pontoonman wrote:What are the fastest drying base and top layers? I've heard to stay away from cotton. I use baggy/stretchy nylon pack pants/shirt for outer layer when it's not too cold.
I'm wearing full winter wading togs in this photo - base, insulation and shell, top and bottom.
generally stay away from cotton because the fibers get wet through and through - including with your sweat.
Wicking is the property that carries your sweat away from your skin, to evaporate through your breathable shell layer. Soggy fabric doesn't wick, but holds your sweat close to your skin, so you lose body heat and suffer exposure even if you're working hard enough to sweat.
Capeline is fastest drying synthetic, and merino wool the fastest drying natural fiber.
Ski-wear is a great place to look for winter base layers.
I bicycle a lot, including the winter, so I have a lot of merino wool base layers in different lengths and weights. Summer and winter - I wear merino tees and boxer briefs to cycle in summer.
Don't think of merino as itchy wool - it's soft and smoother on your skin than most synthetics - the aussies are onto something.
I shop sierratradingpost for my merino base layers.
Merino fibers stay sealed for better wicking and quick-drying by washing in a tea-tree-oil product such as Kookabura wool wash. This product will even improve wicking and drying in cotton fabrics.
This is a cozy Calida base layer top, a warm cotton-poly blend, but worthless if it gets wet. I always wear a fishing shirt over the base layer so I have the pockets.
I mostly wear merino base layers and synthetic fleece bottom insulation layer inside waders. I have some older capeline top and bottom base layers as well - they won't wear out as long as you wash on gentle to keep the fibers intact.
Sometimes my top insulation layer is also a wool sweater.
Inside waders, on my feet I wear poly liner socks, and heavy merino knee socks - ski socks or trekker socks.
The nice thing about wool is it will keep you warm even if it's wet. Wet synthetic layers will cause you to lose your body heat more quickly. Best (or worst) example is synthetic fleece fingerless gloves - they're a detriment when they become wet, but merino fingerless fishing gloves will still keep your hands warm when they're wet - Filson makes these.
though most often between this point of hooking up and handling the fish in the net, I usually remember to peel the gloves and put them in my pocket to avoid them getting wet
The standard approach to outdoor active togs is breathable outer seal layer. Of course wading, our waders are bottom seal layer.
A non-insulated goretex shell is the best top seal layer for keeping out wind and rain.
I also have Haglofs goretex rain pants that usually stay in my kayak dry bag for wind and rain kayak fishing, also great for cold-morning power-boat riding. Generally wear fishing shorts under these for when the day warms.
I like baggy cycling togs, and some of my nylon cycling pants also work really well with the knee socks in place of a heavier insulation layer inside waders on those days where the river is 50-degrees and the air is 70. They're also very handy for the drive to the river, planning to put on the heavier insulation and waders when I park the truck.
speaking of bicycling for exercise, I'm 60-y-o, my at-rest pulse is 42, and BP the same as when I was 19 - I smoke cigars and eat anything I want.