Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds

The Hunt for the Least Restrictive Leather Jacket

Nalazo

Familiar Face
Messages
70
Hey guys. I currently have both a custom Aero Half-belt and a Lost Worlds Suburban, both heavy FQHH. Due to the feeling that the jackets, especially the Aero, are restricting me, I never wear them. Simply driving in the Aero can be a chore. I’m looking to sell the Suburban . As a result, I’ve been on the hunt for a jacket with a lighter hide and a pattern that encourages rather than restricts movement.

After much research on this forum, it seems that Vanson has the type of practical pattern that I’m looking for; one that would allow me to move my arms without the whole jacket standing to attention or fighting me. They also have a stellar reputation. I’ve been in touch with Vanson and they are currently working on rolling out some lighter weight leathers in the 3oz range that are waxy with lots of character. I’m considering the much beloved Enfield.

Another point of consideration is that Bruce Dyer, of the late Walter Dyer, is still selling leftover product and offering to make jackets. There was an old motorcycle jacket style that he offered to make with two chest pockets, wind flap, and shoulder
gussets. The current leather that they offer is between 3-3 1/2 oz, not the old battle weight hide. This style...

1645330458946.jpeg


1645330504041.jpeg



All that to say this. I know that Vanson is famed for their practical patterns that encourage motion. How are Walter Dyer jackets in the range of motion category?

Most importantly, what are your favorite, least restrictive-feeling leather jackets?

Thanks!
 

Cyber Lip

Practically Family
Messages
709
Location
Seattle
Avoid the stiffer leathers such as CXL FQHH. If you must have horsehide look at Aero's Vicenza, or Shinki from another maker, etc. And if even those are too stiff for you, look into cow or even goat or deer hide offerings. In terms of Aero, some of their patterns are unforgiving, and add their CXL FQHH into the equation and they can almost be unwearable. Also, the most comfortable leather jacket would be one with a generous cut (not slimfit)
 

Canuck Panda

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,458
In my experience all the USA brands have better mobility than their European counterparts. I don't have any made in Japan jackets so I don't know.
The main issue with USA brands jackets (Vanson, WD, Johnson, I am not sure on Langlitz yet), is that they tend to have a collar gap. This is not an issue for the motorcycle market but can be a problem if you want the tighter neater collar look. So there is the trade off. But FWIW, Ralph Lauren is technically a fashion guy but he wears Langlitz.
Collar gap in my opinion gives better mobility, when moving the shoulder push outwards for more space. Small collars pulls the shoulders in when moving. Looks good but no function. This is what I mean by collar gap:
Walter Dyer Fit 001.JPG

But my style icon also wears a Langlitz which I assume comes with the collar gap too.
RL Langlitz.jpg
 

jglf

A-List Customer
Messages
376
Location
USA
Go for a Vanson from thruston in their Vancouver leather. Most comfortable and least restrictive jacket while still being a neat/slim fit.
 
Messages
15,698
This is really key. I have no use for a jacket that I can't layer a sweater under

Not true in my case. I find bad pattern to be equally uncomfortable even if over-sized by three size numbers - Something I have actually tested. Alternatively, a great pattern can be worn skin-tight and indeed feel like a second skin.

My top five list of the most comfortable leather jacket makers goes...

1. Langlitz
2. Bates
3. Vanson / Lost Worlds
4. Schott
5. ...okay, I can't think of a five.
 

born113

One of the Regulars
Messages
266
I currently have both a custom Aero Half-belt and a Lost Worlds Suburban, both heavy FQHH. Due to the feeling that the jackets, especially the Aero, are restricting me, I never wear them. Simply driving in the Aero can be a chore. I’m looking to sell the Suburban . As a result, I’ve been on the hunt for a jacket with a lighter hide and a pattern that encourages rather than restricts movement.

After much research on this forum, it seems that Vanson has the type of practical pattern that I’m looking for; one that would allow me to move my arms without the whole jacket standing to attention or fighting me. They also have a stellar reputation. I’ve been in touch with Vanson and they are currently working on rolling out some lighter weight leathers in the 3oz range that are waxy with lots of character. I’m considering the much beloved Enfield.
It is very likely that Vanson launched an aggressive promotion campaign.
 

patrick_b

One of the Regulars
Messages
232
Location
Boston, MA
I'm with you in that I'm sensitive to jackets that restrict and prefer the midweight leathers. I recently found a 40 year old Vanson Model A (heavy comp weight even) that was extremely broken in and faded and I'm amazed at how easily it wears compared to my other jackets. I've worn and owned lots of jackets (RMC, Aero, Eastman) but when I got behind the wheel with the Vanson I immediately understood why Vanson are so revered for their riding jackets. It doesn't fight me while driving.

It's also a hair too but so that may contribute to the comfort but it's clear that Vanson's patterns are designed with freedom of movement and riding in mind. They really are a different animal.
 

Schambach

A-List Customer
Messages
394
Location
Ithaca, NY
As everyone else has said, Vanson’s patterns work really well. But I’ll add that my absolutely most easy to wear jacket is a recent Schott 141. The patten is great, but so is the naked cowhide. It’s as easy to wear as an old sweatshirt.
 

