Forums The Gear Room quest for perfect midlayer: Polartec Power Stretch vs Thermal Pro
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    9 Posts

    I use the Patagonia Capilene zip-neck as a first layer. Then i have an old fleece and a lightly insulated jacket. I am pondering to substitute the jacket with a shell+layer combo, but I am also thinking to replace the old fleece. For when it’s really cold I wear the Patagonia R1 between the first layer and the fleece. OR i put the Patagonia R3 instead of the fleece. A very good combo is first layer + R1 + Jacket, but the R1 is not full zip and since it’s long cut it goes in the pants, therefore is slightly less comfortable than a normal full-zip jacket type. Therefore i am considering buying a new mid-layer, and i dont know if I should go for something in Polartech Thermal Pro (like for example Patagonia R2) or the Polartec Power Stretch Pro (like for example Acteryx Kyanite).
    What are your thoughts on these two materials? i know they might come in different weights, but i am interested to know which one is more suited as a mid-layer for sport activities in the cold. How do they compare in terms of warmth/breathability?
    thanks in advance

    625 Posts

    Don’t know where you live, but I think the perfect layering is base layer, then Marmot Ether Driclime Hoody as midlayer, then a lighter puffy synthetic with a hood. When it’s real cold in the morning if I start out with all three the backsides of them will get damp so I dont recommend down. I have foregone the hardshell unless there is snow in the forecast. If its warm you can descend just in the Marmot layer as it has a breathable shell material that snow doesnt stick to. If it is a bit breezy on ascent you can climb in it. I run this down to tours with lows in the single digits F in the mornings with no problem.

    So many times I have had it absolutely soaked on ascent and had it dry out so quick and not feel clammy on high ridges.

    ALso I moved from my old patagonia to a Norrona synthetic base layer with a hood. expaensive, but I absolutely love it because the neck zips up to give nice snug neck coverage where the patagonia stays too open and loose and lets in snow necessitating a separate neck covering. All three hoods can be put over progressively if it starts to get real windy and is simple and always available.

    1448 Posts

    Same basic layering approach as @Scooby2 – Hooded baselayer with 3/4 zip and sleeves that can be pulled up is quite versatile. Brand is not important to me personally, what ever is on sale or closeout…
    Bonus points for jackets/shells with inner-mesh pockets large enough to hold skins.

    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

    820 Posts

    I’ve been pretty happy with my Black Diamond Coefficient jacket as a mid layer. I have the one with a hood, and I like it since it has a little extra warmth. I can skin in it if its not dumping.

    And matching what Snurfer said on jacket with mesh pockets. My Outdoor research jackets do just that and its stellar.

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