Summer Wear?

Discussion, ideas, and questions in various types of police equipment, clothing and uniforms.
Harbinger29
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Re: Summer Wear?

Postby Harbinger29 » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:13 am

I used to wear my external carrier all the time, but decided I liked the look of the internal better, so I switched.

I always wear a moisture wicking shirt under my SBA and uniform shirt and it helps keep me cool. You don't have to buy expensive Under Armour stuff, you can get shirts that works just as well at any department store.

In the winter, I wear a long sleeve Under Armour Cold Gear compression shirt and that thing works awesome.

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SierraSeven
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Re: Summer Wear?

Postby SierraSeven » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:54 am

In my books, you can't go wrong with Under Armour when it comes to their winter gear. Keeps you nice and toasty as well as dry!
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Re: Summer Wear?

Postby Safety Guy » Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:32 pm

gotchya wrote:
TwE@k wrote:
Banti wrote:Has anyone ever tried one of these body cooling vests before? I know it would be a ton of layers (T-shirt/undershirt, cooling vest, body armor, uniform) but it might be worth looking into.

http://www.climatechsafety.com/HeatShieldII.html



Good idea but that looks pretty bulky to wear under a vest :ponder:

Not to mention pretty expensive...


That's kinda what I had in mind but like stated above, the ones available don't seem to be made with police\enforcement officer use in mind. They seem too bulky to wear with body armour and you probably have to recharge or replace the ice packs to often to be practical for law enforcement purposes.
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Re: Summer Wear?

Postby Stannic » Thu May 09, 2013 12:32 pm

Hi All,

I know I'm pulling up an extremely old post here however figured better keep it all in one place rather than starting a new thread.

Has anyone tried the Columbia "Coolest Cool" or "Total Zero" shirts? They claim to have a cooling sensation when there is sweat on the skin.

I imagine it's just a moisture wicking and will still drench the uniform shirt under the armour but thought I would ask if anyone has tried them.

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Von
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Re: Summer Wear?

Postby Von » Thu May 15, 2014 11:25 am

Necro.

It's getting hot out again, interested in reading more opinions.

I currently wear stretchy 95% Cotton/5% Spandex white T-Shirts under my Cotton/Polyster uniform shirts, and an external vest on top. By end of a 12 hour shift I'm pretty hot sweaty.

I've seen some endorsements of Under Armor and Wal Mart's own under armor brand. Are these the way to go if you want something underneath your uniform to help stay cool and dry?
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mack_silent
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Re: Summer Wear?

Postby mack_silent » Thu May 15, 2014 11:38 am

I own UA and walmart versions... similar results from both. The $10 walmart loose fit shirt works best.
Avoid "compression" fit for work duty.
They will ride up and get uncomfortable over a long shift, especially with a vest on. Plus the feeling of being "squeezed" over a 12 hour shift... not so nice.
KCCO. Wake up. Kick butt. Repeat.

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Re: Summer Wear?

Postby mark y » Thu May 15, 2014 11:48 am

With 'performance' shirts, the big thing is drying time. There is actually a test that manufacturers can do called "torso drying time". Basically they put a shirt on a mannequin and wet it down, then see how long it takes to dry. It's not an exact replication of 'real life' wear because the dummy doesn't generate heat and isn't moving, but it is a standard. The theory is that the faster the shirt dries, the faster it can remove moisture from your skin and evaporate it. The whole goal of the shirts is to a) wick the moisture from your skin to the outer layer of the shirt's fabric then b) dry it so it can repeat the process.

UA is actually one of the worst in testing. Pretty much all performance shirts use a polyester fabric ("polyester" is essentially any man-made fabric). The polyester fibers are round filaments that stick together, which inhibits wicking and drying. So, UA and those companies dip the polyester in a chemical that makes the fibers expand and separate from one another (this is happening on a microscopic level) to create air gaps between the filaments. This allows air and moisture to move between the filaments.

The problem with the "dip" process is that after about 25-30 washings, the chemical washes out, leaving you with a standard polyester shirt. This means that their shirts perform the best right out of the box, and the performance is going to get worse with each washing, and after about 30 washings you end up with just a polyester shirt.

This is also why you get UA and other similar shirts that stink after a few months. The smells get embedded right into the shirt and you cannot get them out. There is no solution short of throwing the shirt out.

There is a manufacturer [full disclosure; we sell their products] that uses a mechanical process instead of a chem dip. By that I mean they have designed their own filaments that are not round and don't stick together. Rather, they are more like the shape of a puzzle piece (if you look at the cross-section) so they can't join together. This means no chem dip required to keep the air gaps between the fibers, so the performance on day 500 is the same as on day 1. The shirts also contain a natural mineral (again, microscopic) that neutralizes odour, and it is a physical thing they add to the shirt's filaments so it won't wash out either. The shirts are available in a snug fit (not really 'compression' but definitely a close fit) and also one that feels just like a cotton t-shirt but has the performance capabilities of their other performance shirts. Torso Drying Time is nearly half that of UA.

