This time of year, I need a shirt that provides a little warmth when I'm moving through the dark damp forests but isn't going to drench me with sweat in warmer areas. I have a North Face 1/2 zip soft shell-ish type shirt that I use right now, but it's not very breathable.
If you found a good one, please share. Obviously something with a 1/2 zip is great for warmth/ventilation adjustment.
Loc: Portland, OR
I generally hike in a long-sleeved, 100% polyester, button-front, button-cuffed, collared shirt that has a very baggy fit. When I need it to be warmer, I keep the sleeves down and button it up high. When I need it to be cooler, I roll the sleeves up and unbutton the front to the desired amount of ventilation. This approach works well for me.
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I add a lightweight layer if needed--might be a lightweight baselayer shirt or might be my wind shirt, or might be both. That way I can adjust my insulation to the amount needed. If I just take a heavier shirt, I often get too sweaty. The idea is to avoid either getting sweaty (which leads to hypothermia via evaporation) or getting chilled from insufficient insulation. Since I don't know the exact conditions until I get out there, I'd rather be able to adjust my insulation to the actual conditions.
Edited by OregonMouse (01/24/1502:49 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
Loc: Portland, OR
Layering on one of those 15-denier nylon windshirts that weigh in at around 2.5 oz to 3 oz adds an amazing amount of warmth, but still lets me adjust ventilation a fair amount by unzipping or pulling up the sleeves.
Then again, I may have more tolerance for adjusting my warmth by putting stuff on or taking it off than you do. It doesn't bother me much to take off the pack for a minute, adjust my clothes and put the pack back on, as long as I don't need to do it so often it ruins my hiking rhythm.
I have a similar long sleeve like this from Mountain Hardwear. I typically have a short sleeve (Also from mountain hardwear) under it. Sometimes I have an Under Armor under it if it really cold. The other day I went hiking at LeConte (a 6,500 feet mountain) and I wore my long sleeve Mountain Hardwear with my rain shell stayed plenty warm. Eventually shed the rain shell and stay comfortable until i got to the summit, then whipped out the insulated jacket. I guess i carry extra layers a lot. Two jackets (rain and insulated) long sleeve and short sleeve for all day hikes. I leave a change of clothes in car for when rolling into local watering hole after the hike. Backpacking trip it just depends on seasons and weather forecast.
Edited by ETSU Pride (01/25/1502:38 PM)
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart
I generally do a long sleeve nylon shirt over a tshirt. This is mostly for high altitude (around 10000 ft) summer time. Temps rarely go above 70F. If I am in the 80s or 90s, then I will either roll the sleeves or go with just tshirts. If it gets cold (morning/evening) a light jacket over the top does it most of the time. For consistent cold in fall/spring, I always have a thermal layer that I can put under the shirt.
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Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I've got a no-name light long sleeve 100% polyester shirt that I use for anything from cool to hot weather. I got it from one of those wholesale websites. Even down to the mid/upper thirties, as long as it's still, I just use that with hat and gloves while I'm hiking. I might be just slightly chilly, but not bad, and it's easier to strip hat and gloves off on the go than to adjust layers when I get warm. If the wind picks up, I'll add my rain jacket, which adds an incredible amount of warmth. I save warmer layers for stops.
Hiking is the ultimate realization that the journey is more important than the destination.
Thanks to everyone for your input. I decided to try out one of the 1/4 zip smart wool base layer shirts. I also grabbed an REI polyester equivalent to test it against. I will update everyone on how the test goes.
It is just about perfect for the situation that I had in mind -- a cool, dark forest. Keeps you warm, yet ventilates and wicks sweat very well. And with the zip, you can really open up when you are getting too warm. Perhaps most outstanding, it seems to be able to soak up sweat without becoming stinky, even after being used for a few days.
The REI midweight shirt was good too, but I thought the smartwool breathed better and was better at taking sweat without becoming stinky.