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#107369 - 12/04/08 06:57 AM Replacing 100 weight fleece
chuck Offline
member

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 83
I am looking to replace my 100 weight upper fleece (8.5 oz) base layer with something less weight but not Down. I use this to sleep and hike in when cold or pair up with precip if wet and real cold.

Icebreaker morino wool 260 would be nice but I would not gain any weight savings. Is the IB 200 or 260 as warm as 100 weight fleece? Does anyone know weights of Smartwool, Wickers stuff that could save weight? REI MTS Synthetic looks good but probably no weight savings there.

Thanks

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#107370 - 12/04/08 07:55 AM Re: Replacing 100 weight fleece [Re: chuck]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
Exact weights depend on sizes and there are variations with any one item manufactured. All I can say is that I have weighed several of my various base layer items. In general, the 100-wt fleece is about the lightest, however it is bulkier. When I am really squeezed by space I will use a poly-pro layer because it packs smaller. The wool is the heaviest by a few ounces but I prefer it because it breaths so much better and I think it has a wider comfort range at various temperatures. I have a very light weight merino wool (underware from Sierra Trading Post) that is only 2 oz. heaver than my fleece, and heavier wool (Ibex) that is about 4 oz heaver. The heavier wool is obviously warmer than 100-wt fleece. I am lucky in that I do not get itchy from wool. 100-wt fleece is also much cheaper than wool, if cost is a factor. I tend not to like polypro (or equivilent - such as the Pagagonia stuff) because it smells and does not breath well. Bottom line - I have all three - wool, fleece and poly-pro, and each fits specific needs.

Also, if all you need is a really light layer, you may want to try silk. It is very compact and light, but not as warm.

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#107371 - 12/04/08 09:54 AM Re: Replacing 100 weight fleece [Re: wandering_daisy]
hikerFedEx Offline


Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 19
Loc: United States
I no longer carry any fleece hiking. Love it at home, around town, and for that outdoors look. (I actually prefer windblock. I find it much warmer cuz it cuts the wind. Can add insulating layers as needed. By contrast my 100,200,300 fleece does not cut the wind (unless I wear a shell over it) so I'm often cold with even a slight breeze)

For layering while moving I use poly or smartwool of lighter or med weight. Otherwise, replaced my fleece tops, coats, layering with 3oz Montrail pullover 1/2 zip windshirt. traps loads of heat, and still breathes well. I repeat 3 OZ! Especially warm if I add a less breathable wind/rain shell over it. Add my cocoon style insulated pullover 1/2 zip top and bottoms for real insulation once I stop moving and to add warmth when sleeping. Probably among my best UL conversions from traditional outdoors/backpacking/camping.

My Cocoon style pullover 1/2 Zip Patagonia Micropuff synthetic insulated top is "heavy" & weighs ~12oz, my bottoms with full side zip weigh 14oz. Both are wind and water resistant & weigh FAR less than any fleece I've owned, but are also MUCH warmer - like wearing a down coat or pants. They are not as durable so I'm cautious if doing any camp work, etc. Cocoon versions at Backpackinglight.com weigh ~6-8oz ea. for pullover top & bottom depending on sizing. Not cheap but I swear by SUL synthetic insulating top/bottoms.

Highly recommended. Similarly my BPL Vapor Barrier Insulated Mitts weigh <4oz and glove liners <2 oz and are far quicker drying, water/wind resistant (& lighter) than any fleece gloves I've owned.

Same for beanie style hats.

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#107372 - 12/04/08 12:12 PM Re: Replacing 100 weight fleece [Re: hikerFedEx]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I use less fleece also, but not for the reason you say. I am using more wool, and less fleece. The idea is you only need 1 wind layer, and it should be as light as possible. 4oz of cheap light breathable nylon is a good target for windjacker or wind pants. Harder to find cheap light pants for some reason. Anyhow, the wool or fleece layers should be thick. Its ok if the wind blows through them. In fact, its a good thing. When you need to stop that you put the windbreaker on. In winter I wear a thick but light wool sweater for a top, and 200wt fleece pants for bottoms. I don't add my skin layer or wind layer or hat or mitts until I need to. I will also blouse up the 200wt fleece pants above my knee to stay cool when neccessary. This also helps dry my socks. The only clothes I need to carry are my skin layers, my wind layers, and my mitts and hat and neck tube. By keeping these main layers on they stay dry and I recycle my heat better between periods of activity and inactivity. I would probably go with wool pants if they made them thick and loose enough, but they don't, and the 200wt fleece pants actually might be better if you suddenly take a plunge or something like that. If its potentially really cold, like -20F without sun, then I might also carry my long wool underwear, which can slip in between my other skin layer and main layers, and can be held in reserve as extra sleep wear or clothing until needed. I might make a pillow case to carry them in until needed. They weigh 16oz. 100% merino for $35 from Stanfields awhile back.

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#107373 - 12/04/08 12:59 PM Re: Replacing 100 weight fleece [Re: chuck]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Quote:
I am looking to replace my 100 weight upper fleece (8.5 oz) base layer with something less weight but not Down. I use this to sleep and hike in when cold or pair up with precip if wet and real cold.

