Turnout Gear for Firefighters: The Ultimate Athletes

What is the best turnout gear to buy for my department? It’s the same question asked a thousand times a day across the country. There are confusing terms such as TPP, THL, NFPA 1971 – among all of the other considerations that have to be made. Trying to choose the best turnout gear for your department may seem difficult, but I would submit that it is easier than you think.

Finding the Right Turnout Gear Manufacturer

Once you evaluate how your department operates, you will have a fundamental understanding of the levels of thermal protection, durability, and accessories required in your turnout gear.

However, choosing your turnout gear manufacturer goes beyond these concerns. Why? Because every provider in North America buys their materials from the same places: same outer shell fabrics, thermal liners, moisture barriers, zippers, etc. We all offer particulate blocking systems and DRD’s. We all offer the same everything. When it comes to materials, all gear manufacturers are on equal footing with thermal protection, fabric durability, and other factors.

The most important consideration and where we must focus our attention is the actual firefighter.

Turnout Gear Designed for Athletic Performance and Protection

Firefighters are athletes. The turnout gear they wear is hot. The fire ground is hot. The job they perform while wearing this gear is more difficult than any athletic event known to man. What turnout gear design allows your firefighters to be best protected, causes less stress and fatigue, and allows them to move more freely? They don’t need their turnout’s design to negatively add to an already miserable situation. It is this consideration that lead to the design of Lakeland’s Stealth turnout gear.

Yes, Lakeland Stealth turnout gear has some exclusive features that make it unique, including:

  • Patented LazerMax™ reflective piping system that protects firefighters in any visibility.
  • Exclusive EasyGrip DRD system that doesn’t require glove removal to access the device.
  • Suspenders with more adjustability than other manufacturers.
  • Unique design to reduce overall weight of the garment to reduce fatigue.

However, it’s the athletic features of Stealth that really set it apart:

  • Contour cut sleeves are ergonomically curved to bend like the human anatomy.
  • Shoulder pleats give maximum mobility.
  • Set-in sleeve allows greater movement and reduces bulkiness found in other garments.
  • Radial pleated knee for exceptional mobility.
  • Sidekick knee pad for better coverage.
  • Internal draw-cord in the back reduces material in front of coat to better fit SCBAs.
  • Long beveled back provides additional overlap for protection.


Lakeland Stealth Turnout Gear in Action

It is these athletic designs that make Lakeland’s Stealth line the preferred turnout gear for competitors in the Firefighter’s Combat Challenge events across the country and the world. This demanding five-event physical challenge includes firefighters throughout the world that participate and try to complete with the fastest time.

Competition events include a stair climb with a high-rise pack, hose hoist, forcible entry, hose advance, and a victim rescue. These competitors realize the advantages of Lakeland’s Stealth turnout gear and its ability to help them perform at an elite level. These same advantages relate to the fire ground and help your fire fighters perform at an elite level as well.



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