View Full Version : Softshell with heavy fleece

01-05-2011, 00:12
I'm doing a sobo thru hike leaving in August. Will a wool base layer with a heavy fleece specifically a Columbia Ballistic fleece and a 3L shell cut it for winter weather on the mountains? Or should I invest in getting a heavier outerlayer?

01-05-2011, 15:23
You'll want something warm to start, but not winter gear. A fleece pullover under your rain shell is almost certainly enough for the first month.

After that I would advise waiting until you need it, then figuring out what you want and buying it at an outfitter along the trail. That way you avoid buying twice.

01-05-2011, 15:43
The heavy fleece is going to take up a bunch of space in your pack, and is relatively heavy for the warmth. For temps below freezing, I'd go with a light- to mid-weight down jacket, augmented by a 100-weight fleece and shell. The shell could be a 4-oz wind jacket, Frogg Toggs, or a high-tech shell. Remember, your internal thermostat will adjust to cooler outside temps after a week of being outside.

Starting out in August, you should be fine with a light fleece, dry baselayer, and rain parka.

Come late October, you might augment with a mid-layer, dedicated wind jacket, long underpants, and perhaps an ultralight down sweater.

Come late November, move your full winter configuration, including insulated pants (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/bpl_cocoon_pant.html), heavier down jacket, light liner gloves inside waterproof mittens, and even gaiters to keep any snow from getting into the tops of your boots.