Preferred clothing?

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johnnycanuck
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Preferred clothing?

Post by johnnycanuck » Tue Oct 26, 2021 8:05 am

I'm curious what you folks tend to wear out when backcountry cross country skiing.

Obviously the environment and weather is different for everyone. Do you dress in Alpine wear or maybe something closer to what classic skiers wear or even go minimal like skate skiers?

Reason I ask is last year I wore Swix XC pants with Patagonia down jacket and Merino under layers (smartwool) but often found myself overheating even in cold conditions (-10C and below). Looking for a better combination this year.

Curious if there are companies that make gear specifically for backcountry skiing? Or maybe Alpine gear without the insulation is the way to go.

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Woodserson
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Re: Preferred clothing?

Post by Woodserson » Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:18 am

There are a few threads on this topic. There's a good one from BGregoire with his strategies in long distance sub Arctic trips. I'll see if I can find some.

Pants Day Trip: Carhartts or lined Carhartts, or light weight wool pants depending on precip. The Carhartts breath really nice and cut the wind. The wool pants are better if humid (and near freezing) or wet but don't cut the wind as well. If really cold, merino long johns. Breathable gaiters if deep snow or cold.

Pants multi day: Either light weight or heavy weight wool pants (army surplus) and same logic with underwear and gaiters.

Top: Midweight 250 merino quarter zip. Light wool sweater or micro grid fleece. I'm often only in the merino even into single digits Fahrenheit if there's no wind.

Of course hat, buff, different gloves for different things, but while skiing usually in lightweight ragg wool gloves or mitten. Bigger stuff in pack for when I stop.

I start cold and warm up into it. Insulated puffer and shells don't go on until I'm stopped. Big mistake to wear the insulated stuff while skiing. You'll get sweaty, it gets wet, then when you stop it does you no good.

You can get as fancy and expensive as you want, or you can keep it simple and cheap. Moisture management is key, and this shit is hard work that makes you sweat.



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fgd135
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Re: Preferred clothing?

Post by fgd135 » Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:33 am

I was always too warm xc skiing on my Asnes Tur-Langrens, with my bamboo poles, wearing my Woolrich wool knickers, wool knee sox, Pendleton wool flannel shirt and a Peter Storm wool sweater, with surplus army long john bottoms and a fishnet tshirt, an LL Bean 60/40 parka, and a pointy alpaca fur hat with ear flaps, but man, I was a chick magnet. Or at least I thought so...

Nowadays I wear lightwt. synthetic long john bottoms, and a ltwt. synthetic zip tneck underwear top; depending on hold cold it is going to be, and what I plan to do, I might wear heavier, mid wt long underwear instead. Over that stuff I wear a pair of synthetic (uninsulated) xc specific ski pants, and a ltwt zip fleece sweater or jacket, and add windpants, an extra fleece sweater and/or fleece vest, an extra cap, mittens, and a ltwt goretex wind parka as needed from my rather oversize daypack. Depending on the weather I will carry a down jacket for warming up if I have to stop for any length of time.
If I am at a nordic center, I dress for a cold weather run, w/light synthetic layers and a light windshell in my fanny pack, as I'm trying to move fast and don't need all that wt in a pack,
Layering is absolutely the key to staying temp stable and dry. Just like they've always said, stay away from cotton clothing, if it gets wet it stays wet; synthetic fleece and wool will stay warm if wet, but fleece is much lighter overall, and also when wet.
Last edited by fgd135 on Tue Oct 26, 2021 11:57 am, edited 2 times in total.



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John Dee
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Re: Preferred clothing?

Post by John Dee » Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:51 am

Synthetic is much dryer and therefore warmer for everything besides the base layer. Especially if your worried, its safer in the backcountry.



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bauerb
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Re: Preferred clothing?

Post by bauerb » Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:11 am

last winter I skied a number of days in Montana where temps dipped down to -50F. on these days my routine was skin-up a resort trail that took about an hour. I learned quickly to always start off cold. even in temps well below 0 F, I typically wore: smart wool 150 weight long johns, Dynafit stretch pants, 250 weight shirt, light smart wool gloves. if I wore any more than that, I would be a pool of sweat. I did try wearing a gortex jacket, but got too sweaty. when you are working that hard in cold weather, I find it critical to carry warm dry clothes in a backpack: puffy jacket, mittens, etc. I put these on immediately after topping out.



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Woodserson
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Favorite boots: T2Eco, T4, Rossignol BCX10
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Re: Preferred clothing?

