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  1. #1
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    Default Ultralight baselayers...my midweight merino weighs 16 oz (top and bottom)

    Any others out there that are good performers, save me 4-6 oz/set?

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    Merino is typically heavier than synthetics unless you go with super thin merino. But it wears out quick.

    The lightest some of the best perfomring baselayers are imo.. for synthetic Patagonia capilene, and montbell merino.

    Im also a huge fan of minus 33 wool and theyre local to me. Im wearing some right now.

    Patagonia capilene thermal weight is a good compromise for a "warm" synthetic. About 5 oz a piece for a top/botton.

    Wool is usually a few ounces more unless you go super thin like the 130.

    Montbell if you want wool
    Patagonia if want synthetic

    Whats the baslayer for? Some people like super thin silk as well which is really light

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  3. #3
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    I prefer wool for a baselayer. Ice breaker or Minus33 are the two brands I tend to buy. Terramar blended wool synthetics for lighter weight baselayer work pretty well. When it's really cold, I'll layer my cap 2 top over 150 wt Icebreaker crew. That combo seems to work very well.

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    Mine is minus -33. I had a buddy that ran a shop. Gave me a good deal. Merino is my favorite.
    Dont wanna give it up, but only wear it when in camp

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr115 View Post
    Mine is minus -33. I had a buddy that ran a shop. Gave me a good deal. Merino is my favorite.
    Dont wanna give it up, but only wear it when in camp
    Im assuming you have the midweights. Your not gonna get lighter unless you go with a lighter merino or switch to synthetics. Id look at the montbel merino/synthetic blends.

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    Depending on what you mean by midweight. Arc'teryx calls their 180 Merino wool Satoro AR "midweight". 6oz for the crewneck, 6.9oz for the zip turtleneck, 4.9oz for the pants.

    They also purport to solve the durability issue common to Merino by using a yarn with a nylon core, with the wool wrapped around it.

    Of course, for all that awesomeness you pay Arc'teryx prices.

  7. #7

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    Years ago, there was a very lightweight fabric that was used in long underwear.
    Power-stretch I think it was called. (4-way stretch too)
    I still have some and it is thicker than my merino wool and much lighter.
    Good luck finding some though.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  8. #8
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Powerstretch fleece is still a thing. It's pretty warm stuff.

  9. #9

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    micro-fleece was another one. Very light, very warm.
    Not sure why it never took off, except it is more bulky of course.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zalman View Post
    Depending on what you mean by midweight. Arc'teryx calls their 180 Merino wool Satoro AR "midweight". 6oz for the crewneck, 6.9oz for the zip turtleneck, 4.9oz for the pants.

    They also purport to solve the durability issue common to Merino by using a yarn with a nylon core, with the wool wrapped around it.

    Of course, for all that awesomeness you pay Arc'teryx prices.
    Be good to include specifically what Minus 33 mid weight is being referred as my first question would also be Zalmans. Based on the OP's wt of his M33 mid wts he's maybe referring to the M33 Chocorua @230g/m2 wool crew LS(no 1/4 zip, no warmer zip up to just under chin collar, no zippered chest pocket) as the ArcT Satoro AR @180g/m2.

    Be careful in throwing around terms like ultralight and mid wt. As another example to Zalmans, Icebreaker refers to their 200 g/m2 line as light wt which I'd say is in line for light wt. Check out IB's 200 wt Oasis LS crew. It may save a bit on wt. Get into 230g/m2 you're more into the mid wt merino category for shirts. UL merino shirts are generally about 120-150 g/m2. If the OP is being hooked up at M33 how about going to M33's Tarletan merino LS 1/4 zip top @170g/m2 in the 6.4 oz neighborhood?

    Here's a different wt saving approach. Go to a lighter wt merino top such as the ArcT Satoro, Smartwool, Icebreaker, M33 ...BUT with a 1/4 zip for ventilation and the ability to zip up the neck. Overall, even though lesser merino g/m2 those features might make it warmer than the Chocurua. The OP did ask about performance. And, since you're single best piece of in camp insulation is your quilt or bag use that for warmth thereby saving apparel wt. IF the OP did that perhaps he wouldn't need the heavier merino bottoms too compared to a lighter wt merino bottom or for even greater wt savings synthetic bottoms. Without intending any malicious intent to the OP it might be a good idea to not perceive any apparel piece exclusively out of context of other apparel, gear, accessories, how one approaches their hikes, etc. The OP could think of it all as working together sooner rather than arriving at that awareness later.


