Q & A - a Rokslide mid-layer "shootout"

mtwarden

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Gents - the fine folks from Rokslide have asked me to do a mid-layer shootout and I agreed. We were hoping to complete it in the Spring when the weather was more favorable (cooler temps), but were waiting on a few additional mid-layers. We still haven't received the Kuiu 240 yet.

Thus far we've got the First Lite Origin hoody, Sitka Heavyweight hoody and the Sitka Arrowhead MDWi hoody (that I reviewed earlier).

I want to look at several things, but near the top are warmth/weight and moisture movement. I think I might have a pretty slick way to compare moisture movement. I had an ah ha moment after I was swept by a fast moving stream this past winter. I was wet up to my neck, base layer soaked. I put on a mid-layer and started hiking (hard) for ~ two hours and lo behold, my base layer was very close to being fully dry.

I'm not volunteering for any swift water sweeps :D, but my thought is taking a base layer (using the same one each time) soaking it with water-, writing it slightly and weighing it (insuring that each time the garment weighs the same). Putting it on and donning one of the mid-layers. Using a 4-5 mile route (again using the same route & pace each time) and then weighing both the base layer and mid-layer. Obviously the lighter each is (less moisture), the better. I'll do my best to keep environmental conditions as close to the same each time- temperature, humidity, etc.

Anyways Robby suggested starting a q & a thread to get ideas from folks on testing, other possible candidates, etc.

As summer is almost here in Montana, probably realistically looking at September to give this a go.

Thanks
Mike
 

Ten Bears

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Can you toss in an Arcteryx Leaf Naga Hoody in full or pullover ? They have been my go to.
 

fngTony

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Looking forward to this! Do you have a route that is fairly shady? The sun dries things really quick which I think would skew the results. Are you wearing a jacket over the midlayer? I could loan you a peloton 97 if interested (hardly worn, should represent as new)?
 

JohnB

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Whatever currently passes as the poor man's MDWI. Ive got a discontinued Outdoor Research Ascendant coat that I love but live in fear of it's demise. What should I keep an eye out for?
 

fngTony

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mtwarden

mtwarden

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Looking forward to this! Do you have a route that is fairly shady? The sun dries things really quick which I think would skew the results. Are you wearing a jacket over the midlayer? I could loan you a peloton 97 if interested (hardly worn, should represent as new)?
Mostly in the timber with one good uphill.

Thanks I have a Peloton 97 :)

Whatever currently passes as the poor man's MDWI. Ive got a discontinued Outdoor Research Ascendant coat that I love but live in fear of it's demise. What should I keep an eye out for?

My wife has an Ascendant- I don't think you have any worries other than tearing the outer fabric, it will last a long time

I've heard this is a good budget option.
Will probably pick one up for the wife and I each this year. Would like to see it in the comparison though.
It the Condor Base 2 Zip Pullover. Currently $25

it says base layer, is it heavier than a base layer? I'll be wearing a base layer under any of the hoodies that are tested
 

Clarktar

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I'd sure like it if we could get the Eigerjoch IN Hybrid Jacket Men on the list as well as the arcteryx proton FL hoody.





Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
 

woods89

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Whatever currently passes as the poor man's MDWI. Ive got a discontinued Outdoor Research Ascendant coat that I love but live in fear of it's demise. What should I keep an eye out for?
I too have an Ascendant. Why do items like this get discontinued?

Looking forward to this comparison!
 

5MilesBack

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I had an ah ha moment after I was swept by a fast moving stream this past winter. I was wet up to my neck, base layer soaked. I put on a mid-layer and started hiking (hard) for ~ two hours and lo behold, my base layer was very close to being fully dry.
Folks are always saying how slow merino dries, but every day elk hunting I soak mine with sweat and it's already dry before I go to bed. Perhaps my cheap microfleece is the reason.

Make sure you check out some thrift stores for some $2 options to test as well. ;)
 

Kostrize

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Another vote for the Arc’teryx Proton FL if possible. The new revised version of the Proton FL is probably the closest thing on the market to the Sitka MDWi. It’s received great reviews already. Pretty crazy that there aren’t more options like these two on the market
 

Marbles

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I find my Kuiu Peleton 240 is something between a mid layer and a soft shell. I primarily use it as a soft shell. it does a decent job cutting the wind, but is mediocre on breathability.

I think breathability and moisture movement are inversely related, but it would be worth noting wind cutting ability too (even though this is not the point of a mid-layer).
 

prm

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Mid-layers that block wind, to me, far “outperform” those that do not. Meaning, my comfort level can be maintained across a wider variation of conditions. I never preferred the use of a wind shirt. For me, my mid-layer often becomes my outer layer. Many way to skin the cat though. Look forward to following as I’m sure I’ll learn something new!
 
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tdot

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If you can find a Patagonia Levitation hoody, I'd definitely suggest you add that to the list. It is by far the best Mid-layer I've ever owned. I cant find anything that beats it. But I haven't really looked in a few years, so it'll be curious to see how these new models rate.

I like the sound of your proposed test for breathability, although I'd also suggest that you watch your calorie intake for the 24hours prior and try to keep that relatively consistent, as that can have such a big impact on your heat output. Also preferably hike with a pack on. I have had some midlayers that breathe well but can't move moisture away from under a pack.

For me, a mid layer's breathability is paramount, I will not consider a mid-layer if it has any type of membrane. Minimal insulation is also important. I add insualtionfor lower temps, but generally it is a base+mid for any activity down to -15c. I only want minimal rain and wind protection, any significant amounts of either and I'll throw on a hardshell. Weight, loudness and durability are moderately important. A mid-layer is really my active/ fair-weather outerlayer and is my most important piece.

The cut of the hood is also important, some of the mountaineering options are cut for a helmet, which can suck.
 
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sndmn11

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Mid-layers that block wind, to me, far “outperform” those that do not. Meaning, my comfort level can be maintained across a wider variation of conditions. I never preferred the use of a wind shirt. For me, my mid-layer often becomes my outer layer. Many way to skin the cat though. Look forward to following as I’m sure I’ll learn something new!

This might be a good comparison!

Does over insulating to combat evaporative cooling perform better than something that is far more breathable but much less insulating?

In other words, since a FL Origin is already selected, is it a better choice than FL Ridgeline?
 
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