If you fancy the waterproofness and uniquely experienced look of classic, traditional 100% English waxed cotton gear but demand modern venting, TF3 technical armor and Scotchlite™ reflective areas, a Falstaff ought to do it.
Its authentic English waxed cotton is exactly the same fabric proven in traditional British outdoor and rider’s gear. Rugged 8.25 ounce fabric, made the same way for over 170 years, with proven resistance to inclement weather, while the cotton fibers allow it to breathe. It is highly durable, exceptionally comfortable and proven by generations of riders, outdoorsmen and commercial fisherman (wearing oilskins) in the harshest conditions. As the fabric ages it also develops a well-worn and comfortable patina, telling your unique story of every mile ridden.
The Falstaff features a rich plaid cotton lining, with two huge inside pockets, a soft Ultrasuede faced collar, and an oversized cargo pocket behind the back vent reflective flap.
In hot weather it wears more comfortably than the British jackets because of its generous dual slider zippered underarm and back vents. And the standard Aerostich TF3 impact armor provides crash performance far beyond what the 'olde-blighty' gear offered. Cleans with a damp sponge.
The abrasion resistance of waxed cotton (when compared to the Darien's 500 Denier Cordura) is better than you'd think. Black, Brown, Green, or Orange. 36–54.
Other ReviewsCycle World Review, 1/2011 (PDF)
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Customer Reviews (43)
- I live in this jacketReview by Wheelnerd Todd
I got my falstaff three years ago because it looked awesome (I have a problem with buying brown gear, seriously.) I figured it'd be the shoulder season jacket and I'd use it occasionally.
Nope. It's the only jacket. Touring? Falstaff and riding pants w/ suspenders. Cold out? Falstaff and layers. Hot out? Falstaff with vents open. Raining? Falstaff and rain pants... you get the idea.
The venting turns out to be better in serious heat than mesh, since you create an area of slower moving damp air around your body. If you ride an upright bike and open the cuffs you get a freaking awesome draft of cooling air up the sleeves and into the pits which is great if you're say 30 miles out of Page AZ and the sun is going down on a 95 degree 500-some mile days and seriously SCREW that sun. Shut everything down and it's a fortress with room for layers two days later when you're getting blown off the road at 31 degrees over the top of cedar breaks.
After 3 years of 10 mos 5 days riding some stuff needs love. I need to retreat the upper arms, a zipper on the cuff broke today, and there's some wear of the liner inside the cuffs.
My only real complaints with it are detail oriented. The cuff closures are finicky and if you don't do them right they bunch and let air in which is annoying. The thing is also heavy. DAMN heavy. It weighs more than my 2 year old daughter. It's also kind of lame it doesn't have a back protector standard. (Posted on 5/15/15)
- Initial impressionReview by Michael
Quick impression: This jacket is more comfortable in the first 5 miles than my original weight Darien after 10K miles and multiple washings. My hi-viz Darien may be bullet proof, but it sure is stiff. Strongly consider the Darien Light or the Falstaff unless you are planning on circumnavigating the world by bike.
(Posted on 10/15/14)
- It Looks Better With AgeReview by Steven
I have owned the Falstaff jacket for about five years. I have waxed it once two seasons ago. Last week, I was touring the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with two of my buddies. We spent six hours in 49 degree temperature with heavy rains and I was the only one that stayed dry. I also stayed warm. What a great jacket. It looks better with age and is good at virtually any temperature. I will re wax this winter.
Thanks for a great product!! (Posted on 10/9/14)
- happy after 000's of milesReview by Gary
I purchased both the Falstaff jacket and pants last fall. These reviews were very useful in helping me make my decision so wanted to let everyone know my thoughts after several months of wear and having just finished a several thousand mile trip in all kinds of weather.