    Haven't any ArcT Satoro experience but I find 150 g/m2 merino tees and LS tops is about as low as I'll go if I'm prioritizing durability in a high merino content merino torso LD backpacking piece.Want more durability as Fox said try the composite merino synthetics from companies like MontBell or Patagonia. I tend to get greater durability and some different performance trade off that are enjoyed using these composites.

    Palease for the luv of God, or at least one's wallet, read and adhere to merino cleaning instructions. It's attached to the darn shirt. That's especially aimed at the men. It's not just the product's design, materials, and manufacturing processes that influences usable lifespans but how we take care of pricey merino torso pieces. I say that as a person perhaps with more ruined pricey merino tees and LS tops than anyone has ever been seen wearing while mowing the lawn, painting the house, tending the garden, changing the car's oil, etc.


    And, hey ArcTeryx pieces although upfront pricey are some of the most durable and reliably trusted apparel available. It's one reason why you see AT used by professional guides, SAR, WFR, skiing instructors, remote backcountry enthusiasts, outdoor professionals, etc. I still haven't been able to kill any of my abused off trail long held AT apparel pieces.

  11. #11

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    UL merino shirts(Micro wt merino) are generally about 120-150 g/m2. If the OP is being hooked up at M33 how about going to M33's Tarletan merino LS 1/4 zip top @170g/m2 in the 6.4 oz neighborhood?



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Be good to include specifically what Minus 33 mid weight is being referred as my first question would also be Zalmans. Based on the OP's wt of his M33 mid wts he's maybe referring to the M33 Chocorua @230g/m2 wool crew LS(no 1/4 zip, no warmer zip up to just under chin collar, no zippered chest pocket) as the ArcT Satoro AR @180g/m2.

    Be careful in throwing around terms like ultralight and mid wt. As another example to Zalmans, Icebreaker refers to their 200 g/m2 line as light wt which I'd say is in line for light wt. Check out IB's 200 wt Oasis LS crew. It may save a bit on wt. Get into 230g/m2 you're more into the mid wt merino category for shirts. UL merino shirts are generally about 120-150 g/m2. If the OP is being hooked up at M33 how about going to M33's Tarletan merino LS 1/4 zip top @170g/m2 in the 6.4 oz neighborhood?

    Here's a different wt saving approach. Go to a lighter wt merino top such as the ArcT Satoro, Smartwool, Icebreaker, M33 ...BUT with a 1/4 zip for ventilation and the ability to zip up the neck. Overall, even though lesser merino g/m2 those features might make it warmer than the Chocurua. The OP did ask about performance. And, since you're single best piece of in camp insulation is your quilt or bag use that for warmth thereby saving apparel wt. IF the OP did that perhaps he wouldn't need the heavier merino bottoms too compared to a lighter wt merino bottom or for even greater wt savings synthetic bottoms. Without intending any malicious intent to the OP it might be a good idea to not perceive any apparel piece exclusively out of context of other apparel, gear, accessories, how one approaches their hikes, etc. The OP could think of it all as working together sooner rather than arriving at that awareness later.


    Haven't any ArcT Satoro experience but I find 150 g/m2 merino tees and LS tops is about as low as I'll go if I'm prioritizing durability in a high merino content merino torso LD backpacking piece.Want more durability as Fox said try the composite merino synthetics from companies like MontBell or Patagonia. I tend to get greater durability and some different performance trade off that are enjoyed using these composites.

    Palease for the luv of God, or at least one's wallet, read and adhere to merino cleaning instructions. It's attached to the darn shirt. That's especially aimed at the men. It's not just the product's design, materials, and manufacturing processes that influences usable lifespans but how we take care of pricey merino torso pieces. I say that as a person perhaps with more ruined pricey merino tees and LS tops than anyone has ever been seen wearing while mowing the lawn, painting the house, tending the garden, changing the car's oil, etc.


    And, hey ArcTeryx pieces although upfront pricey are some of the most durable and reliably trusted apparel available. It's one reason why you see AT used by professional guides, SAR, WFR, skiing instructors, remote backcountry enthusiasts, outdoor professionals, etc. I still haven't been able to kill any of my abused off trail long held AT apparel pieces.
    Im wearing my minus 33 chocoruas right now. I have smartwool, rei, m33's. M33s are my favorite it terms of fit and comfort. I really dislike synthetic bottoms.

    They dont have a tight athletic fit like smartwool or icebreaker. A little more relaxed. Super soft after a wash, has been great compared to my smartwool. The waistband is much more comfortable than the smartwools.

    Theyre about a 30 minute drive from me. Ive wanted to go up to their shop for quite some time.

