AirLite™ by Enespro PPE: A Review

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Just got the new Enespro AirLiteTM 40 cal/cm² Arc Flash Kit with the OptiShieldTM Vented Lift-Front Hood and the brand-new rear fan on the back.

This is one of the lightest weight arc flash suits on the market. The kit contains a bib and jacket that is easy to adjust, and the bib overlaps the jacket quite a bit which helps prevent any energy from getting to the upper torso.

The jacket has both a zipper and Velcro to look good and provide positive full protection.  While not required by the standards, this makes it easy to make sure it is completely closed (important in an arc event) and the zipper works seamlessly. The suit also has FR reflective tape on the arms and legs. While this is also not required by the standards, it’s intended to improve search & rescue time in the event of an arc flash.

With the new hood, the option to choose to use the lift-front shield to communicate and make the hood more comfortable to wear for extended times should help in hood acceptance in the workplace. Enespro  included 2 large innovative “Arc Vents” on the back so airflow is increased. These vents also make it much easier to hear. More importantly, the shield has the new gray tint, so it does not distort colors the way legacy green tinted shields do. This will be appreciated when looking at wire colors.

On the new optional fan located on the back of the hood, I’m impressed.  The fan is quiet, lightweight and gives enough airflow to keep the shield from fogging, and it helped keep me comfortable as I walked inside and outside for over an hour. The fan was in the back and didn’t dry out my eyes.  Just perfect airflow for the task.

Enespro just expanded their AirLiteTM line to include 8 and 12 cal/cm² Arc Flash Kits that are 30%+ lighter in weight compared to their standard line, and they’re available with a new optional 12 cal Vented Lift-Front Shroud. The Shroud eliminates the need for a balaclava, and it has an FR antimicrobial lining. If companies are in an Arc-Rated daily wear program, this shroud would be a great option to add in for face & head protection to get fully compliant and protected.

My kit also had a custom gear bag with a special padded box inside for the shield.  Importantly, this protects it from damage and cracks. Also, scratches make it harder to see small parts.  The carrying case has two zippers making getting things in and out of it easier, and it makes it easier to stack in the truck or with other bags.  Nice for travel.

Storage included makes this a nice kit for PPE Category 2 & 4. This is a nice addition to the suits on the market.

IF you order the kits from any company, be sure to ask about options.  Options like the lift-front, vents and the fan make PPE more wearable.  This is important since most of compliance and protection is getting people to forget they are wearing PPE and just think of it as clothing for the job.  Thanks to all the companies out there making that happen with arc-rated PPE.

e-Hazard does not recommend specific PPE or PPE companies, but Enespro sent us a suit for our trainers and arc flash engineering folks to try.  This is our opinion.  Thanks, Enespro.

Hugh Hoagland

does research and testing of PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Hugh is a Sr. Consultant at ArcWear and Sr. Partner at e-Hazard. Read more about Hugh.

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