GRAPEVINE, Texas - For 2011 FirstGear has completely redesigned its entire lineup of pants and bottoms. Over the past couple years, the brand that Tucker Rocky acquired in 2005 has focused on updating the adventure touring line’s rugged jackets, says Mark Salvatore, FirstGear brand manager.
One of the bonuses of having a brand with such a long history, Salvatore told a group of TR sales reps, is that he has mountains of feedback and suggestions from consumers who’ve been using the products for years.
This can also be a sticking point — meeting the expectations of longtime customers while updating the gear with all the best technical features. He said there needs to be a balance between features and value.
“We can easily construct a $500 pant, but who are going to sell it to?” he noted, pointing out that the customer base would be very small. You really have to satisfy the middle of the road, he said. “If you can build a product to please 70 percent of the people, you’re doing pretty good.”
In making all the changes, FirstGear kept the lineup highly technical, as this is one of the brands longtime strengths.
Here are a handful of upgrades:
Mesh Tex Pant
- Redesigned with better, more modern styling while keeping all the same functions.
- Added C.E. armor that is fully adjustable in the knee, up and down, and side to side, a feature added to all pants.
H/T Over Pant
- Beefed up the main material from 330 denier to 600 denier Hypertex fabric.
- The waterproof and breathable pant also features semi-autolock zippers on the legs to make them easier to put on and remove.
- Two front pockets were removed and replaced with pass-through openings allowing a rider to access the pants he is wearing underneath.
- A full pant insert replaces the breathable, zip-out liner. Most people didn’t bother putting the liners back in if they took them out so, Salvatore said, so they added something that can be worn by themselves.
TPG Escape pant
- The pant for TPG, the high-end of the FirstGear line, has also been completely redesigned with the addition d3o armor, a high-tech, flexible-and-less-bulky protection that is rapidly getting traction in the U.S. powersports market.
- A new liner for the pant looks like denim but is actually waterproof and breathable nylon.
- Two ratcheting adjustable buckles replace the old hook-and-loop waist strap, allowing for a more precise fit, Salvatore said.