Tactical gear is an essential facet of daily life for those who work in the military, law enforcement, and private security sectors. It has also become popular among adventurers and outdoors enthusiasts, thanks to its high-quality construction and feature-rich design. But when the summer months roll around, wearing a full array of tactical gear can become hot and uncomfortable.
Fortunately, tactical gear manufacturers recognize the need for comfort in all seasons, and have introduced products specifically designed for summertime use. Of course, many consumers still don't know just what features to look for when shopping for hot weather gear. This article outlines four key things to look for when selecting summer tactical gear.
The fabrics used to create tactical gear such as shirts and pants play a huge role in how cool you stay. Most tactical gear is made using ripstop fabric. Ripstop is woven using a reinforcing technique that, as its name implies, gives the fabric an extra degree of resistance to ripping and tearing.
Not all ripstop fabrics will perform as well in hot weather. The key factor here is the type of material used to create the fabric. Four main types of ripstop fabrics exist: cotton, nylon cotton, poly cotton, and poly cotton twill.
Cotton tends to be the lightest of the four options, but it is also the least resistant to damage. For this reason, cotton ripstop is not considered as suitable for heavy-use tactical gear. Nylon cotton ripstop tends to be much more durable — but also much heavier and thus hotter. Poly cotton ripstop, by contrast, offers a far better compromise between comfort and durability.
Most poly cotton ripstop consists of a blend of 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton. Not only is poly cotton lighter — and hence cooler — it also has better moisture wicking properties. The fabric also dries much more quickly, meaning you will experience much less sweat-related discomfort.
Be sure not to confuse poly cotton ripstop with a related fabric known as poly cotton twill. While the two share the same basic materials, twill weave has a much heavier weight. This gives the fabric even more durability, but it also means that the pants will run much hotter in summer months.
Microfiber Cooling Hoodies
Anybody who spends a lot of time out beneath the hot summer sun has to think about protecting their head from overheating. While a hat will help to protect you from the sun’s rays, it can't always keep your head from absorbing heat. A microfiber cooling hoodie makes a great addition to any gear inventory.
These towels are specially shaped to drape over your head. The material can absorb massive amounts of sweat when dry. When wet, the hoodie performs an even more vital task: keeping you cool. In fact, a wet microfiber cloth can reduce your body temperature up to 30 degrees below average.
While originally designed as a way for athletes to keep cool, many people in the tactical world have recognized the effectiveness of these hoodies.This lightweight piece of gear can easily pack away for future use.
Another key to surviving brutal summer heat involves keeping your body properly hydrated. Of course, this can be easier said than done for those who spend long periods of time out in the field. Water bottles can be cumbersome and heavy to tote around. Instead, consider investing in a high-quality hydration pack.
A good hydration pack has backpack-like straps that allow you to wear it right on your back. Some models can even integrate with your existing backpack. Most hydration packs have a flexible drinking hose that you can clip on your vest or the front straps of your back, allowing you to drink without having to stop and unharness your pack.
Mesh-Lined Tactical Vests
Some pieces of tactical gear are always going to be hotter than others. For instance, law enforcement and first responders often wear tactical vests that can be equipped with soft armor and other torso protection. Ordinary tactical vests add weight and reduce circulation, which can cause body temperatures to rise.
To avoid overheating, look for a tactical vest especially designed for optimal breathability like the Private Security Tactical Vest from Vel Tye. This vest includes a special mesh inner lining that allows air to circulate more freely, dissipating unwanted body heat. Meanwhile, the Vel Tye vest provides all of the other features you want, including Level IIIA soft armor compatibility and VELCRO closures for quick on-off transitions.
For more information about the best tactical gear for summer use, contact the industry experts at Vel Tye.