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Old 11-08-12, 04:09 PM   #1
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Its 5:00 AM, 27*F degrees and dark: Part II... do not wear insulated hunting jackets!

Okay, so I was pumped last night. Really wanted to try out my new merino wool base layer this morning. We were to get some snow, some stiff winds, etc. Woke up at 4-ish. No snow. But plenty windy.

So I put on my new merino base layer, regular thermal bottoms, plus my uniform shirt and trousers. I bought a 4-in-1 hunting jacket on sale last year at our local Dunhams Sporting Goods (not my favorite place to shop... long story). I wore my leather gloves and my heavy beanie and a neck gaiter I bought some years ago (further testing on this to come!).

One mile into the ride (all uphill) I was roasting!! Had to stop and unzip. Maybe if it was below 20 it would have been okay. I was impressed with the jacket's performance, but wrong application I suppose. I think the temp was about 32 degress at the time.

On a lighter note, I am most impressed thus far with the merino. Very comfortable. I am still wearing it this evening as I type this. My size fits a bit loose, not tight like my UnderArmor. I am really hoping these base layers perform like all I have read.

Just thought I would share...
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Old 11-08-12, 05:24 PM   #2
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If I'm a little cold during the first half of my 4 mile commute (ever so slightly downhill), I know I will warm up pretty well on the second half of it (ever so slightly uphill - only a bicyclist would notice).
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Old 11-08-12, 05:39 PM   #3
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I hear so much that merino wool is like a miracle fabric. What are your opinions, but in more depth?
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Old 11-08-12, 05:49 PM   #4
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Give me at least through the weekend. I will have more of an opinion.
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Old 11-08-12, 06:08 PM   #5
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I hear so much that merino wool is like a miracle fabric. What are your opinions, but in more depth?
I wouldn't say it's a miracle, but it is darn close. Once I started wearing wool, I became a believer, very quickly. And I am a very skeptic person, by nature.
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Old 11-08-12, 06:54 PM   #6
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Wool is great. It's been in the mid 30's here this week and I've been wearing a poly long sleeve T under a wool jersey topped off with my HiVis windbreaker. Half way into work I have to unzip and sometimes remove the windbreaker. I have yet to convince co-workers that I really am toasty on the way to work.

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Old 11-08-12, 07:04 PM   #7
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I hear so much that merino wool is like a miracle fabric. What are your opinions, but in more depth?
Just started wearing my merino jersey this week and it's sooooooooo much better than nike drifit
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Old 11-08-12, 07:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by davidmikesell View Post
I hear so much that merino wool is like a miracle fabric. What are your opinions, but in more depth?
I've been using merino wool base layers for several years...hunting, fishing, cycling, hiking, camping - anything I do outdoors when it's cold. I've got a couple pairs of "Darn Tough" merino wool socks, that are my absolute favorite, most comfortable socks.

It's lightweight and easily packable.
Getting wet only helps it's insulating properties.
It doesn't stink or retain odors. Seriously. You can wear this stuff for days camping/hiking, and it won't stink.

Downsides:
it ain't cheap.
I've found the light-weight (thin-material) ones can be quite frail. For instance, I was removing an Ice Breaker merino wool shirt, and my thumb went right through the back...first time I wore it. I had just paid over $50 for it. Thankfully I was able to return it.
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Old 11-08-12, 07:23 PM   #9
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FWIW, LL Bean has a very nice set of 100% Merino Wool base layer. I just bought one lightweight and one medium weight. I get XXL/Tall size and they were $59 and $69 each. The quality and feel is great. I have not yet worn in riding, but will tomorrow.
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Old 11-08-12, 07:25 PM   #10
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I picked up a "Merino Blend" mid-weight base layer from Costco for $24 last week. Great price for a great product, IMO.
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Old 11-08-12, 07:33 PM   #11
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I picked up a "Merino Blend" mid-weight base layer from Costco for $24 last week. Great price for a great product, IMO.
Those are like 80% polyester aren't they?
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Old 11-08-12, 08:08 PM   #12
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Those are like 80% polyester aren't they?
Probably. Not sure, though. I couldn't find anything that would tell me the actual materials...but it actually works great, and is very comfortable.

[edit]
just looked it up on costco's website. 11% merino. Meh, whatever. The rest of my base layers (mostly Ice Breakers) are 100% merino. We'll see how well each hold up. I don't notice much of a difference in feel or warmth provided just yet. And I haven't yet worn them for days on end in an attempt to stink them up, either.

Temps around here very rarely drop below freezing in the early mornings. Winter daytime highs are usually in the upper 50's, so I'm not too concerned.

Last edited by ChrisM2097; 11-08-12 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 11-08-12, 09:04 PM   #13
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Merino wool is pretty good... maybe a little finer and softer, but don't toss out a lambswool sweater. Unless you want to send it to me.There's absolutely nothing wrong with lambswool.

To the OP, wear a long sleeve base layer, a wool sweater and over that a wind-breaking layer of some sort. That's about all you need at 27F. At least on you torso. You might need a balaclava or some hat and some reasonable gloves too.
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Old 11-08-12, 10:38 PM   #14
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Probably. Not sure, though. I couldn't find anything that would tell me the actual materials...but it actually works great, and is very comfortable.

