Anyone who has been deployed in tropical or arid environments can tell you that heat, humidity, and wetness can be potent adversaries. To make these extreme conditions more bearable, the Army has released a uniform upgrade that is a lightweight, breathable alternative to the standard ACU. The Army Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform, or IHWCU, first became available to troops stationed in Hawaii and Fort Benning, Georgia, in the summer of 2019. After a staggered rollout, now all soldiers in hot or wet environments have the option of wearing these high-tech uniforms. Developed with rigorous testing, and borrowing tech from the latest athletic wear, the IHWCU is engineered to be light, quick-drying, and to maximize airflow, allowing excess body heat to escape.
Maintaining the same Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP) as the standard ACU, the IHWCU is sure to be a popular choice for anyone deployed in an adversarial climate.
The key to the IHWCU’s design is the fabric it’s made from. A 57% nylon, 43% cotton ripstop blend offers the best in breathability, weight, and comfort, without sacrificing the durability that your job demands. Extra reinforcement in stress areas and seams make these new hot weather uniforms just as tough as their standard-issue counterparts. This state-of-the-art fabric is designed to go from soaking wet to completely dry within 60 mins, which means a sudden tropical downpour won’t make you uncomfortable for the rest of your mission. Moisture-wicking properties move perspiration away from your skin, helping it to evaporate quicker.
The most obvious difference between the new IHWCU and the standard ACU is that the IHWCU coat doesn’t have breast pockets. This allows more heat to escape from your core, which can make a huge difference in the field. You do sacrifice some storage capability, but the Army has found that most soldiers rarely use their breast pockets on deployment.
The new design also features “raglan” sleeves that are more fitted and less bulky than those on the standard ACU. Other features include bellow-style upper sleeve pockets, arm pen slot, and ID Friend or Foe tag covers with hook and loop fasteners on both sleeves.
The new IHWCU trousers are designed to be comfortable and quick-drying without sacrificing functionality. They include a reinforced seat that's engineered to allow for maximum mobility while providing a non-bulky fit. Along with the drawstring waistband, this design will help keep your trousers in the proper position, even when loaded with gear. A breathable button-up fly allows for greater ventilation and won't get snagged as a zipper design could. All major pockets on the trousers and coat feature drainage eyelets that will keep you from getting bogged down by the rain.
Propper is proud to carry the Army’s most advanced hot weather combat uniform. Whether you’re stationed above the arctic circle, in a dry desert, or a damp jungle, you’ll find apparel that’s made right at Propper.