Product Review: Solar-1 EMS Jacket with Bloodborne Pathogen Protection
Duty-wear jackets have multiple roles to fill and jackets must do all these jobs while looking stylish and being neither too light nor too heavy and bulky. The Solar-1 EMS Jacket EM01 accomplishes all these tasks in a well-designed and comfortable garment made from quality materials.
The outer shell is made of Supplex nylon, which means you get all the waterproofing and durability of nylon without loud, annoying swishing noises when you move. Colors offered include navy, royal blue and red. Reflective striping is two inches wide around both sleeves, the bottom of the jacket and across the back.
The jacket has a two-layer outer shell, which means patches and insignia can be sewn onto the outside of the coat without compromising the free-hanging, breathable, inner moisture-proof barrier. A zip-in 3M Thinsulate quilted liner around the body and down the sleeves adds multi-season usefulness to the jacket. Thick, heavy elastic cuffs keep the sleeves in place and cold air from traveling up the wearer’s arms.
A button-on hood and a button-on fur collar are available options.
The jacket is comfortable to wear, offering no restrictions of movement in any direction. Even with the liner zipped in, the weight is not a burden. A double-storm flap closure offers three layers of zipper, Velcro and snaps to ensure a tight seal.
Those who like to have as much equipment as possible at their fingertips will appreciate the seven outside pockets, including cargo and radio pockets. Both the zip-in liner and the outside shell offer additional pocket space inside.
Solar-1 states this jacket offers bloodborne pathogen protection, but does not state on its website or in the materials that come with the jacket whether the garment is NFPA 1999-compliant. The original purchaser gets a lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship, subject to normal wear and tear. It currently retails for under $200 on the manufacturer’s website. Considering the quality, warranty and price, this jacket would be a good all-season choice for most agencies.
More information can be found at http://www.solar1clothing.com.
Ed Mund, BA, FF/EMT, began his fire and EMS career in 1989. He currently serves with Riverside Fire Authority, an ALS-level fire department in Centralia, WA. His writing and photos have been published in several industry publications. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.