Base layers

Slim

Out on the slopes
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My new favorite baselayer top is the Mons Royale Temple Tech Hoody.
I have or still own: various: Patagonia, Helly Hansen, Icebreaker, Smartwool, REI, Craft, Oslo, RAB, I/O Merino, Mtn Hardwear and Brynje.

The reasons I find the Temple Tech the best allround baselayer I have tried:
  • Quick drying: Thin fabric combined with synthetic core, means very little moisture absorption.
  • Good odor resistance. unlike some merino hybrids, especially HH, which is all polypropylene next to skin.
  • Mesh back panel: your back is always less exposed to wind, and often covered by a pack, so I always look for less warmth/more venting in the backpanel.
  • great fit and stretchy fabric. Long arms. Trim, but not skin tight. Long arms allow you to size down for slimmer fit.
  • The best baselayer hood I Have tried, if you want a hood. Of course it’s available without a hood too.
 

Wasatchman

over the hill
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My new favorite baselayer top is the Mons Royale Temple Tech Hoody.
I have or still own: various: Patagonia, Helly Hansen, Icebreaker, Smartwool, REI, Craft, Oslo, RAB, I/O Merino, Mtn Hardwear and Brynje.

The reasons I find the Temple Tech the best allround baselayer I have tried:
  • Quick drying: Thin fabric combined with synthetic core, means very little moisture absorption.
  • Good odor resistance. unlike some merino hybrids, especially HH, which is all polypropylene next to skin.
  • Mesh back panel: your back is always less exposed to wind, and often covered by a pack, so I always look for less warmth/more venting in the backpanel.
  • great fit and stretchy fabric. Long arms. Trim, but not skin tight. Long arms allow you to size down for slimmer fit.
  • The best baselayer hood I Have tried, if you want a hood. Of course it’s available without a hood too.
My favorite too. I have the non-hoody version. I love merino wool as a base layer. Icebreaker probably makes a good one as well but I also have and love the Mons.
 

In2h2o

Getting on the lift
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I have been wearing Ridge Merino - a bit less expensive then other merino brands and super soft / and I'm really picky about scratchiness.

For cheap synthetic - Uniqlo heattech, but you probably want the thicker versions which is a bit more expensive.
 

markojp

mtn rep for the gear on my feet
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Smartwool... just hang dry and 'gentle' wash if there's any worry about durability.
 

Slim

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Smartwool... just hang dry and 'gentle' wash if there's any worry about durability.
Hmm, I am not sure I agree, both from personal experience and reading tests and reviews.
Wool simply is not a strong fiber.
Because of that, I would not recommend a wool baselayer to anyone who is “worried about durability”.
I personally find adequate durability for my needs with wool, but anyone who knows they are tough on their shirts (bushwacking, crack climbing, lots of heavy backpacks), should be prepared for their wool shirts not to last long.

Yes, proper care can help, as can selecting heavier fabrics or blends with polyester or nylon, but there still is no wool baselayer that excels in durability. Pretty much any synthetic on the other hand is fairly bombproof.
 

Steve

SkiMangoJazz
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I have owned Smartwool tops, bottoms and socks for a lot of years and they show little if any sign of wear. I wash, but don't put them in the drier. Plenty durable for me. I also have OR Merino base layers, same thing, but I haven't owned them as long. I have Smartwool tops going back at least 10 years that I still wear. No holes, no fraying.

I hate synthetic base layers, won't wear them, they smell bad really quickly.

Polypew I call it.
 

Erik Timmerman

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I love the Mons Royale "First on Last Off" base layers. I've worn them every day for the last two seasons.
 

markojp

mtn rep for the gear on my feet
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Hmm, I am not sure I agree, both from personal experience and reading tests and reviews.
Wool simply is not a strong fiber.
Because of that, I would not recommend a wool baselayer to anyone who is “worried about durability”.
I personally find adequate durability for my needs with wool, but anyone who knows they are tough on their shirts (bushwacking, crack climbing, lots of heavy backpacks), should be prepared for their wool shirts not to last long.

Yes, proper care can help, as can selecting heavier fabrics or blends with polyester or nylon, but there still is no wool baselayer that excels in durability. Pretty much any synthetic on the other hand is fairly bombproof.
Use mine skiing, sailing, and cold weather road biking. No trouble yet, but l me preface it...

" Smartwool has worked for me. I never put it in the dryer and always wash it on gentle. It apparently doesn't work for most others, and apparently doesn't work for rock climbing, so perhaps choose something else ... I also have no idea about SW,'s politics."

:)
 
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Erik Timmerman

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Seemed like it was great for skating, I have two Mons hoodies that were nice for keeping the ears warm. Since I don't own any XC clothes, I had a weird mix of alpine ski clothes and Castelli and Mavic cycling clothes. The only XC thing I got was a pair of Maloja gloves because I was getting blisters on my hands.
 

Erik Timmerman

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One thing that is nice about wool compared to synthetics is that while it breathes, it doesn't breathe so fast that it makes you cold when you stop exerting yourself.
 

dbostedo

Asst. Gathermeister-- Aspen 2021
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I typically wear synthetic base layer tops, and still like them. I bought one in wool from Point6 (https://point6.com/collections/men/products/mens-base-layer-long-sleeve-crew-neck-top) last year (with a good sale coupon) and really liked it too... the feel and detail seems to be a step above my smartwool and icebreaker items, though I've only worn it a few times and can't speak to durablity. I agree that wool is not as durable and may need to be treated more gently in order to last as long.
 

pais alto

me encanta el país alto
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Everyone has their own standards and concerns. For me, performance+comfort>durability, therefore wool. Unless I plan to sweat or be pretty wet a lot, then synthetic.
 

snwbrdr

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Instead of creating another thread....

I'm a fan of Uniqlo heattech base layers. Not too expensive, works just as well as my more expensive Hot Chillys I used to buy.

While on Uniqlo... their Ultra Light Down jacket is also a great insulating layer underneath your shell jacket. Too bad it doesn't have the foil liner like some other more expensive down jackets, but for $60, can't complain.
 
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