Adventure travel is a refiner’s fire. Airline weight limits engender ruthless choices. Jetlaged hotel room organizational challenges mean too much clothing confuses, rather than helps. Thus, this winter I refined my backcountry skiing clothing down to a simple system I like for both travel and homeland use.
For my upper body, I swap between two base layers. When it’s warm, I use a basic button collar sun shirt. If colder I use a thin wool or synthetic zip T. On top of the baselayer I like a thin, form fitting fleece or wool sweater. Add a thick down or synthetic puffy (depending on climate) and a reliable but lightweight shell — that’s the system.
I’ve found the most difficult of those layers to obtain is the thin fleece midlayer, as I don’t want pockets, it has to have athletic fit, and I want full zip. One of the best items I’ve found for this is the Dynafit Thermal. I first got turned on to this simple ‘sweater’ at a Dynafit press event in 2008 when they gave them out as swag. Those first-gen ones had a funky zipper back pocket that was useless if you carried a backpack, along with a funny looking front vest cigarette pocket that dominated the appearance (everyone in Italy smokes, hence the ciggie pockets in nearly everything). I cut the back pocket out of mine, and wore it till the seams began parting and the fabric wore thin as my socks. Time for a new one. Luckily, Dynafit still sells the Thermal in an improved version. No back pocket, and a mellow looking front pocket. New layer acquired, photos below.
Getting my new Thermal from Dynafit inspired me to look around for other form-fitting full zipper ‘sweaters.’ Not much out there, but I did find one other item I’ll blog about soon. Till then, I’m strutting around in my new Thermal showing off my male model moves and knowing I’m prepared for my next travel adventure.
None of our favorite etailers are carrying this item presently, to shop for it just google it. Come autumn, availability will increase.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.