I’m looking for a leather Pilot’s jacket, and I’ve found one on-line that looks exactly like what I’m looking for. The problem is I’ve never bought any clothing type things on-line and I’m not sure if I’m comfortable buying an expensive jacket without holding it and checking it out. The jacket I found is at www.mypilotstore.com. Has anyone heard of and/or bought anything from them before? I’m interested in one of the versions of the A2 pilot’s jacket. Any insight on if this site is decent and if there are anythings I should go for or avoid (they have in antique lambskin or a 21st century version). They have tons of good reviews on their own site, but for all I know they were written by their employees. Any other places anyone can recommend? I won’t be wearing it until the fall so I’m really not in a huge rush.
Well, there’s Sporty’s Pilot Shop’s selection.
I can recommend Flight Suits Ltd.. I have one of their goatskin G-1s and the quality and workmanship are top-notch. Pilots from Miramar used to (still do?) go there for their jackets. I also have one a royal blue Nomex CWU-style flight jacket, and it has served me well for over ten years.
Sam and I both have Cooper flight jackets, the A-2 and the G-1 respectively, and when we go to places like the Reno Air Races we see older folk wearing their Coopers happily – they wear extremely well with occasional replacement of the waist and wrist ribbing. I am not sure if you can still find one since I see now that they are no longer in production, but I would certainly recommend them.
I have their Historic Horsehide A-2.
They will do whatever you want with the jacket. I wanted mine to have a collar stand, so they did so. Very nice folks.
Yep. I used to go down to the shop from time to time when I lived in L.A. Long drive, but worth it.
Since the OP expressed reservations about buying through the mail, here is Flight Suit’s guarantee page. Excerpt:
Re: my previous post about military pilots buying from Flightsuits. This is from the guarantee page linked in my last:
I reckon if it’s good enough for the Blue Angels, it’s good enough for me!
I can’t say enough about the Flightsuits guys.
When I ordered mine, the guy spent a good amount of time asking me questions about the measurements I had taken and my tastes.
He then suggested I try a standard 44L, saying “Don’t worry. I’ll send you a 44L, and if you don’t like it, just box it up and we’ll make you a new one until we get it right.” He assured me that my standard jacket was being made for me, rather than being taken off the rack.
I did substantial research before buying, and at the time (2001) these guys were at the top of the short list. The rest of the jackets fell in two categories: cheap and cheerful, if you are on a tight budget, and uber-expensive, for people who want the perfect WWII A-2 reproduction. Flightsuits fell in the sweet spot between the two.
Thanks everyone. I think I’ll have to poke around the flightsuits site a little more. I guess I’ll just have to get over my “want to see it in person” phobia and trust it will be what they say.
Their website isn’t as ‘slick’ as most. Good data, sparse photos. What you should do is request a catalog. It will say Gibson & Barnes on it instead of Flightsuits Ltd., but they’re the same company. Don’t worry about being bombarded with catalogues clogging your mailbox every week. I think I get one catalog from them per year. The catalog has more and better photos than the website.
Sorry to revive an old thread, but I thought I’d provide an update of sorts.
On the day the link above was posted I imediately clicked on it to order a catalog. I had already picked out the jacket I thought I wanted and was ready to order it based on the positive comments but thought I’d wait for the extra information first.
And wait I did… it never did arrive. I got busy with a few other things, but finally last Friday I ordered another catelog. I remembered last time that there was a message that I’d get a confirmation message “in a few minutes” but since I didn’t enter an e-mail address (not a required field) that it wasn’t a big deal. This time I included an e-mail address, but no confirmation came. I thought that maybe since it was a Friday they would process it on Monday. Well, that was yesterday and nothing ever came.
I guess I’ll give it until the middle of next week (they say they only mail catelogs once a week) but if nothing arrives I guess I’m back to square one. If they can’t get a catelog to me I sure don’t trust them to try to get an expensive jacket to me.
