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Ski midlayer softshell/fleece suggestions?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Looking for a good mid layer to wear over under armor and under ski jacket. I've been looking at North Face/Patagonia fleeces and Marmot soft shells. Got any suggestions?

post #2 of 12

I would be looking at Polartec Thermal Pro with Power Stretch panels like in the North Face Radium.

 

Your jacket better be breathable tho.   

I wore my Thermal pro under a polyurethane bike jacket last winter - not even cycling, sledding with my nephew - and there was a cupful of  solid flakes of sweat ice between the fleece and the jacket when I took it off.

post #3 of 12
I'm a big fan of my Helly Hansen mid layer and really anything I've gotten from them.
post #4 of 12
IMHO, soft shells don't breath particularly well as a mid layer. There's a lot of nice stuff out there that works. Coss the weight according to your outer layer. I like the Kuhl stuff as well, and believe it of not, Mammut has a nice wool blend mid layer NOT made in China or Vietnam! Portugal in fact!
post #5 of 12

I like wool for all almost any condition. Breathes well, is plenty warm for all but the coldest days, you'll never overheat when you step inside, and remains stink-free for weeks.

post #6 of 12

Polartec  military  issue top and bib bottom imo best midlater you can find for 1/3 of the price name brands using same Polartec fabric

post #7 of 12

Polartec Power Stretch fabric is my favorite midlayer. Lots of brands make both tops and bottoms out of the stuff.

post #8 of 12

One of the pieces I've been looking at recently is the new Patagonia Nano Air.   I'm hearing good things about it and I like the feel of it better than the nano puff.  

http://www.patagonia.com/us/nano-air?src=pkw&netid=2&ps%7CGoogle+-+K70%7Cnano+air&gclid=CLr5j6KBgcICFak-MgodWVAALg

post #9 of 12
Really, for 200wt fleece anything will work. Look at campmor.com or sierratradingpost.com any number of on line stores. The 200wt fleece will last forever. I still wear my TNF 200wt fleece I bought back in 1993 from time to time. My main ski fleece now day's is one made by one the race team mom's Lori Ford, for Okemo over 10 years ago, Julia Ford, http://usskiteam.com/athletes/julia-ford

I have a Marmot fleece that I wear under my TNF black shell that's my winter go to work and everyday jacket, had that combo for over 7 years now.

For your base layers check out campmor and sierra for their own brand of underwear. You can buy tops or bottoms for around $11 each. I still wear my campmor 200wt pants I bought in 1993, paid $19.00 for them. Still keep me warm on the coldest days.

I wear their zip T necks too. Great stuff for little money compared to all the big name stuff out there.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post

Really, for 200wt fleece anything will work. Look at campmor.com or sierratradingpost.com any number of on line stores. The 200wt fleece will last forever. I still wear my TNF 200wt fleece I bought back in 1993 from time to time. My main ski fleece now day's is one made by one the race team mom's Lori Ford, for Okemo over 10 years ago, Julia Ford, http://usskiteam.com/athletes/julia-ford

I have a Marmot fleece that I wear under my TNF black shell that's my winter go to work and everyday jacket, had that combo for over 7 years now.

For your base layers check out campmor and sierra for their own brand of underwear. You can buy tops or bottoms for around $11 each. I still wear my campmor 200wt pants I bought in 1993, paid $19.00 for them. Still keep me warm on the coldest days.

I wear their zip T necks too. Great stuff for little money compared to all the big name stuff out there.

Agree--no reason to buy big name brands for fleece--it's pretty generic. Another cheaper option for cold weather stuff is Cabela's--hunters are apparently more price conscious than skiers.

 

Agree that soft shell not a good idea as a mid layer. It's intended as a water and wind resistant outer layer, it doesn't give that much insulation for its weight, and is more expensive than fleece.

 

Wool was good stuff back in the day (see my avatar), but it's heavy for the amount of insulation provided and when it gets wet dries very slowly. While it does keep its insulating value when wet it is still uncomfortable and heavy.

 

One option--more expensive--is a lightweight synthetic puffy, like a Patagonia Nano.  Very lightweight, very warm, very low bulk when packed (good for travel or to stow in a pack), and seems to have a wider temperature range than fleece--keeps you warm when it's cold out but you don't overheat when it's not. Montbell makes good ones, but harder to find.

post #11 of 12

Counterpoint: none of the off-brand fleeces do a truly athletic fit very well;  I personally despise the baggy, binding feel of too much material, especially at altitude when everything feels heavy and the last thing you want is binding or pulling or bunching as you're poling along a ridgeline looking for a drop-in.      Fleeces last forever unless the stitching falls apart; I have  almost 20year old Patagonia in the regular rotation and it has more than paid off the price premium.    

 

That said, I agree with the posters above that discount fleece can do its job well;  IMO it is in the next-to-skin layers and the shell itself that the truly big differences in cost and value are noticeable.    Better next-to-skin layers make fleece work better.   Better shells make skiing more fun in general.

 

(IMO UA does *not* make terribly good next-to-skin base layers, but they do have an excellent athletic fit which is why I make the point above).

post #12 of 12
I enjoy my sierratrading post "wickers brand" base layers, they are soft fit well, IMO do a good job. I have been out whe nthe air temp was -29F and the wind chill was -75F.

Rmember one sub zero day, a buddy and I sent the morning skiing trees, from thetime the lifts opened at 8AM till lunch, never went inside. When I took off my old TNF 3 layer gore-tex shell, I had frost on my fleece. My base layers were dry.
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