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Old 30-03-2011, 23:56   #1
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What do you Wear Underneath?

Over the last couple of years I've acquired a moderately decent jacket and bib. These items keep me dry in some fairly wet conditions but aren't enough to keep me warm, even in the balmy San Diego winter.

Recently I've started to wonder about the new generation of mid layer jackets. There was one (on sale but the wrong size) with a shiny reflective interior that boasted superior warmth through reflection and got me wondering about modern approaches to staying warm.

Ideally this mid layer in winter would be a top layer on cooler summer evenings and stand up to a splash or two.

Anyone have recommendations?
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Old 31-03-2011, 00:07   #2
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Re: What do you wear underneath?

I wear a windstopper fleece overall type of "mid layer" garment sold by Musto. It's great - light, comfortable and very warm. In cold weather, I wear under that Underarmor elastic long underwear. Over it I wear one of those jackets you talk about (also Musto), or a fleece, or nothing, depending on temp, and then an outer layer of some kind. The new "technical" clothing is fantastic for cold weather.

Yes, I use the mid-layer jacket as an outer layer in warmer weather. It's very versatile, stops wind, keeps in warmth, yet is thin and light. It has taped seams and is quite waterproof. Highly recommended. Only minus is zipper corrodes (I keep it on board).
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Old 31-03-2011, 00:09   #3
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Re: What do you wear underneath?

I don't know about the jackets you mention, but on my last ocean-race I wore a "salopette" under my foul weather gear. It was probably this one: WINDSTOPPER RACE MIDDLE LAYER SALOPETTE
This thing was great! On the colder nights I still wore long underwear under the salopette, but I essentially lived in it for the first week. I used to think those things looked stupid, but I have been converted!
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Old 31-03-2011, 04:43   #4
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Re: What do you wear underneath?

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Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
I don't know about the jackets you mention, but on my last ocean-race I wore a "salopette" under my foul weather gear. It was probably this one: WINDSTOPPER RACE MIDDLE LAYER SALOPETTE
This thing was great! On the colder nights I still wore long underwear under the salopette, but I essentially lived in it for the first week. I used to think those things looked stupid, but I have been converted!
I'm with you, I'd rather be warm, besides who is going to see you?
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Old 31-03-2011, 04:46   #5
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Re: What do you Wear Underneath?

People think I'm quite nuts carting my ski clothes back to Kuwait - but they work wonders. Wear the ski jacket skin all the time - if it's cold, I also wear the fleece lining. In heavy weather, my salopettes go over whatever else I'm wearing to keep me dry.
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Old 31-03-2011, 05:01   #6
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Re: What do you Wear Underneath?

Fleece is great, both jacket and long pants. If they happen to get wet, they don't get soppy and cold like wool or denim dungarees.
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Old 31-03-2011, 05:41   #7
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Re: What do you Wear Underneath?

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Fleece is great, both jacket and long pants. If they happen to get wet, they don't get soppy and cold like wool or denim dungarees.
Indeed. At least, with regard to denim. Mountaineers say "cotton = death". Wool is ok. But give me Goretex and polyester fleece any day.
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Old 31-03-2011, 06:15   #8
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Re: What do you Wear Underneath?

The ski gear is excellent and a whole lot cheaper than the absolutely silly prices attached to sailing clothing. Ski goggles look pretty dumb but are a great item in a blow! The damp cold on the water at 40F degrees is worse than dry cold at -10. One can get really cold, even hypothermic in relatively warm climates. Most cases of hypothermia actually occur at around 40 degrees. I wind up wearing a Goretex arctic temp. jacket on the water more than it is ever needed mid-winter on land. Synthetic is the only way to go on ALL layers because it still insulates when wet and will eventually dry although it seems nothing ever really dries on a boat. As the old climbing adage goes: "cotton kills." Wool is good and IMO more comfortable than synthetics but is heavy and harder to dry.
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Old 31-03-2011, 09:00   #9
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Re: What do you Wear Underneath?

I afford my two-boat fleet primarily because I don't own a car. Feel free to laugh.

I ride a bicycle with various trailers. One brought back an anchor a couple of days ago. Riding a bike 12 months of the year in Toronto can be challenging, but I've learned plenty of tricks since I was a bike courier. One is that bike gear like Lycra cycling pants or shorts are excellent intermediate layers. Another is that you can wear little "booties" over boat shoes to keep off superficial spray and to keep your feet warm. A third is that "spring ski jackets" or rain gear made for hikers combined with fleece are good for most situations save for the biting cold of sailing in the actual winter.

