Best Thermal Underwear/Base Layer

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by JohnBoy777, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. JohnBoy777

    JohnBoy777 Pseudo-Adventurist

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    I've been using some no-name base layers over the last few years that're looking pretty ratty now - time for some new stuff.

    So what's the best?

    Seemes like there are lots of options out there.
    #1
  2. TheRoss

    TheRoss IBA# 522

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    Summer or winter, I wear LD comfort as underwear, long sleeve and long pant. I layer whatever else the weather dictates between that and my outerwear (Stitch).

    Summer.... nothing else.
    40s - 70s... a light fleece pull over on top of LD Comfort top.
    20s-30s.... Add electric vest over LD Comfort top and under fleece pull over.
    Below 20 degrees.... Electric liner and electric chaps.

    I don't get cold easily, and this works for me.

    We are all different, but I bet you would like the LD Comfort. At night you can wash them in the motel room shower or sink, fold them in a towl and ring them dry, then hang them up and they will be dry and ready to go come morning.
    #2
  3. Hikertrash

    Hikertrash Wasted Rock Ranger

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    I agree with TheRoss. I balked at the LD prices, but bought the top and bottom from a local dealer and the money was well spent. I've only used them in the summer so far, but I wish I bought them last year. When it's 115 degrees outside, the long sleeve LD shirt is the only shirt I own that allows me to stay dry and comfortable when riding. They work great under gore-tex. For winter, I'll just ride with my heated jacket over the LD shirt with my Klim shelll over that.
    #3
  4. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    #4
  5. bikerfish

    bikerfish flyfishandride

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    lots of good ones. underarmour, patagonia, cabelas, etc. Lots of materials, synthetics, wools. just gotta find what ya like. personnally, I have used patagonia stuff for a long time, riding, skiing, hiking, backpacking, fishing, traveling. I have shirts that are 20years old and I still wear them and they still perform like new.
    I try to buy em cheap though! lots of discount internet places to buy from, no need to pay retail these days.
    #5
  6. zenjen

    zenjen Go Outside

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    My light-weight base layer is Patagoina Capilene.
    _________

    For mid-weight I just purchased the new Klim Defender top & bottom pieces. - Excellent build quality.

    1/4-zip shirt
    http://www.klim.com/en-us/shop/moto/;max=16;page=2/5080-000

    Pants
    http://www.klim.com/en-us/shop/moto/;max=16;page=2/5081-000

    _________

    My mid-heavy weight layer is the Klim Inferno shirt and pants.

    Full zip shirt-jack
    http://www.klim.com/en-us/shop/moto/;max=16;page=2/3354-000

    Pants
    http://www.klim.com/en-us/shop/moto/;max=16;page=2/3355-000

    __________

    You can mix or match combos for different conditions, or wear all three layers in really cold weather.

    .
    #6
  7. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    got a slew of Patagoina Capilene, North Face, etc. technology has advanced so much excellent wicking base layers are found all over. quality wicking fabric is hydrophobic... meaning it will insulate while wet.

    heck walmart's dri-star brand performs excellently for dirt cheap. two tests for wicking gear.

    1. is it comfortable? could you live in that shirt for a week? ... itchy wool shirts are no longer your only choice.

    2. how fast does it dry? high performance wicking shirts will dry quickly on your person. minimum performance is the from washed wet state... hung out will that shirt dry by the morning?

    all your wicking gear should meet both criteria ... one can travel around the world with two changes. one to wear during the day... change into clean shirt at night, then wash dirty shirt, which will be dry by morning.
    #7
  8. dtysdalx2

    dtysdalx2 PITA but useful

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    I'm interested in this too. I looked at some Klim gear last weekend and the stuff seemed pretty good. Like for cold weather motorcycle riding, say in the 30's for temps. Those Klim defender pants look like the shit.

    BUT I don't want to look like the Michelin Man or spend $$$$ for heated gear.

    I use the wicking polypropolyne blue long underwear and it works well, but for keeping the cold air off the legs and feet is another story. I have some skiiing bibs I'm using now.
    #8
  9. Turkus

    Turkus Motorcyclus Unemploy

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    Recalculating.... :\
    I've tried a LOT of different base layers and LD Comfort is, by far and away, the best all-around stuff you can get.
    Pricey....yes but it serves so many different purposes - it has replaced all 3 different weights of my REI base layers.

    Wore the long sleeve under a fleece pullover beneath my Olympia jacket with no liners today and rode to the Rock Store and to the beach - top temps were low 60s with wind. I was plenty toasty and didn't need my heated vest that I brought along just in case. Rollin' Angeles Crest to Wrightwood tomorrow with friends and temps will be in the 40s and I'll be wearing the same thing.

