When it comes to your gear and equipment, the choice you make can literally have life and death consequences, so it’s important to make a well-informed decision on what works for you.
For jackets and outerwear,it’s critical to ensure you can quickly access your equipment when needed, and that you feel not only comfortable with that movement, but also comfortable in the actual jacket itself.
As you can imagine, many officers prefer not to wear a jacket when on duty, as they feel it inhibits their range of motion, therefore, they will avoid doing so if possible. So to keep warm they will try to make do with a base layer underneath their uniform.
However, for other officers who live in severe cold-weather climates, this base layer is simply not enough, and some form of jacket or coat is needed for any prolonged time spent in the elements.
What to look for in a police jacket
So what should you look for in a police jacket?They must be more durable than an average, everyday jacket a civilian might wear. Police officers never know what their day might entail, and they need a jacket that can withstand a lot of wear and tear.Look for seams that are double or even tripled stitched for maximum strength and durability.
A second key element to look for is warmth and whether the jacket is well insulated or not. You’ll want a jacket that has an adequate amount of insulation, but at the same time, not feeling like it has obtrusive and bulky padding that may hinder your movements. This is all the more the case because you may already be wearing a bulletproof jacket which also adds bulk.
The third quality you’ll want in your police jacket is for it to offer some level of water resistance. Mother Nature often has ideas of her own, so besides cold and windy conditions, you’re likely to experience rain and/or snow. Therefore, you want a jacket that can withstand that type of weather, and help keep you dry and warm.
What concerns do officers have with wearing a jacket?
The most crucial thing to consider when deciding on a jacket is the access you’ll have to your equipment, specifically to your sidearm and/or Taser, because these are the tools that can help save your life.
Accessibility to their weapons is a chief concern among officers and is the main reason they choose not to wear a jacket.
Many officers who do in fact wear a jacket when on duty recommend either finding a very short jacket or tucking in the jacket behind the gear on your duty belt so that everything you need is easily accessible. These jackets are often referred to as “Ike-length,” named for a jacket that was developed for the U.S. Army during the later stages of World War II when Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower was President of the United States.
Practice makes perfect
Once you’ve decided on a jacket, it’s important that you train with it on so that you can become acclimated to it. Remember,a little training now will make you feel more comfortable and prepare you for what you’ll be experiencing in the line of duty, so that when you’re in a potentially stressful situation, wearing the jacket won’t feel like something new.
Let’s take a look at several great jacket options from which to choose.
5.11 Tactical Double Duty Jacket
The 5.11 Tactical Double Duty Jacket ticks all of the boxes – lightweight, water-repellent, insulated liner for warmth, and above-the-belt length for easy access to your duty belt.
The insulated liner is actually removable, so you’re able to adjust the warmth according to the conditions. The lining is 100% polyester, ensuring warmth, while the outer shell is 100% nylon, ensuring protection from wind and water.
But best of all, it’s above-the-belt, “Ike jacket length” means you can access your sidearm, Taser, cuffs, and whatever else you need from your duty belt with ease.
This jacket comes in black or navy and a variety of sizes to fit anyone.
Horace Small New Generation 3 Jacket
The Horace Small New Generation 3 Jacket is another great option for the on-duty police officer. It too provides water-repelling fabric and is cut short in length to allow for easy access to the duty belt.
What sets this coat apart is that it features a design that accommodates a protective body armor vest to be worn under it. This convenient feature means you won’t be struggling to pull and wiggle it on over your body armor.
The Horace Small New Gen 3 Jacket comes in black, brown, and navy, and once again in a variety of sizes to fit everyone.
5.11 Tactical Reversible Hi-Vis Duty Jacket
This jacket encompasses the key elements – lightweight, durable, waist length, water repellent – but adds an additional feature – a highly visible yellow material so that you can be seen when on duty in difficult conditions, like darkness, snow, and rain, and help keep you safe.
This jacket also offers a pair of large hand warmer pockets, perfect for extended periods of time outdoors in cold conditions.
The 5.11 Tactical Reversible Hi-Vis Duty Jacket comes in a black with hi-vis yellow and dark navy with hi-vis yellow, and in a wide array of sizes to fit everyone.
Propper TAC.U Battle Rip Tactical Coat
For the budget-conscious shopper, the Propper TAC.U Battle Rip Tactical Coat is a durable option which also has built-in features – like a bi-swing back – that allows for a wide range of motion.
This jacket has an extended length which allows for it to be easily tucked into your pants so that you can reach your sidearm and other equipment with ease.
The Propper tactical coat comes in a variety of sizes and is available in black, navy, and olive.
With many jacket options from which to choose, CHIEF Supply has you covered, keeping you warm and protected from the elements, while providing easy access to the gear you need when it counts the most.
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