Author Topic: Base layers with Cotton  (Read 2212 times)

RogerA

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Base layers with Cotton
« on: 12:01:18, 26/03/18 »
I was in mountain warehouse at the weekend and noticed that quite a few of what they described as base layers contained 35% cotton. I'd always thought that cotton was a bad idea in a base layer - but what do I know I'm still a newbie. Thinking on it more I realised that my craghopper kiwi trousers are part cotton too but these work ok - but then I treat these when I wash them.

Is it right to avoid all cotton in a base layer as I have been doing to date?

Owen

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Re: Base layers with Cotton
« Reply #1 on: 12:54:21, 26/03/18 »
Yes.

Glyno

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Re: Base layers with Cotton
« Reply #2 on: 14:39:38, 26/03/18 »
a lot of more 'casual looking' tops are Polycotton (a blend of polyester and cotton). Not really as efficient as a fully synthetic base layer, more a compromise between function and fashion. No doubt Mountain Warehouse are trying to appeal to a wider audience.

jimbob

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Re: Base layers with Cotton
« Reply #3 on: 15:26:38, 26/03/18 »
Since cotton holds vapour, ie. it doesn't wick, then it is not a great choice as a base layer either in the cold or the hot weather conditions you may be walking in, that doesn't take into account whether you sweat ( sorry ladies, glow) or not.

It is however a reasonably easy to source and cheap alternative to polyester or merino, or the newcomer to the wicking scene bamboo(or other plant based cellulose), which is why companies still produce it, not for its capabilities as abase layer but it potential asa profit maker.

Better technical reasons behind not using cotton can be found in this forum using the search function.
Too little, too late, too bad......

gunwharfman

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Re: Base layers with Cotton
« Reply #4 on: 15:57:51, 26/03/18 »
I think that its easy to forget that firms these days are also making 'hiking clothes' as fashion accessories. I see them all the time in our shopping centres, one bloke (about 40 yrs old) also comes into my local all kitted out, he's a Rab man, but he doesn't walk, he drives everywhere. He believes that his Rab gear and his Saburu saloon, with the large and loud exhaust go together like bread and cheese!

KimE

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Re: Base layers with Cotton
« Reply #5 on: 17:31:27, 26/03/18 »
A thin poly moist transporting layer under a cotton shirt works well. Poly/wool baselayer or socks are a little stronger than wool only. Polycotton works best for trousers or jackets.

Tin

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Re: Base layers with Cotton
« Reply #6 on: 17:45:02, 26/03/18 »
I think that its easy to forget that firms these days are also making 'hiking clothes' as fashion accessories. I see them all the time in our shopping centres, one bloke (about 40 yrs old) also comes into my local all kitted out, he's a Rab man, but he doesn't walk, he drives everywhere. He believes that his Rab gear and his Saburu saloon, with the large and loud exhaust go together like bread and cheese!


I applaud that kind, they help fund R&D for us lot. ;D

fernman

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Re: Base layers with Cotton
« Reply #7 on: 18:12:03, 26/03/18 »
Polycotton works best for trousers or jackets.

Sorry to disagree with you Kim but in 2016 I bought a not-so-cheap pair of Swedish walking trousers, made by Pinewood. They were 65% polyester, 35% cotton and they turned out to be the wrong choice, for they became damp on the first day of a multiple-day hike in North Wales and they stayed that way throughout. They didn't dry one little bit, not even from my body warmth when I was inside my tent.
I gave them to a charity shop after just that one use, someone would have got a bargain if they bought them for workwear, and I replaced them with a 100% polyamide Tog 24 pair which by comparison dry in minutes.

Troggy

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Re: Base layers with Cotton
« Reply #8 on: 19:33:21, 26/03/18 »
I don't know but perhaps Kim meant that if you are going to wear polycotton, it's best used as an outer layer. I've got a few pair of Craghoppers and I'm quite happy with them, though they are poly cotton. They're pretty good windproofs, hold off a shower and I don't sweat in them (never get walking fast enough!) but if it starts to rain, I'd have my light waterproofs made by Frogg toggs.

Every book I've read on getting kitted out for British weather is that you should wear something that allows any sweat build up to pass through into the outer layers. I like wool as a vest and have a few merino ones that I've picked up from charity shops, and a couple I've bought like a patagonia zipped one and a pretty good Aldi one that has thumb loops. I've got a few polyester ones as well; but having said all that, I'd go out on a walk and forget not to put a cotton one on!

jimbob

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Re: Base layers with Cotton
« Reply #9 on: 20:10:59, 26/03/18 »
love the Aldi & Lidl Merino base-layers, they are very hard wearing thanks to the polyester added to the wool. They are not 100% Merino, but they are great value for money , a true bargain.
Too little, too late, too bad......

Troggy

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Re: Base layers with Cotton
« Reply #10 on: 20:22:06, 26/03/18 »
You're right there, Jimbob,
The one I got from Aldi has lasted god knows how many years, must be getting on for ten. It's got a few moth holes...but I prefer to call them battle scars. I'l have to keep a weather eye open in case either of em have another special offer on the Merino wool baselayers.

Owen

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Re: Base layers with Cotton
« Reply #11 on: 20:30:51, 26/03/18 »
I really can't get on with merino, I find it itchy and stays damp for a very long time once wet. I have some bamboo t-shires which are great for summer but a bit thin for winter. When it's cold I have a couple of long sleeved North Cape shirts, I've just been looking at some old photo's and realized that I'm wearing the same shirt in a twenty year old photo. I think that's why North Cape went bust, their stuff never wore out. 
For trousers I mostly wear Montane Terra pants which don't contain cotton, I found they were dry 20 minutes after wading a river. For winter I also have a pair of Haglof trousers but they were quite expensive.

fernman

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Re: Base layers with Cotton
« Reply #12 on: 20:57:26, 26/03/18 »
I don't know but perhaps Kim meant that if you are going to wear polycotton, it's best used as an outer layer.

She probably did mean that, but I hold the view that any cotton is an absolute no-no for base, mid or outer wear for outdoor activities in the UK climate, other than in warm and settled summer weather.

As for Craghoppers trousers, I'm a great fan of them, I currently own three pairs but for me they are everyday wear, I wouldn't dream of going on a long hike in them.

love the Aldi & Lidl Merino base-layers, they are very hard wearing thanks to the polyester added to the wool. They are not 100% Merino, but they are great value for money , a true bargain.

So long as you look at the labels carefully before buying. When I looked in Aldi two months ago, they had both merino and synthetic/cotton mix ones.

jimbob

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Re: Base layers with Cotton
« Reply #13 on: 21:26:28, 26/03/18 »
Yep Fernman, I left them in the store. I keep an eye out for whatever bargains they have in both Lidl & Aldi but you have to read the labels. Their Crivit make are reasonable also, mainly polyester and a bit of elastane also which I use in the allotment on hot days as they are quite cheap and hard wearing. Never need to use them on a walk as i have enough Merino base layer. ( I love the non smelliness after a few days wear, or is that not good to admit to.)
Too little, too late, too bad......

sussamb

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Re: Base layers with Cotton
« Reply #14 on: 21:43:07, 26/03/18 »
As for Craghoppers trousers, I'm a great fan of them, I currently own three pairs but for me they are everyday wear, I wouldn't dream of going on a long hike in them.


I use them pretty much whenever I'm walking, including 'long hikes' like the Pennine Way, Offa's Dyke etc.
Where there's a will ...