What are the best winter cold weather gear thermals for police officers and those working outdoors?
Now some with experience in the outdoors might say, "layer up to stay warm." Well this might work if your hiking or skiing because you can easily stop to shed a layer or two if you start getting too warm. However this isn't an easy option while on duty as a police officer. It would require removal of your police radio, gun belt, body armor and uniform shirt. Not a quick or easy task. Additionally, many officers can find themselves overheating on their core, beneath their body armor, while their arms, shoulders and upper chest/neck are freezing.
How to set up a plate carrier, the best place for your IFAK and where your plate carrier should sit on your body.
How To Set Up A Plate Carrier
First things first; why are you wearing a plate carrier. You must first answer this question before moving on to the next steps. Are you simply wearing it for protection against being shot? If so, what kind of bullets are you concerned about getting shot with; .223 or 9mm (or one of the many other rifle or pistol rounds)?
Are you yourself carrying a weapon? If so, what kind of weapon; a rifle or a pistol. If so, you will need to carry additional ammo. How much ammo will you need to carry. Maybe you're carrying a rifle and a pistol as a secondary weapon. In this case, you'll have to carry ammo for both weapons.
All these things must be taken into consideration prior to setting up your plate carrier. But for now, let's start off with the type of plates you need.
Our final Factoid is that, with the addition of K2 Thermal to our Equinoxx line, any cold weather activity can be engaged in more effectively, efficiently, and comfortably.
This makes K2 Thermal a great holiday gift for anyone who works or plays in cold weather.
From postal workers and courier drivers to traffic and school crossing guards; from cable installers and linesmen to construction and oil rig workers, there are numerous outdoor work applications for K2. There’s even more outdoor recreational activities, such as hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, golf, skiing, ice skating, bird watching.
Importantly, to get value from K2 Thermal, one doesn’t need to do some activity requiring special physical dexterity or athletic prowess. For example, courier delivery doesn’t require fine motor dexterity, but wouldn’t it be more pleasant to have it? One can wear a bulky coat to chop firewood, but wouldn’t it be more enjoyable (and maybe even safer) to wear a light thermal shirt that provides full freedom of movement. Motorcycle or bike riders could wear it to block wind as well as enjoy a greater sense of freedom.
Flexible Material With a 3-Layer Design
The material is soft, supple and fairly thin. So it may surprise to learn that it’s actually comprised of three different layers that are heat-pressed together: an inner grid-thermal layer to trap body heat, a middle layer that’s water resistant, and an outer layer that blocks wind.
Importantly, all three layers allow for multi-directional stretch, which makes Stage 3 and K2 so form-fitting and comfortable without the discomfort of traditional compression gear.
The entire K2 Thermal shirt uses this material. Stage 3 is designed for use with body armor and the core material is different so you don’t overheat in your armor. The Stage 3 core material is a moisture-wicking, polyester/spandex blend that does not include the inner thermal-grid layer.
To learn more now, please see our Equinoxx Stage 3 and K2 Thermal product pages.
You’re overheating because you’re going back out in the cold and it’s too inconvenient to remove your thermal apparel. When you overheat you sweat, and this moisture on the skin freezes the moment you go back out in the cold, giving you the chills and possibly risking hypothermia, which is when the body loses heat quicker than it can produce it, causing a dangerously low body termperature.Read now
While overheating is an issue for many people who work and play outdoors, it’s a special problem for police officers, who are constantly getting in and out of patrol cars and buildings. And for police and others who wear body armor, overheating and sweating at the core is a problem even in cold weather. So we designed Stage 3 with different material covering the core—a thinner, moisture-wicking, polyester/ spandex blend.
But even this may not be enough to prevent overheating underneath body armor, which is why we recommend use of our Maxx-Dri Vest for body armor ventilation. Maxx-Dri Vest is just as beneficial in cold weather as it is in hot weather.
In Factoid #1, we discussed how Stage 3 (for wearing body armor) and K2 Thermal (full protection of the core for not wearing body armor) really do keep you warm, with a temperature rating of 15 degrees fahrenheit (-9.45 degrees celsius). But these relatively thin base-layer shirts are also highly effective at blocking wind and resisting rain.
The first day that I tried it, the temperature was 16F with 15mph winds. I had on a cheap $10 base layer, the equinox over that, and a thin summertime FR shirt over the equinox. I DID NOT FEEL THE COLD NOR THE WIND AT ALL!!! —Mario Jimenez
Perfection. Used it in 28 degree weather with windy conditions and never felt the wind and was warm for my 8 hour shift outdoors. Best of all I didn't need to layer up and only had my long sleeve uniform shirt on and no bulkiness of having a jacket on. Great product. —Marco B.
Many people find it hard to believe a garment that provides the freedom of movement of a shirt can really keep them warm in cold winter weather. Here's what Stage 3 customers say:Read now
Recently Weather was below zero in Colorado. Wore this under my Short Sleeve Uniform Shirt and Ballistic Vest. Was Warm and comfortable outside and Cool and Comfortable indoors. No Heavy, Bulky Jacket needed!! —Gary R.
The Stage 3 thermal mock provides full thermal coverage of the torso, except for the core, that’s covered by your body armor. (If you don’t wear body armor in your outdoor activity, see Equinoxx K2 Thermal, which also protects the core.) Tight wrist cuffs prevent cold air from running up your arms, and the mock design protects your neck. When you’re wearing body armor, you need to breathe at the core. So the material covering this area is highly breathable and moisture-wicking.