Icebreaker morino wool 260 would be nice but I would not gain any weight savings. Is the IB 200 or 260 as warm as 100 weight fleece? Does anyone know weights of Smartwool, Wickers stuff that could save weight? REI MTS Synthetic looks good but probably no weight savings there.

Thanks
Thought I should respond to original post. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

In a thin layer like 100wt fleece at 8.5oz per square yard your not going to get much weight savings with any choice. For a fair comparison though you have to think of what it adds to your total clothing system and/or sleeping system. I suggest a lightweight but looser knit wool sweater. It might weight a little more than the 100wt fleece, but in summer you might be able to eliminate a skin layer underneath, and when worn alone it should be just as cool as the 100wt fleece, and when worn with your wind layer or rain layer it should be just as warm and light as your 100wt fleece with a skin layer underneath it. Wool also has the advantage of thermoregulation by capturing the latent heat and sensible heat from your body moisture, especially when you need to add your wind layer over it, and then giving up that moisture when you get moving again, especially in sunshine, and want to take that wind layer off. It effectively acts as though it had a higher r-value while gaining moisture, and as though it had a lower r-value while losing moisture. It gains up to 35% without feeling wet, and can gain more than that and still provide insulation.

The other thing to consider for saving weight is to make sure you have fairly even coverage when you are wearing all your clothing at once for a particular trip, such as when its colder then normal and you are stopping to eat or rest. Especially in Spring/Summer/Fall it is normal to hike in just shorts but perhaps a sweater up top, but when you stop it is more effective to cover your legs and add a hat and mitts than to add another top layer, other than your wind layer. Wind layers are always good. When you are moving though, or when you are stopped in less cold conditions, the wind layer can be the first thing to take off even if its windy, to dry your insulation out. Doesn't really matter much what you add or remove though, whatever is conventient, but when you are wearing it all at once you should have fairly even coverage and a single wind layer top and bottom.

Example...

Say this is your system now:

Bottom:
boxers
4oz polypro
7.5oz 100wt fleece
hiking shorts

Top:
4oz polypro
8.5oz 100wt fleece
precip wind/rain jacket

Hat and mitts and socks important but left out for clarity.
This is pretty much summer fare, so its harder to tweek, but perhaps...

Bottom:
merino boxers
7.5oz 100wt fleece
4oz wind pants
hiking shorts

Top:
12.5oz loose knit merino sweater
4oz wind jacket ?
8oz rain layer ?

Anyhow, you may want more than this, but you get the idea. Personally I like to separate wind jacket and rain jacket, but I haven't tried the precip, and for a summer system like above I would be tempted to combine the two into one as you seem to have done.

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#107374 - 12/05/08 06:54 AM Re: Replacing 100 weight fleece [Re: JAK]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Quote:
I would probably go with wool pants if they made them thick and loose enough, but they don't


Have you tried Army surplus stores? Sometimes you can find WWII era uniform pants that are 100% wool. They are usually thick and tightly woven.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#107375 - 12/05/08 07:48 AM Re: Replacing 100 weight fleece [Re: finallyME]
chuck Offline
member

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 83
FinallyME,

Several years ago at a local army surplus store I found a great pair of heavy Army Ranger 200-300 weight fleece bid overalls "overpants" with suspenders and side zips and long front zip.

I don't use these backpacking but I do use on SAR callouts while waiting around base camp for next task and I use on car camping with BSA. They are the absolute warmest thing imagineable. Not good for hiking but do get used for right purpose.

Chuck

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#107376 - 12/05/08 02:59 PM Re: Replacing 100 weight fleece [Re: chuck]
robpatterson5 Offline
member

Registered: 05/28/04
Posts: 148
R1 pullover? might save you some grams, otherwise any savings would be from a 'all in one' type insulation garment that would replace your 100 weight AND your other insulation, then bring something like a Cap3 for hiking in. Not the most versatile system though.
You could always just leave the fleece behind and deal with any suffering though. Either that or walk/run faster when you get cold <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
Cheers


Edited by robpatterson5 (12/05/08 02:59 PM)

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#107377 - 12/05/08 03:02 PM Re: Replacing 100 weight fleece [Re: robpatterson5]
robpatterson5 Offline
member

Registered: 05/28/04
Posts: 148
Truth be told I dont think there is anything else that will fit you needs that is lighter. Your down to grams here.
Maybe layer baselayers your bringing already? 2-3 Cap2 or 3's, or a Cap3 and 4 might be equivalent

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#107378 - 12/05/08 03:51 PM Re: Replacing 100 weight fleece [Re: wandering_daisy]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee
You are right. There are a lot of different fleeces out there and some are different weights and some perform differently too. I prefer the fleece but I use nothing but Polartec Fleece, and trust me there is a difference. I have all three weights in the Polartec and they all serve me very well at different times for different reasons. I think that if any one in here prefers fleece that if you try the Polartec brand name (nothing else is the same) you will find that there is a major difference between fleece and Polartec Fleece..They also offer other products too like wind proof fleeces and also water proof fleeces too...

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