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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)