uniqlo UL puffy and/or a Helly Hansen fleece, both around 300g. Have also taken Cape fleece trackie-daks for camp.
Aldi thin merino beanie on my head, will get a spare when they come around again.
Have macpac feather booties, they are OK but I should have lashed out on the you-beaut Exped ones.

Wishlist: Montbell Superior down pants

I found merino didn't dry as well as polypro. Remember to shop the sales cycle, at least a two-for $x deal :)
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby warnabrother » Thu 25 Jan, 2018 7:30 am

have managed to find the Macpac Prothermals, but bottoms only..
not a fan of "standard" polypro - the warmth to weight ratio is pretty crappy.. I think I'll go take a good look at the Capilene stuff from "Patagucci" and the Month silky stuff..

bearing in mind this is the ultralight section - any other recommendations ???
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby Stew63 » Thu 25 Jan, 2018 9:12 am

One word: Skinfit - from Austria - that is all.

http://www.skinfit.eu/at/en/productSearch.html
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby Moondog55 » Sat 27 Jan, 2018 3:23 pm

Polartec ThermalPro but OMG it isn't cheap and it is borderline too warm here except for the white season.
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby tom_b » Tue 30 Jan, 2018 12:40 pm

I don't actually take thermals (except in winter). I have long pants which I can tuck into my socks, a down jacket, and a wind vest which keeps me very warm. I only use the down jacket when in at camp.
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby wildwanderer » Tue 30 Jan, 2018 12:45 pm

Peter Storm thermals are excellent. Warm, very durable and are the most effective at wicking sweat/fast dry out of any fabric ive encountered. (which is important when working hard in a cold enviroment because as soon as the activity stops the body cools down and sweat soaked thermals can make for uncomfortable time (to say the least).

Mine are about 10 years old now and still going strong. No idea if they still the same fabric/quality now though.
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby Moondog55 » Tue 06 Feb, 2018 7:54 am

They are and it is but no way would I wear them as a base layer or mid-layer these days
I wore them as a very warm and versatile midlayer for decades until I switched to Polartec 100 to save weight
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby Warin » Sun 25 Mar, 2018 11:44 am

slparker wrote:If you mean 'thermals' and not base layer (i.e. to keep you warm) there is a fluffy grid fleece that macpac produce that is some kind of polartec variant. It is the warmest thing in existence and doesn't feel to clammy when working hard. BPL rated it as the best 'moisture transfer' properties of any base.


Is this the material?
Image
From Outdoor Wilderness frabrics http://www.owfinc.com/Wicking-Polartec- ... ICPDHVYEL/
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby Moondog55 » Sun 25 Mar, 2018 5:33 pm

Looks like my Patagonia Cap 4, now called Thermal weight Used to be called Expedition weight
Malden Mills ??
http://www.millyardage.com/ProductDetai ... tCode=9067
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby Warin » Sun 25 Mar, 2018 5:45 pm

Moondog55 wrote:Malden Mills ??


They make Polartec fabric.
Errr .. out of date ...Maddon went bankrupt November 2001... but they made Polartec.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malden_Mills
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby johnrs » Mon 26 Mar, 2018 9:02 am

And another vote for Peter Storm products!!
I have some 30 year old thermals from them still in hard use.
Think under wetsuits for canyoning and mid winter surfing, snow camping,
originally used above 6000m in the Himalayas.

