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Camping Equipment and all Clothing Tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc. Riding clothing, boots, helmets, what to wear when not riding, etc.
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  #1  
Old 27 Sep 2008
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Base layer

Looking for opinions on base layers:
  • do riders like using them, or not?
  • which brands/items they prefer for hot/cold?
  • outdoor companies vs motorcycling companies products
I was shopping the other day and I was looking at Icebreaker base layers. They looked really nice, but I was wondering if people here have had better experience with base layers from motorcycling companies Rukka etc...

Thoughts? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 27 Sep 2008
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I wear a base layer all year round.

In summer, I wear a Helly Hansen top and long-johns; seems to help move the sweat away a bit. They stink bad after a couple of days though but they do wash through easily with some travel wash and will dry overnight.

In winter, I wear some slightly heavier stuff; I think they are "Musto" brand (they make shooting gear)

They are both synthetic.

A mate of mine is convinced that Marino Wool stuff is better but is a bit more money.

Just one quick word about vanity. I bet i'm a scary sight; clambering out my tent for a pee in a skin-tight black body-stocking and moto-cross boots.
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  #3  
Old 27 Sep 2008
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Silk or marino wool base layers are by far the best, manufacturers try to copy nature and never get it quite right. From a point of hygene, natural products like silk and wool do not harbour bacteria, so dont get smelly and your less likely to get rashes or infections (due to sweat/bacteria/ they are also far more efficient than man made stuff at keeping you warm. Even if it costs a little more its worth it. In summer good silk will help keep you cool as well as warm on a cold day. Take it from someone who works outside in the north doing heavy active work all day if you sweat and your gear gets damp when you stop the physical stuff you will freeze, natural products seem somehow to get rid of the moisture far better - providing your other layers are compatible - eg natural wool or similar.
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  #4  
Old 28 Sep 2008
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Easy to wash, dry's in a couple hours,

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 18:23.
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  #5  
Old 28 Sep 2008
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Come on Mollydog admit it, its not the price - it just wearing the ladies silk thing aint it. !!!!
WE UNDERSTAND YOU CAN TELL US
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  #6  
Old 28 Sep 2008
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Marinomi, As you're in BC I guess you can just get some snowmobile kit. I think it's always best to buy extreme gear where they have extreme weather! I got my thermals in Norway and they work brilliantly.

One problem I do have as a northern European is I have evolved very hairy legs. This is probably due to my ancestors running around in kilts! When I put longjohns on they squash down the hairs and I actually feel colder. So I only put them on when it gets really cold and I've got lots of other layers on.

Maybe I should just ride in a kilt instead of wrapping myself up like some southern jessie!

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  #7  
Old 28 Sep 2008
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icebreaker

you can't go past the stuff. goes many days without stinking, comfortable, long-lasting.
cheers,
andy.
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  #8  
Old 29 Sep 2008
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Another vote for Icebreaker

90% of my clothing is Icebreaker on this trip. I was wearing their 150 long sleeve tops and bottoms through all of the States, on hot and cold days. On the colder days I'd throw their 260 stuff on top. Then I realized that I felt much cooler riding with just their 190 tshirt and boxers under my riding gear, so the baselayers have been left in the panniers throughout Central America, except for on the occasional chilly day. They will get plenty of use in South America though.

The best part about Icebreaker/merino wool is that it rarely has to be washed, and when it does, 15 seconds of swishing it around in the sink with some shampoo in the sink does the job well. There is one downside though. The wool stinks when it's wet. Although the shirt never takes on a sweaty or BO type smell, your sweat makes the shirt wet, which makes it smell like a wet dog. Rain has the same effect obviously. It doesn't have to be soaked either to start noticing the funk. As soon as it dries, it smells brand new. Not much of an issue when riding, but it is when you start hanging around with people again. If I had to do it all over again, I'd bring the 150 and 260 underlayers, then 1 icebreaker 190 t-shirt to ride with, 1 190 t-shirt to wear otherwise, and one synthetic wicking t-shirt for hot or rainy days around town when you don't want to smell like a wet dog. And Yes, I know, that's 2 more t-shirts than many people bring on a trip.

Oh, the 150 baselayer top tore in the elbows when I went down a while back. The jacket didn't rip, but the impact tore the shirt. I think the 260 stuff, and possibly the 190 would have stayed in tact, but the 150 is really thin. The area around my torsoe also tore a little, but that's because my jacket rode up, and the shirt was between me and the gravel.

