Jump to content

Issue 53 has been released! Download your own high definition PDF copy with a TrailGroove Premium Subscription or read online in standard definition here.



Microfleece Recommendation


OneEyeMan
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hey all,

I'm thinking that I need some sort of jacket with microfleece insulation and a wind blocking outer hard shell for use while hiking in windy/cooler conditions while wearing my backpack.  Does such an animal exist?  Is there another alternative I should be thinking of?

Thanks all,

Lenny

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member
Aaron Zagrodnick

There should be quite a few wind-blocking fleece jackets out there for sure. Personally, I prefer to break the warmth and wind blocking features into two parts as a layering solution just for more versatility. (Both ideas in one jacket will be warm, but it's all or nothing) For the types of conditions like you're talking about what I do is wear some type of zip neck long sleeve medium weight synthetic thermal type shirt and bring along a wind jacket / shirt - I use the Patagonia Houdini: http://www.backcountry.com/patagonia-houdini-full-zip-jacket-mens

For backpacking I leave the Houdini at home and use my rain jacket for this purpose just to save weight. For me this makes for a pretty versatile system as I can wear either independently and manage ventilation with both zippers.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I basically subscribe to that line of thinking also.

The only reason I'd want the 2 in one function of a softshell is if I start out and it's very warm and suddenly it turns cold and windy.  Then, I'd only have to pack 1 jacket instead of 2 saving bulk and weight.  More than one way to skin a cat.  :  )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

Softshells work for around town, not so much for outdooor pursuits I find. The exception is climbing because you are on-belay or climbing and it is a pain to swap out clothing..plus softshells can take a beating. 

Otherwise for the versatility espoused above, I like a different system for hiking, backpacking, skiing, etc.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Here's the scenario I see put forth. Unless, I'm wearing anything but the skimpiest day pack, and indeed wearing a backpack, that means I'm likely out for  more than a couple of hrs, probably at least an over nighter. It means I'm going to be moving, occasionally  changing pace, and  sometimes stopped. Even though  cool windy weather is generally forecasted that is not all I will experience. I'm going to get some mixed degree of changing  conditions on the journey. I want multi functional versatility in my torso layers to address changing conditions. 

As an advanced ULer I want to be wearing/using as much of my gear for the greatest amount of time as possible while adequately being able to address changing conditions. AND, to be able to do that IT IS MORE THAN GEAR THAT FIGURES INTO THE EQUATION.  

I would like a "true" highly breathable "true UL" hard shell w/ hood and hand pockets, mid insulation layer, likely a down or synthetic vest, and a ventable long sleeve merino/synthetic( deep chest zip and monkey finger holes). I might even throw in a fourth next to skin base layer of a merino tee.   

 

When done right I can get those four layers to weigh less and  have less volume,  or comparably so, to say a thicker insulating fleece/down/synthetic long sleeved  jacket and  one/two heavier base/mid layers while having comparable warmth but offer greater versatility and functionality. I would round out my upper half by addressing extremity warmth w/ merino beanie(noting my hardshell also has a hood and hand pockets for added warmth/protection from the elements)  and gloves(how heavy or what type depends on how cold and if my hardshell has hand pockets). I've gone through this comparison test many times with my own gear arsenal by examining the total wt and total volume of these two types of layering scenarios based on your journey's conditions. It's taken some experimentation and knowledge of several things(gear availability, layering understanding, weather patterns, how everything is working synergistically, etc) but I have to disagree that more apparel pieces DO NOT necessarily have to be greater in wt or volume than fewer pieces.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm also a fan of separate pieces for this, but I use both depending on the temps.  An ultralight windbreaker in pertex or similar light dense fabric can weigh so little and pack up so small, and mean so much. Often just that windbreak is enough to add enough warmth without an added liner (in fact I'll usually shed a layer before putting on the windbreaker if I'm still moving).  The versatility of separate layering pieces makes more sense to me.  That said, when it's cooler and I know it will stay that way, sometimes I'll change up my layers and bring along a Marmot driclime shirt.  They've been around forever and are just as awesome now as they were 15 years ago.  Not too heavy, but between the microfiber windblock and the super light microfleece lining, they're very warm, and they have enough room to fit a mid layer underneath like a ghost whisperer sweater, etc.  There are variations from everyone so you can pick one with a hood, pockets, full zip, whatever.  They breathe well enough and dry out fast, not too bulky to pack, so it's a good piece to consider, but really one that I only consider for cooler temps because a ul tiny windbreaker just seems more versatile for most spring/fall trips where the temps are above 40 while hiking.  Sierra Trading Post still has some nice windbreakers from Lowe (pertex I think) and they've almost always got the Marmot shirts...with their discounts and coupons you can usually pick one up for $45 or so, great deal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...