base layer

Mr Nice

New Member
Feb 14, 2020
14
12
Looking at getting new upper base layer and am curious what is being recommended by the members of this forum.

I currently have First Lite merino and have been happy with it, but they have seemed to shrink over the years of washing. What is being suggested by the group before I go make a new purchase?

Thanks!
 

go_deep

Veteran member
Nov 30, 2014
2,315
1,106
Wyoming
I have the same base layers, and would recommend them to anyone. I have some that are 6 years old and the same size from the day I bought them, but I only air dry them after washing them. If you dry them in a dryer that might be the cause of them shrinking.
 

Mr Nice

New Member
Feb 14, 2020
14
12
Yeah I wasn't the smartest years ago and was in a hurry and threw some items in the dryer that I shouldn't have causing some shrink. I've had good luck with the First Lite even when snowmobiling in the mountains to keep the moisture away from me. Just wanted to see if there was another alternative that is being recommended.

Thanks for the feedback!
 

JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
4,959
3,309
67
Gypsum, Co
I have found that the cause of most of my base layers not fitting properly is that I have grown in ways and places that I really shouldn't.

I purchase some of Cabela's thermals a very long time ago and they are very good as far as wear is concerned. In my old job I would put them on in October and not return them to the drawer until April. While working they fit like a glove. Then once I retired I found that they fit a little bit snugger each and ever year since. I usually don't wear the tops but last fall I put on a top and I looked like the Pillsbury Dough boy. I couldn't move in them so I'll be looking at some new ones this year.

While anything wool is nice, take a look at the modern fabrics. They are cheaper and keep you just as warm without a lot of bulk. And they are drier safe. But on the drier take a look at the drying settings and see if there is a Knit/Delicate setting which is low heat and use that setting for drying them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: taskswap

Mr Nice

New Member
Feb 14, 2020
14
12
Ha, I know what you mean in growing in places that we don't like to admit and there is some of that going on but the main issue is they are shorter than when I originally bought them and riding up too high.

I've used Under Armour many years ago but didn't like the fact that it would retain too much odor, especially with bowhunting. I felt like I need to wash it after every trip out if I sweat at all. Are the new fabrics better than that?

Thanks
 

JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
4,959
3,309
67
Gypsum, Co
As for holding odor I don't know, I believe that there are some other there that claim that they don't.

I'm not a big sweater so I don't worry too much about it. I have also learned to be a little bit miserable in the cooler mornings to be comfortable later. But then that is one thing that using layers helps with. You can dress light for a hike and then put on some insulating clothes if you plan on sitting for a while in a cooler area.
 

ScottR

Eastmans' Staff / Moderator
Staff member
Feb 3, 2014
6,415
1,103
www.eastmans.com
Here is my take, take it for what it is worth...

First Lite has made great Merino products for a very long time and as long as they keep that going it will be the same quality. If the fit they provide is worth it and you got that many years of use...hard to change.

Sitka has really done a good job with their base layers even expanding and redesigning many of them the last few years. I have used their merino a very long time. I can more than reccomend them and even with a few accidental dryings they haven't shrunk up on me.

Kryptek's Altitude Arma series does very well too. I have gotten to spend some time with it as well and it had been a strong performer.
 

taskswap

Active Member
Jul 9, 2018
390
237
Colorado
I'm on the "drew the short straw" on the sweat scale, so for me, the warmth of the base layer isn't as much of an advantage. I get cold like anybody else, but the point is I don't want to spend $60-$90 or more on something like that when I know by the end of any given day, if it's remotely "non toxic", I wasn't working hard enough! :D

I like lightweight, inexpensive base layers that I can buy enough of to change every day. Even backpacking where I re-wear a lot of stuff, I always have a fresh base layer and pair of socks for every day of a trip. For cold days I've had really good luck with the 32 Degrees thermal underwear Costco sells. For moderate days a lightweight undershirt like you'd wear with a suit works great. For warm/hot days I love Patagonia's "Capilene" shirts. Those days are the only days I wear anything expensive because I've also found Sitka's Hunting Core Long Sleeve Tee is about the same in terms of keeping me cool and dry (and providing both camo and UV protection at the same time).

To be honest I'm pretty mixed on my outer layers as well. Given how much attention they get (and sponsorship they throw around) I invested in some additional Sitka layers, but I haven't been too happy with them. For as much as they charge I expected their stuff to be quieter. I've gotten random-brand base and outer layers from McGuckin's on seaon-end sales that outperformed some pretty expensive gear.
 

Rhino Hunter

New Member
Oct 1, 2012
6
4
Thanks for the feedback, I put some Kuiu Merino on my Christmas list this past week. I've had great success with other Kuiu products.
I've had good luck with them too. But their sizes all seem to run from one-half to one full size small. I just order up one size.
 
  • Like
Reactions: archbull

kidoggy

Veteran member
Apr 23, 2016
5,354
3,228
53
idaho
sitka ,kryptek, kuiu, eberlestock, Skre all sell merino base layers and all are pretty much the same thing ,different color.
 

Ryan Hughes

New Member
Apr 10, 2015
14
10
Santa rosa, CA
Ive always been interested in the eberlestock airbase stuff. Anyone ever try them? I really like firstlite merino but the eberstock stuff has certainly peaked my interest.