1 (edited by gunn 2018-07-15 06:05 PM)

Topic: Q: looking for advice/recs for 1pc SFI 3.2A/5 driver suits & materials

Hi:
My teammate and I have been using the basic OMP cotton FRC suits we bought for Lemons back in 2010. These are the basic suits you wear with nomex underwear & because it's fire retardent cotton, you are limited on the # of times you can wash the outer layer.

Since we are planning to enter the Mexican 1000 next year, it's high time that we consider upgrading.
* NORRA rules require a 1pc suit and whilwe we could technically use the setup we have now, we'd like to upgrade. Temps in Baja run ~80F average.
* Our budget is probably up to the $600-750 price point. I know they make $1.5K suits (or higher) but we aren't that baller.
* I want to avoid fire retardant cotton. This knocks out the cheapest suits.
* My initial homework has found a bunch of suits in the $400-$600 price range that are SFI 3.2/A5, multi-layer, and made of NOMEX, Aramid (Kevlar), or both.
* While all suits have a TPP (time to crispy) rating of 19 or 10 sec to 2nd degree burn to earn the rating of SFI 3.2/A5, some exceed this rating (but i guess not enough to merit the next higher SFI rating).

Key Questions
Q: Can someone give me an opinion of NOMEX vs Aramid and which is lighter weight/more breathable/wears better?
Q: what other features I should be looking at and why should i pay for something at the higher end of my range vs the lower. I have a pretty average build (5' 10" & 170LB) so most items in "medium" will fit me.

Models I found
Here are all the brands & models I found that seem to match the above specs/criteria but I'm not sure how to pick between them.
K1 Racing (seems to be a well priced brand): Precision, Vintage, GT. I kind of like their vintage look and this is what I would probably pick in the absence of any specific suggestions).
Simpson Super Sport, Standard, Sportsman Elite II, UTV
RJS MultiLayer
GFORCE GF545, GF745
Alpinestars Knoxville, Delta, GP Start
OMP OS20
Impact Racing The Racer

Here's a Breakdown of the Features That the Suits Seem to Highlight.
Bootcut or Straight
Pockets
Box Quilting
360 degree Arm Gussets
"Ribbed or Velco Arm & Ankle Cuffs
Anatomical Arm, Leg, and Torso paneling"
Flat Seams
Lumbar Elastric Stretch
Sateen, Matte, or Gabardine finish
Q: What features should i care about in a desert environment (which is probably more strenous than racing at Sears Point in March in 60-70 degree weather.)

Finally, I also know I can buy a used suit from RaceImage. Unless I find one that would fit me well AND has a logo scheme that I find really, really funny (combination of which is NOT likely), I'm not sure I want to spend the same money ~$400 just to get a used suit. Perhaps its personal taste I also don't understand why people festoon their racecars with logos and feel the same way about my body. Unless someone is actually giving me real money (again, not likely), all of the random car product related stickers I've ever gotten (perhaps from Summit orders) just end on my garage garbage can vs my crapcan (car).

Thanks in advance for any general OR specific product suggestions you can make.
Regards,
-g

Myopic Motorsport's #888 Ceci n'est pas une Citron Thunderbird ("This is not a lemon" but a 1995 tbird w/ 93 V8 swap + shopping cart rear wing + engine mounted frito maker)
2017 Sears Pointless Organizer’s Choice
Frito Making Tbird from 2018 Sears Pointless Engine Heat BBQ - http://goo.gl/csaet4

Re: Q: looking for advice/recs for 1pc SFI 3.2A/5 driver suits & materials

I have a high end Sparco that was $1000 off because it was a giant size and had been on the shelf for a few years. You being average size probably won't have this chance. It's a gorgeous suit, shiny blue, 3 layers, it puts a smile on my face just looking at it and touching it.

