What is ECWCS Generation III
What is the ECWCS Generation III:
The third generation of the Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS-III) is a radical re-design of the cold weather clothing system for the U.S. Army. It is based on layering systems believed to be the most effective by mountaineering professionals and incorporates 7 layers of clothing. Each piece fits and functions either alone or together as a layering system to provide the most effective options in the lightest weight possible to soldiers. It is 33% more compressible, 25% lighter and is rated as significantly more comfortable. It is more versatile and includes functional features that allow the Soldier to adapt to varying mission requirements and environmental conditions ranging between -40 to +60 degrees Fahrenheit. The U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division field-tested 18,000 of the ECWCS-III systems in Afghanistan in the fall of 2006 with great reviews, hence it is the most current ECWCS system in the US Army to date.
ECWCS stands for 'Extended Cold Weather Clothing System' and was developed by the U.S. Military to provide its soldiers with a clothing system to get them through any weather situation they might encounter in the field. From sand storms to blizzards and rain this gear will take it all. The system is a layering system designed to keep its wearer comfortable through a wide range of temperatures and conditions. Layering allows for adding or removing of layers to adjust to the body's temperature needs avoiding hypothermia, which allows for peak performance in the field. There are currently 7 layers in this system.
- Level 1: Base layer silk weight shirt and long underwear worn next to skin or by itself or in conjunction with other levels for added insulation and to aid in the transfer of moisture
- Level 2: Base layer Mid-Weight shirt and long underwear worn next to skin by itself or in conjunction with other levels for added insulation and to aid in the transfer of moisture.
- Level 3: High-loft Polartec® Fleece jacket Primary insulation layer, worn underneath shell layers or as an out garment in cool condition
- Level 4: Jacket shell, designed for wear under body armor worn in transitional environments to provide wind and sand protection
- Level 5: Jacket and trouser shell level to be worn with base and insulate levels for use in moderate to cold conditions
- Level 6: Jacket and trouser waterproof barrier designed to be worn over other levels in moderate to cold wet conditions alternating between freezing and thawing
- Level 7: Soft Shell Insulation layer for use during static operations in extreme cold and dry conditions