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  1. #1
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    Default Help! Buying new gear.

    For the last few months, I have been looking for new turnout gear. I've seen enough TPP/THL combinations and variations of materials and listened to more salesmen preach the gospel according to the fire gods than anyone should be subjected to in one lifetime. Building gear on the internet has led to an overload to my favorites page. My thinker is fried to the point of dark grey matter oozing from the ears. HELP!

    I need to hear from the rest of the planet what you have. Help me out with answers to these questions. Thanks.

    1) Who makes what you have now?
    2) Are you happy/satisfied with it?
    3) Would you buy the same stuff to replace it with?
    4) If not, what kind would you get?
    5) Good/Bad things about what you have now?
    6) Any "must have" options you recommend?

    I have searched and researched and have yet to come up with that winning combination of shell/barrier/liner that would tell me to buy "X" gear from "Z" company.

    If you use that combination of stuff now, let me know.

    Thanks for your time and input.


  2. #2
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    Have a look at the turnout gear thread..been some discussion on what has and hasnt been working!!
    When you are looking at gear make sure it is going to last - If you are a busy department that does a lot of structure you would look at gear with more heat protection (cost of material will be more) - if you are a light duty area - you may want to explore a stronger shell and moderate heat protection (all heat protection in gear is going to last longer than the human body can withstand) - its all a battle to get a good life span out of your gear - with the protection that you require.
    What have you looked at so far and have you narrowed down your search to a couple of brands?

  3. #3
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    We have looked at several different kinds but have not had the opportunity to wear them at other than the demonstrations.

    What we may have narrowed it down to is:
    Morning Pride
    outer shell: Kevlar/Nomex Rip stop 7oz
    moisture barrier: crosstech/nomex facecloth
    and a thermal liner of nomex facecloth / batt light.

    Sound like a good combination? Anyone care to offer up a difference of opinion? Thanks for the help.

  4. #4
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    Here is a hint...will save you some cost and cut down your choices. PBI, forget about it, nomex is what you want. May not have the heat rating of PBI but remember...most Lexan can only withstand 200 degrees as where nomex can handle 600. Lexan is the main component of most face masks on SCBAs

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber firefighterbeau's Avatar
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    I personally use Fyrepel, with a Millenia outer shell and i like it so far. From the reseach I have been doing, i probably would go with Morning Pride for my next set, same outer shell though. Its more expensive but has great wear and heat protection. Our dept uses Quaker and has treated us good.

  6. #6
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ElChup175
    Here is a hint...will save you some cost and cut down your choices. PBI, forget about it, nomex is what you want. May not have the heat rating of PBI but remember...most Lexan can only withstand 200 degrees as where nomex can handle 600. Lexan is the main component of most face masks on SCBAs
    I believe the polycarbonate used in SCBA masks is of the optical type used in eye-glasses, which is stronger and heat-resistant (a "thermoset" which can't be re-molded). Lexan, aka Polycarbonate of bishpenol A, is a thermoplastic and can be molded.

    I've tried finding numbers on this in Scott literature, but I can't. Anyhow, I highly doubt the SCBA mask is only rated for 200 degrees... they'd be melting in steamy rooms! Polycarbonate safety goggles and Cairns helmets are rated to near 400 degrees.

    We use Globe GX-7 with Millenia outershell, crosstech vapor barrier, and Caldura SL thermal barrier. Globe makes great gear. Big selling point with Millenia (a Zylon/Technora blend) is its strength... it is tough stuff. BUT... keep in mind the Zylon is the primary component of ballistic vests that allegedly weakened due to exposure to heat and humidity. Supposedly newer studies indicate minimal loss in strength over a prolonged exposure to heat and humidity.

