Cotton: Cotton is often comfortable and soft, but after a few minutes in the blazing sun you’ll quickly be ready to peel it off. Those comfy cotton duds can become saturated with sweat and super uncomfortable. Plus, they’ll take forever to dry, which is why you may want to consider performance fabrics that dry quickly.
Moisture-Wicking: It’s no secret when it’s hot, you sweat. So, unless you want everyone to get up close and personal with your signature scent, you’ll want clothing that wicks away moisture. Moisture-wicking clothing absorbs sweat and pulls it away from your body, minimizing the chance of you smelling like Chewbacca by lunch time.
Pro Tip: Look for 55/45 blend of synthetic to natural fibers for the best in moisture wicking.
Lightweight and Light-Colored: Light-colored and lightweight clothing allows all that solar heat you’re dealing with to reflect off the garments. When you wear heavy and dark colored apparel, it’s more likely to suck up all that heat and keep it snug against your body. That only raises your core body temperature and increases your chance of heat stress.
Breathable: New on the scene are PPE and high visibility options like gaiters or vests that allow portions of the garment to be mesh material. Air can move freely within your garments, helping to regulate body temperature. Think about all that airflow you can achieve and still be ANSI-compliant!
High Visibility: When you have a hazardous work environment that requires you to remain highly visible, our buddy HiVis Hank says, “Safety comes first”. He knows that layering is an ideal and flexible way to stay cool, while staying seen. Choose a high-visibility, moisture-wicking base layer that draws moisture away from your body, but provides you with the right ANSI level visibility protection. Then, you can follow up with a standard vest if necessary.