10 pieces of cold-weather gear troops love to love

U.S. Army Capt. Kevin Wiley warms up with a poncho liner at Shele Kalay in Afghanistan, Jan. 16, 2012.


By STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 1, 2019

Stars and Stripes reporter Chad Garland took to Twitter for a highly unscientific poll of servicemembers and veterans on their favorite “snivel gear” — that would be military slang for cold-weather equipment.

Here’s what they had to say.



Aka the poncho liner, this camouflage nylon polyester blanket is much beloved.


Field jacket liner

Also known as a smoking jacket, it doubles as a pillow and in the olden days could be sewn into a wet-weather parka for added comfort.


Five-button sweater

It’s a classic.


Neck gaiter

Being covered nose to shoulders is underrated. Plus, there are many other possible uses.


Pile cap

Chin straps forever.


Silk weights

This thin lightweight layer was the most-mentioned long underwear.


Beanie or watch cap

Regardless or whether you’re in the Army or a naval service, whether it’s fleece or wool, whether you call it a beanie or a watch cap, don’t disregard these head-warmers in cold weather.


Waffle top

Another popular type of long underwear with its checked pattern for comfy insulating air pockets. Some people know it as a “grid fleece,” but soldiers have opinions on that.


Overalls, mounted crewmen’s and aircrewmen’s

Hey, they’re 100 percent Aramid.


Humvee heater hose

Whatever works.


Bonus answers

That 'stache

As grown by author and Alaska Air National Guard rescue squadron commander Matthew Komatsu.


Hands in pockets

Sure it’s not technically a piece of gear and certain staff noncommissioned officers might not agree, but Stars and Stripes reporter J.P. Lawrence recommends this.


MRE heaters in your gloves

Also, your gloves are so much tastier than that veggie omelet.



More than one person mentioned their discharge paperwork.