This post may contain affiliate links.

Best Mid-Layer Insulation Apparel

What is the best mid-layer insulation apparel for hikers and backpackers? It depends, of course, on where you hike and the weather conditions you expect to encounter. But first lets define what a mid-layer is to avoid confusion.

A mid-layer insulation top is usually worn over a base layer long sleeve shirt. Its function to provide additional warmth for your upper body, while you’re hiking, in addition to wicking moisture away from your base layer so you won’t be chilled when you stop being active. Moisture, even imperceptible perspiration, that has migrated into your mid-layer, won’t chill you when you stop moving because it’s not in contact with you skin.

100 Weight Fleece

Most hikers use a 100 weight fleece pullover as a mid-layer top because it provides just enough extra warmth when you’re hiking, without being to hot so that you perspire heavily. Fleece also retains its warmth when wet or damp and can be completely “dried” using your body heat if you remain active long enough. The same can’t be said of a merino wool pullover, which takes much longer to dry when it gets damp.

Most Popular 100 Weight Fleece Pullovers

Fleece is inexpensive and highly durable. You can wash and dry a fleece pullover hundreds of times without shrinkage or wear and tear. The outdoor industry really shot itself in the foot when it started selling fleece because it doesn’t wear out over time!

While there are many varieties of branded fleece garments available, you don’t need to buy anything fancy when looking for a 100-weight fleece pullover. Most have a 1/4 or 1/2 zip, which is useful for venting, but other than that, the simpler the better!

Additional Layers

The typical layering “stack” adds a rain-proof and wind proof rain jacket or shell over a fleece pullover, jacket, or vest, followed by a down or synthetic puffy jacket for standing around in during rest breaks or in camp when you’re not moving and generating your own extra body heat.

Many manufacturers have started selling composite and body mapped garments that wrap fleece with a wind proof shell or add extra insulation around the front of a fleece liner garment and not the back. My advice is to avoid these composite garments if you want to save money and stick with the layered approach where each garment performs one function in your layering stack, as described above. When you start mixing layers in one garment it’s utility become very specialized and less adaptable to highly variable conditions.

Reader Feedback

Here’s what Section Hiker readers have to say on the topic of mid-layer insulation clothing.


  1. I wear an 85% silk/15% cashmere long sleeve sweater from Banana Republic, that I found in a thrift store ,as my midlayer when hiking in spring and fall in Virginia.When it is colder in winter , I often go with a Patagonia1/4 zip fleece.

    • Like most people – it depends. Spring and fall, usually a synthetic long sleeve. If I stop and am cold, next up is a light weight down vest. After that, I put on my shell. This combo, with a good base layer, is good to about 0 degrees C. In the summer, a very light long sleeve synthetic or a shell will do. I hike primarily in the Atlantic Provinces.

  2. I wear a simple 100 weight fleece pullover. I use this system in European mountains (Alps, Tatras) for trips from hut to hut. I wear it with wind shirt or rain jacket. In colder weather (fall/spring) I sometimes take a soft shell jacket instead of wind shirt. In winter I wear Patagonia R1 hoody

  3. I love my Berghaus hooded fleece top. It’s a pullover, no zippers and has thumb loops. Just about my favourite piece of clothing.

  4. I wear a Janus Merino top with a balaclava style hoodie. It is light, fairly low density and very hard wearing. I use it for anything from less hot days as a stand alone top to a midlayer on cold days with a wind/waterproof shell.

  5. I only carry a Mammut fleece vest (Power Stretch I believe), both in winter and summer. I use it when hiking various places in Europe (Alps, Iceland, Norway, Scotland, Ireland, France, Greece, Macedonia, etc.). For wintery conditions (in winter I do stick to the coast though; mountains are a summer-thing for me) I have a long-sleeve merino base-layer and two merino t-shirts to give some extra insulation. Worn on top of these, the Mammut fleece is a great mid-layer and keeps me warm enough while moving.

  6. In the North East, I wear a long sleeve non-cotton shirt most season. In the fall it’s fleece. A rain jacket also can provide warmth.

  7. For three season hiking, I carry at least thin wool shirt as mid layer insulation. This is typically 200 weight merino wool with a 1/4 zip and a hood. Depending on how cold I expect the weather to be, I add one or more thin fleece layers to my kit. Each layer is very thin so that I can dial in perfect thermal control. I really like items with 1/4 zips for venting. I prefer hoods over hats because you can not lose them and they keep your neck warm.

    Most of my hiking is in North Jersey or Southern New York. As the seasons change, I add or subtract the number of very thin layers I carry. I usually only carry a down jacket I winter.

  8. I use a 100xt Fleece pullover as a mid layer under my jacket. In winter, this gets traded in for size Medium, 150wt Smartwool, a size L cashmere sweater, a size XL heavy wool sweater under a size XXL hardshell in the ADK’s.

  9. For three season hiking, I don’t really wear a midlayer. I’m usually warm enough just moving and wearing a long sleeve REI shirt or short-sleeve icebreaker merino t-shirt. When I stop and start to get chilled, I put on either a 100wt fleece, Patagonia R1 hoody, or Cap4 hoody. If its windy, out comes my Marmot Precip. I found that was more than enough to stay warm on cooler days during the Summer. Fall and Spring, I may throw my Sierra Designs Super Stratus in my pack, just in case.

  10. I wear a Polarized Hoodie from Patagonia as my midlayer for three season hiking in PA. For the winter months, I use a Techwick Midweight 1/2 zip from EMS.

  11. Just bought a long sleeve wool half zip shirt. I live in Alabama, so it’s not as if I do a lot of sub-freezing hiking. We rarely have a 24 hour period where temperatures stay that low for more than the overnight. I really only need it at night.

  12. A lightweight fleece mid layer with a strong jacket for the unpredictable weather patterns around New Zealand’s national parks.

  13. I carry a Marmot down hooded jacket. It weighs 7 ounces and packs into it’s own pocket to about the size of a George Castanza wallet.

    It’s great for around camp, to sleep in on cold nights or to use as a pillow. I don’t hike in it. The material is to fragile and would be ripped to pieces.

    To hike in, I bring a Sierra Designs long sleeve ventilated shirt. It’s a button down, so I can wear it over my shirt.

    In 3 season weather I never get cold enough while hiking to require a fleece or jacket. Even down to the 40s, if I can keep moving, I keep pretty warm. For me, its more important to have something warm for when you stop.

  14. If anticipated weather calls for daytime temps below 60* I always carry a 100 weight fleece pullover. That combined with a windshirt or rain jacket can work when active till close to freezing temps for me. When I expect below freezing temps I add another 100 weight fleece vest to layer with.

  15. I hike in Arizona at varying elevations up to 8,000 ft and typically use a lightweight Smart Wool mid layer with a variety of outers – either nothing, a wind shell, a synthetic hoodie, or an ultralight down jacket. But always a wool mid in all but summer season.

  16. My 3-season mid-layer is either a Golite long-sleeve running shirt in the summer or a light merino wool sweater for early spring and fall. I sweat a lot, so if I’m active, the mid-layer is rarely used.

    Most of my hiking in the the upper Midwest (great lakes). Summer humidity usually means more constant temperatures.

    For predicted colder temperatures, I’ll change to a polypro zip-down turtleneck.

  17. Steve McAllister

    > What mid-layer clothing articles do you bring?

    Melanzana fleece hoodie.

    > here do you use this system when you hike?

    Hiking and sleeping. The hood comes in handy on cool nights when sleeping under a quilt or hoodless sleeping bag. The hood also can be worn like a balaclava for sleeping and hiking.

    > How does your mid-layer insulation change seasonally?

    I will always bring the Melanzana hoodie, but may supplement with other mid layers in extreme cold.

  18. I use a 100 weight fleece pullover for most of the shoulder seasons. Sometimes I will use a long sleeve poly pro shirt in summer. It works well for me in southern New England.

