Feb 20, 2015, 10:49 AM - Suiting Up is Exhausting
I've noticed that in the case of getting suited up, I'm exhausted half way through the process and by the time I'm finally ready to slip on the helmet, it's fogging up instantly and I can't breathe. Am I just severely unfit, or does anyone else share my pain? I've worn constricting helmets before (my avatar) and I always have that initial shortness of breath whenever I put on a helmet and I have to wait for my breathing to adjust. I live in the UK with mild weather, yet I'm sweltering in the flight suit so I have no idea how those over the pond deal with the heat. I'm wondering out of curiousity how you guys go about suiting up. Do you have a particular order that's easier to put on? What are your methods to combat the heat? Do you have breathers throughout the day where you partially de-costume?
I'm wondering how I can possibly last a day in the suit if I need to sit down after five minutes of struggling to get dressed.
Feb 20, 2015, 12:01 PM - Re: Suiting Up is Exhausting
I live in Texas where needless to say it gets hot. I am usually sweating by the time I am suited up. I often take a minute once everything is on to relax before I put the helmet on so that I don't fog it up. I have trooped for 5+ hours on many occasions and I can't sit down once I am in kit. I can lean or maybe use an edge of a stool or counter but sitting is not an option. As far as staying cool my only thing is to take the helmet off periodically to let the heat escape from my noggin.
My advice to myself is "tough it out" I am getting a chance to be Jango Fett to hundreds of people, I will just suck it up and troop on....
Feb 20, 2015, 12:07 PM - Re: Suiting Up is Exhausting
Aside from the helmet, I imagine your zentai suit is pretty comfortable? Personally, I use a full suit of under armour under my Fett get-up. It helps absorb and block the inevitable sweat that my body generates during suit-up and trooping. As for staying cool, I found that if I take the helmet off somewhat frequently, I acclimatize very quickly to the cotton and twill flightsuit parts.
A handy trick I heard (from Adam Savage's podcast) I will likely use during a summer outdoor event is to put small chemical cooling packs into the palms of my gloves. With so much blood feeding the muscle and nerve cells of your hands, the blood can be cooled efficiently and rapidly at your hands before it feeds back into the rest of your body, thus keeping the body cooler.
With armies around the world spending so much time in desert environments in full combat gear over the last 15 years, they found that trick to be pretty effective.
Can anyone confirm this method?
Feb 21, 2015, 1:20 PM - Re: Suiting Up is Exhausting
I doubt it. If you cover up in a heavy outift of several layers with thick material then you're going to get hot. Imagine being a riot Policeman or a soldier, as you say, wearing even heavier and hotter clothes and equipment and then having to fight whilst wearing it all. "Tough it out" is right to my mind.
Feb 21, 2015, 2:28 PM - Re: Suiting Up is Exhausting
There are a couple of simple options to help with the energy drain depending on where you are trooping.
For example, if you are trooping outside on a hot day you could use an ice vest...
From my days as a Hazmat guy working in a level A suit (which gets up to 130 degrees F inside) in Missouri these items are an absolute lifesaver. They are thin, don't leak, and only require you to freeze them overnight before going trooping. Best thing is they are relatively cheap and totally reusable.
Another solution has been presented by another member here on the forums...Evilboy
Basically its two fans you put in your helmet that promotes air circulation in your bucket and extremely reduces heat buildup in your helmet.
There of course are other options (get in shape, eat right, use the force) but we won't go there.
Feb 21, 2015, 2:52 PM - Re: Suiting Up is Exhausting
Has anyone explored the *i know, sacrilege*.... micro air holes in the top of your bucket to let the heat out?
Feb 21, 2015, 5:57 PM - Re: Suiting Up is Exhausting
Feb 21, 2015, 6:12 PM - Re: Suiting Up is Exhausting
There is no need to drill holes in the helmet. The evil boy fan system I showed above can do precisely that without the holes.
Feb 22, 2015, 11:49 AM - Re: Suiting Up is Exhausting
I know how you feel for the most part. It got worse when i gained weight. My personal solution, for a multitude of reasons, is get in shape lol. I go up and down in weight ranging from 200-230lbs depending on life and stress that effect my eating habits or physical movement. I should weigh in at or around 150-160 pounds at my height of 5'8" Soonce again im working the weight back down. I notice every time i do that, i feel tons better and it also helps with the getting out of breath suiting up.
Feb 22, 2015, 4:48 PM - Re: Suiting Up is Exhausting
Going to work to see if I can get a cooling system to fit in the jetpack for you guys in hot weather. A fellow pilot developed a cool suit for flying Cessnas in the summer in the California desert (most small planes don't have AC) and for our mutual friends Lucas off-road race truck. A shirt has a small set of capillarie tubes sewn on it and these tube connect with QD's to a battery powered (8AA batteries or veh 12v) reservoir filled with ice and water and this circulates and draws down the core temp. The systems reservoir system is 4" round by 10" tall (PVC type tube).
I was talking to the mfg at the race track the other day and we think we migh be able to fit the stock reservoir inside a jet pack and the tubes will go to the back of the shirt like some of the pics from the super trooper and should be hidden. I will have my MOW pack in the next week or so and I can give it to him to start playing with it to see if it is even possible to get the stock system to fit. That way if someone wants a system like that I can point them to the mfg website. Might be good for guys doing prolonged troops in the desert areas like California and Arizona. If some one wants to see the system I am talking about, PM me and I will send a link, I just don't want to be pluging random products here.
Last edited by Skyfire; Feb 22, 2015 at 6:43 PM.
Feb 22, 2015, 4:52 PM - Re: Suiting Up is Exhausting
You should check this out...