Well… They can be a little slow with the catalogs. Come to think of it, I’ve experienced it myself. It seems that whenever I’ve asked for one they were waiting for new ones to be completed. Currently, I get one a year from them. (They don’t exactly stuff your mailbox!)
But in my experience they’re good with delivering products. I’ve ordered a couple of jackets from them, and loads of helmet parts. They’ve always arrived in a timely manner. The Customer Service people I’ve talked to have also been very helpful. Try giving them a call and explaining that you’re anxious to buy a jacket but that you still haven’t received the catalog you requested. I’m confident they will listen to you.
I just saw this.
Last winter I ordered this.
Look at the price. I’m very happy with this jacket. I’m sure it’s not absolute top quality, but the looks and the utility (warmth) are superb.
Spud: Have you talked to them on the phone about the cataglogue? If you have and it doesn’t show up soon, PM me. I have one I can send you. (Might not be the current one, but I haven’t noticed changes.)
Well, the link Rico provided was definitely… ummm… interesting. It may not be quite as durable as I was looking for though.
Good news… I got home today and in my mailbox was the Gibson & Barnes Premier Outfitters catalog. Much better pictures and descriptions. Thanks for the suggestion Johnny! I think I’m leaning to the Civil A2 in Seal Goatskin, but the Raider in Vintage Cowhide has also caught my eye. I’ll probably give them a call to get some info on the differences in fit, comfort, etc in the next day or two.
Thanks again for the advise so far.
I keep meaning to post a couple of other vendors, but I keep forgetting. I’m pretty sure Irvin Airchutes (or the company that owns the name, anyway) makes U.S.-style jackets, and I’ve heard good things about them. Of course the exchange rate kind of sucks right now. I’ll have to check my bookmarks after i get home.
Aero Leather A-2 jackets. (UK)
Aviation Leathercraft (the owner of the Irvin trademark) A-2, G-1 and B-3. (UK)
Flightjacket dot com A-2. (US) A friend has one of their B-3s, or possibly an A-2. (She has more flight jackets than I do, so it’s hard to tell what came from where.) She likes it, but I think she had an issue with the stitching. When she’s paying that much for a jacket, she’s extremely picky. IIRC they jerked her around a little before making things right. But I may not be recalling correctly.
Flightsuits, Ltd. was only about 150 miles away when I got my jackets from them, so that was a consideration for me. Now they’re about 1,300 miles away; but if I wanted something special it’s not that long a flight. As I said, I’m happy with my G-1 and my royal blue Nomex ‘CWU-36/P’.
EDIT: I bought these 1936-pattern RAF flying boots from Aero Leather. They’re great!
Sorry, I promise this is the last time I’ll wake this old dog.
Just wanted to update. I called them on a Friday asking about colors and fitting (I am between two sizes) and was so impressed with the help they gave me that I went ahead and ordered one. She said she had one in stock and it would take 3-5 business days. About 20 minutes later she called back appologizing that the color was mis-labled and they would have to make me one special. It would take about an additional week for this, which she seemed really sorry about (I didn’t have the heart to tell her it wouldn’t get cold enough to wear for a few more months yet).
Monday of this week I came home to a box (only 6 business days later) with a gorgeous jacket on my doorstep. It looks wonderful, it feels great, and it even smells cool. Even my 15 year old daughter who thinks I am the anti-cool said it was nice and looks good.
So, thanks to everyone, especially **Johnny L.A. **for the link, to helping me break my cherry on a (what I consider) a major web purchase. So, now I have the new (to me) convertable Mustang GT, and the new pilot’s jacket… gotta go so I can start my new thread titled “where do I find a 23 year old who likes old guys” so I can complete my mid-life crisis.
Which company did you go with?
So did you get the Civil A-2, or the Raider?
I’m glad you like it. That’s a lot of money, and if you hated it I’d really feel like a schmuck!
A note to anyone who reads the thread and tries to follow the links I posted earlier: It looks like they’ve changed their website, and the addresses are no longer valid. Instead, go to http://www.flightsuits.com/ and navigate from there.