As a related topic, the company also has a "coldskin" fabric that uses a natural mineral (I'm not permitted to say what it is) that REALLY works well. When it gets moist, it actually feels very cool. It's really quite amazing. They make some underwear with this coldskin in the critical parts and, having used it for basketball games, etc. - I can say it REALLY works well. They don't make shirts out of it yet as it's a bit thick for shirts, but it's amazing stuff and totally revolutionary in the market.

I won't attempt to bend the rules and post manufacturer names here but PM me if you're interested and I can give details. These shirts are extremely popular in hockey (many NHL players wear them, and no - they aren't given them for free) and we have a few departments out west wearing them with good success.

Nothing is going to keep you completely dry underneath your body armour, but a good performance shirt does help.

Cheers

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Re: Summer Wear?

Postby mark y » Thu May 15, 2014 11:55 am

mack_silent wrote:I own UA and walmart versions... similar results from both. The $10 walmart loose fit shirt works best.
Avoid "compression" fit for work duty.
They will ride up and get uncomfortable over a long shift, especially with a vest on. Plus the feeling of being "squeezed" over a 12 hour shift... not so nice.


There are "compression" then there are snug fitting performance shirts. Compression shirts were originally designed for injury recovery in sports players. If you can get a good snug-fitting shirt that's the best. If it's a true performance shirt, the snug fit is good because it contacts your skin all over your torso, so can dry you better. Loose fitting shirts work, but only where they are contacting your skin. For most loose shirts, they really don't touch your body much other than sleeves and shoulders and a bit of upper chest/back. Snug fitting shirts DO perform better.

Some shirts also are longer than others, and some have panels under the arms that allow more movement without the shirt untucking.

This is me (no, not really) in a snug fitting shirt. Note the red panels under the arms. They are cut in a way that when you raise your arm up it doesn't pull the shirt out of your pants. That panel system is patented and, believe it or not, is the first design patent on a shirt since 1962.

Image

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Re: Summer Wear?

Postby Dave Brown » Thu May 15, 2014 3:39 pm

I agree with everything Mark has said. Personally, I grew to dislike UA after repeated washings. Mark got me to try a couple of the ones he sells, and I especially liked the snug-fitting one the best. It won't turn my one-pack Ab into a six-pack, but it fits tight all over and I found it is both warmer in the winter than others and cooler in the summer. I love it and would buy them again.

The only issue I have is that they removed the neck label - which is good - and the brand name stenciled across the back disappears after a few washing ... but you would think that when you put on a shirt, you would at least get the front from the back correct statistically 50% of the time. NO! It's like toast that ALWAYS lands on the floor butter side down every time. I nearly always get the shirt on backwards every time.

But other than that, I highly endorse his snug-fit shirt. I also really liked the shirt with a bit of fire protection. While at first glance it seems perfect for firefighters, but the reality is that they are so often stripped to the waist posing for calendars anyway, it would be a waste. To me, it is perfect for the police officers who, nine times out of ten, are the first ones on scene and end up running in to the burning building to save the occupants anyway, leaving the firefighters to pour water on the basement and stand around in a circle of hope asking for the incident number.

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Re: Summer Wear?

Postby mack_silent » Thu May 15, 2014 4:23 pm

The loose fit shirts will contact skin when worn under a ballistic vest.
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Re: Summer Wear?

Postby mark y » Thu May 15, 2014 7:09 pm

mack_silent wrote:The loose fit shirts will contact skin when worn under a ballistic vest.


Under a snug-fitting concealed vest, yes, over much of your torso (but not under your arms). Not so much under some of the looser-fitting external armour. Also, loose fitting shirts that are put underneath something like SBA tend to have folds and wrinkles, which holds moisture.

My point was that snug-fitting shirts do have a place in law enforcement. "Loose fit" shirts do not generally work better than a shirt that touches your skin everywhere (including sleeves)

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Re: Summer Wear?

Postby mark y » Thu May 15, 2014 7:21 pm

Dave Brown wrote:I agree with everything Mark has said. Personally, I grew to dislike UA after repeated washings. Mark got me to try a couple of the ones he sells, and I especially liked the snug-fitting one the best. It won't turn my one-pack Ab into a six-pack, but it fits tight all over and I found it is both warmer in the winter than others and cooler in the summer. I love it and would buy them again.

The only issue I have is that they removed the neck label - which is good - and the brand name stenciled across the back disappears after a few washing ... but you would think that when you put on a shirt, you would at least get the front from the back correct statistically 50% of the time. NO! It's like toast that ALWAYS lands on the floor butter side down every time. I nearly always get the shirt on backwards every time.

But other than that, I highly endorse his snug-fit shirt. I also really liked the shirt with a bit of fire protection. While at first glance it seems perfect for firefighters, but the reality is that they are so often stripped to the waist posing for calendars anyway, it would be a waste. To me, it is perfect for the police officers who, nine times out of ten, are the first ones on scene and end up running in to the burning building to save the occupants anyway, leaving the firefighters to pour water on the basement and stand around in a circle of hope asking for the incident number.


