This Month's Gear Guru Question:by Backcountry Bob
I use an Arc'Teryx Sindwinder SV for touring and resort riding. It is significantly thinner than my previous outer layer (The North Face Mountain Guide) so I am having trouble finding a layering system that will work for me. I tend to get warm quickly. If you could give me some options for warmer and cooler days I'd appreciate it.
I can appreciate your predicament as I, too, tend to get warm very quickly. I also use a thin Gore-Tex shell similar to your Sidewinder for riding. What I have found works well for me is different layering for different temps and uses.
For touring, when I'm on the move most of the time, I wear a lightweight base layer with a Marmot DriClime Windshirt over that. I keep my shell in my pack until I'm ready to rip.
If it's really cold or stormy, I layer my shell over the top; the windshirt adds just enough warmth, but also breathes very well so I don't overheat. I cannot overstate the versatility of this one amazing piece of gear. I use it year round, but for winter backcountry travel it rules. Its outer nylon shell takes the bite out of a cold wind, while it's thin microfleece liner regulates your temperature evenly and effectively. You can hike all day in it.
For colder days or resort days, it gets a little trickier because even temperature regulation is so much harder to achieve. The key is having your layers work together, moving moisture towards the outer shell and away from your body.
I use a thin base layer with either a power stretch top or lightweight fleece (100 weight) over it. Patagonia's R system (R .5 and R 1) is excellent. If it's really, really cold I'll put my DriClime Windshirt over the fleece under my shell or use a 200 weight fleece.
I would stay away from layering with WindStopper type fleeces as they inhibit moisture transport, making you feel clammy. Sometimes you just have to vent on the way down (with core vents or pit zips) or up (riding the chair). The newer soft shell outerwear has definitely caught my attention as it seems to be a good solution for hot folks like us. Good luck, and thanks for your question!
This month's Gear Guru question was submitted by Sergio Rosero from New York. He will receive a BackcountryStore.com Nalgene bottle for his question. Enjoy Sergio!
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