Where do you buy your racing gear?

Where do you buy your racing gear and what would you stay away from?
Mainly looking for suit or jacket advice, but could use any suggestions about online shopping for safety gear.
What should a new guy or gal expect when buying gear online?
I get the feeling it’s going to be a nightmare.
Just the suit alone is going to drive me crazy.
None of the sizing charts make sense. Nothing seems to be in stock. Very little information about what your getting or why it would be good for karting. Is it a summer suit, is it good for winter? Why on Earth is there cotton in there?
I have to be missing something… It can’t be this hard to find a suit… Or just a jacket.

All karting suits will be of some sort of ballistic material, as they are meant to protect you if you were to slide across the ground. Don’t buy something with Nomex, because that will tear or rip when you slide, they are meant to protect from a fire. We have basically used K1 Race Gear suits. Even with the cotton inside, they are air vents to help keep cool, or warm. We’ve bought them from K1 directly or Race Day Safety. Alpinestars, Sparco and OMP also make good suits. I think if you’re a beginner, K1 has a little lower price point.

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So as far as suits go, is it true that anything with a certification i.e. “CIK / FIA” have a shelf or usage life?
I have only seen one mention of this. It was from a person leaving a review of a suit.

Something to the effect of " the price on this suit is so low because its old and only has one year left on the certification".
Its the first I have heard of this. Is this a thing?

As to suit sizing, it seems to me the only thing one can do is take a bunch of measurements the best you can. Some sites want you to measure different areas different ways so keep that in mind. Even from the same manufacturer you may see different sizing charts for different suit models, again depending on what site your looking at. I would think the best thing to do would be stick to the manufacturers website if at all possible, then once you have a size you think will work for you then you can use that number to shop around.

I think its important to note that your measurements are not going to fit perfectly into any chart. If they do count your self very lucky. So at the end of the day it looks like height and weight may be the most important decider in choosing a suit size. If your 6’1" you’re NEVER going to fit in a suit that has a range of
5’1" to 5’6", same thing for weight. It would seem to me that the only thing you can do is get a size that fits your height and weight and hope for the best on the other areas. Having all your possible measurements in front of you though could help you trouble shoot all the other areas of measurement before ordering. Maybe you find for example, that the height and weight works but the arm length is a no go.

I have to think that one just has to narrow it down the best they can and order something hoping for the best.

This is where the stress comes in as some of the online retailers (from the view of a new guy with no experience with anything karting related) some of these sites look questionable if I’m being polite and like a flee market site if I’m being honest. Like the equivalent of a run down strip mall on the out skirts of town. From sites that only carry 5 suits, 3 of which only have one size in stock to sites who have a link to their YouTube channel that has no karting related videos what so ever, the search for a suit quickly becomes overwhelming.

At this point though, I’m just a new guy rambling on while half way into a nervous breakdown over trying to find a suit that fits. Also just to give you guys something you may find hilarious… this is me summing up my thoughts in the shortest form possible. :slight_smile: I actually left a lot out for fear of getting booted out of the forum.

Just for the record if anyone cares. I think I’m a euro size 54, I will probably not take a chance on any of the discounted name brand suits i have seen on some of the smaller sites. I will probably look at getting one straight from the manufacturer. That way a return or exchange will be a much more likely option. So thats what i’m going to do…or maybe i will do the exact opposite…

Have you considered plonking down approx 500 for a bespoke suit? Throw enough $ at a problem…

The lack of bricks and mortar stores makes it a bit of a buy return buy experience

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That is actually what I think I’m going to do.
You can’t learn from mistakes if you don’t make any. I would rather just kick it out now, then beat myself to death trying to get the best deal ever. Its probably worth the extra money just to get something from a reputable source and a proven platform.
I guess at some point you just have to stop worrying and get out there.

One thing. When I did my suit, I ended up being a bit off in one part. Err on the side of bigger. Also, don’t forget a pocket if it’s an option.

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On certification timelines and safety, paging @Ryon_Beachner. I had a conversation with him on this topic a few weeks ago. He might be able to explain more about how that process works.

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KartSport New Zealand I believe sets no age limit on suits with CIK certification, but sets strict restrictions on condition. Helmets on the other hand have a very strict age limit.

I assume that’s based off of the CIK recommendations? Having said that, we aren’t allowed to use only jackets etc so perhaps your club/governing body follows different guidelines.

As far as off the shelf gear, Demon Tweeks in the UK are hard to beat for price etc. Their shipping has gone all haywire recently, I don’t know if it’s a glitch.