Which A2

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Nicholas Hayes, Sep 25, 2021.

  1. Nicholas Hayes

    Nicholas Hayes New in Town

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN.
    Good evening gentlemen,

    I’m looking to purchase my first A2 jacket. My question is I’m not sure which brand to get. My only good leather has been vanson and I absolutely love the ones I have had. I love the thick competition weight leather. So I have been looking in the $500 range at used Aero (would love a Vicenza hh). I have also been considering cockpit USA in goat or horse. I have also seen a couple vanson a2 floating around I would snatch up if they had my size. I would love some input from anyone. I am hoping for the thicker bullet proof leather like my vansons. I’m very much sold on traditional a2 patterns without side pockets etc.
     
  2. Fiver64

    Fiver64 A-List Customer

    Messages:
    436
    Location:
    Fountain City, WI
    If you want traditional/authentic, stick with Goodwear, Eastman, Norshor, Aero, or a couple others. Expect to pay around $1000 (or more) unless you can score a good used one in your size. Jackets from Cockpit, VANSON, Schott, US Authentic are cheaper but generally cut to fit baggier standards and aren’t overly concerned about authenticity and details. You do get what you pay for in the A-2 world! Just my two cents……
     
  3. Fiver64

    Fiver64 A-List Customer

    Messages:
    436
    Location:
    Fountain City, WI
    BTW, original A-2s are not nearly as thick as VANSON comp weight leather.
     
    Brettafett likes this.
  4. El Marro

    El Marro Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,769
    Location:
    California
    I love all of my Vanson jackets but I would not go to them for an A-2. The A-2 pattern is cut like a sack of potatoes with arms sewn in at the top, ergonomically speaking it is terrible (the Navy G-1, on the other hand, is superbly designed and very comfortable to wear). The heavy comp weight leather Vanson uses would only increase the immobility of the A-2 and I do not think it would be a comfortable jacket to wear.
    @Fiver64 named some of the top options in the A-2 reproduction world, and I think you would be well served by any one of them. They are a bit outside of your budget though, unless you manage to find one used for a good price.
    i would not be so quick to give up on Cockpit though, I think they make a good jacket for the price and they also offer returns and exchanges if you don’t get the size right with your first try.
     
    Fiver64 likes this.
  5. Nicholas Hayes

    Nicholas Hayes New in Town

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN.
    Thank you for the replies gentlemen. So the army has come back out with its links and greens or the agsu. This has also brought back the bomber jacket for us! So my goal was to get something slightly better then the current one available.
    https://www.shopmyexchange.com/army-men-s-women-s-agsu-bomber-jacket/2415345

    so cockpit USA is good jackets? Ok I have been eying them and those fall into my budget I may go that route.
     
  6. Nicholas Hayes

    Nicholas Hayes New in Town

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN.
    Anyone handle the us wings a2 in Buffalo? Found one in my size for a good price.
     
  7. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,967
    Location:
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I'd like to put in a good word for US Authentic A-2s - no spurious pockets or other bogus features for a WWII jacket, real wool knits and cotton linings, a more rough-hewn handmade feel 'cause they're from a small shop. (And compared to that new "bomber": nice classic shape pocket flaps, a throat hook, and no never-before-allowed-in-the-spec extra pieces/seams on the sleeves or additional side panels.) That is, if their trim-but-long sizing works for you.

    I prefer their jackets to every Cockpit and US Wings I've ever handled - which have always struck me as undistinguished assembly line products that are now (at least to someone like me, who's been following the market for two decades) absurdly overpriced, IMHO.
     
    Fiver64 likes this.
  8. Fiver64

    Fiver64 A-List Customer

    Messages:
    436
    Location:
    Fountain City, WI
    I’ve had excellent luck with Shaul at US Authentic as well. Leather tends to run a bit heavier, and a bit more of a painted feel finish on the HH, than originals and the cut on the sleeves of the 3 A-2s I’ve owned over the years were all more of a bloused modern. The only feature I’ve always been foiled by is the pointy boxed shoulders that USAuthentic makes. I never could get around it in the long run and ended up saving my pennies for higher end jackets. I’ve handled a few Cockpit too, which are also quite reasonable. I M H O, the cockpit, and to some extent, the USAuthentic too, are creeping up in price so much so that you could likely find a good used Aero or an ELC for what you’d pay for a new one of the others. Good that you’re doing your homework though! Lots of great input on the Lounge!
     
  9. Brettafett

    Brettafett One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,261
    Location:
    UK
    If you are looking for authenticity, original patterns and detailing, correct leather etc... and are prepared to wait a bit, Platon's Dubow jadubowmfg.com is THE very best repro A-2 repro you can buy. Hands down.
    These jackets sit right up there with the likes of GW and BK etc.

    If you'd prefer not to go the secondhand route, then yes, Aero's sale section has some decent buys.

    Cockpit's jackets are well made, but quite a step away from original patterns and detailing (Ive owned several of their A-2s and G-1s)... US Wings even more so.
    Cockpit has a strange quirk, where they make all their jackets on the short side (body)... Though they do offer some 'long' versions now.
    Both these makers have 'modernised' their patterns and basically offer their own 'styles'.
    So, it depends what you're after.
    Best pick for their A-2s are the WWII Government Issue or 40th Anniversary jackets, if anything.
    Horsehide would be your pick for an A-2, although goat tends to be slightly more forgiving to wear.
    Their hides area bit heavier/ meatier than originals.

    One thing I'd add, Cockpit's Classic 100 Missions G-1 (and the versions of it) is a fantastic jacket! Comfortable, classy and appears vintage out the box. Get it on sale and you'll love it even more.

    There's also AVI THR (avileather.com) and Fivestar, both offering decent A-2s/ G-1s for minimal outlay.
    If you want something to abuse and wear hard, then these are worth a look.
    My goat AVI 'Bronco' from 2019 is still a firm favourite, just because its so comfortable and easy to wear.
    Not at the level of authenticity and accuracy as the top end makers, but a better buy than Cockpit/ USWings et al.
     
    Nicholas Hayes likes this.
  10. Nicholas Hayes

    Nicholas Hayes New in Town

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN.
    I might look at the ja Dubow route, I am currently bidding on an older lightly used Eastman A2.

    I looked at the dubow website and their jackets look very well made it might be that perfect point of value and quality I have been looking for.
     
    bn1966 likes this.
  11. Nicholas Hayes

    Nicholas Hayes New in Town

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN.
  12. Nicholas Hayes

    Nicholas Hayes New in Town

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN.
    Well gentlemen the search is over, I ended up with an older Eastman in russet
     

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    El Marro likes this.
  13. kojax

    kojax Practically Family

    Messages:
    931
    Location:
    haverhill
    looks nice what size is it
     
  14. Nicholas Hayes

    Nicholas Hayes New in Town

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN.
    It’s a 44
     
  15. Bfd70

    Bfd70 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,638
    Location:
    Chicago
    For the win!
     

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