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Aero King of the Road compared to Sears D-pocket

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Guppy, May 19, 2018.

  1. Guppy

    Guppy One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,568
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    @Gamma68 was nice enough to sell me his Sears Leather Shop D-pocket. I wanted to compare it against the Aero King of the Road that I bought a few weeks ago.

    Size:
    Aero: 42
    Sears: 40

    Weight: The Aero is much, much heavier, stiffer, thicker. It's not even close.
    Aero: 8 lbs
    Sears: 4 lbs

    The pictures tell most of the rest of the story. Aero at left, Sears right.

    20180519_173721.jpg
    Comparing the labels
    20180519_173730.jpg 20180519_173739.jpg

    The D-pocket area
    • The Sears jacket's D-pocket is lined with cotton, a slit pocket cut into the shell lined with a cotton bag, while the Aero D-pocket is leather lined, the D being sewn directly onto the outer shell.
    • The cigarette pocket over the D-pocket is likewise lined with a cotton bag on the Sears jacket, but leather lined on the Aero. Under the flap of the cigarette pocket on the Sears jacket is lined with corduroy, which is a nice touch.
    Aero:
    20180519_173755.jpg
    Sears:
    20180519_173806.jpg

    20180519_173831.jpg 20180519_173818.jpg

    The Interior
    • The Aero has a full corduroy lining, and no inside pocket.
    20180519_173907.jpg
    • The Sears jacket is lined in quilted red nylon, with a strip of corduroy on the waistband. This seems to be more durable than the nylon, and intended to prevent premature wear against the wearer's pants/belt. It seems to work, as this strip doesn't appear to have significant wear on it.
    20180519_173924.jpg
    • The Sears jacket has an inside pocket, wearer's right.
    20180519_173940.jpg

    Continued with more photos in the comments...
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  2. Guppy

    Guppy One Too Many

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    On the back, the similarities are striking, but we can note some differences as well. The kidney panel on the Aero covers a full belt, while on the Sears the belt is not a full belt, attaches at the sides, and does not go under/through the kidney panel. The kidney panel on the Sears jacket is much wider than that of the Aero. They're otherwise very much the same design, clearly Aero borrowed strongly from this design when they created the King of the Road.
    20180519_174029.jpg
    Aero:
    20180519_174036.jpg
    Sears:
    20180519_174042.jpg
    The Sears jacket lacks the "pillion pockets" on the back.

    Aero:
    20180519_174107.jpg
    Sears: 20180519_174112.jpg

    Both have a single-point yoke on the shoulders.
    Aero:
    20180519_174050.jpg
    Sears: 20180519_174054.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  3. Guppy

    Guppy One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,568
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Both jackets have Talon main zippers. The Aero main zipper is a smaller gauge than the Sears.

    It's been mentioned many times on these forums that Aero prefer #5 or #6 zippers for a more authentic jacket, but that on their heavier jackets this is inadequate and often causes trouble. In this case, at least, it seems that a #8 or #10 zipper on the Aero would have been just fine from an historical accuracy standpoint, and would have made for a stronger main zip.

    I've had zipper problems with 3 of my Aero jackets, and it seems undeniable that a beefier zipper would help prevent problems, particularly with their heavier weight leathers.

    Sears:
    20180519_174123.jpg
    Aero: 20180519_174135.jpg
    Also, I've noticed that most of my non-Aero jackets expose the teeth of the zipper more. With Aero's zippers, the leather covers more of the teeth, meaning that when you start the zipper, you're going to be putting more stress on the zipper, as you push that leather out of the way to expose the pin.

    Aero: 20180519_174151.jpg
    Sears: 20180519_174201.jpg

    Of the two, the Aero is far and away superior in terms of materials and assembly. I do think that the beefier talon main zipper on the Sears is the one point where I'd give the original an advantage. But it's hardly even needed on such a lightweight jacket, where it's certainly called for on the ultra-beefy King of the Road. I do like the finish on the main zip on the Aero better, it seems like it's nickel, while the Sears jacket is dull and I'm guessing aluminum.

    I'll be moving the Sears on, a quick catch and release for me, for research purposes. I'll have it listed on eBay in a bit, and for any TFL member who's interested I'll offer it at the same price I paid, $225 + shipping.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  4. Peacoat

    Peacoat My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,839
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    I remember those Sears jackets with fondness. Don't wear that style anymore as I ride a marked Police Road King, so I wear more of a police style jacket.

    Thanks for the excellent comparison of the two.
     
    Gamma68 likes this.
  5. Guppy

    Guppy One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,568
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
  6. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    18,160
    Location:
    London, UK
    Interesting comparison, thank-you.

    I would say this is definitely one of the jackets Aero borrow certain details from, though any differences will be deliberate. As Ken told me when I interviewed him for a piece in The Chap, the Aero philosophy on their civilian styles for the most part is to design in the spirit of the era, to create a jacket that could have been made in 19xx rather than to specifically or only copy one specific model. I get the feeling there's a touch of the Buco influence on this one too. Ideally, I'd love one of each of Aero's D pocket models; the Elvis appeals especially.
     
  7. jacketjunkie

    jacketjunkie One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,029
    Location:
    Germany
    Very interesting review, thanks @Guppy ! Fit pictures would be great, even though I guess the Sears has moved by now. I'm currently looking at the Aero KotR, already sent an excessively long e-mail to Aero and wondered whether you can measure the diameter of the jacket at the hem? I'm a bit worried about these jackets crazy taper towards the hem not suiting my figure.. How's the chest measurement on this 42? 23,5" as the one that Mysteryo sold a while ago? Is the hem diameter the same crazy 18"? Thanks!
     
