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warmest midlayer?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone.  Just wanted to get a few opinions.  I just got a shell and am looking for a good mid layer.  The shell is a marmot ascension and I was looking to layer it with a patagonia nano puff  or a TNF thermoball.  I have seen many good reviews on both.  I prob can't go wrong either way.  Just wondered if someone had any other faves.  Thanks peoples!

post #2 of 13

Depends on where you ski, but a down midlayer isn't always the best idea.

 

I ski in CO on one of its coldest hills. I find most days I get somewhat damp one way or another. Either its snowing, I'm falling into a lot of snow, or I'm skiing hard enough to sweat. Down isn't very useful after it gets wet, hence my preference for a very thick fleece. Patagucci R3 in my case. Lots of other similar shaggy/thick fleeces out there (Marmont, Mountain Hardwear etc.) Sometimes I'll wear a synthetic puffy but its generally damp by mid-day--but at least synthetic down retains some heat after gettin' wet. 

 

BTW, I have no experience with how good the newer "moisture resistant" down is. If that stuff is magical it may be the way to go.

post #3 of 13

The warmest mid-layer I have is from Arcteryx -- their Atom LT piece.  I find that it's overkill unless it's "stupid cold" though (i.e., those days where it's not going to reach zero -- Fahrenheit).

 

I've found that the Patagonia Nano Puff layer works well for most "normal" days.  A light fleece piece underneath it usually erases any remaining chill.

 

Given people's differing tolerances to being cold along with the differing climates that we all ski in -- I doubt we're going to reach any consensus as to the "perfect" mid-layer.  Whatever fits well, has pockets that you like, and seems to keep you warm -- that's the ticket.

post #4 of 13

I used the Atom LT midlayer in a -50C (yes, that's -58F) day in Banff.  Was a bit chilly on the chair, could have used a fleece too.  That said, down can be problematic if you sweat or run hot internally.  Synthetic is still awfully warm, lightweight, quickly dries, and can be well priced too.

 

I'm not a fan of the Patagonia stuff because it fits me like a box.  Very square-ish cut/styling.  Arc'teryx on the other hand, fits me much better.  What I'm saying is, there are plenty of great midlayers out there.  Find something that FITS YOU WELL, has the features you want, and hopefully in your price range.  Saying Patagonia > North Face > Arcteryx, etc, etc is like arguing fine wines.  There is no wrong answer, only what's wrong for YOU.

 

EDIT: Kevin beat me to it!  What he said.........LOL.

post #5 of 13

I have a Mammut Alpha fill light zippered jacket; Patagonia Nano Puff vest; and a Arcteryx Atom LT hoodie, going from lighter insulation to heavier fill/pieces. 

 

I agree with posts above that fit on you and fit with your other pieces is most likely more important than the piece by itself. For example, the Mammut and Arcteryx pieces have breathable side panels, which can be good or bad, depending on usage. 

 

I'm not a sweaty guy, but I'd stay away from down for lift served.  Down seems better to have in your pack if you're skinning, and then you stop for 20 minutes on a rock to sit down and have lunch.  Synthetic is preferable to down when you're active while you're wearing it. 

post #6 of 13
I can't do down because I sweat in general and have suffered badly from skiing in soaked down layer under a shell. I've got various weights of base layers and fleece plus a Patagucci nano puff, which is really a fantastic piece of technology. Last spring I overdressed but didn't stop to shed a layer, and was still warm when the sun went down and temps dropped sharply, so it wasn't until I went in at the end of the day that I realized that I was completely soaked through. That's what I call warm when wet!

However, as has been said, there are probably a dozen or more brands that use the same material or its equivalent, so the key is getting a piece that fits well, is the right weight, and has the right features. I have Patagonia because of the outlet nearby, but I just found out that Columbia stuff fits better, so I expect to spend some time at their outlet store in PC soon.

About Columbia's omni-heat, I just read a review saying that the little silver dots seem to make a big difference indoors, but not a noticeable difference when skiing. I have no experience with it, though.

BTW, I often use a light or heavy fleece layer between base and insulating layers.
post #7 of 13

I have been very happy with my nano puff under a shell.  Skied most of the last two seasons that way.  I usually have two or three techwik shirts under that depending on the temps.  I've also used EMS fleece jackets under the shell.  That worked well also.