    I would definetly go with this same configuration again. It has performed very well.
    Last edited by Resq14; 12-15-2004 at 01:51 AM.
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  7. #7
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    quietone, We use the Morning Pride and very happy with it. This is what we have purchased the last 3 times and we will not change. The Morning Pride seems a bit heavy in our configuaration, but not bad until it gets completely soaked. We have ours custom fitted for each person. The fit is excellent. Freedom of movement is great. The other gear that we looked at did not seem to have the same fit as M.P. We have used Janesville, Cairnes, Globe, and Securitex in the past. The second best gear we ever had was the Cairnes. Our M.P. is the same specs you have listed except our outer shell is PBI. Not sure of the oz. though. It was the higher of the two that they offered. We have bellows pockets on the coats and pants, radio pocket left chest, flashlight snap and loop on the right chest, thumb loop, extended cuff on coat, take uo straps on the coat and pant, F.D. name across back, ff name across tail, and removable knee pads. I think ours came in at $1450 a set.

  8. #8
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    Default Compare pricing and quality.

    quietone,

    be sure to consider all comparable turnouts - lion, globe, morning pride and fire-dex. all of these are available with a comparable nomex/kevlar and crosstech combination.

    are there options that you need that morning pride may not be able to provide to you? globe's GX-7 has a low rise waist on its pants

    what is the time frame that you need your gear in? fire-dex ships in five days

    are you worried about seam integrity? globe has trim trax; fire-dex uses lock-stitch on all its seams

    it is important to establish what is most important to your dept - and then pursue the manufacturer who can supply all of those requirements for the best value.

    good luck!

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by ElChup175
    Here is a hint...will save you some cost and cut down your choices. PBI, forget about it, nomex is what you want. May not have the heat rating of PBI but remember...most Lexan can only withstand 200 degrees as where nomex can handle 600. Lexan is the main component of most face masks on SCBAs
    Ummmm.... So they need to get gear, let's cut the cost for quality because the face mask "might melt at 200 degrees." That is one of the craziest things that I have ever heard. I have seen a firefighter wearing nomex burn his entire groin area, could it happen wearing PBI, sure could, but the thermal protection of PBI is much, much better (fact)... Is it worth the extra $$$$??? We are talking about chump change when it comes to burning your troops.... Globe makes one of the finest turnouts in the market. I did a ton of research last spring when my department bought new gear. You will hear it over and over.... PBI PBI PBI

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber Wildman51's Avatar
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    I agree... my opinion is that PBI is an excellent material. I wouldn't go all nomex again...
    I've used all types of gear, meeting NFPA 1971 and NFPA 1976. Here's what I liked and didn't like... just my personal opinion.

    Starfield Lion - Racing NFPA1971 - nice and light, inner liner made e-89 quilted to nomex and doesn't slide well against the body, sticks when wet. Fit's to big due to a poor sizing sheet.

    Securitex - Structural Duty NFPA1971 - excellent gear, great fit, easy to clean and maintain gear lasted 5 years with light duty.

    Starfield Lion – Structural Duty NFPA1971 – 60/40 Kevlar/ nomex, same fitting problems as racing gear, strong stuff but heavy, nice and warm, strange suspenders but I think the company has changed them.

    Morning Pride - NFPA 1976 ARFF - nice fit and great features, Aluminized PBI which really holds up... chose the tails but wouldn't pick them again (no reason other than looks)

    Lion Apparel - ARFF NFPA 1976 - good fit, great extra features with exchangeable Navy knees and lumbar support, Kevlar instead of PBI which broke down faster...especially in the creases.


    Am investigating the Globe G-Xtream for racing as some of the finest teams in North America use and swear by them, also some of the guys on this post. That’s good enough for me to give it a chance… good luck!
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  11. #11
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    quietone - are you just as confused now as you were before? So many options available - best bet is contact your supplier and see if they have demo gear that guys can try out for a month or so. Our Globe dealer sold us one set and if we werent happy will take it back 100% refund (unless damaged).
    My advise - check Morning Pride and Glode - compare similar characteristics of both, range of motion, comfort, stiching, and of course price!
    One more thing compare the thermal values for yourself on PBI and Nomex - most important is witch one will protect better in a flashover situation.
    Good Luck
    Dave

  12. #12
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    We have the Chieftain quick ship turnouts, 3200X.

    They have them in stock ready to be shipped.

    Super nice, all of the features.

