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John Ownbey Jackets

Fifty150

One Too Many
Messages
1,444
Location
The Barbary Coast
Has anyone seen these in real life? No local retail store has this brand in stock. So I can't actually pick it up, feel it, try it on. Any thoughts or opinions?

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Damon141

Practically Family
Messages
528
I doubt you are going to get much in that price range but the guys on vintagejacketforum would know more.

I would say the high quality ones from reading are
Good wear is the top dog from reading
ELC makes high quality but standard sizes
Aero makes good quality on all their jackets but you can make adjustments
Bill Kelso has lots of followers
Five Star is the best bang for the buck at $350 or less but do your homework on sizing and they will deliver exactly as you ask for and quickly
 

Fifty150

One Too Many
Messages
1,444
Location
The Barbary Coast
At that price, I expect overseas manufacturing. At that price, I expect leather tanned with pigeon poop. At that price, I expect the leather jacket to have a chemical odor and feel hard & stiff. But I don't know. People buy leather in Morocco, which is tanned in pigeon poop, and they say good things about Moroccan leather. iPhones and Nike are made in China. I'm open-minded. It is very possible to get something I can wear, without "authenticity". It doesn't have to be an exact vintage replica for me to put it on, and be protected from wind and rain. I doubt that the leather could be so bad that wind blows through it.



 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,279
Location
London, UK
I've certainly had some very good, cheaper leathers in the past. I still have a P-style crosszip somewhere I bought back in 2002 for GBP70. Wore it a lot, before eventually having the BRMC colours added to the back for a costume. It was an awful lot closer to the Schott 618 I bought later on than the price difference would suggest. Not as good, but at the very least halfway there for a fraction of the price; as memory serves, in those days a 618 new went for +/-GBP400. In more recent years, I've also owned a Wested Raiders in goat (no Aero, but very respectable for the money and had its place in my wardrobe), and a Taylors Chicago police jacket (bought used for a song, but even at the price they charge new, a heck of a lot of jacket for the money).

The two biggest things I've learned over the years when it comes to leather jackets is that a] the law of diminishing returns can kick in hard and fast; we all have a point we bow out at, and tolerances we'll accept at certain price points, and b] while it is very possible to find a nice jacket at a lower price, QC tolerances tend to be a lot lower the lower you go in price, so it pays to handle as many examples as you can to find a 'good' one. The problem with buying online being, of course, that becomes impossible so the gamble is bigger. Personally, if I was going to take a punt on something without the benefit of experience, it would have to be available locally so a return is an option (even a "cheap" jacket can be a big loss if it turns out to be awful and the cost of return is too high). Last year I bought a Bronson cap on Aliexpress. Seller didn't have my size, it seems, so sent me a cap of a different design, brand, and finish (pre-distressed; yuck). The resolution centre on Aliexpress offered me the options of return for full refund, or accept a 50% reduction. I opted to return because being out the return shipping was the lesser of two cost-evils. Seller claimed it never arrived back with them and refused to refund - Aliexpress overrode them on that. A small loss on the postage for me, but a lesson in how returning so far internationally (to China) can be problematic.

The other thing with the web is, of course, the challenge of being certain the photos on the website are actually what you'll receive. In this case they don't look like photos ripped off from elsewhere.

I wouldn't personally assume that location of manufacture is any guarantee of quality (though, local laws depending, it can at least suggest the workforce who made it operate in safe and hygienic conditions, and receive a fair wage).

That all said, there's a fair chance these are quite decent, probably on a par with current issue milspec. I just wouldn't go into it expecting the same kind of quality or attention to detail that you'd get from one of the big names at a much higher price point.
 

photo2u

One Too Many
Messages
1,090
Location
claremont california
At that price, I expect overseas manufacturing. At that price, I expect leather tanned with pigeon poop. At that price, I expect the leather jacket to have a chemical odor and feel hard & stiff. But I don't know. People buy leather in Morocco, which is tanned in pigeon poop, and they say good things about Moroccan leather. iPhones and Nike are made in China. I'm open-minded. It is very possible to get something I can wear, without "authenticity". It doesn't have to be an exact vintage replica for me to put it on, and be protected from wind and rain. I doubt that the leather could be so bad that wind blows through it.




