Golden Bear?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by pipvh, Nov 20, 2020.

  1. pipvh

    pipvh Practically Family

    Messages:
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    Location:
    England
    Where does Golden Bear stand in the grand scheme of things? They don’t seem to get a lot of love around here, but their chp jackets, for instance, look pretty high quality. I’m basically hunting around for an affordable chp, and they come up quite often. Am I comparing them to Cal-Leather, or Schott, or Branded, or...?
     
  2. Claybertrand

    Claybertrand A-List Customer

    Messages:
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    In my experience, only their earlier jackets are good. I wouldn't touch the newer stuff. The older ones with Made in San Francisco or Made in California labels are great--but I don't know what happened with the company. They started having these crappy jackets made in China etc. I haven't seen newer good quality Golden Bears---just the older stuff. The quality and coolness factor between the older stuff and the imported crapola is night and day. Its as if someone just bought the brand and they started just having mall jackets made and threw the label on them. Either that or someone in ownership badly (IMO at least) veered the company into cheapo production jackets and just threw away the brand reputation that had been established. Its a shame.
     
    Monitor likes this.
  3. dannyk

    dannyk One Too Many

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    1,300
    @Claybertrand yup. Someone here probably knows much much more about them than I do. But you can find older stuff like 60s-70s Golden bears that seem to compete with all the classics we know and love. Maybe not the absolute best, but up there and very solid and good looking. At some point they either got sold or chose to go in a different direction. It appears their modern stuff is oriented to fashion. Which is fine, they can do whatever, but dont expect it to be well built and have the attention to detail you would expect coming from Golden Bear. I have on occasion seen them do a collab with someone that doesnt look half bad. Still not amazing stuff, but you can tell they tried to give more bang with the collab than with their own line.
     
    Monitor likes this.
  4. pipvh

    pipvh Practically Family

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    639
    Location:
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    Thanks! There seems to be a huge variety of labels as well - the ‘made in California’ ones are obviously better quality. The thing I don’t like about their chp jackets is the big, saggy belt loops, which seem to be sort of a trademark, but otherwise...
     
  5. Carlos840

    Carlos840 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Location:
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    I have a Golden Bear/ Club Monaco "Deck Jacket", made in California, it's a decent mall jacket but still a mall jacket.
    The leather is thin and not interresting, the zippers are standard YKK, the fleece is thin, it's not particularly well stitched together.
    This jacket sold new for $980 which IMO is absolutely crazy, i got mine for 199$ new and unworn which is a price i was happy to pay for it.
    I would say they make a good beater jacket you dont have to worry about if you find one for cheap but don't spend the money on a new one, you can get much a much nicer jacket for your money.

    Edit: Saying that the older ones seem to be better made and the leather looks nicer. My previous statment really only apply to modern ones.

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  6. Will Zach

    Will Zach One Too Many

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    Location:
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    ^^
    Compared to the rest of your stellar collection this is not strong....hopefully older Golden Bears are better.
     
    dannyk likes this.
  7. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,461
    Location:
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    I'd put Golden Bear between Wilsons and Schott. They are not a maker a leather jacket enthusiast would seek out. The quality isn't there. There is some romance associated with their early better quality stuff, of 50 years ago, but even then, it is not a brand that arouses interest very often.
     
    El Marro likes this.
  8. pipvh

    pipvh Practically Family

    Messages:
    639
    Location:
    England
    Thanks all. That confirms my misgivings. No cheap fix. Guess I'll hold out for an original Cal-Leather or Taubers.
     
    handymike likes this.
  9. Blackadder

    Blackadder Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,692
    Location:
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    There is a defunct company which makes very good copies of Cal's CHPs. Curiously though, it seems that most of his jackets were made for Japanese market and rarely seen on ebay. The name sounds like a cheap knock-off but the jackets are the closest I have seen to Cal's more modern CHP with the gusset. I bought one myself on Yahoo Auction JP a while ago. Here are some examples. The first one was sold for less than 10,000 yen. Mine was in better condition and I paid 37,600 yen for it.
    https://www.2ndstreet.jp/goods/detail/goodsId/2333350147575/shopsId/30995
    https://www.2ndstreet.jp/goods/detail/goodsId/2335090067052/shopsId/31103
    Quality definitely closer to Cal than Branded, Vanson and Schott.
     
