US Army Modern Clothing - ECWCS Gen III

In this article, we will get acquainted with the US all-weather clothing complex of the US Army Extended Cold Weather Clothing System Generation III (ECWCS Gen III). It was initially developed, as you might guess, to protect US Army personnel from negative climate factors in the most unfavorable corners of the globe at temperatures up to -40. This development arose not just like that, but became a response to the complaints of United States soldiers who began military operations in Afghanistan in 2001. All kinds of weather conditions fell upon the American warriors at the same time - a piercing wind with wet snow in mountainous regions, unbearable heat with sandstorms in desert areas, heavy rains and high humidity in open areas.

ECWCS Gen III is, in fact, a universal set of highly specialized components created from the best materials at the moment. Thus, dressing the kit in different combinations, you can survive any weather conditions with maximum comfort. Moreover, the high compactness of each of the components allows you to have the whole kit with you, and use only parts of it.

A miracle kit, you cannot say otherwise, ECWCS Gen III consists of 12 elements - two underpants, three sweaters, three trousers and four jackets. Each element is designed for its own layer, which, as a rule, consists of trousers or underpants and a jacket or sweater, although not always.

According to the purpose, the layers are divided into: dehumidifying - layers one (L1) and two (L2), warming - layers two (L2), three (L3), seven (L7), base - fifth (L5) and protective layers - layers from the third on the seventh (L3-L7).

The principle of operation of this kit is a multi-stage removal of moisture from the body while maintaining the generated heat, as well as protecting the internal volume from wind and moisture. All this is ensured by the vapor permeability of the layers, primarily the body and base, as well as a high degree of protection of the outer layers. The ECWCS Gen III complex, due to its versatility, will be of interest not only to the military, but also to a wide audience of outdoor enthusiasts in various weather conditions.

Layer 1 (L1)

Thin underclothing turtleneck and underpants. Provide moisture removal from the body. The sleeves have a slot for the thumb. It is an integral part of any of the kits. It is necessary that the linen is sitting tight, but also does not hinder the movement. Recommended for continuous use at any time of the year.


Layer 2 (L2)

Alternative / Addition to the first layer. Unlike the first layer, it is not only a moisture-removing, but also a heating kit. The inner side has an extruded mesh pattern that allows you to effectively absorb moisture without sticking to the body and forming an additional air gap. During frosts, it can be worn over the first layer.

Layer 3 (L3)

Volumetric combined fleece jacket. It belongs to the base warming layer, due to its volume it warms well, especially in combination with the first - the second layer or dressed on top of the form. For greater wear resistance, the exposed parts are reinforced with fabric. On the sides there are waffle inserts similar to layer 2 for better ventilation. The surface structure of the sweatshirt is very soft and pleasant to the touch. Recommended for use at temperatures below -10 degrees.

Polartec® Thermal Pro® fleece sweater, consisting of 100% special polyester weaving yarns, is 30 times stronger than traditional woolen fabrics. The material guarantees excellent breathability and dries instantly. Unlike most fleece fabrics, Polartec® Thermal Pro® retains its appearance and performance even after numerous washes.

Layer 4 (L4)


Lightweight, durable, thin windbreaker. Recommended for use in areas with strong cold winds. It differs from the jacket of the fifth layer by the absence of a hood and a few other minor details. The material is the same as 5 layer. As a rule, camouflage coloring, but there are also monophonic, for example the color of coyote, olive, etc.


Layer 5 (L5)

It is a wind / waterproof base layer - SOFT SHELL. Trousers and a jacket, forms the basis of the whole complex, it is under him that the lower layers are worn, and it is on him that the upper ones are worn. Jackets and trousers of the 5th layer created from the unique moisture-repellent material EPIC are unusually light, compact and do not constrain freedom of movement. In combination with base and insulation layers, it is an excellent outer layer for cold weather.

EPIC is a unique fabric created using encapsulation technology developed by Nextec Applications, Inc. Encapsulation technology is based on the process of surrounding natural fibers with a protective layer of polymers. As a result of this treatment, the wear resistance of the fabric increases, water-repellent properties are imparted, and moisture absorption by the fibers is excluded.

The encapsulated material cannot be washed off or wiped off as a water-repellent impregnation and has higher vapor transmission properties than membrane tissues. Encapsulation allows you to maintain low tissue weight and increase windproof qualities. EPIC products are versatile and provide optimum comfort. Additional reinforcement with GORE-TEX® membrane fabric layers is only required during heavy rain.

Tissue encapsulation technology is protected by 52 patents and is currently used only by Nextec Applications, Inc.

 Typically camouflaged to match Layer 4.

 Layer 6 (L6)

GORE-TEX® PACLITE® membrane jackets and trousers for frosty and / or wet weather. GORE-TEX membrane technology allows moisture to be removed from the lower layers, but prevents it from entering from the outside. Unlike previous generations (GEN1 and GEN2), the fabric is thinner, more flexible, stronger and less rustling. Dressed in Layer 5, 7 or other clothing to protect from moisture and piercing wind in the winter.

Layer 7 (L7)

Jacket with a hood and trousers for unbearable frost. Water resistant outer layer. PrimaLoft® filler provides high-level thermal insulation, freezed seats are sealed with fabric linings, many external and internal pockets. Filler "PrimaLoft Sport" is more like synthetic fluff. It has no analogues yet. It does not get wet, it shrinks to a minimum volume, it instantly and independently fluffs after compression, it keeps heat perfectly. In combination with layers L1, L2, L3, L5, even at -40 degrees it will be allowed to stay in frost for a long time, in a sedentary state.


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