Paddling underlayers.

After getting a little chilled yesterday, I’ve decided to get some of those funny looking , tight fitting pants and shirt.

Any brand recommendations? We got my son-in-law an Underarmor shirt for Christmas and it felt good to touch.

Patagonia - - -
my personal favorite. yes, it’s abit spendy, but in my opinion it works better than other ‘similar’ brands i’ve tried. i use a silk weight first layer over which i put either a capalene mid-weight or expedition weight depending on the outside temp. top it all off with my gortex paddling top and i’m toasty without being too warm.

Viva Capilene!!!
My favorite winter layering is a base of mid weight Capilene, a mid layer top and pants of 200 weight Polarfleece, and finally, a MTI wind suit top and pants. That along with my Chota quick lace boots keep me real “toasty” during the Texas winters.

It may sound like a lot of layers, but it is very comfortable and I don’t have a bulky feeling that I have had in the past wearing layers of non synthetics.

That’s my two cents!!!


Another Vote for Patagonia
I have tried numerous less expensive brands and have come to the conclusion that multi layers of Capilene works better and lasts longer than the other options.

You can get years of service out of Cap by making sure to always wash it in cold and air dry. On laundry day I string a coupe of lines up in the living room and blast the kerosene heater…it makes the place fairly humid but it works well.

underarmor is a good start
I like a nice underarmor or similar rash guard type material as a base. I also have a polypro union suit which I layer with fleece under my dry gear. It keeps me nice and toasty even in the coldest waters.

Lots of choices
Patagonia’s capaline is definately a great product. I also like Marmot’s long underwear (driclime). Helly Hanson’s Lifa is quickly becoming one of my favorites as well.

For really cold weather, I like power stretch products. REI has a pretty good selection, and I know that Marker makes a line of power stretch clothing as well. It has a little wind resistance and I often use it as an outer layer as well for cross country skiing, hiking or rock climbing in the early spring and late autumn.

Hope this helps you out.


IR and Kokatat over REI
I use an IR fleece top and Kokatat pants over REI 200 wt polar fleece

Given the activity
Capilene or DriClime. I love Smartwool, but it does take a bit longer to dry out, and seems to retain more moisture. So for water sports, I like a high quality poly.

I like underarmor.
Thay make 2 versions, alight material and a heavier material. So far the heavier I have only found in underarmor brand, and works well for warmth. Otherwise ya can get a cheaper version at walmart or similar .

Thin and tight near you

– Last Updated: Jan-02-05 1:25 PM EST –

capilene or heavyweight silk are my faves.
The tightness lets your body heat transport moisture out, The thinness keeps it from being restrictive, and makes sure the fabric absorbs little moisture.

over that, polartech as needed, bibs are nice if properly zippered for relief

Wool is much harder to dry out so it's not for me.

Wool can be nicer that a polartec outer layer around a campfire though. because it will not catch fire as easy. Lots of hardcore guide types hoave gone to a wool mid or outer layer, but I will not have a wool inner layer.

Looked at the ua site lots of flash no real info. For all I know the could be using phase transper technology but they are just gagging me hype. "the only layer you need when temperature drops"??? See you at 50 below, marketing man!

Probably is decent stuff but the hype is killing me. At least polartec tells you about the technology it uses.


– Last Updated: Jan-02-05 1:15 PM EST –

I have several tops that I use for skiing, running, etc. I find the seams irritate my armpit area though when used in paddling. But YMMV. Generally, I'll wear capilene or thermax under the drysuit/drytop.

Now that it's colder, I wear a NRS "Outer Core" shirt, with fleece bibs over it. The NRS "outer core" material is very interesting. It has a smooth shiny outer surface and a velour finish in the inside. It's breathable but somewhat more impervious to wind. Coming from NRS, the seams are flat stitched and placed to not irritate around the armpit area.


Subject was covered recently
But here are my tested choices, in order of preference:

  1. The Kraft “crew” shirts with seamless (tubular knit) bodies and very close-fitting, stretchy ribbed knit OR Patagonia midweight Capilene, which is less warm and a lot less stretchy-snugfitting than I’d like but still insulates and wicks well

  2. Any Duofold flat-seamed underwear made of Thermastat, Thermax, or Coolmax.

  3. High-quality Merino wool garments made to fit closely (NOT baggy)–several brands offer these

    Actually, with any long underwear, baggy sucks. Baggy is OK for overlayers, but next to the skin, it’s…well, it’s NOT next to the skin! Which translates to not as warm, and less effective wicking.

    Of the above, the Kraft garments seem to be made for the closest fit on aerobic athletes (they are marketed towards x-c skiiers and bike racers), with the Duofold a close second. You can almost always find Duofold stuff at great prices from Campmor and, often, Sierra Trading Post.

    For my winter paddling, which is very limited due to freeze-over, I have found that one set of thin tops and bottoms (any of the above materials), with perhaps a second thin layer on the upper body, plus drysuit is sufficient. If you are paddling in January and February, unlike me :frowning: another layer in the form of stretch Polartec would be a good addition.

What I wore
the day in question string;lycra bicycling shorts with polyester over pants. polypro shirt with a polyester shirt over that. Seal skin socks . and a PFD The dang things keep you warm. I had rain gear and a fleece jacket and a beanie in dry jar. If I went swimming I would put on the rain gear and beanie and I would have warmed up. Please understand that Randy and I paddle all the time and I knew if we got wet we could kick up our speed to stay warm for the 10- 15 miles required. The only problem was the car was at the put in so we would have had to walk it to town to wait for the rest of youslow pokes!

Thanks everyone.
I picked up a set of midweight Capilene today.

Almost picked up a demo Pungo 140 for my Edisto boat.