I also have 2 G-Force 545 suits I got from ebay when they were on closeout (medium still available on ebay for $150 in red). For $150 get it, and if you don't like it keep it as a backup. Everyone on my team has 1 or 2 of them, they're functional, pretty lightweight (2 layer) and seriously cheap. I think the 545 is cooler than my Sparco, but we all wear Nomex underwear and coolshirts. Really, for $150 they're great.

I wear the G-Force 10x as often as the Sparco, and don't feel bad when I get sprayed with mud. This might be a consideration if you have to be changing tires or making other emergency repairs during the race.

Pockets are very nice to have, I wouldn't skimp on that
I like stretchy cuffs, rather than velcro

Re: Q: looking for advice/recs for 1pc SFI 3.2A/5 driver suits & materials

When I first started three years ago I bought a $800-ish OMP 2-layer suit SFI 3.2/A5 Aramid suit. Cut and design roughly equivalent to a OMP First Evo. Still like the suit and planning to keep using it.

Overall advice, spend up on the suit. Safety always matters. Comfort always matters and you're going to spend a lot of time in suit.

#1 best thing I did. Got a (mainly) white suit. Don't be a solar collector at Thunderhill in Summer or the Mexican desert. Shows dirt more but so what.

#2 best thing - I got a suit that is not tight on me. A little baggy is more comfortable - easier to move, better air circulation through the breathable panels. Also is safer - better insulates you from the thermal energy of the fire. I notice the F1 drivers used to wear super tight suits, these days they are a looser fit.

Single layer SFI 3.2/A5 suits are tempting and have come down in price a lot. But double layer is more fabric to insulate from the thermal energy. And my suit seems to do OK in the heat of Thunderhill summer.

Other questions.

Bootcut or Straight - meh
Pockets - YES!
Box Quilting - I dunno
360 degree Arm Gussets - YES!
"Ribbed or Velco Arm & Ankle Cuffs - Ribbed
Anatomical Arm, Leg, and Torso paneling - Don't have but I guess nice
Flat Seams - meh
Lumbar Elastric Stretch - YES
Sateen, Matte, or Gabardine finish - meh

Re Race Image - those are some excellent deals on race suits, considering that the driver's suits probably cost a lot new.

Other notes

- Cool shirt - OH HELL YES!
- In car hydration - HELL YES!
- Fire resistant balaclava - YES - not in Lemons rules, but why have your neck exposed when you have all that other stuff????

18X Loser - Delinquent Racing - '86 TRUMPACO Merkur - '18 Northworst, Pointless, '17 Freeze, Sweat, Pointless, '16 Pointless, Vodden, Sweat, Turrible, Freeze - '15 Vodden, Freeze. '96 Taurus SHO Skunk - '17 Vodden (Hope for the Future award - not me, rookies), '15 Pointless, Turrible. A&D w/Panting Polar Bears '17 Turrible, w/Pit Crew Revenge '18 Vodden. w/Flying Scotsman '18 Arse Freeze.

4 (edited by gunn 2018-07-16 01:32 PM)

Re: Q: looking for advice/recs for 1pc SFI 3.2A/5 driver suits & materials

billybobster wrote:

Single layer SFI 3.2/A5 suits are tempting and have come down in price a lot. But double layer is more fabric to insulate from the thermal energy. And my suit seems to do OK in the heat of Thunderhill summer.

Thanks for the feature commentary; that's exactly what I was hoping for. I DID see one SFI 3.2/A5 in my self imposed budget but I was skeptical about this.Are they just as good as 2 layer suits or am I exchanging keeping cool with reduced product life/wear?
-g

PS. I did speak to someone at GFORCE to confirm what exactly the "GTEX" material quoted in the outer layer of the 545 suit was (it's a form of nomex vs some kind of retardant treated cotton) AND his opinion was that any single layer suit will be less breathable than a 2 layer suit like the 545. In order to achieve the required 10 sec burn time, a single layer suit vs a dual layer one will need to either be thicker per layer, more impermeable to fire, or both. I'm inclined to believe him but I'd be happy to hear from someone with direct experience.

