Golden Bear bomber jacket (vintage? )

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Lui-g, Nov 23, 2021.

  1. Lui-g

    Lui-g New in Town

    Messages:
    8
    First of all hello to everyone here!
    I am newby in jacket collection so I just want to ask for some advice if people have time.
    I know there is lot knowledgeable people here!
    For some reason I am interested in this particular Golden Bear bomber jacket.
    Does anyone knows what type of leather is used for them, quality of jacket/brand ? Perhaps maybe era of particular jacket. It is vintage, but of probably recent times.
    Got one snatched before could buy it on Ebay (probably culprit is lurking here somewhere)
    but keen to search more. It has removable fur collar. I uploaded pics. I think it's a beauty ! Maybe I go for low quality one but for me it is nice !
    Any advice or tips are welcome ! If someone even has one for sale do let me know. Sz44 would be good.
    Thank you in advance to all !
    Kind regards View attachment 381363 View attachment 381364 View attachment 381365 View attachment 381366 View attachment 381367
     
  2. Monitor

    Monitor

    Messages:
    14,376
    Hi,

    I had a Golden Bear cross zip in exactly the same leather - You're right about it being of a relatively newer make, my guess would be 90's - and the only advice I can give you is don't buy this jacket.
    The jacket itself is okay, Golden Bear used to be a fantastic maker, but this particular leather is of abysmal quality; very thin, sanded, with little grain or character other than the artificial distressing which isn't nice at all.

    Save your money for an actually good Golden Bear.

    If you're new to leather jackets as you say, what might seem nice & interesting to you right now, may definitely change in the future, as you gain more knowledge and experience.
     
  3. Bahabp100

    Bahabp100 Practically Family

    Messages:
    640
    I have this one with Measurement approximately 23” across from armpit to armpit. Measures approximately 23" from the nape of the neck to the waist band.
    33605FCC-EE2D-459E-808C-12D27F81836C.jpeg
     
  4. Canuck Panda

    Canuck Panda Practically Family

    Messages:
    808
    I still have a few Golden Bear jackets. The made in San Fran ones are good quality, thick leather, quality wool, Italian nylon, real mouton. I got all mine before they jacked up the prices in recent years. It used to be $500 brand new, now it has doubled in prices.
    If the used one is in good condition and under $100 I think it's a good buy. My oldest Golden Bear is more than 10 years old goat rough out. Still going. The wool knits needs replacing, but everything else held up well.
    They outsourced to China almost 10 years ago. Stay away from those. Not that they are not good quality, but not worth the price. The leather and materials are thinner but the craftsmanship is same.
    I got to know the brand through the David Letterman show. He gave them out as gifts to his guests on shows.
     
  5. Bahabp100

    Bahabp100 Practically Family

    Messages:
    640
    Can you tell the era from the label in post right above?
     
  6. TLW '90

    TLW '90 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    175
    I learned that right away.
    Luckily my start came just as it was time to start thinking on Christmas gifts, so that helped halt my late night impulsive purchases.

    I have learned to really read and ask a lot of questions before even looking, because you'll always find something to buy if you look but if you have something in mind first there won't be something to buy unless it's really worth buying.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021
    Lui-g, Monitor and Chevalier like this.
  7. Canuck Panda

    Canuck Panda Practically Family

    Messages:
    808
    I might have one that uses the black label like yours. Not sure. I have to double check when I get home. But most of my Golden Bears came with the standard white label which I think they've used it forever.

    vin golden bear 00.jpg

    This is how I got to know about Golden Bear.

    vin golden bear 02.jpg

    They also make police contracts too.

    vin golden bear.jpg
    vin golden bear 01.jpg
    All images from Golden Bear's facebook page.

    Also to point out all my Golden Bear bombers came with the cuff protector, regardless of the material, nylon or leather. Which is a nice touch.

    To me, Golden Bear is like Johnson but a lot older (history), and way more diverse product line. But recent years the prices has shot up and the leather choices has lean towards fashion cuts instead of classic moto cuts, and only ready to wear, no customs. They still do special runs in Horween horsehides though.

