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I’m trying to design a standard uniform for a military group that works on a massive planet that has a storm eye similar to Jupiter’s or Neptune’s. This eye hangs over a large ocean and produces semi-predictable waves of severe weather that span across the planet. Due to the nature of the combat and the otherwise barren state of the planet, it is both impractical and difficult to take cover until a storm wave has passed.

High winds, torrential downpours, large hail, and debris are all factors I am considering. One final thing to note is that the people who will be wearing these uniforms are an extremely durable humanoid alien race that are impervious to most blunt force trauma, so I am less concerned about hail and debris and more concerned with how to make something practical as a standard issue uniform. Visors and hydrophobic material are already in consideration, but I’m certain there’s more I can do to really make it feel specialized to suit the conditions of the planet.

[EDIT] What has stumped me most is the boots specifically. I do not know if it would be more practical to focus on water drainage, or keeping the water out in the first place. Some sort of boot that goes over the knee and goes flush to the lower thigh has popped into my mind, but I am unsure if keeping the water out entirely is possible at all with any design.

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  • $\begingroup$ Question: What is the temperature like? You mention Hail, but that doesn't necessarily imply cold weather. High Winds and Rain whilst absolutely suck, if they aren't accompanied by the cold, it's not that bad. Once I know that, I can answer. $\endgroup$ May 14, 2023 at 19:37
  • $\begingroup$ @TheDemonLord the overall climate would fall into subtropics, given the perma storm hangs over a tropical ocean, warm humid air sweeps the planet. When the planet is farthest from its suns, the ocean cools (after latent heat is released of course) and the storm goes dormant, allowing for a cooler climate for the remainder of the year. Winters are practically non-existent! (I am no expert so forgive me if any of my logic here is shaky) $\endgroup$
    – Chromic
    May 14, 2023 at 20:12

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So factors to consider for a Uniform.

First up - I'm talking just the battledress, not worrying about Armor - I know you mentioned Armor in the question, but all we know is that they wearers are more resilient to Blunt force Trauma than normal humans - we don't know what types of Weaponary are being used. I'd hazard a guess we would see a lot of penetrating weaponary (Bullets, knives, swords, arrows etc.) You mentioned hydrophobic materials - so I'm presuming a level of tech equal or greater than current tech.

I'm also making the assumption that the skin, sweat and interactions with your environment are all equivalent to earth.

First would be our base-layers - since it's subtropical and there's virtually no winter - we don't need a super-thick base-layer, but we do want a material that will wick sweat away from the skin as much as possible. This would be longsleeve and trousers type under skin - like Underarmour. Possibly some compression built in to help with fatigue and muscle soreness.

Next up would be a long sleeve shirt - Material here would be water resistant, but the main thing we want from this is relatively light weight and we want it to be abrasion resistent. Combat has lots of moving around, crawling, diving out the way, running, skidding - so we want something that is going to stand up to that abuse - we aren't worried too much about making it super warm - we want it to protect the skin from scratches/scrapes/small puncture wounds (all things that just love to get infected in Combat) and to be comfortable.

Pretty much the same with the Trousers.

Gloves - again, not so much for heat - but for protecting the hands - lightweight and breathable, but with armoured knuckles and palms to protect them from abrassive injuries.

Socks - Primary function is wicking away sweat and moisture from the feet. We want to keep our feet as dry as possible as Moisture + feet + darkness = Foot rot/Trench foot/fungal infections and we don't want that.

Boots - I would focus more on draining - if it gets wet, but dries relatively easily, that's probably more applicable in your setting than trying to remain dry - since the climate isn't getting too cold, you can get away with trading off warmth for quick-drying ability. I went out in the Bush in NZ on a hunt and we had to do a River crossing - my feet were wet all weekend and it sucked - but my Boots are general purpose because in April, it can be cold and getting cold feet is worse than wet feed.

In addition - a windbreaker and waterproof outer layer, like a poncho would be a good option - this is what keeps the majority of the rain off and out, we are accepting that nothing is truly water proof, but the under layer that is standard kit is water resistant and the air-gap between layers will help keep the air circulating and drying out the under layer.

Visors are useless. The only time you really need one is in dusty environments, in wet environments, not so much - they will only be liable to fog up.

The things we want to focus are:

Stopping the wearer from getting infections, either fungal due to being hot+wet+dark or bacterial due to being in a Combat area.

So long as the water is mostly kept away from the core, it's not too bad, we want to avoid hydrophobic materials because as above - Sweat - we need it to go somewhere - so it's better to have something that breathes so that Sweat can get away from the body.

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  • $\begingroup$ Firstly- thank you so much for answering despite all the assumptions you had to make! They were all generally correct, and in the future I will be certain to provide better information and context. You’ve given me a lot to think about especially in regards to the visor and hydrophobic material, I didn’t even consider sweat or condensation, so this has been incredibly helpful. I feel much more prepared to go into designing these uniforms now, thank you so much! $\endgroup$
    – Chromic
    May 15, 2023 at 0:56
  • $\begingroup$ Good point fungal infections and other parasites would be a major concern. Something this race would have trouble with even without protective clothing. See nature for species that have natural armor and live in humid environments. $\endgroup$ May 15, 2023 at 8:55
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As mentioned above, you have essentially three enemies: water, water and water. I presume your beings sweat. If they are resistant to blunt force trauma they likely have fairly thick hide, so cooling/heating and temperature may be more of a consideration.

If you have hydrophobic materials you can do a lot. You can have a shell layer (on top of outer layer) that is water repellent.

Your base (innermost) layer (mentioned above) can be a fine, thin, mildly hydrophobic mesh backed by some absorbent material. Sweat and water would be mechanically forced in to the mesh, which would push it away and in to the absorbent layer. This would put your beings in a negative moisture environment, so they'd likely need to drink a lot.

For your outer layer (between base and shell), you'd likely want quilted hydrophobic layers in hexagonal sections with a mesh overlay and a heavy wearing, coarse, breathable synthetic outer face that is strongly hydrophobic. The quilted hydrophobic layers would isolate water that soaks in and, since both faces are hydrophobic, should push slightly away from the water in the pocket, pulling in air and partially inflating. The mesh overlay on top of the breathable outer layer should keep air circulating through the top of the fabric, making it easier for the water trapped in the quilted baffles in the middle to evaporate out. Isolating the water also slows down temperature change due to cold and should work well in warm environments since sweat is consistently pulled away from the skin for some evaporative cooling.

This means in high moisture settings (rain, sweating a lot..) their clothing would puff up a bit. You could have fun with this and use it as a shorthand to indicate someone's mental state. Someone who is nervous or excitable or physically unfit would puff often and easily. Someone who is not often worried or very fit would be flat most of the time. Soldiers being soldiers, there would be any number of backhand hacks and dubious remedies to 'keep flat'.

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