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Old 11-03-2015   #1
InflatableSteve's Avatar
Cave Creek, Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 671
Looking for long underwear (base layers)

Did a search, didn't find what I was looking for.

Looking for recommendations on long underwear to keep me warm and comfy at camp. Would prefer to stick with natural fibers like wool and preferably made in the USA if not way over priced. Open to all suggestions though.

I just got off Deso and wore a thinner acrylic long under wear with fleece pants and top over that. Also had a fleece liner in a down bag (Bag was a little small for me, so my shoulders were catching the draft). Temps were supposedly in the high 20s and low 30s at night and I was just able to stay warm enough to get to sleep. During the day I was able to stay warm just fine, so I really only need these for cold nights or really cold days.

Went to REI today to look at options and found my self flabbergasted at the prices (up to $100 just for the bottoms). I assume there are more reasonably priced options out there.



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Old 11-03-2015   #2
slickhorn's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 365 has some options at the moment. for really cold sitting in camp, I like synthetic down pants.

love merino pants but cant afford 'em.

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Old 11-03-2015   #3
codycleve's Avatar
salmon, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 639
I use the Cabela's Men's MTP Polar-Weight Bottoms for hunting and have been very happy with them.. The top and bottom are both over 60% off at cabelas right now.. Sorry they are made in Egypt. I just wear the bottoms under jeans and the top with a t-shirt, sweatshirt, vest combo for up to -5 and am very comfortable.
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Old 11-03-2015   #4
FlyingDutchman's Avatar
Westfield, Massachusetts
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 178
Although not natural fibers, I highly recommend Hot Chillies both on and off the river. Nice, even when wet.

At camp around the fire when you are not moving much, I like to wear comfy cheap snow pants from walmart. At $20 a little burn hole or two in the nylon is no biggie.
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Old 11-03-2015   #5
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 390
I am a nordic ski instructor and spend a lot of time out doors in the winter.
I like silk base layer for most of my winter activities. Very warm, very light and more comfortable than most synthetics. I can usually find some mid weight silks at Cabelas's or Eddie Bauer. Downside is they need hand washing and don't dry as fast as a synthetic.

If you are boating in them I would look at newer synthetics. They really do out perform the natural fibers in really wet conditions. I have some NordicTrack Men's Quik-Dri Thermal Base Layer Top & bottoms that I have been very pleased with.
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Old 11-03-2015   #6
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
I prefer a synthetic silk weight base for most activities. Polarmax has been my preference for this. Polyester and made in the USA:

Men's – Polarmax

When it really starts to get cold I move up to a thicker base layer for my upper body. My favorite is Duofold Varitherm Expedition weight:

I still prefer a silk weight on my legs in bitter cold, but use a nice fleece pant over them, usually with a shell.

There are definitely different levels of quality fleece as well. I have recently switched to fishing wader layers for extreme cold layering:

WaderWick Thermal Pant - Baselayers - SHOP

WaderWick Thermal Top - Baselayers - SHOP

and I have been extremely happy and warm.

Combine this setup with some light weight down and you are good to go.
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Old 11-03-2015   #7
Minturn, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 43
Duofold makes good value stuff.

Icebreaker pops up on

Underarmour makes a really heavyweight fleecey long underwear for hunting that I haven't tried yet.
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Old 11-03-2015   #8
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 168
As natural fibers go you are pretty screwed if you want affordable. Most of the huge outdoor retailers have their own in house synthetic stuff that is really affordable comparatively, but the naturals, particularly wool, is really steep.

Sign up for Patagonia's e-mails, their merino stuff is so expensive that there is usually a bunch that go on sale at the end of every season. patagonia has online sales of 40%-50% off a few times each year and I have gotten some really nice pieces at a faction of the full price. For silk, Eastern Mountain Sports had some affordable in house silk stuff when I worked for them pre-2000. I was very lightweight, but it was natural and people loved it.

Wool is incredible uncomfortable unless you get Merino, which is agonizingly expensive.

Good luck!
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Old 11-03-2015   #9
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 168
An unmentioned benefit to Wool and/or silk is that it will not melt. Sparks from a fire won't necessarily burn through a wool piece.

Additionally, in the Falkland's War of 1982, Royal Marines who were issued synthetic, polypropylene type, long underwear suffered severe burns while fighting shipboard fires when their skivvies melted to their skin.
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Old 11-03-2015   #10
NIMBY, Oregon
Paddling Since: Womb
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 97
Military Polypro is great @ $40ish for top/bottoms.

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