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Aero? Simmons Bilt? Looking for my "Forever Leather Jacket"

Chilliwack

New in Town
Messages
43
Location
Canada
Hello!

I came here from Reddit. They referred me to The Fedora Lounge, as this seems to be the place where the experts and enthusiasts are.
So here's my very first post...

I've been searching for my "forever jacket" at age 40, as a future reward for my own weight loss... and unfortunately this armpit of a town I live in basically has... NOTHING in the way of true quality leather. Can't even find a single one, in store OR second hand, that doesn't have that quilted polyester lining which causes severe rashes on my skin. So I took my search online.

I've narrowed down my choices to two companies, both based in Scotland, funnily enough! Simmons Bilt, and Aero Leather.

I'm particularly interested in Aero's "Hooch Hauler" jacket (though I'm not keen about the color/glossy leather), as well as Simmons Bilt's "Pacific" jacket, but with the "Oakland" back. I just love the assymetrical cross-zip jacket style, but without the extra belts and excessive hardware. I don't ride motorcycles, so I really don't need a true "biker" jacket.

If I had my way, I'd get a design similar to the jacket from Thursday Boots, but obviously with better quality. I like the "shoulder box" on this jacket, as it draws attention to the shoulders, and can be very slimming. But I have not heard anything good about Thursday in regards to jackets.

I was kinda set on Aero, but someone told me that Simmons Bilt is the better choice, because Aero apparently may have some hit-or-miss quality. I don't know if there's any truth to this, since they did not elaborate, but are there any advantages to going with either company? I've ordered some leather sample swatches from Aero. And I'm currently in the process of getting some from SB as well. From what I hear, the "problems" people have tend to be with the fit, not so much quality control or corner-cutting.

I also recently learned that there was uh....... some "history" between the two companies. But I'm just trying to steer(heh) clear of that and just find the jacket that works for me.

Which company would be best for a custom fit? Or are there any other companies in this price range?

I figured this would be the best place to ask, to help me plan for it! Thanks in advance! :)
 
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Messages
16,350
Simmons Bilt is literally famous for being a worse choice.

While in truth I don't know what's happening with Simons Bilt right now, I'm pretty certain that not a single soul on this forum would recommend them over Aero.
Aero Leathers is a great company with a great product and a fantastic customer service & I am actually surprised to hear there's this hit-or-miss quality talk. Given the amount of work they do, some mistakes are bound to happen though I haven't as of yet heard of a single Aero customer that hasn't been taken care of in such cases.

In short, go with Aero.

Don't know where in Canada you at but I really recommend you get something with that ichy, heavy, quilted liner because the first cold day there is going to make you hate your pricey cotton-lined leather jacket.
 

Chilliwack

New in Town
Messages
43
Location
Canada
Simmons Bilt is literally famous for being a worse choice.

While in truth I don't know what's happening with Simons Bilt right now, I'm pretty certain that not a single soul on this forum would recommend them over Aero.
Aero Leathers is a great company with a great product and a fantastic customer service & I am actually surprised to hear there's this hit-or-miss quality talk. Given the amount of work they do, some mistakes are bound to happen though I haven't as of yet heard of a single Aero customer that hasn't been taken care of in such cases.

In short, go with Aero.

Don't know where in Canada you at but I really recommend you get something with that ichy, heavy, quilted liner because the first cold day there is going to make you hate your pricey cotton-lined leather jacket.
Hooo boy... One person says SB is the best choice, and that Aero is trash... another says the opposite. This is gonna take a LOT of research.

Do you have any examples/stories in regards to Aero's superiority or SB's supposed inferiority?

As for being in Canada, I live in Saskatchewan.

But this jacket wouldn't be for Winter, it would be for Spring/Summer/Autumn. For Winter, I got a humongous ugly down-filled coat. Fashion is simply not a consideration in our winters. ;)
 

moktabe

One of the Regulars
Messages
179
Location
UK
If you were to buy an off the peg jacket from any maker you'd likely have some part of the fit you wouldn't like.

