Its April and time to start gearing up for the swim season. Just like going back-to-school shopping, now is the time to get some decent threads to set you apart from your competitors and make you look professional. But when it comes to pool service work cloths, there are some specific features that outer wear should have.
For example, this is hot outdoor work, so clothing should be as cool as possible. You’re going to be sweating (or falling in pools) so clothing that wicks moisture and dries quickly is definitely a bonus. Long days in the sun might indicate some level of UV protection is warranted.
But in addition to being comfortable, in a job that involves chlorine at nearly every turn, some level of bleach resistance is important if you want to look like a pro.
That means it should be polyester or other synthetic blends. Definitely not cotton and definitely not jeans!
Most synthetic textiles are resistant to the color bleaching out in reaction to chlorine bleach. While they may fade in the sun, uniform fading doesn’t necessarily look bad.
While synthetic textiles like polyester tend not to lose color when bleached, this does not mean they cannot be damaged by bleach – but they hold up better than most anything else.
Polyester shirts are easy to find. But finding chemical resistant bottoms can be a bit more challenging.
Of course, board shorts and basketball shorts are generally 100% polyester, but not everyone favors that style, preferring a more tailored appearance. And some service pros say that fishing shorts are a good choice because they are typically treated for great stain resistance.
Let’s take a look at some of the more popular brands of bottoms that are favored by today’s pool service professionals.
Dickies brand pants are a tradesman’s top pick. Favored by both pressure washers and pool service pro’s – both industries that work with a lot of bleach – Dickies pants are 65% polyester, 35% cotton and hold up fairly well against bleaching. The flat front, slim fit cut pants are among the most popular, but if you if haven’t tried them, don’t let the slim fit scare you away -these are not for slim men. Dickies also makes an 11 inch tapered short that looks professional and is durable and doesn’t stain easily. It also has a little stretch for added comfort. They are available at Amazon and Walmart or directly from Dickies at www.dickies.com. $17-$35.
Nike Dri-FIT is generally a great bet. It is an innovative polyester fabric designed to help keep you dry so you can more comfortably work harder and longer. Dri-FIT’s unique highperformance microfiber construction supports the body’s natural cooling system by wicking away sweat and dispersing it across the fabric’s surface to evaporate faster.
Available at www.Nike.com.
DenaliMen’sTravelPerformance Pants are highly affordable and according to many reviews, are long lasting and chemical resistant. Made of 96% nylon and 4% spandex, the light weight material breathes when it’s hot but is comfortable when it’s cold. Extremely durable, they also stretch for range of movement. They also feature UPF 50 fabric that shields against harmful UV rays. Online reviews report they run a size large.
Available from Sam’s Club: $12.84.
Duluth cargo shorts are a popular pick for comfort and durability. They come in a wide variety of styles and fabrics so take care to ensure no cotton. DuluthFlex Dry on the Fly cargo shorts or pants are made of 97% nylon, 3% spandex and are super light-weight, abrasion resistant and wicks away sweat on hot days. Duluth’s exclusive Crouch Gusset® prevents constriction when climbing or crouching for added comfort and mobility. Built-in UPF 50 sun protection tames fierce rays when working outside.
Available from www.duluthtrading. com: $79-$89.
Old navy Go-Dry pants and shorts are inexpensive and durable. Users say they are flexible, breathable
and dry in about 5 minutes. Made of 90% polyester and 10% spandex, the Go-Dry Shade StretchTech shorts are engineered with StretchTech, a stretchy, breathable fabric with quick-drying powers and UV sun protection.
Available from Old Navy: $35.
Truwerk werkpants and shorts are designed for working in the weather. The T1 WerkPant and shorts have a soft-shell fabric technology with 4-way stretch, quick-drying, abrasion and tear resistance with additional moisture wicking and breathability needed for warm weather. Also works for lefthanded folks, with a left rear pocket. True to size, your standard jeans size should fit.
Available from www.truewerk.com: $69-$79.
Magellan Outdoors Men’s Back Country Water Resistant Zipoff nylon pants are excellent outdoor pants. These pants features UPF 20 protection to resist the sun’s harmful rays, and the elastic waistband is designed with a belt to ensure a snug, adjustable fit.
The zip-off legs offer versatile wear, and the pants are ventilated to help you stay cool. Multiple pockets with a loose fit.
Available from sports stores like Academy, at www.academy.com. $25.
Columbia PFG (Performance Fishing Gear) shorts and pants come in a variety of styles and fabrics.
Light weight and quick to dry, they all feature Omni-Shade™ UPF sun protection. The Blood n’ Guts series also offers Omni-Shield ™ stain repellent.
True to size.
Available at Amazon or www. columbia.com: $30-$75.
Hagger shorts come well recommended by service pros.
The Active Series™ Stretch solid shorts are made of 100% polyester for moisture wicking and feature 4-Way Stretch and a flexible waistband.
Available at www.hagger.com: $$27$30.
Ben Davis shorts and pants feature heavyweight cotton/polyester blended twill fabric. Service pros love them for their stain resistance. The durable fabric retains color and fit. Fits true to size.
Available from Amazon and www. bendavis.com: $45-$48.
Ben Hogan Performance Solid Active Flex waistband 4-Way Stretch shorts and pants get solid reviews. If Dickies doesn’t quite cut it for you anymore, Ben Hogan is the thing.
Inexpensive, and very professional looking, they feature moisture-wicking technology and are made of sun protection fabric 94% polyester, 6% spandex.
Available fromAmazon and Walmart: $17-$20.