Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds

Who makes the best N-1?

JDelage

Familiar Face
Messages
92
I'm considering the Freewheeler N-1 but I'd like to leverage the accumulated knowledge here. In your opinion, who makes the best N-1? Joe McCoy has one, as well as Iron Heart, MrFreedom, etc. Curious what you all think.
 

devilish

A-List Customer
Messages
473
Location
Devon
It really all depends on what you mean by ‘best’? Are you looking for accuracy or just overall quality construction? What’s your budget? My two picks would be The Real McCoy’s or Buzz Rickson. They are very close in accuracy and quality. Best value of the two would be a Buzz but if you want to have the cache of owning an expensive repro then RMC is it. Freewheeler’s is excellent quality but they tend to alter designs to fit their aesthetic. A lot of guys on here like the Pike Bros version but, if I remember correctly, the lining isn’t wool but synthetic and it’s heavier in it’s overall weight and appearance.
One note on the wool lining though. I know a few people who find it irritates their skin. I’ve heard this to be especially true of the Mr. Freedom version.
 

BobJ

Practically Family
Messages
610
Location
Coos Bay, OR
Yeah, it depends on what you mean by best. I know it's not period accurate, but I find myself liking this one from Dehen:

N1-Denim-Front-edit.jpg


N1-Denim-Product-edit.jpg


N1-Denim-Product2-edit.jpg


N1-Denim-Product6-edit.jpg


N1-Denim-3-4-edit.jpg


It ain't cheap though: http://www.dehen1920.com/shop/denim-n-1-deck-jacket
 

Woodyear

Familiar Face
Messages
97
It really all depends on what you mean by ‘best’? Are you looking for accuracy or just overall quality construction? What’s your budget? My two picks would be The Real McCoy’s or Buzz Rickson. They are very close in accuracy and quality. Best value of the two would be a Buzz but if you want to have the cache of owning an expensive repro then RMC is it. Freewheeler’s is excellent quality but they tend to alter designs to fit their aesthetic. A lot of guys on here like the Pike Bros version but, if I remember correctly, the lining isn’t wool but synthetic and it’s heavier in it’s overall weight and appearance.
One note on the wool lining though. I know a few people who find it irritates their skin. I’ve heard this to be especially true of the Mr. Freedom version.

The pike bros is 100% wool lining, whereas the others are an alpaca/wool mix. Some people find they're irritated by the alpaca apparently, but from what I understand alpaca is supposed to be hypoallergenic. I think maybe they're just unaccustomed to how itchy it can feel if a course grade is used as is typical in a military jacket like these. Really they're not meant to be worn against bare skin.
 

devilish

A-List Customer
Messages
473
Location
Devon
^You’re right. I couldn’t quite remember the difference (I was half asleep) but I New there was one. Thanks for the correct info.
Am I right in thinking that earlier versions had a wool collar and synthetic lining though? Still a good jacket at its price.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,697
Location
London, UK
It really all depends on what you mean by ‘best’?

Zactly. The "best" if you want historical accuracy is probably one of the Japanese ones, as long as you find one that has been cut ot the original pattern, as some of the Japanese brands cut things a little slimmer to suit the typically slighter (ascompared to Western) Japense male frame. If you want to throw in value for money, I think Buzz Rickson are an excellent choice.

The one I've personally been tempted by is the Pike. Overall, it has the right look, though the lining is technically "wrong". It's also, in common with the Pike flying jackets (B10 & B15) just a little "over-engineered", which might bother some. I think it all depends on whether you want something as a collector's piece, or for re-enactment, or you just want a durable, stylish jacket for civilian wear. For me, I'd be happy to make the compromises the Pike does as I'd only ecver be wearing it as civilian clothing. The price is also very attractive: while it lacks in all-out military accuracy, it's also very significantly cheaper than the Buzz, and just as good as any of them if your core point of analysis is as a garment, as distinct from 101% accuracy to the original .
 

EmergencyIan

Practically Family
Messages
918
Location
New York, NY
Both N-1 repros that I've owned have been Buzz, the standard and the heavy (close to an original) version. The quality of both is excellent. For me, the alpaca has never been an issue. The alpaca/wool lining on the Buzz "heavy" version is very close to what you find in/on original N-1 examples. Both versions are quite warm.

- Ian
 

Lord Flashheart

A-List Customer
Messages
398
Location
Victoria, Australia
My first N1 was the Pike Bros wax version. Great jacket but the wax drove me up the wall. It was a khaki one an was always grimy along the back of the fore arms and general contact point because the wax sucked up whatever it came into contact with.

Next was the Buzz Rickson. Great jacket and very comfortable. Never had any issue with the lining either.

Garry
 

JDelage

Familiar Face
Messages
92
Thanks all. I'm going to place an order for a Freewheeler one. The measurements seem to be fine for me.
 

breezer

Practically Family
Messages
775
Location
Scotland
I own both an RMC N1 and much cheaper version by a company called Houston. They are both great. The RMC has a slim cut and oozes quality. Looking forward to seeing how your Freewheelers turns out.......I like their version with the cuff style, rather than wool, collar....and the D pockets. Less keen on their stencilling. Oh and Mr Freedom make a really nice N1, not sure if its available though.
 

dudewuttheheck

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,601
Thanks all. I'm going to place an order for a Freewheeler one. The measurements seem to be fine for me.
Freewheelers stuff is top notch. Great choice with that one. As people have said, there are quite a lot of good ones. It's hard to go wrong on the high end of N-1 jackets. There are so many makers doing them that they all have to be good in order to not get pushed out.
 

EmergencyIan

Practically Family
Messages
918
Location
New York, NY
Though Freewheelers turns out high quality jackets, their “N-1” is much much more N- 1ish than an N-1 reproduction. In my opinion, it doesn’t count as an N-1 reproduction.

- Ian
 

Blackadder

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,604
Location
China
The new Freewheelers military jackets seem to be rather faithful repro. They used to combine different features of different military jackets into one. The old N-1ish deck jacket has hooks in stead of button but this new one? I think they are eliminating all those twists this season. I have seen photos of the new B-10 and B-15 but I think they are not yet released on the official blog. Here is the new N-1
http://freewheelers.co.jp/blog/archives/20721#more-20721
 
Last edited:

EmergencyIan

Practically Family
Messages
918
Location
New York, NY
The new Freewheelers military jackets seem to be rather faithful repro. They used to combine different features of different military jackets into one. The old N-1ish deck jacket has hooks in stead of button but this new one? I think they are eliminating all those twists this season. I have seen photos of the new B-10 and B-15 but I think they are not yet released on the official blog. Here is the new N-1
http://freewheelers.co.jp/blog/archives/20721#more-20721
You’re right. It seems the photographs that I looked at were from Freewheelers previous N-1 style jacket releases.

The current releases looks like pretty faithful reproductions.

- Ian
 
Last edited:

realgone

New in Town
Messages
8
Location
Edmonton
I pored over these forums when I was N-1 shopping, and read a few comments on the Buzz vs RMC debate.
I currently own a Buzz Rickson and a Realy McCoy's, and have had them for about 3 years now.
With my two copies, there is no comparison.
There's nothing wrong with my BR, but the quality and fit of the RMC is untouchable.
If I could only have one, it'd be the RMC.
My son is showing interest in the BR, so it might get to hang around a while longer.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
102,928
Messages
2,921,467
Members
49,848
Latest member
Komander
Top