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 Post subject: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:43 am 
Not completely useless

Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:13 pm
Posts: 78
Location: GER
Hey guys,

last seasons I´ve looked for tactical cold gear and never finished some equip. I want to buy.
So - Winter is coming, we got snow and temperatures below 0°C, so I need something now :D

I want to ask some Norway, Swedish, Swiss, Austria Soldiers for experience?
Light - warm - dry, maybe flame resistant?

Last winter I stopped at Brynje, Aclima and Woolpower - the standard equipment for base layers I think.
But there was Alpaca Wool I found - it should be 8 times more isolating than Merino wool.
Does anyone know some products made of Alpaca?

Anyway:
If Alpaca wool is no solution, what combination can you recommend?
I should not sweat under heavy conditions at max. of -20°C and cool out after it when I stay at the position.
Attention: I know I need to work with many layers, if I don´t move I will put another layer on top, so the question is just what baselayer should I take?


Greetings and thanks alot

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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:05 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:36 am
Posts: 1456
Location: Norway
From my own and pretty much everyone I know's experience, the Aclima WoolNet series is the way to go for base layers.

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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:21 am
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Location: Canada
I'm 100% sold on Merino. It's everything you're asking for, including FR (which is valid for most organic fabrics). I personally like when the blend includes some lycra (or other stretchy fabric) for comfort and range of movement, however any non-organic blend will dramatically reduce if not totally ruin its FR properties.

Also be careful on labels... many, especially cheaper products, are labelled as Merino but when looking at the label you'll see there's barely 10% Merino and 90% Polyester... or something along these lines.

So far I mostly had Icebreaker, Rab and H/H merino. Good but conventionnal designs. These Aclima WoolNet and their varying thickness/pattern depending on the area sound like a great idea. Do they hold up to their promises?

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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:36 am
Posts: 1456
Location: Norway
The woolnet sets (long underpants and long sleeved zippered polo shirts) were issued to my former unit's NCOs and at least some of the officers/staff for testing based on a recommendation by the Norwegian Army school of winter warfare (or whatever the official translation might be).

They were a huge improvement over the previously issued Brynje base layer, and I never heard any complaints about them. I still know people of all walks (hikers, military, LE and skiers/snowboarders) that swear by them to this day. I still have the brynje stuff I got to keep after my army days were over, but I can't say they get any use ever since I bought the Aclima WoolNet gear.

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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:29 am 
Quite OK actually
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Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:57 pm
Posts: 114
Location: New York City
Personally, I have had a good experience using Smartwool brand base layer shirt with a softshell outer layer during movement and replacing the softshell with a patagonia down jacket and hard shell when stationary.

I've recently replaced my patagonia and similar Northface low weight/low cost rainshell with a more durable Aor2 goretex issued jacket and there is no comparison in terms of breathability and water shedding ability. The rain jackets are crap. Goretex all the way.

Disclaimer, I'm not a soldier. I have spent quite a bit of time hiking in a variety of terrain all over the USA. The gear above was used for winter camping in NY state.

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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:35 pm 
The New Guy

Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:53 pm
Posts: 41
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
I've used Aclima's long johns for well over 5 years and they are definitely the end all-be all for winter undergarments.


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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:28 pm 
Earning his keep

Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:36 am
Posts: 347
Location: UK
Hi,

My standard cold ish weather kit for different temp ranges and climates are...

1. Merino wool base layers as standard.
2. Standard issue T-shirt
3. Crye under armour shirt
4. Multicam Windproof smock

This is pretty much my standard chilly weather active layer system.

To warm this up I'll add one or more of the following, situation dependant..

North face or snugpak gillet
Keela mid weight cold weather smock... Tantalus issue
Keela belay primaloft jacket
Wild things highloft jacket & trs
USMC happy suit jacket & trs
Bask Ertzog jacket with Mountain Equipment down trs

Obviously I don't take all of these everywhere. Things like the Keela mid weight smock and belay jacket can go with most of the other bits for extreme cold.

By far the best bit there is the Ertzog and mountain equipment down kit... I can use these instead of a sleeping bag, with the addition of good tent boots and a bivi bag around me.

