Best helmet/driver suit/shoes for Desert Racing

DRZ_Motorsports_119

Well-Known Member
Hi to all,

Currently I’m searching for the best option and combo for Desert Racing driving suit/shoes/gloves/jacket, etc.

I’m a moto rider (race also) and have invested good money in my setups depending on ride and weather.

I’m looking for advice to what to buy, especially for Racing in Baja where you have completely all types of conditions and weather in one race.

Plan on being on both sides of the race car (driver navigator).

* What keeps you cool and warn? for example.

Thanks.
 

Speedster

Well-Known Member
Can't go wrong with Impact-- great quality, comfort and added bonus they are involved and give back to our industry.
Once you try on a Carbon Air Draft, you won't want to wear anything else. Get it here, plumbed & wired: PCI Impact Carbon Air Draft Offset 20
For a suit, make sure you get a 3.2A/5, 2-layer. This is an excellent choice that is very comfortable and breaths well: Impact Racing Carbon6 Driver Suit If you have a body of odd dimensions as I do, a full custom tailored to your measurements is only a little more $, and you can add cool things like passport pockets.
For HNR, out of all the ones I've used, I really like this one, which is super comfortable, easy & quick to use: Hybrid Sport
For gloves and shoes, you will wind up with two sets: Legit driving shoes and gloves for when you are driving, then for when you are navigating you will want rugged comfortable leather boots (I use the first-responder variety from Bates) and touch-screen compatible gloves.
PCI and SDHQ both have great showrooms and are helpful & knowledgeable to help you with these decisions-- either in their showrooms and at their track-side support trailers.
 

swiftracing5

Well-Known Member
Regarding warm and cool, that is not easy. I have worn a jacket over my impact suit the last 2 baja 1000s since I run cold. Suit did not keep me warm at all. I have yet to think I was overheating in it during summer races and it is a black suit though.

I finally ponied up and got the top feed impact helmet(not carbon). Man that helmet is comfy like Speedster said. I have run almost every helmet over the years and the comfort is unmatched. The top feed helped quiet down intercom feedback as well as the air is not blowing straight on the mic.

I have always run Crow gloves, they last a season or 2 then they get burned, oiled, lost in the desert. They are not just driving gloves, you may need to get really dirty out there to fix the car and it would be a bummer to wreck nice Alpinestar gloves.

If driving a truck, or even a buggy with hot oil lines around your feet, at least wear leather if not legit fire rated driving shoes. I know people who are scarred for life from burning their feet.
 

McCredie A

Well-Known Member
What is the nipple coming out of the side?
 

johndjmix

Well-Known Member
For the hot races we LOVE our coolshirt system. Works so well instantly cools you down.

—John
 

jon coleman

Well-Known Member
Hi to all,

Currently I’m searching for the best option and combo for Desert Racing driving suit/shoes/gloves/jacket, etc.

I’m a moto rider (race also) and have invested good money in my setups depending on ride and weather.

I’m looking for advice to what to buy, especially for Racing in Baja where you have completely all types of conditions and weather in one race.

Plan on being on both sides of the race car (driver navigator).

* What keeps you cool and warn? for example.

Thanks.
make sure you practice with it and its sorted out, i started a race w- new never used stuff and it was Really irritating & distracting!, make sure its like you dont evan know its there& its Comfortable.
 

retroblazer

Well-Known Member
Coming out the top is not good for tall guys or guys that sit up on the wheel
Personally, I think it’s nothing short of stupid to use a top feed helmet. Good airflow requires a relatively large opening at approximately 1” in diameter, or a combination of smaller holes.
In off road racing, more than most motorsports, it is common to roll a vehicle. It’s one thing to roll at a groomed track or facility, but we can flip anywhere, and land on things that can easily pierce our thin roofs. Our heads are only inches from our roofs.
 

yamaducci

Well-Known Member
The Simpson sidewinder Voyager Helmet is great and more comfortable than most helmets I have tried. The brand has been around forever and never started out as a "Cheap Helmet" company like some others have. The side inlet for air stays out of the way and does not pull on your head like a top feed.
The Sparco 3-layer suits are thick to protect you and also keep the moisture to cool you and keep you hydrated when it's hot but then warm enough to keep you comfortable in Baja at night. You can always add a thin windbreaker on the outside of any suit to keep the heat in once the sun goes down. If you know you are going to be in rain then there is a carting clear rain suit that goes over your fire suit you can put on for rain or cold. Sparco or Crow make great gloves. the longer gauntlet style protects you a little better around the wrist opening if you did catch fire. Simpson shoes are great for the added curved rubber heal. That helps with ankle pain after hundreds of miles of slamming the floor. Bonus it also had an elastic holder for your Pee Tube. That way the hose doesn't get caught up in your shoe and you end up pissing in your shoe. You should also wear a Crow Doughnut around your neck and DEFINITELY a kidney belt. After about 225 miles of hammering through the desert your kidneys and guts feel like they are coming loose. The belt helps a lot. Think of the safety equipment as Cheap Insurance for your skin. Get the best you can afford!
 

dan200

#BSF200
As a dealer I have dealt with three lines of helmets. Pyro, HJC, and Impact. IMPACT IS MY FAVORITE. BY FAR. And it is almsot all we sell anymore.
I can give you some generic rules of thumb/comparisons based on my experience.
All three will protect your brain and you get what you pay for. This area is a good place to spend a little more on comfort and safety. You won't regret "getting the better one". Save a few bucks somewhere else.
All three have various levels of models and as you get nicer prices do increase (just like a new car).

