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Miltary Outerwear Offers Warmth, Protection From The Elements

Military outerwear, such as the military parka, the pea coat and military sweaters, are used today by active duty military personnel as well as members of law enforcement. Outdoors enthusiasts, such as hunters, anglers and backpackers also appreciate the benefits of outwear made to provide camouflage and protection from the elements.

The Extended Cold Weather Clothing System was developed by the US Army Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in the 1980s. The second generation version of the cold-weather military parka features three-layer Gore Tex fabric that is waterproof, windproof and breathable. The second generation of the Gore Tex fabric has been designed to be quieter when the wearer moves. It is also offers a softer feel on the skin than the first generation design. The parka provides moisture wicking at the cuffs and hem, taped seams, and a rollable hood with a storage pocket. The elbows are reinforced with heavy duty 330-denier cordura nylon. The parka features a special near infrared radiation (NIR) technology fabric that prevents the garment from being detected by NIR Image Converters. The special NIR technology fabric also makes the parka much more difficult to see in low-light situations. An army store could be a good place to begin searching for a genuine surplus or slightly used parka.

The Generation II Hyvat military parka is made of the fabric that has many of the same features as Gore Tex but is less expensive. Hyvat offers three layers of fabric that offer protection from moisture, cold temperatures and wind. The durable outer “foam-type” layer provides superb waterproof features. The second layer offers helps draw moisture to the outside of the garment, making it much more comfortable to wear during heavy activity. The inner third layer, with a resin surface, has waterproof characteristics that inhibit dew condensation so that the fabric continues to feel dry during strenuous activity.

The military pea coat was initially worn by sailors in the United States and European navies. The coat was usually made of heavy wool, typically a navy color, and featured broad lapels and double-breasted fronts. Today’s coat is worn by men, women and children. While most of the coats are wool, some come in cotton. The typical Navy-issued pea coat is either navy or black, but retailers and army navy stores also often offer the coat in khaki, olive drab, camel, and even a red coat for women. The women’s style features eight buttons down the front, a full quilted lining and a stand up collar. The men’s coat has ten buttons down the front, a quilted nylon lining, a tapered waist and front slash pockets. It also features a full size left chest interior pocket. The kids' navy coat is a wool garment with 10 buttons, two outside pockets, and a center vent. The genuine navy coats can often be found at army navy stores.

Military sweaters, also known as commando sweaters, were first used by the British military forces during the North African Campaign of World War II. From the beginning, the sweater had a reputation for standing up to heavy use and keeping its wearer warm on cold desert nights. Today, the sweater helps keep soldiers, law enforcement personnel and outdoors enthusiasts warm and comfortable. Military sweaters come in several different styles and fabrics. The sweaters made of 100 percent wool are available in navy or black, are crew neck or V-neck, and are certified by the United States Marine Corps. Acrylic sweaters come in navy, black or olive drab, and are crew neck or V-neck. One of the acrylic sweaters is available with an 11-inch neck zipper. A black reversible military sweater features a 100 percent acrylic outer shell, a 100 percent Polar Fleece lining, a brass zipper and two inside and outside zipper waist pockets. A World War II Vintage khaki sweater, in 100 percent knit cotton, retains the feel of that era’s military clothing with its ribbed cuffs, waist and collar. Several of the sweaters feature epaulets, shoulder and elbow patches, and badge tabs. Military sweaters are one of the many types of surplus or used items a soldier or an outdoor enthusiast can find at an army store.
Brick-and-mortar army navy surplus stores, as well as on ecommerce websites, sell military outwear in additional to numerous other types of military clothing and equipment. The typical army store offers surplus products that exceeded the demand for them. Products that were used by the military but are still in good condition are also sold in army stores. Many of the products, including clothing, are made in the Untied States, and are General Services Administration (GSA) compliant.

Active-duty military members and law enforcement officers need to know their military outerwear will hold up to the wear they’re put through. These parkas, pea coats and sweaters have been proven to handle the wear and tear of the active careers of the people who wear them. For that reason, outdoors enthusiasts can also be assured they’ll be buying a quality outerwear garment.

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