[edit]
just looked it up on costco's website. 11% merino. Meh, whatever. The rest of my base layers (mostly Ice Breakers) are 100% merino. We'll see how well each hold up. I don't notice much of a difference in feel or warmth provided just yet. And I haven't yet worn them for days on end in an attempt to stink them up, either.

Temps around here very rarely drop below freezing in the early mornings. Winter daytime highs are usually in the upper 50's, so I'm not too concerned.
I hate when they do that. They should call it Polyester blend. They did have sweaters for $24 there, 100% merino wool, they have a zipper in the front that just goes down to your chest.
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Old 11-08-12, 11:13 PM   #15
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Okay, so I was pumped last night. Really wanted to try out my new merino wool base layer this morning. We were to get some snow, some stiff winds, etc. Woke up at 4-ish. No snow. But plenty windy.

So I put on my new merino base layer, regular thermal bottoms, plus my uniform shirt and trousers. I bought a 4-in-1 hunting jacket on sale last year at our local Dunhams Sporting Goods (not my favorite place to shop... long story). I wore my leather gloves and my heavy beanie and a neck gaiter I bought some years ago (further testing on this to come!).

One mile into the ride (all uphill) I was roasting!! Had to stop and unzip. Maybe if it was below 20 it would have been okay. I was impressed with the jacket's performance, but wrong application I suppose. I think the temp was about 32 degress at the time.

On a lighter note, I am most impressed thus far with the merino. Very comfortable. I am still wearing it this evening as I type this. My size fits a bit loose, not tight like my UnderArmor. I am really hoping these base layers perform like all I have read.

Just thought I would share...
Steve, I think you learned a good lesson, one we often have to relearn each season which is to layer with different things versus a heavy coat. Last year I wore a heavy coat and was like you.... roasting! Now it is a layering puzzle that one needs to continue dialing in.

Question for you Steve:​ Where did you get your merino wool layer?
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Old 11-09-12, 01:17 AM   #16
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I hate when they do that. They should call it Polyester blend. They did have sweaters for $24 there, 100% merino wool, they have a zipper in the front that just goes down to your chest.
I prefer 90/95% merino rather than 100%. The durability is far greater. It's easy to make holes through 100% merino garments. Especially low quality merino
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Old 11-09-12, 06:16 AM   #17
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I prefer 90/95% merino rather than 100%. The durability is far greater. It's easy to make holes through 100% merino garments. Especially low quality merino
where do you get yours at?
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Old 11-09-12, 06:59 AM   #18
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At 25 degrees yesterday, I had on a light balaclava, a windbreaker (no insulation) with a light long sleeve shirt, sweat pants, regular shoes and gloves (with my scooter mitts).

I rarely wear anything heavier than a light jacket. It has to get below 15° F before I put on thermal underwear and a 3rd layer on my top.

I think it would have to be about -10°F before I put on what you wore.
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Old 11-09-12, 07:04 AM   #19
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I've found recently that around 0°C/32°F just having good leggings and a top is more than enough. I wore a sweatshirt this morning 6°C/41F and i was roasting at the end (12km ride).

I do find the good hand protection is essential.
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Old 11-09-12, 07:12 AM   #20
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Shanghai winters aren't very cold - gets down to about -4C at the coldest. Last winter I wore a fleece-lined water resistant bike jacket (stayed dry in light to moderate rain) with a standard short sleeve jersey underneath on top, and fleece-lined tights on the bottom (just a single layer), and I was plenty warm. If the temperature was below 2C I added thicker gloves and a very thin balaclava.

This winter I'm going to use the same gear, but I'm going to buy cycling-specific gloves and a pair of waterproof winter boots, as I had trouble keeping my feet warm and dry last winter (Shanghai winters are quite wet).
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Old 11-09-12, 07:15 AM   #21
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I have to relearn how to dress for cold weather every fall/winter and usually overdress at first. Like today. I wore my warmest tights and jacket and was sweating even with temps about 32 F, so I'm gonna roast this afternoon when temps are in the 50s-60s. I should have dressed like I did yesterday with knicker bibs, long-sleeve jersey and vest but the weather guys were all talking about how cold it was this morning and I made the mistake of listening to them rather than trusting my judgment.
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Old 11-09-12, 12:07 PM   #22
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Holy moly, that's a combination for 0F or below. I got hot just reading that.
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Old 11-12-12, 07:38 AM   #23
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I know that smartwool makes good merino socks, but what are good brands for baselayers?
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Old 11-12-12, 10:46 AM   #24
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No kidding, at 27*F you barely need any insulation at all. A wind breaker and at 27 I'd just be starting into a base layer under the poly alert shirt.
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Old 11-12-12, 10:54 AM   #25
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One thing to remember when reading clothing labels - in the US, fiber content is calculated by weight. So, since wool is usually lighter than synthetics, a 50/50 wool/synthetic blend would actually have more wool than synthetic fibers in it.
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