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the fallacy of baselayers other than fishnets

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LAYERING SYSTEM

Dear Wiggy's,

Thanks to a generous Christmas I now have fishnets as my base layer, top & bottom. When I first added them to my routine layers they provided a small but noticeable improvement; but I was determined to rethink my entire layering system from skin to shell. Fortunately I had a Wiggy's jacket liner which was a standard item in my layering. The system I came up that works best for me under most conditions is, starting at the skin: fishnets; followed by a loose, thin, hooded, full front zipper "jacket-shirt" that I had already but hadn't used much; and followed by the Wiggy's jacket liner. Reversing the jacket liner under the thin "shirt" made it occasionally too warm without removing but having it on the outside made removing or putting it back on and strapping it to the top of my pack quick and easy. Under either rain or high wind chill conditions (-30 F and below) I often found a thin rain-wind coat all the additional layering I needed. I had exclusively used zip-Ts in the past for the benefit of pushing the warm vapor out of my neck area or covering it when too cold but the full zip of the shirt and Wiggy's jacket liner were even more effective. In fact, now my concern is to monitor my warmth as I'm very surprised to find myself completely un-zipping my chest area open to the fishnets especially on vigorous uphill ascents, something that would have been unimaginable with my pre-fishnet layering system. I'm excited to see what you come up with as a second layer over the fishnets. Please keep the News & Commentary coming. It takes a while for some of these ideas to sink in. Best Wishes,

Bud from Bellingham, WA


I could not have received a more specific explanation than the above of the benefit of the fishnet underwear, plus the bonus of the jacket liner.

BASE LAYERS

Sporting Goods Business (SBG) had a very interesting article on the web site yesterday about what is going on in the outdoor industry relating to base layer garments.

I quote; “Fabric combinations have never been bigger, as even traditional all merino brands are opting to infuse (versus blend) new fibers into their household blends. “Natural fibers, especially in combination with man-made fibers, is the dominating trend for the category 2017, said Herbert Kenzelman, CEO of Ergonomic support system at the Falke Groupe”. I researched the company and all I can determine is that they are an importer of their wares. I doubt that they have any practical knowledge and only see a trend. They are therefore a marketing company.

There are several companies mentioned in the article as well as Ergonomic; TASC Performance, Ibex Clothing, Arc,teryx, Ridge Merino,and My Pakage (never heard of this one). they all talk about using “hybrid” fabrics which are wool mixed with bamboo of polyester and “mapping the need for improved thermal regulation in exactly the regions your body need it”. Jeff Russell of Ridge Merino says; ‘but the great thing about merino is its natural temperature-regulating properties don’t reserve its use to winter. Baselayers are now spring, fall, even summer pieces”. That last sentence tells you they are more interested in having a fashion garment versus a technical garment. Base layers are not necessary from spring to early fall, so they are marketing there garments as fashion.

Ever here of Jeff Evans, expert Everest mountaineer? I did not so when I saw his name in the article I researched him to find out he is quite an accomplished climber. His comment about fads in the out door business is and I quote;” I’ve been doubtful when new fads make their way on the scene. I’ve tried them all and learned quickly it’s all a marketing ploy and the actual products don’t work. My welfare and life are at stake with a simple baselayer, he added, citing hypothermia as the least of his worries if the fabric doesn’t perform. But with enough pros continuing to value the efficacy of these fabrics, there will be more, better hybrids. And that is something to get pumped about”. He further offers and I quote; “it’s the single area where he would like to see improvement in the category. The goal should be a customized, personalized fit where the baselayer mimics every movement I make, and doesn’t pull or become untucked”.

Maybe he should be concerned about hypothermia and that starts with a baselayer that does not stifle all of that moisture coming out of his body so he does not experience a chill that does happen to one and all who wear the close knit garments that are referred to as baselayer garments. If he and all the other climbers out there were to wear fishnet underwear they would be considerably more comfortable.

The article further states that consumers are and I quote; “dictating sales with a strict checklist that involves quality and sustainability”. Ridge Merino gets its wool from certified-humane farms in Australia. at least they aren’t killing the sheep.

The designers are having a field day with prints so these garments can be worn as comfortable everyday garment.

What all of this tells me is that these companies are not at all concerned about their baselayer not working in cold conditions worn under other layers, they are only concerned about the fashion aspect of the fabric. I do not have any problem with that only when they spout out how good the garments are for the technical user.

Not one of these companies has a garment that Bud from Washington state would ever use again.

This week I will be making a new video showing how the two bag system is put together and the two different compression stuff sacks, top down and radial as well as other tidbits of information.

Wiggy's Signature

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