Winter is finally over and it’s time for the heat of spring and summer duty. Temperatures are rising and the sweat factor just got real. Whether you wear armor or not, you get hot working long shifts outside, so it’s time to consider cooling things off with a summerweight uniform, designed to keep you cooler while maintaining the professional look you need. There are three main elements in the summerweight uniform:
1. Pants and shorts
2. Uniform shirt
Typical tactical pants can still work great in the heat, but consider a cooler option in summerweight tactical pants (and the shorts based on them) that offers better moisture wicking and breathability. These lighter pants are tailored like the style you wear the rest of the year but allow for better comfort in hotter conditions.
Thanks to advancements in material science, today’s summerweight tactical pants are just as sturdy as the year-round versions and hold up equally well under the typical everyday stresses of the harsh environments where they need to perform. One feature often found in year-round tactical pants is stain-resistance. This is a great benefit; however, it can trap moisture on inside and prohibit the wicking process. To allow for better breathability, the summerweight version releases moisture quickly, leaving you cooler and more comfortable, a welcome relief in the heat. Both the pants and shorts offer the same handy multi-pocket layout to keep all the essentials within easy reach.
Summerweight uniform shirts not only feature better moisture wicking than the standard uniform shirt, they also incorporate other design elements, such as vents to let cool air in, while offering the same professional look you expect. Many uniform shirts also come in a long sleeve version featuring the same cooler material and venting, in case short sleeves are not an option in your uniform regs.
Good quality summerweight uniform shirts feature stretch material woven into the fabric to provide full range of motion under the sweatiest conditions while maintaining the shirt’s structured look and crisp details.
Keeping your head covered in the heat helps reduce the chances of sunburn and maintain a lower body temperature as the sun evaporates the sweat that soaks into your hat. A good baseball-style cap or a 360-degree-brimmed boonie, such as the new Summerweight Wide Brim Boonie with its lighter material and all-around mesh for ventilation, work great for just such a task. The baseball cap provides coverage against direct sunlight on top and at the front, while the boonie protects all the way around, including the ears and upper neck.
The summerweight uniform shirt and pants earned an “excellent” UPF rating of 50, which according to the American Melanoma Foundation means the garment blocks 97.5-98% of both UVA and UVB radiation, significantly reducing the chance of skin damage due to the sun.
The right attire is one critical part of your summer uniform. The American Academy of Dermatology also suggests a healthy amount of sunscreen to help prevent skin cancer and dermatological conditions.
Whether your hot summer is just getting started or you work in the heat all year long, throw on a summerweight uniform, a hat and sunscreen to stay comfortable on those long hot days.