    Kakie Advace out shell, probly the longest wearing outer shell, very very tough. IIRC in the mid range for heat resistance, but its physcialy streangth is the best IIRC.

    Cant recall off hand what the thermal barrier and moisture barrier are, but they seem to work just fine.

    Major major difference between these and our old Black Morning Pride and Globe Nomex gear. You can feel the heat much faster through the older gear.

    The 3200x is a good turnout, not super high dollar but will all of the neat features on the premium turnouts. Radio pocket, mike/light tabs, knee pads, etc...

    I would recomend them to anybody.

    On outher shells. The PBI does give the most thermal performance, but I have read from various sources that its lifespan is about 5 years before it starts to loose performance. It is more vulnerable to Ultraviote light then some of the other materials. Black PBI helps fight this IIRC.

    The Advace (60% Kevlar, 40% Nomex) outer shell IMO gives plently of thermal protection and offers better wear and tear performance then PBI or Basofil.

    If you are in a 1200 degree environment for very long its not you bunker gear (Nomex, Advace, PBI or other) that is going to be your concern.

    You SCBE facepice will crystilize before that and your hood (if you wear one) will be the weakest link.

    PBI might give you a few more seconds in a flash over, but I wouldnt realy factor that in. Most of us will never (knock on wood) be caught in a flashover, and if we are then even the low end PPE must pass standards that will give you a very very small window of time to get out of the danger zone.
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  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
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    Whatever you do, in MY opinion, DO NOT limit your choice to one gear manufacturer. These things are more or less like fire apparatus, where some company assembles components from other manufacturers to suit your needs. Some build it better than others, some cheaper, all have their good points.

    I just went through this and we currently have 14 sets of Millenia shelled sets coming. I have one Millenia set in service now on a trial basis, with three very abusive and active guys using it, and it has performed remarkably well. Throw in the fact that the Millenia has a 5-year shell warranty, and we were impressed.

    We wrote a spec indicating what we wanted on our gear and gave it to three manufacturers that we liked best. I told each what our budget limit was, and Morning Pride chose to bid above that limit, which was $1500. I've worn their gear on another department and was sad to know we wouldn't be considering their product, which I think is top notch. Two sellers bid competitvely, and I talked one manufacturer down $70 a set, and we went with them.

    There are lots of gear manufacturers out there that will build great gear. The biggest key is a proper spec that they all have to match, and a dealer that will take care of you. The local dealer for the winning brand was the key to the deal, he's always treated us very well, with immediate service. Our prior brand fell short on service after the sale, and were excluded from participation in the latest pricing process. Service after the sale is key...

    Send me a private message if you want specific details regarding manufacturer. I try not to promote one brand over another solely based on my opinion to a very broad audience.

  14. #14
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Donnelly,PBI has it's strengths and weaknesses like all outers.As important as the outer shell would be the inner liner and vapor barrier combination.Several thoughts to consider:If you're an active company doing a LOT of FIRES I'd be thinking PBI or Millenia.If you a low/moderate Fire company but do a lot of service calls and MVA's then I'd probably lean toward Millenia.If you need gear and have no money but need decent protection,Nomex 3.We just purchased 54 sets of the same gear Rescue 14 uses and we are happy with the results.At least as important to the style and material is the dealer;or who's going to take care of you after the sale.Remember you can have the best stuff going,but if you have no service after the sale what do you have?And different areas will have better support from certain mfgs than others.In our area,Globe is a strong contender;both the factry and the dealer are less than two hours away.Same situation exists for many of you in the MP areas.So these items should be factored in as well.T.C.

  15. #15
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    My volly FD has been using Bristol Nomex Delta T for about 5 years now. The gear is Boston spec and has served us very well. What I like about this gear is it is light, comfortable to wear and offers as good or better protection than anything else I have ever worn.

    My career FD uses Janesville PBI, I think the stuff is called Commando. This stuff to me is bulky, heavy and uncomfortable to wear for any length of time.

    Both sets of gear were custom sized for me. So it isn't a one size fits all complaint. It is anapples to apples comparison.

