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)
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)
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)
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)