Vanson X Union Garage NYC V7 armored leather jacket http://uniongaragenyc.com/shop/featured/union-garage-v7-jacket So here’s my take on this new jacket - first a backgrounder: I’ve known Chris Lesser the owner of Union Garage NYC since late 2012, around the time he first opened his store in Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY. He has been working with Vanson on this jacket since sometime in 2014. This was after the successful launch of their earlier collaboration with Vanson, the waxed cotton armored riding jacket, the Robinson, which is the armored, up-gunned and tweaked version of the ever-popular Vanson Stormer jacket, basically the Stormer on steroids and a very capable competitor to the Belstaff Trialmaster. I have one (as well as the Stormer for warmer weather riding) and I love it! Anybody wanting a traditional style waxed cotton riding jacket with amor option, should definitely consider the Vanson X UGNYC Robinson as a top selection. http://uniongaragenyc.com/shop/motorcycle-jackets/union-garage-robinson-jacket Anyways back to the V7. Sometime in Summer 2014, I remember talking to Chris about Vanson’s legacy jackets and armoured options - this was when Vanson had released their AR3 (armored Model A) which I bought and sent back to them for customisation. Chris mentioned how they were in discussions with Vanson about making their own version. In fact, I think the AR3 was released after Chris’ initial talks with Vanson. He wasn’t too keen on the Model A’s huge “batwing” bi-swing back gussets, the cuffs that were folded over instead of being stitched (as on the current V7 jacket), the too-thick amor pads, etc. Through the years, even as I left the US to settle down back in Asia, I’ve stayed in touch with Chris and gotten updates on the various prototypes of this jacket. It was finally ready for release in late September 2017, just when I was visiting the US. So of course, I promptly made my way to Brooklyn the day after I landed and grabbed the lone oxblood jacket in my size as well as a black one. The oxblood one is from the last prototype, so its collar is different from the final production version - this one has the familiar Model-B-type band collar instead of the separate latch piece they’ve gone with on the production V7, similar to the Schott 141 and the Lost Worlds Easy Ryder. By the way, Union Garage used to be the only physical store in the US that stocked Lost Worlds leather jackets, albeit a select few styles only. I bought my LW Buco Rider from them in 2013. No LW restock the last year or so, it seems. Besides the collar, the rest of the features between the last prototype are the same with the production model. A sidenote about the oxblood color - as Chris and his team were going back and forth between Brooklyn and Fall Rivers, someone in Vanson mentioned that they had a batch of leather that was supposed to have been Octagon, but came out deeper red. One look and Chris went, “We’ll take it, all of it!” Thus the limited edition Oxblood, all made from however much of this hide that they can get their hands on. Once they’re gone, they gone! Unless Vanson gets more of this hide. So if you’re on the fence about this color, just grab it! I rode briefly with the black jacket, but have put in around 150 miles of riding so far with the oxblood jacket on, including riding for over an hour in heavy downpour (Hurricane Nate aftereffects). The black leather is Vanson’s comp weight. The Oxblood is basically the Octagon - it behaves like the Octagon in how it’s creasing etc. The hour-plus of heavy rain was no issue at all for the leather - no soaking inside, no seepage through the stitches, no color running off. Typical Vanson hardcore performance. The jackets fit me spot-on in a size 42. I’m around 5’10” tall (around 178 cm), wear a size 42 in Vanson Comet and a size 40 in Schott 141. The fit is slim without being overly close-fitting. The shoulder gussets are deep enough that they provide the room and comfort for riding without being noticeably big, or having excess material spilling out. The length is right around the waist, with a slightly dropped tail that gives just the correct amount of extra back coverage while riding - no more. It’s not as long as a Vanson Model A of the same size. The arms strike a good balance between roomy/baggy and slim/tight. The length is just perfect for me. The zippers close down well. As mentioned earlier, the sleeve ends are stitched down, instead of typical Vanson folded down. I’m fine either way so this doesn’t make a difference to me. The flap underneath the sleeve zippers are single layer leather, as seen on other Vanson jackets, which means they fold under the zippers easier. The wind flap is of a nice size and works well in blocking wind seeping through the zipper.