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My new Barbour International jacket.

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Enoch, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. I've long admired Barbour waxed cotton coats and, after owning an LL Bean waxed cotton coat, I bought myself a Border jacket near ten years ago and later a Beauchamp waistcoat. Like leather coats, waxed cotton is another fabric that I feel looks "cool" with age and wear. After loosing a lot of weight a few years ago, the medium waistcoat and size 38 Border didn't fit me quite as nice anymore and I've longed to get myself something nice in a size 36. So I ordered the International from British Motorcycle Gear. As far as I can tell they've got the best non-sale price on an International at $378 online.

    I have three minor quibbles about the International: the inside pocket doesn't have a zip or button (easily remedied with some velcro), it doesn't have a two way front zip - it is a shorter jacket than say the Border but I just think a two way zip makes weeing and getting at your pants pockets far more easy - and lastly, and perhaps my strongest quibble, is the buckle. The buckles at the neck and waist are both made of metal, which is fine, (the buckles also have a little, hardly noticeable, motif around the edge that seems to mimic stitching which I find aesthetically distressing: I don't like things that pretend to be other things) but the little doodad that goes into the belt hole impresses me as very tin like and seems incongruous on an otherwise sturdy and stalwart looking jacket.

    Other than that, I'm really pleased with this jacket. It's really oily, being new, and I'm wondering if anyone has got any ideas as to how to deal with that? Wipe it down with a cloth perhaps?
  2. xt40

    xt40 Familiar Face

    i agree with your observations but dont think they are a big deal when compared to its overall awesomeness and utility.
    its funny you mentioned the "doddad" on the buckle as mine got loose and fell off only the other day. i found it and was going to put it back on with some pliers until i realised that the belt is more flexible and does not slip if you close it as you normally would and then fold the end backward into the first part of the buckle

    edit -
    the oilyness and smell will go after a few wears. mines about 6 mths old and ive never had a problem with it staining anything
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  3. xt40

    xt40 Familiar Face

    deleted duplicate post
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  4. It is an awesome jacket. I'll keep your method in mind when my doddad finally falls off too. LOL!
  5. My International is the slightly slimmer fitting Trials model, which does come with a double-ended zip as standard. On the flipside, it isn't designed to take a Winter liner, so that's the trade-off.
  6. That's a bit odd to me. The Trials is shorter than the standard International too. Does your jacket have the two pockets in the back? That's a neat looking feature.
  7. blethook

    blethook One of the Regulars

    It's my favourite jacket...

    Though I hated it when it was new because of its waxiness...Everything seemed to stick to it when it was new but now it's one that gets the most wear.

    The only problem I had was one of the two belt loops came undone. I just had to stitch it back in.

    Here's mine after a couple of years of wear...

  8. No, it doesn't.... I think there are several versions called 'Trials', though, as well as the eleventy-billion other International variants, many carrying the same moniker...Not sure whether my Trials is the shorter model or not, tbh. I think they did two? Though there is only an inch or two in it, so I couldn't tell without seeing it against a regular one.
  9. Aether

    Aether One of the Regulars

    Great purchase Enoch. It's a great utility jacket. I wear mine on the bike, gardening, building. Anything that that involves getting dirty and wet! I think I've had it for about 10 years. I've rewaxed it a couple of times and it's still going strong, in fact it keeps getting better looking, just like me!
  10. xt40

    xt40 Familiar Face

  11. Ah!! A vintage-style bumbag. lol

    I can see that being useful as a place to stow sandwiches or something out on a long ride, but I wouldn't put anything of value in at my back...

    I'm wearing my International today. Perfect for the mizzly damp.
  12. CodeRed

    CodeRed One of the Regulars

    I really like my Int'l Barbour, just wished that it rained more in SoCal so that it could get more use. It does collect just about every dust particle though, but that's OK.
  13. @Edward I'm under the impression, from an earlier thread and picture that I saw posted, that the "Trials" is the shorter version but I may be wrong. As you suggest, there seem to be a lot of variations on this jacket. For example:

    @xt40 Here's the version that I ran across and it appears that the pockets are sewn onto the back of the jacket. It's nice to see that a manbag for this jacket exists though. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_VFp8AgsjsGU/TQnoCl5A4EI/AAAAAAAAAbw/wIi_1nQ0lt4/s1600/04_Distressed_Jacket2-10%2B300.jpg Interesting.

    @Aether Thanks. I do prefer that Barbour green though. As others have suggested, the coat collects every bit of lint and dandruff and it shows especially against the black. Mine won't be coddled either and, like my vest and Border jacket, it will come to reflect the life that I live in it. It will no doubt begin to smell strongly of my pipe habit and Dark Flake pipe tobacco from the Lake District: another fine UK product (God bless Gawith, Hoggarth & Co.! Oops, I'm an atheist but whatever).
  14. I own the full Barbour Nato international suit which I bought new! Back when they didn't put silly barbour labels and huge British flags on their clothing. They are lovely jackets.

    My complaints are these, the inside pocket you mention is pretty annoying and hence unused except for maybe a scarf when being hung up. The lower pockets are practical for long motorcycling touring but not for anything else, if you are belted it practically never gets used.

    The buckles on the belt and the neck are pretty low quality.

    Its not the most practical jacket for everyday use, the beaufort and the bedale excell at that and are much more suited around town/country.

    There are other international jackets from less reputable makers that are actually superior to the Barbour, more rugged and better quality buckles etc.

