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Old 01-15-2014   #11
New Plymouth, New Zealand
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 18
Some kind of thermal wear for sure! Polypro, Merino or Fleece. Merino and Fleece are better though as they dont smell so much after using them. Sweet protection also make some really nice fleece tops and even a whole suit. Better to be warm than cold

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Old 01-16-2014   #12
slickhorn's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 365
Someone above mentioned skip the neoprene. 50 is fairly warm by my boating standards, but I have come to love neoprene under my drysuit.

I've taken to wearing a hydroskin farmer john wetsuit and hydroskin long sleeve shirt. LOVE this system. I add smartwool or fleece as needed, but this setup is very warm, very low bulk, and saves my knees and shins a ton of abuse.

most of the downsides of neoprene are mitigated by keeping it dry under the suit.

Been very happy in low 30s with set up. I have an expedition weight merino base layers and a burly merino sweater if I need more.

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Old 01-16-2014   #13
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 70
I really like the Under Armour cold gear top, + wool sweater/shirts as desired. As a budget option, check the local thrift stores for old-school thick wool sweaters. Wool on skin is often pretty uncomfortable, so it helps to have some sort of base layer below them (NOT a cotton baselayer).
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Old 01-16-2014   #14
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 40
Cotton, cotton all day long. Cotton socks, cotton underwear, and a cotton t shirt. Oh and jeans work well too!

In all seriousness, wool, fleece or any type of wicking layer. Helps keep you warm and keeps your sweat off your skin.
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Old 01-17-2014   #15
Nessy's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 255
It depends on you. If you're a noob, chances are you'll be swimming a fair amount so a little more insulation won't hurt. The most important rule is absolutely no cotton base layers. On a 50F day in Colorado, I would go with my thickest fleece base layer anticipating cold shadows and wind in the canyons. When temps are going to be in the 60s and up I'll go with my rash guard unless it's early spring snow melt and big water which means the fleece. You can always pack alternate layers in a dry bag in your boat and switch out if you get uncomfortable.
So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
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Old 01-17-2014   #16
brenda's Avatar
bc, CA
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 316
I like to dress warm. If I feel too hot I just roll to cool off. It is better than feeling chilled. I also wear a thin neoprene shirt under my drytop and fleece.
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Old 01-22-2014   #17
Enfield, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 332
re underlayer

the Under Armour #2 base layer with a medium fleece would be perfect.
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Old 01-23-2014   #18
dillon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 281
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Old 01-23-2014   #19
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
+1 for exclusively wool.

Unless you are somewhere remote or at the start of a long day, the odds of stripping your top or suit to add another layer are, for me, super slim.

I've taken to carrying a thicker hydro skin that I can put on over my top if I get cold. Only used it twice, but it was so easy to add and warmed me up quickly.

I am inherently warm, and rarely go with more than one super thin layer under my top/suit unless its winter. I almost never wear a skull cap, but that is the absolute easiest thing to carry and add if you get cold. Keep it right in your FPD.

(seven two 0)-298-2242
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Old 01-23-2014   #20
hojo's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,234
I use almost exclusively wool when I need to pack in warmth. I tend to use a cheap fleece in summer while play boating mostly because it's cheaper and dries out a little faster.

On the river, I can abandon who I am and what I've done. However brief it lasts, while on the river I am nothing important and everything insignificant. I am flotsam, and happy to be so.
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