Of course, this is a controversial subject. Especially considering how many phenomenal independent brands there are in the industry. But most of us are looking for the basic, recognizable brand name products that we can feel confident in, while not spending a lot of time and money in making a decision.
With that in mind, here are a few recommendations:
- Bell Racing
Each of these companies has an established reputation in the industry, whether it be centered around performance, quality, value, or any combination of the three.
Sparco, Impact, Alpinestars, and Oakley are known as the high-end players. They offer very high-quality suits, with impeccable performance, and a lofty price to match. Of course, they each offer their own mid-range suits that are more affordable.
Bell is a favorite all-around company. Great products for reasonable prices!
K-1 specializes in high quality Karting Suits.
Oakley is fairly new to the industry, but they have been designing some phenomenal products, including their firesuits. They are not cheap, but they are quality. And soon they will likely rise to the status of Sparco and friends. In fact, Sparco has helped subcontract Oakley’s line! Not a bad company to get some help from. Recently oakley racing shoes have become prominent in several major racing series including NASCAR and Indy.
And then G-Force and RaceQuip are the two value brands. They don’t have the curb appeal of the more expensive suits, but they certainly get the job done, and for a lot less money! G-Force has been around a bit longer than RaceQuip, and has grown immensely in popularity and recognition. But RaceQuip is slowly moving into their territory. RaceQuip’s competitive advantage is higher manufacturing quality at an even lower price than G-Force! Honestly, it would be no surprise if in the next few years, RaceQuip’s prices go up as they gain a reputation for such great value. Most RaceQuip dealers are already begging the sales executives to raise MSRP because they know customers will pay it. Ultimately, it is great for all of us that there is some new, bold competition out there for this segment of the market. The more competition, the more affordable the products will become. And, we will get more for our money!
There are certainly a lot of options out there, and these are just a few. But if you take a little time to figure out what “type” of suit you need, you will be in a good starting position. If you want to take the time to look through smaller independent companies, there is certainly nothing wrong with that. But you can certainly save yourself some time by sticking with one of the brands above – they won’t steer you wrong!