Why Wear Elemental Layer?
When we face the unforgiving alpine elements
We must also face the cold sweat reality of back chill.
After an hour or so of hiking under the green canopy, mesmerized by occasional birdsong and the rhythmic crunching of dry red and yellow leaves under our boots, we emerge above the treeline and decide to take a break. Admiring the panoramic view, I notice that my back is freezing, wet with the cold sweat of my effort. What should I do? Suck it up and keep climbing? Change my undershirt? The sun disappears behind a random cloud and I shiver as the temperature drops. The wind picks up . . . did I put an extra shirt in my pack?
We’re sure that you’ve found yourself in this wet, chilly, uncomfortable situation many times, whether on a day hike or a multi-day backcountry camping trek, whether snowboarding, cross-country skiing, or kayaking through the mist. We’ve been there too. That’s why we at finetrack embarked on our fundamental mission to solve the cold sweat problem of back chill. That’s why our elegantly engineered solution to the sweaty back chill problem became our flagship product. That’s why we wear Elemental Layer next to our skin when we face the elements in our outdoor pursuits. That’s why we’re bringing Elemental Layer across the Pacific Ocean to you.
To keep your skin dry. To stay warm.
To conserve your body heat and energy.
L1 = Elemental Layer. Elemental protection is fundamental to finetrack’s layering system. Soft and comfortable, crafted from ultra-thin, water-repellent mesh fabric, the Elemental Layer is worn under the base layer like a second skin. This durable, water-repellent layer lets through the sweat to the base layer through fine mesh, keeping you dry and comfortable, by protecting your skin from touching wet base layer while the base layer is drying. By wearing your Elemental Layer under your base layer, your skin stays dry and comfortable while your base layer does its job, and although it is an “extra” layer to wear, ultimately Elemental Layer lightens your load as you face the elements. Since you won’t have to worry about changing out of a wet base layer, you won’t have to carry an extra base layer to change into, reducing your overall gear weight. Most importantly, you will never have to wait out that wet, uncomfortably long 70-minute base layer drying time again. Depending on the situation you find yourself in while facing the elements, that 70 minutes just might save your life.
Innovative comfort created with finetrack-patented technology, the Elemental Layer was our flagship product when we first started up in Japan all those years ago, our elegant solution to the cold sweat problem of back chill, and we are excited to introduce it to users in Canada and the U.S. today. Simply add Elemental Layer under your base layer to stay dry, comfortable, and safe on your outdoor endeavors and experience the finetrack difference for yourself.
It didn’t matter how much warm clothing I put on,
I just couldn’t seem to get warm.
We developed Elemental Layer based on the experience of our own finetrack staff, who loved the outdoors but found themselves constantly experiencing back chill from cold sweat in their winter endeavors, no matter how much warm clothing they put on. It was easy to imagine how becoming chilled from cold sweat in the backcountry could quickly escalate to a life-threatening situation.
Necessity, the mother of invention
and finetrack’s solution for back chill prevention
From the cold sweat reality of those experiences, finetrack’s new idea of underwear was born, and from that core idea issued a relentless cycle of engineering and innovation, authentic testing and feedback, reconceptualization and refinement. Only after several iterations did we finally reach the pinnacle of dry, safe, comfort that became Elemental Layer, finetrack’s flagship product and the cornerstone of what would become our integrated 5-layer system.
Reduces cold sweat and prevents back chill
so you can face the elements in comfort and safety
When we feel cold, we consume energy to maintain body temperature. By protecting your skin from touching wet base layer, Elemental Layer not only prevents the feeling of becoming chilled, but also helps avoid unnecessary energy consumption. Wearing Elemental Layer as a second skin reduces the risk of cold sweat and chill, preserving body heat and energy, and enhancing safety and comfort when engaging in outdoor endeavors under extreme conditions.
The ultra-thin mesh fabric used in Elemental Layer, soft to the touch yet durable, was engineered by finetrack for extremely strong water repellency to protect your skin from touching wet base layer, keeping you dry, comfortable, and safe.