If you were to speak with the manufacturer re sizing and listen to their advice then you'd nail the fit.

No experience with SB but have 6 Aero jackets and fortunately I live in the UK and I could visit them and get measured and tell them what fit I preferred and each of those 6 jackets fit perfectly.

People will always hold some bias toward their preferred maker. Speak to SB, speak to Aero, see what feeback you get from them and judge your choice on that.
 

Pandemic

One Too Many
Messages
1,503
Location
In The Flat Field
SB used to be the budget option but aren’t even that anymore. I ordered a Pacific and had to return it. If this is a ‘forever’ jacket, then go with Aero and don’t waste time with the knock-offs. Or you could look at Field, for a high quality alternative.

Anyway, it sounds like you are might be looking for a stripped-down Ridley type jacket:

https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/aero-slimfit-motorcycle-jacket-aka-ridley.102165/
 

Chilliwack

New in Town
Messages
43
Location
Canada
SB used to be the budget option but aren’t even that anymore. I ordered a Pacific and had to return it. If this is a ‘forever’ jacket, then go with Aero and don’t waste time with the knock-offs. Or you could look at Field, for a high quality alternative.

Anyway, it sounds like you are might be looking for a stripped-down Ridley type jacket:

https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/aero-slimfit-motorcycle-jacket-aka-ridley.102165/
Hmm. That is concerning.

As for the stripped down Ridley... Isn't that... kinda what the Hooch Hauler/Bootlegger is? At least in the front? Can't say I'm crazy about that humongous multi-pocket on the left side.

I need to sleep now, but thank you in advance for all the feedback, it's very helpful!
 

Pandemic

One Too Many
Messages
1,503
Location
In The Flat Field
As for the stripped down Ridley... Isn't that... kinda what the Hooch Hauler/Bootlegger is? At least in the front? Can't say I'm crazy about that humongous multi-pocket on the left side.

If you don’t like the D pocket then order it without. Aero let you do a LOT of customisation to get exactly what you want.

Start by focusing on the overall shape of the patterns that you like before honing in on details like pocket shape.


I need to sleep now, but thank you in advance for all the feedback, it's very helpful!

A tale of three Scots:

9C8A393A-528D-42F6-9155-81D7C51D073E.jpeg
615B0F2E-F110-4339-ACE0-05EE041E384B.jpeg
485D7CBE-D59B-49BA-9C5A-7ECFEB45CA36.jpeg
 
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newtojackets

Practically Family
Messages
634
If you don’t like the D pocket then order it without. Aero let you do a LOT of customisation to get exactly what you want.

Start by focusing on the overall shape of the patterns that you like before honing in on details like pocket shape.




A tale of three Scots:

View attachment 474211 View attachment 474212 View attachment 474213
First one looks perfect. Which maker is the 2nd one from, because I have no clue how anyone would allow that to be produced…
 

Tom71

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,366
Location
Europe
Of course I can´t educate you on the style you like best. Both SB and Aero have so many different models, that you should be able to find one you like. Both also offer alterations to pocket set-up, back-design, sleeve-patterns up to a reasonable degree, so you can always include your own input/preferences.

I have jackets from both Aero and SB, and can´t really say one is necessarily better than the other. Personally, I would always go with Aero unless SB offered a hide that I needed to have which is not available at Aero.

