Years ago when I first became a police officer I noticed a bunch of guys in the locker room wearing these superhero-tight shirts beneath their body armor. When I asked what the shirts were, I was told they were a new kind of "moisture wicking" shirt called Under Armour.
Apparently Under Armour was designed for football players who sweat profusely while on the field. This new Lycra-type stretch fabric was said to wick moisture "better" than traditional cotton t-shirts. Moisture wicking aside, they sure as heck looked a lot cooler than a regular Hanes cotton t-shirt.
So not to be the odd man out, I decided to head on over to Dick's Sporting Goods and purchase a couple of these new, super-duper shirts. Since they were $35.00 I decided I would buy one and see how it worked for me.
The next day I put the shirt to the test. Since it was getting warm out, I figured it was the ideal time to see how well these "super shirts" worked. I slipped it on, put my body armor vest over it and my uniform shirt over that. And off I went.
At the end of my shift, I took my uniform off, followed by my ballistic body armor vest and found my brand new super shirt soaked in sweat. In fact, it was so wet it was literally stuck to my skin, making my skin visible right through it. NOTE: The shirt was white and I am dark-skinned so this was even more apparent.
I thought to myself, "how could this be?" This shirt was supposed to wick the moisture away, not keep me soaking in my own sweat. As I pulled the shirt over my head it literally peeled off of my body. It was literally soaked. And then I felt my body armor vest!
As when I wore my regular Hanes cotton t-shirt, my body armor was soaked in sweat (and stunk to high heaven). How in the heck could this be? Frustrated, I got changed and went home. It wasn't until a few months later that I recognized why my fancy new shirt was soaked in sweat after work that day.
I was watching some NFL football players on a field during pre-game warm-ups and noticed that many had shirts similar to the one I had purchased. But they were running around warming up without their pads. As they got warm and started to perspire, the moisture would be wicked away from their skin, pulled through the fabric of the shirt and then sent into the atmosphere. This kept them cool and dry. (Before I continue it should be noted that prior to becoming a police officer I graduated pre-med and studied bio-chemistry in university. That said, let's continue).
This is the moment I realized the breakdown with the shirt I had purchased. You see, these shirts can do what they are marketed to do so long as they have direct exposure to ambient air. However, the second you put something over top of them (e.g. body armor, football shoulder pads, hockey shoulder pads) you instantly negate the shirt's ability to function as designed.
Without unrestricted access to open air, during which time the moisture that is wicked away from your skin can be allowed to evaporate into the atmosphere, these expensive, skin-hugging moisture wicking shirts are essentially no better than your average white cotton t-shirt.
This realization is what lead me to design and invent/develop two new products that the world had never seen before; The Maxx-Dri Vest for body armor cooling and ventilation and The Maxx-Dri Silver Elite T-Shirt. I designed both of these incredible new products to help those who were suffering while wearing body armor and sports shoulder pads.
It's no secret that the build-up of trapped sweat can lead large amounts of bacteria. This can lead to a host of health concerns, not to mention stink and odor that is beyond awful. The scratching, itching, rashes and odor are all indications of dangerous bacterial build up. That's why I infused The Silver Elite Shirt with Aero-Sliver, which fights the growth of dangerous bacteria.
If you wear body armor on the job (or play ice hockey, football or lacrosse) you owe it to yourself to take care of your skin, body and health. I'll post a link below for those of you who want to read some reviews and see what others are saying about these incredible new innovations.