This National Park Service fleece is made in the USA by VF Imagewear an official supplier to the NPS as well as other land and wildlife management firms and governmental agencies. VF Imagewear is also owned by VF Corp, owners of The North Face, Jansport, Smartwool and others.
This quality fleece has nylon lined sleeves so undergarments don’t bunch. The patch is sewn onto the fleece but covered by the lining indicating it was added during production. There’s also something resembling a name bar adhered to the inside right chest. Pockets are also nylon lined.
An age of innovation is evident in this beautifully functional anorak parka. First let’s talk about the fabric choice. While Gore-Tex had been around for over a decade by 1980, commercial use didn’t really begin until 1976. So at the time of this parkas’ manufacture, the breathable, waterproof fabric was still new to consumers and just beginning to overtake old standards like rip-stop nylon, 60/40 and other poly cotton blends as go-to shell materials. The early version of Gore-Tex used here is much thicker than what we know today, and actually has a weight closer to 60/40. The white label found in the hood, an early commercial example (earlier versions were white on black), has what I believe to be a month and year of manufacture on the back side. I have never fully authenticated this theory, but after years of looking at these labels and comparing to catalogs and other resources, it seems to line up. The markings seen on this label are IV/82, or April, 1982. The practice of this dating on the backside of labels also appears to continue in the early black version of the Gore-Tex Label.
This parka featured fully taped seams inside. While most of the glue holding these in place has broken down and the loose strips removed, some remain as evidence of TNF’s commitment to building an advance take on an old design and getting the most out of this revolutionary fabric. The design intentionally avoids seams at the shoulders to further improve the overall waterproof effectiveness.
The closures on this parka get an upgrade in the form of the custom TNF zipper pulls. While The North Face embossed snaps had been around for probably a decade at this point, the proprietary zipper pulls are a new add. If we look at the back of the zipper head, we can see that the zipper is Manufactured by YKK. My guess is that custom zipper pulls offered YKK a great way to expand their business, attract customers and gain the dominance over the industry they have today. Prior to this time, there seemed to be a handful of zipper makers used in outdoor gear such as Talon and Coats and Clark or C&C. I am a little surprised the Fastex cord locks at the hood and waist drawstring are not The North Face labeled, but those were not too far off from this time period.
Maybe one of the biggest differences a vintage TNF fan will notice is the label update. Up to now there have been a few minor variations of the brown logo on white background, but now we’re looking at a white logo on navy background. This parka features only one small sleeve logo I think in an effort to preserve the integrity of the Gore-Tex being used. The Gore-Tex label is carefully tucked away in a seam of the hood drawstring. A material tag inside the jacket is maybe for a reason, brown print on a white tag. Not long after this piece was made The North Face would introduce the Extreme series, which continued this trend of innovative designs and construction for outdoor sports.
Great 1950s Lee Riders. Half Selvedge denim construction with a Scovill Gripper Zipper zip. This particular pair of jeans measured about 28×28, but had been taken in at the waist and down the outer seams of both legs to construct a slimmer fit. The indigo was still dark, a desirable trait for jeans of this age. See my other Lee Riders post for an example of a slightly later pair.
What I believe to be a 1950s football sideline warmup jacket. The jacket is made of a thick, blanket like denim with an oversized cut. D shaped pockets on the exterior and interior. Metal clasp closure. Silk screened Mahomet Bulldogs 10 on the back. I’ve traced the logo back to an Ohio High School, but know little else about the jacket or manufacturer as there’s no label. I’d guess the piece or pieces like it were manufactured by Champion or Wilson. A part from them appearing in some old photos, there’s really not any information on these available.
The pants bear no makers label, but are believed to be from the 1960s based on the zippers. Those are Talon at the crotch and Ideal at the pockets and ankles. Pants feature a built-in belt. Heavy duty snaps, grommets and rivers. Also has belts around the calfs. Those belts are attached on the back of the leg and free around the front. Pants are unlined with black poly cotton pocket linings. Believed to be top quality steer hide, but possibly horse.
I was hopeful these would be identified as custom Langlitz Leather or Buco pants, but have found little to support either. If anything the hardware used disqualifies them from being Langlitz as another collector told me. If they look familiar please let me know.
1960s Levis leather rough out leather jacket. The Jacket is similar in cut and construction to the Type 3 denim jacket produced during the same period, but has some pattern differences namely in the sleeves. Type 3 denim jackets are constructed using basically two pieces (not including the cuff) while the sleeves on this jacket are made up of four pieces. The torso of the jacket follows a much more similar pattern. Another noticeable difference is the use of snaps instead of the metal stud buttons.
