Midlayers for backpack hunting

idig4au

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Jun 1, 2012
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Back to Central Asia again...
What midlayer tops are you guys using for extended day(+10 day) backpack hunting for Alaska/NWT in August type temperatures/conditions?

I'm running 185 Merino Kuiu top as my next to skin. I was thinking of augmenting this with my 250 Merino Kuiu top or maybe having a look at the Sitka Traverse, but a little worried about the funk as its synthetic. I'll go with two of whichever is better for this trip. I do think the Traverse will provide a little more wind protection for temps when my outer layer isn't required.

Thoughts or inputs based on your experience?

Thanks
 

Nick Muche

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Mar 21, 2012
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Alaska
I don't have any experience with AK, but I do have experience with the traverse top, it doesn't take much for it to start smelling pretty bad! I'd go with anything merino... KUIU or First Lite...
 

Gman

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Feb 15, 2012
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Colorado baby!
No experience with AK, either, but is a mid-layer top necessary? I don't even use one any more. My system is merino t shirt, KUIU 185 top, spindrift insulation, guide jacket, and rain gear if needed. I also have the KUIU vest which I love but on a backpack hunt might get left behind. Anyway, with the system I mentioned I'm covered in Colorado with no ceiling on the high temps and below freezing on the cold.... I found that if I'm moving a mid layer is too much and if sitting not enough so I just started leaving it. When I stop for lunch or to glass the spindrift comes out to block wind and retain body head and I'm good to go. Just another way to go.
 

Mike7

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Feb 28, 2012
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Northern Idaho
I'm completely comforable with the following at that time of year regardless of the weather:
Base layer = Core 4 element or First Light Merino
Next if needed = Kuiu 250
More rarely needed = Down or Primaloft sweater (e.g. Spindrift)
Outer = breathable rain/shell jacket

For me, gaiters, rain shell mittens if I'm sitting and its wet, and a good hat are equally as important to staying comfortable.
 

Steve O

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Feb 29, 2012
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Michigan
I'd take my Sitka Traverse Hoody. I've not had any stank issues with any of the newer Sitka base layers with the silver stuff in them.
 

stevendrake

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Jul 26, 2012
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With a Merino base layer you shouldn't have any problem with a Traverse top getting funky for a 10+ day hunt. I just got back from a 14 day horse pack-in mission up in the Yukon and wore a Sitka Merino base layer every day with a synthetic over top. No funk!
 

swat8888

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Apr 6, 2012
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457
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Alaska
I wear a very lightweight t-shirt and then on top of or standalone a lightweight merino long sleeve. That is all I need 80% of the time in AK. I am not taking a heavier mid-weight since I have the early hunt in August, but if I were going later like you I'd probably bring along 250 merino. Then I always have my puffy jacket and a rain shell. I don't run an additional softshell like some do, just extra weight for me that I would rarely use. Used to drag around my Sitka jetstream...heavy, and I rarely wore it. As for the traverse top I will not take it on any more 7+ day hunts. It does stink and it takes too long to dry out once it gets wet, which is too bad because it is super comfortable and a great baselayer....IF you keep it dry, which you won't in AK.
 

2rocky

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Jun 21, 2012
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Nor Cal
I'll leave the answer to the AK guys but mid layer is always a tough one for me. Trial and error based on current conditions for sure. One advantage to wool is a broad range of temperature suitability. In my Avatar I had a Woolrich 100% wool shirt that was alternated with a microtex shirt over 9 days. Those were my choice mainly because the chest pockets that I like.

I have a sitka mountain shirt (pre traverse) that gets a lot of use too. Usually as an insurance layer in a pack.
 

tstowater

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Apr 26, 2012
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Iowa
If I remember correctly, I wore a KUIU 185 base layer under a Sitka base layer (not merino) and a Sitka insulation layer under a 90% jacket. It was cold enough (started around 0 every morning) that I did not get overheated. Did this for close to a week and seemed to get along fine. I'm going to have KUIU 185 and 250 with me this year and will wear both if needed. I would rather wear the vest than the Spindrift, but will have both. I'm sure that the terrain and weather will dictate what I wear.
 

tstowater

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Apr 26, 2012
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Iowa
Tstowater, what temps were you in?
Started about 0 or lower every day and warmed to probably the 30's. Was a full moon in early November at about 5000-7000 feet. Enough wind to notice. Snowed a couple days. Unit 231 in eastern Nevada. Great elk hunting.
 
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