Why Should I Buy A Vanson?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Coriu, Apr 22, 2021.

  1. Coriu

    Coriu Practically Family

    I have never bought a Vanson. I think they are a competitive option for someone who rides, ie for someone who wants an American-made jacket at a reasonable price. I have heard positives about their competition weight, but am not sure it is any better than some Branded Garments jackets, though, and the latter can sometimes be had for a great deal on the internet. I have a Branded that is an absolute beast and couldn't imagine anything heavier/more protective than that.

    For the collector, I am not sure what Vanson offers that is truly unique. Their octagon leather is quite attractive, but am not sure it is any more attractive than certain Aero or Thedi leathers. And in terms of style, I have seen some older Vansons that were quite nice, but am not sure I would describe them as particularly unique. I would say the same for their current styles.

    Outside of being able to say "I have a Vanson in my closet," please help me understand the attraction to this brand. I've never seen one that made me want to throw an Aero out of my closet. I realize I may be missing something here, so please help educate me as to your perspective.
  2. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Have you ever handled a Thedi?
  3. Coriu

    Coriu Practically Family

    No sir
  4. JMax

    JMax I'll Lock Up

    Ride in a properly fitting Vanson, and all is revealed. And that only increases with their more dedicated MC jackets.
  5. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt My Mail is Forwarded Here

    I already thought so because you're mentioning Aero and Thedi in the same sentence, implying their leather options are comparable, which they are not.

    Also, a Thedi is at least twice as expensive as a Vanson. So you're basically asking whether a Chevrolet is any better than a Porsche.

    I don't think the attraction of a Vanson can/should be explained by comparing the brand with other makers.
    dudewuttheheck and Coriu like this.
  6. dubpynchon

    dubpynchon Practically Family

    Their older comp weight leather might be the best leather there is in a jacket, at least it is in the Enfield I own, although I'm mainly comparing them to new jackets from Aero and other western makers.
  7. Hh121

    Hh121 Call Me a Cab

    pattern, you basically spend $600 for the pattern.
  8. Guppy

    Guppy My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Cleveland, OH
    Vanson offer a huge variety of styles, and their prices are currently very, very reasonable as compared to other makers. If you happen to like one of the styles, you might want to own one of them. I don't think it's complicated.
    Edward, ton312, Mich486 and 2 others like this.
  9. El Marro

    El Marro Call Me a Cab

    Hh pretty well summed it up with one sentence. Vanson can give you a more comfortable jacket off the rack than most others can with a custom build. Their patterns are really that good.
    I don’t ride motorcycles but I do walk around, drive a car, carry things, and raise my arms over my head. Most leather jackets fight me when I do these things but Vanson jackets work with me. I have owned seven of their jackets at this point and I am quite certain I will buy another in the future.
  10. Coriu

    Coriu Practically Family

    Thanks for your response. I didn't mean to imply Aero and Thedi's leather options are comparable. I randomly threw out a couple of brands who make what I consider beautiful-looking jackets. I didn't ask if Vanson is "better?" I asked "what is the attraction?"

    To use your example...I might ask a friend who already owns a Porsche and a BMW, "Why did you buy that Chevy? What did you see in it?" It's not a loaded question on my part. There is no right answer here. I own a collection of very expensive fly rods. I recently had what many would consider a "cheap" custom rod made for me. I could see someone wondering why I did that...and if they asked, I would explain the rationale.
    ai00344 and El Marro like this.
  11. Carlos840

    Carlos840 I'll Lock Up

    It's not about seeing a Vanson, it's about trying one on and living with it.
    If you did that you would throw all your Aeros out of the closet, i know i did.

    Vansons might not have the best leather or the best stitching, but they are IMO some of the most comfortable/best patterns out there.
    They disappear on you like very few other jackets do, you have to wear one for a while to get it.
    They are also IMO one of the best value for money maker out there.
  12. Monitor


    It's a no brainier for me; Of all the jackets that I have had & tried on, I will still place Vanson at or at least near the very top of my list of makers that are all around closest to creating perfection. They have (had) their share of duds but a Vanson that works. . . Hard to recall anything else that even compares, let alone matches it and I will controversially throw Langlitz in as a perfect example of a brand that's blown out of proportions while not even being in the same race.

    While I just can't seem to hold on to a jacket for an extended period of time but I think the only ones I to this day regret letting go are all by Vanson. Earlier this year I contacted the person to whom sold my Vanson trucker, hoping I would buying it back & I told them to just name the price. I wasn't surprised at all when I got a reply that this jacket is the last thing they would sell.

    But anyway, my thoughts on the subject...

    Perfectly built & fitting jackets; Again, not all but mostly anything from their flagship line will fit you like million bucks. Do a search for Vanson's Model E, for example, some of the guys on TFL wear theirs better than anything by any brand that I have seen, especially vintage pieces.

    Quality that transcends "civilian" makers; To repeat myself, Vanson is rooted in motorcycle equipment and a lot of advanced features that are part of professional racing gear made their way into their more casually styled jackets which basically has no drawbacks.

    In short, it's safe to say you can expect a pretty solid product from a maker that innovates on a premise of having customers basically entrusting them with their lives.

    Infinite diversity in infinite combinations; Vanson will make you ANYTHING you can think of, in any leather you wish, provided you can source it. You know how crazy racing suits can get so you'd be hard pressed to think of something Vanson will shy from.
    This is something that's been recognized by many high fashion brands & designers, which is why they often do collaborations of such kind.

    Just recently I spoke to the owner of another jacket company about Vanson's Bones suit and they told me they have no clue how they do it on a mass scale.

    Right now, the only thing I dislike about Vanson is their Comp. weight leather and that's something that has sucked for quite a while now. While I can't recall a better fitting & more comfortable jacket than my last Model A, I sadly had to sell it after a few days 'cause I just couldn't stand the leather it was made of.