  8. Guppy

    Guppy One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,568
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Fit pictures of the KOTR are here: https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/aero-king-of-the-road.93407/

    I still have the Sears. My jackets don't ever seem to move quickly. I could still take some fit pics of it.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Trying it on again this morning, I am more impressed with the Sears than I was initially. It's literally half the jacket that the Aero is, by weight, but it is substantial enough in its own right. Once again, I am reminded of how much my sense of quality is distorted by the standard set by Aero and others who produce jackets made from thick, heavy hides. This is a fine jacket, especially for a mass production commodity, and objectively I can't say anything bad about it. It's just that the Aero, Lost Worlds, Natal, Langlitz, and Vanson jackets I'm used to wearing are in another league.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  9. Monitor

    Monitor I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,530
    Not to mention that there wouldn't be Aero KOTR with this one! :D Fits you great, though.

    Guppy, which ones are your definite keepers?
     
  10. jacketjunkie

    jacketjunkie One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,029
    Location:
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    I'm gonna make myself unpopular here and say I like the Sears better, both in fit and details. Aero only wins in hide for me.. seeing that Sears fit really makes me re-consider my idea of getting an Aero KotR.
     
    Guppy likes this.
  11. Guppy

    Guppy One Too Many

    Messages:
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    Out of my entire collection? That'd be better addressed in a separate topic...

    Out of these two, I'm keeping the Aero, and will sell the Sears when the right buyer comes along.

    Everything has is price, though. I might have a jacket or two that I wouldn't want to sell at any price, but if someone wanted to give me five figures for my absolute favorite jacket, I'd have to think about it pretty hard.
     
    Edward likes this.
  12. Guppy

    Guppy One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,568
    Location:
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    The Aero is definitely a shorter jacket, I would almost say too short, but I believe that's intended -- high waisted 50's style and all that. It could be it was made for a wearer who was shorter than I am. Otherwise, though, I feel like it fits very nicely, and I like the way it looks.

    Despite being labeled 40, the Sears is a lot larger and roomier than the 42 Aero. Just goes to show how much a size label can vary, and how nearly useless they are. Size label < measuring it < trying it on.
     
  13. Monitor

    Monitor I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,530
    Yep, I meant out of all of 'em. :)
     
    Guppy likes this.
  14. Guppy

    Guppy One Too Many

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    Out of all of them... geez. You know, I have to keep a spreadsheet for inventory tracking purposes, don't you?

    Offhand, I guess I'd say:

    Natal cafe racer (brown 44)
    Natal cross zip (black 44)
    Vanson V7 (black 42)
    Vanson Sport Rider Mk II pro-perf (black 44) for riding on those really hot days
    Lost Worlds Buco Rider (black 42)
    Aero Highwayman (brown 42)
    Aero Wayfarer (brown 44)
    Aero Cafe Racer (brown 42, black 42)
    Aero Sheene (black 44)
    Aero King of the Road (black 42)
    ELMC Windward (walnut brown 44)
    Thedi "Triangle Man" (brown XL)
    Thedi Shawl Collar (cognac XL)
    At least 2 of my Langlitz Columbias, but I am not sure which two.
    At least one of my Cal Leathers LAPD jackets
    Cal Leathers center zip police jacket
    Of course my Schott x Context CX113
    My Hillside custom cross-zip motorcycle jacket

    Everything else I'd probably sell if I had a buyer. This would include some non-essential Natal and Walter Dyer cafe racers, a couple of leather trucker jackets, a vintage German leather pea coat, and I'm not sure offhand what else.
     
  15. Superfluous

    Superfluous Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,762
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    ^ The Smithsonian is jealous
     
    AbbaDatDeHat, Guppy, torfjord and 2 others like this.
  16. Monitor

    Monitor I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,530
    Jesus Ch... Everything else!? I thought you had, like, 8 jackets! I'd keep that V7 and Natal cross zip, too, tho.
     
    Guppy likes this.
  17. Guppy

    Guppy One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,568
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    I have the means, so I can jump on something that interests me if I see a good deal, and I can try it out and evaluate it, and if I decide to let it go, I can get close to what I put into it, if I'm patient. So I have a lot of money tied up in this hobby, but I can learn a lot from first hand experience with so many jackets. I learn about style, fit, materials, build quality, and nuance about different eras, different leather, different hardware. I can't say the knowledge is necessarily valuable, but it's interesting, and I get to try out a lot of really cool jackets, so it's not a bad hobby.

    I would like to divest somewhat, though.
     
  18. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    18,160
    Location:
    London, UK
    I've always sold myself on the 'acceptability' of owning really many more jackets than I need on the basis that this hobby means my collection is actually wardrobe - unlike if I collected, say, stamps, baseball cards or model cars, the space I give up to my hobby is space that is more practically used because I only buy jackets I can wear. She Who Must Be Obeyed has other ideas, naturally. Specifically, we agree I should have as many jackets as I need, but 'need' as a quantifier is..... somewhat disputed. ;)
     
  19. AbbaDatDeHat

    AbbaDatDeHat One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,322
    ^^^Hey Guppy...i’d like you to “divest” the Shott CX113!!
    I can be patient...i think. Ha
    Bowen
     
  20. Guppy

    Guppy One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,568
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    That will be one of the last that I part with. Only 50 made... and mine fits me perfectly.
     
    AbbaDatDeHat likes this.

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