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

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sperry SeaHiker Boot with GripX3

"The Sperry SeaHiker will give you maximum traction thanks to the GripX3 Technology™ and the Adaptive Wave Siping™ that disperses water underfoot. These boots have the grip that you need whether you are using hiking straps all day or doing deck work on a bigger race boat"

What does all that mean?, you might ask.

Well this summer Sperry released their GripX3 technology paired with the SeaRacer shoes and SeaHiker Boot. As the title sponsor of the US Sailing team, Sperry used their position to get input in designing the GripX3 (Hydro-Grip) outsole during the lead up to the 2012 London Olympics. This technology Sperry claims is their "stickiest", with Adaptive Wave Siping for wet/dry traction. 

Why does Sperry bill this outsole as their “Stickiest Yet”?  The outsole itself is built from Hydro-Grip which is Sperry’s own proprietary non-marking sole rubber compound is designed to promote traction in wet conditions.The sole is designed with an Adaptive Wave Siping tread, like your car tire the scoring into the surface is laid out move the water away from the contact area. It isn’t the most flexible sole that we carry but the shape and bend were designed to promote maximum contact with the deck surface, again for traction.

The SON-R technology from Sperry found in the SeaHiker has been adapted from their paddling and mountaineering line. Kayakers often have to traverse some obstacle laden and slippery terrain to find a good place to put in for the day. By allowing your feet send information to the brain about the topography, you can balance and adjust accordingly. Not having any feel underfoot in slippery conditions is a quick way to end up swimming.  Metatarsal Pods found on the SON-R insole allow the transfer of information. Sperry uses the phrase “Seeing with your feet” to describe the way the pods work. Why is this important to sailors? You essentially have a better feel on what parts of the shoe are actively gripping the deck. There are tons of angles found on the deck some are wet others are nearly dry all the time. Being able to quickly relay what parts of the shoe are engaged with the non-skid will help to maintain balance and help promote your mobility. The pods are also very cushiony and provide a nice bed for bare feet. 

All in all it's a boot that features everything you could ask for from grip to fit to comfort. The combination of design, technology, and practical testing will provide the wearer with a platform to perform and one less thing to think about while on the water.