First Lite layering system

Shenzi

Newbie
Joined
Aug 1, 2021
Messages
6
Hello All -

Looking for thoughts and feedback on first lite and building a layering system. Looking to hunt the high country for the first time and have never used a layering system.

Read about about moreno wool and using that as solid base/mid layer. What does your layering system look like? How many layers and what weights for the elevation you hunt? S

I hate being cold so am looking to layer up at 10k feet, but I also don't want to sacrifice a ton of mobility to do it.

Any thoughts and feedback is appreciated.

Regards,

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ddd-shooter

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2021
Messages
42
Each of their merino bases has a pretty good description of what to expect out of it.
Wick is lightest.
Then kiln.
Then furnace.
The Klamath is a fleece between kiln and furnace, but it's not merino.
I wear the wick when it's hot, the kiln or furnace when its cold. Under a good shell, they're excellent pieces.
 
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S

Shenzi

Newbie
Joined
Aug 1, 2021
Messages
6
Thanks for the feedback. I'm trying to make a decision on what to buy while first lite is having their 30% off sale.

Have you ever worn the multiple of these layers, for example, the kiln with the furnace over the top with a outside layer? Curious about mobility..

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Nillion

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Dec 29, 2019
Messages
108
The wick and kiln are fantastic base layers and I always have one of them on depending on the weather. I live in my Klamath once it gets cool enough to wear one. Their cuff merino beanie is my favorite hat also. Those are easily my top First Lite pieces. You basically can’t go wrong with anything of theirs merino wool (and the Klamath).

I do think their outer layers are their weak link so I’d suggest looking elsewhere for those.
 

Dirtbag

Senior Member
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Jul 24, 2014
Messages
165
Location
Colorado
I would recommend only using FL's merino as your next to skin layer. In my experience it is not very durable when exposed to brush, backpack straps, or really anything that might compromise the fine wool. I had merino next to skin and mid-layers and my mid layers didn't last two seasons.
 

Bearsears

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Mar 29, 2019
Messages
192
Location
Colorado
I would recommend only using FL's merino as your next to skin layer. In my experience it is not very durable when exposed to brush, backpack straps, or really anything that might compromise the fine wool. I had merino next to skin and mid-layers and my mid layers didn't last two seasons.
This.

Ill add my 2 cents also. I wear the wick t for early bow season next to skin which is awesome. In my experience anything thicker than a 150 weight just takes too long to dry and makes me feel clammy. Especially if its under other layers.

After the temps start dropping I switch to a synthetic base layer like the Sitka core lightweight. For me Im warmer in cold weather when my base is either dry or dries really fast.

I have a Klamath hoody as a mid layer and I love it. Super soft, comfortable. reasonably duarable and dries really fast. The Uncle Padre has also worked well for me for 3 years. Love the corrugate guide pants for anything but really cold temps. The Uncle Padre pants are nice and warm but tare way to easily.

All that being said Ive started switching some pieces to Sitka. As mentioned above FL's Outerwear sometimes leaves something to be desired

You said you are going to 10k feet but you didnt say what season. Different seasons would dictate different choices based on expected temps.
 
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Shenzi

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Aug 1, 2021
Messages
6
Appreciate the feedback Bearsears. Drew an elk tag and will be hunting muleys at the same time. Lookin like mid October hunt.

I've picked out a few glassing points that give a good vantage point and elevation range from 8k to 10k. Will be sitting high and planning a spot and stalk from there.

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Shenzi

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Aug 1, 2021
Messages
6
The wick and kiln are fantastic base layers and I always have one of them on depending on the weather. I live in my Klamath once it gets cool enough to wear one. Their cuff merino beanie is my favorite hat also. Those are easily my top First Lite pieces. You basically can’t go wrong with anything of theirs merino wool (and the Klamath).

I do think their outer layers are their weak link so I’d suggest looking elsewhere for those.
Thanks Nillion. I wasn't aware that the outer layers were less than to be desired. Seems to be the common theme from this group. I'll look to get those out of my cart and spend my money on outers that I'll be happier with.

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TK-421

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Oct 28, 2018
Messages
792
From first lite I’ve had several short sleeve base layers, long sleeve base layers, boxers, and long Johns. Had their soft shell, unspellable puffy, a couple Kanab 2.0 pants and their merino beanie (maybe some other stuff?).

I really like the beanie and it rides in a pack or on my head for the season. I also like the Kanabs, but they are not very durable and mine have many holes and rips.

Their base layers suck. Smart wool and black Ovis house brands are much better. I’m also not a fan of their soft shell or puffy. General outdoor brands (Patagonia, ArcTeryx, Outdoor Research, etc) have much better options.

I might give their obsidian or foundry pants a try though 🤷‍♂️
 

Jdhunttrapfish

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
114
Hard to go wrong with the merino base layers and the klamath, I have limited experience with thier outerwear but am giving a few pieces a try, biggest thing with outerwear is no wind blocking, but give the base layers a try I've had great luck with them
 

Bearsears

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
Messages
192
Location
Colorado
For that time of year if I were going with only Firstlite my main pieces base to outer would be:
Uppers:
Wick long-sleeved or hoodie
Klamath hoody
Uncompghere or brooks down puffy
Vapor rain jacket or if you want more durability the seak stormtight

Bottoms:
Wick boxers
The lighter zip off bottoms
Corrugate guide pants
Uncompghere puffy pants
Boundary stormtight pants

Like mentioned above Firstlite is really lacking in wind blocking and im a proponent of having a dedicated lightweight windblocking layer (especiallyif your plan is to glass at high elevation in October). Its been a game changer for me. Im running a Sitka flash pullover but there are a ton of options from several non hunting brands.