    Golden-Bear-x-ButterScotch-Anderson-Horsehide-Cafe-Jacket-4-800x450.jpg
     
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  8. Lui-g

    Lui-g New in Town

    Messages:
    8
    Thank you for your reply! Much appreciated advice. It is hard to judge item from pics unless you have item in your hand I guess. I do really like cut and look of that jacket tho. But it could be not quality item as you said. That is why I asked more experienced people what to look for. If there is something else in this style or similar looking jacket? Or even same jacket but more vintage production, so than maybe that is the righ option? I also noticed LL Bean have same look jacket. Not sure how that compare to Golden Bear, or does it have any connection. But this style bomber jacket is interesting to me. I guess I have lot to learn. Visually this seem like great jacket, but as I said, I am not sure of leather used or quality of it. Any suggestions to similar alternatives ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
    tmitchell59 likes this.
  9. Lui-g

    Lui-g New in Town

    Messages:
    8
    Great info ! Much appreciated! Seem style wise it is nice looking jackets. Even their varsity jackets. I do like their cuff detail. That extra bit of leather extention/not all knit cuff. As I mention above I noticed LL Bean have same detail. Not sure if they are related somehow. But I guess as anyone, have to start somewhere, and this appeal for me. Maybe I am looking of somewhat lower quality leather/ brand? Maybe my rated 10 is someone 2 . Point is I started with this. I guess as I learn more maybe I will find something suitable. Again thank you all for reply ! And maybe some more info on Golden Bear with probably some nice examples of the brand !
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
    tmitchell59 likes this.
  10. Lui-g

    Lui-g New in Town

    Messages:
    8
    Nice information. I think like many brands out there, with modern times quality went drastically down due to cutting cost or shifting manufacturing premises! And right thing is to go for vintage stuff. Just how vinfage in particular brand is the right question!? 80's or even 70's stuff? I do believe even what seemed less quality than, it is better made/material quality than some stuff made these days.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
    tmitchell59 likes this.
  11. Lui-g

    Lui-g New in Town

    Messages:
    8
    True that ! That is the reason I want to ask more. Especially owners of Golden Bear jackets or people with experience to give some advice and opinions. Maybe suggest their good products and reccomendations ot their better items. As mentioned I like that particular bomber. Just not sure if that was produced over several years, mabe decades? And if that is case, maybe what particular production era from that brand is worth looking at?
     
  12. Lui-g

    Lui-g New in Town

    Messages:
    8
    Is there any way to tell age by their label?
     
  13. Canuck Panda

    Canuck Panda Practically Family

    Messages:
    808
    Here is my guess about the label.

    White label is their house selection. Items they stock themselves. Black label is collab with retailers. Retailer stock the product.

    The white label design hasn't changed for the last 15 years. I don't have anything older than that.

    IMG_8335.jpg
    IMG_8339.jpg
    IMG_8341.jpg
    IMG_8344.jpg
    IMG_8347.jpg

    I've gotten rid of the basic grain leather jackets and only kept the goat suede Golden Bears. They are thick and soft. The basic grain/naked leather is the garden variety 3.5 oz ones that everyone else use, even the $1k plus jackets. So nothing exciting there. For the money the Artisan tannery leathers feels a lot fancier (Horween, Shinki...etc.). But the Golden Bear goat suede is very nice. Almost cashmere soft and very thick.

    I think the wool Golden Bears provides better value. Their leather is ho hum for the money.

    Golden Bear is a manufacturer in the San Fran garment district. In theory they could have been an OEM supplier for LL Bean. The extra cuff protection is nice.

    IMG_8349.jpg
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    As far as I know Golden Bear only offers two fits, Regular and Slim Fit. The slim fit large fits smaller than the regular medium. So be aware of the sizing.

    Image1.jpg
    Image2.jpg

    Golden Bear dates back to 1922. It's been around for a full century now. Hope it sticks around for another one. I see a comeback in USA made brands. In the same price range, the USA made products consistently use thicker material (better?) than other countries of origins. Less fancy/gimmicky than the European or Asian products, but feels like a better value because they are usually built like a tank.
     
