The holy grail for a half-decent pair of chainsaw trousers, apart from chainsaw protection, is light weight, cool in summer and comfortable to wear. Another important feature is tear resistance in the outer fabric. And… all this at a reasonable price!
Not many chainsaw protective trousers on the market can tick all these boxes but it appears SIP Protection might be on to a winner with their latest Innovation II range.
SIP Protection had been telling Treetools about the new trousers for some time, but we have to be honest, it's a big ask to have all these features in one pair of trou.
So… we landed a pair of Innovation II for appraisal to see if our skepticism was justified.
Lightweight Dyneema blocking material
Essentially, light weight equals comfort.
The biggest contributor to the weight in chainsaw trousers is the choice of blocking material in the legs. That's why SIP chose Dyneema for the Innovation range.
Dyneema is extensively used in military applications (ballistic helmets, vests and inserts) because Dyneema is about 40% lighter than older technologies like aramid.
As is the case for the military, reduced weight translates immediately to comfort for aerial arborists.
The sample pair of Innovation II are definitely the lightest pair of chainsaw protective trousers Treetools has ever come across.
Technical 'PEZA' outer fabrics
SIP Protection have also come up with a couple of new fabrics for the Innovation II range.
The PEZAFLEX and PEZATEC monikers sound like wordoids but, for all that, the new PEZA fabric does seem to fit the bill.
PEZATEC is 100% Polymide while PEZAFLEX is 94% Polymide with 6% Elasthane. Both fabrics are designed to be lightweight and tear resistant to all kinds of vegetation.
The SIP marketing bumph claims PEZA tear resistance is 'not just an empty statement'.
The literature goes on to say the PEZA fabrics have survived multiple field tests by professional arborists, receiving a unanimous 'go' from everyone involved (Treetools will reserve judgment until the trousers have been worn under new Zealand conditions).
Maximized freedom of movement
Another unique feature of the Innovation II trousers is the use of stretch and non-stretch outer fabrics in the same garment.
This combination gives the trousers stretch for freedom of movement and non-stretch fabric for pure functionality.
Free movement is guaranteed with the placement of PEZAFLEX inserts on the knees, the back of the knees and on the upper back part of the trousers.
The more robust PEZATEC is stitched into key points on the trousers where resistance against wear and tear is paramount.
Competitor product is either stretch or non-stretch; very few chainsaw protective trousers offer a combination of the both fabrics.
Has SIP Protection found the holy grail?
Only time will tell. Treetools will report back once we have a few more pair of these new lightweight chainsaw trousers in the field.
SIP Innovation II chainsaw protective trousers are available in conservative grey and high visibility red, both with black detailing, priced in the mid NZ$300's.