Hillsideusa horsehide snapdown collar jacket

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by jay_cali, Jan 29, 2019.

  1. jay_cali

    jay_cali Familiar Face

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    california
    Hi Guys,

    This is my first post, so hoping not breaking any forum rules.
    I saw a deal on ebay and ordered hillside HH snap down collar. Later I saw the bad reviews thread on fedora.

    My measurements are Shoulder: 19 inches, Chest : 41 , Waist: 33, Sleeves: 25.5
    The seller suggested size 42 which has Shoulder 20, Chest 42, Waist 20, Sleeves: 26, length 26.

    Please find pics here:
    https://www.thefedoralounge.com/media/albums/hillsideusa-horsehide.432/

    Senior members can you please comment on quality of HH.

    I will be returning it anyways, because shoulders are 21 inches in the received jacket. It doesn't sit on my shoulders right. Back Length is 25.5 but that's OK.
     
  2. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,497
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Well, if it doesn't fit you, it doesn't matter the quality, does it?

    You have it in your hands, so you should have some idea of the quality of the leather for that particular jacket. But if you're not very knowledgable about leather, then you might not know what to look for or how to tell.

    The good news is, there's a lot of reading here that can get you up to speed on what to look for and how to evaluate it. Even so, there's still quite a bit left to subjective preference, where one thing isn't better or worse, just different, or something is better for purpose, and something else is better for a different purpose.

    As to Hillside USA, they've been discussed here as you've found. I think they have good quality for the price, but are not in the same league as the brands we tend to venerate here. As well, it seems to be the general consensus around here that a few years ago they started using leather that, while probably perfectly fine for its purpose, is not at the high end that a jacket costing 2x as much or more would be made from. I think it's probably a bit unfair to compare a jacket built to a $400-500 price point to one built to a $900-1100 price point, without taking that cost differential into account.

    The main complaint seems to be that they use a leather that is not very thick compared to brands like Vanson, Aero, Langlitz, Lost Worlds. That said, about a year or so ago Vanson seems to have gone to a lighter weight leather for their jackets made from what they call "competition weight" -- which used to be truly robust, thick stuff, and now... isn't. And while Aero still use good, 3-3.5 oz thick stuff, the super thick 4-4.5+ oz weight leathers that they were sourcing several years ago doesn't seem to be an option through them anymore. So it's not like Hillside are the only company on this trend.

    I happen to like a thicker leather for motorcycle jackets, but it's inarguably the case that there are a lot of thinner MC leathers out there. Whether they're adequate or not, I can't say; I just feel more secure in something that feels thick and sturdy.

    In 2014, I commissioned Hillside to build me a custom cross-zip MC jacket that was a cross between two of their designs, and they sent me a fit jacket to help me figure out sizing. I felt the leather they used in the fit jacket wasn't heavy enough for me, so I asked them to go with heavier stuff, and they did. Their website claims 1.4-1.5mm leather, and I didn't think the fit jacket felt that thick. I would have been happy with 1.5mm, but this felt more like 1.1-1.2mm. I asked if they could do thicker, and if they were calling what they sent me 1.5mm, then I'd like to go 1.8-2mm, and they said yes. I don't recall there being an upcharge for this above and beyond what I was already paying for the custom design and measurements.

    They also sent sample swatches of the different leathers they use, so I could assess the color, thickness, and hand of the materials, and decide what I wanted. I found that I liked their naked cow best, and that their horse was thinner than the cow.

    The resulting jacket is seriously heavy, naked cowhide, to my specification and satisfaction. Overall I was very satisfied with the work they did and the quality. The detachable belt that they included with the jacket was made from two pieces of leather joined together, which I had concerns about the seam being strong enough, so I asked them if they could send me a 1-piece belt, and they did the exchange for me, no questions, no problems, no additional charge. That's pretty extraordinary, and I think they deserve credit for ensuring my complete satisfaction.