  19. My go-to midlayer is a Patagonia Nano Puff, in all four seasons. It’s light, warm and dries quickly, which is especially important in winter when I hike or climb on skis with skins. I even wear it around the house. Duct tape covers the hole that was created when the sleeve brushed the wood stove while I was adding a piece of wood. That patch adds a nice dirt bag touch, I think.

  20. Since I am usually hot I hike in a summer weight shirt year round and carry the same mid weight layer – LL Bean fleece quarter zip top. In the summer it’s for emergencies and rarely sees the outside of my pack. In the winter I may put it on for the descent so I can have something dry on (even with summer shirt and controlled pace tend to sweat on ascent).

  21. I love my Marmot Variant Hoody. The front torso is comprised of Marmot’s Thermal R™ insulation and the sleeves and back are Polartec Powerstretch. I do most of my hiking in New England…so this serves well as a mid-layer in Winter and a quick throw-layer in the other seasons, especially when I get to a windy summit. I love it so much that I wear it when I’m not hiking as well.

  22. I’m a fan of my long sleeve Cold Gear Under Armor shirt Its not as white as it should be after days out on the trail but its been a great mid layer shirt through many a chilly hike.

  23. I hike in the southeastern US and usually just hike in a short sleeve synthetic shirt or Patagonia Cap 4 longsleeve 1/4 Zip when it’s cooler. I use an old tattered duck taped Primaloft REI Rev Cloud Puffy Jacket in camp or under my lightweight rain shell when it’s really cold. This system has worked well for me down into the single digit temps.

  24. I don’t wear mid layers. I wear a RailRiders vented LS shirt and add a wind shirt if it is cold. If it is really cold I use a thermawrap hooded jacket instead of the wind shirt

  25. Full zip REI Fleece that I’ve had so long it’s now kind of worn down to a lighter weight than when it started. If colder, down to freezing, Pategonia Nano Puff pull over.
    Both work under rain gear for wind or wet or extra cold.

  26. my Mid layer is a moisture wicking fabric made bu Russell My last trip was on the Appalachian Trail it changes from long sleeve to short sleeve I like the moisture wicking material for myself it helps prevent chaffing in personal places

  27. I take a lightweight merino wool 1/4 zip or a UL down jacket (5 oz) and a pair of polypro long underwear bottoms. This is for sitting around camp and sleeping in the evening and gets me down to the upper 40’s, which generally works for the NC mountains.

  28. For spring or fall or when conditions might be cold I have an EMS fleece. For warm summer weather I have a lightweight fleece, bought on the cheap at a discount store. I’m a New England hiker.

  29. Douglas Settele

    I do all of my hiking in the White Mtns (NH, ME, VT) . During the three seasons I wear a 100 wt fleece (when temps dictate). During the Winter months, I wear a 200 wt fleece with an appropriate hard shell. I like my fleeces with a 1/4 zip for venting.

  30. My mid layer is an old EMS fleece. I wear this in the white mountians year round. One of my biggest complaints is it doesn’t rapel water like newer higher tech mid layers. In the winter I add a down vest to my mid layer for the absolute coldest of days. and i’ve used it when the ambient is below zero f. It keeps my core warm while not overheating my arms which usually don’t feel cold.

    This vest is separate from my puffy.

  31. I hike mostly in Michigan and the Great Lakes region. My mid-layer is a cheapo Champion brand fleece I got at Target. Early in the season, I wear it underneath a Columbia 3-in-1 coat, and later under my OR rain jacket.

  32. I usually just wear a light fleece pullover. I hike mainly in Indiana. As it get colder I might also wear a long sleeve base layer or put on my rain jacket.

  33. I usually wear an Under Armor 100 weight fleece under a rain shell in lower elevation and the summer months in Colorado. In shoulder seasons or higher elevations I wear a Mountain Hardwear ghost whisperer down Jacket under a hard shell.

  34. For 3 season hiking I usually only have a base layer and long sleeve shirt, I bought several of the same type that fit well and keep the sun off my arms. I treat the long sleeve shirt with permerithrin and it helps keep the bugs off.

    For cooler days I add a rain jacket or lightweight insulated REI jacket over the two layers.

    I generally hike in the White Mountains. :)

  35. I wear a R1 Hoodie. Usually over a wool base. I mostly hike in the States in the Appalachian and sometimes in the Sierras.
    The R1 Hoodie is my favorite clothing to sleep in. Love how the hood stays in place and the thumbhooks keep my arms/hands cozy.

  36. Hi
    I wear a regatta Thompson fleece 250. It’s light and hard wearing and I find it just right in balance with my layering system.

  37. I do a lot of hiking in Scotland and I usually take two mid layers. The first is a thin fleece made by Monane Oryx fleece, this fleece has nice ventilation material on the sides which means you can wear it when doing strenuous exercise. I take this with me in all seasons. Even if it is really warm it is nice to have in the evenings. My second mid layer is a Berghause pertex and primaloft jacket which provides a lot of warmth while keeping wind out while still being breathable. When it is warmer I will throw this on when I stop moving as it will keep me from cooling down. In colder weather I wear it all the time. This jacket is highly compactable which makes it easy to carry. I also really like the pertex shell which makes it more versatile. I can keep wearing it in light rain without the need to put on another layer. The combination of these two mid layers plus my Klattermussen Einride jacket are items I wear year round. Only in winter I will add another fleece layer. In dry-ish weather when I do not expect rain I will use the Berghause as my outer shell.

  38. My Patagonia R1 Hoodie is one of my most versatile layers. It’s may favorite mid-layer insulation. If it gets colder, I’ll just add another shirt.

  39. I bring a fleece layer or sometimes a lightweight rain jacket.

  40. I hike mostly in the Whites in the summer. I find lightweight Smartwool combined with light weight fleece is best. I have a light down vest for the mornings and a wind break. Last summer hiking the 100 mile Wilderness in Maine I also had a polypro top that I coupled with Smartwool. I also am a big fan of my fleece hat. I am looking for a new rain shell for this season.

    Stay warm!

  41. I have carried an EMS fleece for all 2200 miles of the AT as well as many miles in New England. Often wear it in the evening at camp and in the morning. Have also worn it sleeping inside my 50 degree bag. I mostly hike in the summer, so it serves me well.

  42. I bring a 100 weight fleece pullover. I hike in northern Minnesota where the lows in the evening can dip in the low 40s even in July. I don’t often stay out late because I need a lot of sleep when I’m hiking long miles. During shoulder seasons I add a mid-weight base layer and may add a softshell depending on the weather.

  43. My favorite mid layer piece of clothing is the Marmot Stride jacket. It’s light weight, compact, and lined with a soft fleece-like material on the inside. It’s perfect for three season hiking and can be used to stop wind, keep warm, and is light and breathe able wnough to use even if it’s slightly wamer.

    I bought this jacket for my thruhike of the CDT and used it immediately when I started in Glacier National Park. The cold wind didn’t break though the jacket and it kept me warm when crossing snow passes. It lasted the whole 5 month journey and still is in great shape and is brought with me for all my outings. Most recently I used it for a two week hiking trip through the Adirondack Park. It’s perfect for an early morning chill when leaving camp and also to throw on when your done for the day and the sun starts to set. The fleece-like feel on the inside makes it feel very comfortable as well!

    Come winter, the Marmot Stride become part of my layering system. I usually add a fleece of down jacket overtop the stride and a long sleeve to keep me warm. The stride was the best $100 I spent a couple years ago for a mid layer and I’ve gotten far more than my money’s worth for it!

  44. Hiking in So Cal, mid layers don’t need to be too warm. I typically wear a Jack Wolfskin “faux-dini”. I have used this mid layer for some time now hiking in my local mountains and had always kept me warm.

    Areas I hike most is in the Angeles National Forest, San Gorgonio Wilderness, Cucamonga Wilderness, and on occasion, the Eastern Sierra.

    During colder months, I would simply add a down vest or down jacket for extra warmth.