Another observation, I was riding with some synthetic shirts before the trip. Although they wick well, they almost wick too well, and I felt hotter riding in extreme heat then I do with my icebreaker that stays wet with sweat when I ride, providing a better cooling effect. In moderate temps or cooler temps, the icebreaker has no problem wicking away the lesser amounts of sweat and I stay dry.

-Jeff
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  #9  
Old 29 Sep 2008
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Another vote for Icebreaker

90% of my clothing is Icebreaker on this trip. I was wearing their 150 long sleeve tops and bottoms through all of the States, on hot and cold days. On the colder days I'd throw their 260 stuff on top. Then I realized that I felt much cooler riding with just their 190 tshirt and boxers under my riding gear, so the baselayers have been left in the panniers throughout Central America, except for on the occasional chilly day. They will get plenty of use in South America though.

The best part about Icebreaker/merino wool is that it rarely has to be washed, and when it does, 15 seconds of swishing it around in the sink with some shampoo in the sink does the job well. There is one downside though. The wool stinks when it's wet. Although the shirt never takes on a sweaty or BO type smell, your sweat makes the shirt wet, which makes it smell like a wet dog. Rain has the same effect obviously. It doesn't have to be soaked either to start noticing the funk. As soon as it dries, it smells brand new. Not much of an issue when riding, but it is when you start hanging around with people again. If I had to do it all over again, I'd bring the 150 and 260 underlayers, then 1 icebreaker 190 t-shirt to ride with, 1 190 t-shirt to wear otherwise, and one synthetic wicking t-shirt for hot or rainy days around town when you don't want to smell like a wet dog. And Yes, I know, that's 2 more t-shirts than many people bring on a trip.

Oh, the 150 baselayer top tore in the elbows when I went down a while back. The jacket didn't rip, but the impact tore the shirt. I think the 260 stuff, and possibly the 190 would have stayed in tact, but the 150 is really thin. The area around my torsoe also tore a little, but that's because my jacket rode up, and the shirt was between me and the gravel.

Another observation, I was riding with some synthetic shirts before the trip. Although they wick well, they almost wick too well, and I felt hotter riding in extreme heat then I do with my icebreaker that stays wet with sweat when I ride, providing a better cooling effect. In moderate temps or cooler temps, the icebreaker has no problem wicking away the lesser amounts of sweat and I stay dry.

-Jeff
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  #10  
Old 30 Sep 2008
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base layer

why don't you check out the homepage of
Sierra trading post (US based biiiig discount company).
I got most of my stuff thru them, more than satisfied, lots
of options and the price is very acceptable, too!
No, I don't get any special treatment and I am not
connected to this company - just passing on my
experience to other fellow bikers!
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  #11  
Old 30 Sep 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klaus View Post
why don't you check out the homepage of
Sierra trading post (US based biiiig discount company).
I got most of my stuff thru them, more than satisfied, lots
of options and the price is very acceptable, too!
No, I don't get any special treatment and I am not
connected to this company - just passing on my
experience to other fellow bikers!
+1
Fast shipping and good customer service also. I have ordered from them several times.
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  #12  
Old 30 Sep 2008
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As a soldier I can speak highly for Helly Hanson and also sub zero. If you are in the UK and near an Aldi or a Lidle they periodically sell merino wool base layers with their camping equipment for peanuts.

38
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  #13  
Old 30 Sep 2008
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Definitely another recommendation for Icebreaker from me.

Advantages:
1) Warm in the cold (if you use 2 layers of icebreaker, generally good for freezing temps)
2) Good moisture management in the warm
3) Doesn't smell
4) Dries quickly when you wash it
5) Packs nice and small

For the tops, make sure that you get long sleeves as it's much more comfortable under your riding jacket. I don't bother with the long johns as they are too warm.
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  #14  
Old 1 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 38thfoot View Post
As a soldier I can speak highly for Helly Hanson and also sub zero. If you are in the UK and near an Aldi or a Lidl they periodically sell merino wool base layers with their camping equipment for peanuts.
38
Great recommendation, 38, I'll follow up. After all, merino kit can be a bit pricey. I've had some other bits and pieces from Aldi/Lidl (can't remember which!) It might not have been absolute top quality, but was outstanding VFM. Daresay though that they won't be doing any camping specials now till next May.

Meanwhile, I'll stick with the silk that has never let me down. I smell enough on tour as it is, without a wet dog getting under my jacket.

PS You've been merged a few times haven't you?
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  #15  
Old 2 Oct 2008
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In terms of mergers, once in the 50's and last year so not that many.

38
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