Hats beanies and gloves I think you can find cheaper and better quality elsewhere. Example: orange minus 33 wool beanie, OR down mittens, sealskin gloves. Etc. In fact the "cheap stuff that works" thread has alot of these type of options in it.
 
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Shenzi

Newbie
Joined
Aug 1, 2021
Messages
6
For that time of year if I were going with only Firstlite my main pieces base to outer would be:
Uppers:
Wick long-sleeved or hoodie
Klamath hoody
Uncompghere or brooks down puffy
Vapor rain jacket or if you want more durability the seak stormtight

Bottoms:
Wick boxers
The lighter zip off bottoms
Corrugate guide pants
Uncompghere puffy pants
Boundary stormtight pants

Like mentioned above Firstlite is really lacking in wind blocking and im a proponent of having a dedicated lightweight windblocking layer (especiallyif your plan is to glass at high elevation in October). Its been a game changer for me. Im running a Sitka flash pullover but there are a ton of options from several non hunting brands.

Hats beanies and gloves I think you can find cheaper and better quality elsewhere. Example: orange minus 33 wool beanie, OR down mittens, sealskin gloves. Etc. In fact the "cheap stuff that works" thread has alot of these type of options in it.
Great feedback, bearsears. Appreciate everyone chiming in with their experiences with FL. Today's the final day of the sale. I'll circle back with what makes the cut in my cart.

Appreciate the reference to the other thread. I'm new here at rokslide so getting pointed to another valuable thread is much appreciated.

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Shenzi

Newbie
Joined
Aug 1, 2021
Messages
6
From first lite I’ve had several short sleeve base layers, long sleeve base layers, boxers, and long Johns. Had their soft shell, unspellable puffy, a couple Kanab 2.0 pants and their merino beanie (maybe some other stuff?).

I really like the beanie and it rides in a pack or on my head for the season. I also like the Kanabs, but they are not very durable and mine have many holes and rips.

Their base layers suck. Smart wool and black Ovis house brands are much better. I’m also not a fan of their soft shell or puffy. General outdoor brands (Patagonia, ArcTeryx, Outdoor Research, etc) have much better options.

I might give their obsidian or foundry pants a try though
Thanks 406. With the synthetics, do you notice a big difference in human odor? I've read a bit and the common theme is that they lack in containing scent. I have no experience with them but was concerned from that aspect.

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TK-421

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Oct 28, 2018
Messages
792
Thanks 406. With the synthetics, do you notice a big difference in human odor? I've read a bit and the common theme is that they lack in containing scent. I have no experience with them but was concerned from that aspect.

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I was referencing merino wool with all the base layers I talked about (First Lite, Black Ovis, Smartwool). I've used a fair amount of synthetics too, and yes there is a big difference in odor. After a single day hiking around in the field, basically every synthetic I've used smells like balls. Most merino that I've used can go at least 2 or 3 days in the field. I rarely wear synthetics anymore hunting.

For base layers, I would just watch Camofire and wait for the Black Ovis house brand merino wool base layers to go on sale. I prefer them quite a bit over the FL. Like I said, smart wool is good too IME, but the BO is good and pretty cheap.
 

j33

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Jun 11, 2020
Messages
293
Location
Calgary, AB
Just checked, and Camofire has BO merino on sale today.

What makes BO Merino better than First Lite other than price? Durability?

Considering a First Lite shirt to compare vs my Kuiu Merino shirt so actually interested. My Kiln hoody is comfier than my Kuiu, but honestly I don't notice it unless I think about it. Ordering a few minor First Lite stuff for an order so was gonna toss the shirt on there.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
792
What makes BO Merino better than First Lite other than price? Durability?

Considering a First Lite shirt to compare vs my Kuiu Merino shirt so actually interested. My Kiln hoody is comfier than my Kuiu, but honestly I don't notice it unless I think about it. Ordering a few minor First Lite stuff for an order so was gonna toss the shirt on there.
My biggest complaint with FL in general is the fit and longevity. I've been pretty anal with how I maintain wool - I don't overwash, only wash on cold and air dry, and follow mfg recommendations. After less than one season of use I probably have about $400 of FL base layers that don't fit because they've shrunk 'up' and 'widened'.

The BO shirts are longer, which I prefer because I typically like to tuck-in base layers. After several years, the BO is still fitting well. I'd prefer slightly different cuffs and thumbholes on the BO, but it doesn't matter that much to me. Same with smartwool - I have smartwool pieces that have lasted years and still fit fine.

As far as price goes, I'm in a place in my life that I don't really care if I spend $80 or $20 on a shirt. For me, this is just a very rare instance that the preferred option (Black Ovis) is cheaper. With the sales going on, you might just buy one of each and see what you prefer.
 
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