  14. Bahabp100

    Bahabp100 Practically Family

    Messages:
    640
    Do they make some jackets overseas ? Or all USA
     
  15. Canuck Panda

    Canuck Panda Practically Family

    Messages:
    808
    The Chinese made Golden Bears were short lived, early 2000's I remember. I had one. It was well made but the leather was thin.
    Look for the American flag tag and the Golden Bear label would read made in California.
     
  16. Lui-g

    Lui-g New in Town

    Messages:
    8
    Canuck Panda thank you very much for your information ! Some great items it seems you have there. Glad to learn some history about brand. As for leather knowledge, I have still to learn about different type that you mentioned and do more research. I managed to get one Golden Bear jacket from Ebay a day ago. I put pictures. Was cheap, but seems ok. Scovill zip as well, so seems good overall. I hope I made right choice. Screenshot_20211125-091155_Chrome.jpg Screenshot_20211125-091217_Chrome.jpg Screenshot_20211125-091235_Chrome.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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  17. El Marro

    El Marro Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,929
    Location:
    California
    I’m sure you will find that to be a solid, well made jacket that you could wear for many years to come. If it fits well then you may have accomplished your goal right there.
     
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  18. Canuck Panda

    Canuck Panda Practically Family

    Messages:
    808
    @Lui-g Good find there. The knits are looking good. And the solid brass is peaking through the blacken top metal finish which is usually a good sign of quality material. The leather looks like it's got a natural core from the tag. Should patina beautifully in years to come.

    San Francisco locals/members: Does Golden Bear still run their cash and carry warehouse sale in the spring?
     
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  19. JasonGraham

    JasonGraham New in Town

    Messages:
    1
    I like how all brownish bombers look old-style. This one is particularly good. Even those attritions make the bomber look more solid than factory new item. It even comes to the point that my girlfriend borrows my 70s US bombers to combine it with her kawaii clothing. That's why I don't like modern stuff - they outmode after a few years. Golden Bear bomber jackets are truly something for decades. The only thing to consider is proper maintaining such clothes. Unfortunately, I already spoiled one with unsuitable washing powder.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2021
  20. Fifty150

    Fifty150 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,327
    Location:
    The Barbary Coast
    I bought a jacket from Golden Bear, at their factory, which had a label from a well known fashion retailer. They removed the label as I paid, since they could not technically sell me the label. As I looked on their rack, they had all sorts of jackets with labels from other companies. They are a contract manufacturer. They will produce and sell wholesale to any company. Some of these companies specify a lesser quality, and will buy lower cost jackets made overseas. That's normal. That's business. Golden Bear is in business to turn a profit. If that means subcontracting to a factory in China, with cheaper leather, less stitches per inch, cheap zippers......the retailer gets what they asked for.

    You would need to call them. It used to be that I could just walk in, look through the racks, try things on, and then pay cash for whatever I wanted.

    They have been in business for about 100 years. Many generations of family bought jackets from their factory. It starts in High School. All of our school jackets, the wool jacket with the leather sleeves, came from Golden Bear. I have several of their jackets, including a motor officer jacket. As for the jackets that I have, all have the "Made In USA" label. All of my jackets are great quality. I don't have any complaints.

    Fit is one of those issues where there is no answer. Certain styles are cut to be slim. Other styles are cut to be generous. Ultimately, you need to try it on. Forget about what the label size is. What matters is how it fits on your body. My motor officer jacket is sized to fit over body armor. I have 2 of their A-2 style jackets. 1 of them was bought a little bigger and baggier, because I knew I would wear it over other layers. A goatskin flight jacket is the perfect outer shell over a hoodie sweatshirt and a goose down vest when I'm riding in an open top Jeep in cold weather. Whereas I would want a smaller jacket for wearing with jeans and a t-shirt. Are you planning on a jacket for an active lifestyle? Or will the jacket be for posing?
     

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