  10. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead Practically Family

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    I've been lucky (I guess) past 2-3 weeks.

    I got a Branded Garments CHP on ebay for $250 all in. This thing could be a flak jacket straight out. Build is great, leather is real nice, and if no one throws it away along the way, I think my great great great grand kids will be wearing this. It has the bigger belt loops though you mentioned in the open.

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    And couple nights ago I put in a really low ball offer on this Just Leathers San Jose CHP sort of style. Was thinking I want a "lighter" version of the above for more every day wear. It has the side laces, but doesn't have the ribbed bottom. I'm hopefully getting it tomorrow or Monday. Might be a tad big, so check the classifieds if you in the 185-200 lbs range. Not sure how Just Leathers ranks among the old school brands, but seems like a nice piece, has the zip in fuzzy liner, everything working, etc.

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    roadking04 likes this.
  11. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Location:
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    This is one of the older brands I know little about. I've don't recall owning a Golden Bear. I've seen quite a few through the years, but never went after one. I believe they go back years. They have made a few interesting jackets, but they are typically from the 40s. One of the Japanese Brands use their older Bear looking label. I just looked through 6 pages of Golden Bear outerwear! I had no idea they produce the range of garments. I saw an interesting wool half belt that is very interesting, would be more interesting in my size.

    I thought I had several Golden Bear labels this is the only one I have. I know there are more. This is a very common 50s, 60s? label.


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    Bushman likes this.
  12. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Cals and Taubers are out there. A more worthy pursuit. I've not owned any Cals, but a few Taubers. There are several on ebay now, etsy too. Cals are there too. Have fun, Taubers and Cals are worth the money.
     
  13. Bennarion

    Bennarion One Too Many

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    1,506
    Location:
    Russia
    I really like how this jacket fits you in length. This jacket style is made for you
     
    Claybertrand likes this.
  14. pipvh

    pipvh Practically Family

    Messages:
    639
    Location:
    England
    Talking of Branded, Johnson Leathers (from the opposite coast, I know) get a LOT of love on here. I’ve seen some of their chps pass through these forums, though I’ve noticed that they are usually members’ custom-made jackets. Their resale seems very... reasonable for reputedly monster pieces.
     
  15. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead Practically Family

    Messages:
    532
    I've been trying to land a Johnson. There was one or two on ebay past couple days that were a smidge small for me. I think I posted link on Finds and Deals thread.

    Branded I can tell you is beastly. It's on the edge of being too much. I don't ride so I don't need the extra protection, but if I did ride, this would be my go to jacket without a doubt.

    I have a Just Leathers San Jose coming tomorrow that I'm really excited about. Got it for super low ball bid on Ebay. The owners of the actual shop just confirmed for me that it's at least 29 years old. They're nice people and just relocated to Arizona because of all the California closures they were unable to keep their shop open. Wish them all. If that one fits well and is more mid weight , I may sell the Branded. As much as I love how it fits and feels (leather is crazy awesome), I feel like it's being wasted on a non moto riding person. Or if the Johnson is big or same kind of thing as the Branded, then I may sell that one. We'll see. First world problems, I know.
     
  16. Centaurus3200

    Centaurus3200 New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    I can't speak to current golden bear, but to say flatly they're merely a step above wilson is not accurate.

    I have 2 golden bear. A late 70s goatskin A2 variant. 1 piece back and 2 piece arms/sleeves. Nice slim fit.

    Another is a 90s ll bean goatskin bomber, real shearling lining with a real Mouton collar. Golden bear made I think all the usa made bean and banana republic jackets. A good portion are again 1 piece back and 2 piece sleeves. The earlier shearling bombers had actual sheepskin hides, not piled fleece.

    By contrast, a similar period Schott 674 is a mediocre G1 variant with faux fleece lining and a synthetic dynal collar. I can't see how it holds a candle to comparable golden bear.
     
    El Marro and Monitor like this.
  17. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,461
    Location:
    Australia
    The points were made about the current versions not the vintage.
     
  18. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
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    They certainly don't seem to be worth the asking price for the new ones.
     
    Seb Lucas likes this.

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