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Performance apparel are they worth it in reality? 2437

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 12,406
Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« on: December 01, 2014, 11:21:40 PM »
I have some performance clothes but I wonder if they are REALLY worth the price.   

Seems like certain materials perform better than others in certain environments vs cotton.  Micofiber and fleece tendency to dry faster while keeping clothing light yet warm.   

Anyone here prefer this type clothing when out in the back country. 



Esse Quam Videri
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 13,727 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2014, 11:43:44 PM »
Yes ... but be wary of prices. There's some stupidly expensive stuff out there, but there's nearly always an offbrand alternative which should work as well or almost as well, particularly if you're smart on layering. I tend to only use the modern fabrics when out and about these days, but stuff at a price I'm prepared to pay. Their nemesis however is flame, so if you are to be around a fire a lot (sparks etc), then wool might still be a better choice

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No Life Club Posts: 2,167
Re: Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2014, 08:30:19 PM »
I don't actually think all of them are made equal.  I remembered buying a special fabric (forgotten what kind of tech) upper base layer and it costed me a small fortune, and it supposed to dry fast and could 'wick' sweat out of body.  However, it ended up not absorbing anything at all, and even retain all the smell of sweat...it was a terrible choice, and a lesson well learnt.

Nowadays, if I were to buy any 'special fabric', other than cotton or wool, I will try to look up whether any thru hikers have used them, and  they tend to give good advice based on thousands of miles of hiking experience with their gears.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,723 Oxygen and magnesium toghether?! OMg!
Re: Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2014, 08:38:46 PM »
I have some performance clothes but I wonder if they are REALLY worth the price.   

Seems like certain materials perform better than others in certain environments vs cotton.  Micofiber and fleece tendency to dry faster while keeping clothing light yet warm.   

Anyone here prefer this type clothing when out in the back country.

Like these?



 :whistle:

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Global Moderator Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 12,140 North American Meetup: May13-15 2011
Re: Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2014, 08:40:30 PM »
Cotton is a terrible fabric except on lovely Spring/Summer days for light activity. Performance fabrics (and I include merino wool in this) are so much superior, it's not funny. Different people like different materials, so see what you're comfortable with.  Stay away from this "season's" fashion because it comes at a price. 

We regularly find one to two year old Marmot high performance clothing at Marshalls etc for a fraction of the original price.  Great gear, just in a color not favored this year, or the wrong zipper style.

Outdoor gear freaks are as bad as urbanite women with Jimmy Choo's :facepalm:

No Life Club Posts: 2,167
Re: Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2014, 07:17:20 AM »
Outdoor gear freaks are as bad as urbanite women with Jimmy Choo's :facepalm:

:rofl:

I think that is exceptionally true in some countries I have traveled to, for example, Seoul(Korea), I have never seen so much commercial on major tv channel for outdoor fashion advertising.

I am generally a really warm(body temperature) person, and sweat easily, and the main concern most of the time is how to not get too soak in sweat in the hot/warm weather I usually hike to...I too kinda wonder what performance wear is best for my situation. :think:
Sr. Member Posts: 316
Re: Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2014, 03:27:10 AM »
I prefer a wicking fabric snug against my skin, preferably something anti-microbial so I don't stink. Over that, a loose shirt in the warm weather, or a wool sweater in cool weather. As others have said, cotton is to be avoided.

I EDC'd a SAK before MacGyver did...
No Life Club Posts: 2,901
Re: Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2014, 06:51:31 AM »
Cotton is a terrible fabric except on lovely Spring/Summer days for light activity. Performance fabrics (and I include merino wool in this) are so much superior, it's not funny. Different people like different materials, so see what you're comfortable with.  Stay away from this "season's" fashion because it comes at a price. 

We regularly find one to two year old Marmot high performance clothing at Marshalls etc for a fraction of the original price.  Great gear, just in a color not favored this year, or the wrong zipper style.

Outdoor gear freaks are as bad as urbanite women with Jimmy Choo's :facepalm:
What Nate said!

Cotton kills... it's horrible for anything active except being a towel. I occasionally wear a cotton t-shirt in the summer but NEVER in the winter, rain, or other inclement conditions.

