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questions about base and mid layers

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
i have been out of skiing for about 20 yrs and im starting to get back into it. i have some questions about layering, i got a good deal end of season last yr on a Spyder jacket and pants, ive since purchased some under armor (didnt have that 20 yrs ago) my question is about the mid layer, i like wearing turtle necks, but dont know if the cotton t-necks will be ok to wear, the under armor is supposed to breath, will wearing cotton over it be a bad move? does the mid layer have to be the same type of material as the under armor, breathable i mean, or will it still function if a cotton t-neck is worn over it? thank you for your help,
post #2 of 8
There should be absolutely no cotton or cotton blends in your clothing. A cotton layer will absorb moisture that is being wicked away from your body by the under armour and hold it there, keeping you wet and cold. Depending on the temperature, a good midlayer will be a polyester fleece or a wool or wool/poly blend. My personal belief is that almost any polyester fleece will keep you warm as the patents on the fleecing processes expired a while ago and is widely copied. If you perspire a lot then look for something that is woven to breath better. The midlayer is the layer that you generally vary the most based on the ambient temperature (and depending on whether you bought a spyder insulated jacket or just a shell), so it is useful to have a few. It is also useful to have them with full or half front zippers so that you can get more ventilation if necessary. My main three are a poly fleece vest, a poly microfleece sweater jacket, and wool half-zip sweater. If you love the feel of a turtleneck (I can't stand them) then there are fleece and wool turtlenecks out there. And if you are the kind of person who gets super cold, you can get a down or synthetic down/primaloft midlayer.
post #3 of 8
It really depends on how cold it is. Cotton can be nice if its a warm spring day. But overall... I would skip it.

Usually all you need is a thin layer or two if you have an insulated jacket. Synthetic and wool are best.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks for the info guys!
post #5 of 8
I wear a Underarmour as my base layer on both top and bottom (I also have a CW-X bottom base layer which I really like) and wear Icebreaker or Patagonia wool tops as my mid layer.  The Underarmour will do a good job of wicking the perspiration off your skin and the wool tops keep me toasty and they don't stink like some synthetics can.  For pants, I just use the base layer and either a shell pant or slightly insulated pant if it is really cold.  This setup kept me comfortable during a couple of sub zero days last year. 
post #6 of 8
Try the ibex, you wont be dissapointed
post #7 of 8
Hi Craig,

Like you I had a long break from skiing and started again about five years ago. The advice about no cotton is right really; although we had no choice years ago there are, as you have discovered with Body Armour, many better alternatives now.

Personally, I prefer Merino wool although it's hellish expensive here in the UK (a little less so on your side of the pond I believe). I have a fully insulated Degre 7 jacket and pants and over the merino I find I don't need a midlayer, though I do carry a very small scarf in case my neck gets cold. Not sure what your average temps are in US resorts, but the Alps are normally between
-5C and -15C. Exceptionally it will drop to -25C, and for that I use a long necked silk balaclava under my helmet.

As mentioned elsewhere, man made fabrics can, and do, end up a little whiffy!!

Hope this helps, Maurice. 
post #8 of 8
I reckon I'll contribute my daily wear too.  I wear Under Armour usually as a base, a regular ol fleece as the mid, and a shell.  Other people recommend merino, but I can't really justify the expense.  Sure it might not smell like a fleece, but who cares?  I'm skiing, not smelling others.  (I hope they are doing the same)  It's worked pretty well except when we had days down to -20F (-28C) and then I pulled out my sleeping-bag-coat, so named because that's what the lift operators mocked me for wearing.  But the under armor, fleece, shell is a very versatile layering scheme. 
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