    In the heat all you need is to keep them damp as Mario (the owner of LDC instructs) and regulate the airflow in your jacket to keep you cool as a cucumber.

    My $0.02 :wink:
    #9
  10. pingvin

    pingvin Been here awhile

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    Kongsberg, Norway
    I've converted more and more to wool except when hot. Merino wool as first layer. And instead of a thick fleece as second layer I put on another thin wool layer and if necessary, a thin inner shell that is ultra thin and light but make a HUGE difference (http://www.thermalshop.co.uk/product/innershell__jacket_black , my favourite gear ever)

    If even colder (we are now below freezing point) I, put the liner in the jacket. Even colder (when rellay cold or transport at higher speed it's no way around heated gear. For me anyway, freeze easily.

    For hot weather, I'll leave it to those living in hotter areas for advice :-)
    #10
  11. KingOfFleece

    KingOfFleece SplitWeight(tm) waterproof seat covers

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  12. Digitdion

    Digitdion Adventurer

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    Merino wool base layer is the only way to go!
    Get on the web and read up about the benefits of it. It's all true.
    #12
  13. JohnBoy777

    JohnBoy777 Pseudo-Adventurist

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    #13
  14. NuckaMan

    NuckaMan Space Available

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    Not sure what LD Comfort really offers over some of the name brand sports wear like Nike, Under Armor, Reebok, but I've been using the sports-brand stuff for years, heat gear or thermal gear, with great success for motorcycling.

    Not sure who exactly invented it first, but now its not a secret art making these things, even the knock-off stuff from Champion (Target) or Starter (Walmart) works really well....in the early days, the Walmart stuff sucked ass.

    I remember when the synthetic material hit the market years ago, I used it as a baselayer for ice-hockey and other sports. I never went back to cotton underwear again. Under Armor was the first brand I tried...it was one of the very few at the time.

    I would check out the sports branded stuff from your local sporting goods store before buying anything from the motocycle-specific stuff, which are a premium for I don't know why.
    #14
  15. Phineas Whipsnake

    Phineas Whipsnake Adventurer

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    Costco is selling a top & bottom of Merino wool/ lycra called Paradox. I bought some last year and recently, costs $20 - $25 for each piece. Super comfortable, light weight. Highly recommended.:D
    #15
  16. radmeister

    radmeister not there

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    I agree with digitdion.

    Merino wool is far superior to any synthetic i have tried.
    #16
  17. mookybird

    mookybird Gramps

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    Lots of choices, like several others here I own several brands and types synthetic and merino. One feature that I find works really well for motorbiking and the pulling armor and gloves on and off all day is thumb loops on the sleeves.
    #17
  18. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    Best for me under heated gear is Terramar merino. Very comfortable. For longer trips it will dry overnight. The kind of knit has lots of air pockets and lots of stretch. Overall I find a thin merino is most versatile.

    Best for me without heated gear is Duofold grey, a very thick wool/poly blend.

    I also have Duofold blue (another wool/poly) that's somewhere between those two.

    The Aerostich merino base layer is fairly thick and comfortable. The neck opening is pretty large so they are less versatile. The 'stich merino bottoms are good.

    I have two kinds of Patagonia poly stuff and it's OK, but not nearly as comfortable as merino.

    EDIT: I wrote "Duofold blue" above but there are two kinds: one is wool/poly, the other is wool/cotton and is fine for light work around the house.
    #18
  19. JTT

    JTT Long timer

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    I am not trying to be a smart ass, but trying to understand....if a fabric dries exceptionally fast, how do you keep it damp? As I understood it, one of the features of LD gear is it's ability to hold water and keep you cool (like a cooling vest)...trouble is I don't see how it can hold water, yet dry fast?

    I'm very close to pulling the trigger on some LD gear. I have a variety of different stuff now, some works exceptional, some not so much. I really like the Merino stuff so far, but open to things like LD, particularly as it comes from motorcyclists.

    I'm alway a little leery of the "overnight dry" statements, as in my experience, this depends heavily on your environment. I've had garments that dry in a matter of hours on a dry, warm night, yet the same garment is still damp 24hrs later on a cold and damp day (so common in my world). Often, like with most motorcycle gear, claims are made based on Southern California climates.
    #19
  20. JohnBoy777

    JohnBoy777 Pseudo-Adventurist

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    In the heat, if it dries fast, that means that the evaporative effect of the material is working in your favor. As the moisture evaporates, it cools the body - kinda like the old swamp coolers. You don't want it to hold water - but rather, evapoate the water present as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you have hot, damp water (think cotton) next to your skin. At least that's my understanding.

    Did I just say 'damp water'?


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    #20