Typically I wear a close fitting base layer typically consisting of merino wool socks, a pair of cycling shorts and a compression shirt made of polypro. Over that goes a pair of polypro fleece tights, either just regular lycra or fleeced lined softshell, depending on the weather, a light or midweight polar-tec type fleece insulating layer, and usually a soft shell jacket. I've got about four different ones I pick and choose from but lately my "Rogue Hoodie" by Showers Pass or my Marmot E-Line jacket have been called for duty most often. In heavy rain I will go with a hardshell jacket and pants. In any rain or significant cold my Gore Bike-Wear socks get layered over my Smartwool socks.

This arrangement doesn't always keep me dry though; but that's part of cycling in the rain. You'll always get at least a little wet, even if it's from your own sweat. But, it does keep me warm and cozy, enough I can do 15 miles or more in the rain without batting an eyelash. We've been having a lot of rain out here in California the past couple of weeks, and even with all the rain, it hasn't affected my weekly mileage totals at all... Heck, I even did two rides for errands in the last two weeks, one of 15 miles and another of 22 miles, where it was raining the entire time, and I was good the entire time.

And, Nate's right, you don't have to spend a ton of money. Anything that's polypro or wool will do the job as long as it fits, and is appropriate for the activity. In other words, don't using climbing clothing for cycling, etc. Skiing clothing works really well for cycling actually though. Just avoid cotton at all costs, and layer, layer, layer.

The first Noble Truth: life is suffering.  Only by accepting that fact can we transcend it.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,012 Not taking any more orders.
Re: Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2015, 09:36:42 PM »
In one word. Yes.
No Life Club Posts: 4,346 Captain's Apprentice
Re: Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2015, 09:42:07 PM »
In one word. Absolutely.

Nike Elites are where the party is at.

And PFG (Performance Fishing Gear) by Columbia definetly help in the water. Keeps the sun off you and keeps you cool.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 12,406
Re: Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2015, 12:31:45 AM »
I've been looking at UV protective clothing, very interesting stuff.  I wonder what Joel wears out in the frozen area of the US he lives  :think:

I got a couple great previously worn but in terrific condition fleece tops at the flea market.  They were the Columbia brand and I got 2 for $10.  I'm keeping my eyes peeled for deals at on this gear. 

Esse Quam Videri
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,685 Stranger in a Strange Land
Re: Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2015, 01:00:27 AM »
I've been looking at UV protective clothing, very interesting stuff.  I wonder what Joel wears out in the frozen area of the US he lives  :think:

I got a couple great previously worn but in terrific condition fleece tops at the flea market.  They were the Columbia brand and I got 2 for $10.  I'm keeping my eyes peeled for deals at on this gear.

I wear carhartt bibs, coat and hat.

Under that I wear sweat pants , t shirt, jeans, long sleeve sweat shirt, flannel shirt, warm socks, Bellville boots.

Defend the Hive!!!
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 12,406
Re: Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2015, 01:06:14 AM »
I've been looking at UV protective clothing, very interesting stuff.  I wonder what Joel wears out in the frozen area of the US he lives  :think:

I got a couple great previously worn but in terrific condition fleece tops at the flea market.  They were the Columbia brand and I got 2 for $10.  I'm keeping my eyes peeled for deals at on this gear.

I wear carhartt bibs, coat and hat.

Under that I wear sweat pants , t shirt, jeans, long sleeve sweat shirt, flannel shirt, warm socks, Bellville boots.

I wondered what you did to stay warm.  Thanks for the answer, however with all that cotton do you find yourself heating up and sweating, then staying damp?  I guess you have the experience in that brutal weather so you certainly know whats best to keep yourself warm. 

Have you ever tried performance clothing?  The outer shell would be wind and water proof while the inner layers thinner and several adding up to wicking away any condensation/sweat and keeping you warm. 

Esse Quam Videri
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 16,071 words and stuff...
Re: Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2015, 01:49:01 AM »
Carthartt is the bomb for cold weather and they wear like iron when working. Also, not gonna wear wool in the summer. Not here anyways. Cotton works fine. And it does not melt when an ember hits it. In the winter, its not so great, unless it is oilcloth to shed water.

