AVI LTHR A-1

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Gamma68, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. Gamma68

    Gamma68 One Too Many

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    Hi everyone,

    There's a good thread going about the AVI LTHR A-2 (a quality jacket at a lower price). I've been interested for a little while in getting an A-1. Since AVI's version of the A-2 received pretty favorable reviews, I took a look at its A-1.

    http://www.avilthr.com/product/a1-flight-jacket/

    Can anyone with knowledge of authentic vintage A-1s tell me if there is anything "inauthentic" or "incorrect" about AVI's version of the jacket?

    AVI claims its reproduction has all the original features. They also offer it in seal brown but I couldn't tell you which color is "correct" or if the capeskin leather matches the originals.

    At $263.20 with free shipping and free returns, this seems like one heck of a deal. Practically a no-brainer. But is it too good to be true?
     
    tropicalbob likes this.
  2. Brettafett

    Brettafett One Too Many

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    Well, as the A-2, the knits, snaps and zippers are all modern generic components. But, as you say... for that price, one could overlook all that. I would have the knits replaced and it would be one swell jacket.
     
  3. Gamma68

    Gamma68 One Too Many

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    Unless I'm mistaken, there are no snaps or zippers on the A-1. Just button fasteners, which are made from horn (just like the original). So the only difference would be the way the wool knits are sewn?
     
  4. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

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    There are snaps at the bottom of the jacket.

    What I have never understood about the A-1 was the use of fasteners at the collar. This was designed as a summer jacket, so why the ability to button up so tightly? I think it is a somewhat unwieldy design. Maybe that is why it was replaced after only 4 years by the A-2.
     
  5. Deacon211

    Deacon211 Practically Family

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    I think that, as much as anything, the goal of the A-1 collar is to keep the wind out. Wind at that speed gets into every crack and can balloon out the whole jacket which could be pretty annoying. The other part I'm thinking is to be able to do "something" with the collar.

    Like the original purpose of button down collars (and the snap collars of the A-2) IIRC, you really don't want those collar points smacking you in the face all the time.

    Just a guess.
     
    Edward, Dr H, willyto and 1 other person like this.
  6. Cocker

    Cocker Practically Family

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    I think Deacon is right, here. Those jackets were designed for open-cockpits, and you don't want the collar to smack in you face whilst flapping in the wind.
     
    Edward likes this.
  7. l0fielectronic

    l0fielectronic Practically Family

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  8. Gamma68

    Gamma68 One Too Many

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    Thanks for the link to the Budget A-1 thread, which I hadn't seen.

    The Bronson jacket does look nice. It's also less expensive than the AVI at $221.57 with shipping.
    https://www.aliexpress.com/store/pr...32576794571.html?spm=2114.12010608.0.0.lI5TC8

    Then again, as you stated, Bronson has posted better photos than AVI, which doesn't mean AVI's jacket doesn't look as nice in person. I'm also skittish about buying through aliexpress.com. Returns to China seem like they could be a pain.

    Brettafett's review of the AVI LTHR A-2 here makes me lean toward their A-1. Then again, Bronson has the olive knits...
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
  9. Gamma68

    Gamma68 One Too Many

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    I've seen vintage photos of A-1s with buttons instead of snaps at the bottom, so I just made an assumption. I don't know if snaps are considered correct or incorrect. Seems like all repros today have snaps.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. l0fielectronic

    l0fielectronic Practically Family

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    As you may see when you go through the thread, I bought a Bronson myself after a couple of others did, and I was very pleased with it and its had some compliments from non forum types when I've been wearing it.

    I agree I'm not sure how complicated returns would be for that though, I figured if it didn't fit I'd just sell it on, but if you need any measurments I have a 44 - I would say, as said in the thread, they are quite slim cut, the Bronson jackets.


    I'd say the AVI looks lighter weight, being capeskin - but to me, from their photos, the details, buttons, kints and construction look a little like something you'd get in a High Street/Mall Fashion chain store which, I guess is fair enough for the price.

    As its free returns though, you could order it, see, and if you don't like it you know there are other options out there.
     
  11. Gamma68

    Gamma68 One Too Many

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    No doubt the Bronson looks like a very nice jacket. But I'm wondering if goatskin matches up with the originals. I thought the vintage A-1s were always capeskin.

    Now that you mention it, there is somewhat of a "mall" vibe with the AVI. But that might be due to the crummy photos and frumpy way the jacket is displayed. Plus, the model is wearing it the with collar up (not as good of a look).
     
  12. Technonut

    Technonut Practically Family

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    Bronson makes an excellent A-1 IMO. I noticed the same thread here regarding them, and had to wait for close to 6 months for my size to be in-stock again, but I was fortunate enough to receive it, and a Bronson B-10 jacket as Christmas gifts. :)

    From other sites, the goatskin used for the A-1 is listed as vegetable-tanned, and is of around the same thickness as other goatskin A-2's, and G-1's I've owned over many years. The buttons are attached well, and have been holding up fine. The only negatives I can find for the low price is that the knit cuffs do have a seam, but the seams are turned to not be noticed much, and the buttons are plastic, instead of horn. (Knits easily taken care of at replacement-time, and buttons easily fixed from a trip to eBay for vintage originals at low prices... ;) )

    Here's a quick pic I grabbed recently of the Bronson A-1:

    [​IMG]
     
    4444Design, bn1966 and ButteMT61 like this.
  13. Gamma68

    Gamma68 One Too Many

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    ^ That's a very nice-looking jacket, Technonut! That's a brown leather (not russet), right?

