The most accurate A2's for special prices...

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by BellyTank, May 10, 2005.

  1. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    Maybe the 'most accurate' he could get an agency for-
    Lost Worlds' A-2s aren't the best out there, in the opinion of many flight jacket enthusiasts. L.W. A-2s are normally pretty expensive- up there with the other few 'premium' repro makers but not quite up to snuff. They go for around $750 for a basic one. At that price, you could afford the best repros and Lost Worlds aren't actually much better than 'Flight Suits' offerings.
    Don't get me wrong, Lost Worlds' A-2s are pretty good, as are Flight Suits' but alluding to them being the best available is mis-information.

    B
    T
     
  2. fedoralover

    fedoralover Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,006
    Location:
    Great Northwest
    Not being a jacket collector, what is considered the "best" for the money?

    Thanks fedoralover
     
  3. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    Well- if you visit the on-line groups and forums and speak to people who have been buying repros and originals for many years- you'll begin to see some consensus that the 'BIG' repro A-2 makers are The Real McCoys/The Few(NZ and Japan), Buzz Rickson(Japan), Aero Leather Clothing(Scotland), Eastman Leather Clothing(England/HPA the US agents) Lost Worlds would be in there somewhere but some disagree- and Flight Suits are getting there but recent company changes there have upset opinion. These few vendors make what are reckoned to be the most accurate and authentic copies of A-2 flight jackets.
    The Japanese like to be able to fulfil all the small details, like re-manufacturing era-correct zippers, etc. The others also do to an extent.

    But within this group who are deemed to be the best, there are also wildly varying opinions and favourites- mine being 'The Real McCoys' or 'The Few' , both Japanese companies with production based in New Zealand.
    My opinion is based on materials and hardware, variety of 'original manufacturer' models available(copies of actual WW2 contracts from different manufacturers, including the appropriate styling and labelling) and the fit.
    Some of the others have a less than authentic fit.

    I am biased- but for very sound reasons of fit and aesthetics.

    B
    T
     
  4. MikeyB17

    MikeyB17 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    181
    Location:
    Cornwall, UK
    For the money, I'd say probably Flight Suits/Gibson and Barnes, from what I hear-their historical A-2 and G-1 are excellent and barring the odd detail (e.g.YKK zip) are the best you'll get if you're not into spending big bucks. Or Aero, whose lower priced A-2s, especially if you can catch one of their limited runs like the budget horse A-2, are probably the most authentically fitting examples in the lower price range. If money is no object, the jacket collecting forums seem to be full of Real McCoy NZ and The Few-currently the 'must have' in repro jacket collecting. Buzz Ricksons are also supposed to be exceptional but for the price they'd damn well better be! Lost Worlds make fantastic jackets which are pretty much bullet proof, and if you want a jacket to last a lifetime and aren't bothered about the odd detail, I'd recommend looking into Marc's generous offer.

    MB17
     
  5. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Messages:
    7,425
    Location:
    METROPOLIS OF EUROPA
    Sound advice from Mikey and BT...

    I can't really add to what the gents have said there. Other than, not to get too close to BT now that he's put himself onto Stu's hitlist (hey, it isn't hard! Just mention his name three times in a mirror...Stuey man...Stuey man...and the nightmare is unleashed!! LoL).

    Yep, I'd stick with RMNZ, AERO..et al, for authenticity and good leather sources. But depends on what you want, for some that isn't a big deal, but bullet proof jacket at the right price is. Horses for Courses! :)
     
  6. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    Exactly Mr. Paddlesworth and Mikey- the Lost Worlds jacket would be good if offered at a good discount but at the full price, there are 'better' alternatives, better value for money if you're talking about an accurate A-2 rather than a 'good jacket'.
    I don't mean to malign the Lost Worlds A-2, simply to open up the can of worms and offer some alternatives in the same ballpark, since we're up in the top price bracket and don't know how good the discount is yet.
    It should be noted though, that Lost Worlds' A-2s are a little on the heavy side, which is not necessarily a good thing for an A-2, the style doesn't work so well in a very heavy hide. Also, Lost Worlds only make the 'Dubow' contract model- the other vendors make other 'models' by original manufacturer and contract and with period correct hardware.

    B
    T
     
  7. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,313
    Location:
    Small Town Ohio, USA
    Always more

    Every day, I learn a half-dozen new things from this forum that I'm glad to know.
     
  8. Marc

    Marc Vendor

    Messages:
    124
    Location:
    Germany
    He's got them too, but personally think the lost worlds jackets are more accurate.