    I have in my career worn Morning Pride, Body Guard, Janesville, Bristol, Viking, and 3 different silvers set-ups when I worked as a CFR fire fighter and to be honest all of them offer similar protective qualities. To me the best option is to contact turn out gear manufacturers with your specifications ask them to deliver a set of gear in a specific size so one of your guys can try it out for comfort and mobility and choose the one that is the best in that reqard. If you write a good spec everything else should be equal.

    In my humble opinion, I would buy the Bristol gear again. For all the reasons mentioned above as well as outstanding customer service from our local vendor.

    My favorite options:
    1) Bellows pockets on both the coat and pants
    2) Chest mounted radio pocket, with a corresponding loop for that pesky radio mic to hook to
    3) Flashlight retention loop and strap for a Streamlight or a Big Ed right angle flashlight
    4) Liner that allows it to be opened up for faster drying
    5) Water wells at the cuffs to prevent water running down your arm
    6) easily replaced suspenders, some now are coming with permenantly attached suspenders, these will wear out, I guarantee it
    7) More than the minimum required reflective striping
    8) 6 inches of neoprene on the inside bottom of the pants legs to prevent water wicking up the inside of the liner, I don't know if anyone besides Bristol does this
    9) Elasticized waist band for a more comfortable fit, I hate the clown pants look some bunker pants fit like
    10) Take up straps on the pants to allow adjustment for those times during the year when you either get slimmer or fatter

    Good luck, because if you make the right choice and the gear is liked you will be a hero, if you make a bad choice and they hate the stuff you will have many years to be reminded of a bad choice.

    FyredUp

  16. #16
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    We just spent a lot of time evaluating different suits, and I have to tell you that we looked at the difference between a Morning Pride and a Chieftain suit and I got to be quite honest, the Chieftain suit definitely blew away the Morning Pride suit. These were the things we saw that made us go with Chieftain:

    1. Stitching - Those guys at Chieftain do a hell of a job sewing the gear together. The rep I talked to said they use military standards, apparently they make bullet proof vests too. When we compared how the trim was sewn to the the suit versus the Morning Pride suit, the Chieftain suit seemed more durable and tear resistant.

    2. Ease of Ordering - The suit we bought is this new model called the 3200Ultra. They have standard ensemble with PBI Matrix, the Caldura SL, and Stedair 4000. Man, we saw the THL's and TPP's, and this suit totally rocked the numbers. The Morning Pride rep tried to act like we were clueless on ordering gear and did this whole chinese menu approach.

    3. Features included - The Chieftain 3200Ultra came with radio pocket, pass alarm, mic loop, flashlight clip and velcro loop, two handwarmer/cargo pockets, two pant bellow pockets, and these knee pad inserts. When we asked the Morning Pride rep for the same features, instead of saying, "Yes we can do this, or no we can't," all he kept doing was shooting down the Chieftain suit. When we put him to the mat, on a dollar for dollar basis Chieftain cost a lot less. Which brings me to my next point.

    4. Price - To get the same features and materials, the Morning Pride rep was going to charge us like $1,600 while Chieftain's rep was coming in closer to $1,100. We were surprised at first and went to the rep saying, yo, how can the price be different. The rep said that Chieftain makes standard suits with lots of features already included so there's no upcharge for pockets or mic tabs. I was like damn!!!!!

    5. Delivery Time - The Morning Pride rep said that delivery time is like 90 days. The Chieftain rep said they could get the suits to us in 1 week. They have these stock sizes that fit most of us here at the department. This one driver though for our department is kinda big, and it too Chieftain like 60 days to get us a suit specifically made for him. I know one department near us that went Morning Pride, and they've been waiting like 120 days now for the gear. Something about Morning Pride is making the firesuits for the Iraqi firefighters. I don't know about that though.

    I hope all this helps.

