Langlitz Columbia and Cascade review.

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Carlos840, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. Carlos840

    Carlos840 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,735
    Location:
    London
    First, thank you @JMax for proxying this jacket to me! I really appreciate it.

    For some reason we don't see many Langlitz jackets around here and i think it is a shame.
    In a way i understand why, they have a very strong look/style, there are hundreds of different cross-zips and cafe racers that look very much alike, but Langlitz IMO has something that stands out from the rest.

    This one was born Nov.20th 1991.

    Let's start by the best bit, the pattern.
    This is without a doubt the most comfortable jacket i own. It sits on the shoulders with zero weight on the neck, but unlike my J-23 it manages to achieve that without leaving a gap between the neck and the collar to funnel water down your back when it rains....

    Range of motion is incredible, you could literally do yoga in this jacket without ever feeling restricted. You just put it on and within 10 seconds you have forgotten you are wearing a heavy leather jacket. You can reach up, down, stretch, twist, without ever feeling the jacket tugging or fighting you. The sleeves have a very well designed underarm gusset, a great curvature, the biceps are very wide, that plus the gussets in the back, it is the perfect combo for forward reach with zero sleeve riding up.
    I have worn great patterns before (my LW J-23 and LL Universal Racer Mk2 come to mind) but nothing comes close to this Columbia.

    Execution is flawless but not what i would call pretty.
    It isn't stitched like a LW, RMC or Freewheelers, which IMO are the prettiest jackets i have seen stitching wise, but more like a flawlessly made Schott or Vanson.
    I would call it flawless function rather than pretty and artistic.( i hope that makes sens...)

    The one let down IMO is the leather.
    It is the medium weight cowhide, i measure it as being 1.4-1.6mm thick.
    It isn't bad, but it isn't anything special either. It makes me think of what you would expect from Lewis Leathers or Schott, super smooth and shiny, with a somewhat vinyl feeling top coat. It has a definite "forever new" feel to it, although this jacket is 30 years old and has been worn it still feels and looks new, it still squeeks like crazy.
    There is very little grain, and wearing it seems to be creating creasing rather than grainning.
    I wore it under a rainstorm and it kept me absolutely dry. It is definitely functional motorcycle leather, but compared to others it is a bit dull and lacks character.

    Overall, this is a great jacket, it has a very unique very vintage style, is super comfortable, if you are looking for an old school MC jacket for real MC use i think it would be hard to get a better one.

    Here are the pics:

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    And the fit pics:

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    Edit: this is a stock size 43 XL, XL stands for Xtra Long.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
    SinSir, Benny Holiday, Kuro and 16 others like this.
  2. Carlos840

    Carlos840 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,735
    Location:
    London
    Bonus footage:

    Here are pictures of a mid 60s well worn in Cascade to compare new vs worn leather, it is just as comfortable, if anything it feels like the same base pattern in the chest/shoulders area, but modified to remove the collar and the laced bottom.

    Pics:

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    And fit pics:

    (the bulge in the back near the bottom hem is there because the lining was cut too short for the jacket)

    [​IMG]
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  3. sweetfights

    sweetfights Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,294
    Location:
    Canada
    Outstanding review. You hit all the relevant points. The Langlitz jackets I have had, one incoming, fit so well and are so very functional it has to be experienced first hand. Yes- the stitching is not Good Wear or Himel but does not have to be. Langlitz surpasses all with function and fit. The graining on your jacket is gorgeous. Takes a few years of real life to achieve that! The medium weight cowhide is exceptional but does lack character. My 50-year-old Cascade is horse and has that character. This jacket looks great on you, love the pin stripes.
     
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  4. JMax

    JMax Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,762
    My pleasure, you made being proxy easy and seamless. The jacket looks great and the fit is awesome. I agree about the leather, though I have owned one LL jacket from the 50s that did show a beautiful teacore-type effect. That was it, all I have handled with more recent DOBs were like this. Probably when they exclusively went to the mid-weight stuff. Amazing jackets of course, but I prefer other leather. Currently without a LL, I should change that.

    Enjoy the jackets.
     
