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Fursuit Gear: Balaclavas
Wear these to protect your fursuit head from your sweat and to keep you cool while you suit.
The two most trusted brands are UnderArmour and Schwampa.
UnderArmour typically has better construction and thinner material. It is the best if you keep your mouth covered while in suit.
Schampa is less expensive, cools about the same, and stays in place better. I use it when I don’t want my mouth covered. (Although both balaclavas can have mouth covered or uncovered.)
When looking for a balaclava, you want to make sure you are getting one made for hot weather, with material that will keep you cool (typically lycra or spandex/elastane).
If you get the wrong type of balaclava (one made for winter and keeping you warm) you may give yourself heat stroke.
For UnderArmour, the correct line is “HeatGear” and for Schampa, it’s “CoolSkin”. If you accidentally buy and/or use the wrong type of balaclava, you will know immediately once you put your fursuit head on. If you shop directly from this list, everything has been picked by hand, so you will not have to worry about buying the wrong type.
I have also added some other brands in here, but have no personal experience with brands other than Schampa and UnderArmour. Remember that the other brands will likely be smaller in size than Schampa and UnderArmour. Therefore, if your head is of a larger circumference, the other brands may be too tight.
Fursuit Gear: Gloves
Did you know that wearing a pair of gloves underneath your paws can help extend the life of your fursuit? In addition to solving the sweaty hands issue, they can prevent skin from showing through creases when bending your wrists.
Separate your skin from your costume’s paws and head to keep you cool and your costume sweat-free.
These are all the same type of glove, but some listings will offer different sizes and designs. I have 2 pairs of these and I love them!!
The actual name for this glove is the “Perfect fit mesh glove” and they are technically gloves made for horseback riding.
Fursuit Gear: Base Layers
Base layers are items worn between you and your costume to help keep you cool, hygienic, and extend the life of your fursuit between washes. They follow the same rules as balaclavas, you want to get the ones made for hot weather, which are typically made of lycra or spandex/elastane. UnderArmour still uses the name “HeatGear” for this type of clothing if you want to go with that brand specifically. But typically, almost any “athletic gear” should serve as a good base layer for fursuiting. Compression is not necessary for a base layer, but it does not need to be avoided. An alternative to “athletic gear” are “rash guards”, which may be slightly cheaper in price.
I have personal experience with UnderArmour (it’s good and worth the price in my opinion) and GearX (Definitely good for the price, but I prefer UA). Some other brands have been included below but I have no direct experience with them. It appears GearX is no longer sold on Amazon, but TSLA/Tesla looks identical, so I assume it is the same manufacturer.
A note on one-piece base layers, such as dive skins: Some people swear by one-piece suits for fursuiting. I have personally tried a dive skin and although it has its uses, having separate pieces is wholly easier in my opinion. That being stated, if you are looking for a one-piece layer, a “zentai suit” is the cheaper option, whereas a “dive skin” is the slightly more expensive option. It is important to note that a dive skin is not a wetsuit. A dive skin is put on beneath a wetsuit. Do not wear a wetsuit under your fursuit. If you like the idea of a dive skin but don’t want to actually get one, rash guards are often made of the same material and thickness.
Fursuit Gear: Hydration
Stay hydrated, even while in costume!
These hydration packs can be worn outside your suit or underneath it so you can drink water as necessary and help prevent heat stroke. The most well-known brand if Camelbak of course, but there are many other alternatives. There is nothing really special to know about hydration packs with regard to fursuiting – any will do. Listed below are some types that you may not find in a typical store, however. Which you choose is up to preference.
DolfinPak is smaller, but uses velcro instead of typical fasteners.
KOOKOOG has a 2L Water bladder with a small form factor.
The TRIWONDER is a vest instead of a pack. It doesn’t include a bladder, so the recommended one has been listed as well.
These have 90 degree angled mouthpieces.
A pack with a mouthpiece at a 90 degree angle can make it easier to keep everything hidden inside the suit and head while still being usable.
Fursuit Gear: Cleaning & Upkeep
Products that help you keep your costumes fresh and clean.
For a guide on how to wash your fursuit, go to http://cleanfursuits.weebly.com.
Brush your suit before and after wearing, washing, and storage to prevent matting. Slicker brushes are often recommended, but a rubber brush can help prevent pulling fur from the fursuit (rubber brushes are often also called silicone, curry, shampoo, and/or massage brushes).
Tip for rubber brushes: Get the ones with the spikes in straight lines, not the circular patterns with teeth. Fursuits need brushing particularly for straightening the fur so it doesn’t matte. Other designs may pull at the fur or backing and wear the costume over time.
Tip for slicker brushes: Try to get brushes where the metal tips are capped. Uncapped metal ended slicker brushes can tear your fursuit backing (especially near the edges of the suit, like the collar), can pull out excessive hair, and the pins bend, making any “self-cleaning” brushes less effective over time. Of course the tipped ends also tend to fall out over time too, so overall I’d recommend a silicone brush, personally. Still, these damages take a long time to accrue, so the type of brush you use is entirely up to your preference. It is possible to avoid damages by changing how you brush your suit (don’t use as much pressure).
Create a solution of 50% water and 50% Isoprophyl alcohol and put it in a spray bottle to use to quickly disinfect your costume before or after wearing. Helps keep your suit fresher and cleaner longer, so you do not have to wash it as often (Alcohol spray is NOT a substitute for washing your fursuit!).
Listed here is 99.9% Isoprophyl Alcohol solution, but 70% can be found in just about any drug store. Adjust the ratio to 70% alcohol 30% water for the sprayer.
Tip: Popular “fursuit sprays” are just alcohol, water, and something for scent.
Recommended by Fursuiter’s World for more convenient cleaning of fursuit heads.
After wearing or washing your costume, hook them on these dryers to get them dry safely and quickly!
Tip: You must get dryers with no heat options. You do not want to use heat with your suit. Everything listed below either does not use heat or has a no heat option.
Store these with your suit to help reduce odor and keep your costume smelling fresh in between uses (NOT a substitute for washing your fursuit!). I store all my parts with a dryer sheet and some desiccant.