Fire Resistant (FR) Clothing Page 1 Page 2
As a sizing reference: I'm 5'7", 155 lbs (yeah, I'm a little guy), medium build (BDU top medium/regular, BDU pant medium/short), waist 32", chest 43". Keep this in mind when you read my comments with respect to sizing, so you have an idea of how the garments featured below will fit on you. ALL garments in these pages are size Medium, unless stated otherwise.
782 Gear Flash-Lite FR BAC 1/4 Zip
6/7/11 - The Flash-Lite FR BAC 1/4 Zip from 782 Gear is a hot weather, light weight Body Armour Compatible combat shirt. It's made with flame-resistant, no melt/drip materials, and is designed with 782's CFM (Comfort Map Fit) for comfort under gear.
782 Gear is based in Fall River, MA with remote offices in WA and NOVA, and was started from the inspiration of those who put their lives on the line each day in the defense of this nation's freedom. Their products are developed for such professionals, who demand comfort and performance from their clothing and equipment. The name '782 gear' is what Marines called their individual field equipment as they had to sign for it on the standard Marine Corps Form 782, which is no longer in use. Old traditions die hard, which brings up 782 Gear's slogan: 'Tradition Meets Innovation'. 782 Gear uses the latest in materials to produce their gear, which is not surprising since 782 Gear is a division of Duro Textiles, LLC, which is one of the country's largest dyers, printers, finishers and distributors ot textile products. Duro produces all of Crye's MultiCam fabrics. Duro, in turn, is owned by Patriarch Partners LLC (Lynn Tilton's company), who is credited with turning MD Helicopters around.
Description - The Flash-Lite BAC is a light-weight combat shirt that's one of 782 Gear's Flash-Lite Baselayer Series. The Flash-Lite garments are performance-oriented FR (Flame Resistant) baselayers, and utilize Polartec® Power Dry® FR fabrics with anti-microbial protection, and cover-stitched hems and sleeves. The BAC 1/4 Zip is a long-sleeved jersey, instead of the more 'traditional' combat shirt with BDU-type sleeves and pockets.
Materials - The Flash-Lite FR BAC is made up of two fabrics, depending on the colour. For the MultiCam/Coyote one shown here, the Multicam fabric is Cyberknit 9.5 oz. jersey, which is a 71/24/5 modacrylic/FR rayon/spandex blend; and the Coyote fabric is 5.5 oz Polartec® Power Dry® FR jersey mesh. The black/black and black/coyote models have 6.5oz jersey instead of the 9.5oz MultiCam.
782 Gear uses Polartec® Power Dry® FR in the Flash-Lite Series. Polartec® Power Dry® FR is Inherently flame resistant; no melt/no drip. It has permanent moisture-wicking construction; not chemically treated. It's odor resistant, anti-microbial, highly breathable, quick-drying and moves moisture to outer layers. It has excellent stretch and recovery.
Here are the main features of the Flash-Lite FR BAC 1/4 Zip (Coyote/MultiCam, Medium shown):
Observations and notes - The FR BAC reminds me of a long-sleeved baseball shirt with raglan sleeves, except that the shoulder and sleeve material is heavier, and the torso is lighter. The Cyberknit 9.5oz jersey is practically indistinguishable (to me) from a good, medium weight 100% cotton fabric in look and feel. It's very comfortable and soft, and completely silent; with no nylon swish sound when moving. The FR BAC doesn't have any sleeve pockets or velcro, as it was designed as an ultra-light combat shirt. The MultiCam jersey fabric provides a bit more protection from scrapes than thinner t-shirt material, while the light weight 5.5 oz Polartec® Power Dry® FR jersey mesh panels under the arms keep it cooler where it's needed. I like the darker coyote colour of the Power Dry vs. the lighter coloured material of some other tops. Whe I first examined the FR BAC, the Power Dry mesh reminded me somewhat of the fabric used in the PCU L1 baselayers made by Insport. I shouldn't have been surprised, because the PCU L1 fabric was also Polartec Power Dry; only not the FR version. The FR BAC was designed for hot weather, when the user wants something more light weight and cooler than a BDU top or BDU-sleeved combat shirt, but still have more protection from sun, flame, bumps and scrapes than a t-shirt or thin baselayer.
Summer isn't here yet, so I've only had a chance to wear it in pleasant spring weather on the cool side (60's). I was actually a bit chilly in it. I wore it under the Crye JPC and Blast Belt for a range session/class. I couldn't find anything to complain about, as it's a very comfortable top under armour. I didn't notice any hot spots or chafing. The sleeves can be pulled up to the mid-fore arm and they'll stay there quite well. It definitely provides more protection for the arms than a t-shirt or regular long-sleeved light weight base layers. The elbows are unpadded, so they don't do too much for the elbows in terms of protection when shooting in the prone position on concrete or other hard surfaces, except save the skin from some abrasion. They're fine on packed dirt or sand, though. The Flash Lite BAC 1/4 Zip is worth looking into if you want a very comfortable, light weight, no melt/no drip combat top for use under armour.
Update - I had a chance to use the BAC at the range in the heat, and it works well. The Power Dry FR performs just like the non-FR version - it absorbs sweat and dries quickly.
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