View Full Version : Clothing Weights

02-08-2014, 01:04
I'm taking the plunge and buying some merino base layers... I THINK. I have a couple questions first about layering. My plan is a NoBo in 2015 (start date ~April 1). I addressed the heavy outer layers with a GoLite synthetic jacket and 12oz rain jacket. I was thinking a merino short sleeve tee for hiking when it's warm, but wear that for sleeping in the first month as a layer. And also get a LS merino tee for hiking in April. I already have a 5oz LS sports tee I got at the NOC that I could pack for town visits. That's enough for shirts, right?

In terms of merino tees and weight, the 150's can be had for less than $50/ea but the reviews usually say they didn't hold up too well under abuse while hiking. Which makes me think a 200-260 weight may be needed just for durability sake. I know not all brands are created equal, like this new -33 Chinese brand on Amazon. At $50 a pop I can't afford to choose the wrong thing, so have any of you hikers worn out a 150 or 200+ weight merino shirt, and if so, how long did it last on the trail? For the price it better last 2 months or more, otherwise it's not worth it. Any suggestions would be hugely helpful. Thanks!

02-08-2014, 01:23
I've used patagonia capilene for years. I actually have a cap 2 that has a few rips in it but I bought it 8 years ago. They have deals on them at the end of the seasons(right now for around $30).


Hope this helps a little bit!

02-08-2014, 01:23
I have had good durabilty from the Minus 33 100% merino wool long sleeve 1/2 zips. IMHO, the ones I have were a very good price for what I received. I bought several on clearance for under $30 at Frugal Backpacker in NC. Wish I had bought more. I'm going to guess they are about 200 wt.

*BEFORE you buy let me know your size as I have a few unused shweet Smartwool and Icebreaker pieces(tees and long sleeves w/ zips) that aren't my size. I'd love to free up some space in my unused gear closet and offer someone needy these for like 1/2 price retail. Most even still have the price tags still attached. PM me. We might be able to work something out. If interested I'll send you a list of what I have.

02-08-2014, 01:27
I also have an unused Patagonia cap 2 and/or 3 long sleeved 1/2 zip gray in L or XL. I already have three others so this has been hanging in the gear closet for almost 2 yrs now.

02-08-2014, 01:41
Well I'm actually not positive on size. I typically wear a L in standard cotton T-shirts. I'm 5'9" 165#, in decent shape. Based on reviews I was leaning towards a L in case the wool tries to shrink at all. You should be able to send me a message on here with whatever you have. I'd be interested for sure.

Thanks for the link to patagonia. I was not sure how well their capilene resisted odor but in general I've heard good things.

02-08-2014, 09:25
I cannot imagine any reputable brand not standing up to a thruhike, especially since you won't need them for the duration of the hike as you mention. I took some baselayer pants and hardly wore them at all (late March start). The top was worn some. I took some Wally World poly baselayers that I have had for a couple of years prior. I still own/wear them. So I can't imagine a high end brand not surviving a thru hike.

If you and Dogwood don't work out a deal, check out sierra trading post. Usually have good prices and coupons there. FWIW, I wear L and I'm about 6', 200. I like my base layer a bit snug (not constricting). I think if they are loose they don't insulate as well. just my opinion, ymmv.

02-08-2014, 21:09
I like capilene for hiking and merino for sleeping.

02-09-2014, 11:21
In my experience, merino wool is not as durable and slower to dry than synthetic. However, I much prefer merino.

02-09-2014, 14:12
I prefer merino, and highly recommend the lightest 150-wt baselayers.

02-09-2014, 14:21
I was actually going to take the Merino plunge as well. I'm thinking cap might be a better option for walking.

Sent from my Hammock.

Feral Bill
02-09-2014, 14:27
I wear Smartwool base layers for XC skiing and snowshoeing. The do get wear holes after a time, but continue to function just fine. They are super comfy, as well. As always, keep dry by not overdressing and venting when needed.

02-09-2014, 17:22
Of everything mentioned here is Merino better as far as the (lack of) stink factor is concerned? I sweat a lot so a shirt that isn't going to constantly stink would be worth more to me.

02-09-2014, 17:45
Of everything mentioned here is Merino better as far as the (lack of) stink factor is concerned? I sweat a lot so a shirt that isn't going to constantly stink would be worth more to me.

if you are thruhiking (or even for long section hikes) you will stink regardless of the material you wear. your stuff will stink. I don't think you could blindfold a person and drop them in a shelter full of hikers and have that person separate the hikers into two groups...those who had wool underwear and those who didn't.

I said this a few weeks ago on this topic...say you have two dead skunks on the road. One weighed 7 lbs. and the other weighed 13 lbs. at the time of their demise. Does the big one stink more laying there on the road? probably. but who cares and how you going to measure the difference. The little stinks so bad you can't hardly stand it.

others swear by it. I have some myself. even on a day hike I don't come home and say, "gee, if I had worn my polypro I'd probably be stinking right now". as I said, others will feel differently so ymmv.

02-10-2014, 00:09
This is always subjective because different people have different sweat glands. I general don't sweat a lot, which may help me. But I am 100% convinced you'll stink less with Merino for the simple fact that wool does not absorb odors like poly clothes. The big strike for me with polypro shirts is after a week of wearing them you'll never get that smell out unless you have special detergent for washing them, where you can wash a merino shirt with just about anything and remove all odor.

I have some polypro polo shirts that I wear to the office and they will stink by the end of the day, and all I do is punch keys all day. I have a super light poly running tee and I ran a 5k in it; it's stunk ever since. As 4shot said, ymmv. I'm willing to take the gamble and buy some merino. If its 20% better it is worth the money to me.

02-13-2014, 01:34
Of everything mentioned here is Merino better as far as the (lack of) stink factor is concerned? I sweat a lot so a shirt that isn't going to constantly stink would be worth more to me.

Like it was mentioned, you're going to stink regardless. But Merino will definitely stink less than a synthetic shirt or whatever. I wore an Icebreaker shirt every day for 2 months this past summer, and washed it only a handful of times and it never retained any smell for what it's worth.