    But all in all, objectively speaking, Vanson is the kind of maker mostly anything out there can (and should) only strive to match, let alone surpass.
  13. Coriu

    Coriu Practically Family

    I've seen a lot of feedback on Vanson's, but it's really nice to see it all in one thread from the experts. Exactly the type on input I was looking for...much appreciated.
    dannyk likes this.
  14. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Coriu - Yes you shoud indeed buy a Vanson. If nothing else, just to check it out, which in my opinion is best done by wearing one - riding a motorbike, driving, walking, doing life.

    It's been very well stated by many others already however the standout feature here is the fit, and function. The Mark II Sportrider I owned for many years and rode in quite a bit was not the world's best "fit" (very short torso, long back, very purpose built riding jacket) was one of the most comfortable jackets and some of the best leather I have ever sampled anywhere. However the physical appearance was not "beautiful" to look at. It was built around 1999. I gave it to a friend who had just bought a Harley, and he has loved wearing it ever since. I also had an Enfield which was very nice, but both of mine were older models with very nice competetion weight leather.

    A few notes:
    • Try not to focus upon the photos on thier website. At best they are just "representatives" and very few demonstrate good fit.
    • They have had supplier issues with leather suppliers of late.
    • Perhaps the best bet is to scour the web for a pre-owned jacket first, see what the fit is like
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
  15. dannyk

    dannyk One Too Many

    I’ve owned 3 Vanson’s and sold them all because I’m an idiot. Not because they sucked. Because in this hobby we’re always chasing some new maker or some new leather and then regret what we let go.
    Not much I can add here. Perfect fitting. If you plan to really wear a jacket. Whether that be riding, working, wearing in inclement weather, basically anything physical or wet Vanson literally cannot be beat.
    They will make you anything. I was looking at the HD Vanson but their smallest size is still too big for me. I emailed vanson and they said they will recreate it exact for me in a custom size for only like 150 bucks more. That cannot be beat.
    Only downside is leather choices. They don’t have many to begin with. They just don’t. And as has been mentioned many times on TFLa few years ago their main supplier burned down. They found a new permanent one last year and it closed due to Covid. As in went out of business. Haven’t spoken to them in along time to find out if they finally have a new place or not. even if they do it will take them quite awhile to get back up to full speed, full options and to dial in all the formulas.
    If you want a jacket that can take a beating, be worn in any weather without a thought, wear something that is that tough but not really notice it cause it fits so well it feels alike any other jacket....and then lastly at their price level. As @Carlos840 said. Without a doubt the single best jacket for the price. I’m not saying they are the best or compare to any other maker. I’m simply saying the best for the price. Most of their jackets minus some collaborations, limited runs, and customs go for 500-900. In today’s market those prices cannot be beat.
  16. JMax

    JMax I'll Lock Up

    Yep, lots of well-thought out MC features in incredible patterns. Off the top of my head-- canted shoulders, curved sleeves, robust zips at the cuffs to ensure a tight fit at the wrist, convenient pocket placement, functional and deep AB or gussets (though the slick backs, such as the Force, still allow exceptional movement), a number of different ways to cinch the waist nice and tight (side laces, velcro, belt & belt loops), padded and/or armored, etc. Yes, others provide these features. But very, very few do them all and even fewer have reached the level of competency in putting it all together (Bates?).

    Plus, they do what they can to keep their prices reasonable, even for custom work. And its during a time when almost every other maker is engaged in a money grab (nothing wrong with that, I like Gordon Gecko).
    jonbuilder, Bfd70, Carlos840 and 5 others like this.
  17. Khilij

    Khilij New in Town

    So, I'm a new guy around here and I purchased my first and only leather jacket, a Vanson chopper in competition weight, about a month ago. I have worn it all day, every day since then and it has become incredibly comfortable and fits me excellently. Even from the get go the range of motion was great. I had also looked at some similarly priced jackets from companies like Schott prior to purchasing and I found the Vanson to be more my speed. It should be said I have no experience with companies like Aero or Thedi which retail for higher prices, so please take that into account.
  18. Indeed...Vanson's patterns are more of a dedicated MC jacket profile. The reach without the sleeves riding up much is notable. Good with handlebars and steering wheel.
    I have an older Competition Steer Vanson that is not custom but I think fits me very well off the rack.
    Vanson's new steerhide isn't quite as nice but does look nicer after break in.

    20180416_182436.jpg 20180416_182833.jpg 20180416_182928.jpg
  19. Bfd70

    Bfd70 Call Me a Cab

    671936A2-3EFF-4E13-AF7F-E3FE29DA926C.jpeg D5C66D89-31FF-4365-B76A-2D2A5BC5DA67.jpeg F0EF7747-8F7C-4677-8006-017114A37AC7.jpeg
    You should buy a Vanson because it’s the best bang for the buck. There are nicer leathers, there are cooler aesthetics, but $600 for a jacket that will out live you is a good deal in this vicinity.
  20. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead One Too Many

    My C2 which is hella old. Post white label but pre ID numbers, so I'm guessing early 80s. I love that thing. When it arrived from Japan I was like oh snap, it's going to be too small. But then, when I put it on, it just transformed, Wrapped around my body, sucks everything in. Feels like I'm being hugged through out the day. Someone cut off the epaulettes and the belt is long gone and I wish it was maybe 1 inch longer, but it's in my top 5 in my closet overall and probably top 2 or 3 for fit.

    I don't ride, so some of the designs are way over kill for me. But if I did ride, I think for sure Vanson and probably Branded Garments are the only things I'd wear on the bike.

    And on my C2 and especially the Enfield, you wrist zip those sleeves up and nothing is coming through. Tightest zip that holds I've ever seen.

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