Choosing the Right High Visibility Jacket

Choosing the Right High Visibility Jacket

As temperatures drop and the sky threatens to pounce, it is important to secure the most reliable personal protective equipment available. The first step in choosing the best high visibility jacket or coat is to identify the varied hazards and safety needs of workers. Once identified, selecting the right equipment is straightforward.

With so many options on the market, this guide will help you navigate through the safety features and elements to determine the right jacket for the right job.

ANSI Safety Standards

Low visibility is a serious hazard for all workers who perform tasks near moving vehicles or equipment. High visibility safety apparel (HVSA) is designed to improve visibility through fluorescent, retroreflective, and reflective material.  

Typical workplace HVSA standards require Class 2 or Class 3 protection:

  • Class 2 provides moderate or intermediate body coverage and enhanced visibility.
  • Class 3 provides the highest level of body coverage and visibility under poor light conditions and at greater distances.

Most high visibility jackets meet ANSI Class 3 standards. DOT striping, contrasting colors, and reflective patterns help enhance visibility, provide a unique look, and hide dirt or wear in common areas. Jackets with unique flare can fall within HSVA standards if they meet specific coverage requirements. If your workplace requires a specific standard, it is important to be certain the product you are considering qualifies.

Adapting to Changing Weather Conditions

Some high visibility jackets come as systems with layering versatility because changing weather conditions require versatile protective clothing that is adaptable to the elements and remains comfortable to workers. As conditions can sometimes rapidly shift throughout the day, it is critical to choose the proper safety apparel that can accommodate weather changes while maintaining the safety and comfort workers need. This will support a safe work environment, steady productivity, and company compliance policies.

In areas and seasons where temperatures fluctuate, workers may choose a bomber jacket with a zip-out liner. When wind and rain protection is key, but heat is a factor, you can zip out the fleece liner and just wear the shell by itself. When the snow starts to fly, and temperatures drop, you can zip that liner back in and stay warm all winter. This versatility allows your bomber to become a multi season garment.

Transformer bomber jackets traditionally come with some additional options. These layering options can include ANSI or non-ANSI removable liners that can also be worn as separate jackets, concealed or removable hoods, and even removable sleeves.

Some zip-out liners meet ANSI Class 3 standards so you can wear them on a cool fall morning when a vest just isn’t going to cut it, but a coat or jacket is too warm. With some transformer bombers, workers can also zip off the sleeves for a little venting. This adaptability provides wearers with multiple options for multiple hazards.

It should be noted that some options may change high visibility standards. For example, removing reflective, high visibility sleeves may change the garment from Class 3 to Class 2. To be certain these options meet your needs and company or organizational standards, check inside labels and packaging for manufacturer information.

In areas where the weather is constant and workers do not require so many accessories, fixed quilted permanent insulation will continue to keep you warm, dry, and protected in the simple, classical fashion we’ve all come to enjoy.  

Insulation

Insulation traps air between you and your body, acting as a thermal buffer that minimizes heat loss and keeps warmth inside the garment.

Fabrics like fleece, wool, cotton, and various fiber battings act as great thermal insulators. However, some of these materials are more comfortable and perform better than others. For example, cotton will keep you warm, but once it gets wet, you're miserably cold and most likely will be for a while since it takes time to dry. Wool will keep you warm, but the more the fiber is processed, the scratchier it gets.

Many industrial jackets, coats, parkas, and sweatshirts use fleece as primary insulators because it dries quickly, wicks well, is durable and tough, and feels like a warm hug.

Depending the weather and type of work, lighter insulated soft-shell jackets, or hooded sweatshirts may be adequate. For days when a coat is too much, but a vest or shirt is not enough, soft shell jackets and hoodies will keep you warm without compromising comfort or mobility. Traditional lightweight 8oz fleece material is common and comfortable, but sometimes a 15oz heavyweight fleece may be more appropriate.

Waterproof and water repellant garments offer protection against the elements in varying degrees. Polyurethane and coated polyester jackets with protected seams provide the greatest degree of water protection. Some heavyweight hoodies, sweatshirts, or other jackets are treated with Teflon® fabric protector to repel water and stains, while the material in most soft-shells jackets provide some light rain and wind protection while staying extremely soft and comfortable.

Durability

Protecting America’s workers against some of the toughest work conditions requires personal protective equipment intentionally designed to deliver durability, quality, and comfort. Garments that cannot hold up to intense standards of durability leave workers unprotected and unsatisfied. When PPE fails on the jobsite, workers typically shed the nuisance and get back to work. This is especially dangerous because it leaves you vulnerable to additional hazards.

Simple features like heavy duty zippers, straps, buttons, pull strings, seams, and grommets make tremendous differences in durability and dependability.

Polyurethane coated fabrics are dependable, strong, abrasion resistant and less likely to fade, yet light, breathable, soft, and comfortable. This combination provides excellent material for tough high visibility workwear without compromising comfort. It also compliments insulators to prevent heat loss by blocking wind and rain.

Other fabric attributes that contribute to durability and quality can include ripstop, oxford, self-healing, protectant treatments like Teflon®, and other innovations.

The Right Choice

Choosing the right equipment is essential to getting the job done right! As you determine the best personal protective equipment available, it is important to consider the quality and durability built into each item, and the companies that manufacture them.

Majestic is committed to your safety. We provide reliable and quality personal protective equipment for the roughest work conditions. By combining the quality of traditional craftsmanship with the latest technological and material advancements, Majestic delivers safety equipment and apparel that exceeds performance expectations so you can get the job done.

Majestic Glove
2510 West Casino Road
Everett, WA 98204 USA

Hours of Operation:
8:00 am to 5:00 pm PDT
Phone:
Fax:
E-mail:
425-407-1200
425-407-1030
orders@majesticglove.com