Myopic Motorsport's #888 Ceci n'est pas une Citron Thunderbird ("This is not a lemon" but a 1995 tbird w/ 93 V8 swap + shopping cart rear wing + engine mounted frito maker)
2017 Sears Pointless Organizer’s Choice
Frito Making Tbird from 2018 Sears Pointless Engine Heat BBQ - http://goo.gl/csaet4

5 (edited by gunn 2018-07-17 12:32 PM)

Re: Q: looking for advice/recs for 1pc SFI 3.2A/5 driver suits & materials

MDG wrote:

I have a high end Sparco that was $1000 off because it was a giant size and had been on the shelf for a few years. You being average size probably won't have this chance. It's a gorgeous suit, shiny blue, 3 layers, it puts a smile on my face just looking at it and touching it.

I also have 2 G-Force 545 suits I got from ebay when they were on closeout (medium still available on ebay for $150 in red). For $150 get it, and if you don't like it keep it as a backup. Everyone on my team has 1 or 2 of them, they're functional, pretty lightweight (2 layer) and seriously cheap. I think the 545 is cooler than my Sparco, but we all wear Nomex underwear and coolshirts. Really, for $150 they're great.

I wear the G-Force 10x as often as the Sparco, and don't feel bad when I get sprayed with mud. This might be a consideration if you have to be changing tires or making other emergency repairs during the race.

Pockets are very nice to have, I wouldn't skimp on that
I like stretchy cuffs, rather than velcro

I just wanted to thank you for the heads up on the eBay deal you turned me onto ($150 + $11 shipping for me) = $161 for a suit that sells for $400 is a fantastic deal even if it doesn't say it has all the bells and whistles discussed in this thread. Score one win for average sized people (M) -- also available for small folks (S) and big boys (2XL).
https://www.ebay.com/itm/G-FORCE-Racing … 1137109698

I wanted to post here that if you make the purchase TODAY (7/17/2018), you can take an additional $25 off using eBay's Promo Code PRIMO119
https://pages.ebay.com/promo/2018/0717/ … 6242525488

As an additional tip, can also save another 2% off by using eBates.com (referral link if you don't already have an acct https://www.ebates.com/r/GENERI7?eeid=28585) first before completing the purchase. This is on top of any eBay Bucks you might make from the transaction (another 1% IIRC).
Total is $136 - 2% eBates - 1% eBay Bucks = ~$131.

After seeing that the suit is confirmed to be fully nomex (vs flame retardant cotton) and New Without Tags means that it might not have all the retail packaging BUT should still have the SFI tag sown in (as per the GFORCE CSR I spoke to on the phone), I pulled the trigger this morning when I saw this coupon come out. Given the price delta, I figured it was worth rolling the dice.

-g

Myopic Motorsport's #888 Ceci n'est pas une Citron Thunderbird ("This is not a lemon" but a 1995 tbird w/ 93 V8 swap + shopping cart rear wing + engine mounted frito maker)
2017 Sears Pointless Organizer’s Choice
Frito Making Tbird from 2018 Sears Pointless Engine Heat BBQ - http://goo.gl/csaet4

Re: Q: looking for advice/recs for 1pc SFI 3.2A/5 driver suits & materials

gunn wrote:
MDG wrote:

I have a high end Sparco that was $1000 off because it was a giant size and had been on the shelf for a few years. You being average size probably won't have this chance. It's a gorgeous suit, shiny blue, 3 layers, it puts a smile on my face just looking at it and touching it.

I also have 2 G-Force 545 suits I got from ebay when they were on closeout (medium still available on ebay for $150 in red). For $150 get it, and if you don't like it keep it as a backup. Everyone on my team has 1 or 2 of them, they're functional, pretty lightweight (2 layer) and seriously cheap. I think the 545 is cooler than my Sparco, but we all wear Nomex underwear and coolshirts. Really, for $150 they're great.

I wear the G-Force 10x as often as the Sparco, and don't feel bad when I get sprayed with mud. This might be a consideration if you have to be changing tires or making other emergency repairs during the race.

