The String Vest revisited… Fishnet Mesh Underwear

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Feb 10, 2016
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
In Sweden and Norway, once the 'technical' under layers became popular, they did indeed fall out of favour.
For short time use the Tech underlayers are supposed to have soime benefits over the Mesh.
But if you are out in Nature for several days, the Mesh is superior. IMO.


Full Member
Feb 18, 2020
M&S do a cotton mesh vest, I found some new old stock at a jumble sale recently but they were to small for me :(
I do use some old ODLO mesh vests and long sleeve shirt for base layers & it has lasted well.



Full Member
May 17, 2011

The Brynje mesh are a tight fit. Brynje seems to cut garments for very athletic/slim build so if you are thinking of trying Brynje garments you might want to size up. The mesh is supposed to fit against your skin but I find that if the fit is too close it does not feel comfortable and there's the increased wear and tear on the garment seams pulling it on/off…your pocketbook!

Aclima fits a bit looser, at least the CoolNet Aclima compared to Brynje. An XL Aclima CoolNet mesh will be a bit looser than a XL Brynje mesh top.

Finnsvala or Svala fits like the Aclima sizing. An XL Svala mesh top should be a bit more loose than a XL Brynje top.

Wiggys is cut a bit different. The mesh is more of a coarser nylon yarn plus there are wide nylon cuffs(can feel awkward) on the sleeves and at the neck hole. The neck hole can be tight…to solve this problem handwash the garment in warm water and gently stretch the neck hole wider in different directions to aid in putting the top over your head. Let dry. The Wiggys mesh does not have a lot of stretch in it. If you get the Wiggys too tight you will start to develop pulled seams on the side and under the garment arms. You can also gently stretch the wet Wiggys top out to make it a bit more roomy. Lay flat to dry covered in a microfiber towel to speed drying.

The Wiggys mesh has wider holes to aid in better air ventilation. Brynje, Aclima and Svala all roughly have the same size smaller mesh hole design…smaller than the Wiggys mesh. The fabric for Brynje, Aclima and Svala feels the same…polypropylene type fabric.

Its best to use a garment mesh wash bag to put the garments in and wash them on a cold or delicate wash cycle in a washing machine or hand wash in the sink. If the mesh garments are tossed in the laundry the mesh will snag on anything available and develop a large hole(s)…too large for their purpose...
Lay them flat to dry covered in a microfiber towel.

For a Brynje. What size would you get for a 46” chest. XL or XXL


Full Member
Dec 18, 2010
Brief update :cool: Got myself a tester 4XL Brynje vest and once washed fitted perfectly (I’m 6’4 and 17.5 stone)

wore it dog walking under a normal t-shirt and it feels like it does insulate really well but without the damp t-shirt aspect when you stop. works well under gortex as you avoid that cold/slick feeling . Really taken by them.

liked it so much I got another three. They came white but that seemed a bit old school so I chucked them in the wash with a black dye bomb and they came out well.

ideal for the current job wandering around the Middle East in a pair of overalls. They seem to last hygienically (pong) better than normal vests I’d be happy to wear one in the field for a few days And are super cooling

if I could get away from the fact that I look like one of the village people I’d wear them all the time in uk summer :biggrin::biggrin:

one issue I can see is if you are wearing them and they are scrunched up they could over a period become a bit abrasive on the skin if you were sweating and motoring with webbing or Bergen on

plus they pack down super small for travel

25 quid does feel like a bit of a sting, but I’m hoping quality wins out and they last a long time
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Mar 3, 2013
I always wear my synthetic brynje when out doing stuff. Often under my aclima warmwool hoodie or under a stiched Lama wool sweater that I got from Indiegogo. I think it's superb. Warm when I need warmth and pretty cool when I need cooling. And although it's synthetic it has not developed the synthetic underwear smell that all synthetic underwear seems to do.

But a word of advice. If your fleece jacket or Lama wool sweater gets to warm at the after ski. Wear the brynje with a t-shirt on it.


Full Member
May 17, 2011
Got myself a brynje super thermo green t shirt XL. Fantastic works great, kept me warm on the cold days, but one problem seems to work too well with social distancing especially from my wife.


Jun 20, 2004
glad you got the fit right!
The Brynje is slim cut I find and why I recommended sizing up was if a person had a reserve of energy around their midst...the upper chest might be fine but the middle might be a bit bulgy on the seams.
Some people do find them...a bit unusual looking. You need a button outer layer or a deep zippered garment over it to be able to really use it to its full benefit...unlike a jumper over it that you cannot vent the heat.
Think of the health virtues...avoids rheumatism...lets skin of my uncles always claimed that if you stayed in sweaty/damp clothes you'll get rheumatism.

There's some info on the web from days gone by I have to remember where to look for on the many health benefits of mesh undergarments-from old time advertisements.

I can't believe how a simple garment and its concept that was worn by the British military in WWII and afterwards and had its origins from British polar explorers(who probably borrowed the idea of string vests from the Norwegian polar travelers) has vanished from mainstream society...seen as old-fashioned/outdated, etc. I always thought an updated version of the older cotton WWII string vest in a thick nylon yarn would be worth a trial.

Has anyone any ideas on how to track down the War Office military uniform design sheet or instructions to make one of the WWII era versions? There had to be some standard pattern that they were made to...couldn't have all strange versions running around.


Apr 19, 2018
Thanks to threads like this, I am getting close to overcoming my ready embarassment and buying a Brynje.

There are couple of questions though:

Wool or Polypropylene?

Long Sleeve or Short?

What do we think? Thanks for your help.
Sep 11, 2014
Maidstone, KENT
I have these :

Cotton. Now made in Poland.

They do everything they're supposed to, as detailed by others above posts. I bought spares...
In different situations I use a merino string vest, so no one answer to what's best.

I have 2 observations to add :

When dealing with heat, the wide mesh of the old-school string vest causes the air to circulate in
such a way that wearing the vest keeps me cooler than going bare chested.
The cotton vest for me in this case, washed daily.

Also, the fishnet design means that when you pull the vest down, it 'forms' itself to the contours
and curves of your shape, I think this is important to how they work.

Perhaps the tighter woven vests with more 'perforated' meshes don't do these things ?


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 16, 2019
Vantaa, Finland
Also, the fishnet design means that when you pull the vest down, it 'forms' itself to the contours
and curves of your shape, I think this is important to how they work.

Perhaps the tighter woven vests with more 'perforated' meshes don't do these things ?
The net contours if it is not 0/90 construction so hexagonal does it and square does it when at +-45 orientation. "Normal" fabric that is just perforated does not form any better than the original.

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