Winter Cycling - Base Layer Questions
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Living in the pacific northwest, it doesnt get too cold, but it does get wet.
Couple questions if anyone is an expert on layering.
I have 3 types of base layers. polypro, merino wool, Polartech Powerdry.
I also have a pile of regular long sleeve jerseys and various 'dryfit' style long sleeve shirts.
Currently i find it too warm to wear both a base layer and a wicking jersey. I read that some pros wear a base layer inder a jersey even in warm weather due to the better moisture control.
Any idea what kind of base layer they would be using ? If i wear just a jersey, i find it cool. If i wear just a base layer, i find it gets wet with persperation. And so far havnt found a good base/mid layer combo that works well for temperatures in the teens celcius.
Anyone know any pros/cons of the 3 types of base layers available and which would be the least warming but most wicking ?
10-04-05, 08:18 AM
I wear a Coolmax Alta t-shirt even when it is warm. The jerseys I have irritate my skin and I find the coolmax alta more comfortable. When the weather is hot the tshirts don't make it much if any warmer but they do take a little of the chill off of a cool morning. Once it get cold I use various baselayers. Fleece seems to do the best with wicking but it is also warm. I havn't tried som of the more expensive fabrics like Powerdry or Under Armour so I can't comment on them.
I spent half the day yesterday researching base layers since i couldnt get any replies.
Here is what i did find out about so called 'best' base layers for a high aerobic activity outdoors in the winter.....
Best 'feel' next to skin. Merino Wool.
Best actual layering system for keeping warm while at same time wicking away the most sweat... skin tight Silk weight powerdry base layer with a regular wicking shirt as mid layer. Outer layer shell to either block wind or rain depending on climate. Adjust mid layer for temp.
-Wool. Merino wool has the best feel against bare skin. Keeps warm even when wet, least odor, but retains a fair amount of moisture.
-Polypro. Feels cold when mosit against skin, and has the most stink. New polypro by helly hansen and others is less odorific.
-polyester, feels cold against skin when moist.
-any of the 'chemicaly treated' fabrics dont last long. Capeline, etc is an example of chemicaly treated.
-Bi-Component fabrics work best for wicking away, while keeping a dry warm feeling next to skin.
-The best bi-component base layers typicaly come from Polartech Powerdry or Marmot Dry Clime
-base layers should be tight to skin fit to work best
-high aerobic activities (cycling) usually mean the person is generating a lot of heat so the thinnest (silk weight) variety works well.
So end result, a polartech powerdry, skin tight fit, in silk weight with a regular polyester jersey and a windbreaker or rainproof outer layer.
I couldnt find anythgin sayign what Under-Armor is made from, but i think its just a polyester in a skin tight fit. Although their cool gear wear i beleive is a bi-component so it may work well also. Its about 2x the price of powerdry though, darn marketing schemes and brand names.
10-04-05, 11:22 AM
Jarery -- great info and thanks for sharing your research. I'll be in the market for base layers soon so this will come in handy.
02-08-10, 10:51 PM
I know this is an old thread, but it's just what I was looking for :) Thanks Jarery
02-08-10, 10:58 PM
Yikes zombie thread... polartec powerdry makes a great base layer if you can get a tight fitting shirt.
02-17-10, 07:32 AM
I think any base layer is fine. I think you would be happier with a different kind of 2nd and 3rd layer. your 2nd layer should be loose fitting and absorbent not wicking. that 2nd layer will absorb the moisture so the wicking base layer stays dry. I use a fleece shirt or a fleece vest and then a cycling jacket. I really like the fleece vest. the key is proper venting. anyway consider trying a loose fitting absorbent 2nd layer like a thin fleece of some kind. and a jacket should be vented.
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