Gear Test: TECGEN XTREME Fire Resistant, Protective Apparel, Rescue Gear

TECGEN-Extreme-Extrication-Gear-Rescue-Boron-SmittyOne relationship that started early on with me and this website is with TECGEN. From the first time I reached out to TECGEN they have treated me like family and the fact that their product was top notch helped out too.  One thing that bloggers, writers, and instructors always need to be careful how they use their influence with products they are given to review for the fire service.  When you write a review you have to ask yourself would I even consider this product for use if I was on the committee to make that decision.  When it comes to TECGEN Xtreme gear that answer is an obsolete yes.  Let me explain why.

First off, TECGEN Xtreme gear is the lightest weight gear I have ever worn.  That light weight provides many different benefits for use in the fire service.  The gear allows you free movement almost like you are wearing gym shorts and a tee shirt.  Yet the material provides you with the protection required from an extrication scene to a wildland fire. The gear also keeps you cool and limits fatigue that is common with structural turnout gear.  Make no mistake, the gear still requires the firefighter in it to maintain a level of fitness that is expected in today’s fire service.

Secondly, the gear is meant to supplement your structural turnout gear.  However, a supplement is used in place of something or to extend the life of something.  In this case, TECGEN Xtreme can be used to extend the life of your turnout gear.  It was never meant to replace it.  Consider the cost of modern structural turnout out gear.  It can easily run into the thousands per set.  My department had to add turnout gear as capital expense in the budget because a new set of the gear we used is now over the $3k limit that it can spend without city council approval.  Now imagine how city council would feel if you were able to add some extra life into each set of turnout gear.

Have you sent your turnout gear to be repaired at a certified facility?  It’s not cheap.  My turnout gear was sent out and the repairs totaled close to the cost of a set of TECGEN Xtreme.  Why is that a valid point here?  The hole in my bunker pants was from metal on a vehicle during an extrication. The other repairs were to the zipper and all the Velcro had to be replaced.  Hardly damage from a structural fire.  Quite the opposite. Departments run many more vehicle accidents and other calls were technical gear can be utilized.  It’s no secret why many technical rescue teams are using the gear or departments in warmer climates are using it in addition to their structural turnout gear.

So every review can’t be all positive.  So let me tell my biggest complaint with my TECGEN Xtreme gear.  The zipper.  Yup, that’s my only complaint.  The zipper pull could be just a little bigger for my taste.

So what’s in store for the future of TECGEN?  One word Growth.  TECGEN now has a larger corporation that is helping the brand expand and turn into a common firehouse name.  Expect TECGEN to remain a down to earth company with a strong product and people to back it up with industry leading customer support.

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