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NATO tag reading is a little confusing at first. We will try to explain the best we can.
NATO tags have two sets of numbers, each with four numbers separated by a hyphen (-) or slash (/) in most cases. Here is an example of a set of NATO numbers used for a jacket or shirt: “7080-9500”. The first set of numbers will reference the height range (vertical measurement). The second set of numbers will references the chest size (girth) range of the garment.
Before we start, you have to understand that a 0, 1 or 2 will be added to the front of each pair of numbers to create the proper centimeter the tag is referring to. This is because NATO and the Arm Forces throughout the world have agreed on this standardization. We will explain further down in the example in hope to give clarity. Let’s break it down in an example …
Note: Each nation sizing is slightly different, so the chart and explanation is to be used as a general guideline. Please determine your best fit based on your own investigation, not solely our charts. We at Niedbalski Outfitters try to give you enough information to make an educated choice when it comes to sizing.
NATO Size Example #: 7580/8090 (Pants/Trousers)
First set 7580 refer to Height of the person
75 cm to 80 cm = 29" - 31"
Second set 8090 refer to waist size
80 cm to 90 cm = 31” – 35”
NATO Size Example #: 7080-9500 (Jacket/ Shirt)
First set 7080 refer to Height of the person
170 cm to 180 cm = 67" - 71" = 5' 6" - 5' 9"
In this example, you added a 1 in front of the two pairs of numbers. This garment is said to fit a person between 5' 6" - 5' 9". We have found that this depends on a few factors, it is a guide line. You will need to determine what fits your body style best.
Below we have provided a math example so you can further understand how to convert centimeters to inches.
(Special note for 8000 numbers): You need to add a leading 1 to one pair of numbers and a 2 to another pair of numbers for the 8000 set. How do we know this? Our rule of thumb is the second pair of numbers must be larger than the first pair. In the 8000 example you would need to add a 1 to the first pair and a 2 to the second pair making the range for height 180 – 200cm. If you added a 1 to both or left the leading number out it just would not make sense after the math was done.
Second set 9500 refers to chest size
This is a great example. In this case, you add a 0, not a 1, to the first set of numbers. How do we know this? Our rule of thumb is the second pair of numbers must be larger than the first pair. In the example, if you added a 1 to the first pair of numbers, you get a larger first pair than the second pair. In this case, you need to drop the 1 from the first set of numbers making the first pair smaller than the second pair. This same practice goes with the # 2 when used as the leader number. (See “Special note” above)
95 cm to 100 cm = 37” – 39” - Medium
This garment chest size will fit between 37” – 39” making it a medium.
Now for the conversion math part if you are interested:
To convert the cm to inches, just multiply the cm by 0.393 and round up if the number is higher than 0.5. You can use .4 for a quick size check as well. After you have converted to inches, you can divide the inches by 12 to get the feet for a height measurment.
Let’s try it out:
170 x 0.393 = 66.8 = 67” = 5’6"
180 x 0.393 =70.7 = 71” = 5” 9”
Chest Size 9500
95 x 0.393 = 37.3 = 37"
100 x 0.393 = 39.3 = 39"