We at Hideout are one of the only companies to gain CE Approval for both their Leather Motorcycle Suit and its Impact Protectors as early as 1995.
Since July 1st 1995, it has been unlawful to offer clothing as “protective clothing”, unless it has met with the specifications of the PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT DIRECTIVE (PPE). This sets out the official requirements for products to meet with the type approval standards relative to their usage. Compliance is ensured through rigorous sample and garment testing by an official notified body (e.g. BSI, SATRA or SGS Yarsley etc.), then independent certification of the CE Mark. Our customers have peace of mind that our products have gained independent approval. We qualified in September 1996, meeting the: ‘Cambridge Standard – High Performance Classification. Cambridge University had a Protective Clothing Research Facility, headed by Dr Roderick Woods. Dr Woods performed extensive research into motorcycle clothing and its performance in accidents. The Cambridge Standard was developed from this research and has become the benchmark for motorcycle clothing protection standards. In fact, since the ‘Police Act 1997’ was passed, all UK Police forces and Ministry of Defence riders can only be issued with CE-approved, High Performance garments. Which is why Hideout is the first choice for our emergency services.
We then wanted our Hi-pro and System Concept range of textiles to adhere to the same rigorous tests. So, we designed and engineered them to pass the same level of protection that our leathers do. The Hi-Pro qualified in June 2016 and the System Concept passed in 2019, meeting the current CE EN13595 Level 2 performance. Both this and the Cambridge Standard comply with and exceeds the Health and Safety elements of the PPE Directive for motorcycle clothing. In brief they use approved test methods for all materials, seams, and impact protectors to establish performance criteria for burst and tear strength, impact cut and impact absorption. The surface area of the body is divided into 4 zones, with Zone 1 being the minimum area of suit to have coverage from impact protecting materials. Zone 2 is an extension of zone 1 and is the minimum area to give coverage for severe abrasion protection. Zone 3 covers the remaining area of the suit with Zone 4 limited to the areas that require least protection, (such as armpit, groin, front torso – generally areas that rarely come into contact with the road surface.) Each zone has a specific performance criteria for the tests. E.g. a seam featuring in zone 1 demands much higher burst strength than a seam in the groin area, zone 4, as less strain and damage can be inflicted. Therefore, we triple stitch every seam and double line all your impact areas with abrasion resistant fabrics to make all our suits as protective as possible. This is what makes a Hideout suit stand out from the rest. We all hope that we’ll never find out how good our kit is, but when you are sliding along on your arse you will have the peace of mind to know that you will never go through to your skin!
Until recently our standard was still in use and we were not required to adhere to the new AAA testing. However changes in the legislation now require us to test to EN 17092 even though the pass rate is up to 70% less even at AAA level. We believe that the new testing has not improved safety for the consumer it has only muddied the water further. Some jeans can pass the AAA test. Would you want to be thrown off at high speeds on the track in denim? No, it is for bimbling along at 45 mph. We will continue to campaign that our current high performance testing remains or a higher version of the AAA testing is put in place so consumers can see the vast difference between our kit and that currently on the market. In the meantime we have had all our garments retested to the new lower standards. There was no surprise they all passed the AAA test with flying colours. We also re-tested all the components again to our original EN13595 so we have up to date tests that have been verified with an independent testing house and adhere to the Bennetts Award Scheme. The scheme is attempting to award manufactures for going that extra mile with getting their products to a higher level of performance.