  45. I’m using the Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) Slipstream soft shell jacket. This is the second I’ve owned. The first was a 200 weight fleece sweater with a hood. I wore it to the point that the fleece lost its pile in places (but I still use it sometimes). The newer one can shed snow and light rain. When it becomes really cold, I wear it under a hard shell one-piece Gore-tex suit (a wonderful garment that is no longer available). I really appreciate having the hood. I am sorry to see that the Slipstream is no longer in the MEC catalogue.

  46. – Patagonia Capilene 2. Lightweight mesh material great for added warmth and moisture management year-round.
    – In cooler weather will add in a cheap no brand name packable down jacket with hood – bought years ago and surprised how warm and windproof it is!
    – Aways carry a Rab rain jacket for rain or warmth.
    – I three-season backpack in the Midwest.
    -Since I don’t backpack in extreme cold, I don’t use a mid-layer bottom while hiking. If I needed, I would use my sleep pants, usually a lightweight polyblend long john.

  47. The Montbell Thermawrap jacket is my go-to mid layer, with a merino tee under and a wind jacket over for three seasons. It’s light, warm, synthetic and also makes a nice pillow. For winter I add a merino long top and bottom, maybe switch to a UL Down Jacket (MH Ghost Whisperer) and add Montbell Thermawrap pants. This works well for the northern Rockies.

  48. Joshua Rousselow

    In summer here in the SW I use Capilene 1 and bring my 100 weight North Face Fleece for stopping at night and early morning starts, for rain protection I use Frog Toggs, they are cheap but work really well.
    During winter I leave the fleece and bring my Ghost Whisperer, super lightweight yet not excessively warm. If it gets really cold, I’ll put on my Cap 1, long sleeve hiking shirt, ghost whisperer, and then rain jacket. That system with a fleece beanie is all I need to stay super warm even in the coldest weather while moving.

  49. I have been using a generic 100 wt fleece 1/3 zip long sleeve shirt. I also have a set of capilene 2 tops and bottoms. I tag-team between the two. The capilene are better for me when doing a more strenuous hike in cooler weather.

    Almost all of my backpacking is on the eastern side of PA. With an occational trip up to the Catskills or down to Shenandoa.

    For the most part, I have a static set of layers; base and mid. As it gets colder I add an outer layer, 300 wt fleece. I don’t backpack in the dead of winter but do car camp so to me that gear doesn’t really count since it is not packable….

  50. I generally use a lightweight Smartwool merino longsleeve 1/4 zip shirt with a high collar as a midlayer for New England 3-season day hiking. I generally run warm so for me it’s the most versatile for varied temperatures, and it resists stink. I recently bought a lightweight down insulating layer to be used when stopping in colder weather or backpacking, but I’ll have to wait until it gets cooler to try it out on a hike.

  51. I usually day hike / overnight the AT areas from Chester Gap Va. to Maryland carrying a Gander Mountain Guide Gear 1/4 zip light fleece pullover as a mid layer switching to a R.E.I. Revelcloud low profile primaloft insulated full zip hooded piece as temps drop in autumn .

  52. I have a North Face Flux Power Stretch 1/4 zip fleece I got at their outlet that has served me well with some wind protection and cozy warmth. If it’s a little cooler I’ll bring an REI lightweight down vest to add. Before those I’ll have a GoLite windshirt on (not sure if that’s considered mid-layer. I took and wore all of these on a June trip to Mt. San Jacinto, where night time temps at 9000′ were in the low 40s. I sometimes have a long sleeved collared shirt, but with the newer GoLite it seems to do the same job – less weight, but not as many handy pockets in camp.

    At night I might have all this on – and a LS wool baselayer shirt. While hiking it layers from a shortsleeve baselayer, fleece, vest, windshirt, rain jacket. I don’t carry any midlayer bottoms, but I usually have long hiking pants and long silk or lightweight wool bottoms.

    I’m hoping this will suffice in the Sierra later this month.

  53. I’m still experimenting with mid-layers and what I take depends on the trip. I pretty much always bring a softshell fleece for insulation on overnight trips. For day hikes I’ll sometimes bring the softshell, a fleece vest, long sleeve T, long sleeve button-up, or even just a backup short sleeve T. July in New Hampshire is much different than October, yet both qualify for “3 season” hikes. I just did a warm, rainy day bushwhack and wore my base-layer t-shirt and my hard shell; no way that’d be appropriate for a cold October day.

  54. I carry an L.L. Bean fleece vest that I got at a thrift store for $3. And also an army surplus M-65 jacket liner. %100 polyester, 14 oz. and less than $20 from an army surplus store on amazon. With my North Face hard shell jacket, I am comfortable in wind, rain and snow.

  55. During spring and fall, I wear a lightweight fleece mid layer with a hoodie. I hike the mountain trails in central Virginia. In colder weather, I use a down vest mid layer.

  56. I use a REI 100 weight fleece that I bought years ago. Hiking primarily in the upper midwest spring through fall.

  57. I put on layers as the weather dictates. I start with a poly SS, then a poly LS, then a Houdini wind shirt, then a patagonia lightweight down hoody, and finally, if needed, a rain jacket with hood. This combo takes me from valley to peak in most three season climates. I hike mostly in the smokies and the Rockies.

  58. I wear a Mountain Hardwear Superpower Hoody as my mid layer where I hike in the mid-Atlantic/midwest for all seasons. Other layers change based on season, but this one does not.

  59. I live in the NW so I’m familiar with 3 season days and weather changing constantly. For a mid layer I use synthetic down jacket. It works good both at the beach and the mountains Plus they are warm and compact nicely for storage. Happy Hiking :)

  60. in 3 season i bring a tight icebreaker wool thermal top, very thin but i try to keep it dry for sleeping. a railriders madison river shirt, and an atom LT hoody by acrytrex ( which i realize may be a bit overkill for summer but also use it to wear to bed if i need considering i use a light weight quilt style sleeping system. since my sleeping bad i have now is much to bulky.
    i do and will be using this system in the wild river wilderness NH, counting down 4 days for my annual vacation.
    if it were winter i would include a fleece for dayhikes, but havent ventured out into over nights in winter yet .

  61. I always bring a mid weight base layer and fleece during 3 season backpacking. I also carry a soft shell in case of rain. I will include a puffy based on the weather.

  62. Old school REI half zip fleece.

  63. I hike mostly in the ADK high peaks and PA national forest but am breaking into the white mountains now. I use a pullover fleece as midlayer during 3 season (ll bean) and an outdoor research down hoodie in the winter. The fleece is a little bulky when in my pack but it’s just so super comfortable. Sometimes I switch it out for a fleece vest (ems) if I just want some core wind protection. I always carry my EMS shell with me, it’s light and great for rain or snow and breaths well with the zippers open.

  64. Hiking here in the Arizona desert, I don’t need much to stay warm. Mid-layer is a Patagonia Cap 2. I carry a wind jacket or down puffy to wear at stops or in camp in the evening.

  65. Where I hike, I don’t need much. I hike exclusively in the Ouachita National Forest area (in Arkansas). What I do is I wear a long sleeve polyester shirt (skin tight but not super tight) and then a looser short sleeve polyester shirt over the top of that – both are Old Navy brand. I’ve hiked down into the 40s with just that and as long as I’m moving I’m good. If I stop for a rest I’ll put on a fleece jacket (just a simple Walmart fleece jacket).

  66. I hike with with a short sleeve wicking shirt, a long sleeve wicking shirt and a lightweight fleece. I shed layers accordingly.

  67. I use a Patagonia cap 3 hoody with a wind shirt for most spring, winter, fall hiking. In the summer, I bring it but rarely wear it. In the colder months, I add a merino base layer under it with an old golite vb vest.

  68. I do most of my hiking in the tidewater region of Virginia. I always carry an UnderArmour long sleeve tech shirt with me. In colder months, I use the Under Armour Cold Gear with the sleeves that wrap around your hand and the turtle neck that covers your face.

