We recently acquired a few more DriClime clothing articles from Marmot. I know many of you loyal blog readers are privy to the secret of the DriClime windshirt, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat for those out of the loop. DriClime is a wicking fabric that’s sold as single layer garments such as long underwear, and is also combined with a thin nylon shell to make the two-ply clothing I write about below.
Marmot DriClime has been around for a while, but I’m constantly amazed at how well it works for layering while doing athletic backcountry activities in moderate climate. Our closets are full of medium weight mid-layers such as fleece jackets, but the advent of soft shells obsoleted much of this, as the soft-shell alone provides so much insulation that only the lightest mid-layers and base layers produce a combo that’s cool enough for exercising. The perfect solution is Marmot’s DriClime Windshirt, which can be worn as a shell in of itself, or under a softshell jacket for moderate warmth that belies its low bulk.
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The system works like this: Next to the skin, a super thin base for moderate conditions, or something heavier such as Patagonia Capilene 4 if temperatures will hover in the freezer zone. Next, your soft shell if you’re exercising hard and still need a shell because of wind or precip. The DriClime windshirt goes on under the softshell if you need more warmth, or is used as a shell if you’re regular softshell is too warm. Lastly, compressed in your backpack you carry some kind of puffy for rest breaks and emergencies. Down is okay of you’re certain about good weather, otherwise a synthetic filled puffer might be a better choice. (On short roadside routes during warm weather, I sometimes leave out the mid layer but carry the puffy for emergencies or breezy summits.)
We also like the DriClime side zip pant. Though a bit more bulky and technical than the Windshirt (due to the side zippers), Louie figured this would be the perfect emergency underlayer for his shell pant and minimalist long-john combo. It’s not something he’ll always carry, but for long days with questionable weather he’ll have the DriClime pants in his pack and his dad will have peace of mind. He even figured out how to zip the DriClime pants on under the shell pants, without removing the shell pants (which have side zips as well). I wanted to video that but such was not allowed.
I’m thinking the DriClime pants will be perfect for my summer backpacking system as well. It’ll work like this: A pair of lightweight shorts along with Cloudveil Switchback soft shell pants for the alpine, as well as Cloudveil Zorro if it gets truly wet. When it gets cold I’ll zip the DriClime pants over the shorts or over the thin Switchback pants, and pull on the Zorros if it gets truly epic.
DriClime has an excellent anti-microbial coating that works well to prevent the foul stench often produced by modern synthetic wicking fabrics. Capilene also has such a treatment which in our experience does work, but is not quite as effective as that of the DriClime (to be fair,this difference could caused by the thickness of the layers we’re comparing).