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  1. #1

    Default Capilene Vs Merino

    So, which should I get?? Here are my two choices---



    Nice midweight zip neck merino Smartwool top. (Already own a "set", large under an extra large---for my winter baselayer, but it's worn out.)



    Or a Patagonia Thermal top (what used to be Capilene 4).

    Capilene vs merino. The capilene 1-4 designation seems to be over, now it's Thermal or Midweight etc.

  2. #2
    Registered User Studlintsean's Avatar
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    I personally like the Cap 4. Just wish they made a fat boy version.

  3. #3
    Registered User gbolt's Avatar
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    Dang...I am still trying to figure out if I need to carry both Cap 1 Silk and Cap 2? If I should trade in for the new "MidWeight" to replace my Cap 2 or are they so close to notice a difference?

    I do know that the Cap 4 Pro Zip (or this new "Thermal") is more of a Mid Layer than a base layer. Which is why I struggle whether to take a fleece vest on top of the Cap 4, which alway's goes. I suggest the Thermal if you don't have one.

    Question after Question...Good thing we have the Whiteblaze threads!
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    Registered User The Cleaner's Avatar
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    Wool of course,any good brand.All synthetics will stink after a few days even in cold temps.I once met a hiker at a shelter wearing 3 synthetic tops and was still cold.I had on only one lightweight Smartwool top and a Nano Puff and was fine.
    Sleep on the ground, rise with the sun and hike with the wind....

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbolt View Post
    Dang...I am still trying to figure out if I need to carry both Cap 1 Silk and Cap 2? If I should trade in for the new "MidWeight" to replace my Cap 2 or are they so close to notice a difference?

    I do know that the Cap 4 Pro Zip (or this new "Thermal") is more of a Mid Layer than a base layer. Which is why I struggle whether to take a fleece vest on top of the Cap 4, which alway's goes. I suggest the Thermal if you don't have one.

    Question after Question...Good thing we have the Whiteblaze threads!
    After your post I have the answer. I will get a Cap 1.0 silk Defender sandwiched between a Cap 2 Capilene Merino mix and covered by a "longweight" Cap 4 Pro Zip unless provided with a new Thermal loweight in which case I'll go all the way with a Thermolite Spartan Thermopylae (the "300" denier) and then I can cover it all with a Howling Monkey predigested Phur fleece filament vest.

    I'm leaning towards the Thermal in other words.

  6. #6
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    This is for a mid layer? I like my cap 4 zip neck pullover on top of a 150-wt merino base layer. It's warm, especially under a wind shirt or hard shell, but it breathes well so I can wear it hiking in cold weather. It's way lighter than the equivalent warmth in a wool layer.
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    I personally like a light body-fit baselayer, followed by a midlayer fleece hoody that isnt real tight.

  8. #8
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    I would go for the merino if it wasn't Smartwool. I have had lousy durability issues with Smartwool products while I have had outstanding durability experience with Patagonia.
    Let me go

  9. #9
    Registered User gbolt's Avatar
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    Thanks Tipi and Big Cranky! That does help a lot. I tried to follow the rule of only take what you can wear at any one time but still trying to make sure one layer stay's dry for warmth at night. I love my Cap 4 Pro Zip and paired with a Windshirt, I have been able to hike into the low twenties. I Want to test lower temps but not alway's able to get free time to hike in the proper conditions that need testing (I can't wait to retire). I do worry about packing to much and packing my fear of cold but feel that I am low enough base weight to carry items that could be sent home on a long hike. The fleece vest does appear to be overkill.
    "gbolt" on the Trail

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  10. #10
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    I bought one capilene shirt, and I don't know why I still have it. It smells after 5 minutes.

  11. #11
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    I would go with the Capilene only because I have not used the other option :-) Although I also like Woolx!

  12. #12

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    I have both. Like them both too.

    Almost always when grabbing the Capilene I mid layer it and always prefer 1/4 zips for the additional ventilation. I did not have a big stink issue with older 1/4 zip Capilene versions. I have been testing the NEW Patagonia Capilene Mid Weight 1/4 zip long sleeved with Polygiene permanent odor control. It's early in my usage but it has worked nicely to control odor for me after about three high output multi day cooler weather hikes. I picked up a Thermal Weight 1/4 zip Capilene 1/4 zip long sleeved shirt too but have not used it yet.

    All my merino mid layers have 1/4 zips or deep zips as well.

    Prefer all my mid layers, which really can also function by themselves as base or even outer layers, and to be slightly loose fitting especially in the shoulders, sleeves, and wrist cuffs. Gotta be able to thermo-regulate/ventilate.

  13. #13
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    Hey muddywaters. I've been looking for a fleece hoody. Always end up back at the cap 4 hoody due to rave reviews. However, price and the snug fit keep me from pulling the trigger. What do you use?

  14. #14
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    Get the Cap 4, especially fer your neck of the woods.
    Try it on if you can, sizing just changed a bit.

    One underrated thing about the grid fleece is how versatile it is...
    Wear it alone and a light breeze keeps you pretty cool.
    Wear it as a baselayer and it wicks very well.
    Wear it under a wind shell, or even any layer and it traps much more heat than it weighs.

    If merino learns to mimic the grid fleece design... but it can't.

    Merino 1 is about the most wool I'll invest in- it wears too quickly to justify the expense and other than a baselayer doesn't perform better generally speaking once you get deeper in your layers.

  15. #15

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    Just Bill---
    I think you're right, although "Cap 4" is now called Patagonia Thermal . . .I think.

  16. #16
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    Yar... but the fabric is the same on that product.
    Cap 4 is the same weight of Polartec Grid Fleece.
    Though be careful as everything is re-cut and fairly trim.

    Looks like they are moving the whole cap line to a version of grid fleece in differing weights, and turning Cap 1 into the "daily" line. Guessing Polartec figured out how to "scale down" the fabric so they are taking advantage of it as it does work really well. So what was 2&3 is now a lighter weight version of the grid fleece.

    Cap 1 appears to be a blend of the "running" version they've been using and regular Cap 1.

    I know you've been around long enough to remember this ain't the first time the 1,2,3 system as been replaced by some marketing genius. Hopefully you stick around long enough for the next time they "introduce" the simplified 1,2,3 layering system.

  17. #17

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    I remember the very old and very stinky dark blue polypropylene tops and bottoms from the 1970's. Melted a few in a dryer. Stunk myself out of my tent. Can't remember the brand though.

    Thanks for the info on Polartex grid fleece.

  18. #18

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    I highly recommend Arcteryx over Cap. Have both, Arcteryx is warmer and keeps the stink away 20 times longer.

    This one should work : http://arcteryx.com/product.aspx?lan...o-LTW-Zip-Neck

  19. #19

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    Or this one if you are considering fleece. http://arcteryx.com/product.aspx?lan...ho-AR-Zip-Neck

  20. #20
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    I try to use only natural materials for my base layer, just a preference for things that are up against my skin. How is silk btw for odor retention? Does wool stay odor-free better?

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