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What Do I Wear to Stay Warm in the Freezer?

Choosing the Right Gear Working as a Forklift Driver

As a forklift driver, you have a lot of responsibility. For the products you are handling, for the machinery you are operating, for the company property you work in and around and for your fellow employees. When you drive a lift in the freezer, you also have to be responsible about staying warm and protected, so you focus on the work and not how uncomfortable the cold is making you. Here’s what you need to think about when choosing gear to operate a forklift in a freezer.


It doesn’t matter that the mercury says -15°F. You aren’t generating body heat through walking or lifting. Plus, you’ve got wind chill from gliding through the racks to replenish product. For you, the real feel is closer to -30°F, or even lower, depending on how you personally deal with cold.  

Crazy low temps need crazy warm protection. That’s why we offer our Extreme Softshell Jacket, which is rated to -60°F (yes, NEGATIVE 60). It comes in HiVis as well, for more safety. Paired with the Extreme Softshell Bib Overalls, in black or HiVis, you’ll be super toasty no matter how low the temps feel.

-60°F seem a little too low a rating for your needs? Our Iron-Tuff® Collection has jackets, bibs and coveralls all rated to -50°F. Coveralls protect from neck to ankle in one full garment, so there are no places for the wind to creep in and give you a chill. They are a great option when driving a forklift.

If you do a mix of activities, and need some flexibility in what you are wearing, reach for our PolarForce™ Collection. Rated to -40°F and featuring our unique Performance-Flex at key flex-points, PolarForce makes it easy to get tough jobs done in the cold.

Keep your head, neck, ears and face warm with a full face mask or balaclava. The Extreme Dual-Layer Clava is made from dual-layer Polartec® fleece for added warmth. 

Cold Creep

When you aren’t generating body heat through movement, your extremities can feel extra cold. Especially when you consider the creep of cold that can happen from the wind chill.

You’ll want gloves with thick insulation. If all you have are the controls of the lift to worry about, and dexterity isn’t an issue, opt for an insulated mitt like our Extreme Freezer Mitt or our PolarForce™ Mitt. Mitts help keep your hands warmer because your fingers radiate heat to each other. Entering data on a keypad or touchscreen? Try our Extreme Freezer Gloves with the Touch-Rite or Key-Rite Nib. With our patent-pending nibs, you don’t have to remove your insulated protection to enter data. Amp up the warmth using a liner under your insulated gloves.

You don’t crack under the pressure – your boots shouldn’t either. Work boots you get from the local store are not specifically designed to be worn in freezers. The soles on our footwear are specially designed not to deteriorate from the cold. You’ll keep your feet dry (and therefore warmer) and protect from impact injury with our exclusive VitaComfort® System. Keep your feet warm with our Extreme Pac Boot or the Extreme Hiker, which have the Boa® Fit System to keep a secure, perfect fit all shift long.

Add extra warmth to your feet with a pair of our Extreme Socks, made with moisture-wicking and naturally warm Merino wool blended with synthetics for extra durability and stretch.

How you feel cold is going to be different from how someone else working the same job does, so you need to find the gear that works best for you. You might need something rated for slightly warmer temps. Or you might be extra-sensitive to cold and need the warmest thing available. You have to find what is right for you; hopefully these products start you in the right direction.