Heat Stress of Current in-Service and Proposed Prototype Rainsuits for the Canadian Forces


  1. Pope, J.I.
  2. Sleno, N.J.
  3. McLellan, T.M.
  4. Narlis, C.
  5. Bossi, L.L.
  6. Adam, J.J.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
This study examined the heat stress associated with wearing the current (C) in-service rainsuit and two new prototype suits. The first prototype (B, which represented the manufacturer’s initial) was an antistatic breathable nylon laminated with carbon fibre and carried the Canadian disruptive pattern (CADPAT). The second prototype (S, again the manufacturer’s initial) was made of lightweight rubber with CADPAT on neoprene. Seven males performed a familiarization trial and three randomly ordered experimental trials that involved wearing C, B or S over combat clothing and walking at 5.9 km/h on a treadmill with a 2% grade for 3 hours in an environment controlled at 20ºC with 90% relative humidity. All subjects completed the 3 hours of exercise while wearing the rainsuits. Physiological strain was the greatest with suit S. Over the 3 hours of exercise, heart rates were significantly higher for S (127.5 ± 29.6 b·min-1) compared with B (119.4 ±34.4 b·min-1) or C (119.8 ± 25.9 b·min-1). In addition, core temperature was significantly greater over the last 90 min of the exposure for S compared with B and for the last 50 min for S compared with C. The core temperatures were also significantly different between B and C for the last 40 minutes of the test. By the end of the session, core temperature had increased to 38.2 ± 0.4ºC, 38.0 ± 0.4ºC and 37.9 ± 0.4ºC for S, C and B, respectively. The rate of sweat evaporation was greatest for B (0.38 ± 0.03 kg·hr-1) compared

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Core temperature;Skin temperature;Rainsuits;Rain suits
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-TR-2003-083 — Technical Report
Date of publication
30 Nov 2003
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF);CD ROM

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