Hillside leather jackets...any owners here?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by ton312, May 30, 2017.

  1. ton312

    ton312

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    Curious about the above mentioned company: https://www.hillsideusa.com/
    I've got my eye on one or two of their jackets and wondered if anyone around here has any experience with them. Prices are attractive for what they offer. Any info from the knowledge base here would be greatly appreciated!
     
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  2. CBI

    CBI One Too Many

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    good shoes!
     
  3. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I had Hillside make me a custom motorcycle jacket in 2014. It's exactly what I asked for. They do good work.
     
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  4. ton312

    ton312

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    Thanks, I'm interested in their Buffalo hide. The color is really striking.
     
  5. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I went with naked cowhide for mine. They also do horse. I haven't seen samples of the buffalo. I asked them to go heavier than their standard hide on mine, and they did. My custom Hillside is a beast.
     
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  6. ton312

    ton312

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    I think I'll request a few samples. Their admin got back to me quite quickly with an email. Can you speak to the sizing? I'm not sure weather to go with a 42" or a 44"...
     
  7. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I asked for samples and ordered a fit jacket. They sent me a 46 by mistake (I had asked for a 44) but it ended up fitting well. I only went with shorter sleeves. I don't know what their standard sleeve length is, but I think I had them take off two inches for me. I'll have to get some decent photos of it and post them here soon.

    Overall, I would buy it again, but I don't think they're in the same tier as Langlitz or vanson, but they are priced accordingly, and are a good value for the dollar. I'd say that they're high mid tier, or low high end.
     
  8. Monitor

    Monitor

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    Guppy, what is it that you think makes then inferior to Vanson, Aero, Langlitz, etc.? Genuinely curious as I've only seen photos of their jackets and what I have seen, seemed top notch. Granted, their jackets definitely lack the aesthetic refinement and visual identity like, say, Langlitz but the construction, materials and features appear to be top tier to me.

    Someone here complained about the hide being spongy and stretchy tho but I think it was just naked hide which is what they use, I believe.
     
  9. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Just my opinion, really. Vanson and Langlitz both have long and storied histories, and a reputation earned over decades. So it's easier to give them a "benefit of the doubt" edge.

    Langlitz will win hands down any day in my book as far as build and materials quality, fit, and customer service goes. Their only real downsides to Langlitz are the cost, the wait, and they're a bit limited in their styles. Not that I blame them -- they stick with what they know, and do it better than anyone, have customers lined up with until next year, and have my utmost respect for staying small and family operated and true to their roots. Which is to say if you want a Langlitz, and are willing to pay for a Langlitz, there are NO downsides apart from the wait.

    Vanson, I hold higher than Hillside because I think that their comp weight is maybe a bit more rugged. I can't say that it's an objective claim, I certainly haven't done a destructive test to compare, but my Vanson jackets feel very, very solid. My naked cow Hillside jacket is a bit spongy feeling compared to my Vanson comp weight model F. Could be that's just the naked cow. But the Hillside has a very soft hand to it, and requires no break-in, and doesn't stand on it's own.

    Vanson have a bit more variety of styles, than do Hillside, and have done some unique styles for Hollywood, which gives them some bragging rights, and they have supported the racing community for decades as well, for even more bragging rights AND street cred. On the downside, I find that the off the rack fit of Vanson jackets is never quite right for me, and brand new they look a bit vinyl-y, but they break in and wear wonderfully in time.

    That's not to say that Hillside is objectively inferior, not at all. I can't make such a claim based on the tiny number of jackets I've personally handled. I trust my Hillside for real riding. It is the least expensive of the three makers -- I paid just $550 (usd 2014) for a custom jacket to my specs and expectations. And I didn't wait long for it to be made, either. I'm quite happy with it. They have a great grasp of the classic biker jacket, although some of the more modern styled jackets and vests they offer don't do it for me. But I their styles that I like, I like a whole lot.