Nate


Nate
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,685 Stranger in a Strange Land
Re: Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2015, 02:49:26 AM »
I've been looking at UV protective clothing, very interesting stuff.  I wonder what Joel wears out in the frozen area of the US he lives  :think:

I got a couple great previously worn but in terrific condition fleece tops at the flea market.  They were the Columbia brand and I got 2 for $10.  I'm keeping my eyes peeled for deals at on this gear.

I wear carhartt bibs, coat and hat.

Under that I wear sweat pants , t shirt, jeans, long sleeve sweat shirt, flannel shirt, warm socks, Bellville boots.

I wondered what you did to stay warm.  Thanks for the answer, however with all that cotton do you find yourself heating up and sweating, then staying damp?  I guess you have the experience in that brutal weather so you certainly know whats best to keep yourself warm. 

Have you ever tried performance clothing?  The outer shell would be wind and water proof while the inner layers thinner and several adding up to wicking away any condensation/sweat and keeping you warm.

Yeah I get overheated/sweaty/ wet to often.

I haven't tried performance clothing. 

I was going to try get something light and warm for my winter biking but it just cost to much.

I really should try save up for a biking outfit. Not everything I buy needs to be for smurfing work .

I think snowboard or skiing clothes/gear should work for me. All but the boots anyway. 

Defend the Hive!!!
Newbie Posts: 17
Re: Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2015, 06:43:44 PM »
There's no doubt in my mind how well performance outdoor gear works in crappy conditions. I remember going to Mt Washington a decade or so ago with some buds from work for some winter climbing. After hiking up to our shelter for the night, we all got in our sleeping bags and one of the guys was shivering almost uncontrollably. After a few minutes, I asked him what he was wearing. After going through what he had on, he mentioned  cotton underwear. A number of guys said he needed to get them off. Being that he didn't want to get out of his bag(it was somewhere around -25c), he opted to cut them off. He was almost immediately warmer and managed to settle in.
 
That moment sold me on having the right gear for what you're doing.

One of my climbing buds always says "$200 mitts don't seem that pricey when your fingers are about to freeze off."

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 12,406
Re: Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2015, 06:52:07 PM »
I dig fleece and use long sleeve poly blend shirts for layering.  I guess putting it that way the cost is nothing compared to the "price" paid for frozen fingers. 

I have a few items but using MrW's advice I've been searching the discount stores for bargains.   

Esse Quam Videri
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,519
Re: Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2015, 10:12:50 PM »
Discount store seems to have better stuff in US, here if they ever get any sort of performance gear they think they are made of solid gold and priced as such, not to mention the idiot staff who punches holes on goretex jacket to attach price label and anti-theft tags.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,519
Re: Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2015, 10:15:55 PM »
he mentioned  cotton underwear. A number of guys said he needed to get them off. Being that he didn't want to get out of his bag(it was somewhere around -25c), he opted to cut them off. He was almost immediately warmer and managed to settle in.

 :o

Not a moment I want something sharp in that area.
New User Posts: 2
Re: Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2015, 07:31:21 PM »

Yes ... but be wary of prices. There's some stupidly expensive stuff out there, but there's nearly always an offbrand alternative which should work as well or almost as well, particularly if you're smart on layering. I tend to only use the modern fabrics when out and about these days, but stuff at a price I'm prepared to pay. Their nemesis however is flame, so if you are to be around a fire a lot (sparks etc), then wool might still be a better choice


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Hero Member Posts: 935
Performance apparel are they worth it in reality?
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2015, 03:44:11 AM »
.....hmmm, I've been wearing cotton t-shirts and shirts with Carhartts, Dickies,  Wranglers, and Levi's for last 40 years.  Camping, fishing, hunting, riding, pretty much everything.  Gotta wear it at work per PPE policy.  I didn't realize it was so crappy....lol.  Since I don't know any better, guess I'll just stick with it or I won't be able to buy all my clothes at Wal Mart anymore


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« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 03:45:31 AM by BASguy »

 

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