Firstly, I am very satisfied with my decision. I am biased to natural products so this was a fit. After riding in extreme winds and rain recently, I can say that neither the pants or jacket allowed any water in after a full day of riding in hard rain. Also, it held the wind away except in the 40-50 mph wind gusts (not fun). I did have to layer though but would with any kind of non-parka jacket. I also went through high-80s temps and although I was tempted to take it off, the jacket allowed sufficient air flow to allow me to leave it on. If I lived in Arizona and rode in the heat all the time (I live in the Pacific Northwest), I'm not sure I would choose this jacket.
I do not like to have a closet full of options and therefore like the 3-season flexibility of the Falstaff (or even 4 season although the snow and ice are not for me).
The only bones I have with the Falstaff are 1) that it is bulkier than layered approach although both have their advantages and 2) the collar velcro tab is not quite long enough to close easily. I have a 16 1/2" neck and for the wind, I had to close and it felt constricting.
Finally, I had the reflective stuff removed at time of purchase as the bike takes care of this and I didn't like the look. The staff were very helpful when customizing (shorten the sleeves) and in the purchase q+a process.
As the title says, I made the right decision for me. Hope all this helps. (Posted on 5/20/14)
- You will not be disappointedReview by Dan
- This is my second Falstaff jacket. My first wore out after 10 years of riding five days a week rain or shine. This by far the best motorcycle jacket I've owned and I have owned a lot. It is more water proof than my Aerostitch suit and my Gortex version of the Falstaff. I am very pleased with the changes made to the current jacket from the old one like the velcro mid-arm straps. I live in San Francisco and able to ride year round. The zip out liner is great when the fog is heavy and cold. Buy this jacket it is worth every penny! (Posted on 8/12/13)
- ExcellentReview by Robert
- I have had a Falstaff jacket since they were offered. I like the looks of it and the fit, it has kept me warm, dry and comfortable. I think it is 9 years old or older. Mine is a size large as chest sizes weren't offered at the time. As for layering, in the colder weather I wear a Gerbings jacket liner under it and a long sleeve shirt. Just turn up the heat,. I am considering buying the Falstaff pants to match the jacket. They are quite expensive. Right now I have a closet full of gear. I think some of it is going away. All in all a great purchase, it is showing some patina. I just ordered some wax proofing compound and will reproof the jacket for the first time. At least once a year I have hung it out in the sun to let the wax flow back to the wear points. This seems to work. (Posted on 5/4/13)
- Still Not Sold on My Falstaff..Review by Tombo
I've had my Falstaff for a couple of years now and I still find it hard to grab it for a ride when I have other motorcycle jackets beside it. It's got a few thousand miles on it but not nearly as many as I thought it would when I first ordered it. I love the waxed cotton and although others have complained about how dirty it gets I actually like the look. My sleeves have blackened and developed a nice patina as well as other parts of the jacket. I can only imagine what it would look like if it was my daily wearer.
Some things that keep this jacket from being worn more often are the armor and the sleeves. The armor is incredibly bulky and I have other riding jackets with very well concealed armor that is probably just as effective. I don't need to look like a football player when off my motorcycle. The armor is also not very comfortable when walking around off the bike.
As far as the sleeves go, my arms aren't very long and I've never had problems with any jacket ever having sleeves too short for me, but these sleeves are a solid inch too short. During summer I don't mind the gap between my gloves and jacket but in winter it's a pain. And there is also SO much extra lining in the section of the sleeve between the elbow pad and the wrist that even with a t-shirt on I have a hard time zippering the sleeve fully closed. Forget layering up or wearing a watch...the zipper won't even come close to the fully closed position. And because the wrist area is so large and bulky I have a hard time fitting my gauntlets over them comfortably.
So bottom line...If my Falstaff was stolen tomorrow I wouldn't buy another. I really like the look of the Falstaff and how it's aging, but unless I don't mind taking off my watch and dealing with annoying gloves/bunchiness/fiddling with gauntlets etc, and of course the football player look, I usually grab a different riding jacket. [I'd also like to add that Aerostitch DID try to remedy my problems with the sleeves and told me I could send the jacket back for alterations, but I chose not to do so. The jacket was brand new at the time and I didn't want to part with it.. I just figured I'd get accustomed to it with some mileage. So I do not want to fault Aerostitch..I just didn't take them up on their offer.] (Posted on 3/26/13)
- First Impressions Falstaff JacketReview by michael
What I like the most:
The waxed cotton conforms to my body, and over even a short period of time feels like part of me, almost like an exoskeleton (Bio Major). Much more comfortable for me than the synthetic textiles.