Post by Woodserson » Tue Oct 26, 2021 11:10 am

Good conversations in the same vein

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3763

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2282

Lots of great advice. Pay attention to Bregoire's posts as he has done a significant amount of long distance touring in very cold temps, and you are way north, right?



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Roelant
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Re: Preferred clothing?

Post by Roelant » Tue Oct 26, 2021 12:41 pm

I got one of those Fjällräven Keb jackets that bgregoire talks about in the above threads. I have not tried it yet skiing but I have taken it on many intensive hikes and I am sure it will work great for skiing. It is by far the most breathable jacket I have while being windproof where it matters. However it is best used with a backpack as the back stretch panel is not very windproof. Think of it as a reinforced softshell on steroids. The hood is formidable, and putting it on must be what putting on a space helmet feels like.
The G1000 textile can be waxed for water resistance, but the stretch panels (covering the back and the inner arms) cannot. As a result it is not waterproof. As discussed above, there is no waterproof, high breathable textile. This jacket is ideal at sub freezing temperatures, otherwise in dry conditions or only when getting somewhat wet from the rain is preferable than getting wet from sweat and condensation during high intensity activities.



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CoreyLayton
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Re: Preferred clothing?

Post by CoreyLayton » Tue Oct 26, 2021 12:50 pm

For context:
Central NY, typically 5-30F conditions, and 3-4hr (max) "day trip" woodland treks.

on bottom, I typically wear these "softshell pants", with no additional layers:
https://www.revolutionrace.com/men/pant ... Color=2002
and I'll add some lightweight long johns underneath as a baselayer when temps dip below 10 degrees farenheit.

On top, typically a long sleeve, light, non-insulating "tek wik" type shirt (polyester weave), as a first layer against my skin, (moisture management)
and then an "on the heavy side", but breathable softshell jacket, like this:
https://www.mountain-equipment.co.uk/co ... ion-jacket
When temps are sub-15 degrees, I'll swap the tek-wik baselayer for a 250 weight Smartwoool,
or alternatively, I'll add a light fleece over the the tek-wik as a "mid-layer".

The key to "softshell" is to select products *without* any internal membrane (like Goretex "windstopper", "infinium", etc) because they just don't breath well enough (for xc purposes). The only time you will miss the membrane is in very hard, cold, driving wind, or in a rain storm. I'm typically never out in either of these conditions. There are some "hybrid softshells" out there, that place a membrane in isolated, key areas like hood, shoulders, and upper front; allowing the remainder of the jacket to "breathe" (in concept). That *might* work, but I've never used one of these products, myself. The Mountain Equipment product I linked to, is one of the few insulating softshells I could find that incorporate "pit zips" - which REALLY help if you start to overheat.

Another interesting option for your outer-layer is a Fjallraven-type poly/cotton shell. These are supposed to breathe very well, as long as you don't wax the material for increased waterproofness.

As you can see from my description, I've opted for a (mostly, unless very cold out) 2-layer system; where the outer layer provides wind/weather resistance AND some level of insulation. Other folks prefer to have the outer layer very lightweight and non-insulated, and rely more upon a base layer and mid layer for warmth (3-layer system). Both systems can work, and fall more on personal experience and preferences.
Last edited by CoreyLayton on Tue Oct 26, 2021 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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fisheater
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Re: Preferred clothing?

Post by fisheater » Tue Oct 26, 2021 1:04 pm

Does anyone have a source for merino wool long johns? Preferably without a super cool logo.

I’m happy with my winter weight wool surplus pants. Still trying for something better than a soft shell on top.



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Woodserson
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Ski style: Bumps, trees, steeps and long woodsy XC tours
Favorite Skis: DH: Voile V6, Altai KOMs, XCD: Asnes FT62, XC: Nansen, E99, Bonna 1800
Favorite boots: T2Eco, T4, Rossignol BCX10
Occupation: Retro Rager-grouch. Flailmeister. E99 Nerd

Re: Preferred clothing?

Post by Woodserson » Tue Oct 26, 2021 1:08 pm

fisheater wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 1:04 pm
Does anyone have a source for merino wool long johns? Preferably without a super cool logo.

I’m happy with my winter weight wool surplus pants. Still trying for something better than a soft shell on top.
LL Bean has been pretty icognito. Smartwool too. Both have little logos in relatively inconspicuous spots. I think you could scrape off the Bean logo.

I miss Ibex terribly. Those guys made stuff for tall skinny people.



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