My daughter has moved from the desert of Arizona to Seattle. Apparently, by the time she layers for warmth and closes out the rain for her walk to work, she's become a cold, dp sauna after only five minutes. For a holiday gift, I would like to get her an undergarment that can wick away the moisture, but I don't trust everything I see tagged onto the garments. I want to get her something that really works, but I'm getting baffled by the marketing folks. Ken Tucson, Arizona
Still, I do have a few favorites. I'm extremely enamored with Patagonia's silkweight underwear. It's available in a variety of stylesI have the T-shirt and bottoms ($32 each; www.patagonia.com) and the now-unavailable zip turtleneck. Patagonia makes a Mock Turtleneck for women for $37. I also like Marmot's mid-weight stuff; your daughter might like their Midweight Zip Long-sleeve top ($45; www.marmot.com). This is all very nice stuff.
That said, if your daughter is soaking after just a short walk, maybe she needs to re-think her layering system a little. Most rain jackets have pit zips and other venting options, which can be opened even if it's raining. In this part of the world, usually a light base layer, maybe a vest or light fleece jacket such as the REI Muir Woods ($68; www.rei.com), and a light rain shell is more than enough. And the Pacific Northwest's climate is tailor-made for the new generation of "soft-shell" garments, which will easily beat off Seattle drizzle while breathing well. An example: Mountain Hardwear's Alchemy Jacket ($240; www.mountainhardwear.com), which would be ideal layered over the Icebreaker Crewe for a combination that will handle cool weather, wind, and light rain with aplomb.