So you’ve landed your first job in cold storage, or winter outdoor work, and the first order of business is new threads. While coveralls aren’t essential, many swear by them due to their all-around coverage, freedom of movement and many, many pockets. There are drawbacks, such as having to do the Full Monty every time nature calls, but generally speaking they’re one of the best kinds of outdoor work-wear money can buy.

Since you probably don’t own anything even remotely similar to thermal coveralls, and since you’ll be using them every day, the actual act of picking out the ideal set can be a bit daunting. That in mind, here’s a guide to everything you need to consider when picking up your first pair.

What Kind of Work Are You Doing?

Whether you’re working outdoor or in cold storage, your employer may have a list of safety requirements, so these are the first things you should consider. If they want a very particular type of insulation, high visibility stripes or even certain materials, take that into account before you start properly looking.

Beyond this, you also have to think about the actual nature of the work, how much upper mobility you’ll need, how much you’ll be walking around and whether or not you’re likely to get wet. Consider these factors before your search really kicks off.

Try Before You Buy

Even before you actually pick a set and put the order in, go to a work clothes supply shop and try a few different pairs on. This way you can get a better idea of the differences between different types of coverall, like bibs and all-in-one boiler-suits.

You don’t have to purchase anything there and then, and you might even want to look online when it comes to actually making the order, this is just to know how they feel when you actually have them on.

Know Which Materials Are Superior

Coveralls come in a variety of fabrics, some durable, some very much not. Whatever you’re doing, you want to look at coveralls with strong insulating and resistant properties. Hybrid fabrics with an outer shell are the thing to look out for, and moisture wicking insulation is also particularly important. You’re going to be working hard and sweating bullets, you don’t want that moisture to stay on your skin and cool.

Comfort is the other factor, and for this you’re keeping an eye out for padding on the inside, especially polycotton. Hybrid fabrics are also much more wear resistant, which is vitally important when you’re doing strenuous work in outdoor conditions. Whatever average temperature you’re working in, opt for the best insulation, up to the lowest temperatures anyway, just in case.

Don’t Scrimp

This is not an area where you want to be looking for cheap and cheerful options. Know your price range, and be sure to have enough money saved to comfortably meet it. It’s better to have to wait and use rented gear for a while than buy a second-rate product.

To get you started, here are two of the better options for freezer and cold storage work. Use these as yardstick examples for the kind of thing you want to be looking for.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. 

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