Gear-up for the cold! With the AcE Winter Combat Shirt
After the winter season is before the winter season isn’t it so?! So, we continue with another product from the family of the UF PRO cold weather clothing gear series as you maybe still in the need of it or, you’re already looking for something new to add to your toolbox. The AcE Winter Combat Shirt from the smithy at UF PRO.
We tested the shirt some time ago already combined with our test from the Windstopper Liner which you can read about here. The conditions during the test couldn’t be better for us as we had icy wind, snow and temperatures down to -10°. That’s where the AcE Winter Combat Shirt feels itself home to develop its full capacity.
The AcE Shirt is built for hardcore physical activities in very cold conditions, but at the same time, offering you the features of a combat shirt during the cold weather season instead of having a bulky winter jacket on you which ends you up not having the full access to your carrier or belt setup.
The AcE Shirt’s design features a complex hybrid structure that keeps you within optimal temperature ranges while also protecting you against the elements, and its designed to work well together with your other gear/layers such as hard-shells or thermal jackets if needed.
What makes the AcE Winter Combat Shirt a top performer for the cold? Let’s break down the material features and find out. Starting at the outside, the breathable outer fabric layer is windproof and water-repellant so it keeps you from overheating while at the same time, it protects you against snow, drizzle and wind. The G-LOFT material used especially in the arms section is lightweight and breathable and it even performs 100% when wet! A very important feature in my opinion.
Your arms are the most exposed part of your body, so they need this kind of attention.
Future more, UF PRO extended the sleeves towards your hands with the so called “wrist-warmers” to provide you with a built-in layer close to the fingers already. There’s even more an opening sewn out to provide access to your wrist garments such as tactical watches or other small navigation devices.
Simple effective and well thought-out, a feature yielded from outdoor sport clothing garments you know from the civil market already. You find this feature on all other UF PRO winter gear products as well.
The wrist-warmers in combination with winter gloves are the perfect warmth for your hands. As you can see, UF PRO designed it to work flawless with longer gloves. Means, the sleeve is a bit shorter as usually so it doesn’t get in trouble with the glove.
Another feature to keep your arms/elbows dry and well protected while you’re static in a position for a longer time, the rear lower arm section (wrist up to the elbow) has been woven with reinforced CORDURA fabric to make this area extra robust. Elbows are often subjected to the worst abuse in the field so this is very welcomed I would say. Do you agree?
The main task from the AcE Shirts special hybrid design structure is to keep your body at just the right temperature, not freezing and not overheating. Therefore, UF PRO integrated a zipper system right under the armpit which goes all the way down to the center part of your torso (on both flakes).
Depending on your activity and the heat produced, you can easily regulate the heat-flow keeping you at the level of comfort like you wanna have it to stay focused.
In addition, you can also use the front zipper to support the heat-flow much faster if needed. The zippers design is angled to support you comfortably while using other layers above the shirt.
This angle prevents the jacket’s zipper from overlaying the shirt’s zipper, avoiding any pressure-points on your throat or chest if you run for example; a carrier above both of them.
The zippers from the small front pocket which technically are meant to be just pocket zippers also support the air-flow from the shirt if needed. So, think about those too if you really want to transport the heat out quick.
Additional thermal insulation is provided by already built-in air/pac inserts at specific areas on the shirt which are the shoulders and the center on the upper back area. But these pads not only support the thermal insulation, they have three tasks to fulfil:
They trap air and provide insulation when all zippers are closed – second, they work as spacers and support air circulation between the other layers once the vents are opened – and last but not least, these 8mm-thick air/pac mesh inserts help to distribute the weight of body armour or a backpack by creating a cushion.
This makes activities under load much more comfortable. A feature you know from other UF PRO garments already which has proven itself to work.
On the inside, the AcE Winter Combat Shirt is outfitted with an excellent body vapour management via inner sleeve 37.5 Merino/polyester material plus comfortable microfleece in the front and back areas. To support or let’s say to protect your lower flank area from the cold as good as possible as well, UF PRO doubled the 37.5 cocona fleece to protect these critical areas.
If you’re asking yourself why there’s no G-LOFT material sewn in on the torso area to provide the same level of insulation as on the arms, that’s because it’s a “combat shirt” and you usually run body armour with it. This armour, let’s call it an “extra layer” provides you insulation as well and supports heating up your torso area.
As mentioned, I was able to use the AcE Shirt for about two weeks at temperatures down to -10°C, icy wind and snowy weather a bit earlier this year. The only layer I worn underneath was the Urban t-shirt also from UF PRO. Those of you knowing it know that this isn’t really a shirt providing much thermal insulation as its designed for warmer days to keep you cool and dry. I was not so sure if it will be enough for my activities at -10°C but I needed to find out how good the layer concept from the AcE Shirt works.
Short and sweet – I was really surprised and satisfied! The AcE Winter Combat Shirt kept me warm at all times. Doesn’t matter which conditions from the once named. The needed heat transportation away from my body using the zipper system worked just fine for me too. I felt comfortable and not overheated but at the same time while being back to a static position right after sweating a lot from being on a hasty move, the layers turned on their insulation features again to keep me warm and well packed.
The material combination along the zipper system makes the composition of the AcE Winter Combat Shirt a true performer for the cold. I’m clearly in love with it!
The size I ordered is LARGE as on my other UF PRO upper body clothing garments. I always remind our readers in my UF PRO reviews; please check the sizing guide first before you order! Don’t just take your regular “civil” sizing into tactical clothing! Especially UF PRO designs their upper body garments regarding the more body fit / sport fit kinda shape.
When it comes to the AcE Winter Combat Shirt, this sizing is in line with this concept too. If you’re close to a bigger size, you may should go with that one instead of buying too tight especially for cold weather gear which require more than just one additional layer underneath sometimes!
If you need a clothing system that is well throughout to support your outdoor/duty activities during the winter season, the AcE Winter Combat Shirt is one piece of gear that should be on your list in my opinion. The material composition/mix and the way its sewn in to provide you the right level of protection / warmth at the right area on your upper body clearly shows that this product is designed from and by people that have been out there doing the job, and know what’s needed to stay focused on the mission to get it done right.
Having the full thermal insulation and protection against the cold you know from bulky winter jackets in the combat shirt concept is just great! The AcE Shirt has found its way into my toolbox for winter garments and will replace some other jackets that have become unnecessary from now on.
You can grab yours from our partner Triple Action here in central Europe or straight from the UF PRO website for international orders.