as far as im concerned Vanson is the best on the market. they have the better armor and the leather is great. seems are on the inside instead of out, that helps prevent pieces from just tearing off. plus everything is double stitched. havent experienced this personally, but ive been told by my "motorcycle mentor" that you can withstand 2-3 falls in a Vanson and still be pretty safe. hes had a few nasty falls so i tend to believe his opinions on gear.
Vanson has built a solid reputation, and are widely known for the superior quality of their gear. They have garnered a lot of well deserved praise from the mainstream cycle media, and their products are prominently displayed in magazine photo shoots.
Since they have such positive name recognition, people really want to buy their products. Therefore, Vanson is able to charge a bit more for their products.
Are they THAT much better than some of the other companies? I personally don't think so. When I get a new custom suit, I will probably get a Z Custom. Right now I have a JR Speedmaster, and it barely has a scratch on it from my high speed get-off. I Paid $350 for the suit, and $150 to have it altered to fit me properly.
Of course, now that I have lost 30 lbs, the suit doesn't fit as well... so I am looking like I will be getting a full custom sooner rather than later.
Well, I work for Vanson and of course I think we have the best stuff on the market.
Rocky says we can charge more because of our name, the truth is our garments are more expensive because each one is hand made right here in Massachusetts, not because of the perception of our quality. It's kind of like Papa Johns pizza (if you have that where you live) They say "better ingredients make better pizzas." We have our own proprietary tanning process for our leather and every hide is inspected before it can be cut. Any racer wearing our stuff, from Larry McBride to Eric Wood gets the same quality garments that our customers get.
Suits; I spend a lot of time at/on the track. I've seen crashes in cheaper suits, and in suits that are more $. The only advice I have is dont buy a cheap suit, it is what protects you from major injury in a crash. There are plenty of good suits on the market, for those who dont know a FULL CUSTOM Vanson suit is $1595.00