Advice concerning A-2 jacket . Bill Kelso or Eastman?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by ducatimonster, Jul 19, 2018.

  1. CBI

    CBI One Too Many

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    1,128
    Location:
    USA
    Yes, ELC, more historically correct for sure (the original maker versions). Aero does make nice A-2's and after a while a quality broken A-2 is going to look pretty authentic if they are close. That said, for cut and drape (besides the details) ELC is more authentic.
     
    bn1966, Brettafett, Dr H and 3 others like this.
  2. MeachamLake

    MeachamLake A-List Customer

    Messages:
    349
    Location:
    North West, UK
    I have owned A2s from both. The Aero I got was the cheapest they make, the 15142 Real Deal from seal jerky. It was a superbly constructed jacket - no doubt about that. My only reservation was with the leather, which I felt was too thick, stiff and heavy for an A2....the Vicenza leather I believe is closer to what an A2 should be, but it comes at a price premium which puts it closer to an Eastman (or at least it did before ELC jacked up prices last week!).

    Eastman’s house A2, which I have at the moment, gets the weight and drape spot on. It just looks and feels authentic...their warhorse hide is simply sensational and easily worth the extra dosh.

    They both make brilliant products though - you’d be deighted with either I am sure!
     
  3. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,376
    Location:
    Illinois
    I have a BK Monarch A-2 in Liberty and a Dodger. The Liberty I own wears very quickly. Not sure if that is true today. I think the BK liberty is very similar to war era horsehide.

    There is a good look at my Monarch at the 4 minute mark.
     
    jonesy86, Jejupe and Technonut like this.
  4. Brettafett

    Brettafett One Too Many

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    1,181
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    bn1966 likes this.
  5. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

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    2,467
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    I've never known anything other than ELC A-2's, I've enjoyed their jackets for about 15 years now, excellent customer service (thanks Rob) & have benefited from Gary Eastman's expertise & attention to detail :)
     
    Flightengineer likes this.
  6. Jejupe

    Jejupe Practically Family

    Messages:
    591
    Location:
    Finland
    Does anyone know, if Eastman is willing to do larger sizes than 48?
     
  7. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

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    48 is the largest size they make as far as I'm aware, and only up to a 46 in their ELMC Biker range.
     
    Jejupe likes this.
  8. ProteinNerd

    ProteinNerd My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,637
    Location:
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    With 4 Eastman jackets in my closet (no A2's though) I cant recommend them enough...superb jackets in every respect.

    I've never handled or even seen a BK in person and I'm sure they are nice but like the others have said...I will not support a business with their attitude when there are so many other viable choices.
     
  9. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah A-List Customer

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Mississippi
    I have an ELC monarch. Love it. Leather is so nice on it.

    I also have a BK dubow in order. Here is the thing. If you handle original A2 jackets you would also describe them as more “vinyl” like or “plastic feeling”. This is because the majority of WWII A2s were semi-aniline or pigment finished. It’s why vintage A2s repel Water rather than soak it up like veg tanned aniline leathers do. (ELC). BKs are veg tanned still but originals were chrome tanned. So if you were going for that close as possible feel to an original WwII A2 then BK is hitting a homerun there. It will wear and feel like an original. That’s what they market the liberty HH as. If you want luxury and very pliable then victory is an option.
    Looks like Dark seal Victory HH is still available.
    ANyway, wanted to clarify that in light of someone’s above continued rant (seems quite the broken record whenever a BK thread pops up) on that. Maybe like you are, doing the research ahead of time would have alleviated some of the issues?

    I work with leather a lot and let me tell you. Quality full grain leather comes in all kinds of finishes which can change the way it feels and this winds up as a personal preference. I love the soft pliable hand of my ELC monarch, but I know the BK is going to drape more like originals did. This ELC monarch never will quite the same as those originals and that’s not a bad thing, but it is a thing if it matters to you.

    As for BK, My dealings with Andy have been quite pleasant. Remember the two sides of the coin and that there is always more to the story. That said, you can’t go wrong with ELC either.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  10. Superfluous

    Superfluous My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
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    Missing in action
    Since your not so obscure reference is clearly directed at me, I have a question. The OP expressly asked for input from those with experience with BK and BK's Liberty HH. I responded to the OP's express request for information and shared my direct, personal experience with BK and Liberty HH. How exactly is that a "continued rant"? I did not post the information sua sponte. Rather, I responded to an inquiry. Should I withhold my responsive knowledge/information because I have posted it before, or because it is not favorable to BK? Of course not! A huge amount of what is posted on TFL is repetitive of prior posts. The same questions are asked over and over, and much of the same information is posted in response. This is inevitable. Certain of the other BK experiences and perceptions set forth in this thread have also been posted on TFL before, but you did not characterize them as a "continued rant."

    Separately, perhaps you are not aware of BK's outrageously improper conduct and harassment directed at me personally (which I elected to not "rant" about in this thread). Respectfully, if I was so inclined to "rant" about BK, I have earned the right to do so. That said, I do not "rant" about BK, nor elaborate about their reprehensible conduct. Instead, I confine myself to occasionally sharing my personal experience with their leather in response to direct inquiries. That is the antithesis of "ranting."

    Notwithstanding the inappropriateness of your "rant" characterization, the remainder of your post was informative -- thank you for that. The vinyl/plastic feel of BK's Liberty HH might have some historical connection to certain original A-2 jackets, but that doesn't change the fact that I personally hate the feel of the leather. I do not want my leather jackets to feel like plastic/vinyl. Moreover, I did not order an A-2 jacket from BK. Rather, I ordered two civilian jackets from BK, for which a vinyl/plastic textured leather has no historical relevance. If historical accuracy is the goal, BK should find a different leather for its civilian jackets.
     
  11. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah A-List Customer

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Fair enough.

    I do think people out there should know that the feel of different leathers can be subjective at times. Especially with regards to comparing the feel to something. What one might compare to one thing, another person might not make that same comparison.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
    Lebowski and Superfluous like this.
  12. GregGale

    GregGale One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    172
    Terry, how long did it take for your BK Monarch to look that worn?
     
  13. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,376
    Location:
    Illinois
    I bought the jacket with very little use or wear. I'm not even sure how long I've had it, 2 three years? Regardless of the age the wear happens very quickly. On my Dodger I noticed it within days, it has actually more wear than the A2. I do wear it., I don't have any recent videos or pictures of that jacket. I might do a where video on that and the Dodger.
     
    GregGale likes this.
  14. Luminor

    Luminor New in Town

    Messages:
    44
    Terry, can explain what you mean ny "more wear"? I am considering a BK jacket as I write this, and your knowledge would be appreciated.

    Sent from my LG-LS777 using Tapatalk
     
  15. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,248
    Location:
    Glasgow
    I don't own either, but on the basis of attitude, customer service and consistency of quality, I'd got with ELC (I now fully expect a threatening email from BK within the hour). If stitch-for-stitch authenticity is what you seek, track down a Good Wear or get in the queue for one.
     
    Cooper A-2 likes this.

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