Cold Weather Gear

 

Cold Weather Gear

    For law enforcement officers who work in climates with harsh winters, proper cold weather uniforms, outerwear, and accessories are essential to stay warm during your shift. So, what are the most important qualities of winter police and public safety gear? We will break down five qualities to look for in your winter gear – product technology, quality, durability, functionality, and fit.

Technology

    Advanced fabric technology with waterproof, windproof, and insulation capabilities is paramount when choosing a cold weather police jacket. Invest in a jacket that has a waterproof recoating or film, rather than a water-resistant option. Waterproof textiles are impermeable, meaning snow or rain will not penetrate through the fabric or seams. Water resistant outerwear is designed to withstand quick bursts of rain and will not provide ample protection in snow or heavy storms. Many cold weather jackets are waterproof by design and are built with special attention to zippers, collars, and cuff closures to fully protect against water penetration. 

    For EMTs and other public safety professionals that require higher levels of protection purchase a jacket with resistance from chemicals and blood borne pathogens. Gore’s CROSSTECH fabric is certified to protect from blood, bodily fluid, and common chemicals and is certified to NFPA and ASTM standards for heightened protection. Blauer offers multiple CROSSTECH Emergency Response Jackets that meet safety standards and are authorized for use as PPE, Personal Protective Equipment. 

    In addition to an outer waterproof membrane or protective lining, choose a jacket with built-in insulation capabilities or the ability to add quilted or fleece liners. Thermal linings are essential to protecting from the cold and keeping heat inside you jacket. 

Quality

    Winter jackets and gear made with quality materials are not inexpensive. To make your investment worthwhile, carefully read the labels and product description of an item before purchasing it. A fifty dollar jacket made with acrylic materials and little to no insulation will not keep you warm in harsh conditions. Investing in a more expensive jacket made with waterproof synthetic materials, polyester, or wool, will stand up to snow storms and last season after season. Quality craftsmanship in a jackets seams, hardware, and zippers will further the life of your cold weather gear. 

    Durable fabrics, hard-wearing zippers, and pockets that stand up to the elements are other key differentiators when purchasing a winter duty jacket. Jackets made with outer shell fabric, such as GORE-TEX, CROSSTECH, nylon, or polyester, are built to withstand the cold and repel water and wind while maintaining breathability.

Functionality

    Functional outerwear is able to adapt to a variety of weather conditions and provide ample features for protection and usability. When investing in an outerwear piece, look for jackets that have multiple internal layering options that can be worn separately or zipped together, such as Blauer’s growing line of System Outerwear Shells and Zip-In Jackets. All-in-one style outerwear provides adaptability for light rain, wind, or heavy snow and prevents the need to invest in a different jacket for every season. 

    When evaluating the functionality of outerwear, it is also important to look for designs with features fit for law enforcement. Multiple pockets, both internal and external, are crucial for public safety professionals to store their daily gear and documents. Features such as epaulets, badge tabs, and pile collars may be mandated by your department uniform specifications. Small additions like deployable Scotchlite trim and specially sealed seams ensure that your outerwear will perform in low-light conditions and keep you dry. For law enforcement officers, attention to detail counts in all aspects of the job. 

Fit

    When looking for a heavy-duty winter jacket, consideration of the fit of the garment and the ability to layer sweaters or fleece jackets underneath is essential. A winter jacket that is too large will let out heat and sit farther away from your body, and a jacket that is too small will forfeit your ability to zip in liners or wear a mid-layer underneath. Use your measurements and product size charts to find a winter duty jacket that fits you best. A well-fitted winter jacket will allow you to keep in warmth and wear additional layers during extreme cold. Other qualities, like a drop shoulder design and adjustable Velcro closure sleeves, allow for freedom of movement and a flexible fit. For police and public safety officers, a winter jacket needs to move with the body rather than lessen tactical abilities with a bulky fit. 

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