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Keep Your Cool

Cooling And Trauma Attenuating Vest — CTAV.

If you’re like me you’ve always had a love/hate relationship with your ballistic vest. I’ve had friends — fellow officers — who’ve taken rounds. Every one of my friends who were wearing their vest is alive today to talk about it. The ones who weren’t are no longer with us and that leaves a big hole in our hearts and that of their family’s. I know there are some instances where wearing a vest isn’t going to help, but by wearing one the odds are much more in your favor if you inadvertently become a bullet sponge. That’s the love side of the equation.

Pushing a police cruiser around on a 10-hour shift in 100 plus degree weather is the hate side of the equation. It’s like you can never drink enough water and your air conditioner can never be cold enough. Feeling miserable is just part of the downside, because studies have shown the more dangerous negatives are decreased cognitive performance, decreased critical decision-making abilities, increased exhaustion, dehydration and possibly heat illness or heat stroke. You can’t change the weather but CORTAC has come up with a viable solution — their CTAV Shirt Carrier System. It’s a 2-pronged approach to keeping you cooler.


Front and back CTAV panels can be applied to a hard armor
plate carrier with supplied hook and loop straps and circles.

The Technology

he first prong is a vest component that has a pressurized dual air chamber system promoting active airflow between your body and your vest. It also enables natural evaporative cooling. Almost more importantly, it delivers additional protection from ballistic and non-ballistic blunt force trauma. CORTAC conducted live-fire demonstrations and ballistic lab testing, the CTAV decreased back face trauma signatures in test media by as much as 62 percent. That’s a significant reduction and it can make the difference between being put out of the fight or continuing and bringing some hairball to justice.

The second prong is a technology CORTAC calls EverDry. It’s the science behind the CTAV’s performance in promoting evaporation and convection between you and your armor. The material making up the pressurized vest component is infused with a nanocrystal coating. It’s hydrophilic and draws moisture away from your skin and keeps sweat from being trapped.

The CTAV system works by letting outside air flow between the body and the armor. Your body heat naturally vents from behind the armor and is no longer trapped. Then the nanocrystals, being hydrophilic, prevent sweat from beading for enhanced convection evaporation. It also acts as a moisture barrier, so moisture won’t be absorbed into your armor carrier.


CORTAC supplies a bulb pump you can use to inflate and deflate the panels.
Each panel has an easy-to-spot valve. It only takes three or four pumps to
fully inflate the panel.

Wearing It

The vest components can be attached to a hard plate carrier with included hook and loop stick-on straps. They also include adhesive hook and loop circles to make it fit better to the carrier. Also included in the CTAV Shirt Carrier System is a shirt — that makes for the catchy name I guess. The CTAV components fit into pockets sewn into the shirt. The shirt material is made from a wicking fiber and is worn between you and your concealable body armor. In any case, I sure wish someone like CORTAC invented this about 30 years ago when I was pushing a patrol car around Southern California. Maybe I wouldn’t have been so testy!
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By Dave Douglas

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