Pockets are very nice to have, I wouldn't skimp on that
I like stretchy cuffs, rather than velcro

I just wanted to thank you for the heads up on the eBay deal you turned me onto ($150 + $11 shipping for me) = $161 for a suit that sells for $400 is a fantastic deal even if it doesn't say it has all the bells and whistles discussed in this thread. Score one win for average sized people (M) -- also available for small folks (S) and big boys (2XL).
https://www.ebay.com/itm/G-FORCE-Racing … 1137109698

I wanted to post here that if you make the purchase TODAY (7/17/2018), you can take an additional $25 off using eBay's Promo Code PRIMO119
https://pages.ebay.com/promo/2018/0717/ … 6242525488

As an additional tip, can also save another 2% off by using eBates.com (referral link if you don't already have an acct https://www.ebates.com/r/GENERI7?eeid=28585) first before completing the purchase. This is on top of any eBay Bucks you might make from the transaction (another 1% IIRC).
Total is $136 - 2% eBates - 1% eBay Bucks = ~$131.

After seeing that the suit is confirmed to be fully nomex (vs flame retardant cotton) and New Without Tags means that it might not have all the retail packaging BUT should still have the SFI tag sown in (as per the GFORCE CSR I spoke to on the phone), I pulled the trigger this morning when I saw this coupon come out. Given the price delta, I figured it was worth rolling the dice.

-g

I wanna thank you again MDG for turning me onto this deal. The GFORCE suit came into my office this morning and it seems brand new with the full retail packaging. This must have been an overstock since I received what seems to be a retail new product instead of a "tradeshow sample". Between this and a crazy deal I got on a K1 Racing vintage suit from Amazon (likely was a price mistake), I'm squared away.

Now onto the next topic: What do you folks wear UNDERNEATH your 2 layer suits?
Some people wear full nomex undies -- long sleeve shirt & long underwear. This is the safest but it's going to be a little hot in Baja California in April (80F-90F average high).
Others recommend Carbon X (Oakley makes Carbon X boxers & tshirts)
Clearly others just race in shorts+tshirt even though that's NOT the most ideal solution.

-g

Myopic Motorsport's #888 Ceci n'est pas une Citron Thunderbird ("This is not a lemon" but a 1995 tbird w/ 93 V8 swap + shopping cart rear wing + engine mounted frito maker)
2017 Sears Pointless Organizer’s Choice
Frito Making Tbird from 2018 Sears Pointless Engine Heat BBQ - http://goo.gl/csaet4

Re: Q: looking for advice/recs for 1pc SFI 3.2A/5 driver suits & materials

Carbon X is the shit.  More comfortable than casual clothes.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita" 
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)
1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless)
1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites) (Sold -> Houston.  Gone and forgotten)

Re: Q: looking for advice/recs for 1pc SFI 3.2A/5 driver suits & materials

My primary race suit is a Nomex G-Force (545) which is lighter and cooler than my first treated cotton suit. We've done a lot of hot summer races in Texas and the Nomex is more comfortable and cooler than the treated cotton and Nomex never washed out. I tend to wear my race gear all day during races.

Other team members have also gone to Nomex because it's lighter too. If it's cold like snowing at Road Atlanta I wear fire proof under britches too.

I don't know how the higher end $1000 and up suits compare but my entry level Nomex suit is much more comfortable than the thicker cotton suits.

I've never bought from Race Image but would also only want one of those suits if it had stuff I liked on it. Mulry's old Garfield/Heathcliff suit was awesome and another buddy has a nice Crown Royal suit. As mentioned, I only want to advertise for people who pay me (currently that's no one) or I like.

Troy

#35 LRE
1973 Datsun 240Z

Re: Q: looking for advice/recs for 1pc SFI 3.2A/5 driver suits & materials

Troy wrote:

My primary race suit is a Nomex G-Force (545) which is lighter and cooler than my first treated cotton suit. We've done a lot of hot summer races in Texas and the Nomex is more comfortable and cooler than the treated cotton and Nomex never washed out. I tend to wear my race gear all day during races.