Morocco does produce excellent leathers. Not much hype like the Italians or French. I am not a fan of Japanese leathers either. Personally, I love a particular Indian method use to tan leather. No other country or company can do it as good as they did. Sadly, Only one company used it to do their old school G-1 jackets.
 

Fifty150

One Too Many
Messages
1,444
Location
The Barbary Coast
That all said, there's a fair chance these are quite decent, probably on a par with current issue milspec. I just wouldn't go into it expecting the same kind of quality or attention to detail that you'd get from one of the big names at a much higher price point.


John Ownbey was a military manufacturer. I don't know if they currently have a supply contract.

I would imagine that the manufacturing follows some contract specifications. Where I see the cost being cut would be the leather. It is probably a lower cost leather, from a 3rd world country. Maybe goatskin from Pakistan like a lot of lower cost jackets.

In my mind, it should be like what Alpha sold under the Knox Armory label. Not as good. But still usable. I remember the Knox Armory version of an A-2. You could touch it, and feel that the leather was not the same quality. But it did follow some of the specifications...... Sure, not every detail was accurate. And they never advertised it to be an exact replicate jacket. It was still leather. It kept the rain and wind out. For a lesser expensive leather jacket, it took a beating just fine. I wore it on hunting trips. Slept on the forest floor. Went through thorns, vines, etc. Held up great. The leather never got ripped. So good, that it kept me warm and protected up at the cabin. I left it at the cabin, so that anyone else going up there could use it. Inexpensive, so I don't miss it, or mind leaving it up in the woods at a cabin.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,279
Location
London, UK
John Ownbey was a military manufacturer. I don't know if they currently have a supply contract.

I would imagine that the manufacturing follows some contract specifications. Where I see the cost being cut would be the leather. It is probably a lower cost leather, from a 3rd world country. Maybe goatskin from Pakistan like a lot of lower cost jackets.

In my mind, it should be like what Alpha sold under the Knox Armory label. Not as good. But still usable. I remember the Knox Armory version of an A-2. You could touch it, and feel that the leather was not the same quality. But it did follow some of the specifications...... Sure, not every detail was accurate. And they never advertised it to be an exact replicate jacket. It was still leather. It kept the rain and wind out. For a lesser expensive leather jacket, it took a beating just fine. I wore it on hunting trips. Slept on the forest floor. Went through thorns, vines, etc. Held up great. The leather never got ripped. So good, that it kept me warm and protected up at the cabin. I left it at the cabin, so that anyone else going up there could use it. Inexpensive, so I don't miss it, or mind leaving it up in the woods at a cabin.

Pretty much in the mould of my Wested, by the sound of it. There is indeed a lot to be said for having a decent jacket around that you can take travelling and whatever when you know there's a high probability you won't have it with you at all times, and can afford to replace it if the worst happens.
 

Aloysius

Practically Family
Messages
882
I doubt you are going to get much in that price range but the guys on vintagejacketforum would know more.

I would say the high quality ones from reading are
Good wear is the top dog from reading
ELC makes high quality but standard sizes
Aero makes good quality on all their jackets but you can make adjustments
Bill Kelso has lots of followers
Five Star is the best bang for the buck at $350 or less but do your homework on sizing and they will deliver exactly as you ask for and quickly

Hey Damon, was this reply meant for a different thread? (I’ve done that myself more times than I’d like to admit lol so just letting you know in case)
 

Damon141

Practically Family
Messages
528
Lol good catch. I’m all over the place sometimes with several tabs open. I was trying to help the poor guy trying buy a good A2 or next to nothing. That style is a hobby within a hobby with all of the contracts and historical accuracy
 

Aloysius

Practically Family
Messages
882
Lol good catch. I’m all over the place sometimes with several tabs open. I was trying to help the poor guy trying buy a good A2 or next to nothing. That style is a hobby within a hobby with all of the contracts and historical accuracy

Yep, I was like “This sounds like it’s about an A-2/G-1.”
 
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