Short A2 for Warm Climate

Looking to buy my first A2 and besides the general budget constraints most people experience before true obsession sets in, I’m also hampered by the fact that I’m shorter (under 5’8”) and live in Florida. As to climate, I’m thinking goatskin would help. As to the height, so few manufactures (absent going custom) offer short lengths. Any non-custom recommendations?
 

SteveN

Member
Goatskin won't help with warmth, unless you are thinking of something more durable, which many think goatskin is. Try a few on, you may be surprised that they fit, as most WWII guys weren't all that tall either.

Welcome to the forum.
 
I’d be interested in an A-1! Also the goatskin was mostly because I understand it’s not as heavy. Those headwinds jackets seem well priced! But I’m hoping to stay sub $500. The only brand I’m aware of in That range that offers short length is Gibson in Barnes. I’m interested in one of those. AND thanks for the welcomes
 
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CBI

Well-Known Member
Jay's A-1's are super. if you are on a budget, try Five Star Leather for a new A-1 for about $200 or less. Loomks like from forum pics that after some wear, the jacket looks pretty good.
 

mulceber

Well-Known Member
I’ll second everyone’s recommendation about the A-1. I will say though that you’re about average height for WW2, so a standard length jacket will probably fit you just fine.
 

Southoftheborder

Well-Known Member
Goat isn't much cooler than any other hide in itself, it depends how thick it is; and some can be pretty thick. Capeskin, AKA sheepskin in reality, is much lighter. I've worn jackets made of that in the summer comfortably until it gets really hot, and the summer temperatures where I live are similar most of the time to the usual winters in Florida.

Gibson & Barnes make well made but quite heavy and very large jackets. I had an 'Heritage range' A2 made by them once years ago and it was two sizes too big and proved impossible to remove the very shiny epoxy finish. Look around here and you will find that you can do much better without spending any more.
 
Thanks! I think on my $400 ish budget I need to look for a quality jacket with key features, rather than a strict reproduction. I think for me the key features are
1. Quality full grain leather (not too heavy)
2. 1 piece back
3. No hand warmer pockets
Other than that, if it’s in budget I’m open to slight variation. I know on some of the stricter repro jackets height might not be an issue, but I think my budget puts me in the G&B, USW, Cockpit territory and my understanding is they’re patterns have been updated for the current “average height” guy, I.e longer.
At G&B I’d be looking at their standard current issue A2, not one of their repro models. I’d prefer some added contrast in the liner and knits, but it ticks all the other boxes so as I mentioned I’d compromise there. I’d probably need to size down too
 
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33-1729

Well-Known Member
Looking to buy my first A2 and besides the general budget constraints most people experience before true obsession sets in, I’m also hampered by the fact that I’m shorter (under 5’8”) and live in Florida. As to climate, I’m thinking goatskin would help. As to the height, so few manufactures (absent going custom) offer short lengths. Any non-custom recommendations?
Welcome to the forum!

I had one of the less expensive A2-ish jackets (an LL Bean version), but it was really a disappointment over time. Much better to get something of quality first.

The Headwind A-1 is excellent and a number of people on this site have recommended the repro A-2 Dubow from https://jadubowmfg.com/a-2-jackets/

After living in Florida myself a couple times the difference between goat, horsehide, and cowhide aren’t that great. You’re weight and health are the biggest factors. If you’re fairly trim, you’ll be fine with either (and wearing an A-1 or A-2 is best when you are).
 

mulceber

Well-Known Member
I'll second Dubow. It's just a little bit more than your target price ($492 at current exchange rates), but is a HUGE step up from anything you'll get from the manufacturers you listed.
 

Micawber

Well-Known Member
Funny that as I was going to recommend one of Platon's Dubows when I was back on my laptop as I hate pecking posts out on my phone. Well worth the few extra $$$ and virtual equal to the top rank repro makers.
 

mulceber

Well-Known Member
Funny that as I was going to recommend one of Platon's Dubows when I was back on my laptop as I hate pecking posts out on my phone. Well worth the few extra $$$ and virtual equal to the top rank repro makers.
Quite - it's basically a $1000 jacket at half the price.
 
I’ll check those out. Regarding leather, if all things being equal, I think then I’d still go with goatskin for the durability factor, my intent is for it to be a knock around jacket.
 

mulceber

Well-Known Member
Honestly, it's kind of a wash between goatskin, horsehide and cowhide when it comes to durability. The thing that distinguishes goatskin is that it doesn't age, which most of us don't regard as a good thing. I have a goatskin jacket that's nearing 20 years old, and for the most part you'd think it was made yesterday.
 

Pilot

Well-Known Member
Honestly... IMHO travelling for decades in real tropical countries ... L-2A and L-2B... (BTW designed for tropical use )forget about any hide/read leathers... unless your evenings and nights are in a 5 Star plus plus ( drying out your skin layers and yourself) environment.
My humble suggestions... go for lightweight Nylons/silks... and all importantly dont waste anything in low cost Crapola... My HE.
 
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Thought about that - a more modern fabric (non leather) jacket. So it’s hard being in Florida because darn it, I’ve just always wanted a beautiful leather jacket but several people have asked how often it would get worn :( I have an unlined M65 I really enjoy that gets to see decent use. But would dig a leather counter part - which is what I see the flight jacket as
 

33-1729

Well-Known Member
Honestly, it's kind of a wash between goatskin, horsehide and cowhide when it comes to durability. The thing that distinguishes goatskin is that it doesn't age, which most of us don't regard as a good thing. I have a goatskin jacket that's nearing 20 years old, and for the most part you'd think it was made yesterday.
It's a good idea to think ahead about the look you ultimately want. Whatever you decide, be careful with the measurements. I’ve seen the same dimensions of my 44” Eastman on jackets from 38” to 44”, depending upon the manufacturer. The more accurate reproductions are much tighter fitting than what is normally used today (0" to 6" larger than the actual chest size versus >6") and the length is shorter (WWII pilots were closer to 5’7” than 6’). One guide is below

https://www.vintageleatherjackets.org/threads/how-to-measure-a-jacket-correctly-tutorial.15194/post-230126

The people on this site have tried a lot of different manufacturers, so when you’re getting ready to purchase they can help get the fit you prefer. Hope you find what you want!
 

SteveN

Member
Honestly... IMHO travelling for decades in real tropical countries ... L-2A and L-2B... (BTW designed for tropical use )forget about any hide/read leathers... unless your evenings and nights are in a 5 Star plus plus ( drying out your skin layers and yourself) environment.
My humble suggestions... go for lightweight Nylons/silks... and all importantly dont waste anything in low cost Crapola... My HE.
I'll second this. I lived in FL for most of my life and whilst you won't have to worry about mould like in country that is truly tropical (i.e. between the tropic latitude lines), your wear time won't be all that much. Thinking about Pilot's post, a good nylon repo would be the way I'd go too.
 

Pilot

Well-Known Member
I'll second this. I lived in FL for most of my life and whilst you won't have to worry about mould like in country that is truly tropical (i.e. between the tropic latitude lines), your wear time won't be all that much. Thinking about Pilot's post, a good nylon repo would be the way I'd go too.
Thx, please feel free to also check for L-2B originals, in smaller size, still a few wearable nice ones around .
Repros: IMHO ...The best and historically correct are the japanese repros...
 
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