 

The easiest way out is to pick something from a company with top notch customer service, that has all the features you like.  You will get at least a "B".  Some days you might have to put on another layer, other days you'll have to go one less.

 

It looks like we ski in the same region.  The only time I didn't do this was when I wasn't using the shell and was using an insulated jacket because it was so stupid cold or I was doing something that required me to stand there and freeze (like videoing the local HS team at a race or being a gate judge).

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
 

The warmest mid-layer I have is from Arcteryx -- their Atom LT piece.  I find that it's overkill unless it's "stupid cold" though (i.e., those days where it's not going to reach zero -- Fahrenheit).

 

I've found that the Patagonia Nano Puff layer works well for most "normal" days.  A light fleece piece underneath it usually erases any remaining chill.

 

Given people's differing tolerances to being cold along with the differing climates that we all ski in -- I doubt we're going to reach any consensus as to the "perfect" mid-layer.  Whatever fits well, has pockets that you like, and seems to keep you warm -- that's the ticket.


Agreed on the consensus.  For reference, the coldest that i have tolerated was 7F with whipping winds, and lasted about 2.5 hours.  That was in VT (where i primarily ski)

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post
 

I used the Atom LT midlayer in a -50C (yes, that's -58F) day in Banff.  Was a bit chilly on the chair, could have used a fleece too.  That said, down can be problematic if you sweat or run hot internally.  Synthetic is still awfully warm, lightweight, quickly dries, and can be well priced too.

 

I'm not a fan of the Patagonia stuff because it fits me like a box.  Very square-ish cut/styling.  Arc'teryx on the other hand, fits me much better.  What I'm saying is, there are plenty of great midlayers out there.  Find something that FITS YOU WELL, has the features you want, and hopefully in your price range.  Saying Patagonia > North Face > Arcteryx, etc, etc is like arguing fine wines.  There is no wrong answer, only what's wrong for YOU.

 

EDIT: Kevin beat me to it!  What he said.........LOL.


+1

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino View Post
 

I have a Mammut Alpha fill light zippered jacket; Patagonia Nano Puff vest; and a Arcteryx Atom LT hoodie, going from lighter insulation to heavier fill/pieces. 

 

I agree with posts above that fit on you and fit with your other pieces is most likely more important than the piece by itself. For example, the Mammut and Arcteryx pieces have breathable side panels, which can be good or bad, depending on usage. 

 

I'm not a sweaty guy, but I'd stay away from down for lift served.  Down seems better to have in your pack if you're skinning, and then you stop for 20 minutes on a rock to sit down and have lunch.  Synthetic is preferable to down when you're active while you're wearing it. 


will be for lift served this year and hopefully one trip to Tucks if i get lucky w scheduling

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by litterbug View Post

I can't do down because I sweat in general and have suffered badly from skiing in soaked down layer under a shell. I've got various weights of base layers and fleece plus a Patagucci nano puff, which is really a fantastic piece of technology. Last spring I overdressed but didn't stop to shed a layer, and was still warm when the sun went down and temps dropped sharply, so it wasn't until I went in at the end of the day that I realized that I was completely soaked through. That's what I call warm when wet!

However, as has been said, there are probably a dozen or more brands that use the same material or its equivalent, so the key is getting a piece that fits well, is the right weight, and has the right features. I have Patagonia because of the outlet nearby, but I just found out that Columbia stuff fits better, so I expect to spend some time at their outlet store in PC soon.

About Columbia's omni-heat, I just read a review saying that the little silver dots seem to make a big difference indoors, but not a noticeable difference when skiing. I have no experience with it, though.

BTW, I often use a light or heavy fleece layer between base and insulating layers.


I use fleece as well after base and before other layers.  I am leaning toward the Nano.  I am tempted to try something Arcteryx-y, just to see if you truly get what you pay for

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 


thanks for all the replies everyone!  I know we could geek out on this topic all day and that is why i love this site :)

post #13 of 13

Anecdotally, the cheap synthetic puff vest I wore last season seemed a bit warmer and lighter than the pile vest I wore before that.  I'm a big fan of vests.  I don't want sweaty, constricted arms unless it's really cold, in which case I may additionally want the vest.

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