Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ready for Fall Layering Guide: Light Base Layer


As the name implies, Base Layers are the first layer of clothing you put on. It is a next-to-skin layer designed to move moisture from your body, providing comfort and allowing your breathable gear to do its job more effectively.

Sailing provides a unique set of challenges when it come to moisture management -- short bursts of movement in a sometimes wet environment -- and it is important to choose your base layers carefully, especially when it comes to layering for the cold. Avoid cotton clothing, when possible, as it retains moisture instead of moving it.

Base Layers are available in a range of weights to accommodate almost any climate. Ultra-Lightweight Base Layers provide dry, cool comfort and can be used on their own when the temperatures rise while Heavyweight Base Layers keep you dry and warm when the temps bottom out.


Stay on the water longer and get as much as you can from the shorter Fall days by following our Layering Guide for the Fall Season. 

Light Base Layer: ~65-78 ° F

As the closest layer to your body the base layer you choose should be designed to keep moisture off of your skin. Wicking ability should be the first way you grade your base layer. Dry skin is imperative for staying both cool and warm. 

When it comes to base layer there are many options and proprietary fabrics to choose from. Base Layers are available in a range of weights to accommodate almost any climate. Lightweight Base Layers provide dry, cool comfort and can be used on their own when the temperatures rise while Heavyweight Base Layers keep you dry and warm when the temps bottom out.

One of the more common questions that we get about this category is "when would I actually wear this gear?" -- and it's a really good point. If you plan on wearing these layers on their own, you'll find that the gear in this lightweight base layer section will perform their best when there's a light chill to the air. Their materials invite airflow, provide excellent wicking and provide exceptional breathability, which is why they're not rated for cold temps. However, they should absolutely be one of your first thoughts when the temps dip as a layering piece, as they're also insulative enough for chilly days when worn beneath outer layers.

Perhaps the most well known of the lightweight base/thermal layers is Patagonia's Capilene 2 line. It is the fastest drying of Patagonia's performance baselayers, with an open knit that for air movement and design that minimizes/eliminates chafe during the course of a day. Available in a long sleeve t-shirt, zip neck long sleeve t-shirt and pants that all feature a slim fit -- they'll fit best as a next to skin garment but are sized for a light layer to be worn beneath them. 


The Musto Active Base layer is another choice when it comes to high performing light base layers.  The Active Base Layers are designed to work the best in high activity. Musto has optimized this line for sailing by keeping you dry and comfortable for extended periods of time, this gear is made for long days on the water. Made from a Polypropylene blend with Nilit Bodyfresh with Silver ion technology to prevent odor producing bacteria. 3D protective knit on collar bone, shoulders and over arm panels to increase protection. Mesh knit on side panels, underarms, inner elbow and center back for increased ventilation, Honeycomb thermal knit on kidneys and lower back for added warmth.

As the weather turns we will continue this series. Next: Medium Weight Base Layer, and Warm Middle Layer

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