Are the karting suits on Ebay any good? I assume most of them are “out the back door” specials for the brands and prices they are quoting, generally from Pakistan or such. Buy maybe they are OK, at least to get started with (to replace my heavy denim shirt).
There really aren’t any local places that sell kart suits, other than possibly Dallas (3 hour drive). So pretty much anything is going to be mail-order.
What suits are you looking at specifically? eBay is a marketplace of course, so really you have to judge based on the merits of the product and seller. I see this question come up with car parts too.
There are other online options for suits as well of course. Torq America have been one of our supporters at KartPulse. K1 racegear is another option.
Or… Looking for a light colored suit to stay cooler.
I don’t know, I’d ask @NikG, but I’d rather get a suit from a dealer I knew, just so I knew that I wasn’t getting anything shadey. Plus, safety.
The Pakistan suits aren’t really fia/cik. They just have a bogus tag. That being said they are apparently decently made. However, if you need/want to have a real suit, the brands like sparco etc are legit.
As Dom said, most eBay Pakistan suits aren’t actually CIK rated, which doesn’t matter much for us here in the States (yet), but you are definitely getting what you pay for.
Besides being very thin, the fitment is also going to be atrocious. Most off-the-shelf Pakistan suits I’ve seen have been baggy enough to fit two drivers in.
I ordered some once when we used to have the shop at Pitt Race. He quality was OK but the sizing was atrocious. These ones were generally tall and thin but have seen plenty of the super baggy ones too. At the end of the day if you are going to get a Pakistan or India made suit, you are better off getting them from one of the North American companies importing them that have at least addressed the sizing issue. I always liked the Kart Racewear brand I think it was, K1 is decent, etc. ORG has really nice looking stuff but their sizing is rough and the customer service is sketchy at best. I have heard good things about TJ’s product as well as Zach Skolnick’s also. Always like supporting guys in the community!
My primary suggestion though is use someone that will do returns easily and quickly if it doesn’t fit right. A cheap suit is no longer cheap if you have to buy two to get one that fits.
Hi @hallkbrdz ,
So the only way to guarantee you have a suit that is homologated is CIK Level 2 is to confirm the manufacturer is on the homologation list. A lot of manufacturers use other factories or homologations to save on start up costs (including Torq Racewear for which we, Torq America, are the distributors). But basically you just have to ask and that’s a little easier with US distributors.
In terms of trustworthy custom homologated suits made in countries like Pakistan, India, Taiwan or China that I’ve seen in North America;
Torq Racewear (our ZeroKart and TorqKart2 are made there, all other suits are Italy)
K1 Racegear (Pakistan)
ORG (HongKong/China and Pakistan)
Xzuit Racewear (HongKong/China)
The bigger manufacturers also use these locations but its on a different scale.
However if you just want a suit, off the shelf from a trusted manufacturer and you don’t mind going non-homologated then K1 Racegear have one for $135.
Oh I also find it super shifty when they use photos clearly from the original manufacturer (like the links you shared).
I agree, plus they keep the original manufacturer logos on there…
Thanks for the feedback everyone. While I didn’t really care about the tags, sizing is important. Color is also important, having learned that from buying an all-black suit for auto racing, I didn’t want to make that mistake again.
I had been watching for something to come up used, but since that hasn’t happened, I think I will spring for a new old-stock Alpinestars KMX-5 suit, like the one below. It’s one of the few light colored suits I can find (without paying crazy money for custom), and should be good for both sprint and road race use. Ordering a size large based on feedback I’ve read about euro suits, hopefully that’s right.
I got the Alpinestars KMX-9 and I really like the fit. Just wish they made it a tall. Maybe they do, but I couldn’t find one.
When it comes to safety stuff, don’t complain to much about price. Remember that you have probably invested a lot into yourself to get you where you are today, so a few hundred bucks in good safety gear is worth it in my opinion.
For $250 shipped I thought it was a reasonable deal compared to the iffy $150-$175 ones from Ebay. Time will tell…
I’m going to ask a stupid question, what was wrong with black for auto racing?
A black suit is very HOT in the summer (Oklahoma / Texas). Light colors are of course cooler due to less solar gain. Of course that is with a 3-layer nomex suit with other safety gear layers as well. At local tracks there is little to no shade other than a pop-up, so that makes a real difference.
For karting I figured that color choice is even of greater importance given that you also have no roof over your head to shade you while driving.
I’ve had a black suit and found it to be OK. Karting suits are typically lighter than three layers of nomex of course. You don’t want nomex for a kart suit (I think we covered that though)
You don’t have a roof for shade in a kart, but you also don’t have a cockpit trapping my heat and you do have a rather nice breeze. Especially road racing at 100+
Yep, a light color will definitely be cooler. But @KartingIsLife has said, karting suits are generally made of some kind of abrasion resistant material (cordura) and a second layer, (towel or perforated polyester) and usually some vents in the arm pits and/or crotch.
Nomex on the other hand is like wearing a blanket, that’s why a lot of people are willing spend mega bucks for a 2 layer (or the briefly available sparco 1 layer) because the breath-ability increases.
So a kart suit should generally run a little a cooler, also a white suit will show all those oil splatters super quick (but this might not be important to you).
Having said all that, the alpine stars kmx-5 suit is a great of the peg item.