Barnstormer Regrets?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Philalethes, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. Philalethes

    Philalethes A-List Customer

    Messages:
    463
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey, on a Farm
    I can think of at least three drawbacks to the Barnstormer that have come up in these threads:

    1) Heaviness
    2) Stiffness in cold weather
    3) Color transfer to underlayers

    Since I am seriously considering the Barnstormer as my winter coat, and the price is steep, I am wondering whether anyone has regretted his purchase for these or other reasons.
     
  2. 1) Aero's FWHH and steer hides are heavy, quality hides. No way around it. A longer coat (such as the Barnstormer, Cheyenne, Stockman, etc. ) will weigh more than shorter length jackets. If you are keeping the Alpaca lining for warmth, that will add a wee bit to the weight too.
    They are not "light" coats, but I don't find them uncomfortably heavy to wear.

    2) FQHH and steer hide are stiff hides when new. They soften up with wear.

    3) The only issue I've had with color transfer on Aero's FQHH was the first few times I got my jackets soaking wet in the rain (part of my break in process..which softens them up and molds them to your body nicely.)
     
  3. apba1166

    apba1166 A-List Customer

    Messages:
    370
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    I doubt that Aero, while a nice jacket, will keep you warm in upstate NY--wouldn't even do me in downstate Pennsylvania--unless you buy large enough to layer w/sweater and sport coat or some such. And for the same price you can get 2 incredible barely used (or one new) cashmere overcoats (which are the best warmth per weight going): keep one nice for those 15 degree sunny days, and beat-up the other one in rain and snow. They are luxurious, look great, and will keep you warm as you need. Of course, if you must have leather-for-the-weather there are some thick-and-flexible steer jackets with warm zipped-in wool or synthetic linings. I have a two--unfortunately not Aero, they are both Turkish, but they do the job.
     
  4. andy richards

    andy richards Practically Family

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    The Netherlands
  5. gyrobroyeur

    gyrobroyeur Familiar Face

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    France.
     
  6. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Bartender

    Messages:
    5,292
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    If you are planning on the Barnstormer being your winter coat, order it large enough to layer, and layer some more underneath. I don't think any of the Aero linings are particularly warm. I have the Alpaca in my Highwayman, and it, by itself, isn't warm enough for even Tennessee winters. It is OK for temps in the 30s and above, but below that, I need something with insulation under it. The Halfbelt will be longer and will give more protection from air transfer, but it won't be that much warmer. All body types are different and some require more insulation than others. I don't have much natural insulation on mine, and, as my wife says, I am easily chilled.

    The stiffness of leather in cold weather has never bothered me, but I don't much wear leather when it gets below the low 20s. And color transfer hasn't been a problem for me.

    If you want something for occasional wear on those warmer days up there in the frozen northland, the Halfbelt ought to be OK.
     
  7. AngryNJ

    AngryNJ Familiar Face

    Messages:
    73
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    For winter, I would get a B3 (or B6 depending on how warm you require) or a peacoat. I have both (32 oz schott peacoat and a B3) and usually wear the peacoat. I might sell my B3 in order to buy a B6 since the B3 is a bit overkill in NJ.
     
  8. Philalethes

    Philalethes A-List Customer

    Messages:
    463
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey, on a Farm
    @apba1166
    I should have specified that although I live in NY presently, I will actually be moving to downstate PA myself (Bucks County) - perhaps as soon as next winter/fall. It is interesting, however, that the Barnstormer hasn't kept you warm thereabouts. I usually wear heavy sweaters in winter, but I was told by Mark that the Barnstormer doesn't fit over sportscoats well. For that purpose he recommended the Veste de Rallye, but it doesn't look like my style.
    I do have a decent wool (not cashmere) overcoat, which is reasonably warm. Is it true that cashmere is warmer than regular wool? My impression was that cashmere was simply more comfortable.
     