    Do you treat your goatskin version as a cool-weather jacket? My understanding is the A-1 was meant to be a lighter weight jacket for warmer conditions (spring / summer). It seems like most offered today are made of capeskin followed by goatskin. I've also seen horsehide (https://www.flightjacket.com/a-1-jacket.html).

    I have a goatskin G-1 for cool weather, so I'm thinking maybe I should opt for capeskin for variety and warmer weather.

    I guess the first thing I should do to focus my search is determine which leather would be most "authentic." There doesn't seem to be much information out there about the specs of the original authentic A-1s.
     
  14. l0fielectronic

    l0fielectronic Practically Family

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    Mine was quite a trim fit so theres no way it was going over a jumper hence I wore it mostly late summer, early autumn and it was fine here in the UK. I would imagine the capeskin would be better for warmer temps.

    Sorry for the thrad hijack, I just did a seach for the Bronson B10 and saw your photos of that, is it pretty warm? Certainly looks the part.

    Thats the problem with this forum, the most random things can lead to another jacket :)
     
    Edward likes this.
  15. Technonut

    Technonut Practically Family

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    Thanks! :) I've worn the A-1 as low in temperature as 34F with a waffle-weave cotton Henley, or flannel shirt comfortably so far this year. :) As far as capeskin is concerned, it is the 'proper' leather for an A-1, but I prefer the tough-as-nails durability of goatskin much more. After all, the A-2 was next in progression, and goatskin was military spec'ed right along with horsehide (and steer to an unknown extent). Not to mention the Navy used goatskin in the M422-A, G-1, etc.. ;)

    I've owned 'high-end' A-2's in goatskin made by Good Wear, and honestly, if I would have received this veg-tanned hide that Bronson uses in one of those, I would be just about as pleased with it. The Bronson goatskin is indeed a brown, but also 'dusty', vintage brown, which really looks good with the khaki / straw-colored thread used in contrast. I've also owned an U.S. Authentic A-1 in horsehide, but found it too 'heavy' for my taste in this type of jacket. Quite nice overall, just 'heavy'..

    The Bronson B-10 was worn today during an outing to my Cousin's 100 miles away, and much of the day out in 25F weather. Again, with a cotton waffle-weave Henley, VERY warm, and comfortable. :) The jacket is quite substantial, and well-made. Runs circles around my expensive, but inaccurate Pike Brother's B-10. ;) The Bronson's lining is of medium-thickness 75% wool / 25% polyester, which IMO, is a great modern compromise to the B-10's original wool / alpaca.

    Even the tag nomenclature is reminiscent of an original, as well as the AAF decal spacing from the epaulet. I noticed in the sales-listing that Bronson pictured a Buzz Rickson B-10 with the same color mouton collar, and 'brick' knits for comparison... Bronson IMO, made a respectable copy for the price. :) The jacket is shown in the listing to have a left-opening zipper-pull (brass Talon repro), and in fact does. Just like my UK-made leather jackets, and the Pike Brother's B-10. It also has seamed knit cuffs, but again, well-hidden seams, and of what looks to be a wool-poly blend (less prone to pilling IME)

    Since owning the Bronson B-10, I have absolutely no hankering for a $700.00 shipped Eastman B-10 anymore. ;)

    The sizing charts were dead-on for both the A-1, and B-10. I was excited to find perfect measurements for the trim, military fit of around 2-3 inches of chest room I prefer (taking the thicker lining of the B-10 into consideration), and couldn't of received a better fit in both jackets, even if ordered bespoke. :) Here's a few thumbnails of the Bronson B-10 for those curious (click to enlarge):

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  16. l0fielectronic

    l0fielectronic Practically Family

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    Thank you for that and taking the time for the indepth write up. Yes, they seem to make a very good jacket for the money based on the A1 I have. If I can find one in my size I may well take the plunge, though I also found they do a version of the N1 as well. Choices. Thank you again.
     
    Technonut likes this.
  17. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

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    A-1s are great summer jackets in Cape hide. Getting lots of warmer weather use out of mine & enjoying the slightly different vibe it gives compared to am A-2. Yep the A-1, my favourite light weight:)
     
    ButteMT61 likes this.
  18. Gamma68

    Gamma68 One Too Many

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    I'm leaning toward capeskin -- bn1966's quote steered me in that direction. :)

    Those I've seen who offer a capeskin A-1 are (in order of ascending price):
    The Good Wear looks like the very best A-1 reproduction available, but it and the Eastman are way beyond my budget.

    The Headwind looks nice, but it's double the price of the AVI LTHR. To my eye, the Headwind doesn't seem much different to justify the extra cost.

    That leaves the AVI LTHR. Capeskin, horn buttons and member Brettafett gave a solid review of the construction of his AVI A-2 here. The AVI knits will have a seam and the sleeves are two rather than three-piece construction. But I can overlook that. If the backing buttons are cheap or inaccurate, they can be swapped out. Everything else looks like an pretty accurate representation of an A-1 to me (unless I'm missing something). It's too bad AVI doesn't insert a label that more closely resembles an original. But I'd probably forget about that after a short time. Free shipping and free returns.

    Now, seal brown or that lighter brown?
     
  19. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

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    My A-1 Cape skin is a wonderfully light hide & though some question it's strength, mines been fine (No rough stuff but I don't nurse it) & it was good enough for the early aviators
     
  20. Gamma68

    Gamma68 One Too Many

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    Who made your A-1?
     

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