    The pluses of any International are these:

    -The jacket is damn cool.
    -It is actually quite a practical jacket when on a motorbike.
    -They look even cooler belted on a classic motorbike.
    -The barbour ones have a acryllic liner you can fit in, makes a huge difference, not found another maker apart from partridge who used to do this.
    -The barbour Nato edition (no longer produced) also came with matching trousers so you can be 100% waterproof and still look damn old school!
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  15. I bought mine for mizzly days in the warmer months (the Trials model has a slightly slimmer silhouette and is not designed to take the Winter liner). A much more stylish alternative to a pacamac... I have half an eye out for a pair of the trousers, too; a couple of years ago I got caught in the worst rain in over a century in Hong Kong, and would definitely have appreciated having them then! You are right that there are also cheaper alternatives that are, at least, just as good. I happened to pick up my Barbour for a low price on eBay (paid just over one hundred pounds - the jacket was still ew and in the bag. Someone had ordered it, been sent the wrong size, and never got around to sending it back...). At a time I had been looking at a Belstaff, but couldn't justify the high price (this was a couple of years ago, but I could have bought an Aero Real Deal A2 for the same money!). Before finding my Barbour, I very nearly pulled the trigger on a Kakadu Nelson, at GBP90. A few months later I actually did buy one of those as a birthday present for my dad. I was extremely impressed with the quality. The only down side in my eyes is that the storm flap fastens with velcro rather than studs, but that may not bother others. I don't think it would ave bothered me by the normal GBP100 difference in price with the Barbour... I am tempted by another model of Kakadu which is the same as the Nelson but brown, and has the stud fastening windflap. Dad's really is a superb jacket.

    I think you could well be right about the length. Interesting to see that model with the pockets in the back - reminds me of one of the old, Swedish military tunics that are popular in surplus stores these days.

    Ah, now, there you might have something in common. I've long had faith that the Almighty enjoys a fine pipe. ;)
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  16. Yup. And I'd bet that if they'd dispensed with the vanity label on the International they could have afforded proper buckles.
  17. Mmn, I don't know..... it often seems to me that if you want to get away from big logos, you end up paying through the nose.... I suspect that Barbour have deduced that much of their market actually wants the logo. That's a cultural shift that has happened in the last few decades.
  18. Barbour's actually done very well with the vanity labels, but it's not in my taste, a little like Ralph Lauren they make great clothes, but do they have to put their label on it?

    The buckles aren't actually bad, it's just there are other makers who for 2/3 of the price of a Barbour international give you brass buckles and brass belts etc.
  19. Doctor Damage

    Doctor Damage Call Me a Cab

    I've always been intrigued by the International jacket since it's introduction in the 1990s since it was belted (like my old favourite, the Solway Zipper), but I was always put off by the nametag and gold buttons. I'm surprised to see the one posted above sans nametag and with darkened buttons - I would have bought one of those in a snap had I know about them!

    I'd be interested in seeing some links to good quality competitors.
  20. Tony B

    Tony B One of the Regulars

    If you want a Barbour of any type the best place to look is ebay.co.uk. the last new barbour I bought will be the last new one I buy off them I am afraid. It was a like for like repalacemant for an old 80s border and it just doesn't have the quality of the old one in any respect.

    As far as internationals go my favourite was an old nato one from the late eighties which I bought in its factory wrappings for £78 a couple of years ago but then I got a washed twill international and I must say it goes along with a barbour morse jacket (breathable waterproof with a cotton shell and well out of production) as being the best put together barbours I have ever had and they share one thing in common they weren't made in the uk they come from eastern europe and you can just see the extra care that the machinests took while sewing them together. In terms of how well they are sewn together they pee all over an old english belstaff i have as well as a few Ralph lauren jackets I own so on a good day they can be as good as it gets but then I have a lightweight utility jacket that is just thrown together very poorly, so I guess it is down to luck of the draw.

    I just dont think the wax jackets are worth the money any more as they are trying to chase belstaff and the quality has been allowed to slide which is a shame as the newer internationals are a far nicer cut than the old ones in my opinion. Non wax jackets can be excellent though, but their leather one aint worth anything like the prices they charge these days. Their old black leather internationals are cracking jackets and if you see one for sale well worth picking up, I used to have one and let it go as i wanted one of there brown ones when the released them..what an idiot the new ones are crap made in either pakistan or india for pennies and then sold for £600 plus in this country.

    Barbour are still a cracking company to deal with though and their customer service is absolutely top notch so doctor damage if you do want a intenational with darkened press studs you could do what i did with my old nato one (if you have access to a hammer and die to do press studs ) I called barbour and told them I wanted to "de brass" my international and asked if I could buy a set of press studs in the darkened brass that they use on some of their other jackets and a bit of fabric to do a couple of mods. The answer was no I couldnt....they dont charge for that sort of thing and sent me a set of studs gratis, including the small ones for the lining , no fabric though as it hadn't been used in the factory for about 20 years, still I was a happy bunny then about two months later a meter of the fabric turned up, the girl from customer service had made a note and when they found a bit in a dark corner of the warehouse she grabbed it and sent it off to me first class.

    Now I have nato international with dark brasswork and a pair of handwarmer pockets in behind the lower cargo pockets and proper sewn down top and bottom belt loops.

    Another option is to carefully paintstrip the studs to get rid of the laquer and atique them with a bit of brass antiquing fluid but you would need a very steady hand.

    THAT is customer service the other alternative is to go to belstaff and pay almost twice as much for a jacket with a cheap chinese zip that might fail the first time you ware it and them when you take it back you will be all but told to" p**s off you own it now it is no longer ours so not our problem" Barbour customer service people are all gordies, well they are to me as a southern git, and are cracking people to deal with and are a major asset to the company which still keep it ahead of the opposition.

    Regards Tony

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