USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- I met Randy Black with XGO at the SHOT Show years ago and have used their base layers ever since. They’ve been a great company for me to deal with and they’re made in America. They offer various weights of base layers but as a whole, I generally use their midweight base layers. So, for this product review, we’re going to cover the XGO Midweight Performance Base Layers.
But before you jump out and buy midweight base layers because that’s what I use, determine what will work best in your scenario. They’re just what works best for 90% of my outdoor activities. For the most part, I’m active while outdoors so I don’t wear heavy base layers or I overheat.
But there are three exceptions:
1. On September archery hunts in the mountains, I’ll wear lightweight base layers since it’s warm in the day and only cool at daylight/dark.
2. If ice fishing I’ll wear heavy base layers since it’s really cold and I’m mainly just sitting there not moving around or when camping on an elk hunt since it is down near 0.
3. When backpacking I throw a light wt. baselayer in my pack. Here’s why. Even though it doesn’t get very cold in July, August or early September it can get a little cool at night. It is a lot less weight to throw in a pair of base layers than it is to upgrade from a lightweight sleeping bag to medium weight. That way I carry a few ounces of base layers instead of 2-3 more pounds of sleeping bag to sleep in.
50 years ago, a high percentage of people wore the old cotton red cowboy 1-pc. long handles. In case you’re new to the outdoors, you don’t want to wear cotton. Remember the old saying “Cotton kills”. If you get wet with cotton base layers, you’ll be cold, wet, and clammy. You want a moisture-wicking base layer like XGO gear or wool (but wool is itchy).
To further extrapolate on the above paragraph, I’m not just talking if you fall into a river. You’ll want moisture-wicking base layers even if you’re elk hunting on top of a mountain. When hiking hard you’re going to be sweating, even in cold weather. When you stop, you’re going to get chilled. So in this scenario, you’ll want moisture-wicking base layer gear. And then of course if you get rained on.
Now for a few of the specifics on the XGO Midweight Performance Base Layer clothing. They are constructed of the XGO high-performance 100% Acclimate Dry Polyester Waffle-Knit material which has good wicking properties and is comfortable to wear.
You don’t want to wear base layers that restrict your movement, especially in this next scenario. I tested the XGO Midweight Performance Base Layers on a duck hunt this week with Diamond Blade Knives and The High Road with Keith Warren’s crew. We were duck hunting with Charles Allen the owner of Knives of Alaska and Diamond Blade Knives.
We were hunting sloughs and ponds that drained into the Trinity River bottom. We were walking into our duck blinds before daylight so with all of the deep mud, holes, and tracks that you can inadvertently step off in and stumble it was easy to tip over. It wasn’t dangerous cold weather but still, it’d have been uncomfortable if you filled your waders with water and had to hunt until mid-morning. In those situations, you want some good moisture-wicking base layers but not ones that restrict your movement, so you’re not clumsy and tip over.
One downside of synthetic base layers is that they magnify your BO. The XGO Acclimate Dry moisture management system and Ag47 antimicrobial/anti-odor aids in keeping you odor-free. This of course is important when hunting. Especially if you’re on a bivy hunt back into the backcountry with only one set of clothes for a few days.
The medium-weight base layers are advertised as being good for layering between 20-50 degrees or stand-alone between 50-60. Which I think is a valid statement. I was only wearing the top while processing the deer, hog, and steer and the temps were in the high 40’s and slightly chilly due to a moderate breeze.
The MSRP on the XGO Midweight Performance LS Crew is $43.00 and the MSRP on the XGO Midweight Performance Thermal pants is $43.00 as well.
• Midweight Performance First or Second Layer – Regular/Relaxed Fit
• Fabric: 100% Acclimate© Dry Polyester – Waffle-Knit Construction
• Body Length (Size Large): 30” / 76 cm
• Weight: 5.5 oz/sq. yd / 156 grams
• Superior Acclimate® Dry Moisture Management
• Ag47® Anti-Microbial Protection
• Rolled Shoulders and Under Arm Gussets – Increased Mobility / Reduced Irritation
• Clean Seam® Next-To-Skin Comfort, Extra Length (Body), Durable, Breathable & Won’t Shrink
• 100% USA Made & Berry Compliant!!!
About Tom Claycomb
Tom Claycomb has been an avid hunter/fisherman throughout his life as well as an outdoor writer with outdoor columns in the magazine Hunt Alaska, Bass Pro Shops, Bowhunter.net, and freelances for numerous magazines and newspapers. “To properly skin your animal, you will need a sharp knife. I have an e-article on Amazon Kindle titled Knife Sharpening #ad for $.99 if you’re having trouble.”