For everyday use, most polypros
but not the cheap thin stuff from Kathmandu.
Sherpa is a good mid price brand.
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby Moondog55 » Mon 26 Mar, 2018 9:15 am

Malden Mills came back as an employee owned business under a new name but it was/is still a Malden developed product
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby Moondog55 » Mon 26 Mar, 2018 9:28 am

Separating base layers from warm layers can be a tricky one, my experience is mixed but generally for really hard constant active use I prefer my base layers to be as light and as thin as possible but for stop start stuff like lift skiing I really like my Expedition weight Cap 4, at least for my torso.
My Cap 4 over my UL base layers is a very warm combination that is more breathable than 100 weight fleece, not as warm but the moisture from activity moves away much faster.
I haven't yet used or made one of the new active insulation garments but they do seem to be the best compromise between warmth and getting rid of moisture
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby slparker » Thu 12 Apr, 2018 12:14 pm

warnabrother wrote:have managed to find the Macpac Prothermals, but bottoms only..
not a fan of "standard" polypro - the warmth to weight ratio is pretty crappy.. I think I'll go take a good look at the Capilene stuff from "Patagucci" and the Month silky stuff..

bearing in mind this is the ultralight section - any other recommendations ???


Warin wrote:Is this the material?
Image
From Outdoor Wilderness frabrics http://www.owfinc.com/Wicking-Polartec- ... ICPDHVYEL/


Took me a while to reply...

Executive summary of below:
1. Polartec Powerdry - good for warm to hot weather and aerobic base in cool-cold weather, transports sweat and liquid water very efficiently available form kathmandu at a reasonable price
2. polartec power grid (photo 1 - green fabric)- warmer layer than above good for cool-warm weather, feels less clammy against the skin, does not transport liquid water as well but transports water vapour well, available (relatively) cheaply from macpac at time of writing.
3. polartec power grid high efficiency (photo 2 red fabric) - more like a lightweight fleece, I am not aware of any supplier, currently, the same as patagonia cap 4 = expensive.

All three are good 'wicking' layers: from 1-3.


The photo above Looks like powergrid not powergrid HE.


The fabric that I was writing about in the thread above is (i think that the nomenclature is right) polartec power grid high efficiency and looks like the photo below. You cannot see it but there are little pillows of fleece. It is very warm and not very wind resistant so that you can dump heat very quickly. I have only worn it in the snow as it is very warm.

Another less fluffy variant is 'power grid' which is still available on the macpac website in (I think the 'warp' thermal) which feels like a non synthetic and is a great base layer. This looks the photo above.

Another variant is 'powerdry' which is available cheaply from kathmandu, more expensively from Mont, in a t-shirt, long sleeve and zip up collar.

All three are a 'bi-component' knit but, so far as i understand the physics, powerdry is the best fabric in existence for removing liquid water from the skin and transferring it away under thermal pressure from the body - therefore it is great as an active base layer under a windshirt or similar for highly aerobic stop-start activities.

The powergrid fleeces remove vapourised water effectively from the skin surface and are very warm but less efficient at keeping the wearer dry.

In practice, I have worn the powerdry tops in warm and cold weather, cycling, running and bushwalking and it does what it says on the tin and is relatively inexpensive.

The grid layer is warm and feels less 'syntheticy' i.e. closer to merino or cotton . OK in warm weather but a little hot in hot weather (uniqlo 'airism' i.e. ultra lightweight polyester knit is my go-to in really hot weather)

The grid HE is really a warm thermal for cold climate only in my opinion. Great as a static layer or stop start in cold conditions. In the american military PCU system it is suggested as as a mid-layer.

I am not a textile scientist or a super hardcore bushwalker but i feel the cold, sweat a lot and exercise daily in cold and hot climates so this is what works for me.

here is anothe rlink:
https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/83803/
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polartec powergrid HE.jpg
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby Moondog55 » Tue 17 Apr, 2018 7:22 am

That looks like a heavier version [ there are several] of my own Cap4 but it could be a lightweight version of R1 Regulator fleece
Patagonias version is interesting as some people can wear it directly against the skin in very cold weather but I sweat so much I overwhelm it; so I wear it as a hard-work mid-layer
Postage from the USA is expensive but I have been buying my fleece from here
http://www.millyardage.com/default.asp
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby wayno » Tue 17 Apr, 2018 7:40 am

thin polypropylene if you need thermals, if you need anything warmer than you need another layer, having a thick baelayer next to your skin just accumulates sweat, no matter how much the sales pitchs says it will get rid of sweat
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby Lamont » Mon 04 Jun, 2018 5:34 pm

"Hey Warnabrother.
For staying warm in camp I think a light fleece pant/top is perfect. They weigh about the same as merino as well and dry a lot faster. Something with a "grid" like the capilene is good.
If its for use while moving I would suggest the Mont silkweight powerdry stuff https://www.mont.com.au/power-dry-silk- ... crew-shale. They breath (sic) really well and don't get too smelly."

