Any article of clothing, from pants to body armor, has its mission and purpose. You wear a regular shirt to protect yourself from the cold or to be more attractive. Similarly, the tactical uniform is worn for soldiers’ protection, to support weapons, etc.
For decades, tactical uniforms have evolved to keep pace with the latest developments in military technology. Its increasing popularity among civilians is the newest turn in the history of the development of this category of goods.
The interest in tactical equipment and uniforms is growing rapidly, so manufacturers – new and old alike – are striving to create what will be universally recognized as the most innovative product on the market. Brands consistently demonstrate their latest developments at major specialized exhibitions, such as the Shot Show in Las Vegas. Tactical clothing is becoming smarter with time as more and more sensors are embedded into the fabric of these clothes.
This pressure on the tactical market will undoubtedly drive manufacturers to create the highest quality tactical clothing and future tactical gear, using the most advanced materials available for both military and civilian use.
What Kind of Clothing Is Tactical?
This type of clothing was first utilized by the military because clothing that provided freedom of movement, carried supplies, and provided camouflage was needed. Once the fabric industry matured, the materials used for sewing military, combat gear, and sportswear became available to a wide range of companies, and outdoor products began to be developed. They were purchased by travelers, hikers, and supporters of an active lifestyle.
It is possible to create an entire tactical wardrobe and combine items to create different outfits for daily life and work.
- Tactical jackets. Thanks to careful design, each piece adjusts to your figure, allowing for ease of movement.
- Tactical pants and shorts. These are lightweight and silent options for looking stylish in an urban environment.
- T-shirts and thermal underwear. These can be used as a base during the cold season. T-shirts are made of lightweight material in which you can walk comfortably in even 30-degree heat.
- Boots and sneakers. These are lightweight options with a reinforced sole and lacing that allows the weight of the shoe or boot to be adjusted to the foot.
- Accessories: baseball caps, bags, wallets, socks, etc.
“Smart fabrics” are a fascinating topic of discussion when it comes to tactical clothing. They are ‘smart’ because high-tech sensors are woven into clothing. Any electronics added to clothing can increase your quality of life and detect various kinds of problems. Smart textiles technologies and tactical gear are intriguing because of their ability to sense and respond to various environmental changes, including those of a thermal, chemical, or mechanical nature.
There are currently three generations of smart tactical clothing.
- “First-generation” sensor clothing consists of textiles equipped with a sensor attached to the garment. This approach is still used by sportswear brands such as Nike, in Nike Adapt sneakers that use automatic lacing to adapt to the shape of the user’s foot.
- “Second-generation” sensor clothing are products in which the sensor is embedded rather than simply attached. Samsung has applied this to a shirt that can detect and diagnose lung conditions ranging from pneumonia to COPD.
- In “third-generation” wearables, the entire garment becomes the sensor. More and more companies are creating sensors of this kind to measure and respond to various forms of pressure, deformation, and temperature.
Smart tactical clothing focuses on three categories:
- Health and stress monitoring
- Wound detection
- Protection from injury
Smart clothing sensors can measure:
- Physiological parameters. They are mainly used to detect abnormalities in the body, trauma, and stress. Sensors measure body temperature, heart rate, sweating, blood pressure, sleep quality, blood oxygenation, and muscle recruitment.
- Kinetic parameters. These sensors show location, direction, steps taken, pressure, and acceleration. The military can communicate with different units this way.
- Detection of danger. These sensors measure the environment for viruses, radiation, bacteria, chemicals, atmospheric pressure, temperature, and so on. With these parameters, almost any hazard can be detected and prevented.
The benefits of Smart tactical clothing are:
- can be worn in harsh conditions;
- can withstand a wide range of temperatures;
- provide effective resistance to shock and vibration, as well as chemicals or solvents
Smart sensors contain built-in micro-processes, making them much more powerful and efficient than just a few years ago due to the rapid advancement of technology.
It is likely that in only a couple of years, the Internet will be embedded in clothing and various other products. These evolutionary advances will help the military and the average person with their daily activities while providing greater security.
The technology found in Mobile Warming garments utilizes a sophisticated power and control system with integrated electrical circuitry, wireless 2-way communications, and a garment management Bluetooth app.
- It can detect early warning signs of disease
- It can be used in professional medical settings or to monitor personal health
- Telemedicine allows for a doctor to monitor a patient remotely
- GPS tracking in e-textiles can be used to track elderly family members with Dementia or Alzheimer’s
In general, due to the extra costs required to embed technology in smart clothes, they’re pricier than traditional clothing. A regular jacket may retail for around $100, however, a similar style smart jacket could set you back anywhere between $200 and $500, depending on the brand.
While the soldiers are on the battlefield, they can be monitored thanks to sensors. They are used to track the physical condition and location of a soldier. The heart rate and even the respiration rate of a soldier can also be tracked.