The length keeps my mid area warm-- I previously used shorter jackets.
Seems true to size, particularly with the body armor in place. If you plan to remove the armor, might want one size smaller.
Comfy in cold weather, but will need to layer for long rides and really cold conditions.
With all the velcro, extremely adjustable.
Made in the USA, and it shows- excellent quality throughout, and appreciate the very robust zipper, the Achilles heel of most jackets.
No experience in the rain yet, or in hot conditions.
Doesn't look so geeky worn in stores and restaurants, even with the reflective panels in place compared to some motorcycle specific clothing. The shoulder pads will make you look like you are on 'roids and command instant respect in bars, even around the Harley crowd. (Posted on 12/29/12)
- Great Jacket 2Review by Mark R
- As promised here is my end of season (hate to say it and hope it really isn't so) follow up to my spring review. I wore this jacket for about 12K of riding over the summer. In temperatures in to the high 90s and low 30s. Through torrential rains and sunshine. I stayed dry throughout. This was a great choice for a really different jacket. I got many comments regarding the look of the oil cloth. I proofed the jacket once when it was really hot and hung it in the sun to soak it. Worked quite well. Great coat great protection. I agree with the con of the collar velcro being a little weak but it did hold up for me well when it was quite wet out. (Posted on 11/23/12)
- Excellent All-SeasonReview by Stephen
I saw several reviews for recent purchases and decided I'd wait a season before writing. I purchased the Falstaff in February and have ridden 6 months through most conditions (except snow). There's not much I can say about it's rain protection that the other reviewers haven't already said. As the velcro on the neck is not the strongest, I echo another rider's method of wearing a silk scarf underneath in rough conditions. During the summer or not very cold days it's fine without.
Cold weather: There is plenty of room to layer. I keep a nylon jacket in my bag at all times and from 45-75 that's usually enough. Any cooler and you need some thicker layers underneath. The cinch at the waist keeps everything snug and warm.
Warm weather: The vents in the back provide adequate ventilation in warmer weather. I have ridden with it in temps up to about 85 degrees and have found that during riding it is fine. Stopped is another story, but that goes for every jacket. Any warmer than that, I go for my mesh jacket.
"All-Season" obviously depends on where you live, but here in the northeast it's my go-to jacket all the time.
Cons: As I briefly mentioned before, the velcro strap at the neck is not very strong.
Also, the shoulder armor is a bit tight. I am not very broad shouldered and the jacket is snug at that point. The armor pads exacerbate the problem. It is worse with layers on. With just the jacket it's fine for about 3 or 4 hours, then it gets to be constricting. I may actually remove them and get some separate armor.
All in all, the best jacket I've owned. For all the money I've spent on others that were less expensive, I should have just gotten this one first....could've gotten one in each color! (Posted on 9/2/12)
- 115 degrees in AndaluciaReview by charles
After a 22 year break from Continental touring,my wife boldly agreed to do pillion duty on the V strom down to Southern Spain.We knew it would be hot but not the record busting 116F that we experienced on the run into Cordoba.The Falstaff jacket allowed enough air through when moving to keep one just about cool enough but obviously one began to boil once stopped. Strange looks from T shirt and short clad local riders was hardly suprising but I did not experience clamminess and the cotton liner is less sticky than skin on goretex.The (slightly baggy) liner probably did impede air flow up the sleeves a bit compared to the other Darien jackets but on balance I would say cotton is always more comfortable than goretex when wearing a short T shirt at those temps.
