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PCU System | Layers Overview

by Jason Schiffner January 13, 2017 0 Comments


The core concept of PCU is MOISTURE MANAGEMENT. This system can be combined to adjust your body temperature. In Static activity, that we don’t much make movement. And we losing heat more faster. In the contrary, in Active activity we move a lot and produce heat much. We must aware on both situation and weather condition for PCU can optimize the function as a body shelter from Cold Condition. This needs user experiment before going to outdoor or mission. Each individual is different on handle each condition.


How PCU Works

In this terms, we talk about what basic Moisture Management. Body produce heat, water vapor and liquid substance (sweat). In Static activity, body produce less heat, air vapor and sweat. When the weather condition is cold, body easily lose the heat and of course affect body to freeze. This can cause Pins and needles feeling, and frostbite.

In Active activity, body produce more heat, air vapor, and sweat. Helps keep the body warm. But without proper shelter system, body can get cold more quickly because of the liquid substance become freezing, but too much shelter, can cause overheating.

PCU works in many ways. Absorb moisture from the body such as water vapor or sweat and push it out the system, same as the liquid material such as sweats, wicked and move towards the outside of the garment. And keep the body heat inside. With proper layer combination, can keep the body in comfort temperature.


When talking about PCU, layers can be said as levels. Because of each level consist of layers.

PCU system consist of 7 levels :

Level 1/1A/2 Material

PCU level 1 or BASELAYERS.

Wear next to body. Lightweight and have ability to wick sweat, and evaporate the body vapor. Usually made with Polartec Power Fabric™ which have ability to wick moisture and evaporation.

PCU level 1A

Comes with long sleeve shirt and long pants which is more slightly thicker garment but still with the ability to absorb moisture and evaporate vapor.

PCU Level 2

consist of thicker thermal garment and long sleeve pants that have more ability to absorb moisture and move it to the outer level. To keep temperature in comfort level.  

PCU level 3 material


PCU level 3

consist of thick long sleeve fleece jacket. Extremely warm, and usually used in Static activity in the cold environment to keep the body warm. Easy to pack and made with fast drying fabric. In Active activity usually PCU Level 4 is used replacing this PCU level 3 to avoid overheat.

PCU level 4 material

PCU level 4

consist of lightweight long sleeve shirt and pants, that used to give protection against wind and rain. Easily to pack in Active activity. Made with durable nylon material makes this garment is extremely breathable with excellent water resistant.

PCU level 5

is a softshell. Protection garment from cold wind and rain. Heavy duty and Durable with breathable material makes this PCU Level 5 is comfortable in both Active and Static activity. Produce in Jacket and Pant model. 

PCU level 6 Materials

PCU level 6

made with water resistant material. Works as outer layer for protection from rain and wind in Static Activity to maintain body temperature warm. Durable and lightweight so this layer can easily packed. 

PCU Level 7 materials

PCU level 7

is a high loft jacket, pants and vest. Made with water and wind resistant. materials Combined with other layers to keep the body warm but still with breathable function to keep the moisture out. 

Jason Schiffner
Jason Schiffner

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