    Their merino beanie is my favorite beanie ever. Ive had it for years. Took it on the AT. Still wearing it everyday here in NH right now.

    I noticed alot of m33 in outfitters on the trail.

    For the price theyre prety awesome. However.... i think my 230 weight do weigh like 8oz or so. Comfy and Warm. But i doubt id bring them backing again unless its winter.

    I want to try some montbell blends. Theyre price is pretty good as well.

    Ill never pay $100 for smartwool bottoms ever again.

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  13. #13

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    Ill never pay $100 for smartwool bottoms ever again.

    Why did you do it the first time? I have some Florida land you'll luv.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Ill never pay $100 for smartwool bottoms ever again.

    Why did you do it the first time? I have some Florida land you'll luv.
    I was young, wanted some wool. Only heard of smartwool. Walked into EMS. There they were. $98 or so.. I swallowed it and figured thats what merino cost. Years later i still wear em. But i don't really like them compared to other merino now. They developed small holes around the ankles real quick from wearing inside of boots. They fit kinda funky. The waist band is odd. Theyre constricting.

    I still wear em. But now my least favorite, most expensive merino long bottoms have become my beater pair lol.

    Minus 33 (NH) > Smartwool

    Darn Tough (VT) > Smartwool

    New England gets it right when it comes to woool .

    The johnson woolen mill up in northern VT off the Long Trail is EPIC.




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  15. #15
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    Thanks guys. With a total weight of 16 oz, even tho i really like em, will look at these alternatives...

  16. #16
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    Default Ultralight baselayers...my midweight merino weighs 16 oz (top and bottom)

    I just picked up Ems mid weight synthetic 1/2 zip top and bottoms in size large for top and medium in pants. 12 oz for the pair. Fine for me if Iím not looking to push my bag rating.


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    Last edited by sethd513; 01-02-2019 at 06:17.

  17. #17

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    Just a thought: But why is merino the go-to wool for base and mid layers? Have you ever tried other wools?
    Just a considered a good weight of a base layer and mid layer? Typically what do you look for in the garment?

  18. #18
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    Merino tends to be softer and less itchy, which is why I prefer it. Something to do with the actual fibers.

    For me, merino is ideal for a couple of reasons: 1. It doesn't stink. Ever. 2. See reason 1. Also, it's warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than synthetics.

    The only minor drawback is that it takes longer to dry, but it's more comfortable to wear when damp.
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  19. #19

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    I petty much agree with Fastfoxengineering---Merino is heavier than capilene, merino takes longer to dry out than capilene.

    Regarding against-the-skin baselayers---SILK is my go-to baselayer and has been for the last 20 years---a long sleeve midweight silk top (with the mock turtle neck or whatever). If it's too hot for my silk top I just wear my poly t-shirt as my hiking baselayer---in cool weather the Tee goes over the silk---and both can be covered by my rain jacket in even colder weather---and both are allowed to get wet with sweat/rain if need be because I have my midweight items for camp.

    For years all I used for torso midweights were Icebreaker 260wt under a 320wt zip neck tops---very warm and very heavy. See pics. Then a couple years ago I ditched the Icebreakers and went with a Patagonia system---a midweight capilene top under a thermal weight capilene top with the hood. Nice.

    TRIP 142 020-L.jpg
    Typical cool weather tops---silk long sleeve under poly T-shirt.

    TRI 132 173-L.jpg
    Another shot and I have to include it because it's in Mt Rogers!!

    Trip 188 (67)-XL.jpg
    For years all I used for my winter midweight tops were Icebreaker zipnecks sandwiched together---a 260wt under a 320wt---along with an Icebreaker merino balaclava. This set up is warm but heavy.

    P1000311-XL.jpg
    I got tired of carrying the weight of the Icebreaker tops and decided to get two Patagonia capilene tops and sandwich them together for warm---a midweight top under a thermal hoody---and this shows the hood in use. It's a zip neck top and the hood really helps to adjust warmth while moving. Both Patagonia and Icebreaker has the thumb holes which are great as "mini gloves".

    TRIP 137 205-L.jpg
    Here are some random Smartwool tops used as midlayers over the silk top. Btw, all I ever use for leggings are Icebreaker merino---either 200wt for summer (mostly sleeping pajamas) or 260wt for winter.

    Trip 189 (155)-M.jpg
    Another random Smartwool merino top---and used over the silk top and under my two Patagonia tops---basically a 5 layer system---silk baselayer, North Face t-shirt, Smartwool merino as pictured, two Patagonia capilene tops. (Rain jacket is worn over everything if very cold).

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