We get lots of questions from military customers about the best IcePlate setup for winter use. These questions come from across the allied spectrum, but especially from our friends in Alaska, Canada and Northern Europe. We thought it would be helpful to assemble all of the best practices for how to use IcePlate in winter that we've developed and accumulated. This article will cover winter setups for military personnel in a few different configurations for just about any application or mission. In addition to this article, we have two additional resources about IcePlate setups titled “How do I wear IcePlate?” that summarizes our various carry methods in general and our Plate Carrier Compatibility Chart.
Here are the three main IcePlate wear configurations for winter/cold weather use. If you've used IcePlate in a cold weather military application and your setup is different from the ones we cover in this article, please share your setup with our #StayFrosty community in the comments below so we can share the warmth!
1. Winter and Summer | Under Plate Carrier
If you would like to fill your IcePlate with hot water in the winter and freeze it in the summer to take advantage of the warming/cooling power of IcePlate, we recommend purchasing this setup:
Product: IcePlate Curve
Color: Coyote Brown
Options: Armor Straps (to strap IcePlate to carrier shoulder straps in case your carrier doesn't have internal MOLLE like our IcePlate EXO)
How to setup: IcePlate Curve instruction video
Rather than have us tell you about how well this setup works, we'll just turn it over to one of our favorite public figures and Air Force recruiting tour de force, GarandThumb, aka Mike Jones who shares his story about using IcePlate to stay warm in the Arctic Circle (video is queued to start at the Arctic Circle IcePlate discussion):
2. Winter and Summer | Outside Plate Carrier
Product: IcePlate MOLLE Sleeve Combo
How to setup: IcePlate MOLLE Sleeve instructions
To wear IcePlate on the outside of your plate carrier, we recommend adding our IcePlate MOLLE Sleeve to your IcePlate order. This will allow you to mount heavy gear like mortar base plates, commo, AT4s, etc. to the back of your plate carrier without burst risk like legacy bladders. IcePlate MOLLE Sleeve comes in MultiCam, Coyote Brown, Black, Wolf Grey and Ranger Green (coming November 2020, click here to sign up for our email list and get the launch notification). Here is a deployment picture from Active Duty 11B customer @soy_los_rentas demonstrating the ability of IcePlate MOLLE Sleeve to carry and support heavy external loads.
3. Winter-specific | Under layering system, no body armor
Options: Cooling/Heating only or Drinkable
How to setup: IceVest setup instructions
Even without body armor, IcePlate can easily be worn under cold weather clothing for unmatched effectiveness and warming power. This setup is inspired by direct feedback from some of our US Military customers who ran IcePlate in the Arctic Circle under all of their gear/jackets, on top of their base layers. The setup was a huge hit because it not only keeps you warm while the water is hot, but it leverages body heat to prevent the water from freezing.
I use the word "inspired" because at the time, we didn't have dedicated non-armor IcePlate Carriers like we do now in IceVest HiVis and IceVest Black. So, they rigged up their own harness for their exercise. They told us the freeze-prevention characteristics of this IcePlate configuration was their favorite part of wearing IcePlate in arctic conditions.
The setup is worn over your base or mid layers, but under your outer layers. When filling IcePlate with hot water, be sure to run a couple of experiments to make sure you get the fill temperature that is appropriate for you and your setup (your personal temperature sensitivity, where you wear IcePlate in your cold weather clothing stack, operational weather conditions, etc.).
Conclusion, Additional Capabilities and Resources
The ability to fill IcePlate with hot water is just one of many examples of how we have harnessed the power of physics to enhance operational warfighter performance, safety and comfort downrange. For example, did you know that IcePlate reduces the amount of energy you expend compared to bladders when carrying the same volume of water just because of how it is worn?
Thermal Conductivity and the IcePlate is another area where we are able to harness the power of science (physics, biology) to boost operational efficiency, performance, safety and comfort for the modern American and Allied warfighter.
If you're wondering how IcePlate works with other elements in your kit, check out our Equipment Compatibility Guides below:
Last but not least, if you have a different cold weather IcePlate setup, let us know what it is in the comments below! Not only do we love hearing from every member of the IcePlate Community, but we also want to make sure that we build an awesome knowledge-sharing atmosphere here on IceAge Insights to help everyone be the best version of themselves. #StayToasty!