While watching the latest season of Stranger Things, I noticed during episode 3.05 or 3.06 that some of Russian scientist working on their 'plasma blaster' (energy source to open the gate) are running around with two different colored hazmat suits; one burgundy, and one is pewter-grey.

3.05 (Thank You, Joachim for the Screencap!)

Seemingly these are classifications of some sort, but what exactly do the different colors represent?

3 Answers 3


I haven't seen season 3 (yet), but I did capture two moments in S03E05 (towards the end) and E06 (at the very beginning):

Stranger Things S03E05

In this second shot, it becomes more obvious that the white hazmat suits are actually grey (the two guys in the center are wearing the suits with the masks taken off):

Stranger Things S03E06

I think the different colours could simply indicate levels of protection:

Colour indication of levels of hazardous materials protection

Here, grey and burgundy are at the extremes on both sides, which doesn't make sense in the scene of Stranger Things, as people clad in both colours are working in the exact same environment, their suits being visually completely similar.
The only remarkable difference - apart from the colour - is that the burgundies are the only ones interacting directly with the plasma gun.
I believe therefore, that the colours must be either indicators of levels of proficiency or specialisations.

  • That's a really awesome answer and you're right, it is grey so I'll make an edit to my post! And thanks for the screen caps too! Jul 12, 2019 at 16:16

If I remember rightly, there is one colour inside while running and then when the reactor explodes the other colour comes running in. So my guess is that one colour represents "Scientists" actually working on the machine and the other is a "Recovery" team who come in to deal with any fires or...dead bodies.

  • That makes sense. I'll have to watch it again! Jul 12, 2019 at 14:37

the different suits don't protect from different environments but instead distinguish roles. the standard real hazmat suits are worn by the people who perform maintenance and operate the machine, thus needing a more maneuverable suit to walk around and work in. the men in red however are there to inject batteries into the firing mechanism, which requires getting extremely close to it, thus they utilize more armored and bulky suits as a safety precaution.

  • 1
    Source? This feels like a comment on a different answer (the one with the chart) and not an answer itself. Apr 9, 2022 at 9:15

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