As always the weather plays a huge part in my choice especially in terms of rain & moisture. I wouldnt take or use my down kit if it was likely to get soaked as down doesn't do too well in the wet. But it's outstanding in extreme cold where there would be no rain etc.

I based this loosely on the APCU concept and works well.


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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:06 pm
Posts: 722
@Club-Mate:

For the base layer, next to skin, you should have something that is moisture wicking and designed to provide a lot of surface area for air.

Typical mesh type garments.

The next layer should be a mid layer, around the 200g/m range. This is what provides insulation.

The outer layer is a wind/water protective garment. As I have said previously, I prefer a cotton blend for this, no Gore-Tex or equivalent for me.

In addition to these three layers, you have reinforcement layers. These can range from fleece jackets, JIB type jackets and winter camouflage overalls.

The key factor is not which garments you have, but how you dress up or down based on activity and weather conditions.

I don't know if I have provided these, but here are the Norwegian Winter Warfare Training Power Point slides:

http://rapidshare.com/share/E555EC2E456 ... F1B684C7B5

Reading these slides is NO SUBSTITUTE for proper training.


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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:49 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:32 pm
Posts: 53
Location: Norge
A good tip for base-layer is the Devold Expedition and Devold active line.
This is a two layer construction with synthetic material next-to-skin and a layer of wool on top.
The Active line is a bit thinner wool 205g vs 235g for expedition.

These garments was tested with Norwegian Army SF a couple of years ago and the feedback was that they gave a lot more comfort than the mesh type garments when carrying heavy packs, and that they retained more warmth during stops in activity.
The expedition line have also been the most common garment for Norwegian polar expeditions the last years.
I actually have a friend who used this on a expedition to the south-pole during the Amundsen 100 year anniversary.

I dont know if you are able to get it in germany but i would think it is possible.
Email adress: firmapost@devold.no
Link to product.
https://www.devold.com/outdoor-no/produkter/overdel/expedition-man-zip-neck/5-c/3/2523/
https://www.devold.com/outdoor-no/produkter/overdel/active-man-zip-neck/5-c/3/2493/

As for the other garments it will be up to the activity.
The best all-arounder for me is a quality soft-shell jacket and pant, but heavy cotton canvas type garments is fine as well. I just dont think they are the best all activity alternative.
For wet snowy weather tho, i would go Gore-Tex.

Midlayer for hold up/rest.
Military -> Thick primaloft
Civilian -> Thick down
Accompanied by top + bottom 400 weight wool-frotte.

I personally have some experience with ski expeditions and high altitude mountaineering, so if you have some specific questions i might be able to help you.
Just shoot me a PM ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:45 am 
The New Guy

Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:55 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Fulda Gap
TermoSwed Light is nice. From the point of comfort I prefer them to the Woolpower 200g/m2 stuff.

For a light baselayer Smartwool Microweight and Drifire Ultra-Lightweight are fine as well. Smartwool is not FR but being made to 100% from wool it will at least not melt or drip.


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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:21 am
Posts: 1163
Location: Canada
Does any one have alternative brands sold more broadly in North America? I checked the Aclima and Brynje and the prices to get them here is just unreasonable. For my budget, anyway, especially with the deals I get on a couple Merino brands...

With that said, some more details on how/why/when it works below. Interesting stuff.
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin ... d_id=70288

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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:06 pm
Posts: 722
The article linked to in that thread needs a paid membership to be read, but I would really like to read it, because it seems that these guys are really off base regarding the properties and advantages of a fishnet type base layer....based on their explanations in the thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:36 am
Posts: 1456
Location: Norway
I'm with AGR on this one. I could barely follow the discussion because it's way off anything I've learned on the subject.

Conker: suck it up an buy the Aclima gear. Save up if you have to, you'll never regret it, though you might hate yourself for not having done it sooner ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 2:29 am
Posts: 379
Location: Washington DC, USA - Switzerland
so Aclima is the way to go for both static and dynamic activity?


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 Post subject: Re: Cold Gear
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:36 am
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Location: Norway
Aye. Being static just means you add more layers.
In activity, you can often get away with wearing just Aclima woolnet gear underneath a hardshell layer at pretty damn low temperatures.

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