Bargain base and thermal layers

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Mowmow

Forager
Jul 6, 2016
237
125
Nottinghamshire
British army t-shirts and also the
long sleeved thermal "vests"
and long johns
Are made of coolmax/airtex style fabrics, can be had for a few quid.
£2.50 in the bargain bin at my local surplus shop, not much more online in very good grade 1 condition.
Very good.

British army combat undershirt thermal fleece. Aka the fleece norgie.
Long back to cover your crack or tuck in to trousers, thumb holes to keep hands and wrists warm, pull over with covered zippered collar.
Makes a good extra base or mid layer.
Again few quid at surplus store and less than a tenner if you look around online.

British army "buffalo" style softie smocks kinda like the norgie but with a ripstop polyester shell.
Works well as a secondary base layer, designed to be used as a mid layer under a jacket but not a bad top layer either.
Windproof, water resistant, fleece lined, loads of pockets, adjustments and venting options, splash proof zips, packs down into its own kangaroo pocket, makes a decent pillow, very lightweight, has a foldaway unlined hood.
(Can be a pain to remove due to fleece lining on under layers but just a bit of a technique to it in my experience) but is very light and comfy.
Not quite as affordable but good prices can be found. I think you will either love or hate this one. I love it.

British army heavy knit wool Jersey (woolly pullys), less than a fiver at ya surplus stores, seen em about £5 or 2 for a tenner online. It's just a classic.

British army anti microbial moisture wicking unisex boxer shorts.
Ordered some the other week 4 pairs brand new for 8 quid delivered. Did get £5 discount off Ebay tho but just over a tenner isnt bad is it. Supposedly designed to be worn up to 3 months without washing, not that youd want to.

Various bushcrafty, nature friendly colours to choose from for certain clothing articles.
All of the layers are mostly designed to work together, very versatile.
It's all super lightweight.
I daresay a lot of the baselayer stuff weighs less, dries quicker and will last longer than merino wool at a tiny fraction of the cost. Good alternatives. (Though nothing really beats it for comfort)

Some worthwhile kit for anybody trying to build up a decent layered clothing system on a budget. May interest a few as winter is just around the corner.
Base layers make some excellent gym wear.

Hope somebody finds this useful.

Edit: just to clarify almost all of this kit is the newer PCS (personal clothing system) kit issued to the british army. Just thought id mention it so ya dont go ordering cotton base layers and what not.
And ya can get most of it in matching colours if thats your thing.

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Last edited:

Van-Wild

Full Member
Feb 17, 2018
828
653
42
UK
I 100% agree with the OPs comments. The newer army surplus stuff is awesome and super cheap! I have a thermal undershirt, the heavier fleece zip neck and the pertex buffalo type too as well. All are well made and tough. A great layering system. Total cost of all of it was £22 online. To compare it to another quality brand, Swanndri (of which i have several similar clothing items) would cost just a tipple over £100......

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The Frightful

Full Member
Apr 21, 2020
320
57
Essex
British army t-shirts and also the
long sleeved thermal "vests"
and long johns
Are made of coolmax/airtex style fabrics, can be had for a few quid.
£2.50 in the bargain bin at my local surplus shop, not much more online in very good grade 1 condition.
Very good.

British army combat undershirt thermal fleece. Aka the fleece norgie.
Long back to cover your crack or tuck in to trousers, thumb holes to keep hands and wrists warm, pull over with covered zippered collar.
Makes a good extra base or mid layer.
Again few quid at surplus store and less than a tenner if you look around online.

British army "buffalo" style softie smocks kinda like the norgie but with a ripstop polyester shell.
Works well as a secondary base layer, designed to be used as a mid layer under a jacket but not a bad top layer either.
Windproof, water resistant, fleece lined, loads of pockets, adjustments and venting options, splash proof zips, packs down into its own kangaroo pocket, makes a decent pillow, very lightweight, has a foldaway unlined hood.
(Can be a pain to remove due to fleece lining on under layers but just a bit of a technique to it in my experience) but is very light and comfy.
Not quite as affordable but good prices can be found. I think you will either love or hate this one. I love it.

British army heavy knit wool Jersey (woolly pullys), less than a fiver at ya surplus stores, seen em about £5 or 2 for a tenner online. It's just a classic.

British army anti microbial moisture wicking unisex boxer shorts.
Ordered some the other week 4 pairs brand new for 8 quid delivered. Did get £5 discount off Ebay tho but just over a tenner isnt bad is it. Supposedly designed to be worn up to 3 months without washing, not that youd want to.