  69. I usually carry a 100 weight fleece for 3 season hiking in Mid-Atlantic & Adirondacks. If it’s late fall or winter, I’ll bring a heavier fleece shirt. And if it’s a hot summer trip, I’ll just toss a lighter weight long sleeve shirt in my bag instead of the fleece.

  70. I know it may seem a little stereotypical, but traditions die hard. I live and hike a lot in my home state of Wisconsin, so I often end up wearing a generic thin flannel as a mid layer. In the fall and early spring, it breathes enough as to not overheat me, and does a pretty god job at keeping the heat in during the winter when paired with a heavier fleece.

  71. It depends – if we are talking temperate 3 season then Merino shirt (short or long sleeve) and fleece (when I take Gore jacket) or warm softshell. When it is really cold I add gown jacket on top when I am stationary (but this is for temp well bellow freezing).

  72. I hike in NY, NJ, MA and occasionally NH. In the summer I usually bring with me a lightweight zip-neck wool pullover made by Ibex. I think the maker intended it as mid or heavy weight long underwear top, but it works great for me as a mid layer over a synthetic short sleeve or long sleeve shirt. When conditions are potentially colder (usually meaning fall or spring) I bring a bit thicker full zip front fleece jacket (I believe it is 100 weight) that I have had for 10 years or more. I don’t recall who makes it –it is not the latest and greatest outdoor gear, but it does the job fine for me. When it is colder still, I have layered the two on top of one another.

  73. I often pack a technical long sleeve. I don’t do a whole lot of hiking outside of summer and fall. If I am wearing the technical long sleeve for the hike, I usually throw a lightweight fleece or flannel in my pack.

  74. I will usually carry a simple polar fleece zip-up jacket as a mid-weight. In the southern US, I can get away with just this nine months out of the year. Even when it’s hot I’ll carry it because nights can occasionally become chilly. In the winter I will supplement with a long-sleeved thermo-shirt. It’s important to me to be able to don and doff the layers easily, regardless of season.

  75. Most of the year I carry an older lightweight down pull-over from Canadian gear company MEC. It has a high collar and 1/2 zip so I can open it up to vent or close the zip to warm up. In the summer I just carry a gridded polyester hooded long underwear top, also from MEC. In the winter I use both pieces together. I do most of my hiking in British Columbia in the alpine.

  76. I hike mostly in the south, so I generally don’t have to deal with a lot of layers. My general clothing is just some kind of quick drying under armor style shirt and a pair of synthetic pants to protect my legs.

    That being said, I do try to make it north at least once a year for a trip, and I get cold really easily. My go to layering is a pair of icebreaker base layers, my same under armor and pants to wick the sweat, and a wind shirt (Patagonia Houdini) if it is cool outside. If it gets cold I add a Patagonia R2 fleece jacket . If it gets very cold I replace my patagonia nano puff hoody jacket on as my mid-layer. Also, depending on the precipitation or there is a high risk of scratching/tearing my wind shirt, I will replace my wind shirt with an Arc’teryx Beta LT.

  77. Cameron Robbins

    I use fleece and merino wool for my mid layer, depending on what pack I take. Fleece in the larger pack. Mostly I’m in the Sierra Nevadas, so I’m not out much in the winter, except in warmer climates.

  78. I’ve hiked and traveled in random places around the world and my favorite go-to baselayer is a Smartwool PhD long sleeve that is merino blended with some sort of 4-way stretch synthetic.

    I’ve gone 3 days without taking it off, including working up a sweat on mid-day climbs and then sleeping in 30 degree nights; keeps me warm even if it gets wet and keeps me from feeling too sticky if I can’t find somewhere to take a dip before bedding down.

    Unfortunately I only ever found this piece in a Smartwool outlet in NZ in the discontinued section; I grabbed 2 and they’re both still in great shape after 5 years but I’m worried about finding something equivalent when they finally wear out.

  79. I take a RAB Power stretch top as a mid layer over a RAB Meco 120 with a RAB hard Shell over the top. I hike mostly in Scotland’s mountains. In winter I add a synthetic layer to the system.

  80. I bring a thin long sleeve wool shirt (usually all the warmth I need while moving) and a down jacket (for when I stop). These go over an activewear tank and under a rain shell if it’s wet, cold, and/or windy.

    I live in the Pacific Northwest, and the weather can be cold and unpredictable in the mountains or on the coast, even in summer, so layers are important.

    In late fall through early spring, I add a light fleece in addition to the wool and down to give me more warmth and versatility. I tend to get cold easily when I stop moving, and I sleep cold, so I really love how warm and cozy this system keeps me!

  81. I generally wear a long-sleeved nylon fishing shirt as a mid-layer over a wool tee for hiking or backpacking in the upper Midwest. If it’s going to be cool, I also pack a light-weight down sweater. A hard shell jacket serves as a wind break and rain protection.

  82. I usually backpack in the Sierra Nevada. I’ll usually bring a lightweight Arc’Teryx down jacket as a midlayer (it only gets used at njght). If it’s fall, I’ll also bring a midweight Capilene top to wear over my base layer.

  83. I hike in the northeast and use either a North Face fleece or an REI down vest. The vest tends to be in northern New England up in the white mountains or northern Maine.

  84. I usually hike in very warm and typically dry climates/seasons like Sierras in summer (where I grew up and my family still lives) or day hikes in Wisconsin on nice weather days (where I live now). I avoid hiking in the colder season, so I don’t really have a seasonal adjustment. If I’m home, I also avoid hiking on really wet days, although if I made the trip back out west, I may end up hiking in the rain — I take what I can get.

    I’m almost always a single-layer hiker — a synthetic t-shirt only — but I carry a light, stretchy, hoodless North Face running sweatshirt for cool evenings and mornings, and a cheap poncho in case it looks like I will be stuck in the rain for a while. If I’m really cold at night, I put on some REI long underwear under my clothes. That doesn’t usually happen because my bag is warmer than I’d like for summer nights. I thought I would sleep cold so I overbought. If I win this bag, it’s much more likely I will need to wear warmer layers to bed. :)

  85. I love my Outdoor Research Cathode Hooded Jacket. I use it literally every season as my mid layer and as the season warms or cools its my other layers that change. In the summer the Cathode becomes my only insulation layer. In the winter I also bring a much heavier down jacket along with the Cathode.

    I hike primarily in the Pacific Northwest.

  86. My favorite mid-layer is the Patagonia R1. I hike mostly in the greater Lake Tahoe area. The R1 is perfect all year round. Great by itself on cool mornings, as a mid-layer on colder days, and as a part of a multi-layer system in winter or on colder nights.

  87. I love my Mountain Hardwear Monkeyman fleece. It’s nice and warm, but it does take up a bit of space. I’ll also bring along a merino blend long sleeve pull over for warmer weather. All of this can go under a cheap Frog Toggs rain set of needed. I tend not to hike so much in the winter, so this covers my needs on Michigan trails.

  88. Another Southern hiker here. I generally just use a long sleeve, synthetic T that I picked up on sale at Target. Works wonderfully to keep my temp regulated. Bonus is that it wicks sweat away quickly, which is doubly important in Tennessee. :-)

  89. From Idaho, but backpack & explore the Northwest in general. Generally, I use an Eddie Bauer First Ascent fleece while out and about in our mountains. However, skiing and other winter sports, including hiking when the temp gets down there, require a little more oomph from whatever I’m wearing in order to stay warm. I switch to a synthetic Spyder puffy when it gets cold under a generic hard shell that I really need to be replacing soon, but that’s another thing ;)

  90. Patrick Shaffer

    I hike in Texas and sometimes in Virginia. I have a US Army issue “waffle quilted” pull over top, it goes with my “tan ninja” long underwear. I wear this for the cool mornings, and wear the bottoms when it is colder to sleep in.

    I add a wool blanket to my sleep system (DIY Hammock and underquilt) when it gets colder, and I car camp also.