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  5. jacketjunkie

    jacketjunkie One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,772
    Location:
    Germany
    Great review. And I agree. Langlitz beats them all in comfort and mobility, their patterns are great and yeah.. their leather is kinda boring compared to other makers. Little grain, little character. But.. proven to last decades without any flaking or other damage whatsoever as seen on countless of theirs from the 70s and 80s.
     
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  6. ton312

    ton312 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,392
    Location:
    Chicago
    Great write up. The Columbia wins imho. The cascade is nice but that Columbia is spectacular. I only had one Langlitz, a brown 70’s brown Columbia in what must’ve been their lightweight cow. The only reason I sold it was the hide felt exceedingly limp. I know that’s the exception and not the rule.
     
  7. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,035
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    While I have seen some Langlitz jackets that had leather that I thought was remarkably boring and lacking in character, this seems to vary rather widely. Some of the most amazing patina I've seen on a leather jacket has been Langlitz. Since they've been around about 80 years or so, I'm sure they have a gamut of different materials that they've used over the years. I can definitely provide some images of their stuff a bit later that will blow away anything else you'd want to compare it to.

    Update: I owned this one for a few months before I decided that it was just too small for me and I had to sell it on, but it had some of the nicest leather I've ever handled in any leather jacket.

    Here ya go.

    il_570xN.684211481_rvpj.jpg il_570xN.684092010_izo9.jpg il_570xN.684092438_name.jpg il_570xN.684211525_jgua.jpg
     

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    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
  8. navetsea

    navetsea My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,280
    Location:
    East Java
    congrats looks like a perfect motorcyle action jacket, the underarm is obviously made with different concept to gain mobility by adding football panel other than high armhole so in neutral position you have a lot of excess material bunched up there honestly I prefer the high armhole and more forward mounted sleeve to gain mobility over adding underarm panel, think you should ease the waist lacing a bit since the lower back is stacking on your jeans and belt, might need to carry your wallet in different pocket while wearing it too probably since kidney panel is hitting it, unless you ease the waist even more to wear the wallet behind the kidney panel
     
  9. jonbuilder

    jonbuilder One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,344
    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    I have two Langitz Cascades jackets the most practical and comfortable fit for riding than any other jackets I ever tried to ride in. The first one I acquired 12 years ago is in my quessament 70s heavy steer hide. If I wear it unzipped the jacket spreads open at the hem and the arms curve forward, I can feel the forward curve. Zipped' the jacket is sung, riding & reaching forward perfect. I ride up to 150 MPH on mountain roads I feel if I went into a skid the leather would not wear through.
    My other Cascade is a recent purchase in my quessament 50s obviously horsehide and IMO the nicest horsehide I have ever owned. Not as heavy as the heavy steer hide jacket but the feeling when I wear this jacket is like a second skin. I would rather be wearing the steer hide is I went into a skid but for putting the HH jacket I get "that feeling" the reason I seek out vintage motorcycle jacket
    Hope this makes sense
     
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  10. dudewuttheheck

    dudewuttheheck One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,925
    Those both look pretty awesome. I do love Langlitz's unique designs. I agree that the Columbia is the most amazing.
     
  11. 01flhr

    01flhr One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    233
    That columbia looks outstanding and doesnt look like its hardly been worn at all. My 2yo langlitz has more wear to it. Id say its just hung in someones closet.
     
  12. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,383
    Location:
    Iowa
    I have owned one, a 1982 Columbia, purchased from Monitior, later traded to Kater Karlo, both on this forum.

    I have to agree with nearly all of Carlos's points about the Columbia. It's pretty amazing just how flexible this jacket is, really useful on a motorcycle. The leather on my 1982 model was rather well broken in, Mid-weight, and still a hefty but not over-the-top apx 6.5 lbs complete. It was warm and the leather itself flexed very well as it was work, so simlar to CXL Steerhide and FQHH it moved a lot better after it had been worn for 30 minuite, verses being pulled out of a very cold enviroment. I also thought the leather was a bit less in terms of character than some but it was quite durable and made the jacket quite nice to wear.

    Overall, I really like the Cafe Racer they offer - the Cresent. The website photos do not do the company or the product justice for the quality of the jackets. I'm not a huge fan of the other styles overall but that's just my opinion.
     

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