Thermography Experiment Images
(source: finetrack internal testing data)
[test subject: male]
Left = With Elemental Layer (Wearing L1 Elemental + L2 Base Layer together)
Right = Without Elemental Layer (Wearing L2 Base Layer only)
For this experiment, we assumed a significant amount of sweat production and/or the subjects having been soaked in the rain, wetting the gear accordingly in order to simulate the moisture of these conditions. We utilized thermographic imaging to measure the changes in skin surface temperature, first with the subjects wearing sweat-absorbent clothing with ordinary base layers and sports bras, then again with the subjects wearing Elemental Layer as L1 and Base Layer as L2. The results clearly demonstrated that when the test subjects were wearing Elemental Layer under their Base Layer, their skin surface temperatures were higher overall than when they were not wearing it. Further measurements revealed that decreases in the subjects’ body temperatures were suppressed; in other words, body heat and therefore energy were better preserved through the use of Elemental Layer. The effectiveness of the L1 Elemental Layer and L2 Base Layer combination in preserving skin surface and core body heat was thus confirmed.
Underwear, fundamentally reconceptualized
Fundamentally, Elemental Layer is mesh underwear, a living, breathing piece of innovation that you wear directly on the skin, underneath your usual base layer and other sweat-absorbing / quick-drying outdoor wear, to stay dry, warm, comfortable, and safe as you face the elements.
“As close to zero as possible”
– founder and developer Yotaro Kanayama
Elemental Layer itself is only 0.4mm in thickness and 46g in weight. Ultra light for ultra comfort. Until finetrack created Elemental Layer, the common sense of mountaineering wear consisted of a 3-layer model: sweat absorption + heat retention + waterproof wear. As described on our Layering page, finetrack fundamentally reconceptualized and reengineered that model, with the Elemental Layer as the cornerstone of its integrated 5-layer system: Elemental Layer, Base Layer, Mid Layer, MidShell, and Outer Shell. To surmount the obstacle of convincing users to wear an extra layer under their base, Kanayama aimed for ultra-lightness and ultra-thinness in the engineering of the materials while developing Elemental Layer, so that the wearer would feel as though they’re wearing something ethereal, adding no bulk and weighing “as close to zero as possible.”
By preventing users from becoming chilled from cold sweat, Elemental Layer reduces the need to change base layers while and also minimizes body odor with its antibacterial properties. All of these factors which contribute to overall weight reduction. Pack lighter and trek with confidence.
* protects your skin from touching wet base layer and keeps your skin dry and helps retain your body heat
* high performance versatility regardless of season or extreme weather conditions
* stretchable and soft mesh fabric follows the movements of the body for stress-free comfort
* enhanced durable water repellency, retains 80% of water repellence even after 150 washes
* antibacterial properties with deodorant effect
* soft and comfortable, ultra light and ultra thin for a translucent, ethereal feeling
Product notes, use, and care
For best results = Elemental Layer is only effective when layered with sweat absorbing and quick drying clothing and is meant to be worn under your base layer. Please wear Elemental Layer directly on your skin and layer sweat-absorbing and quick-drying wear over it for best results.
Use = Elemental Layer is constructed from a delicate knit fabric made of synthetic materials to achieve both ethereal lightness and superior functionality. While engineered to be as durable as possible, please be advised that damage to the fabric may occur from repeated rubbing, contact with sharp objects, or accidental hooking on branches or hook-and-loop fasteners.
Care = The knit fabric can shrink easily after repeated use and washing; in particular, please take extra care to avoid tumble drying as the heat may cause significant shrinkage. Elemental Layer should be hand-washed or machine washed on a gentle, cold cycle. Hang or lie flat to dry – the same engineering that keeps your skin dry when wearing Elemental Layer helps it dry very quickly after washing.
Supported activities = outdoor activities in general
Material = 100% polyester
Elemental Layer = L1, the most integral part of finetrack’s 5-Layer System
Elemental Layer = your first line of fundamental defense. Now available!
Experience Elemental protection today!