Slightly different mission set than normally discussed on LF but I'm interested in the .mil community here's knowledge base or products I may have not considered.

I am interested in whether those on the forum are aware of any pants suitable to my mission (wildland firefighter that takes somewhat frequent helicopter flights) that will hold up better than the Propper ACU Trouser-FR-New Spec.

 https://www.propper.com/proppe...ser-fr-new-spec.html

I have had two pairs of these now and I love the comfort, moisture wicking, pocket layout and breathability of these pants, I like Multicam too so thats cool but way secondary. The problem is I have yet to get through a fire season without the crotch blowing out on me. I have and also use

-Crewboss PPE Nomex/Tecasafe Basic Issue Greens; these aren't bad but the cargo pockets are mounted too low so anything with weight bounces off your knees constantly while hiking which causes bruising in short order, x14 days = annoying as shit.

-Crewboss PPE Elite Advance (Kevlar/Nomex Blend); These pants are awesome and provide extra brush protection but they are quite expensive and they are HOT, the Advance material does not breathe well and after a few days on the line gets quite stiff and uncomfortable, newly washed they are fine but I could potentially have to wear these for 14 days of 16 hr shifts exposed to dirt, soot, fuel, retardant, smoke, sweat, etc. I appreciate the rip resistance and brush/thorn protection of these but I think there could be a sweet spot middle ground. 

* Note- both of these pants are perfectly suitable and I would recommend them to anyone looking to purchase pants for wildland firefighting, they are purpose built for this mission and hold up relatively well, I am simply interested in chasing perfection for ME and exploring options that may be a little outside the box.

Hence the Proppers. FR is obviously a requirement, what this means in the context of my job is a material that is naturally fire resistant in that it will not sustain burning when the heat source is removed and will not melt. I was curious whether the Proppers would actually do this when I ordered the first pair so the first thing I did after confirming they fit was hold a Bic to the ankle cuff for about 20 seconds, they work, it barely discolored the material which is better performance than our issued Nomex.

I have demonstrated this a few times when some overeager safety officer, etc have claimed that my ""army pants" aren't approved because they aren't FR". Some people don't know what they don't know but want to be an expert on everything. Im just looking for a better mousetrap and I thought I had found it until I experienced the wear problems. Is this just a fact of life for those of you who have worn/lived in/fought in these as a uniform? Or is there a different company making a similar or same product that will have a longer service life/ better stitching pattern around the crotch? 

Im aware Crye made some FR pants but they seem to be hard to find, quite expensive, and anything with the synthetic knee pads, etc is a no-go. Im hoping some here can help me out with this, I like the pants better than any other options I have tried in the last 13 years but the crotch blowouts means fighting fires and running chainsaws with your dick hanging out, and that is just not a good idea.

Thanks in advance 

Original Post
avn mech posted:

Isn't camouflage not what you want to wear in the woods fighting fire? I just assume you want to be seen vs. blend in.  

Honestly its not a priority to me, no matter what color we wear, its all going to be dirty within a good shift, our bright yellow shirts we wear fade and somewhat permanently absorb the "black". Even if you wash them regularly (which everyone should), its amazing how well they blend in in the woods unless they are brand new. Helmets stand out more than anything and if someone needs to locate me (incoming helo for bucket work for example) I'll be using an 1,100 lumen strobe or mirror flash. The generally issued pants are green.

David Reeves posted:

Massif and Crye both make FR pants and tops.

They're pretty durable... but spendy.

Ill check out Massif, thanks, but honestly budget is a consideration, still thanks for the tip. 

wildfire45 posted:
avn mech posted:

Isn't camouflage not what you want to wear in the woods fighting fire? I just assume you want to be seen vs. blend in.  

Honestly its not a priority to me, no matter what color we wear, its all going to be dirty within a good shift, our bright yellow shirts we wear fade and somewhat permanently absorb the "black". Even if you wash them regularly (which everyone should), its amazing how well they blend in in the woods unless they are brand new. Helmets stand out more than anything and if someone needs to locate me (incoming helo for bucket work for example) I'll be using an 1,100 lumen strobe or mirror flash. The generally issued pants are green.

Interesting. Thank you for the info. 

HazardZetForward posted:

Have you looked at Strike Team equipment?

I get them from Cascade Fire, which is fairly local to me.

I have thanks, I have bought stuff from Cascade before as well, they offer both the basic greens and advance pants I referred to in the OP, I have several of both and while they work and are durable, they don't have that perfect combination of features/durability/comfort while dirty I'm looking for. 