Carbon fiber is awesome but it is spendy also. A CF helmet is about half the weight of a regular one. After 8 hours in a race car you will notice the difference in comfort and fatigue the CF helmet gives you. If ya have the coin, get a CF helmet. Its a long term investment you wont regret.

My personal preference is again very much with the Impact brand. They are on the higher end but its all quality and its all I carry on the SDHQ Race support trailer. our actual store has other brands.

Going back to my car comparison lets say that all helmets are Chevy Trucks. They are all safe and they all have airbags and will all protect your brain.
The Pyros I have had seem to be the base model. The HJC is a nicely equipped Tahoe and the Impact is the Escalade. The Impact has a much more luxury interior. Its a few bucks more but once you have driven one it becomes all you want. Impact is almost all we sell anymore.

If you go outside the three above mentioned brands you will find it to be a challenge to get shields, visor pivot kits, HNR hardware and tear offs. I meet person at every race who saved a few bucks on a helmet and while it seemed like a quality helmet to me, it is un-serviceable. No one in the village of race vendors at any event has the parts to support it. If you lose one little screw that holds your shield in place, you are hosed. Realize your Visor is scratched and ya want a new one. You're screwed. That's just the way it is. By long and far Impact themselves and guys like myself and PCI have outstanding trackside support with IMPACT products. As a sales guy I don't like telling someone what they want but, for real, YOU WANT AN IMPACT.

ProTip- Get the Cruz Armor upgrade for your shield. Clear film that self heals scratches and is anti static and hydrophobic. You can literally take a wire brush t your lens and it will be fine. Its Sorcery. It is also now becoming "the way"

Suits-
I wanna sell ya an impact also. Buying off the rack is less expensive than custom and off the rack for a quality multi layer suit starts arond $280. We call that a Paddock suit. The next level is the racer suit. It is way lighter making it way more comfortable and usable and those are about 600 bucks. Then there is full blown custom and I cant tell ya those prices but once you have worn one its all you're ever gonna want.

Gloves.- Crow are cheaper and still good. Impact has nicer ones of varying levels. 90-200 bucks. Sparcos are expensive and really nice.
Take into consideration touch screen capabilities. Do you need to use your phone or tablet? Do you wanna be the guy who took 200 dollar gloves and cut a finger tip off?

Neck restraint- I like the Simpson Hybrid but lotsa people like the Impact Necks gen. The new model (the rev) comes with lifetime re certification which is nice.

Shoes- They either fit or they don't. They are all the same but out of brand loyalty I really only stock Impact. theya re all kinda thin on the sole. like asphault racing shoes. There used to be ones with a boot style sole but I never see those anymore. Those are nice when your out of the car and need tio kick the tire into place or are walking across the desert in defeat and don't want sharp rocks poking your feet. Good luck finding some though.

Please note- A non nomex jacket is bad if youre on fire. You can layer underneath with nomex long underwear for warmth. It will protect you instead of melt. Dont use mechanics gloves. In a fire your hands need to be useful to save yourself and whoever is in the car with you and maybe even the car. I have spoken with people who made this mistake with mechanics gloves. Have fun unbelting yourself or opening a widow net with burnt hands. Don't forget nomex socks either. Especially if you don't go with race shoes. If you race in boots (which I am not even sure is legal) make sure they aren all plastic. Leather is better and real racing shoes is best. And regarding HNR devices, they only work if your belt set up is correct and your belts are tight.

If you want to speak with any of our sales people please call 480-633-2929 and we will be happy to help you. You can also email team@sdhqoffroad.com and do things that way. We have a large inventory and experts on this stuff on staff six days a week. Besides that, I am at almost every race.

D200
 

dan200

#BSF200
Personally, I think it’s nothing short of stupid to use a top feed helmet. Good airflow requires a relatively large opening at approximately 1” in diameter, or a combination of smaller holes.
In off road racing, more than most motorsports, it is common to roll a vehicle. It’s one thing to roll at a groomed track or facility, but we can flip anywhere, and land on things that can easily pierce our thin roofs. Our heads are only inches from our roofs.
There is a side top feed. The nice part of it is that it blows down over your face so dust inside can exit the bottom. People seem to prefer this over the air intake being ion the side of your chin. I am not a fan of the "directly on top of your head system" for the reasons you stated. The upper offset ones I like though.

 

Speedster

Well-Known Member
Do you wanna be the guy who took 200 dollar gloves and cut a finger tip off?
Good advice Dan... I see what you did there ;-)
Seriously though, great post Dan with excellent information.
If I may just add, my thoughts on driving shoes: The're for every form of automobile racing EXCEPT Desert Racing; when things don't go absolutely perfect, you're going to be jumping out of your racecar and land on cactus, sharp rocks, uneven ankle-twisting ground, then proceed to run around your race vehicle doing whatever it takes to get moving forward again on the same unforgiving ground... So do yourselves a favor and go visit your local police or first responder supply store. Get some duty boots that are leather and fire-retardant with a liner. Your feet will thank you.
 
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