Goretex is good as the outermost layer, but you have to wear breathable gear below that...or it doesn't work well.

I agree with the cold part in ostensibly warm places. I wore a Musto bib and a wool sweater offshore at night at 22 N. in November because it got cool enough to shiver at times. I wore this with Topsider sandals, however, because if your core is warm, your feet turn into useful radiators. In colder weather, if your hands, feet and head are warm, you stay warm if you are moving.

Invest in a good, tightly knit Fair Isle or similar "fisherman's wool sweater". Not just for the "y'arr effect", but because you can wear it in every season. Many an early summer sail starts really hot next to shore, but a stiff wind over as-yet unwarmed water can be frosty. A wool sweater over a T-shirt with sailing gloves, a brimmed hat and shorts is ideal...and you can drink a cold drink without getting goosebumps.

The ski goggles are a great idea, but a plastic face guard of the sort you'd use with a grinder is something you might have on the boat already.
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Old 31-03-2011, 09:20   #10
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Re: What do you Wear Underneath?

Agree about the Goretex. I think it works only when the ambient air is dry, such as in the mountains. I'm not at all impressed by this stuff and have found that it wets through after a while and does not work well in a marine environment. My go-to rain gear is a plain Helly Hanson commercial bib/top set. It is rugged, impervious to rain and comfortable. Having been a commercial fisherman, I prefer commercial gear that is proven to work rather than looking fashionable. Polypro and synthetic fleece underwear is a godsend.
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Old 31-03-2011, 09:34   #11
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Re: What do you Wear Underneath?

have never tried it but nylon womens stockings apparently work well.........
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Old 31-03-2011, 09:35   #12
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Re: What do you Wear Underneath?

I originally got this stuff for wearing under drysuits and spraytops, but it's so good I've started wearing it under foulies as well.

Coldwater/Weather M-Tech Tops & Bottoms | Men's | Mysterioso
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Old 31-03-2011, 10:12   #13
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Re: What do you Wear Underneath?

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Agree about the Goretex. I think it works only when the ambient air is dry, such as in the mountains. I'm not at all impressed by this stuff and have found that it wets through after a while and does not work well in a marine environment. My go-to rain gear is a plain Helly Hanson commercial bib/top set. It is rugged, impervious to rain and comfortable. Having been a commercial fisherman, I prefer commercial gear that is proven to work rather than looking fashionable. Polypro and synthetic fleece underwear is a godsend.
And I prefer the Goretex stuff. I've worn breathable and non-breathable, and if I'm being at all active the breathable gear keeps me drier. If I happen to get wet underneath, my body heat will eventually dry out the wet stuff, driving the water vapor out through the breathable layer.
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Old 31-03-2011, 11:06   #14
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Re: What do you Wear Underneath?

I recently went overboard wearing a cheap spandex jacket with a polyester lining I bought from Walmart, with lycra jogging pants. Even though the water was 40c I was surprisingly warm, (once I got over the initial shock). And they dried quickly once I got out. I wear them every time now. A gal I know lives in her wet suit, but I find them sweaty when not in the water. The spandex lycra combo keeps me warm in a variety of temperatures, and does a great job of blocking the wind. And they saved enough body heat I didn't feel like I just crawled out of a freezer after recovering from the capsize.
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Old 31-03-2011, 11:26   #15
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Re: What do you Wear Underneath?

I wear "normal" marine foul weather gear, and snowboard in the same. I'm the warmest and driest guy on the slopes (sadly the brightest colored one as well and often mistaken for a safety official).

Underneath I wear cotton boxer briefs because they're comfortable. If it's cold I'll wear synthetic long underwear on top of that, and if it's really cold I have some fleece pants I'll put on on top of those (all of which is underneath my foulie pants).

Up top I wear a "runner's shirt" or a regular t shirt with long sleeve synthetic underwear underneath it if it's cool, with a fleece on in addition if it's even colder. Again, all of that is under the foul weather jacket.

Sometimes it's just so god damn cold no matter what you're doing because just sitting there in the cockpit you don't generate much heat.
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