- Bruce Wayne: “I want to borrow it. For spelunking. You know, cave-diving.”
- Lucius Fox: “You get a lot of gunfire down in those caves?”
- ―Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox after Fox has shown him the nomex survival suit[src]
The Batsuit was the Nomex costume that Batman wore to conceal his identity and frighten criminals. Unable to create it by himself, Bruce needed Lucius Fox to provide him some sort of armor. Fox presented him with a prototype armor suit that was rejected by the Army due to cost. After he received the suit, Bruce sprayed it with black rubber and added a bat symbol.
Nomex survival suit
The suit is derived from Lucius Fox's Research and Development program, within Wayne Enterprises' Applied Sciences Division. It is described by Fox as a "Nomex survival suit" originally intended for advanced military use, but, with its $300,000 price tag, was considered to be too expensive for the United States Army and military in general. Based on an advanced infantry armor system constructed from Nomex, the first layer of protection is an undersuit with built-in temperature regulators designed to keep the wearer at a comfortable temperature in almost any condition. The second layer of protection consists of armor built over the chest, calves, thighs, arms, and back. This armor features a kevlar bi-weave that can stop slashing weapons and can also deflect any bullet short of a straight shot impact, and reinforced joints that allow maximum flexibility and mobility.
The armor was then coated with a black latex material to dampen Bruce's heat signature, making him difficult to detect with night-vision equipment. Made of a graphite material, the cowl acts as a protective helmet. The cowl's Kevlar lining is supposed to be bulletproof. A manufacturing defect in the graphite used in the production of the first shipment of the cowl's components made its outer shell incapable of withstanding blunt trauma (a flaw Alfred demonstrated to Bruce Wayne using a baseball bat). Batman apparently took on Falcone and his henchmen at the docks with the defective helmet. The second shipment was supposed to fix this problem. An advanced eavesdropping device is concealed within the cowl's right ear and enables Batman to listen in on conversations from a distance.
Batman's cape is made of "memory cloth," also developed by Lucius Fox. It is essentially flexible in its normal state, but becomes semi-rigid in a fixed form when an electric current is passed through it from the microcircuits in his right glove. Bruce also adds metal gauntlets with angular fin blades on the forearms, a weapon kept from his experience as a pupil of Ra's al Ghul's organization, the League of Shadows. Mainly used to block against knives or other stabbing weapons, Bruce managed to surprise Ra's by breaking the blade of his ninjaken in multiple places with the gauntlets.
Although supposedly designed for maximum flexibility and movement, the Nomex armor does restrict Batman's movement somewhat, slowing him down in combat. The design of the mask and cape also restricted his neck movement, making it impossible for him to turn his head, and forcing him to rely on peripheral vision. For these reasons, Bruce asked Lucius to design a new suit with faster, freer movement in mind.
The Utility Belt is a specialized belt Batman wears to equip his crime-fighting gear. The utility belt is a modified climbing harness, with magnetized impact-resistant pouches, and canisters attached to the belt at ergonomic points for ease of reach. It carries a magnetic gas-powered grapple gun, an encrypted cell phone, Batarangs, a medical kit, smoke bombs, mini explosives, periscope, remote control for the Tumbler, mini-cam, money, and other unspecified equipment. Batman removed the belt's shoulder and chest straps because they constricted his movements.
These are Batman's signature shrunken cut in the shape of his symbol. There is the standard larger version that can folded in half, but it seems these were almost never used. The small variants were used to shatter lightbulbs and windows early in his crusade. Later this seemed to evolve into an even smaller tranquilizer dart similar in shape and material.
The grapple gun is a tool item Batman uses to scale up or rappel down several stories, or swing between Gotham City skyscrapers on successive lines. It could even be used to incapacitate, restrain, or ensnare opponents.
Similar to a grappling hook, the line launching gun uses a strong clamp attached to a high-tensile wire for scaling surfaces and/or traversing gaps. It can be recovered by releasing the clamp and rewinding the cable. It was based from one that is designed as compact climbing gear for commando units. It is propelled with compressed air, and works with a magnetic grappling iron. The thin climbing cable was tested on a load-carrying capacity of 350 lbs. The line can be attached to a reel in the buckle in the utility harness, but this was only used to escape after being defeated by the Scarecow in The Narrows.
The Memory cloth is a piece of equipment that Bruce is shown by Lucius Fox at Applied Sciences. The item itself is normally soft and light, but when an electric current is passed through it the cape takes a rigid shape. Bruce took it, and the gloves then customized the skeleton and cut into bat wing shape scalloped cape and somehow made it a functional paraglider contraption.
- Christian Bale found the original Batsuit to be very uncomfortable and restrictive, as it was still very much derived from the standard WB batsuits of the past first established by Michael Keaton, with little improvement. The "bat suit wrangler", Day Murch from the 90's films was brought on to assist Bale and stuntmen like Buster Reeves. From Christopher Nolan's point of view, he was dissatisfied with the appearance of the foam rubber cowl, within the fiction it supposed to be made of a solid graphite material. For these reasons, Bruce's desire for a new costume in the movies was put into the story.
- The particular incarnation of the Batsuit in Begins has the most in-depth description of its make and function ever seen in a Batman film.
- Begins is also the only film to show Batman using multiple razor-sharp Batarangs held between the fingers, first established in the Frank Miller stories of the 80's like Year One, which is cited as a direct influence on the movie. Batarang props are seen on display in both sequels but are never used.
- Cillian Murphy and Bale auditioned in the Sonar Batsuit, which features a very similar sculpted torso section.