Mid Layer Decision

ChrisAU

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Jan 12, 2018
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Going too Wyoming in a couple weeks to backpack hunt Antelope. We plan on camping at least 2-3 nights if not more. Currently my upper body set up looks like this:

Sitka Merino Core Lightweight SS QZ (had a seamstress cut the sleeves off, love it)
Kuiu Peloton 97 Hoody
Arc’Teryx Cerium LT Puffy
OR Helium II Rain Jacket

The plan is to always have the Sitka SS on, add the Peloton 97 when chilly or for sun protection, Puffy for stationary cold, and rain jacket for wind/rain shell.

It almost seems like that’s enough, but I feel like I may need something warmer between the Peloton 97 and Puffy for when moving? I have a Kenai Ultra and a Sitka HW that I’m between. Same weight and size packed roughly, Kenai seems more adaptable with the pit zips and “active” insulation. Thoughts?
 

Clarktar

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If wind, I would look for a Older Patagonia Houdini wind shirt on ebay. After @mtwarden reported on it, I bought one and it's one of my favorite shoulder season pieces. When it's not warm, but not cold, and the wind is whipping, that is where it shines. I do layer a kuiu 145 under it, and I could run a slim fitting feece under it also if needed.

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mtwarden

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yeah a windshirt would round that out pretty nicely imo AND you're only looking at 4-8 oz depending on the model

a rain jacket will block wind and rain, but frankly they pretty much suck when on the move- doesn't matter the fabric, if it blocks wind and rain thoroughly- it's not going to breath on the move; a windshirt will while still blocking most wind and light precipitation

I love the little 97 hoody, a lot of bang for the weight!

the only thing I would add is if it's going to be cold, I would use something heavier than the 97 for a mid-layer- either a fleece like the Patagonia R1 (or the very much alike Sitka Heavyweight) OR a lightly insulated active insulation piece- Polartec Alpha rocks in this role (but you don't want too much insulation- 40-60 grams is about right in my experience)
 

Vandy321

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Feb 5, 2019
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CO
Sitka HW sucks, worthless (unpopular opinion maybe, but I think folks just refuse to admit that it's an overpriced, less functional version of the military waffle top). I'd get the helio as a mid layer... or arcteryx naga hood...or Swazi the hood.

But if you have the HW, you already know that...or maybe I'm just a wuss in the cold. I'll wear the HW for hiking in the 20s (yes, I still have mine) but it's no good to me for anything stationary/warmth.
 

mtwarden

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the R1/Sitka HW was designed for moving in cool to cold weather- agreed it's not overly warm stationary, but stationary is where the puffy serves it's role

I think the newer crop of synthetic active wear pieces trump the heavier grid fleeces in performance per weight, but they aren't going to last as long (nearly forever with fleece)
 

MT_Wyatt

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Aug 20, 2014
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Montana
So I just had a day last week like this, stayed pretty cold until the afternoon and I needed a bit more insulation when moving.

I was using a merino LS baselayer, helio fleece hoody, and needed more. My puffy is a SG down one, so that doesn’t work to move around in. Gloves and a beanie help but I was really wishing for some “active” insulation.

I think the kenai jacket or vest would work well like you mention. I’m going to take my atom LT hoody on my October bow hunts to wear when moving through timber or around drainages (ie not cranking up hill), since it is fairly light and has worked well for me in that layering spot.
 

MT_Wyatt

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Aug 20, 2014
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1,112
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Montana
the R1/Sitka HW was designed for moving in cool to cold weather- agreed it's not overly warm stationary, but stationary is where the puffy serves it's role

I think the newer crop of synthetic active wear pieces trump the heavier grid fleeces in performance per weight, but they aren't going to last as long (nearly forever with fleece)

Every time I get into thicker timber when it is colder I have this conversation with myself. Fleece is a nice tough layer to protect my merino, but when it is cold and I want more insulation, a lighter 40g active piece would be better. Until I shred it!
 

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