Talking 'Base Layers'^

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Talking 'Base Layers'^

Post by jayno55 » Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:25 pm

Ok, I have my rash vest and polyester shirt (or whatever it is) to wear when I'm out in my Gul neoprene longjohn, but .. now we're the colder weather is coming, plus I'm a novice starting to move from inland paddling towards estuary and coastal options so I've recently bought a Kokatat TecTour.

After getting good advice from all sorts of folk I bought a long-sleeved Chillcheater Transpire polo top to wear under the TecTour, but boy is that garment warm! In this shoulder-season weather I find it's too warm. I reckon it might work as a base layer in colder weather, or maybe as a mid layer if I ever get the urge to paddle near antartica.

So now I'm wondering what else to get that I can use as a true base layer (what some call the "inner core" layer) that is not so 'hot' as the Transpire? I still want some warmth, but lightness and lots of breathability, and NO itchiness (no, not even the hint of itchiness thankyou, I just can't hack it!).

This has to be a garment I can use on its own, without passing out, under the TecTour.

Advice ladies and gentlemen please?


ps: I have got a super-thin merino wool top that I thought might do the job but I have had diametrically opposite advice (!) about the merit of wearing merino for kayaking from two highly respected names in our retail network (not going to name them), so I'm widening my search for options now.

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Post by MikeB » Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:46 pm

Well, all I can tell you is that wool is supposed to be the biz, but, having managed to forget my thermal set last Easter I found myself wandering around M&S looking for thermal goodies and ended up with what was described as some sort of base layer for wear under ski kit!

It was also "on sale", so it was cheap! Always attractive to me. So, not being anywhere near any sort of "proper" outdoor equipment shop to getr "proper" thermal type stuff, I happily parted with my £20 or so for a full set of long johns and long sleeved, zip-necked M&S slinky stuff. (Quite "silk like" actually - rather sexy, if I say so myself)

It's called / branded "View from" - it's dark blue, and it's very, very comfy to wear. Last Easter wasn't that warm and you'll remember it was all I had, thermal wise, for paddling. Under the Tec Tour, thats all I had and I was pleasantly surprised how warm I was. Realistically I would have liked to have had another layer, but I didn't and I was never really cold.

Given you'd be pushed to buy a good thermal type performance top for less than £60/£70, I have to say I'd kinda pleased with my purchase. I really must go and see whether good old M&S are selling it this year.


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Post by Andy Wilson » Fri Nov 04, 2005 8:04 pm

Has to be Helly Hansen Super Lifa. Smelly Helly rules!!!


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Post by Helen M » Fri Nov 04, 2005 8:53 pm

Mike! You just want me to reinforce the super sexy slinkiness of the S&M gear (ooops - sorry M&S I mean!) don't you?

Well it was - cold (weather I mean) and nice to touch (M&S under garments -he insisted I have a feel!). He raved about it all weekend! And still does! Rave about it!

H - x

ps - I strongly suspect he is on commission!

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Post by PhilG » Fri Nov 04, 2005 9:22 pm

Lowe Alpine dry flo is really good stuff. It comes in two weights as well. Works well on the hill, on the bike and paddling.

check out: ... ctTypeID=7

for all the detail.


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Post by john campbell » Sat Nov 05, 2005 9:34 am

I've been using Berghaus Tech T base layers for hillwalking and in the kayak and its the most comfortable base I've used. No itchyness, feels great against the skin and good wicking. They are also hard wearing. Top marks.

happy paddling

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Post by MikeB » Sat Nov 05, 2005 9:40 am

A thought - whatever you buy, check it has nice flat seams, especially in the shoulder / armpit areas. Important for kayaking, not so essential for more general use!


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Post by jayno55 » Sat Nov 05, 2005 10:33 am

Thanks team, for all your tips and advice. I have looked at all the options you give and settled for the Lowe-Alpine Dryflo lightweight garments. I have always been impressed with the Lowe-Alpine products I have bought for trecking and photography activity, so I was psychologically inclined to like their baselayer garments, but I also came across this useful little garment technology review, which gives Lowe-Alpine a top mark for insulation performance: ... evbuy.html

Now MikeB has made it acceptable for blokes to be stylish with their undies (!), I've ordered a top and some tights from Jackson's of Belfast. They send out first class but with no postage charge, and they appeared to have more sizes and colour options in stock than I could find elsewhere.


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The Union Suit

Post by waverley610 » Sun Nov 13, 2005 9:32 pm

Hello Salty's

I've crossed over briefly from the inland pages for some 'sound' advice,regarding what to wear under my spanking new Dam X drysuit while river running;

Now I used to scoff at the all in one (Immersion Research) type union-suits hanging up in the canoe shops with a £60 price tag; but having now worn the drysuit on three occasions, I can see the benefit, but is one layer ever enough?

The problem with wearing multiple tops/bottoms seems to be the tops ride up to your midrift when donning the suit, and if you tuck them into the bottoms, well then it becomes a spare tyre around the relief zip !

Is the union suit the answer?

Can also recommend MikeB's 'M&S view from thermals', but wait for the sales as there's always tons left over after Christmas.

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Post by DannyT » Sun Nov 13, 2005 10:38 pm

Andy Wilson wrote:Has to be Helly Hansen Super Lifa. Smelly Helly rules!!!

Good ol helly. Have had mine since the beginning. Cant go wrong.

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Simon Willis
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Post by Simon Willis » Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:42 pm

I like my Smartwool base layer - warm when wet. Ish.

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Post by ChrisS » Mon Nov 14, 2005 6:24 pm

Is the union suit the answer?
One of these might be the answer. Get one and let us know how you get on.

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Post by jayno55 » Tue Nov 29, 2005 10:36 am

Just a little update.

I was paddling Windermere at the weekend when it was of course, rather cold. Wearing just a Lowe-Alpine Dryflo top with an ultra-fine Merino Wool top above that, and my Kokatat TecTour (Tropos) as the outer layer I was perfectly warm (while active) and found the arrangement very breathable. No uncomfortable sweating or sense of skin claustrophobia at all.

I do need something under the Merino because, in spite of the adverts, I don't find it totally itch-free (though everyone says it improves after a few washes), but the exceptional breathability it has, produces more of an airy glowing feeling of warmth than any of the synthetic garments seem capable of.

Good result this, after my researches and discussions here.


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Post by AndyC#2 » Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:59 pm

I've done a fair bit of digging around the base layer world, albeit from a skiing perspective. Have quite a few Lowe Alpine Dryflo tops and they're fine, but my fave, by far, is a Patagucci mid-weight Capilene. It's got a really nice 'natural' feel and wicks better than the Dryflo, as well as being slightly warmer.

The downside is they do cost a bit more, and I always balk at the price for what is essentially a long-sleeve T-shirt, but every time I wear it I realise that it's money well spent (a bit like Kokatat kit).



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Post by fruitcake » Tue Nov 29, 2005 10:45 pm

AndyC#2 wrote: but my fave, by far, is a Patagucci mid-weight Capilene.
oh yes. totally agree :)

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