ELC B-6 vs. WWII Impressions Tanker Jacket

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by O'DubhGhaill, May 6, 2016.

  1. O'DubhGhaill

    O'DubhGhaill New in Town

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    I live in Central New York state. I am looking for a period jacket that I can wear from ~40-45F down through high 20-30F to work wearing an undershirt, dress shirt, and tie, (no suit jacket) perhaps adding a sweater or sweater vest when below 32F. (I own a 1980s Avirex B-3 for colder weather, of which there is much up here, and a Cooper A-2 for ~45F and up.) I am torn between the ELC B-6, which is without a doubt, utterly incredible, and the WWII Impressions, "Uniform, Combat, Winter" - aka Tanker Jacket, which is, without a doubt, stylishly utilitarian. Problem is, I believe they both might operate well within my desired temp range, but there is that ~US$1000 spread between the two.

    This may end up being a matter of when in doubt between the two, buy both! Problem is balancing function, style, and, as always, cost. Any input, experience, comment is appreciated.
     
  2. BobJ

    BobJ Practically Family

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    You could buy the Tanker jacket, start using it, and see if you begin to really like it and find it's becoming your go-to jacket. Voila, happiness! If you don't like it, or the novelty wears off, you can start thinking about the next one. If you buy them both at the same time, their novelty will both be wearing off concurrently.
     
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  3. CBI

    CBI One Too Many

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    The Tanker is less costume-ish so you might get more wear out of it. Consider an ATF Tanker as the WW2 Impressions ones look very short waisted (seem on some customer photos). If it were me, I would buy a Buzz Rickson N-1 jacket. It will fit your needs perfectly, its military, more comfortable than a B-6, super quality and a mid-range price point (vs. the B-6). You can wear it anywhere and it "works" My 2 cents.
     
  4. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

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    No authentic Tanker Jacket is going to keep you warm at the lower end of the temp. scale you indicated. An authentic B-6, which means the sheepskin is the correct 1/4" depth, will prove warmer than the Tanker Jacket, though it will also fail at the lower end of your temp. scale. The problem with your two jacket selections is that you've created a temp. range that is not realistic for either: below freezing is simply beyond the operational range of the original purpose and design of these jackets.
     
  5. ProteinNerd

    ProteinNerd My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I have a Pike Bros N-1 which is great quality and significantly less expensive than the Buzz Rickson version I believe. That could also be an option. I like it because it doesn't look "too military" or like a costume/cosplay.
     
  6. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

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    I think you made a perfect argument, CBI. The Buzz standard N-1 would, however, fail at the lower end of the scale, whereas their heavy-weight version would work with the right layering and in the right size to allow for this.
     
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  7. O'DubhGhaill

    O'DubhGhaill New in Town

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    I need to check this out, it looks smart and very warm - I've deployed on an LSD and know how cold it gets on deck. My only initial problem is getting over the glaring USN on the breast - former active duty Marine (0311/0321) and all...
     
  8. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

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  9. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

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    Get the Tanker jacket, then go to a sporting goods store and buy a jacket liner, Thinsulate or one of the other miracle fabrics. They are very thin, so no need to buy a jacket two sizes bigger, and they are very warm, I have ridden a motorcycle with one under my Barbour down to 30F, which is around 15F at 45 mph.
     
  10. Dr H

    Dr H One Too Many

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    Recently bought an 'At The Front' Tanker (the less period accurate version with the fleece liner) and it's a winner on a budget. Much warmer than the Buzz Rickson edition that I had previously with the coarse (itchy) woollen lining, with no extra weight.
     
  11. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

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    I have an original issue N-1 (but not issued to me) with no USN anywhere on the jacket. It is warm and longer in the torso than the tanker jackets. As a former Jarhead, you are right--no USN on the jacket.
    Semper Fi.
     
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  12. Marv

    Marv A-List Customer

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    443
    Location:
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    you could also look at the Eastman B-10. nice and light, comfy and very warm - much better than a Tanker and in my opinion probably the best B-10 repro out there.
     