    Regards,

    Marc
     
  9. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    The Lost Worlds can be a bit too roomy in the body too.
    And the leather is on the heavy side and the zips and label are wrong.
    The label is a small detail but then the LW A-2 is supposed to be an accurate copy of a particular contract by Dubow, so getting the contract label wrong is quite an oversight, when the 'authenticity' is factored into the premium price.
    But if a slimmer fit and correct details aren't an issue, it's still a nice jacket, although priced quite a bit higher than similar quality jackets with detailing that isn't spot-on.
    But they are nice anyway.

    B
    T
     
  10. Senicko_Spain

    Senicko_Spain Suspended

    Messages:
    290
    Location:
    Where you're not.
    And don't forget the pocket spacing is WAY off, too far apart. IMO LW 's are NOT accurate at all. :cry:

    Steve N.
     
  11. Biltmore Bob

    Biltmore Bob Suspended

    Messages:
    1,721
    Location:
    Spring, Texas... Y'all...
    Hey BT, Paddy and all...

    I have a Cooper, and I like it. It has gotten a little snug over the years. I thought Cooper was an authentic jacket and was origional issue. I'm nothing but a fan of a good leather jacket so I have not researched it at all. What's the poop?
     
  12. shamus

    shamus Suspended

    Messages:
    801
    Location:
    LA, CA
    I've never owned lost worlds so I can't really say.

    I can say... I started with a cooper until I saw the Willis Geiger, but they went under.. then I looked at US Flight Suits.. aka: what ever it is now. My friend bought one, and it's ok, not authentic though. Then I saved up and bought the best I could afford. ... AERO. I've had about 4 A2 through them... I ended up with the Anniversary in Jerky Horse. Keep in mind, a real A2 from WWII was not perfect. They were using any horse that couldn't run fast...

    Real McCoy is probably the best, but I don't have a cool grand to laydown for a jacket...

    You'll be very, very happy with an Aero and if you can find it used even better...

    I've had Lots of Aeros... Highwayman, Halfbelt, B-10's, D-1's... Love them all...

    Shamus.
     
  13. Chamorro

    Chamorro A-List Customer

    I have a LW A-2. I like it ... but if your goal is comfort ... go elsewhere. The hide is too thick. It may be bullet proof ... but who really needs an A-2 to be that anyway? The 2.5 to 3 oz hide that others offer is plenty tough. Besides old Stu rubs me the wrong way. I think he bullies people into buying into the LW propaganda. Way too overpriced for what you get. My vote is for Aero as well. Best bang for your buck.
     
  14. JWG

    JWG Familiar Face

    Messages:
    60
    For whatever it's worth, I think the biggest thing is how it looks on you AND fits/feels on you.

    I have had and still own the big named makers Aero, etc. I truly enjoy them.

    They work for me. Flightsuits also works for me and I look fine in them.

    Just as there were over 20 makers during the war constructing A2's with each virtually having a different style and fit, some will do better with one manufacturer than others will.

    There seems to be a lot of debate as to what maker is "most accurate" and I have found that the most accurate is subjective --the one that fits the best and looks right which for each of us may be different.

    There are "innacurrate" details with virtually all manufacturers, you just have to find what looks/feels best on you.
     
  15. MikeyB17

    MikeyB17 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    181
    Location:
    Cornwall, UK
    Bob,
    Cooper Sportswear were an actual WWII contractor who made A-2s, and post-war they made shearling and leather 'aviator-style' jackets. When the USAF decided to reinstate the A-2 in 1987, Cooper won the contract to produce 53,000 of them, with the first 4000 being delivered in 1988. They're nice jackets, but not terribly similar to the WWII originals, with a 'modern', fuller cut. I believe the new version were all goatskin. Not sure what the current state of play is-I don't think they're issuing them any more.

    MB17
     
  16. jake431

    jake431 Practically Family

    Messages:
    518
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    As far as A-2's go - of course fit is paramount. But cost is a consideration - currently, an Aero Real Deal A-2 is $550 including all fees in the US on eBay. That's FAR cheaper than ELC, RMNZ, LW, or anyone else, other than Flightsuits (Gibson & Barnes or whatever they're called today) and US Authentic, but Aero's jackets, if not the most accurate, are at least very accurate, and a custom made-to-measure A-2 for $550? That's a good deal. IMHO anyway.

    -Jake
     
  17. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    True Jake-
    Aero are really good value- and US friendly to boot :kick:
    B
    T
     
  18. JWG

    JWG Familiar Face

    Messages:
    60
    Actually, the Real Deal is down to 525!
     
  19. grant

    grant New in Town

    Messages:
    48
    Jake,
    Could a real deal Aero be in your future soon?

    Grant
     
  20. jake431

    jake431 Practically Family

    Messages:
    518
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Grant,

    Maybe. I like the price, but the fit of the 1940 Aero is my favorite. But I have these elaborate fantasies of owning both a Real Deal and a 1940 Aero. Ah, dreams...

    -Jake
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.