Other team members have also gone to Nomex because it's lighter too. If it's cold like snowing at Road Atlanta I wear fire proof under britches too.

I don't know how the higher end $1000 and up suits compare but my entry level Nomex suit is much more comfortable than the thicker cotton suits.

I've never bought from Race Image but would also only want one of those suits if it had stuff I liked on it. Mulry's old Garfield/Heathcliff suit was awesome and another buddy has a nice Crown Royal suit. As mentioned, I only want to advertise for people who pay me (currently that's no one) or I like.

So what do you normally race with underneath your gforce 545?

Myopic Motorsport's #888 Ceci n'est pas une Citron Thunderbird ("This is not a lemon" but a 1995 tbird w/ 93 V8 swap + shopping cart rear wing + engine mounted frito maker)
2017 Sears Pointless Organizer’s Choice
Frito Making Tbird from 2018 Sears Pointless Engine Heat BBQ - http://goo.gl/csaet4

Re: Q: looking for advice/recs for 1pc SFI 3.2A/5 driver suits & materials

gunn wrote:
Troy wrote:

My primary race suit is a Nomex G-Force (545) which is lighter and cooler than my first treated cotton suit. We've done a lot of hot summer races in Texas and the Nomex is more comfortable and cooler than the treated cotton and Nomex never washed out. I tend to wear my race gear all day during races.

Other team members have also gone to Nomex because it's lighter too. If it's cold like snowing at Road Atlanta I wear fire proof under britches too.

I don't know how the higher end $1000 and up suits compare but my entry level Nomex suit is much more comfortable than the thicker cotton suits.

I've never bought from Race Image but would also only want one of those suits if it had stuff I liked on it. Mulry's old Garfield/Heathcliff suit was awesome and another buddy has a nice Crown Royal suit. As mentioned, I only want to advertise for people who pay me (currently that's no one) or I like.

So what do you normally race with underneath your gforce 545?

Shorts and a T-shirt/cool suit

Troy

#35 LRE
1973 Datsun 240Z

11

Re: Q: looking for advice/recs for 1pc SFI 3.2A/5 driver suits & materials

Good deal man,
As far as underwear, I use the Alpine Stars Lenzing pants and coolshirt FR shirt. My teammates have the G-Force Nomex underwear which seems heavier than the Alpine Stars. Whatever you do I recommend against the RJS, it is super thick and designed for people who are wider than tall. Seriously, I know I'm a giant dude but there was a 6" gap between the pants and shirt (XL). There are also some Nomex T-shirts and boxers on the market, but they're expensive and I figure the extra protection sleeves and pants afford may be worth it some day.

There are coolpants too, I haven't used them but for the midwest July humidity I'm tempted to give them a try.

Re: Q: looking for advice/recs for 1pc SFI 3.2A/5 driver suits & materials

The G-Force 545 suit is SFI 3.2/A5 rated so you could go naked under there as per the rules.  There is definitely nothing wrong with an extra layer of protection, but for example this weekend at Thompson should be hotter than satans asshole, I'm leaving the long johns home.

Tom Lomino - Proud to be a 21x Lemons Loser, 3x Class B, and 1x IOE Winner!
Craptain, Team Farfrumwinnin - 1995 Volkswagen Golf #14
Click here to "Like" us on Facebook   Click here for our Youtube Videos
Lifetime Achievement (of hoplessness) Award Winners

Re: Q: looking for advice/recs for 1pc SFI 3.2A/5 driver suits & materials

RogueLeader wrote:

The G-Force 545 suit is SFI 3.2/A5 rated so you could go naked under there as per the rules.  There is definitely nothing wrong with an extra layer of protection, but for example this weekend at Thompson should be hotter than satans asshole, I'm leaving the long johns home.

And for S & G Douglas about 1 town over had a EF-1 Tornado on Saturday.  I expect much like the past two years a rain delay and hotter than BLEEP weather again.