  9. Philalethes

    Philalethes A-List Customer

    Messages:
    463
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey, on a Farm
    @andy richards
    Thanks, that coat looks quite warm!

    @gyrobroyeur
    I agree about the "shame": it seems that such an expensive article of clothing shouldn't have dye that runs. Does this happen with all leather coats, at least when they get wet?
     
  10. apba1166

    apba1166 A-List Customer

    Messages:
    370
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    I do have a decent wool (not cashmere) overcoat, which is reasonably warm. Is it true that cashmere is warmer than regular wool? My impression was that cashmere was simply more comfortable.
    Definitely warmer. An equivalent wool might be twice as heavy/bulky, and still not as warm. I have a high-end Italian 3/4 made back in the day when it was affordable. Someone here might know the difference, but the cashmere ones made from a certain type of weave/thickness back in the 80s and before rather than the recent high-tech mass-produced chinese thinner version, is what you would want. Anything by an Italian or British high-end designer from the 80s or before works. And if cared for, these coats can last generations and still look great. Whether wool or cashmere, I prefer either to wear over any sport or suit coat vs. leather...appearance aside, it's just more comfortable. By the way, the wool will be sufficient in Bucks county most days....as would the barnstormer layered with sweater. I bet there's not six days a year down here where a full cashmere overcoat isn't too warm, unless you're out tailgating at an Eagles game, and in that case all you would need is what you have plus the alchohol. Have you looked at LW's Downtown?
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  11. blethook

    blethook One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    214
    Location:
    Dorset, England
    Hi,

    I agree with some of the comments made here re the heavy leather barnstormer. I owned a heavy steerhide barnstormer (bought 2nd hand) and sure enough I never wore it and it didn't stay in my possession for very long.

    The comment about the awkward handwarmer pockets is also true enough...

    Based on the my own experience, I recently had a barnstormer made out of waxed canvas.

    Here's the link to the thread: http://www.thefedoralounge.com/show...Aero-(but-not-leather)-Barnstormer&highlight=

    It weighs 1.5kg (size 38), the same weight as an A-2 of a similar size. The waxed cotton is still a bit "stiff", but obviously nothing like leather. With further wear & weathering it's going to turn to be like "normal" cotton.

    Now that we have a cold winter here in the UK, I find this jacket very useful: Enough body coverage (3/4) & yet it doesn't weigh me down (I wear a T-shirt & a medium-weight jumper underneath). I think the selection of the lining is what matters to keep you warm, not the outer shell. Mine is wool.

    The only thing I would have changed if I had the opportunity probably would be the mouton collar: I would've made it removable.
     
  12. Philalethes

    Philalethes A-List Customer

    Messages:
    463
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey, on a Farm
    Thanks for your suggestions. What is LW's? (These days I only go to Philly a few days a year.)
     
  13. Philalethes

    Philalethes A-List Customer

    Messages:
    463
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey, on a Farm
    @blethook
    I saw your pictures of your Barnstormer, and I have to say, that is a nice jacket.
    As for the weight of a FQHH Barnstormer (or steerhide), my biggest concern is where to put it when I want to take it off, especially when I go out.
    I have considered adding handwarmers at the bottom to get around the problem of having chest handwarmers. I think they look nice, but they don't look very functional or comfortable.
    As for linings, as several people have said here, Aero does not seem to make very substantial ones. I am contemplating either shearling - which I am afraid will be too hot most of the year - or perhaps finding a heavy tweed fabric that Aero could sow in.
     
  14. Philalethes

    Philalethes A-List Customer

    Messages:
    463
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey, on a Farm
    I have thought that another option could be to find a relatively light-weight shearling, but I cannot find anything that meets all of the following criteria:
    1) No shearling showing at the bottom or cuffs
    2) Handwarmer pockets
    3) A windflap behind the zipper
     
  15. HighandDry

    HighandDry A-List Customer

    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    Seattle
    Aero will add shearling to a lot of their jackets that will meet all your criteria, but it won't be ready by this winter!

