Fishnet base layers. They work, and you want them.

Formidilosus

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A current thread brought them up, so I thought a discussion might be good for those that don’t know about them.
I have been using netted base layers for the last couple of years. I was turned onto them by some Scandinavian dudes. They look silly (think 80’s fishnet), however do everything they say they do.

There are several companies that make them- Aclima, Brynje, Wiggy’s, etc. I have been using Aclima Woolnet from Varusteleka.


For a visual, however poor, of what I’m talking about-
4DBA31B9-2ACA-4620-8348-C451C63CBC1F.jpeg
FCC6D24C-9F76-4D31-A4B2-EBCA4D277F37.jpeg



I have done quite a bit of work evaluating base layers. Dry times, warmth, wicking, comfort (hand), etc. between synthetic and wool.

The reason for the netted garments is interesting and a base idea of the difference between synthetic and wool helps.


Wool- feels better, smells better, and can “feel” warmer when wet. However, the oft repeated “warm when wet”, statement is not true. Wool has insulating value when wet and if you keep moving you stay warm and tend to feel somewhat dry. However, when you stop- you’re just wet. Wet and cold. And it takes forever to dry. I freaking hate wool in high exertion actives (sweating) that will then see me sitting for extended periods of time (wet). “Wet” means cold.


Synthetic- It dries faster and is generally more durable. That’s where the good qualities end. It stinks, and it feels like plastic. But in high exertion actives with periods interspersed with long sits- it dries WAY faster. “Dry” means warmer.


How insulation works is by trapping air, all else being equal, more air trapped= warmer. Think puff jacket.



But if you take wool, and espose thin strands to the air, you get more air flow and faster drying time. Enter nets. In using Woolnet heavily (several hundred days from -20° to 70°) directly side by side with synthetic, wool, and blends of equal thickness, Woolnet dries as quick or maybe slightly quicker than synthetic if the same thickness. On top of that, due to the surface area of the netting being less than the air on your skin, it feels much dryer even when wet. So you get the qualities of wool, with none of the drawbacks. Even durability has not been an issue in use (I did put a hole in a set of bottoms from the washer or dryer tearing it).


That’s not where it ends however. Remember the trapped air/warmth thing? Well, there are hundreds of air pockets. Each one of those is potential insulation with a wind proof layer over it, that far exceeds a solid base layer of the same thickness. Put the net base layer on and then a wind shirt or even better a Ventile cotton jacket on (yes cotton) and it’s one of the most versatile combos I’ve worn.

Every person that sees it laughs, and everyone that I’m around that has tried it, only uses wool nets now.
 

gilby

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Great write up. They look surprisingly more normal on you than on the mannequin on the advertisement.

I'm going to have to look into the woolnets. I love wearing merino, but the breathability and drying can become a pain when hiking a lot.
 

Rob5589

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Steve with Exo spoke on them on their podcast. He loves them, but everyone laughs 😁
 

go4thegusto

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I have the Eberlestock ones and they work well for warm or cool moisture transfer. Interesting side benefit on a hot bear hunt. They spaced out my shirt to keep mosquitos and biting flies from getting through.
 

PNWGATOR

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I used the Varusteleka fishnets this year and they’re fantastic! Exactly as presented above: no odor, dry quickly, warm. I’m sold!
 

5MilesBack

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But if you take wool, and espose thin strands to the air, you get more air flow and faster drying time. Enter nets.
As long as it's wool strands for the netting I can see it working pretty well because wool "absorbs" the sweat, whereas synthetics (i.e. plastics) just trap the moisture between the strands so it either evaporates out the surface of the shirt, or it just stays close to the skin and gets pushed around by the strands. Which is why I hate synthetics for high exertion activities.
 

Mikido

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The first reason I wear wool is to keep me warm. The second reason is because of its properties when wet.

Yes, put a hundred holes in my shirt and it will dry quick, but it Definitly won’t keep me warm. Add a layer on top, (of non wool material) and we’re basically combatting the first 2 reasons above, no?
 

woods89

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The first reason I wear wool is to keep me warm. The second reason is because of its properties when wet.

Yes, put a hundred holes in my shirt and it will dry quick, but it Definitly won’t keep me warm. Add a layer on top, (of non wool material) and we’re basically combatting the first 2 reasons above, no?
Insulation basically works off trapped air, if I understand correctly. Put a layer over that base layer and I can see how it would work quite well.
 

Shraggs

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Forgot I really need to try this. I’ve been using thin thermasilk under fl mid weight merino for, improved, sweat Mgt in really cold active hunting. Below 20.

Form I see aclima is 120 gram. In cold active use would a merino base serve well as mid layer then outer pant, say a timberline? Or is the heat trapping superior to mid weight and you would omit it and the netting and timberline?

you prefer over brynje?

I don’t see a 7” boxer tho
 

5MilesBack

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The first reason I wear wool is to keep me warm. The second reason is because of its properties when wet.
I use "insulation layers" to keep me warm, and yes.......wool can be used for that. But for a base layer, all I care about is getting the sweat away from my skin to make me more comfortable. If I'm hunting, I'm sweating whether the temps are high or low, and lightweight merino works great. Personally, I have never found merino to be all that warm as an insulator.......even in 400gm weight.
 

JDBAK

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I’m a huge fan, been using Brynje, or however their spelled.
Absolutely nothing else comes close to being as effective in wet conditions.
 

JDBAK

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However, the fit is pretty skinny. I’m pretty lean, but do the Scandahoovians even know what squats are?
 

beachbunny

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yeah, my son teases the heck out of me (german niteclub) got my first set in the boy scouts when they were boy scouts,
ive got the wiggys synthetic but the shoulders cut into me under load,the pants i dont get.
i like my byornes better
 

K2e2vin

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Any local big stores carry this or something similar, or do you have to order it?
 
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