This could quite well be an exercise in futility, but you can't find a better mousetrap if you don't ask around right? Im just looking for a close approximation of the Propper FR ACU's that will last longer without being stupid $. It may not exist and if it doesn't I'll drive on with the kevlar's or just accept that the Proppers are 1 season pants or bite the bullet and try some Crye/Massif. My boots are over $500 custom built to my feet by a family outfit that is building boots the way White's used to, probably better. It's an investment, and if you can't hike because your feet are trashed, your pretty much worthless. That being said, we don't make enough for every wear item to be an investment.

I appreciate everybody's replies, I don't post a lot on LF because a lot of it is out of my professional lane but I have learned a ton just reading and I had a feeling I could get some worthwhile responses out of this question and I have. Just the ebay search term "FRACU" is valuable, I had tried eBay before and hadn't come up with much, probably because I wasn't using proper acronym. 

Thanks all and welcome any more replies.

Having been issued and worn FRACUs as an Army firefighter, and worn both kinds of wildland pants you can get from GSA, what you're seeking is the Type II Ripstop wildland pant. The more you wash them, the softer they get, and theyre fucking bombproof. The velcro on the cargos and cuffs will wear out before the pants themselves do (and are easily replaced). Unlike the Type I pants which are the cheap, ill fitting, semi-durable, dark green ones every swinging dick gets issued.

Plus no safety officer will ever have a hard-on for them.

Here is an NSN list by size:

8415-01-559-354028–32Regular
8415-01-559-354528–32Short
8415-01-559-354330–34Regular
8415-01-559-354230–34Short
8415-01-559-354432–36Regular
8415-01-559-354932–36Short
8415-01-559-354734–38Regular
8415-01-559-354134–38Short
8415-01-559-354836–40Regular
8415-01-559-354636–40Short

 

The FRACUs were plenty comfortable, but very thin, and not what I would pack in my red bag if I had the option.

Thanks 21M, being a GSA item it may be easier for me to go through our cache manager and see if he has these or can get them. I can order from GSA direct with a purchase card but it would probably be easier to go through him as I would have to do a unit level purchase vs a single pair to justify. Im curious if they are any different than the 60kev/40nomex crew boss elites I already have. I have a feeling its the same material. I'll look into it more, thanks again. 

I've got nothing on the pants that hasn't been said already. I am curious about the boots you're running though. I know every wildland firefighter I've ever talked to was religious about their boots. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts. I bet you could probably do a decent stud board post on boot options for wildland fire. Carrying heavy loads and working in rough terrain sounds vaguely similar to what most everyone here has done in the past. We're in a generation of tennis shoes, but some of us still need big boy boots for things and knowing the progression of that tech would be interesting. 

Lots of truth in that post Geronimo, I am in fact religious about boots as are most of us that have been around awhile. One of the first truth bombs our rookies get, before they even show up actually is buy the best boots you can possibly afford because your feet are your paycheck, you can't hike, you can't work. Trying to tell an 18 year old kid he needs to spend $400+ for a pair of Whites for the summer job he's trying out to see if it's for him or not produces some interesting reactions but that first check with some hazard and OT pays for them. I don't know if I'm quite worthy of a stud board post especially because I have no idea how to post pictures but let me get a couple more cups of coffee down as its 0520 here and I'll try to put together a worthwhile post on wildland boots. Thanks

When you said that you don't use White's I assumed you use Nick's, but I'll hold all questions until I see what your thoughts are. Hell, I'm curious about the whole setup. You guys do stuff that's very close to the military concept of load-bearing, working in tough conditions and austere locations, etc. I think an overall post providing information similar to the winter gear thread would be interesting. It's just another way to look at a similar subject for synergies. 

Might help, might not, but Sportmans Guide currently has tan nomex flight suit pants (A2CU-style) in their military surplus section.  I'm not sure how durable they would be for you, but they last the flight crews through deployments, so maybe they'd work.

Sorry for the delay guys, some stuff came up and I’m on the road, from ID to OH to ME, back to OH next (all driving), then I’ll fly back to ID for a couple days and then fly to FL for about a month doing some RX fire. I want to do the post right and I would be happy to do a description of all my gear and how it’s evolved over the last 13 ( holy shit) years if it would help folks out . It will take a little time to get that all written out but I haven’t forgotten. 
I have had Nicks custom boots and my experience was not positive, but it’s also not what I would call typical per se. I am now using JK Custom boots and very happy with them. More details to come in big post. I’ll try to find some time ASAP to get it written up! 

It has finally started bro's, in the Not Quite Studboard Forum, because I have no Idea how to post pics and its not really mil/leo relevant I didnt feel it was studboard worthy. I just posted through 1st line gear today, I will continue with 2nd and 3rd line gear in the next few days. Im fucking quarantined anyway so I can only do so much work at home. This gives me something to put some energy into, hope you're all well.

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