  13. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

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    No doubt that fleece is warmer, which is an improvement on the original design that can generate wonder why something such as alpaca wasn't chosen once the shortcomings (in terms of low-end temperature use) of the blanket wool was discovered. I suspect that, by the time the shortcomings were widely known in 1944, the AAF and USN had targeted vast amounts of alpaca for their needs, which might have presented shortages if yet another item required the use of this substance, and that making a change in production that was as substantial as the employment of alpaca would have represented would have also wreaked havoc in maintaining supply flow at the crucial time going into 1944. And it would have also happened at a time when plans and expectations were such that the M-43 Field Jacket with its removable liner was going to replace all other jacket styles, rendering specialized jackets (e. g.: for armor, mountain, and airborne troops) obsolete and substitute standard, thus there'd have been no need to modify the Tanker Jacket, though the reality of M-43 Field Jacket and Liner production and distribution failed to meet expectations by a wide margin, keeping the Tanker very much alive until war's end, and even into the Korean War.

    Ultimately, the Tanker remained a favored style even after the M-43 was available, as based on surveys done at the time, which can be explained by the fact that most troops didn't receive the removable M-43 Liners and just employed the jacket with a shirt, undershirt, long-sleeve undershirt, sweater, and scarf, and that the Tanker was intended from the beginning to be worn in very cold conditions with the corresponding bib-front trousers, thus providing not just warmth to the lower body from the trousers, but a double layer of cold protection to the chest area. When the Tanker is worn with the same layers that troops had available at the time, and especially with the trousers, it's a pretty effective garment against winter's chill, but just as a solitary jacket, it's limitations are rather evident.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2016
  14. O'DubhGhaill

    O'DubhGhaill New in Town

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    Charles, thank you very much for this recommendation. Order 1490 is in! Semper Fi!
     
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  15. O'DubhGhaill

    O'DubhGhaill New in Town

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    Thanks much Peacoat and remember, never a former Marine, always a former ACTIVE DUTY MARINE. S/F!
     
  16. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

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    A supremely wise choice I believe you will love time and time again on each day it's cold enough to wear it. Thank you, Marine, most sincerely! Your order ships out on Monday and tracking data will follow in your inbox. Please let us know how this works out for you.
     
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  17. O'DubhGhaill

    O'DubhGhaill New in Town

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    Will do! Just want to confirm that the sleeves are alpaca lined as the body. Also, given I'm a 43", I believe this 44R will work as great with shirt and tie as with my submariner jumper or similar. I am considering giving this a Barbour-waxing down the road.
     
  18. Peacoat

    Peacoat I'll Lock Up

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    Exactly. At our end of the barracks we say, "You can take the boy out of the Army, but you can't take the Army out of the boy."

    Good luck with your new jacket.

    Duty, Honor, Country (loosely our equivalent of Semper Fi)
     
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  19. HPA Rep

    HPA Rep Sponsoring Affiliate

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    Yes, indeed, the sleeves are fully lined in alpaca per the original design, but the khaki version has the alpaca sleeve lining stop where the hidden wool-knit cuff begins, whereas the blue version has the alpaca extend all the way to the end of the sleeves (you can see this on our website images). The USN deemed the full-length alpaca unnecessary, thus the change was made at the same time other changes were incorporated in what became the "khaki" N-1.
     
  20. O'DubhGhaill

    O'DubhGhaill New in Town

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    To update, I received the B.R. N-1 in 44R from Charles (HPA) and can report that the quality of manufacturing of the B.R. N-1 is simply outstanding. Unfortunately, the fit for me was not. I have since learned that N-1s fit tight in the armpit, whilst featuring a very generous length of sleeve. Also, the neck cinch of the N-1 collar was a few inches too small for my 17" neck, making it impossible for me to button the collar closed. I so very much wanted the N-1 to work form me.

    That said, Charles saved the day by engaging me in an incredibly informative telephone discussion about the historical features of the B.R. N-1 and the B.R. Tanker, all the while offering me a complete refund if I simply chose to return the N-1. I decided to exchange it for the B.R. Tanker in 44 and could not be happier with my decision. The B.R. Tanker is simply perfect - this jacket is warm and looks completely professional for wear to work with dress shirt, tie, and, when closing in near freezing, a jumper. The bi-swing panels allow me to extend my arms completely forward and up without sleeve rise. The length is perfect, does not rise when extending the arms, and ensures no draft will make its way up my waist whatsoever.

    WWII Impressions version of the Tanker seems very well done and is not nearly as expensive as the B.R. However, WWII Impressions has not had Tankers (featuring continuous wool wrist piece as opposed to the seamed version they have on hand in certain sizes, not mine) available for several months and won't for several more - I removed myself from their waiting list for a Tanker and placed myself on their waiting list for a pair of their USMC Boondockers, also unavailable now and remaining so for several months more.
    Pics of my B.R. Tanker to follow HPA's photo here:[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2016
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