Just for completeness, I also considered the B3 but ruled it out after talking to a few manufacturers and all of them warned me that even in the Northeast, that is a beast of a jacket.
I did look at the AN-J-4 from Lost Worlds. It looks like a beautifully made jacket, top notch, but the price was double of what Aero charges. I'm not sure the LW jacket is THAT much better.
One jacket that was very interesting was the Simmons Bilt Polaris. But dealing with an overseas manufacturer and not having a try-on was not appealing. Once I know my size in shearlings, then maybe I can get this made. Of course after the Boss calms down.
Simmons Bilt Polaris
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Before the Simmons Bilt/Iron Heart fanboys crucify me for this, I’m not mentioning it to troll but as practical advice.
As you may or may not be aware, Simmons Bilt jackets use stolen Aero patterns. Ethical matters aside, this is relevant here because the shearling jacket patterns they copied were actually work-in-progress ones, with issues in the sleeves especially, that Aero has since fixed on their own jackets but SB continues to use.
I also think that the suggestion from some to go Five Star is actually very sound. Five Star patterned their B3 and Irvin (possibly their ANJ-4, too, but I don’t recall) off of originals. They’re based in Asia, so labor is cheaper, and they are in an area where sheep is one of the primary meats so they have a constant supply of good quality shearling. It’ll cost you about a third of the price of the Aero; you could conceivably get both designs, even, and an N-3B parka (the successor to these shearlings) from them for the price of one of the Aeros you’re considering.