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Leg insulation layer

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am not happy with my current layering system for my lower body. I have Cloudveil Koven ski pants (shell), fleece pants, and CW-X 3/4 insulator tights. Temperature and moisture wise, this system has been working quite well, but the fleece pants are a bit unruly in terms of volume and the shapes that they manage to get themselves into.

What are you guys using as a mid layer that adds some insulation without much bulk?

I am looking for something more form fitting, but not skin tight. I really like the 3/4 lenght tights as they do not bunch up on top of my boots and was considering cutting my current fleece pants before I decided that they were just too bulky. Has anyone done anything similar or found another solution?

Price wise I would prefer to stay under $100, but if more is required for the right product, I could go a little higher.

post #2 of 16
I have 2 mid layer pants which I really like. The first are Powerstretch Tights (maybe not the best choice if you din't like skin tight) and the second are Marmot DriClime side zip pants. I find that both are warm enough to not need layers underneath.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am not completely opposed to skin tight, but a little looseness makes grabbing a bite to eat afterward draw fewer awkward glances.
post #4 of 16
I suffered a bit of nerve damage in my upper thighs many years ago from skiing with under-insulated legs on a minus 35 F day. As a result, I ended up trying a lot of bottom layers for extra protection. My favorite under-shell layer has turned out to be a pair of fleece pants I bought from REI 15 years ago. They are a substantial 200 weight Polartec, and they fit close, but not skin tight. I'm tall, but I bought a regular length so there is less bunching when I push them up above my ski boots. On average cold days, I wear them over skin-tight Helly Hansen Lifa. On very cold days, I layer them over Patagonia power stretch tights. Never have any problem with them clumping.

These exact fleece pants aren't made anymore, but REI does have a model called Muir Woods Fleece which look like a similar fit (maybe a shade looser), but may be a little lighter weight. That's probably a good thing for normal legs. They come in three inseam lengths, and have ankle zippers (which miine don't). They list for $69.50, but will probably go on sale later in the season. Maybe they would work for you.
post #5 of 16
Check out the smartwool boot top midweight thermals. Warmth without the bulk and you don't have to tuck them into your boots.
post #6 of 16
Another vote for tights made with Polartec Power Stretch.

Do you really actually need the fleece over top the CW-X though?
post #7 of 16
Originally Posted by jamesgig View Post
I am not completely opposed to skin tight, but a little looseness makes grabbing a bite to eat afterward draw fewer awkward glances.
Take a pair of jeans and change in the locker room/bathroom. It makes the drive home much more enjoyable for all in the car. I hate anything more than fleece tights under a shell pant even on the coldest days at Iceface.
post #8 of 16
For anything under ~20 degrees, underneath my ski pants I wear Hind Munich running pants. They are loose fitting tights. They used to retail for about $65 but I got mine from Campmor for ~$30 a few years ago. The lower leg has a vertical zipper that goes up the calf. I usually unzip the zipper and roll up the lower leg a few times. The pants are warm, thin and really comfortable.
post #9 of 16
Yet another vote for polartec powerstretch. Mine are "made" by Marker, but it doesn't really matter who makes 'em.

I also ski in the 686 Smarty Original Snowboard Pant, which comes with a zip-in fleece liner (bought 'em primarily because they fit me well, the fleece zip-in was a bonus).
post #10 of 16
The Koven is not the most breathable pant, and I personally HATE mine when it gets really cold. Buy some pants for when it's really cold, and your problem is solved - that's what I did. I got some from Salomon, but I can't recall the model name.
post #11 of 16
I wish I had your problem, my legs get hot wearing undies and ski pants.
post #12 of 16
Patagonia expedition weight.
post #13 of 16

insulation layer

Most conditions I wear only a smart wool boot top. Ice Breaker also makes the same thing. They are both made of marino wool. The stuff is magic. If it gets brutally cold I ad an old synthetic layer i have. Marino is not cheap but you can find it on sale. Beats the tar our of Synthetic if you ask me.
post #14 of 16
Originally Posted by steveturner View Post
Patagonia expedition weight.
That was an expensive gamble for me. Still not warm enough with just a shell pant for me. They do work pretty well under my insulated pair though.

The warmest long johns I have were issued to me many years ago by the US Gov't.
post #15 of 16
Ibex. simple.good company. warm and light
post #16 of 16
Helly Hansen makes a good lightweight 3/4 synthetic layer that I like. Good on their own under insulated pants, or you can layer very comfortably on colder days or if you're using shell pants. I think it's part of their "HH Dry" lineup.
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