  91. I hike in the Midwest and use a Patagonia capilene 2 or 3 as a mid-layer under my rain coat. May purchace a fleece mid layer, because it maybe better in wet conditions. In winter, I wear heavier base layer and Patagonia Nano Jacket as mid-layer.

  92. I will always bring a merino wool pullover and a windshell or rainshell, depending on weather expectation. If it is colder I will also bring a heavier fleece. My hiking is generally in the Sierra Nevada or San Bernardino mountains. In summer I will usually not need more than the merino wool and a shell in Southern California mountains. In winter I always like to have the fleece.

  93. I mostly backpack in the Oregon Cascades, so I don’t need rain gear or an outer shell most of the season. I’m currently using a Uniqlo ultralight down jacket. It’s warm enough for what I need it to be and it’s cheap compared to most outdoor jackets at around $70. I only use it when I’m in camp at night and in the morning. I’m not in conditions where I need a mid-layer while hiking.

  94. I hike and backpack mostly in the White Mtns. of NH.

    My three season mid-weight system is a Patagonia R.5 zip t-neck (no longer available, but probably closely related to Cap3) and a Nano-puff pullover. For winter trips the R.5 would be replaced with an R1 hoody. The other key component that is always with me or on me is an OR Helium pullover (earliest version, non-waterproof). This piece gives me the warmth of a mid-weight fleece at a fraction of the weight (4.5 oz). In the winter i use this as a hybrid mid/outer layer. Yes, it can be a little bit clammy (doesn’t breath all that well), but everything beneath is synthetic and will dry fast. 4.5 oz. with a hood!

  95. I am big fan of craft base layers (warm crewneck) – I layer a base craft layer and then a Patagonia R1 hoody to layer in colder weather. Throw on a Marmot rain shell and I’m toasty through the shoulder seasons in New England. On colder days I will add my Montbell down jacket.

  96. I carry a mountain hardwear ghost whisperer, down jacket most times since it’s so light weight and its versital on its own or under a shell. Up until recently I predominantly hiked on the east coast but have more bed to seattle so now I’m exploring the cascades and the Olympic peninsula so time will tell if this works :)

    I also have a mid weight silk set from Patagonia and a stretchy 1/4 zip north face fleece. I swap these out depending meg on the amount of moisture forecasted.

  97. I hike mainly in the Sierras with a synthetic tee shirt as a base layer, Golite C-Thru long sleeve goes over that in the evenings or cold mornings. Outer layers are either a Pertex waterproof windshirt or ultralight down jacket.

  98. Michael Brouillette

    I carry a set of Patagonia’s and use them in the night to sleep and morning as I start out

  99. I wear a Macabi vest as my mid layer. I hike in a Macabi skirt, and the vest with separate sleeves is comfortable and wicks. After 8 days on the AT last October, it looked like I just pulled it out of the closet, no smell and wrinkle free. I can add a fleece jacket or my Arc Teryx jacket, depending on expected temps.

  100. Hiking mostly on the Lone Star Trail in Central/East Texas my 3 seasons are hot, hotter and an occasional cool day. I usually only need a light weight long sleeve merino wool pullover layered with my rain jacket. It doesn’t change much for me.

  101. For 3 season backpacking I wear a short sleeve wicking T shirt as a base layer. My mid layers are a long sleeve T shirt, 100 wt fleece 1/4 zip, and a 200 wt fleece jacket.

    I wear the LS T mid layer when hiking in the spring / fall on chilly days.

    I wear the 1/4 zip 100 wt fleece in camp at night and early morning during the spring fall – and when hiking in the shoulder season.

    I wear the 200 wt fleece jacket in camp at night and early morning in the shoulder season.

    I may pair my rain jacket with the above if it’s extra chilly. However, I hate wearing my rain jacket for hiking because it humid all year round where I hike. (Mid Atlantic region).

  102. I backpack mainly in Maine. My mid layer of choice is a smart wool zip neck light weight shirt. I wear that over an ice breaker t shirt. I layer it all with either a Mont bell wind shirt or marmot mica rain jacket. At summers end I add a fleece layer over the smart wool. When I am in AZ I will drop the fleece and go with a Mont bell down vest.

  103. I use midweight smartwool top & bottom. They’re the only mid-layer items I own so I use them no matter where I go. I hiked on the PCT with them through the High desert & Sierra. Then, I island hopped with them to Maui, Molok’i & the Big I got the winter. I love that wool doesn’t get stinky & it feels nice against my skin. I only own one sleeping bag & it’s a 15 degree bag. I was so hot most of the time on the islands that I just wore my wool. I don’t really switch things up seasonally because I basically don’t earn enough money to buy more options.

  104. I carry a light down jacket or a light synthetic, though these are rarely used as I run hot. These are for summit chill outs or overnight adventures. Layering one of these under a rainshell keeps me warm in all conditions.

    I hike and climb in the Canadian Rockies year round.

  105. I mostly hike in Oregon or Colorado (but have hiked in New Mexico, Texas, and Arkansas). I use a PolarTec WindPro and love it. I put it over a wicking t-shirt and under a frog tog shell. When not wearing it, it becomes my pillow wrapped around my clothing compression sack. Been using it for three years and will buy one again when it wears out.

    Since I was caught in August by a surprise cold spell that froze my group, I never take it out of my pack. Probably overkill in the southern states, but that one experience taught me to always be prepared for a cold blast.

    I do take my wool long johns out of my pack for expected warmer trips.

    Since I hike and sleep very hot, I rarely use a mid layer on my legs….only if there is snow on the ground.

  106. What kind of mid-layer insulation do you carry on 3 season day hikes or backpacking trips?

    My usual stomping grounds are the North Island mountain ranges of New Zealand and less frequently the southern Alps.
    A 100-weight fleece comes on every trip, fleece seems to provide more consistent insulation when wet. I layer the fleece with a long sleeve thermal underneath and windshirt over the top for additional warmth. For cooler trips I use a second 100-wt fleece (keeping 1 for walking in and 1 dry for use when stopped) or add a down puffy when really cold.

  107. I wear a silk undershirt and fleece pullover when it gets cool in central Texas. If nessasary I can pull off the fleece. Most of my hikes and camping is with my sons Boy Scout Troop and we hike and camp all over Central Texas

  108. It kind of depends on the weather forecast. I always have a long-sleeve shirt along for evenings or the rare chilly day in the summer. I have never needed a mid-layer while hiking this time of year, though. However, I always have a 100-wt. fleece in the warmest months and a 200-wt. fleece in the shoulder seasons and winter. I mostly hike in the Black Hills.

  109. I usually have a thin, long-sleeve wool shirt (think Icebreaker or Ibex), but I usually hike in a t-shirt as I get very warm otherwise. If I hike in winter, I would probably just switch out the outer layer and wear a fleece over the wool shirt.
    Thank you for the giveaway!

  110. I hike in Ontario parks from Spring to late Fall and use a layered system as follows:

    – MEC Blend Merino / Synthetic T-shirt as base layer
    – Patagonia Capilene 1 Lightweight synthetic with odor control, long sleeve, UPF 40+, light colour (to protect from sun and to repel black flies)
    – North Face Blended Merino long t-shirt: for cold weather and/or nights
    – North Face Men’s Thunder 800 Down Jacket for colder weather
    – Marmot PreCip® Jacket for rain (only used in cold heavy rain otherwise my Tilley hat works best!)

    – North Face Scrambler Pant 38 – Convertible – Tend to use it as pants with gaiters, even during hot days against ticks and sunburns
    – North Face Blended Merino Tight Mens, in cold weather
    – Marmot Orion Softshell Pant for cold weather
    – Black Diamond Stance Belay Pants with insulated PrimaLoft for added insulation in very cold weather!
    – North Face Venture Pant for rain, although I rarely bring them

    And the list would not be complete without the underwear: Uniqlo Airism boxer briefs! Best one in the world!