Didn't get a chance to test waterproofedness and the ''just in case'PVC overcoat stayed at the bottom of the pannier for all the trip. (Posted on 8/30/12)
- a pretty good shooting coatReview by Moonhunter
- I got a Small on closeout at a good price a few years ago. I'm 5'3", 130#. It fits well (even the sleeve length, thank you!) but is a bit too snug for layering. With any shirt, the Kanetsu vest is tight, and with a winter shirt and zip-on sleeves, impossible. The brown color really picks up dirt and the patina makes you look homeless - add a pissy odor and you're there! Not wanting to pop $400 for a properly ugly shooting coat that was useless anywhere but on a range, I pressed the Falstaff into use with a sweatshirt underneath. The elbow pads help in prone, the backpad and waist tabs stiffen it up for standing, it's waterproof and ventable, and no one cares how dirty you look. I keep forgetting to zip the lower pockets closed, but haven't lost anything yet. Eventually I'll get a Medium so I can layer comfortably. (Posted on 6/24/12)
- Great with the alterationsReview by charles
Having posted a fairly mixed review of the Falstaff jacket,I decided to bite the bullet and send it back for some alterations.In the end the return costs were not too expensive and it came back under the import tax radar(alterations,I guess).The jacket still stands me more than I care to think but its now how it should have been.
2" on the lower sleeves and anti-flutter tabs have transformed it.No real pull on the sleeves now and no gap between glove and sleeve.The reflective panel on the back went as well,as it was sensible but a bit too 'Fireman Sam' for my liking.The jacket hasn't been subjected to continuous rain but is now comfortable and easy to put on and perfect for the commute.
Aerostich's back up was top notch all the way through as you would expect.
I can see that a US customer would be better ordering standard and then working out the alterations.If you are overseas and long limbed it's more of a gamble. (Posted on 4/14/12)
- Great JacketReview by Mark R
- Got this from my lovely wife for Christmas. Have had a strangely warm winter so I have got some riding in with it. Just bought and new BMW R1200 GSA and am really putting the miles on now! Has been warm, dry, and vents well when the weather has been really warm. Only in a couple of rain storms so far but stayed quite dry. Has a bit if an odor but was expected and now it smells like FUN. It is rapidly becoming the best jacket I have owned. Will report back later in the season. (Posted on 4/5/12)
- Falstaff Jacket ReviewReview by Nelson
- I really like this jacket. I use it more for everyday use. Some advise- get it larger if you plan to use the pads that come with it. They are unusually bulky, I removed them and use the pads from my BMW jacket or a separate armor layer. I am glad I went with the reflective delete option, it makes it more versatile to wear. It is well constructed and versatile. It is easy to misplace items with so many pockets but they are a fun addition to a very adaptable garment. (Posted on 2/11/12)
- Hit the Christmas Jackpot!Review by Much Loved Wife
- I ordered this jacket for my husband for Christmas because he is impossible to buy for. I saw it in the catalog and thought it was nice looking. What I didn't know was that he had wanted one but didn't want to spend the money on himself. He was practically speechless, which never happens in this house! Want to be a much loved wife? Order this jacket! (Posted on 12/28/11)
- How much Retro does a man need !Review by Mark
- First impressions and I was in love. First couple of rides and OK it's a bit different. But the fit was spot on, with plenty of room for layering. The armour seems a little stiff and bulky, but it is brand new. Not real keen on the little strap to do the collar up, longevity maybe a concern here. Make the strap the same width as the collar itself, with velcro on either side. Have not ridden in the rain yet, so cannot comment there. The only other thing is geographical, your zips do up the opposite way. But I guess thats the same as our water going down the drain the other way down here in Australia. I have two old Goretex jackets hanging in my garage that leak like teabags and cost twice the price. I love my Fallstaff. Thanks. (Posted on 10/4/11)
- Not Bad, I like itReview by ROBERT
- Got this jacket last January. I decided to wait till I had worn it through a Georgia summer to write a review. This jacket works very well for layering in colder weather as I expected and to my surprise ventilates better, and there for is cooler, than the warm season synthetic jacket I have. The fit was good and by the chart. The pockets are numerous and I am constantly looking for something I know is in there but I can't quite lay my hands on. I add some reproofing soon after I got it. If you're looking for a sleek body hugging deign, this is not it. It is comfortable and well made. (Posted on 9/8/11)
- Waiting for WinterReview by Russ
I live in Tucson Arizona, and this jacket is way too heavy until at least late November here in the desert.
