Midlayer

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SJFL
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Midlayer

Post by SJFL »

I just posted about a stove alternative.

And in my quest to lighten things up a bit, next piece of gear is my midlayer. Right now, i am using a Patagonia Better Sweater. It's warm and durable (which are important), but it seems damn heavy.

Does anyone have a suggestion for a good quality, extremely warm, and light midlayer? I get cold easily, so warmth is really important. And I have to lighten my pack.

Thank you.
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xsproutx
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Re: Midlayer

Post by xsproutx »

Do you actually hike in your mid layer or is it for hanging out around camp? Would suggest different things based on that.
For me, unless I'm hiking somewhere where the high isn't expected to get above freezing, I don't bother with a mid-layer. Soon as I'm moving, I'm down to my normal hiking shirt and would be burning up wearing anything over it but everyone is different and, at camp, I'll put on a base layer and puffy and that does that job.
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SJFL
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Re: Midlayer

Post by SJFL »

@xsproutx
I don't hike in my midlayer. When it's down around 20's/30's during the day, I'll hike in baselayer and rain shell. But at night, I like to have a baselayer, midlayer (which has been the lead weight Patagonia Better Sweater), and then a down puffy. I run cold, so these three layers feel necessary. That midlayer is the one I need to work on in terms of weight.
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xsproutx
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Re: Midlayer

Post by xsproutx »

@SJFL
Got it. What you're looking for then is a alpha direct fleece then, probably. I have a senchi one that I love but they can be a bit of a pain to get a lot of the time. I had a rab alpha fleece at one point and I dug it but had an unfortunate run in with my dog; they're readily available at least and popular in the backpacking world. There's another cottage maker called FarPointe that makes to order as well; my wife has one and I may buy one for myself.
Each of these options will weigh around 5oz. If you're not familiar with the material, it's very insulating for it's weight but it's not something that's super durable for hiking near pokey things. If you're going to hike in it, you'll want a windshell or jacket over it. Perfect for at camp though
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SJFL
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Re: Midlayer

Post by SJFL »

@xsproutx
I did not know about this stuff... looking into it. It sounds promising.

No matter what I do, I can't seem to get my pack down below 40lbs. I recently got an ultra light pack that's 2lbs lighter than my last one. I use the solo stove. I have very little redundancy and extras. But it still stays at 40lbs. It's like someone is stuffing rocks in there. But I remain determined to doing this without sacrificing food, water or warmth.
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big_load
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Re: Midlayer

Post by big_load »

SJFL wrote:No matter what I do, I can't seem to get my pack down below 40lbs.
Yeah, it's not easy for winter in the desert. I have to be ruthless to get down into the 30s for anything more than weekend trip.
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rcorfman
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Re: Midlayer

Post by rcorfman »

SJFL wrote: Nov 27 2022 9:12 pm I have very little redundancy and extras. But it still stays at 40lbs.
I would say for backpacking, any redundancy is probably too much as you should be able to manage without for a few days. Generally, my motto is: if you're not sure about something, don't take it, especially for a long-distance trek as you can always pick it up later if you find you need it. But that's my background, long-distance hiking, so I'm probably not the best person to ask.

For your question, I use a Melanzana micro grid fleece hoody. That's what I've used for well over 3000 miles of backpacking. It's not that light though at around 10oz. But I sleep in it most every night on trail. I'm on my second one as the first was pretty worn after finishing the PCT. Unfortunately, you might have to go to Leadville, CO to get one. You could probably find something similar though.
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big_load
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Re: Midlayer

Post by big_load »

rcorfman wrote: Unfortunately, you might have to go to Leadville, CO to get one.
When I was there in September 2021, entry into the store was by appointment only (and I couldn't get one). Hopefully they're back to normal now. (I didn't make it any farther north than Buena Vista this September).
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rcorfman
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Re: Midlayer

Post by rcorfman »

@big_load
Sometime after the pandemic closed everything down, they sold mail-order through a lottery system. I was able to get two that way.
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SJFL
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Re: Midlayer

Post by SJFL »

@rcorfman
@big_load
@xsproutx

Lots of great suggestions. Thank you to everyone.

But... I'm trying to find something that I can actually order/buy now. And the cottage industry folks are all backed up for 4-5 months and/or, as some have mentioned, you have to be in Colorado to get the garment.

One of you mentioned Rab's Alpha Fleece that looks interesting. Only problem is that it has these large elastic fabric panels on the back of the sleeves... which seems like a prime place to lose heat (not sure why that was necessary, but I don't design garments).

So, in case anyone has come across another option, still looking for a super warm, super light, top/midlayer.
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sneakySASQUATCH
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Re: Midlayer

Post by sneakySASQUATCH »

You might try enlightened equipment they have some ultralight wind breaker shirts and insulating layers and Have some stuff in stock as opposed to waiting if you look in their warehouse selections. Otherwise they are backlogged. Don’t know your size, but they have quite a few torrid jackets.
I have a cuben fiber quilt from them 18 ounces 20 degrees love it.
:o
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AZClaimjumper
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Re: Midlayer

Post by AZClaimjumper »

@SJFL
I often carry a Decathlon Forclaz 100 as a mid-layer, something to wear around camp & or something to layer on B4 crawling into my sleeping bag; it's a hooded down garment with 800 fill power Down. Packs really small & weighs 10.2oz - Decathlon rates it to keep you comfy warm when the outdoor temperature is in a range of 41º - 23ºF. The hood is not removable & has no adjustments.
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big_load
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Re: Midlayer

Post by big_load »

My midlayer is an old Patagonia R1 hoodie, which is in my spreadsheet at 336 g. It's a bit heavy, but it covers a pretty wide range with or without base layer and it tolerates brush well. It's also extremely orange, which is handy at certain times of year.
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hikeaz
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Re: Midlayer

Post by hikeaz »

I, too am a cold 'after hike' person.
I have used a Warmlite vapor barrier shirt and a 1# 800 down jacket (mine is a golite) for about 15 years. Since then I have tried most available 'base layers (thinking that 'newer must be better'; right?' ) but the Warmlite is the best 'warmth for the ounce/ buck' when used with a down jacket. Can also be worn to sleep in to increase (decrease?) your sleeping bag's warmth rating.
https://andrewskurka.com/vapor-barrier- ... plication/
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