    I don’t have a good sleeping bag for summer nights yet, I have been relying on a Sierra Designs Mobile Mummy 800F, which I absolutely love as it has got built-in exits for my arms in case of night attack by a bear (highly unlikely but you never know, there are lots of bears where I go!!!)

  111. I have a too-thick Lands End fleece pullover right now. Got to get a 100-weight at some point. I mostly hike in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana. I use the fleece under my poncho if it’s wet, and I also use a down vest if it gets too cold. And I second Alina’s comments; your raffles are always fun.

  112. I hike in the NE and use a North Face fleece.

  113. I am a warm blooded person so I am fairly minimal with my mid layers. I also do a lot of short trips so I can get good weather beta and adjust accordingly. In general though I take the following.

    Summer/Late Spring/ Early fall- often just a wool t paired with a windshirt, sometimes a long sleeve wool 150 weight as well

    Early Spring/Late Fall- Cap4 hoody or First ascent knock off of the R1 hoody

    Winter- one of the afore mentioned fleeces sometimes paired with a Marmot Driclime windshirt hooded or not (I like this because it rolls soft shell and midlayer together and it is all I need in a lot of really rough weather)

  114. I hike in New England with occasional trips to CO. I always have a thermal base layer and usually only need an additional very light fleece (North face and very simple.) During the summer I tend to leave that at home and double up my base layer with any rain gear I might have.

  115. I hike in Pennsylvania and have always fared well with a rail riders long sleeved shirt. For insulation during rain, I wear an O2 rainwear jacket over top. If it’s chilly and I’m not generating much body heat, I have a thin montbell wind breaker that provides extra insulation. This might be necessary in spring or autumn. I have yet to hike in the winter.

  116. I am new to hiking will be traveling some of the tenn AT in August with my daughter

  117. I hike in the coastal and mountain west (California). My under-layers are a lightweight long-sleeve top that I got at the REI garage sale for $8 and no-name midweight bottoms. Can’t remember where I got those.

    They are my sleep clothes and my extra daytime layer. A Scoutmaster spends a lot of time sitting and watching, so I’ll often put on that layer around sundown.

    On top of that is a fleece. I weighed all mine and my freebie Netflix employee swag was the best balance of weight and warmth, so that is what I take. My Chegg swag is heavier and warmer, so I might take that in shoulder season.

    For hiking, I strip down until I’m cold, then hit the trail and warm up.

    That is good for our California three-season camping (could be near freezing anytime), but snow camping needs a ground-up repack.

  118. I hike the summers in the High Sierra and Los Padres NF the rest of the year. Patagonia base layers, either synthetic or wool then for the evenings a down sweater over the base down to 50 degrees. Below that, it’s the Patagonia hooded down Jacket over the base layer Prefer the wool, but synthetics never seem to wear out.

  119. I hike in Maryland and use a Patagonia R1 for my mid-layer usually under a wind shirt or rain shell. On colder days I’ll wear an Icebreaker Oasis 200 base layer. Depending on how cold it is, the wind and how fast I’m hiking I may remove the outer layer to shed more heat. This combination also allows me to skip the base and just use the R1 or skip the R1 and just go base/shell. I’ve used this down into the teens while hiking. I always put on my down jacket when I stop to avoid getting chilled. Love the R1 for its versatility and great hood.

  120. I hike in Northern Minnesota and use a fleece midlayer.

  121. For mid-layer, I carry a super light fleece from Marmot that has a quick-drying exterior synthetic layer in the actual fabric. I hike in New England and pack it into my overnight clothes bag at the bottom of my pack. In summer I don’t use it as I go, but in winter it becomes the layer right underneath my down winter vest.

  122. I heat up quickly so in winter it’s a full tank bra, then underarmour,then fleece,topped by a lined windbreaker at the summit. In summer just a tsshirt and bring along a lined windbreaker incase of colder weather on the peaks. I hike in Vermont and new Hampshire.

  123. I mostly hike in Washington and Idaho. In the spring and fall I use a Patagonia nano puff as my mid layer under a hard shell or rain jacket. In the summer I prefer my arcteryx zip fleece over a light base. I usually don’t hike in the winter, but if I do I keep the nano puff as my mid and switch to a heavier base.

  124. I heat up fast no matter the climate and wear combo layers of merino wool nearly exclusively. If it’s cool and I’m moving in the southwest. I’m mostly in a wool tshirt but have a long sleeve wool top that I will put on if I stop or the wind picks up. If the wind really starts – I’ll put on my wind shirt or rain to – whichever I have with me. If I am on the Superior Hiking Trail in the fall – I will have the same combo of items but move faster to the long sleeve or wind shirt if temps are low. This systems doesn’t change from Spring to Summer to Fall – but in the winter, in Minnesota – I wear more – a heavier layer of wool – perhaps an irish sweater -while hiking and have a nano puff or equivalent in my pack just in case.

  125. Most of the time I hike in Germany and Poland from Spring until Autumn. I get cold pretty fast so apart from high summer I always carry Arcteryx Atom LT Hoody with me. This is by far the best mid-layer I have used. In the summer I would typically take my TNF fleece made of Pontetorto – very light and breathable but still keeping warm. In early Spring or late Autumn I tend to take both layers – the weight is still ok and them both combined keep me nice and cosy.

  126. A 100w fleece when it’s cooler. Long sleeve under shirt when warm. Running tights all the time. Always have a wind or rain jacket to layer over if needed. Can use my quilt in camp for a shawl .

  127. I just use a 100 weight 1/4 zip as a middle in the winter (sometimes even a top on warmer-dry days) and a top in other seasons as needed. Mainly in New England, and mostly the Whites. I’m lazy when it comes to changing gear on the trail, so I can usually unzip, roll up the sleeves, and push through if I get too warm on a climb and know it will be cool on the summit.

  128. I hike mostly around western Pennsylvania and New York. I inherited an older midweight merino wool top from patagonia that is a few sizes too big for me. But it’s perfect for lounging around camp after a day’s hike or slipping on in chillier Spring, Summer or Fall mornings. It also comes in handy over base layers and under outer layers when temperatures drop.

  129. I hike mostly in the Indian Himalayas, I use fleece in the spring/fall/summer and switch to lambswool pullovers in the winter.

  130. I use a Smartwool T-shirt and a generic fleece bottom for mid layering.

  131. A Patagonia Puff (LS) pullover for early spring or late fall hikes on the AT under my (rain/wind)jacket. Late spring or early fall it’s an Ibex merino wool full zip sweater under my (rain/wind)jacket.

  132. I use fleece and merino wool for mid layer, occasionally old, reliable army surplus lambswool pullover. I hike mostly in southern and western Finland, sometimes in the Lapland.

  133. My mid-layer is a merino wool full length zip for 3 seasons New England. The only change is when I actual use it, nights maybe in summer, early and late day in spring and fall. Then add a down pull-over in winter, that comes on and off as I move and stop.

  134. I mostly hike in New England as well, so I always bring a fleece with me. In summer, I put it on only when we stop for a break and at night. In colder months, I would wear a merino wool shirt for the entire hike and bring a down jackets for breaks, windy summits and at night.

  135. I live in Ohio and mostly hike in the OH/WV area although I’ve been as far northeast as Vermont. So far I have always brought a light to midweight fleece with me (or regretted it if I didn’t). I have Smartwool long and short sleeve shirts on my hiking gear wish list :) Maybe Santa will bring me one of those this Christmas!

  136. Most of my 3-season hiking in Oregon and Illinois is done with a mid-weight, long-sleaved, crew-neck synthetic top mid-layer over a silk-weight t-shirt with a light wind shirt over that if it gets cold and/or windy.

    In winter I’ll sometimes up the mid-layer to a light fleece or add a light synthetic puffy to the mix for rest stops or camp clothing especially in the mountains, in the snow, on multi-day trips. I also carry a light puffy on overnight shoulder-season trips.

    I rarely carry or use a mid-layer for summer day-hikes.