    That said, if you asked me to to rank the three, without hesitating I would say Langlitz by a mile, then Vanson, then Hillside by maybe half a length. Considering the price difference between the three, all provide excellent to outstanding value for the dollar. I could buy two Hillside jackets for the cost of a Langlitz. But I can only wear one jacket, and with a Langlitz I have no reason to regret if I could only wear one, and no other to envy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
  10. OceanBreeze

    OceanBreeze One of the Regulars

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    The wait on my casual goatskin flight jacket wasn't bad at all, maybe 1 month? Don't know if it was just a low demand period. Cost is about the same as LW and Aero. Quality is second to none.

     
    ton312 likes this.
  11. Monitor

    Monitor

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    @Guppy - Fantastic post, thank you! Exactly what I was wondering about and pretty much what I expected to hear, actually 'cause yeah, Hillside really does seem like a great maker who knows what they're doing. I always thought their gear looks above regular Schott or even many Aero's, when it comes to riding. Vanson level. At least their standard CR which looks like a proper, no nonsense motorcycle jacket. Deep, correctly cut shoulder gussets, good sleeve to body length ratio, solid hardware, etc. If only they'd turn the pocket zippers upside down so that they'd close downwards like on WD/Natal jackets. . . :)

    So far, I have found every Hillside that would turn up here on TFL nothing short of perfect. There was one in the Classifieds from awhile back I can't seem to forget. Looked every bit the equal to any LW or Vanson or whatever other brandof jackets we talk about here. As a matter of fact, to this day I can't quite understand why I haven't picked it up. . . It was in fact this jacket that kinda had me question what more will the additional grand or two that some other makers ask for their jackets, will actually get me. Other than the brand name. Except with Langlitz. They're seriously worth it. Hard to explain to someone who has only seen the photos or just handled the leather samples... The actual jacket is magic.

    http://www.thefedoralounge.com/thre...e-44-harley-pnc-buco-j100.86284/#post-2094644
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I do think that Hillside leather is a heavier, thicker leather than what I have found in many "motorcycle" jackets produced by Schott.

    It'd be a nice to compare the horse Hillside uses against the Horween FQHH Aero uses, but in terms of the pattern and cut, clearly Aero are going for recapturing a bygone day, where Hillside are all about the modern pinnacle of evolution of the classic biker jacket style for practical riding.
     
  13. ton312

    ton312

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    Damn man. That's what I mean. That pic looks better than anything on their site. I learned to lay off judgement based on web presence from JL but it's still a leap in some regards. Thanks guys. Good info here.
     
  14. ton312

    ton312

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    I'd love to see more of your jacket Guppy. When you get the chance. I don't think these guys have a proper thread going.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
    Guppy likes this.
  15. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Here's a quick one of me wearing it on my bike, from the year I bought it.

    [​IMG]

    Sorry the mirror's in the way, I'll see if I can't get my selfie stick out in a few...
     
  16. ton312

    ton312

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    Nice!!! Jacket looks good! Is that a moto guzzi?!! Even better man!!!
     
  17. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Here's a few more, taken just now.

    The jacket weighs 9 lbs.

    The customizations:

    Pattern is based on a cross between their Basic motorcycle jacket, and Full belted jacket. It has the coin pocket and diagonal chest pocket of the Basic, and the full, detached belt and side laces of the Full Belted jacket.

    I further customized with:

    +Plain antique brass snaps (at the time Hillside used snaps with their logo on them)

    +Ordinary YKK zipper pulls (as opposed to more fancy ball styles that they offer on the pockets).

    +Three inside pockets (two on the left side: one zippered "gun" pocket, one horizontal slot pocket with snap closure, one snap closure "gun" pocket on the right.

    +All pockets are leather lined.

    +Omitted the red/white/blue border at the bottom hem of the removable liner.

    After receiving, I replaced the leather they used for the side laces and zipper pulls with rawhide lace, and asked David to redo the belt, which originally was made from two pieces of leather sewn together, with one made from a single piece of leather.

    The only thing I'd do differently would be to omit the snaps on the belt loops, and go with plain solid belt loops. I'm not wearing a gun belt, no need for snaps, and they just twist and make the belt loops go zig-zaggy, which I'd rather keep clean and straight.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  18. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Yes. 2013 V7 Special. I've since had it re-painted to the original black with gold pinstripes paint scheme that MG used with the 2009-12 V7 Classic.
     
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  19. ton312

    ton312

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    That's a stout looking jacket. I'm absolutely going to request some sample cuts. That hide looks to have a bit of a sheen to it. Is it pure naked cow or is there a top coat at all? Looks like a stellar jacket man. Thanks for the info!
     
  20. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Thanks. You'd have to ask them, but as far as I know, it's naked-naked. It is a bit shiny though.
     

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