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Polartec Brings High-Performance Military Apparel to the Masses

Polartec is combining the consumer push for authenticity and Made in America manufacturing with the introduction of the Polartec Military Issue Collection.

The Andover, Mass.-based provider of innovative and sustainable textiles is bringing classic military-issue fabric technologies and finished garments directly to U.S. consumers with the collection that’s based on the Gen III Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (E.C.W.C.S.)–the standard issue cold weather apparel system in the U.S. Army. The system provides soldiers with a multilayered, performance driven clothing system that’s designed to be versatile and adaptable to various operational and environmental conditions.

Polartec noted that there have been Gen III E.C.W.C.S. labeled military apparel available to be bought online and from select military retail stores for some time. While some of these items are authentic surplus garments, it remains an unregulated gray area, the company said.

Now styles are available directly from the source, with authentic Polartec fabrics and designs made in America and shipped directly from the same cut and sew manufacturers that have been creating these garments since 2007. The collection is available at

Polartec Gen III E.C.W.C.S. products and the Polartec Military Issue Collection features core shirt and pants made of a soft and comfortable Polartec Silkweight fabric for versatile next-to-skin performance with fast wicking action and dry times, high durability and compressibility. There’s also the legendary “waffle” shirt made of Polartec Power Grid bi-component knit fabric that maximizes warmth, breathability, wicking action, compressibility and versatility, while minimizing dry times and weight.

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Additional items include the so-called “smoking jacket,” made primarily of Polartec High Loft, and the ultra-soft and compressible fleece for warmth without weight, with Polartec Power Grid panels, and the micro-fleece cap, made of warm, highly compressible and lightweight Polartec Micro series fleece in a durable three-panel construction.

“We have long noticed veterans, active military or even just the tactically inclined reaching out to us directly in search of these authentic military-grade products,” Polartec president Steve Layton said. “No one should have to roll the dice on a blurry eBay photo or questionable shopping link to get a new pair of their favorite long underwear, ‘waffle’ grid mid-weight top, or favorite ‘smoking jacket’ design.”

Polartec products range from lightweight wicking and cooling fabrics to insulation and weather protection textiles that are utilized by leading consumer brands, the U.S. military and other global militaries, and flame resistance, workwear and contract upholstery markets.