There are few things better in the summer than rounding up your buddies and heading to the field for a day of airsoft. With the warm weather, the memories of heavy rain, cold wind and icy feet seem to fade away. However, it’s important to remember that skirmishing during the summer isn’t always a sunny day experience, as it too brings its own series of challenges. We’ve covered on the blog before the various considerations that you need to be aware of when heading to the airsoft field in the summer, so in this article, we’ll be zeroing in on choosing the right clothing, from head to toe.
Perhaps the most crucial parts of your body to protect when it comes to airsoft (along with the crown jewels), are your face and head which are particularly vulnerable to injury if they’re not adequately protected. Eyes, mouth, ears and nose can all be easily injured/damaged, so its best to take precautions to stop this from happening.
With the sun beating down, you’ll likely not want to be wearing heavy-duty helmets or face wraps, but some basic protection is vital. If nothing else, goggles or other eye protection must be worn; sunglasses don’t count! We’d recommend the Wiley-X range as these have been certified to meet the US military standard for ballistic protection, they also look pretty cool! In summer, fogging can be an issue, so we’d also suggest grabbing some anti-fog gel.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, the Wiley X Saber Advanced kit comes with three lenses (clear, amber and smoke) that allow to you customise your headwear and maximise visibility. We all know how unpredictable the British weather can be, so having a range of lenses will keep you one step ahead of the game!
For the lower half of the face, a mesh face guard is a great way to keep your mouth and teeth safe without reducing your ability to breath. These are perfect for summer and can be seen in action at sites across the UK. For the top of your head, you could look to employ a baseball cap, lightweight scarf or boonie hat. All will offer protection from the sun and offer a layer between your skin and any incoming BBs.
For the top half of your body, you’ll want to try and cover up as much as possible so that there are no exposed areas of skin (we’ve all seen the bruises!). A combat shirt is a great option as this will have long sleeves to keep your forearms covered but offer moisture wicking to ensure you keep cool and dry while skirmishing.
Although it’s not ideal to be wearing gloves in summer, for airsoft it is advisable. We’d suggest some Mechanix gloves, either full or fingerless version. This will keep your hands safe, although you may end up with some strange tan lines!
An alternative to a combat shirt would be to wear a long sleeve sports shirt such as one made for running or hiking. These are typically made with moisture-wicking technology and can provide an excellent alternative to a combat shirt.
Finally, one of the best tips we’ve heard is to use a shemagh and drench it in cold water, then ringing it out. Tie this around your face and neck to keep cool and offer extra protection from the sun. Naturally, this is less necessary on warm days that it is on very hot ones, but a great option none the less!
Despite it being summer, trousers will, unfortunately, be the order of the day for many. Combat trousers will be your best option as these are loose fitting and will allow your legs to breath. They also have loads of pockets so you can carry extra mags and kit without having to worry about carrying kit on your top half. Although combat shorts may seem a viable option, bare legs can, and will, be exposed in airsoft, with people taking shots wherever they can. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time close to the ground, crawling or kneeling your way to success, then knee pads will be necessary. These can restrict air flow a little but will stop you from getting annoying cuts and bruises.
During winter, warm woollen socks that keep heat close to your feet are vital, but these should definitely not be worn in summer! Instead, opt for something lighter that emphasises getting the heat away from your feet. Sports brands such as Nike and Under Armour have sock ranges that offer moisture-wicking to keep your feet cool and dry. As an added bonus, many have reinforced heel support to avoid twists and sprains.
With it being summer, it can be tempting to start wearing trainers on the field, but, this can be a shortcut to injury. The benefit of wearing boots is not only that they keep your feet warm and dry, but they offer vital ankle support to limit any injuries. If you’re dead set on wearing something a little lighter, then we’d suggest a mid-height boot, rather than a full combat boot. These will still offer support on the ankle but allow more airflow to your feet. We’d also suggest checking that they are breathable so as to let sweat and moisture away from your feet, rather than keeping it trapped within the boot.
A side note from us on summer airsoft: something that many people don’t consider is how common it is to find ticks in long grass and woodland. These are horrible little beasts and can carry diseases such as Lyme Disease. Make sure you do a thorough check of your skin after your skirmish to ensure no ticks have made their way onto your body. If you do find one, then use the proper method of removing the tick – tweezers close to the skin and pull until the tick lets go. Twisting or burning is not an option as this can leave part of the tick on/under your skin. Additionally, if you find a bullseye-shape rash after finding a tick, we suggest you seek medical advise immediately.
If you have any recommendations for the best clothes to wear when skirmishing in the summer, let us know in the comments below. Equally, if you’re gearing up for a summer of airsoft, why not treat yourself to an upgrade? We’ve got a great selection of airsoft guns on our site, along with other useful gear!