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 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 IcePlate community in the comments below so we can share the warmth!
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:
Color: Desert Tan or Ranger Green
Straps: Tan or Green
(allows you to strap IcePlate to your JPC shoulder straps, click here for setup video)
(these are available during the checkout process from the IcePlate product page)
Winter and Summer | Outside Plate Carrier
To wear IcePlate on the outside of your plate carrier, we recommend adding our IcePlate MOLLE Sleeve 6 (IMS6) 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 bladders. To do this, order your IcePlate in the configuration above from #1, then add this IcePlate MOLLE Sleeve 6 to your order. IcePlate MOLLE Sleeve 6 comes in Ranger Green, Multicam, Coyote Tan and Black. Here is a picture from U.S. Army IcePlate customer @soy_los_rentas:
Winter-specific | Chest Rig, H-Harness or similar
IcePlate can easily be worn under cold weather clothing for unmatched effectiveness and warming power. This setup is inspired (they rigged up their own harness because we didn't have one at the time of the exercise) by direct feedback from some of our US Military customers who ran IcePlate in the Arctic Circle with great success because it not only keeps you warm while the water is hot, but it leverages body heat to prevent the water from freezing. 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.). To build this setup, purchase one or two IcePlates then add one of these two options:
1. Comfort Harness: allows you to run a single IcePlate (less heating power) filled with hot water on your back
2. IcePlate Safety Vest in Industrial Black: allow you to run two IcePlates (more heating power) filled with hot water, front and back. Works best with either cold weather gear and/or chest rigs. This setup is not ideal if you need to run armor.
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. This thermal conductivity advantage extends to the water you drink from IcePlate because of the 8 Health Benefits of drinking warm water also.
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!