As a tactical professional, there are certain tools of the job that are a requirement. When it comes to your uniform, adding a jacket may seem like a simple enough task, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are a few tips for buying a tactical jacket to help you find the right option for your needs.

1. Know the rules

The first step in buying a tactical jacket is to know the rules and regulations regarding uniform standards for your department or branch. There are always rules regarding uniforms and when you are adding a tactical jacket, it needs to be in line with those rules. For most law enforcement officers, choosing a black jacket will usually meet the guidelines, but you should still check prior to this purchase to ensure you aren’t violating any dress code rules by mistake.

2. Choose the right size

When choosing a jacket, many people choose the wrong size. If you think choosing a size bigger or a jacket that is too long for your height is the way to go, there are a few reasons to pay attention to sizing. The first is that as a tactical professional, you need to look professional and represent your department or unit with pride. Wearing a baggy jacket makes you look less professional while wearing a too long jacket makes you look like a kid playing dress up which is definitely not the vibe you need to be an authority figure. Another reason you want a jacket that will fit snug to the body is because it will help to trap heat close to the body to keep you warm. Make sure you check the measurements and sizing guides before buying a tactical jacket.

3. Look for certain characteristics

When buying a tactical jacket, you should pay attention to certain important factors to determine if the jacket is the right choice. The matter of durability is important because you want a long-lasting jacket that can keep up with your line of work. The care instructions are also important because you don’t want a jacket you have to send off to the dry cleaners all the time. Another thing to consider is the weight of the jacket since you need to be able to move without being weighed down. When it comes to weatherproofing, you need to choose a jacket that offers protection for the wind and some level of waterproofing abilities to keep you dry. A great material capable of meeting of all these needs is Gore-Tex. This specially layered fabric is waterproof, lightweight, and highly breathable to keep you comfortable and protected.

4. Keep the season in mind

It is also important to look at the level of insulation or heat-trapping the jacket gives. Depending on where you patrol or work, the difference in insulation needs can vary from fall to winter and winter to spring. A good choice is to have a heavier winter tactical jacket and a lighter jacket better suited for warmer fall and spring temps.