    I had a number of other minor details that I was very picky and specific about, and they handled it all for me. Specifically I wanted plain brass snaps, a specific inside pocket configuration that wasn't standard, leather-lined pockets, and to omit their red/white/blue stripe at the bottom of their removable liner, and their brand tag that is on the exterior of the jacket on one side by the waist. I think they probably should have used a thinner leather for the pocket linings, because 1.5mm or whatever they used is rather sturdy for that purpose, and several plies of it pile up to be about 1 inch thick at a point in the jacket where the two inside pockets overlap the exterior chest pocket.
    Going custom through them was not expensive either -- I think that I paid maybe $50-100 over the cost of an off-the-rack model cut to standard sizing, which is very, very reasonable. Only about a 20-25% upcharge for all these very specific, demanding customizations.

    In short, while I don't think that their off-the-shelf stuff is at the same level as Langlitz, older Vanson, Aero, Lost Worlds, they're easily the equal of Schott and probably on par with new Vanson. They do custom work, and are very reasonably priced for this. I think they're worthy, but that's just based off of one sale. I do think they hit it out of the park for me.
     
  3. jay_cali

    jay_cali Familiar Face

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    california
    Thanks @Guppy , I am thinking of going the custom way since no stock jacket fits me.
    I like many of Schott styles, but their sizing is way too odd. Like for schott 654, XL has 19 inches shoulder and size M fits my body. None of their jackets fits me.

    How did you contact hillside for order? they dont seem to respond to emails.
     
  4. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,497
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    I emailed them. They replied to me within 1-2 days most times.
     
  5. jay_cali

    jay_cali Familiar Face

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    california
    @Guppy Hillside never replied, returned with eBay. seems they are very selective about their customers.
     
  6. ton312

    ton312

    Messages:
    11,940
    Location:
    Chicago
    I had emailed them a couple years ago through multiple avenues requesting a swatch of their Buffalo hide. Just like Phil Collins, I got no reply at all.
     
  7. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,497
    Location:
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    *Shrug* I can't understand why they're not replying to emails. Try calling them. Or move on.
     
  8. ton312

    ton312

    Messages:
    11,940
    Location:
    Chicago
    TBH, after hh121 posted his hillside I felt like I dodged a bullet. There are far better makers for the same price point available. I think if they were anything other than what they are now, which seems subpar, that ship has sailed.
     
  9. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,497
    Location:
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    Maybe so. Could be I just got lucky with mine. It's too bad no one else here seems to have had good luck with them.
     
  10. ton312

    ton312

    Messages:
    11,940
    Location:
    Chicago
    There was one member who posted a really nice CR. You should post yours so we can have a look!
     
  11. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,497
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Tagged 46, yet fits me like it should if it is a 44. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  12. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    3,497
    Location:
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    Wearing. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  13. jay_cali

    jay_cali Familiar Face

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    california
    So I returned Hillside jacket. Been more than a week and no refund. Will ask Ebay to step in.

    US Authentic/flight jacket was the only one to quickly respond. Shaul suggested to try the stock jacket for fit and we can get measurements for custom jacket from there.

    Received their sportster and swatches today. will update pics soon.
     
  14. El Marro

    El Marro Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,632
    Location:
    California
    Shaul is all business and he built me a custom jacket the day after I ordered it and shipped it the day after that. Ordered the jacket on a whim Sunday night, and had it in my hands by Thursday!
     
    AbbaDatDeHat and Hh121 like this.
  15. PeterRocco

    PeterRocco One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    Staten Island New York
    Hi
    I Think You Jacket Looks Great!
    I just bought a D Pocket Horsehide in Black off EBay. I Got a Great Deal. $260.00. I post pictures when I get it.
    I got to get me a 2.00oz Leather from them like yours.
    Thanks for Posting
    Pete
     
  16. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,497
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Thanks, Pete. My Hillside might be 2.0mm, but I don't think I've ever measured it; I believe I had requested 1.8-2.0mm when I placed my order, which is about 5oz. 2oz. leather would feel like a sheet of paper to me. Although, to be fair, I think a lot of motorcycle jackets are made with 1.0mm thick leather, which is the same as 2oz.
     
    PeterRocco likes this.
  17. PeterRocco

    PeterRocco One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    Staten Island New York
    Hi
    I wonder what the thickest leather they have? I have to give them a call.
    Thanks for Your Reply
    Pete
     

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