The folks at Massif have created a base layer collection that not only protects from heat and flame exposure, but keeps the wearer warm and comfortable. I have worn other products made using Dupont’s Nomex before, but none have been as comfortable as the Massif Base Layer Collection.
All items in this collection are made from approximately 90 percent Nomex. This line of base layers is seen as innovative enough to receive DuPont’s Nomex innovation award and meet the US Military FR(Flame Resistant) standards:
- ASTM D 6413 vertical flame test, which is required to label something Flame Resistant.
- ASTM F 1930 Instrumented manikin test, which estimates the protective quality of garments in a flash fire scenario using burn injury percentages of vertical flame resistance.
This means that all of these garments have gone through stringent testing and research to create a product that is not only protective to the user, but functional as well. What is the use in making protective clothing if the user is going to be miserable while wearing the product?
The time when soldiers started deploying in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom also coincided with a huge market boom of synthetic wicking undergarments. These base layers were much better than the standard military issue t-shirts at wicking moisture and keeping soldiers dry. The downside is, most of these base layers were also made from fabrics that have a very low melting temperature—in the 250-300°F range. With the increase of IEDs and fire exposure to soldiers, these undergarments did little in the prevention of burn injuries.
The Massif Base Layer Collection steps in and provide clothing that wicks sweat while adding extra direct heat and flame impingement protection. Whether you are a soldier, firefighter, or work in an industry with flame or electrical exposure, this may be an investment in your livelihood.
Massif Cool Knit T-Shirt
The Massif Cool Knit T-Shirt has an athletic cut, but is not restrictive with its four-way stretch design. The shirt is soft on the inside, but feels very durable and does a great job keeping you cool. I had the opportunity to wear this shirt under my turnouts while drilling with the fire department, and I stayed much more dry and comfortable than I would had I been wearing a standard cotton t-shirt. The t-shirt wicked my sweat just as well as any comparable Merino or Coolmax material. The Cool Knit also available in a long-sleeve crew.
The Cool Knit Bottoms are made from the same form-fitting protective stretch material as the T-shirt and crew. When worn under a uniform, these bottoms will add warmth in cool conditions, but will allow for breathability and wicking of moisture when activity levels increase or the temperature rises.
Massif HotJohns Crew and Bottoms
The Massif HotJohns Crew and Bottoms make up a mid-weight base layer that, like the rest of the collection, is athletically cut and stretchy. Along with Nomex, the HotJohns are blended with a hydrophobic yarn that will allow the user to stay warm in wet and cold conditions. Ideally, this base layer would be used in winter conditions in combination with the Cool Knit collection. Used in tandem, you can stay warm, dry, and protected.
Massif Flamestretch Pullover and Pants
The Massif Flamestretch Pullover and Pants are a heavyweight base layer that is extremely soft on the inside. Just because it’s so comfortable, I have caught myself wearing this during projects around the house. These products would be well suited when the temperature has plunged below freezing and you need extra warmth and protection. One great feature about the pants is the easy-access fly. When nature calls and the weather is cold, the last thing you want to do is take off your gloves to get access to the goods.
The entire Massif Base Layer Collection is highly versatile and can be worn in combination or as standalone base layer. The price of these garments are higher than your average base layer, but offer much more heat and flame protection. When deciding if these are worth the price, ask, “How much is your life worth?” If you are never in the environment or conditions that would require such products, pass. If your occupation puts you in a position that you might need that extra protection, this line could be your saving grace.
Look for an upcoming full review of the Massif Base Layer Collection.
(All images courtesy of Massif)