Police officers often wear several layers of clothing depending on the external climate and the task at hand. They may need to wear an extra layer of insulation in cold weather or body armour and other forms of protection in potentially dangerous situations. For police officers this can be problematic as the outer layers will be too tight. Many officers try to solve this problem by choosing a garment one size larger than usual.
However, outer garments specifically chosen for their loose fit can be too loose when worn alone. The result is that officers feel less comfortable and restricted in their movements. This problem has now been solved by W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. (Gore) with its GORE-TEX and GORE WINDSTOPPER fabrics with FLEX2FIT Product Technology. They allow the development of all-weather, functional duty garments offering an optimum fit and enhanced freedom of movement.
An innovative stretch technology means that the new GORE-TEX and GORE WINDSTOPPER fabrics are highly elastic. These fabrics are used for specific areas of the garment, on places like the elbows, knees or back. This results in an elastic outer garment with high stretch and recovery properties. The garment will always fit well, not restrict movement and, importantly, not compress the clothing and equipment layers worn underneath it. The wearer is able to move with less effort and will feel less pressure on the skin, resulting in perceptibly enhanced comfort when compared with non-elastic garments. At the same time, the low force to stretch enhances freedom of movement, enabling officers to focus on the task at hand and perform at their best over longer periods of time.
The GORE-TEX fabric with FLEX2FIT provides durably waterproof and breathable protection for police rain jackets. A better fit increases breathability by up to 25%. Not only does an GORE-TEX with FLEX2FIT Product Technology rain jacket offer police officers protection against rain, it also acts as a barrier against other liquids that they regularly encounter outdoors, for example petroleum or lubricants when they are called to investigate the scene of a traffic accident. The GORE WINDSTOPPER fabric with FLEX2FIT is durably windproof, highly breathable and ideal for use in softshell jackets. It provides protection against cold winds and light rain, keeping officers warm in cold weather.
This new technology allows officers to use multiple layers to adjust their duty garments to the external climate and the task at hand without being restricted in any way. This has been confirmed by a recent field test, having worn the jacket in- and out of the car in any weather over the last few weeks. Furthermore, a GORE-TEX rain jacket with FLEX2FIT was tested by the members of a German police special operations unit in a wide range of conditions. Feedback was extremely positive. One user remarked: “The jacket feels like a second skin,” which Mönch can only stress!
For more information please see MILITARY TECHNOLOGY #1/2017, available at SHOT Show 2017; and frequently check back for more NEWS FROM THE FLOOR.