Icebreaker 200 or 260

1:13 p.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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I'm leaving for a trip to Peru, Bolivia and Argentina

The temperatures over there are about 22 CELSIUS and 0 CELSIUS

I was thinking about buying and Icebreaker base layer but ai'nt sure which one to choose from.

We will be hiking frequently, but also visiting towns and cities.

We are thinking about a long sleeve 260, but some of our friends think it'll be too hot

So maybe a 200 ? 

We were thinking about wearing them alone without any other things if it's getting too hot.

And for the temperature over 20 celsius, we would only wear our 150 tshirt.

What do you guys think ?


PS : sorry for my english as it is not my native language

3:15 p.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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When in doubt I always go for the lighter layer and add or remove more layers to suit the current conditions. 

Also remember that the value of high-ent tech clothing could equal the monthly income of locals in some of these places.  Watch your gear!

7:57 p.m. on January 4, 2012 (EST)
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That is 72F to 32 F according to the internet.  I have all three weight Icebreakers shirts and would recommend either the 150 or 200, and would lean more towards the 200 weight stuff because it is more versatile(good in cold and moderate conditions).  The 260 would probably be much to warm if hiking in temps above 13C(50ish F).  Wool does do a pretty good job of not gettin too warm but the heavier weight wool would soak up alot of sweat and get heavy when hiking in the warmer temps.  If you have any more specific questions just ask.  I wear the 200 weight stuff under a softshell when hikeing in below freezing conditions, so I don't have a bunch of experience with wool in warmer conditions, but I have yet to overheat in it.

8:20 p.m. on January 4, 2012 (EST)
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All 3 of those countries range from sea level to over 20,000 ft/7000 meters. The temperatures at this time of year (you said you are in the process of leaving for there?) can vary by a much wider range than you quote, depending on exactly where you are. Since they are all south of the equator, this is their summertime, although Peru is completely within the equatorial tropic zone. If you are going into the Amazon basin, you will find temperatures going up to 30+C. On the same day, if you are in Cuzco (Peru), it can be 0C. I was in Peru during June and July this year, their winter. Most days in the Cuzco and Puno districts, I wore basically "town wear". That is, regular pants and shirt, with a light jacket in the morning and evening. When I went north to Huaraz and into the mountain valleys, I added a 300-weight fleece jacket, while in the upper ends of the valleys in Huascaran National Park, I added mid-weight long johns. We did have a light sprinkling of snow while we were in Quebrada Llaca (Llaca Valley). On the mountains themselves, of course, we were wearing alpine climbing gear, since our climbs were up the glaciers, up to 6000-7000 meters and getting temperatures below -10 and -20C.

So basically, go prepared with multiple layers, ready to shed most of them in the lower altitudes and be ready for sub-zero (0C and lower) temperatures. Also, be prepared for precipitation, since this is the rainy season.

2:45 p.m. on January 6, 2012 (EST)
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Thanks all for the replies

As i'm reading you and hearing about my friends experiences, i'm more likely to go with a 260 because :
Yes I will be hiking, but I will also be visiting towns, so I need a good layer for everyday use.

However, I could bring a 150 tshirt, a 200 layer and a 260 ?

What do you think, is it too much ? Should I really go with a 200 even though sometimes I won't be active at all and it'll still be 0 degres Celsius ?

Thanks again 

7:07 p.m. on March 18, 2012 (EDT)
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I’ve worn a Icebreaker 200 for years in the Pacific Northwest.  I personally wouldn’t want a heavier base layer unless I was climbing higher than Rainier.

8:09 a.m. on March 19, 2012 (EDT)
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I 'll agree with that (200 wt baselayer, max).

One thing that sets Icebreaker brand apart from the rest, is their offering the 'trim fit' options, which suits me, just fine. I'm kind of a "V-shaped" guy (43" chest, 32" waist). Always have trouble getting clothes "off-the-rack"' that fit properly. A baselayer with a good fit (inluding ample armpit room), is something to be considered.

~ r2 ~

11:14 a.m. on March 19, 2012 (EDT)
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Its sounds like you are unfamiliar with the whole 'merino' system. I would hesitate to spend that much money on a baselayer without knowing exactly what will fit and how it will feel, whether it will work with your system or not.

I have used Icebreaker since they were made in NZ and have used every weight of merino, even the discontinued Wool 4 of patagucci. If I was buying a merino baselayer today I would try and find something similar (superfine yarn, made in china, slim fit with longish arms etc) before spending so much money on 'glorified underwear'. For instance, in the UK, dhb sell merino wool baselayers through bike shops like Wiggle and companies such as EDZ do baselayers originally intended for motorcyclists. Both the equal of your chosen brand.

I actually perfer Smartwool to Icebreaker but that brand is harder to buy over here. There are also more 'ethical' companies, such as Finisterre.

Lastly, specific to the question: R1 over a light merino t-shirt.

12:54 p.m. on March 19, 2012 (EDT)
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long sleeve, good

4:13 p.m. on March 19, 2012 (EDT)
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if i were laying for those conditions, i would have a long sleeve baselayer and a mid-layer available.  so, i would probably have a wool t shirt, a long sleeve t shirt (wool or synthetic), and something like patagonia's R1 or a thicker fleece to wear over the base, depending on how cold i expect it to get. 

April 19, 2018
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