Small Brand Race Suits

Snuckerpooks

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The ski season is running down in a lot of areas and shops all over the place are starting their deals. I'm looking into changing my race suit and started looking around. Some good deals are waiting to be had.

Of course, the larger brands have a name and reputation behind them. The Spyder, Mizuno, Descente, Goldwin...
But I'm also seeing some other brands that I have never heard of. These can be Arctica, Sync, Aspire, Karbon, Borah, the list can go on.

Does anyone have experience with these smaller brands? Do the suits hold up day-after-day and year-after-year? Do the inner pads provide enough protection?
 

S.H.

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Arctica and Sync are pretty big players in the USA now, especially amongst younger racers. Both make good suits, and my athletes trained in both brands a LOT and never really had any issues.

Mt Borah also makes good suits that are popular amongst the Masters crowd at least (thanks Fuxi). Seem to be reasonably good quality. I know teammates who've had theirs for 3+ seasons training 60ish days/year, and they still seem fine.

My last suit as a FIS athlete was a Karbon suit, and that held up really well to near-daily abuse for two years (i.e., until I quit racing).

Re: pads ... I don't think any suit provides "enough protection", so I've always worn a stealth for non-SL events.
 
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S.H.

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Hah! Opposite here. I don't want *any* padding in my suit. Seems most, if not all, of these smaller players have pads incorporated into the suit. :(
I was responding to the OP's question about whether the inner padding was "enough protection".

Padding preferences are personal. I don't really care, personally.

I'm pretty sure Arctica only makes GS suits (i.e., not DH suits), so of course there's padding.
I think Sync is the same way.

Karbon makes DH suits (i.e., no padding), e.g.: https://us.karbon.com/collections/mens-race/products/pinnacle-dh
So does Mt Borah: https://borahteamwear.com/shop/ski-apparel/ski-collections/ski-pro-collection/pro-alpine-suit/

Inner padding is popular. Sounds like OP wants it.
 

Doug Briggs

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My sync suit is about 4 years old. It is well made and apparently pretty fast ;). Typical suits these days, the zipper starts about the belly button. :rolleyes:
 
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TS
Snuckerpooks

Snuckerpooks

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My current race suit is a DH style so I have a Spyder stealth top and additional leg/thigh pads for SL.

My current training suit is a GS style and works well for training but is dirty, torn, and hand repaired. Avatar pic is when it was new.

Was looking to get away from DH suits for simplicity. Don't get me wrong, being able to have a padded top that you like is far better than some of the stock inner pads. But in a hurry I can just jump into a regular GS suit, no fiddling around.

Good to hear that smaller brands seem to still hold their own and that some here use them too. Gives me a lot more confidence when buying from lesser known brands. Thanks!
 

Rudi Riet

AKA songfta AKA randomduck - a USSS coach, as well
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Good to hear that smaller brands seem to still hold their own and that some here use them too. Gives me a lot more confidence when buying from lesser known brands. Thanks!
In the end there are only a few textile manufacturers that make the FIS-spec fabric necessary for racing suits - it's a really niche market so there aren't many textile companies that have the capability to make the proper fabrics for the FIS porosity test.

So no matter the end seller the fabrics are often similar or the same. The difference will be in the cut and fit, as well as the quality of stitching, quality and placement of zippers, and other bits of finishing trim (e.g. ankle cuff finishing).
 

robertc3

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Artica makes very good race clothing. My kids will only wear their side zip pants. Sync is also pretty solid. Our race team uses them for our jackets, pants, and rain jackets (we are in WA). The Spyder suit my son is currently wearing has been worn a ton and still looks great. You can't go wrong with Spyder for quality.

My kids have had suits from Sypder (2) and Garneau. Both have held up very well. I wouldn't worry too much about buying from a smaller company if they have a suit you like at a price you also like.
 

sparty

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idk, 74 cm = 29 inches for a 2XL?

Maybe, if it's the non-stretched length of the suit, and not a body measurement.
The second table has the same numbers labeled "height" rather than inseam. I suspect that's the intent.
 
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