Thanks Dave. I'm glad you're finding them useful. I'll pass along the logo comment to the guys at the manufacturer. They are just a thermal transfer - nothing fancy. I've noticed the same with my shirts from them. In the meantime, why don't you face the other direction when you put on the shirt? :)

Just to clarify Dave's comments re "fire protection", the snug fitting shirt has no high temp ratings. The one that feels like a cotton t-shirt is rated to no-drip/no-melt to 400F, which is the BC OHS standard. It was designed for Firefighters that needed something better than cotton but can't wear UA or similar because they melt at relatively low temps. More FF's die of heart attacks due to heat exhaustion / heat stress than all other on-scene factors combined (SOURCE; http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/ ... _fat11.pdf - see page 17), hence the need to manage their heat. Or maybe it's the modelling lights in the studio....

The fabric needed to make that soft cotton-like shirt is a bit less efficient in terms of drying time than the snug fitting shirt (about 10% less efficient) but that blend was required to achieve the soft cotton feel and the high temp ratings. It's still tons better than the cotton shirts most FF's wear under their gear, but if you want max cooling, get the snug fitting shirt. Both the fabric and the design (snug fitting = touching skin) make it the best performer.

The cotton-feel material (I'm trying not to use brand names here!) It isn't like Nomex that will protect you from fire, but rather it won't melt onto your skin or drip off your body when you get at 400F. It is NOT "Flame Retardant" or "FR" clothing like Nomex is. Of course, if your skin is at 400F you've got other problems by that point, but at least you'll know your shirt will be intact.

Stay cool, my friends ;)

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Dave Brown
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Re: Summer Wear?

Postby Dave Brown » Fri May 16, 2014 10:21 am

Thanks for the clarification!

Yes, the snug-fitting shirt is not the one with the higher melting point. Quite frankly, having a shirt with a higher melting point is less important to me than the snug-fitting one that almost makes me look buff.

As I said, it won't turn my one-pack into a six pack (too many twelve-packs I would guess) but it comes darn close. Plus, it doesn't smell after a year of very steady wear and it fits just as tight after all those washings as it did when new. Mark is absolutely right when he says that a tighter-fitting shirt is going to be much cooler to wear. It has nothing to do with making us look buff.

Much.

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Von
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Re: Summer Wear?

Postby Von » Fri May 16, 2014 9:19 pm

mark y wrote:With 'performance' shirts, the big thing is drying time. There is actually a test that manufacturers can do called "torso drying time". Basically they put a shirt on a mannequin and wet it down, then see how long it takes to dry. It's not an exact replication of 'real life' wear because the dummy doesn't generate heat and isn't moving, but it is a standard. The theory is that the faster the shirt dries, the faster it can remove moisture from your skin and evaporate it. The whole goal of the shirts is to a) wick the moisture from your skin to the outer layer of the shirt's fabric then b) dry it so it can repeat the process.

UA is actually one of the worst in testing. Pretty much all performance shirts use a polyester fabric ("polyester" is essentially any man-made fabric). The polyester fibers are round filaments that stick together, which inhibits wicking and drying. So, UA and those companies dip the polyester in a chemical that makes the fibers expand and separate from one another (this is happening on a microscopic level) to create air gaps between the filaments. This allows air and moisture to move between the filaments.

The problem with the "dip" process is that after about 25-30 washings, the chemical washes out, leaving you with a standard polyester shirt. This means that their shirts perform the best right out of the box, and the performance is going to get worse with each washing, and after about 30 washings you end up with just a polyester shirt.

This is also why you get UA and other similar shirts that stink after a few months. The smells get embedded right into the shirt and you cannot get them out. There is no solution short of throwing the shirt out.

There is a manufacturer [full disclosure; we sell their products] that uses a mechanical process instead of a chem dip. By that I mean they have designed their own filaments that are not round and don't stick together. Rather, they are more like the shape of a puzzle piece (if you look at the cross-section) so they can't join together. This means no chem dip required to keep the air gaps between the fibers, so the performance on day 500 is the same as on day 1. The shirts also contain a natural mineral (again, microscopic) that neutralizes odour, and it is a physical thing they add to the shirt's filaments so it won't wash out either. The shirts are available in a snug fit (not really 'compression' but definitely a close fit) and also one that feels just like a cotton t-shirt but has the performance capabilities of their other performance shirts. Torso Drying Time is nearly half that of UA.

As a related topic, the company also has a "coldskin" fabric that uses a natural mineral (I'm not permitted to say what it is) that REALLY works well. When it gets moist, it actually feels very cool. It's really quite amazing. They make some underwear with this coldskin in the critical parts and, having used it for basketball games, etc. - I can say it REALLY works well. They don't make shirts out of it yet as it's a bit thick for shirts, but it's amazing stuff and totally revolutionary in the market.

I won't attempt to bend the rules and post manufacturer names here but PM me if you're interested and I can give details. These shirts are extremely popular in hockey (many NHL players wear them, and no - they aren't given them for free) and we have a few departments out west wearing them with good success.

Nothing is going to keep you completely dry underneath your body armour, but a good performance shirt does help.

Cheers


Definitely interested. If you could send links my way that would be much appreciated.
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Re: Summer Wear?

Postby ODIN » Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:54 am

I have been wearing the 5.11 rapid assault shirts and they are great even with the long sleeves
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