Living in Canada, have you checked out Thurston Bros on the US Pacific North? They offer a fit-jacket service that takes out all the guesswork from the sizing process. They have the whole Aero model-book too and are excellent when it comes to customer service. Lastly, they have (or used to have) production slots with Aero, so you may even save time when going bespoke.
 

jacketjunkie

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,196
Location
Germany
Can I ask what made you filter it down to Aero and SB? Because frankly, if I was to own only one leather jacket, it would not be one made by either of these two. (And I say that as a guy who owns/owned multiple jackets by both makers!) While they look great, others are just more comfortable and therefore suited for daily wear imho.
 

jacketjunkie

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,196
Location
Germany

Bfd70

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,006
Location
Traverse city
Unless you are in the .00004% you won’t land your “forever jacket” on the first attempt. If by chance you do you’ll stay on TFL, post pics, participate, and then buy 12 more “forever jackets” while simultaneously getting addicted to (choose 1, or 2, or all) really heavy denim, High end impractical foot wear, custom hats.

I urge you to leave now.
Otherwise
Welcome aboard.
 
Messages
10,932
Location
SoCal
There is a Canadian stockist for Aero:
https://www.bisontrading.ca/?SID=cg8d8hvoa7fkvrf0kdvphnul83
Maybe they can help you out.
If not, Thurston’s fit service would be my choice.
It’s interesting how many of us gravitate to Aero for our first “forever jacket”. I did too- 11 years ago. Now my closet has Bates, Kehoe, Lewis, Goodwear, Pioneerwear, Ralphs-Pugh, and Walter Dyer. Quite a journey.
Do you really need a custom fit? There are many jackets in the classifieds going at 50% RRP, I’d take a look to see if someone else’s gently loved jacket could work.
 
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Kenan

A-List Customer
Messages
324
I have owned a jacket from both makers and having the knowledge I have now I wouldn’t choose any of those makers for a “forever jacket”.

The Aero I owned was a classic MC jacket in Vicenza horse hide. The leather was decent, but a bit thin and not very interesting. The pattern was bad. It rested on the neck and it felt restrictive to move around in even if I had plenty of space in it.

The Simmons Bilt I owned was a Pacific. The pattern was better, but the jacket felt very “clumsy” put together. The leather was Horween Milan horse hide. Leather was ok, but the panels were very mismatched.

If I really had to choose I would go Aero, and I have a huge amount of respect for that company, but if I was you I would save up money for a little while longer and buy a jacket from a high end maker. Examples to this could be Field Leathers or Thedi for custom jackets. OTR jackets could be RMC, Rainbow Country, Eastman Leather or Freewheelers.

Choose a brand or maker that offers great and interesting leather qualities with well thought out patterns.
 

Chilliwack

New in Town
Messages
43
Location
Canada
There is a Canadian stockist for Aero:
https://www.bisontrading.ca/?SID=cg8d8hvoa7fkvrf0kdvphnul83
Maybe they can help you out.
If not, Thurston’s fit service would be my choice.
It’s interesting how many of us gravitate to Aero for our first “forever jacket”. I did too- 11 years ago. Now my closet has Bates, Kehoe, Lewis, Goodwear, Pioneerwear, Ralphs-Pugh, and Walter Dyer. Quite a journey.
Do you really need a custom fit? There are many jackets in the classifieds going at 50% RRP, I’d take a look to see if someone else’s gently loved jacket could work.
Well, I'll take a look at least!
 

Chilliwack

New in Town
Messages
43
Location
Canada
Can I ask what made you filter it down to Aero and SB? Because frankly, if I was to own only one leather jacket, it would not be one made by either of these two. (And I say that as a guy who owns/owned multiple jackets by both makers!) While they look great, others are just more comfortable and therefore suited for daily wear imho.
I dunno how wealthy you people are, that you can afford multiple multi-thousand dollar jackets!! D:

As for why I chose Aero and SB... I just like Aero's designs, and their price range is about the maximum I'd want to really go for a jacket. The only thing in my wardrobe worth more than $60 right now are my boots But if you know of any other companies in the same price range as Aero/SB, I'm more than willing to take a look.

I was looking at "Lusso Leather" in Canada for a possible custom jacket for $600. But I truly cannot find anything about their jacket quality online, nor can I find any information regarding how well they do the fit.

As I said before, this will be my weight loss reward, so I'm not planning to buy it immediately.
 

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