Bfd70

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,553
Location
Chicago
In my experience all the USA brands have better mobility than their European counterparts. I don't have any made in Japan jackets so I don't know.
The main issue with USA brands jackets (Vanson, WD, Johnson, I am not sure on Langlitz yet), is that they tend to have a collar gap. This is not an issue for the motorcycle market but can be a problem if you want the tighter neater collar look. So there is the trade off. But FWIW, Ralph Lauren is technically a fashion guy but he wears Langlitz.
Collar gap in my opinion gives better mobility, when moving the shoulder push outwards for more space. Small collars pulls the shoulders in when moving. Looks good but no function. This is what I mean by collar gap:
View attachment 403841
But my style icon also wears a Langlitz which I assume comes with the collar gap too.
View attachment 403843
A27DD258-96EB-423A-8DDC-E22B7B805A34.png
FDFE9843-A100-4E3F-BC6C-FA26C28674E4.png


2 vanson. No gap.
 

Canuck Panda

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,458
I was comparing my US brands (Vanson included) to my UK brands. All my US brands have at least 19" to 20" ish neck opening vs less than 18" from EU brands. The WD jacket I had has one of the largest neck opening so I used it as a reference pic. Here are my US brands vs UK brands. Different looks at the neckline. Just to be clear, I like (don't mind) the neck gap. I don't think it's a bad thing.
I also think leather softness (Not thickness) has a lot to do with actual movement. The sheepskin helps the Lewis movement a lot more say than the stiffer Aero, especially when cold. If the Aero was made with softer leather I am sure it'd be just as good as the Lewis in movement. But both will still pull in at the neck because the hole is smaller than the American ones (which push out at the shoulder). Nothing is best. Just different. I honestly cannot say any of my Vansons or Johnsons are better than my Lewis in movement or the other way around. They just work differently. I do prefer the US brands because there is more value ($$$) in them, but nothing wrong with UK brands either. Just to be clear.

Vanson Bones Fit 001.JPG

Vanson Highwayman Fit 001.JPG


Johnson
Johnson M500 Fit Deerskin 001inside closed fully.JPG

Johnson M500 Slate Cow Fit 001.JPG


UK
Lewis Leathers Mk1 Green Sheep Fit 001.JPG

Aero Daytona Fit Cherry Cxl HH 001.JPG
 

Andrew Putnam

Familiar Face
Messages
92
Location
Melbourne
I was comparing my US brands (Vanson included) to my UK brands. All my US brands have at least 19" to 20" ish neck opening vs less than 18" from EU brands. The WD jacket I had has one of the largest neck opening so I used it as a reference pic. Here are my US brands vs UK brands. Different looks at the neckline. Just to be clear, I like (don't mind) the neck gap. I don't think it's a bad thing.
I also think leather softness (Not thickness) has a lot to do with actual movement. The sheepskin helps the Lewis movement a lot more say than the stiffer Aero, especially when cold. If the Aero was made with softer leather I am sure it'd be just as good as the Lewis in movement. But both will still pull in at the neck because the hole is smaller than the American ones (which push out at the shoulder). Nothing is best. Just different. I honestly cannot say any of my Vansons or Johnsons are better than my Lewis in movement or the other way around. They just work differently. I do prefer the US brands because there is more value ($$$) in them, but nothing wrong with UK brands either. Just to be clear.

View attachment 403969
View attachment 403970

Johnson
View attachment 403971
View attachment 403973

UK
View attachment 403974
View attachment 403975
Awesome Vansons!!!
 

mmrya89

New in Town
Messages
3
My lightest and least restrictive jacket is a goatskin Indy jacket from Wested. I wear it a lot when I'm travelling. I don't wear it when riding a motorcycle though because I prefer heavier tight leather when I ride.

I think Indy jacket pattern is one of the least restrictive pattern out there.
 

Nalazo

Familiar Face
Messages
70
Great feedback and pics guys, thanks. One of the things I've noticed with the Aero HB is that the low armholes feel like they would always be restrictive, regardless of whether or not the jacket is broken in.

The Vanson Enfield definitely seems like the one to beat.

Though it's a completely different style and not the most eye-catching hide, I was also toying with the idea of a U.S. Authentic G8 in brown goat. I like the idea of it having double gussets under each arm for better movement, something I had never even heard of before coming across this jacket.



1645456285583.png
 
Messages
15,698
Great feedback and pics guys, thanks. One of the things I've noticed with the Aero HB is that the low armholes feel like they would always be restrictive, regardless of whether or not the jacket is broken in.

The Vanson Enfield definitely seems like the one to beat.

Though it's a completely different style and not the most eye-catching hide, I was also toying with the idea of a U.S. Authentic G8 in brown goat. I like the idea of it having double gussets under each arm for better movement, something I had never even heard of before coming across this jacket.



View attachment 404049

Double gusset does help but it is the least effective solution for added mobility & least attractive one, especially when so gargantuan in size. Most Schott Perfecto jackets have it. It's just some extra added material that bunches up while the arms are relaxed. Can be a bit annoying if done in stiffer leather.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
102,997
Messages
2,923,358
Members
49,902
Latest member
Yitaro
Top