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Women's mid-layers, baclava and neck warmers...

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

My wife is almost completely outfitted, save the mid-layer, which I'd greatly appreciate advice on. I've got her a pair of Filson's midweight "Alaskan Long Johns"; both pants and long-sleeved crewneck. I'm hoping these will keep her warm as a base layer.

 

As mentioned in previous threads, we'll be skiing Lake Louise at the tail-end of December and it's not uncommong for chinooks to blow in bitter cold winds that drop temps to -15. If she read this, she'd kill me for planning this trip! :)

 

I was looking at some of the women's midlayers from Salomon but I really have no experience or knowledge when it comes to any of this... I want something WARM! She runs cold naturally, and isn't partial to extreme weather conditions. I want her to enjoy this trip so keeping her warm is my number one duty!

 

Next up, I was looking at both the REI Thermo Neck Gaiter and the women's Turtle Fur Polartec Stria Tube which are both fancy high-tech neckwarmers, haha. Is one better than the other? Is there anything that exceeds both? Her base-layer is a crewneck top, so I figure neck coverage is essential.

 

At the same time, I've been eyeing the Icebreaker Apex balaclava, which is not made specifically for women, but according to the rep at REI that I chatted with, should fit the missus no problem. It's a one-size fits all (most) deal. I wonder if this is necessary or excessive? I'm leaning towards pulling the trigger on it as a precautionary "better safe than sorry" measure. Will this even be comfortable to wear skiing? And is it necessary to get both the balaclava AND the neck warmer?

 

Thanks in advance once again for any advice and suggestions!

post #2 of 18

 

  

post #3 of 18
Gotta keep the core warm, icebreaker males a good mid layer (wool is your friend), and for really frigid days my wife wears an Eddie Bauer first ascent down vest under her jacket. It's the thin and compressible one, thermic I think. I like the Serius balaclavas, besides the cool darth vader look with my black helmet and goggles, if done right, there is not a piece of flesh on your head that is not covered in some fashion.

If the missus doesn't like the cold, I'd be more worried about her feet and hands if you get a really frigid day. Once those get cold, game over.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot for those recommendations; I'll check them all out and decide which would suit her best. I think the feet and hands should be covered. I've bought her a pair of Steger mukluks and I think we're decided on Hestra Helis as I started a previous thread on mitts and it was determined that some of the warmer options (Black Diamond Mercury, OR Alti, etc) were just too big and bulky for most winter activities, including skiing, and would likely be uncomfortable as a result. So she should be all set once I take care of the midlayer... thanks again for the tips which I'm researching and exploring further right now. Cheers!

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

Would the Icebreaker Legend zip be overkill in the +5c to -5c range? The description says it's not bulky but I'm just curious as to how heavy it actually is and whether it would be comfortable layered atop a Stanfield's 100% cotton turtleneck, above Filson brand merino wool long underwear bottoms and crewneck top - down jacket over everything? It's not cheap so I want to be sure that it's easy to move around and maneuver in and isn't overly weighty. Thanks!

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jivyivy View Post

Would the Icebreaker Legend zip be overkill in the +5c to -5c range? The description says it's not bulky but I'm just curious as to how heavy it actually is and whether it would be comfortable layered atop a Stanfield's 100% cotton turtleneck, above Filson brand merino wool long underwear bottoms and crewneck top - down jacket over everything? It's not cheap so I want to be sure that it's easy to move around and maneuver in and isn't overly weighty. Thanks!

Start by getting rid of that, cotton kills.

Wool may be the old standard, but weight/warmth wise you can't beat a lofted insulation. I have a couple of primaloft jackets in different thickness that I use according to temperature (MEC's uplink, northern lite, and NL ultra, if you are familiar with the them).
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

Why is cotton bad; because it absorbs moisture? Wouldn't that only be an issue with regards to sweat, and should that not be a problem since it's not a base-layer (it's layered above wool-blend long underwear) so there's no direct contact with the skin. I also wouldn't be too worried about my wife overheating in extremely cold temperatures... nor exerting so much energy as to work up a serious sweat. She's a moderate skiier at best. Eitherway, what would you replace that with... merino turtleneck?

post #8 of 18
Merino or powerstretch top > cotton.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks, am I mistaken about cotton and moisture though and did my reasoning above make any sense?

 

ie. Cotton over wool should not really be an issue, right?

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jivyivy View Post
 

Thanks, am I mistaken about cotton and moisture though and did my reasoning above make any sense?

 

ie. Cotton over wool should not really be an issue, right?