  137. Here in Northern New England, I make do with my favorite New Balance hoodie for most of the year. It works over just a T-shirt and shorts in the summer for cool evenings, and over a long sleeve and a tee it gets me through the spring and fall. If it’s looking to be especially cold, I will add in a merino long-sleeve T-shirt.
    It’s only inconvenience is in being bulky, but it’s weight is negligible for the serviceability. For me at least, when it’s too cold for the hoodie it’s too cold to camp.
    In full winter I’ll go for the full protection of the goose down parka.

  138. Martin Desjardins

    I usually hike in Canada East, in spring and fall I wear a UA heat gear, with or without a fleece pullover depending on the weather. I also bring a north face rainjacket. In winter I wear a UA cold gear with the same fleece pullover and and marmot insulated jacket.

  139. there’s no base and mid layer in the philippines. just 1 shirt is enough. drifit shirt for trekking, and either another drifit shirt for camp, or a merino long sleeve shirt for cooler nights. if its really cold, ill add a down jacket

  140. I mostly hike in the midwest from mid-spring to mid-fall. Ordinarily I just wear a fleece over a t-shirt when it’s cooler or a lightweight long-sleeved shirt over t-shirt if it’s warmer. When I need to add a mid-layer, I generally add a wicking long-sleeved T-shirt. When I’m out during the winter (usually snowshoeing), I’ll generally wear the same base and mid-layer (maybe a little lighter), but I’ll take a heavier outer layer if I need to. If it’s too cold for that, I’m probably not out.

  141. Dennis A. Cooley

    Being in the South, not much need for a mid-layer. Merino wool base layer and a L.L. Bean Primaloft packaway jacket for those chilly evenings. :)

  142. I use your example- Montbell Thermawrap Jacket and vary the layer underneath with Precip jacket out. New York, Pennsylvainia, S Canada, some New England No winter camping , mostly fall until leaves drop.

  143. Most of my hiking is in the winter, however, it’s in the South, so the coldest nights I’ve faced are about 17ºF and the coldest days will be in the mid 20s to lower 30s. I have a top and bottom set of Columbia base layer Omni heat, which are polypro with reflective liner. They work well for the temps I hike in. I can also use them to bring my 30ºF sleeping bag down a few degrees. If I’m not expecting cooler temps, my mid layer is just another nylon RailRiders shirt. I’ll have a long sleeve and short sleeve shirt. I also have a SectionHiker T that is my usual first layer–thanks Philip! My GoLite down coat also gets used and is part of my pillow system at night. My outer layer is an old beat up Outdoor Research shell that’s steadily becoming a higher and higher percentage of Tenacious Tape. I haven’t found another shell yet that has a hood that I like as much.

  144. I use a Patagonia sweater jacket and long sleeve pull over. I backpack in the south so not much else is necessary

  145. I hike in Maine and New Hampshire in the spring, summer, and fall. I always carry a Patagonia Capilene 3 zip-neck. In the winter I wear it skiing and just around the apartment.

  146. I’ve been very happy with the performance of Patagonia midweight capilene zip top for my base layer. Soft and comfortable, it’s great top alone for milder days and shoulder seasons here in New England. As it gets colder I will add a 100 wt. micro fleece over the capilene.

  147. Right now I’m using a synthetic hoodie. If I need more warmth I put on my dri-ducks rain coat. Eventually I’d like to get a down jacked, but it isn’t in the budget right now.

  148. Since I hike in the South I always bring a fleece 100 or 300 weight depending on the conditions. I use my Frogg Toggs as a windbreaker which it is very effective at. I found that I can use the fleece as as insulated pants for sleeping if needed. I use the pull the torso section up to my abdomen and use the arms for each one of the legs. Very effective in a pinch !

  149. I’m just starting out, but I’ve used a Merrell Capra 1/4 zip polyester shirt for my mid layer. This has been in 60 degree rain in western PA. It’s fairly light – around 150 or so. As it heads into fall this will move to my base layer and my mid layer will be a 1/4 zip icebreaker 260 weight pullover.

    I have a feeling I will be way too warm.

  150. I mostly hike in New Hampshire during the summer. This year, I have switched to wearing various long sleeve shirts and occasionally an REI Motility rain jacket from a lightweight fleece. I also have a down jacket if it is particularly cold.

  151. a light down puffy is the best easily packable and store. just dont get it wet.

  152. I hike in New England (Northern CT and Western MA mostly) and typically carry a midweight North Face jacket that fits under a rain jacket, if necessary. In the winter I’ll usually go with same mid layer and go with a heavier wool base layer.

  153. Down vest or jacket. Mostly hike in upper Midwest.

  154. I have three mid-layer garments from which I usually pick one based on weather and trip features. Many times however the mid-layer stays in my pack because I hike fast and generate enough body heat – thus it’s meant only for breaks and safety purposes.

    1) Good old 100-weight fleece pullover of Polish brand Milo, this is the lightest and most used piece. (~230 grams)

    2) A synthetic Montbell Thermawrap Jacket, I took this on the AT, but I guess my fleece could have handled the job as well. (~270 grams)

    3) A Montane Featherlite Down Jacket. Alas, in Central Europe there’s only need for things like this if I go out on a stroll on one of the coldest days of the year. I have made a handful of endurance hikes in Hungarian mountains in December with a 200-weight merino base and a Driclime-type hard-shell while the down jacket stayed in my pack for all the time. (~430 grams)

  155. I use a lightweight fleece pullover in the summer (EMS or gear that is on sale – lightest weight available). It is easy light and able to handle cold conditions when paired with a rain coat, hat, and PolarTech stretch gloves. I use this system in New England. In Winter and late fall, I add synthetic or wool long underwear to my system.

  156. It really depends on the type of trip. On many warmer-weather or SUL trips I take zero insulation, and most often I do not take any mid-layer insulation at all. I often bring a prototype Goosefeet vest that weighs 5.8 ounces and is incredibly warm, but that is really for shoulder season trips. I will rarely bring my Patagonia R1 hoodie and a light fleece pant layer, mostly when the trip involves less hiking.

    Most of my hiking lately has been in the White Mountains.

  157. I usually bring a mid-weight merino LS top (Lands End crew-neck or Smartwool 1/4-zip), or sometimes an REI 1/4-zip top. I usually tolerate temps pretty well, so long as I’m moving. Even into the winter, I’m pretty comfortable with this.

    Just about all my trips are dayhikes.

  158. I carry an arcteryx atom lt hoody all year long in Québec. I use it alone in autumn or in spring and with a base layer in winter with a shell over it if it is very windy.

  159. For backpacking on the AT and in the NW my year-round mid-layer is the Melanzana Micro Grid low turtleneck 1/4 zip long sleeve top. The base and outer layers vary by season and weather, from a merino T to different weights synthetics to a down jacket.

  160. I use a North Face TKA 80 Hybrid Half-Zip Top. It works well because it has the thumb-holes for if there’s a lot of cold wind, and the 1/2 zip and underarm mesh allows for ventilation when things get warm from hiking. I use this hiking anytime outside of the summer, and if I’m backpacking during the summer I carry it for cool evenings.

  161. I use Outdoor Research Deviator Hoodie for my mid layer when I hike in Smoky National Park. I am hoping that this new mid layer will suffice most of the three season I hike in.

  162. Hum. Living in Germany, traveling here, Ireland, Iceland, Sweden, Portugal.
    So that asks for a variety.. in warmer times, my trusted Icebreaker Merino jacket is heavy, but proven.
    When colder, I have recently added a Patagonia Down jacket to my collection, before I simply used a down west under my Neoshell.

  163. My typical midlayer when hiking in the Midwest and on the AT is usually 100 weight fleece hoody from CORE Concepts under a wind shirt from Canari.

  164. Shawn Wesley Coggins

    What mid-layer clothing articles do you carry?


    Where do you use this system when you hike?

    For all day hikes & all back country country camping trips Note: I forgot the fleece jacket on a backpacking trip at the end of spring this year ~ ended up cutting the trip by a day ! )

    How does your mid-layer insulation change seasonally?

