LEO tips on wearing "bullet proof" vests.

This is a discussion on LEO tips on wearing "bullet proof" vests. within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Let me start by saying I am not a sworn LEO. I am a volunteer with my local PD or police auxiliary. We are issued ...

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Thread: LEO tips on wearing "bullet proof" vests.

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array joker1's Avatar
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    LEO tips on wearing "bullet proof" vests.

    Let me start by saying I am not a sworn LEO. I am a volunteer with my local PD or police auxiliary. We are issued vests, duty belts, cuffs, OC spray, etc. I'm fairly new but really enjoying it so far.

    I could lose a few pounds without any interest in finding them so that is part of my problem. Summer in Kansas is generally brutal and with the unusual amount of rain we've had lately humidity is also an issue. I consider myself lucky in that I only have to wear the darn thing a few times a month and generally in the evening or nighttime hours. I feel like I wear it too tight so I may need to work on that but damn I get sweaty just putting the dang thing on. I have worn cotton "wifebeater" shirts (not enough protection for skin in shoulder area), cotton t-shirts, moisture wicking t-shirts, and in the winter I wore a long sleeve compression shirt.

    My question is what type of garment do you find best for wearing under your vest?
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    Every LEO I worked with complained about wearing a vest, so I don't know if there's a good answer. To paraphrase Clint: Comforting, not comfortable.
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    Senior Member Array Wunderneun's Avatar
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    I was an reserve deputy with my county for a number of years before my heart attack. It was never comfortable to wear in the summer time. I just wore a cotton t-shirt underneath and tried not to think about the sweat dribbling down my sides.

    On top of that, the uniforms were 100% nylon or rayon or some other hot, synthetic material.

    I worked an armed post on occasion for a local guard service too. Same story. Hot, hot, and hotter. The upside of that duty is that is was inside and air conditioned.
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    VIP Member Array Secret Spuk's Avatar
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    My answer is... man-up, cut the snivelling, put on the vest. best worn under the uniform shirt.

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    Have any of ya'll tried this?

    CoolCop Body Armor Air Conditioning System

    Aside from the fact that it looks like something you'd see on Super troopers...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Spuk View Post
    My answer is... man-up, cut the snivelling, put on the vest. best worn under the uniform shirt.
    I don't think there was any sniveling to it, just a simple request from those more experienced with wearing a vest.
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    To the OP.

    There are specially made t shirts that are designed to wear under a vest. They normally have "ribbed" areas sewn into the shirt to allow air to get between the vest and the skin. Moisture wicking t shirts also work well but there is nothing that eliminates all the discomfort, sweat, odor etc.

    Often times both when I was a LEO and overseas I would use some sort of powder, Gold Bond, and apply it at the start of the day and then several times during the day. If you can take 5 minutes or so during a shift go to the locker room remove your shirt, vest and t shirt wipe down with baby wipes and reapply the powder. Often times I would bring a clean t shirt with me and change out sometime during my shift if needed. It only takes a few minutes and the supplies can be carried in your bag and it can be done in a restroom if needed or on more than one occasion on the side of the road out of site of the public.

    Don't forget maintenance of your vest also. Clean with soapy water, or whatever the manufacture says and let it air dry. Use a commercial product made for body armor to kill bacteria which will eliminate vest breath and prevent the vest material fearom breaking down.

    I have used LA Police Gear for years they have everything you will need at good prices. Hope this helps.
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    Senior Member Array kb2wji's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHEC724 View Post
    Have any of ya'll tried this?

    CoolCop Body Armor Air Conditioning System

    Aside from the fact that it looks like something you'd see on Super troopers...
    Works awesome, with one side effect. It's horrible for your body. It feels great, but your body is never going to like going from 100 degree heat to 50 degree AC blowing down your chest. It's just not healthy. Extreme and quick temperature changes like that are hell on your immune system and cardio vascular system.

    OP, as far as the vest goes, it just sucks. Wear a tight, moisture wicking t-shirt (or compression shirt) under the vest. Do NOT wear cotton!! Under armour makes great stuff, or you can get the same thing at Walmart for 1/10 the price. I just bought a half dozen moisture wicking t's for $6 each. You'll sweat like a pig, and its not comfortable, but after a while you get used to it.

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    Senior Member Array Wunderneun's Avatar
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    What's the difference of wearing a soggy moisture wicking nylon shirt that makes you sweat more, and a soggy cotton t-shirt?
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    Most of the SWAT team where I consult wear something like this: Under Armour HeatGear Tactical Compression Fit Short Sleeve Men's T Shirt at Galls

    And there is also ColdGear:Under Armour ColdGear Base Layer Crew at Galls


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    Senior Member Array kb2wji's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wunderneun View Post
    What's the difference of wearing a soggy moisture wicking nylon shirt that makes you sweat more, and a soggy cotton t-shirt?
    The moisture wicking shirt does not make you sweat more, it just pulls the sweat to dryer areas more efficiently. You sweat just about the same in Florida as you do in Arizona. But in Florida the humidity does not allow the sweat to evaporate off your body, so you are literally drenched in sweat. In the dry heat, your sweat evaporates, keeping you dryer. This doesnt mean you sweat any less.

    Moisture wicking shirts are designed to move water (sweat) away from the wet areas, and into the dry areas (called capillary action). It's not perfect, but it helps. Wet cotton just stays wet. If its even the slightest bit wrinkled (and it will be under a vest) it will create little tiny wet wrinkles that will not only give you pressure spots, but also a higher probability for those little heat rash lines. Both make it very uncomfortable. It's the same for my motorcycle under-shorts. If I wear cotton boxers, my butt is on fire after about an hour or two. If I wear a compression type short that does not wrinkle at all, I wont get those little wrinkly pressure spots.

    Forget the body armor... go for a jog on a really hot day wearing a cotton t-shirt. Then swap it out for a moisture wicking "athletic" type t-shirt. You'll feel more comfortable and dry if you ditch the cotton, even though you aren't sweating any less. The added bonus of a tight, wrinkle free fit under body armor seals the deal for me

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    There is no comparison between wearing a moisture wicking shirt vs. a cotton T shirt under a vest.

    The moisture wicking t is superior in every way.
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    Senior Member Array Wunderneun's Avatar
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    Just thinking about wrapping myself up in polyester is enough to start making me sweat.

    I sweat like a hog in the summer time. That's why I hate summer so much. I just can't stay dry, or cool.

    I would agree about the wrinkled t-shirt though under the vest. That gets mighty uncomfortable at times.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kb2wji View Post
    Moisture wicking shirts are designed to move water (sweat) away from the wet areas, and into the dry areas (called capillary action). It's not perfect, but it helps. Wet cotton just stays wet.
    What he said. I wear fitted UA Tactical t-shirts with decent results. I won't stop me from sweating but it's a whole lot more comfortable than soggy cotton.

    More importantly drink a lot of water!!!
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