I read this, thanks Zapruda/S (you bugger, all your suggestions cause me to spend money), and wanted to get this Mont shirt for cold weather-ACTIVE to try (ha) and avoid wetting out and chilling which I experienced a bit lately. But trying it on without ordering and paying for several to get the right size was going to be a pain in the khyber. So I looked for an equivalent and there is a Patagonia near me, so I settled on what seemed the equivalent-the Cap Lightweight (the Cap LW (107gms in L ) is lighter than the Mont I believe).
I have been using an Airism Mesh T shirt under a Thermal Weight Cap lately in the coldish weather we've been having. Does get damp, but drying time is about 20 minutes after stopping. So as I now have both, I thought I would organise a comparison.
My hypothesis from appearances, was that they would work equally. I felt I just got stooged!
That the Uniqlo was equal and for much cheaper. Felt like Curly after Mo poked him in the eyes.
In a comparison of the Uniqlo Airism Mesh ($15)to the Cap LW ($59) is they weigh the same, almost identical. They almost look the same-fine grid vs mesh- and air from mouth passes thru' the Uniqlo far easier. Poly 94% elastane 6% on both I believe.
I ,1-steeped both shirts in a bucket of water 2-spun them together in the Washing machine and am 3-drying them on a clothes horse-all three identical conditions-no heating in the middle of a cold room. It gets interesting. They are both losing roughly the same amount of water (on scales) but the Pat LW feels much, much drier and not anywhere near as cold to the touch-cheeks and lips. The water is evaporating from the PLW equally -collar middle and hem, not the Uniqlo-hem and collar are far wetter-it is "draining" to the lower spots, the middle is drier.
So what use is this?-if you want a budget baselayer (Tshirt only though) the Uniqlo airism mesh works, it just takes longer to dry out (but it still will in cold conditions) and you do (I definitely felt it) feel it on the skin, hence my interest in this original post by theWarnerBrother. These go on sale all the time so maybe you could try one if you are on a budget-in my estimation they are absolutely worth it.The Pat LW with my body in it I feel will be far better at dispersing perspiration. Drying time will be less thus potential chilling.
Final trial when I get similar ambient temps.


The Capilene LW https://www.patagonia.com.au/collection ... 1781810187

Airism mesh-http://www.uniqlo.com/au/store/men-airism-mesh-crew-neck-t-shirt-short-sleeve-1919560016.html
I think I thought I saw you try.
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby Stew63 » Thu 14 Jun, 2018 10:02 pm

wayno wrote:thin polypropylene if you need thermals, if you need anything warmer than you need another layer, having a thick baelayer next to your skin just accumulates sweat, no matter how much the sales pitchs says it will get rid of sweat


^^^ I concur with this ^^^

I use a combination for my base layer - I wear thin, lightweight SkinFit 'Klima' polypropylene thermals both for the top (shortsleeved) and the bottoms - and then on top of the SkinFits I wear thin, lightweight Icebreaker 150 Ultras. They work together as my base layer.
Works well for me :D
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby north-north-west » Fri 15 Jun, 2018 8:38 am

Fine for people who can wear polyprop. I can't. More than a few hours and I start itching everywhere. Vile stuff.
And that's ignoring the environmental issues around these constructed fabrics.
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Re: Lets talk thermals

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 15 Jun, 2018 5:33 pm

Yeah but polypros burn so nicely when you can't stand the smell of them any longer, new stuff is much better in this regard than my original HellyHansen LIfa
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