I’ve seen other listings claiming the jackets are suede, but I would classify it as rough out. The texture (even when new I am guessing) is just not as fine as suede. I’ve also seen listings claiming buck skin, which I can see judging by the inside of the jacket, but it seems more likely they were made from cow hide.
Similar jackets may contain Levi’s “short horn” Western Wear Label.
Decades before Columbia Sportswear’s Omni-heat, Early Winters produced the Silver Lining. A Mylar like lining which reflected body heat, encased in a nylon shell. This piece was truly ahead of its time, as many of Early Winter’s products were. The Seattle-based manufacturer was the first company to use Gore-Tex fabric for commercial purposes in tents and jackets. Early Winters was at the forefront of outdoor innovation with iconic products like the Omnipotent and Pocket Hotel Tents and loads of co-branded products from candle lanterns to knifes to walking sticks.
This particular jacket is constructed of a nylon shell with horizontal quilting stitches. Nice lines around the shoulders give it a much more modern appearance and reduce seems along the shoulders. Zip and snap closure down the front. Wide wrists with Velcro closure. A two-inch collar and elastic around the bottom hem. This piece is dual purpose and can be worn as an outer layer or insulating layer beneath a parka. Inside is a white mesh lining over the reflective silver lining. the two integrated hand pockets make for internal pockets as well.
The original 60/40 mountain parka by Sierra Designs. Constructed of the fabric famed for its day as the superior protector against the elements. In a time before Gore-Tex and other such membrane backed fabrics, this blend of Nylon and Cotton loomed with a tight weave was the number one choice of outdoor enthusiast against rain, snow and wind. Prior to its introduction in 1968 most parkas of this style were made of a Polyester and Cotton blend which was much more permeable to the elements. This particular example is an earlier version evident by the sparse labeling and lack of embossed buttons.
The parka is constructed of a Navy Blue shell made entirely of the 60/40 material. The classic construction includes two hip pockets with side entry and Velcro closed top entry. Two bellowed chest pockets also with Velcro closure. A single zip closed back pocket which opens up to the entire upper half of the jacket body. Closure consists of a large gauge YKK zipper with extended pull for ease of use while wearing gloves. Also a snap close-storm flap. Features an integrated hood with offset seams to prevent pooling around the neck and shoulders. Inside the khaki liner is made from 60/40 up top and through out the sleeves and hood to further guard against the elements where it matters most. Then a lighter nylon lighter around the lower allowing the jacket to slide easily over the hips. Nylon cord cinch runs through the hood with leather lace locks. Also a Nylon draw cord at the waist which most likely also had the leather locks at some point, but are now missing.
This thick black heavy leather patrolman’s jacket is perfect for those who ride. Unfortunately this jacket has no labels or tags to help define its history, but I can assure you it’s the real deal. Badge holder, Serval zippers, heavy weight leather. It would be really easy for me to say this jacket is horsehide, which I very well might be, but with out a tag to prove it, I’ll stop short of that claim. I don’t have the expertise to say for certain. I have some jackets in my collection marked horsehide and others that are not and depending on the tanning process they can be very similar.
This jacket has a nice black satin liner in near perfect shape. Two had pockets and one inside pocket both lined with heavy cotton. Side lacing for a custom waist fit. Interestingly it is void of belt loops around the waist. Has snaps for a fur collar mount and black shearling lining the zippered wrists to keep the cold out.
Really nice shape for its age. a couple off-black spots near the badge holder. Visible if you’re looking for them. Also a little wear around the insides of the cuffs.
No size tag, but measures out to about a 42. See measurements below.
24″ pit to pit (sides flare out in the pits)
21″ across below the pit
20″ shoulder to shoulder
18.5″ pit to cuff
25″ shoulder to cuff
20″ top of zip to hem
25″ collar to hem in back
Highway patrolman style jacket by California Sportswear Company of Los Angeles, CA. The jacket is cut from “Selected Steerhide” which is “California Chrome Tanned” All this according to the label. Tan job is exceptional. Nice sheen on this heavy leather.
Very similar in style to the California Highway Patrol jackets but is lacking snaps at the collar for a fur add-on as well as the zippered cuffs. Instead has button close cuffs and epaulets. Has snap close loops for a belt and lace up side gussets, which are missing laces. Has stitch holes on left breast where an emblem of some type was one sewn.Talon zipper. Probably of a 60s vintage.