MyLVAD Ways to Make Your Life Easier: Summer Clothes

MyLVAD is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people living with LVADs. In the upcoming months we will introduce you to some products that may make living with an LVAD a little easier. One the most popular topics of discussion in the LVAD community is different ways to carry/wear your LVAD equipment. This month we will highlight options for the summer months. The clothing we have found is light to keep you cool and has the ability to hold your controller and batteries

5.11 Concealed Carry - Covert Shirt:

The 5.11 line of clothing is designed for law enforcement, but is a great option for LVAD recipients.  The Covert Shirt, with three styles to choose from comes in many different patterns and colors and is made from either 100% cotton or a cotton/poly mix.  The texture of the material is soft but sturdy and well made.

Look: ♥♥♥♥♥

Although the Covert Shirt is designed for men, there are a couple of colors that would also look good on women.  The cut of the shirt is full and straight to "conceal" the inside pockets which can hold batteries and a controller.  The shirts come in a variety of colors and prints and there are three different styles with different pocket configurations.  There are even long sleeve options for a dressier look.

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Ease of use: ♥♥♥♥♥

These shirts have big inside pockets that are secured with VELCROÒ closures and make putting batteries and controllers into the pockets easy.  The pockets are made of a mesh material which allows for ventilation of equipment. Additionally, the shirts have snap buttons that make it easier to open and close the front of the shirt.

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Security of Equipment: ♥♥♥♥♥

All equipment is secure inside the hidden pockets of the shirt. The pockets are deep which allows the equipment to fit easily within them.  The pockets are secured with a sturdy VELCROÒ closure that holds pockets closed as well as cables in place.  We had no issues with placing the equipment into or removing it from either pocket.

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Controller & Battery Accessibility: ♥♥♥♥♥

Controllers worn on a belt are easily accessible due to the snap enclosures on the front of the shirt. There was even enough room inside the "hidden" pockets to fit a controller and battery. We had no issues with placing the equipment into or removing it from either pocket.

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Hiding Cables: ♥♥♥♥♥

The cables from your LVAD are hidden when wearing this shirt. The equipment is placed in the inside pockets of the shirt so nothing can be seen on the outside.

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Fit: ♥♥♥♥♥

These shirts are designed to hold heavy equipment making the fit loose and relaxed.

Overall MyLVAD Review: ♥♥♥♥♥

Although the 5.11 Covert Shirt was designed for a different population, it is a great option for an LVAD recipient.  The style of the shirt is classic and the inside pockets hide LVAD equipment without having to alter the garment.  The shirts were a little pricy at around $60 on the 5.11 website, but we found the shirts on sale for much cheaper when we did a search online. Our only wish was that they made a version for women, although a few of the color options would allow for a more feminine look. You can find more information about the 5.11 Covert Shirt at: http://www.511tactical.com/All-Products/Shirts/Concealed-Carry.html

 

Versatac Mid and Light Shorts:

The Versatac line of shorts is another summer clothing option for LVAD recipients.  They are a lightweight short with very deep pockets.  They were designed for outdoor activities, but we think the amount of pocket space is perfect for the LVAD equipment.

Look: ♥♥♥♥♥

The Versatac shorts are a "cargo type" short with ample room.  The shorts have front and back pockets as well as side cargo pockets and extend to mid thigh. They provide a nice causal look for everyday use.

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Ease of use: ♥♥♥♥♥

All of the zippers and buttons are easy to use and the back and cargo pockets have VELCROÒ closures.

Security of Equipment: ♥♥♥♥♥

The pockets of these shorts are deep and batteries from both the HeartMate IIÒ and the Heartware Ò LVADs fit into the pockets without any issues.  The HeartWareII batteries fit entirely into the back, front and cargo pockets without a problem and we were able to use the VELCROÒ to secure the batteries inside.  There was enough length on the cable of the HeartWareÒ batteries to reach to any of the pockets when we put the controller on the front belt.  The HeartMateIIÒ batteries fit well in the pockets but we were unable to use the VELCROÒ closures to secure them inside of the pockets.

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Controller Accessibility: ♥♥

These shorts do not have a pocket big enough for either type controller.  For that reason, you will need to wear the controller on your belt or place it in a bag.

Battery Accessibility: ♥♥♥♥♥

There are three sets of pockets that are large enough to place the batteries from either device into.  There is also enough length of wire between controller and batteries to fit batteries into any of the pockets if the controller is placed on the belt mid waist at the front. Openings for the pockets are big enough to allow easy placement and retrieval of batteries quickly.  VELCROÒ closures work for HeartwareÒ batteries but are blocked by HeartMateIIÒ batteries.

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HeartMate II batteries in back pockets       HeartWareÒ batteries in back pockets

Hiding Cables: ♥♥♥♥♥

The cables are only exposed when the batteries are placed in the side pockets. One thing we liked about these shorts is that the belt loops were big enough to allow the battery cable connectors of both devices to easily pass through them.  This allows you to store cables along the waistline without additional ways to secure them.

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Overall MyLVAD review: ♥♥♥♥♥

Other than the lack of space to place a controller, we think that these shorts are a great option for LVAD recipients who are looking for summer clothing.  The shorts come in different colors have a casual look.  Even though they were not designed with the LVAD recipient in mind, these shorts still fill the need pretty well.  We found these shorts at http://www.railriders.com/

Let us know if you have used these clothing items and how you liked them. Email us at mylvad@gmail.com or log onto the MyLVAD community forums to share your review and upload pictures to let us see how you wear them.

If you have any items that have made your life easier that you want to share with the MyLVAD community contact us at mylvad@gmail.com.  We would love to hear from you!