Wrong. 'Cotton kills' is a common saying among outdoor enthusiasts. Have you ever worn wet jeans on a windy day? Once cotton is wet or damp from any source it wicks body heat at a tremendous rate. And yes, your wife will sweat although she may not know it. Every alive human does. Trust the Epic members on this - no cotton anywhere.

post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jivyivy View Post
 

Thanks, am I mistaken about cotton and moisture though and did my reasoning above make any sense?

 

ie. Cotton over wool should not really be an issue, right?

Just make sure the cotton can't get wet. (from the outside, either)  The neck on a cotton turtleneck is likely to get wet if it is snowing, and it will never dry. Otherwise, it just depends. I've worn a cotton tshirts over a wool or synthetic baselayer, and under another wool or synthetic layer. But usually I don't find cotton as comfortable as the nice stretchy fleeces etc that they are using these days. 

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

Just make sure the cotton can't get wet. (from the outside, either)  The neck on a cotton turtleneck is likely to get wet if it is snowing, and it will never dry. Otherwise, it just depends. I've worn a cotton tshirts over a wool or synthetic baselayer, and under another wool or synthetic layer. But usually I don't find cotton as comfortable as the nice stretchy fleeces etc that they are using these days. 

^^^ what she said. 

 

With all the amazing wool blends, and other tech fabrics there is no reason to wear cotton and risk the moisture chill. 

 

 

Also......about the balaclava's and neck gaiters. 

I'm not a fan of the fleece or turtle fur neck gaiters, as much as I like the thinner version of Buff's.  A buff can be pulled up like a balaclava if needed but is thin, easy to stow and wicks away moisture from breathing and snow to avoid the frozen mankey yuck that a fleece can. 

 

I have not had the chance to wear any of the Salomon mid layers you mention in your first post, but I have sold many of them at the ski shop.  Most folks who try them seem to really like them. 

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post




  
OMG. I just got it! Baklava!
post #14 of 18

FWIW, Baklava makes me cozy warm. :D

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 

^^^ what she said. 

 

With all the amazing wool blends, and other tech fabrics there is no reason to wear cotton and risk the moisture chill. 

 

 

Also......about the balaclava's and neck gaiters. 

I'm not a fan of the fleece or turtle fur neck gaiters, as much as I like the thinner version of Buff's.  A buff can be pulled up like a balaclava if needed but is thin, easy to stow and wicks away moisture from breathing and snow to avoid the frozen mankey yuck that a fleece can. 

 

I have not had the chance to wear any of the Salomon mid layers you mention in your first post, but I have sold many of them at the ski shop.  Most folks who try them seem to really like them. 


Thanks so much!!

 

I went with the Icebreaker Apex balaclava in the end (I think I purchased the REI neck gaiter as well) and bought my wife a set of Icebreaker BF260s because they were on sale at huge discount at The Clymb. I'd like to eventually get her the Icebreaker Legend long-sleeve zip as well, but I can't afford to spend that much right now. I'm just gonna see that she's layered up in some heavy norwegian and shetland sweaters and I'll keep a close eye on eBay to see if the right size turns up before the new year. Speaking of which, does anyone of any reliable classified listings or discounted online retail outlets for this sort of winter gear? If so, I'd love to get clued in because I've spent a small fortune in the past week on all of this!

post #16 of 18
If you are in it for the long haul, get whatever will take you through this winter then load up on gear at end of season discount.
post #17 of 18

mmmm baklava   :drool

post #18 of 18

For base layers, she should take her gym baselayer clothes.  if she doesn't already have gym baselayer clothes already, she should go to the sports store and get something there.  

Base layers don't have to be ski specific.  Any wicking (non-cotton) clothing made for any athletic will work as a "base-layer".  All your favorite sports brands make baselayers, it is more of a personal preference of what fits well.  Plus she can use it for other sports.

 

As far as discounts go, if you're ok with more limited selection, a lot of folks order from SierraTradingPost with additional coupons.  It really is the clearance for this type of stuff.  

However, it is clearance gear, so if you are picky, the selections are leftovers and stuff that didn't sell last season, and may not be 100% what you want.  At least the returns are relatively easy and fairly priced at a flat rate.   I've literally bought 5 jackets, hoping I'd like one, but ended up returning the whole order.


As far as headwear, 1 balaclava + a helmet(with earflaps) should be sufficient.  

 

If anything, one tip is she should start an exercise routine or at least a stretching routine to prepare.  Being in shape, will allow you to keep the body engine and muscles going for a longer period of time, and generate natural body heat.

 

Final tip, get a couple chemical or other hand warmers as last effort; although in my experience they don't work well at altitude over 6000ft.  If it comes to it, pop those open start of the day-they last longer than a ski day; and they may eek out a little extra heat to keep warm, or at least be useful at basecamp to re-warmup


Edited by raytseng - 11/27/13 at 10:13pm
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