When the temperatures drop it's important to wear the proper work clothing, especially when working outdoors. There's a huge number of manufacturers and suppliers offering high visibility winter safety jackets but not all products are created equal. Furthermore, not all products are suited for the job, or, for your job.
When choosing the proper winter safety jacket, it's best to look for apparel that offers the specific features you need on the job. Check out the list below to be sure you're spending your money wisely and getting the best product for the demands of your job.
High Visibility and ANSI Safety
If your job title and/or tasks require a certain level of reflective or ANSI compliant clothing, make sure you purchase something that at least meets those minimum requirements. Also, consider the quality of the reflective components. Personally, we like to recommend gear with 3M reflective striping. On another note, it's never a bad idea to purchase an ANSI 3 jacket even if your job only calls for ANSI 2. Better safe than sorry, right?
Durability on the Job
This is a serious concern. Often times, we see people with gear that keeps them warm but has terrible durability characteristics. Sometimes the situation is opposite and they have extremely durable gear that isn't warm enough. It's important to find the perfect combination for your individual needs. Winter workwear is more expensive than summer gear, and you don't want something that falls apart in mid-January. Look for 300-denier ripstop materials for the ultimate in durability.
Yes, winter gets cold. However, choosing the proper gear depends on your job's requirements and physical demands. If you're an equipment operator you might need less insulation than someone laboring outside on the ground. On the other hand, vigorous work will quickly raise your body temperature, even in the coldest environments. The best idea is to find a happy medium. Consider high visibility jackets with removable liners, or 3-in-1 jackets that can be changed on the fly.
What about waterproof gear? A hood? A detachable hood? Do you need plenty of pockets for storage or are you okay with standard glove pockets? Will an elastic waist prevent nasty drafts of cold air to keep you warmer? Will a jacket with a vented design help control your body temperature? Is a parka-style jacket too large for physical work and will it hinder your safety? Maybe a high visibility bomber jacket is better? Maybe not.
Consider what will work best for you in the areas of safety, performance and comfort before making your decision. Get started with your search and find the ultimate winter safety jacket here. Stay safe out there this winter, and don't forget to stay warm!