110 Series Pyrovatex® SFI-1 Suits, Jackets, & Pants
SFI 3.2A/1 Certified; 11 TPP Rating; Pyrovatex Material Construction
The RaceQuip 111 series single-layer driving jacket is made from Pyrovatex® FRC material. Pyrovatex® offers the maximum combination of overall flame and heat protection, durability and comfort for the price. This FRC material retains the softness and breathability of cotton and will wick away moisture from the skin. Pyrovatex® fabric is gentle and non-irritating to even the most sensitive skin. The treatment process leaves the exterior surface shiny and supple. Since the Pyrovatex® process combines a chemical agent with the raw cotton fibers to create a bond at the molecular level, with proper care, the garment will retain its flame retardant properties beyond the useful life of the garment. All driving jackets are assembled with heavy-duty, multi-needle, over-lock safety stitch machines to provide exceptional seam strength. Stylish contrasting armband stripes match the full-length leg stripes on RaceQuip driving pants. The black accents: high-back collar and arm cuffsand epauletsgive the driving jacket an unique look and style. Add to this the pleated back panel for freedom of movement, you have a single layer driving jacket that provides an outstanding value. Exceeds SFI 3.2A/1 specs with a TPP rating of 11. Available in Black, Red and Blue with Black arm stripes and manufactured in sizes from Small – 5X-Large (refer to sizing chart).
Before we start to discuss rating we need to go over the Golden Rule: Always check with your sanctioning body. Your sanctioning body makes the rules on what safety equipment you need and what ratings are sufficient. Before doing anything else, make sure you know exactly what they require, otherwise you could end up with a suit that looks and fits great, but can’t be used for your events.
The 3 most commonly used ratings for driving suits used in road racing are:
- SFI 3.2A/1 These suits are typically made of cotton with a fire-resistant treatment and must protect the wearer from second-degree (blistering) burns for 3 seconds. They are often referred to as “Single Layer Suits.”
- SFI 3.2A/5 Made of Nomex or other aramid fibers, these suits must provide the same protection for a period of 10 seconds. They are often referred to as “multi-layer suits,” though some are able to provide the required protection with a single layer of Nomex fabric.
- FIA 8856-2000 Similar to the SFI 3.2A/5 standard, some suits are certified to both standards.
- Most sanctioning bodies will require a full set of Nomex long underwear to be worn with a single-layer suit. If you are looking to save some money by going with an SFI 3.2A/1 suit, keep in mind that the cost of Nomex underwear can actually make the underwear & suit combo more expensive than just getting an SFI 3.2A/5 suit.
- The two options are somewhat similar as far as protection goes, so going with the SFI 3.2A/5 suit makes putting on and taking off the gear easier in between runs. We still highly recommend using Nomex underwear, even if your suit has a SFI 3.2A/5 tag. The rules state the minimum required protection, but when it comes to fire, wouldn’t you rather be more protected than you have to be?
Most auto racing is done during the warmer parts of the year, and in the interest of light weight, most race cars have little to no heat shielding material separating the driver from hot parts such as the engine and exhaust system. Combine these factors with the workout you’re getting from wrestling your car around the track, and you are going to get HOT!
Nomex is an insulator, that’s part of how it protects you, so even in the lightest suit, on a hot day in a hot car you’re going to be pretty hot. However, the weights of suits vary quite a bit between models, and lighter suits will be cooler and more comfortable over all.
3. One-piece vs. two-piece
Some suits, come in two pieces: a jacket and pants. We find that drag racers are the ones who most commonly buy a 2-piece suit, but they may also be practical solution for someone with unusual proportions, such as longer legs with a shorter torso. While 2-piece suits can pass the SFI 3.2A/5 certification, with a 2-piece suit, there can be a gap between the top of the pants and the bottom of the jacket, potentially allowing the wearer to get burned through that gap. When customers are trying to decide between one- and two-piece suits, we typically recommend a one-piece suit for added safety.
With most safety gear, one of the most important factors is fit, and suits are no exception. You want your suit to be loose enough to allow a layer of air between your body (or Nomex underwear) and the inside of the suit. This air gap accomplishes 2 things:
- A layer of air in between your body and the suit will act as a thermal insulator in the event of a fire. This will provide extra protection, and could make the difference between being hot and being burned.
- A layer of air will allow better transpiration and evaporation, which will aid the body in naturally cooling itself down.
Since you don’t stand up when you’re driving, you’ll want to evaluate a suit’s fit when you’re sitting in your car. We usually have our customers sit in the Sparco racing seats in our showroom when they’re trying on suits. If you’re shopping at a store when buying your Nomex suit, make sure to find a race seat to sit in when you’re deciding how it fits.
Now, we understand that most people out there don’t have a local store to visit when purchasing race gear, so if you’re shopping online, make sure to pay extra attention to the sizing chart. Different suit manufacturers have suits that fit differently, so if you’re looking at different brands, make sure you double check the specific brand’s sizing chart. If you’re a size 58 in Sparco you may not be a size 58 in a different manufacturer’s suit. If you’re right in between 2 sizes, we generally recommend choosing the larger of the two, due to the air gap described above. If you’re really unsure, give us a call; we have sales staff that are experts on safety fitment. We also have a great return policy for unused items.
5. Other features
As the sport of racing has grown and changed, so has safety equipment technology. We now have chemically treated fabrics, ergonomically designed zippers, boot cuffs, and more. We’ll briefly review a few of these.
Fire suits don’t work as well when they’re stained with oil or gasoline. When you’re working on your car or walking the paddock, we recommend not wearing your suit.
To wrap things up, your choice of a driving suit is not one to be taken lightly. Make sure you know exactly what your sanctioning body requires, and we recommend looking up the rules for other sanctioning bodies as well; you never know if you’ll want to do another organization’s event sometime in the future. If you have the chance to go into a store and try suits on, then take it. After all, fit is very important. Otherwise, sizing charts do a decent job, especially if you can talk to a knowledgeable sales representative. If you are ordering online, make sure to check the company’s return policy, as you won’t need any additional problems beyond a fire suit that is too small or large.
HOW DO I CLEAN / WASH MY FIRESUIT?
We recommend dry cleaning your suit to preserve the life of your safety garment for as long as possible. Your Sparco Race suit should be treated with the same respect as your Sunday Suit. After each driving session, please remove the suit whenever possible and hang dry to remove moisture and to prevent grease/oil from staining the suit while working on your car.
Washing instructions: If you wash your suit, we recommend hand washing or washing it in on a delicate cycle in the washing machine inside a garment wash bag with COLD water. Please make sure that the belt and collar are closed on the suit, to prevent the velcro from causing damage to the nomex fabric. Woolite soap is recommended as it is a non-abrasive detergent. DO NOT use bleach or anything similar. When drying the suit, always let the suit drip dry, indoors (out of the sunlight).