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12/21/2016 7:08 PM

I looked but didnt see a thread dedicated to these videos, sorry if I overlooked it.

Anyway your most recent video is awesome. Its the most current and comprehensive discussion on modern clothing that I have seen to date. Thank you for this.




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12/28/2016 5:24 PM
Thanks for posting this. That was a great watch.

Of particular interest were the parts about feet and hands.

I wavered back and forth between wools and synthetics for a while but now use mostly synthetics with a good odor guard. It took some ExOfficio boxers to win me over.
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12/28/2016 8:56 PM
Amen on those boxers. Solid gear right there.
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12/29/2016 6:21 AM
Like many of you, I have gone full circle with my base layers back to synthetics (HH Lifa for myself) mainly for the ability to quickly dry out. One thing I do like doing when it's fairly cold is to use a merino blend baselayer over the polypro. Under the WC, that 2 layer system is comfortable in single digits when moving on skis. I still throw on a warm midlayer when I stop, and if it is longer than 30 mins I will remove the Lifa top.

What I have struggled with lately is the right trousers. Kuiu Attack Pants are great but, in the minus double digits I still need long johns and if it's cold and wet I use an Arcteryx hybrid trouser. These are great when the snow is wet or its raining but not warm and of course Goretex has its downfalls. Any suggestions would be welcome. I have been searching the soft-shell trousers on the Web and see a few that might meet the bill.

The new Kuiu NuYarn baselayers are nice for the two layer that as I find with the mesh side panels, heat regulation is easily managed. What is nice with the NuYarn items is the zip off long johns. In shoulder season when you want lightweight trousers for most of the day but, need some warmth in the early and late hours, those zip off bottoms are great.

As to the video, great information, super informative and well presented. Hats off to the HPG team again.
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12/29/2016 5:42 PM
Craig, I've had the same experience as you and forgot to mention it in the video. Summer weight synthetic baselayer with a summer weight wool baselayer worn over it is a very nice combo below about 20f. However, I'm really liking the thin fleece layer next to my skin even better for the same temperature range. It dries insanely quickly.

We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
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12/30/2016 10:04 AM

I was converted to wool pretty early because of how awful the subjective feel of polypro and underarmour was. Also I was typically in pretty mild weather and not using it for high-output stuff (daily wear, travel, casual backpacking). To some people wool still "feels" better and this is the curb appeal (like super squishy shoes) that makes conversions at the store.

what converted me back to synthetics was the PCU level 2 grid fleece (poor mans Patagonia R1). at first I tried to use it as a midlayer (mediocre) but when I finally started using it as a heavy weight baselayer the magic happened. For one I think it feels much nicer then plain knit synthetic against the skin, and for two it is like a vacuum cleaner for moisture, letting you wear it in much warmer temps then what the weight of the garment would imply. When it is cold and only slightly windy I'll wear it under a merino hoody which blocks a little more wind but keeps the system very breathable. In windier weather I'll wear a windshirt either instead of or in addition to the merino. I recently got a Patagonia Capilene Thermal weight hoody (about the thinnest grid fleece you can get) to see how it compares to its heavier cousin, but I have a strong bias toward these complex knits over the plain stuff.

The guy I talked to from Duckworth (USA made merino) calls the merino-over-synthetic system "A wick and a sponge" and they make a garment built around this; the Comet Hoody. It has an inner layer of knit polyester and an outer layer of wool but knitted together. Personally I decided I would rather keep the layers separate then combine them. The newer blended merinos are getting good reviews (kuiu, Rab, First Lite) but I have yet to try them, the promise is the subjective feel of wool with most of the drying speed of synthetic.

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1/1/2017 7:22 AM
This is my first season using grid fleece and it's amazingly effective when sitting around in temps ranging from the mid-20's to the low 30's.

I've been using the heavyweight REI brand version because they sometimes pop up on the clearance rack. It's warmer than my heavyweight Smartwool baselayer.

How do you guys think a Patagonia Capaline 1 layered under the heavy Smartwool layer would work on the legs for non-aerobic outdoor activity like moving slowly while hunting and sitting around glassing? I figure since it's on the legs the extra warmth won't be as noticeable anyway.
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1/2/2017 12:27 AM
I've been using the Woolpower ( https://woolpowerus.com) baselayers for a long time with good results. It's kind of a mix between a wool and a synthetic.
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1/2/2017 6:52 AM
The Woolpower stuff is really good. I wore the 200 baselayer system for about three weeks straight in the Arctic (still in the treeline) at -25. Warm, no smell and due to the composition of the materials it is not itchy next to skin and it is also easy to care for. The only downfall for me is the tight elastic cuffs...I prefer the other style cuffs.
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1/3/2017 5:50 PM

I'd love to get some more woolpower, but it is hard to track down a good deal.

In that case the construction is as much at play as the material, the looped interior is adding tremendously to the loft over a normal knit (compare a 200 woolpower to a 200 icebreaker/smartwool), it still won't wick like a synthetic but the warmth/weight is going to be much better then otherwise. I think the bulk of the nylon content is on the outside where it helps with durability. Now if someone would put some more up on eBay...

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1/3/2017 6:37 PM

With regard to the wool stuff....if anybody is interested, these ones from G. Fred Asbell are the bomb.  I have a blanket weight model and it it is good to go in my book.  It has a pass-through hand-warmer pocket and a zip close horizontal one, as well.  It works very well underneath a Kit Bag.  The price point is very nice, too.


I know there are some folks here on the Forum that do not care for wool, but personally....I think it has a place in the backcountry, depending on the activity.  Well worth the money and breathes well while keeping one warm in the winter.

I also recently got my hands on a prized Norwegian Army Sweater....something I always wanted when I was active duty SF, but never had the opportunity to go and train with the Norge units.  These Norwegian sweaters are incredible. If you find one...buy it.  They are rare and definitely prized garments among 10th Special Forces Group dudes.




Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
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1/4/2017 11:53 AM
Alp, thanks for posting those links.  I knew Asbell was a legendary bowman but didn't know about his woolen stuff.  Wool and high-quality, tightly-woven cotton (not denim), will always have a place in the backcountry in the cold if fire is part of the plan.
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1/5/2017 6:39 AM
As Alpendrms was mentioning about the old Norgie sweater, the Woolpower equivalent is really nice. I have the 400 weight one and it is an awesome midlayer. It is quite heavy, as you would suspect but, are great piece nonetheless. As Fowler mentioned, it's the looping weave inside that creates the air spaces and the softness.
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1/5/2017 7:55 AM
As a big fan of wool id thought id mention a couple of premium brands.

1) for thicker wool the German company 'Mufflon' . 450g/m boiled felted merino wool garments (w100 range) and 780g/m boiled felted wool (w300 range). This is the Premium brand in Europe. Nothing comes close as the fabric and garments are made in Germany . Expensive but its daily wear for me. (Mufflon are a bit large in sizing). Woolpower doesnt come close to Mufflon. Ive owned a few woolpower garments.


2) For baselayers type stuff then the premium in Europe is the italian company 'Reda Rewoolution'. Fabric is spun in Italy, garments are designed and finished in Italy but manufactured in Bosnia. 100% merino that literally feels like thick silk. I have a 190g/m baselayer and a 280g/m jacket (which is frankly awesome). They are slim fitting though as they are an Italian brand. The baselayers are slim fitting im an XL even though my chest is 41".

The chinese manufactured smartwool, Icebreaker doesnt come close (i was an icebreaker devotee previously), but Reda is still in the same price range as Icebreaker.

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