    Email Amanda.
     
  16. apba1166

    apba1166 A-List Customer

    Messages:
    370
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    LW, as in Lost Worlds, here's the link....www.lostworldsinc.com
    There are some very nice vintage shearlings always on ebay...some in barely worn shape....in fact I'm putting a napa sawyer on. Warm, and not flashy.
     
  17. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,575
    Location:
    Australia
    I think you are right about the first two points. I personally don't like my jacket to weigh more than 2 kilos. Preferably less.

    I like the waxed cotton alternative posted here. 1.8 kilos, warm and practical.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010
  18. Philalethes

    Philalethes A-List Customer

    Messages:
    463
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey, on a Farm
    Are there any pictures here of a long Halfbelt?
     
  19. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger Practically Family

    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    I've got one of those ultra-weighty Barnstormers by Sam Walker, I snagged it off Ebay for £50. It weighs almost as much as the Swedish leather dispatch rider's coat I used to have, I guess it's steer, rather than horse. It has a rather dull finish and is taking an age to break in. Movement is pretty restricted, all-round. Whether this will ease remains to be seen - if it doesn't start to play nice, it might have to leave... :D

    The Barnstormer's a 46 and surprisingly close-fitting, unlike my other jackets in that size (Sam Walker Highwayman, Aero goat A2, USN late-70s G-1), which all straddle the fine line between being suitable for tee-only and layering medium-to-heavy weight sweaters underneath.

    I wore the Barnstormer, which has the black wool lining, around town today. I layered with a tee and a 1950s zip-neck, wool, pullover hunting shirt, and that's about as thick as you need for temps of -1C. Good job cos it'd be difficult to go much thicker, sweater-wise!

    We've had a very cold week here for November and I've gotta say that the following combos can be ranked in terms of warmth:

    1) Highwayman & cowichan & Big Apple cap - but I did feel like the Michelin man! Still needed the side cinches done up nearly all the way in on the Highwayman, yet it was pretty darn tight across the shoulders, which made it a bit restrictive for gathering general provisions.

    2) Tailor-made 1940s double-breasted Crombie overcoat & five-button wool GI sweater & 1948 MQ-1 field hat – really good'n'toasty, but I did get some cold air blast up the arms of the overcoat. Missed them storm cuffs! The hands-down most comfortable vs warmth combo, but I did look like George Raft on stilts, with the head of Donald Sutherland (in Kelly's Heroes) on top!

    3) Barnstormer & 1950s zip-neck, wool, pullover hunting shirt & MQ-1 field hat - The most restrictive of the combos, due to the weight and thickness of the leather, but pretty warm. Hard to move around in anything other than an entirely upright position!

    4) USN late-70s G-1 & 1940s letter sweater & Big Apple cap - pretty nice'n'warm, but the shortness of the G-1 meant my kidneys felt a twinge of frost.

    5) Aero goat A2 & RL knitted lambswool vest & Boden aertex pullover shirt & Big Apple cap - bloody hopeless! But you woulda guessed that, rite? :p
     
  20. highhope

    highhope New in Town

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Leeds
    Hey all

    I'm new here, just thought I'd put down my thoughts about the Aero Leather Barnstormer as I've owned one for 4 or 5 years now.

    It's the Heavy Cordovan Steerhide version. Awesome jacket in winter - used it to fly my little open cockpit beauty last weekend during heavy snow showers, sub-zero conditions and a 70kt wind in my face...a real testimony to a wonderful jacket is the fact that my whole torso stayed perfectly warm!

    They pulled out all the stops when they made this one, it's been open cockpit flying for 5 years and doesn't show the slightest sign of wear!!

    I'm downgrading (??) now to an A2 for some closed cockpit flying now though so if anyone's interested, it's on e-bay!

    Hope this helps,

    Tom
     

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