How To Properly Size Brush Pants for Firefighters

Eric Hibbard |

How To Properly Size Brush Pants for Firefighters

Fighting fires is not the easiest job, but it’s one that someone has to do, and that’s where wildland firefighters come in. However, to take care of these fires and keep them from spreading, they must get incredibly close to them and put their lives at risk. They use specialized equipment to take care of the fire and keep themselves safe, but that equipment needs to fit properly. Quality fitted apparel can make the difference between life and death in these dangerous areas. Continue reading to learn how to properly size brush pants for firefighters.

Accurate Measurements

The first step to securing the proper fitting brush pants is to accurately know your own size. If you buy a pair of pants from the store, there is generally some leeway with how they fit, and you can always push yourself to fit into something. For example, if the pants are a little too tight, you can still squeeze your legs into the pants to try and make something work. Similarly, if they’re too long, you can roll the pant legs up, and if they’re too short, you can wear long socks.

Getting a pair of brush pants is different because they are specialized apparel that can help keep you safe when you are fighting fires. Any pants that are a little too tight, loose, long, or short can spell disaster when you are out in the field and can make the difference between life and death.

Figuring Out Waist and Leg Measurements

To get accurate measurements, you must measure where you would wear the pants. Find where the top of the pants will rest on your body and wrap a tape measure around your waist. The right waist level is around the navel, so stay around this area. That tape measure will give you the correct waist measurement. It’s important to have something that properly fits, but you should leave some room so things can feel comfortable. Add around one inch to your measurements if you like a little room.

Getting the wrong waist measurement can lead to the pants feeling tight and uncomfortable, or you could even severely limit your range of motion. On the other hand, too much room would leave you with pants that are too loose and need constant adjusting. When fighting against a fire, you want to be able to move freely and feel secure, and you need the proper pants that fit your body to achieve this.

The Inseam

That would be all you needed if you were getting some basic pants, but measuring the pants’ inseam is also important. That measurement can make a significant difference when it comes to your range of motion. To adequately measure your inseam, you need to measure from the top of your ankle to your normal crotch seam in your pants. This measurement is important because an inseam that is too long can interfere with your ability to work as the pants will bunch up around your ankle. Similarly, an inseam that is too short won’t give you the adequate coverage you need. On average, the standard inseam is between 28 and 30 inches, but it’s still important to measure yourself and find the best length.

Professionally Made

It’s also important to remember that these pants are professionally made. That means that unlike other pants you can find at different stores, there is little to no variance with these sizes. Buy a 32/30 pair of pants at one store and compare it to a different store, or sometimes even the same store, and you’ll see they are often not the same. It’s difficult to make pants the same size every time, which is why it is so critical to get brush pants from professionals.

It’s also important to remember that wildland firefighting pants must follow UL certifications on sizing. This means that the fabrics used, Nomex, Advance, and Tecasafe are made to hold their size and not shrink. Accurately measuring yourself is critical to staying safe, especially in some of the most dangerous circumstances.

Try Them On and Test Them Out

After finding the right size and ordering from a reputable supplier, you must then test the pants out. You should not wear them for the first time when you’re on the job because there could be sizing issues. Try them on with the rest of your gear and test them out, running through some different wildfire simulations. Doing this is the most surefire way to know if the brush pants will be effective in a real situation, and will help you know if they fit and are comfortable. If you’re wearing pants that don’t fit and aren’t comfortable, not only will you be in danger, but you will also have a harder time combatting that danger.

Test All Situations

You need to try the pants on and test them out to see how they’ll feel when in use, but you must test for all the different variables. For example, many brush pants have cargo pockets so firefighters can have essential equipment. When you’re testing the pants, try going all out:

  • Put items in your pockets
  • Run in harsh conditions
  • Try moving in awkward ways
  • See if branches or brush will cut them

Testing all of this may seem unnecessary at the moment, but it can reveal some startling sizing issues that you may want to address quickly rather than in the field. For example, the pants may fit right, but they could limit your range of motion. A limited range of motion wouldn’t be so dangerous in other fields, but in wildland firefighting, that could mean not getting to the fire or not escaping.

Properly sizing brush pants is important for firefighters, and hopefully, this guide has helped you understand what you need to do to get the right size. However, you may need to figure out where to get professionally made brush pants after getting your size! Here at The Supply Cache, we have all the different wildland firefighter pants you’ll need so you can get the right pants to protect you! Our pants are also comfortable so that you can stay safe and comfortable while in the line of duty.

How To Properly Size Brush Pants for Firefighters