View Full Version : Multi-use base layers/sleep system layer

05-01-2014, 13:54
I'm looking for a bit of feedback on how to optimize my base layer system.

Up to this point, I have been packing a dedicated set of sleep clothing in an attempt to keep my sleeping bag clean. I have been using Terramar ThermaSilk bottoms and top which weigh 3.2 ounces each. However, after maybe 30 uses and five or six wash cycles, these pieces are at the end of their useful lives, and keep in mind this is just due to use within a sleeping bag. These layers could not be useful outside of a sleep system, IMO.

I currently use a Smartwool microweight zip neck top for hiking (7.15 ounces) and carry a Smartwool microweight t shirt (4.65 ounces) for "camp/town use". I also own a Smartwool long sleeve microweight shirt (6.4 ounces) that has seen little use and never comes along on backpacking trips so far. I am considering dropping the "camp" t-shirt and the Terramar sleep top (combined weight 7.85 ounces) and replacing it with my Smartwool long sleeve microweight (6.4 ounces). This would result in a savings of 1.45 ounces but at the cost of my "camp" shirt base layer also being used for sleeping. If needed, the long sleeve base layer could also be used under my Smartwool zip neck hiking shirt in particularly cold hiking conditions.

As for the bottom, I would like to replace the Terramar bottom with some type of long underwear for use in the sleeping bag, as well as possible use in camp or on the trail if conditions get particularly cold. Normally in camp, I wear very lightweight running shorts that I don't use for hiking (which I also use in town). But this gets chilly sometimes and the long underwear could be useful. I'm thinking of buying either an Icebreaker or Smartwool piece although they are pricy. I think that I would have a weight penalty compared to the terramar bottom but this would be at least partially offset by the weight savings on my top base layer (described above).

My next major hike is the Colorado Trail in July but I'm likely going to be doing some section hiking on the AT in the fall as well.

05-01-2014, 13:57
My next major hike is the Colorado Trail in July

Correction: Although starting in July, most of the hike will be in August, not that it necessarily matters in terms of the weather (although maybe nights are colder toward the end of August).

Also, my sleeping bag is a Marmot Helium long 15 degree bag.