I will review it at that time, I will say that it fits nice and the material has a great distressed look to it.
Looking foward to testing it out, and I will get back in a couple of months! (Posted on 9/7/11)
- I like itReview by Usmusket
- I got this jacket last winter and waited to review it until I had a chance to wear it a while and see how I liked in the summer here in Georgia. Of the four jackets I have I like this one the best. I am quite impressed with the quality of the construction. While it's still hot to wear in the summer it ventilates better than the "summer" nylon jacket I have and is consequently the coolest summer jacket I have. I didn't have the fit problem that some have. The neck closure doesn't work well and there are so many pockets that I tend lose small things. If your looking sleek close fitting jacket, this ain't it; but it is my favorite all around jacket now. (Posted on 8/23/11)
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A hundred years ago that’s how appreciative North Sea sailors and commercial fisherman referred to their waxed cotton foul weather gear. It was made from a combination of waxes and oils that saturated the tight weaves of Egyptian cotton sailcloth to make wet-proof, tear-resistant, industrial-strength work clothes. Waxed cotton was so outstanding it was soon adopted by others who needed to be outside regardless of weather, including farmers, ranchers, herders, hunters and motorcycle riders. Waxed cotton is the first breathable-waterproof textile.
This historical fabric develops a beautiful personalized patina after a bit of use, burnishing itself to a warm, natural appearance that’s easy to appreciate. And it's recently become popular again, this time partly as fashion because it looks so cool, and partly for it's functional benefits.
Waxed cotton was always a perfect material for all-weather functional motorcycle wear, so until about twenty years ago many experienced street and touring riders chose English-made waxed jackets as their everyday go-to gear.* It was never purchased for fashion, and was sweaty on nice days, offered no impact-resisting armor and had zero technical features. It worked well enough, but there was definitely room for improvement.
In 1999 the first Falstaff jacket (and later the Falstaff pants) introduced a bunch of those improvements, while keeping the wonderful windproof/waterproof/breathable 100% original waxed cotton fabric and classic all-cotton lining. Compared to early waxed cotton styles the Falstaff is a lot more comfortable across a wider range of conditions, easier to use and more crash protective.
For example, imported waxed cotton gear often uses a small belt-buckle to cinch the collar. This may be historically accurate styling, but isn’t possible to manipulate those little buckles surely and quickly if you actually depend on your gear for all-weather situations. A Falstaff accomplishes it with a classic collar strap design, fitted with hook-and-loop, so it’s fast and easy to adjust the jacket’s collar on-the-go. Practical improvements like this are what helped Falstaff gear become a hand-crafted sewn-in-the USA classic.
Separately, waxed cotton messenger bags also have as long and noble a history as seaman’s oilskins…with added military applications during both world wars for use as waterproof courier and map pouches, as well as specialized ammunition, first aid and weapons bags. All over the world some military forces today still use waxed cotton bags for specialized applications. Here too, Aerostich waxed cotton messenger bags work better and last longer than re-created fashion designs and styles.
For example, the lower corners of all messenger bags always are the highest wear areas for every design of this shape and form. Because this wears out well before the rest, Aerostich messenger bags are made with wear-resistant Cordura reinforcements in these locations. Re-created waxed cotton bags don’t include long-use-proven refinements like this careful little detail.
Which is why Aerostich waxed cotton messenger bags work better and last longer. Today’s Aerostich handcrafted waxed cotton messenger bags and Falstaff jackets (and pants) are genuine originals, and long-use-proven made-in-USA classics.
*Including me. Back in 1970 I was one of those riders. And my waxed cotton gear was proudly worn to the point of practical uselessness with largely holed-out pockets, threadbare sleeve ends and broken zippers…It took about five years of daily use to wear mine out. —Mr. Subjective