    Fleece Vest during summer months
    Full Fleece Jacket ~ Spring & Fall

  165. I carry an UnderAmor long sleeve compression shirt. I use this when it’s cold at night or when it’s really chilly during the day. I only really backpack during the summer, so my kit doesn’t really change with the seasons.

  166. I hike in northern California, Trinity Alps and Trinity Divide and Lassen. My mid layer is a hooded down parka or a down vest depending on time of year. If it is very warm I just use a mid-weight merino layer. All these options go under a rain shell or wind shell.

  167. I have a variety of merino. Merino is particularly light & absorbent. There are a huge variety of tramps around Hawke’s Bay ranges in New zealand where we explore. In the colder weather I wear 2 merino & in summer exchange for one short sleeved merino.

  168. Alan littlefield

    I use a marmot micro jacket for all 3 seasons in New England . When winter backpacking I have an llbean 15 below jacket .i will add a wind breaker over the jacket depending on wind conditions . The whites of NH can change conditions bs quickly

  169. I hike mainly in Colorado. Because of the high variability in temperature one can encounter during the day, I vary between a mid-weight merino wool long sleeve shirt, an 800 weight down vest, and an REI hiking shirt. As the temperature decreases, I’m more likely to have several of these items on, especially if I’m relatively sedentary around camp.

  170. I hike in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington in the summer months. I wear a Patagonia lightweight wool mid layer. I also use an Exlight down anorak from Montbell when it is very cold in the shoulder months of the hiking season.

  171. I hike in the Rockies and Sierras in the summer, and the Appalachians in Spring and Fall. I use a 100 weight Columbia fleece sweater if expecting temps in the 40s, and a Mountain Hardware down sweater if temps will drop into the low 30s. I also use a Marmot rain/wind jacket for an outer layer.

  172. I hike mostly in Missouri, and a 100 weight fleece is my choice for a mid layer. I find that in the winter, when moving, this is enough, but when I stop for a snack etc, I need to put on the outer layer or get cold!

  173. What kind of mid-layer insulation do you carry on 3 season day hikes or backpacking trips?

    I wear my REI jacket with my merino wool sweater.
    This is my winter hiking attire,
    I wear this in the fall, winter, and early spring.

  174. I’m taking my trusty NASA fleece jacket for a mid layer on my first ever backpacking trip this August in the Rockies. I’ll use my new rain shell on top if I need more.

  175. 100 weight fleece zip up for mid-layer and make sure my other layers are appropriate for variable conditions. I mostly hike in the northern Sierras and foothills.

  176. I’m new to backpacking and have been hiking in warm weather and carry a cap 4 hoody and cap 2 thermal pants. Here in TN I can imagine I will need additional layers for shoulder seasons, and plan on getting a down jacket to use with my Rain jacket.

  177. Hiking/backpacking mainly in the fall and winter I switch between a mid-weight fleece or a lightweight down jacket depending on possible moisture. I’m using Icebreaker merino as base and a Marmot Essence Jacket as a shell. I’ve also got a couple of capable lightweight cycling jackets that work great as adjustable mid layer.

  178. I have a stow-able LLBean synthetic jacket that I like pretty well. I’m a New England hiker, so I need it routinely for my 3 season backpacking trips. Fits well under my rain shell, which is a must!

  179. I wear a fleece pullover for a mid-layer. I hike in California along the coast and Sierra’s. I use a pull over heavier fleece in spring and fall. In summer a lighter weight zip up fleece.

  180. I use a Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisper down jacket.

  181. smartwool tee shirt and a mountbell down jacket….
    that works well foe me.

  182. Sherpa Adventure Gear vest i’ve been carrying for about 4 years now. I hike a lot in more humid climates and the synthetic insulation stays warm, packs small enough and is an awesome sleeping layer when you need just a hair more warmth.

  183. I wear a Patagonia synthetic midlayer that is seen peaking out of my collar in every pic from every season…everywhere!

  184. I usually hike in southern Appalachia. Unless it’s mid-summer I always take a lightweight New Balance or Asics fleece jogging pullover. I usually don’t need it until I get to camp at night. As we move to fall I’ll swap that out for a Mountain Hardware fleece that’s a bit heavier. Typically it still only comes out at camp. As we move into late fall and early winter I bring out the Montbell down jacket for camp and the New Balance pullover gets pulled into duty during the hike.

  185. I use varying weight merino as a mid layer depending on the season. Mostly hike in the Northeast unless I’m traveling, so this does the trick.

  186. I change this layer depending on how cold I think it will be. In warmer weather, I have an UnderArmour lightweight long sleeve shirt with a hood (but not really a hoodie!) that I use. If I expect colder weather, I’ll bring a fleece or actual hoodie along. Nothing I’ve spent a ton of money on – I got a sierra designs fleece on sale, and the hoodie came from the lost and found!
    I’m in the mid-Atlantic, so some precipitation is a concern – but all of these except the hoodie dry rather quickly, and my rain jacket is available to cover them up if needed.

  187. Living in western Washington state, even in summer several layers are sometimes needed. My mid layer for summer is a DIY 100wt fleece, occasionally supplemented with a light long underwear shirt, nylon supplex shirt, ripstop windshirt or Driducks rain jacket. Come September a Costco down jacket is added to my pack and remains there til May.

  188. I do most of my hiking/backpacking in the Sierra Nevada. My mid-layers include a North Face Tech 100 Hybrid micro fleece jacket worn as needed over a base layer ranging from just a T shirt in summer to including an R1 fleece pullover in colder months. The Tech 100 has panels with differing degrees of wind resistance and breathability that make it comfortable to wear under a pack without my stomach/chest/back and arms getting too hot and sweaty on moderate uphill stretches. I then wear a down jacket or synthetic pullover over the Tech 100 at rest stops or in camp during colder conditions. I don’t normally use a mid-layer over my legs.

  189. My primary mid-layer is my BSA Troop fleece jacket, I wear it under a nylon shell in the winter and take it along in the Spring Summer and Fall for the cool mornings. It is also used as a pillow inside a stuff sack. I hike the Tri- State area.

  190. My mid-layer is a long-sleeve polypro shirt, in light or middle weights, depending on temperatures anticipated. From cool or wet summer days hiking (with shorts), down to 30F snowshoeing (under a fleece vest and with nordic pants) out here in the Pacific Northwest, this keeps me in a comfortable temperature zone.

  191. My mid-weight layer is a Marmot Zeus down jacket. It’s over a pound, so its not ultralight, but its compressable and warm. I’d prefer to have a lighter down jacket, but I don’t want to be purchasing new gear every year, so I’m trying to use what I have, even if there is a slight weight penalty. The reason I am willing to carry a heavier layer is because I hike in the high sierra, and it can drop down below 30 degrees F during July, as it did last week. I actually also use this as my mid-layer all four seasons.

  192. Hello, I live and hike mostly in central PA on the Appalachian Trail and Laurel Highlands Trail. In warmer weather I carry my heavier weight Patagonia capilene top (approximately 30 years old and still like new.) During the cooler spring and fall months I carry a 4 year Patagonia lightweight fleece jacket as my mid layer. Thanks!

  193. I use 100 weight fleece 1/4 zip top most of the year. Now that it’s bit cooler here in Australia I got myself a heavier Kuhl alfpaca fleece 1/4 zip top and I combine that with a light weight wind breaker/rain shell on top – very comfy.

  194. I carry a Columbia omni-heat fleece pullover as a mid-layer, with an additional Mountain Hardware Thermostatic jacket for the evenings and cold-weather sleeping.

  195. I use mid weight fleece (misc manufacturers) in the late summer /early fall especially hiking in Maine & NH. Winter season is a mix of fleece, down, and good old wool with a goretex outershell.

  196. I have a wool sweater from EMS that is a great mid-layer. Loved that it has the “moon & mountain” logo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *