Vance Leathers doesn’t have to go far for R&D on their motorcycle jackets. The company calls South Daytona home and soon a half-million bikers will be swarming nearby Daytona Beach as Bike Week 2020 is right around the corner. All it’d take is a couple strolls down Main Street during Bike Week to see what’s tragically hip and then go completely in the other direction. Joking aside, the company is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, so we got all dressed up in Vance Leathers snazzy Vintage Brown Leather Jacket and proceeded to put it to the test over the past couple of months.

I say snazzy because the jacket has a double-breasted front, diamond-stitched shoulders, accordion panels on the sides and elbows, and comes out of the box looking weathered and worn. It definitely tilts toward the fashionable side of the motorcycle jacket equation. The brown leather is very supple and thanks to the flexible ribbing on the sides and elbows it’s been comfortable since day one. It’s much more lightweight than your standard leather biker jacket and felt a little thin at first, but it’s held up well. Because the leather is light, it’s not built for cold weather rides, but the jacket doesn’t have any vents and you can snap the collar shut which helps block out cold air. Throwing on a solid base layer underneath, I’ve weathered temps down to the low 40s, but am looking forward to spring rides where this jacket will be ideal.

It has a polyester liner permanently sewn into the jacket, and like the exterior of the jacket, the interior is stylish and comfy. The liner has pockets sewn into if for back, elbow, and shoulder armor, but these must be purchased separately. Vance Leathers Vintage Brown Leather Jacket has four interior pockets, two open chest pockets on the right, one zippered on the left, and a larger concealed carry pocket with two snaps below it. Inside the concealed carry pocket are two sewn-in straps, one to tether a gun, one for a magazine, which conveniently keeps things from sliding around.

The jacket's concealed carry pocket has two convenient sleeves sewn into it, one for a gun, the other for a magazine. It's big enough to easily hold a .45. 

The exterior of the jacket features three pockets which all zipper shut to keep contents from flying out. The two side pockets are wide and hand-deep while the chest pocket is a tad smaller. The sleeves have snaps and zippers, but that’s the only adjustability the jacket has. One benefit of the double-breasted design is that when the jacket’s zipped up, it doubles the leather protecting your core from the cold. The diamond-stitched shoulders are lightly padded, more aesthetic than protective. Be aware that sizing runs small so you’ll want to order a size up from what you normally wear. The jacket I’ve been testing is a 3XL and the front sits right at my waistline and the shoulders are snug.

While I initially thought the Vance Leathers Vintage Brown Leather Jacket was built more for style than function, I was wrong. The jacket’s well-made, the leather barely shows any signs of wear, and it makes even a grizzled old biker like me look dapper. Granted, I’d love to see it come off the rack with armor, but if it did the jacket probably wouldn’t be at its affordable price point below $250. Best part is, I just got the jacket broken in, spring’s right around the corner, and I’m eager to naturally add to its weathered and worn look.