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by arodwh99
    We just spent a lot of time evaluating different suits, and I have to tell you that we looked at the difference between a Morning Pride and a Chieftain suit and I got to be quite honest, the Chieftain suit definitely blew away the Morning Pride suit. These were the things we saw that made us go with Chieftain:

    1. Stitching - Those guys at Chieftain do a hell of a job sewing the gear together. The rep I talked to said they use military standards, apparently they make bullet proof vests too. When we compared how the trim was sewn to the the suit versus the Morning Pride suit, the Chieftain suit seemed more durable and tear resistant.

    2. Ease of Ordering - The suit we bought is this new model called the 3200Ultra. They have standard ensemble with PBI Matrix, the Caldura SL, and Stedair 4000. Man, we saw the THL's and TPP's, and this suit totally rocked the numbers. The Morning Pride rep tried to act like we were clueless on ordering gear and did this whole chinese menu approach.

    3. Features included - The Chieftain 3200Ultra came with radio pocket, pass alarm, mic loop, flashlight clip and velcro loop, two handwarmer/cargo pockets, two pant bellow pockets, and these knee pad inserts. When we asked the Morning Pride rep for the same features, instead of saying, "Yes we can do this, or no we can't," all he kept doing was shooting down the Chieftain suit. When we put him to the mat, on a dollar for dollar basis Chieftain cost a lot less. Which brings me to my next point.

    4. Price - To get the same features and materials, the Morning Pride rep was going to charge us like $1,600 while Chieftain's rep was coming in closer to $1,100. We were surprised at first and went to the rep saying, yo, how can the price be different. The rep said that Chieftain makes standard suits with lots of features already included so there's no upcharge for pockets or mic tabs. I was like damn!!!!!

    5. Delivery Time - The Morning Pride rep said that delivery time is like 90 days. The Chieftain rep said they could get the suits to us in 1 week. They have these stock sizes that fit most of us here at the department. This one driver though for our department is kinda big, and it too Chieftain like 60 days to get us a suit specifically made for him. I know one department near us that went Morning Pride, and they've been waiting like 120 days now for the gear. Something about Morning Pride is making the firesuits for the Iraqi firefighters. I don't know about that though.

    I hope all this helps.

    Glad you made a decision - I have a problem with it though - #5 " .They have these stock sizes that fit most of us here at the department. Securitex has this feature also - I dont enjoy wearing gear that is not fitted to my size. Each person is different and requires different sizing. Proper measurment and fitting goes hand in hand with safety and wether the gear is going to be baggy or hinder movement. I am a firm believer that gear should be custom ordered. When we ordered from securitex it was hand out the gear and - oh these need shortening or these are to tight etc. I am leary of mass produced gear (securitex). Morning pride puts out an excellent product - it just costs to damn much.

    I urge you to look at some of the other companies out there - dont get sucked into one because the salesman was good. Globe is an excellent product as well as many others mentioned in this thread. Is your guys comfort and protection worth a 6 week wait - or is it better to sacrifice this for something you can buy off the shelf right now, that doesnt quite fit right!

    Just my thoughts, good luck with the gear - keep us informed how it stands up!
    Dave

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber COFire's Avatar
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    Shoot me an email with your number, I can help you out with a great manufacturer and and even better dealer!

    I have personally used Globe, Securitex, Cairns, Quest, Morning Pride, & Janesville.

    My vote goes to Quest, they're basics are considered "options" for most manufacturers which costs more. I have owned 2 sets of Quest and would go with them in a heartbeat.

    My second choice is Morning Pride, only because I like the rolled knee pads, however their stitching leaves some to be desired.

    Globe makes some "decent" gear, but I hate their design, and standard coat pockets.
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  19. #19
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    My department had Janesville gear for years, then switched to Securtex. We were having problems with the seams ripping out on the Securtex and now we are using gear from Quaker Safety Products. Its a small company that I had never heard of until the gear started to arrive. We've had it for about 2 years now and are VERY happy with it.

    Dave

    PS: No, I dont work for Quaker
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  20. #20
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    Does anyone have any information on the differences between Gold Advance and Khaki Advance - Chieftain offer both, as probably do some other manufacturers. Is it just the colour that is different, or does the Khaki Advance offer more protection or better wear?
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