Various bushcrafty, nature friendly colours to choose from for certain clothing articles.
All of the layers are mostly designed to work together, very versatile.
It's all super lightweight.
I daresay a lot of the baselayer stuff weighs less, dries quicker and will last longer than merino wool at a tiny fraction of the cost. Good alternatives. (Though nothing really beats it for comfort)

Some worthwhile kit for anybody trying to build up a decent layered clothing system on a budget. May interest a few as winter is just around the corner.
Base layers make some excellent gym wear.

Hope somebody finds this useful.

Edit: just to clarify almost all of this kit is the newer PCS (personal clothing system) kit issued to the british army. Just thought id mention it so ya dont go ordering cotton base layers and what not.
And ya can get most of it in matching colours if thats your thing.

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
Thank you for the detailed info may well invest apart from the wooly pully. Even typing this brings back the itchy feeing of them over issue shirts on Cadet parade nights 46 yrs ago
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,015
1,182
Berlin
@The Frightful

I also cite myself pretty often, but if I do that, I tend to submit, that it's from Goethe or Jesus.

I suggest you better should submit, that it's from Shakespeare, Jesus or perhaps Churchill, because then people pay more attention to your words.
 

Bert

Forager
Mar 24, 2016
103
21
middle of france
British army t-shirts and also the
long sleeved thermal "vests"
and long johns
Are made of coolmax/airtex style fabrics, can be had for a few quid.
£2.50 in the bargain bin at my local surplus shop, not much more online in very good grade 1 condition.
Very good.

British army combat undershirt thermal fleece. Aka the fleece norgie.
Long back to cover your crack or tuck in to trousers, thumb holes to keep hands and wrists warm, pull over with covered zippered collar.
Makes a good extra base or mid layer.
Again few quid at surplus store and less than a tenner if you look around online.

British army "buffalo" style softie smocks kinda like the norgie but with a ripstop polyester shell.
Works well as a secondary base layer, designed to be used as a mid layer under a jacket but not a bad top layer either.
Windproof, water resistant, fleece lined, loads of pockets, adjustments and venting options, splash proof zips, packs down into its own kangaroo pocket, makes a decent pillow, very lightweight, has a foldaway unlined hood.
(Can be a pain to remove due to fleece lining on under layers but just a bit of a technique to it in my experience) but is very light and comfy.
Not quite as affordable but good prices can be found. I think you will either love or hate this one. I love it.

British army heavy knit wool Jersey (woolly pullys), less than a fiver at ya surplus stores, seen em about £5 or 2 for a tenner online. It's just a classic.

British army anti microbial moisture wicking unisex boxer shorts.
Ordered some the other week 4 pairs brand new for 8 quid delivered. Did get £5 discount off Ebay tho but just over a tenner isnt bad is it. Supposedly designed to be worn up to 3 months without washing, not that youd want to.

Various bushcrafty, nature friendly colours to choose from for certain clothing articles.
All of the layers are mostly designed to work together, very versatile.
It's all super lightweight.
I daresay a lot of the baselayer stuff weighs less, dries quicker and will last longer than merino wool at a tiny fraction of the cost. Good alternatives. (Though nothing really beats it for comfort)

Some worthwhile kit for anybody trying to build up a decent layered clothing system on a budget. May interest a few as winter is just around the corner.
Base layers make some excellent gym wear.

Hope somebody finds this useful.

Edit: just to clarify almost all of this kit is the newer PCS (personal clothing system) kit issued to the british army. Just thought id mention it so ya dont go ordering cotton base layers and what not.
And ya can get most of it in matching colours if thats your thing.

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
I had a few of these "gauze"like t-shirts, they were said to keep cool or something, but my experience was that it even was warmer wearing these then wearing a cotton t-shirt.
Another negative; halfway the day you smell like a pig!, (and that I didn't have the habit.)

I threw them away.
But then, I'm not aware of the layering with synthetics system.
Please tell me if it is different then my experience?
 

Mowmow

Forager
Jul 6, 2016
237
125
Nottinghamshire
I like the tshirts, definitely dont stink compared to other synthetics i have tried.
I have stocked up on loads of them recently. Ive had some before which have stank after a couple days so bad they went into the bin even after a couple washes.

They are definitely warm, but i wear them for work a lot and find them comfier in a big temperature range than many i have tried before, merino wool, synthetics, cotton all that. Because they dont absorb sweat it evaporates off quickly.

Dead of summer i wouldn't wear them just because plastic.
And i wear mine only one day at a time so not noticed much stink myself.

Each to their own init. Ive been blown away myself. For 2 quid a shirt as well

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