But after thinking about it - I chose to take a risk on the ROTHCO M-65 and, I'm glad I did.
The COLOR isn't the perfect "khaki" of the ALPHA, but it's still a very accurate version of khaki and will probably fade with time and boy ... you cannot beat the workmanship in this jacket. I know, I know - I have purchased ROTHCO in the past and alway thought of them as the "cheap guys" - but this jacket doesn't skimp and I can't see paying over $200 bucks for the ALPHA version of this jacket.
I can't find a thing wrong with it. It may be made in China, but it looks like it's suited to be issued in BOOT CAMP and, I am a retired Navy Vet. It's perfect in all respects.
Sizing is ACCURATE. If you want the traditional M-65 fit, go with whatever size you normally wear. If you want the "Brad Pitt" look - size it down. I needed a utility jacket that I could move around in and was WARM. I wear an XL and that's what I ordered - couldn't be happier.
Can't believe how close I was to pulling the trigger on the $200 version of this jacket from ALPHA.
Off and on, I spent several days looking for jackets, even searching LL Bean, Orvis, Barbour and eBay posts! I learned prices for Barbour and Orvis jackets have become crazy ($350-$600) and the parka / fashion jackets are mostly "too young looking" for my mature husband.
Then I stumbled upon and ordered the Rothco M-65 Field Jacket. It arrived in perfect shape and my husband loves it.
Here is why:
1. Classic olive-drab color. Military look Is never out of style.
2. Good weight. Not too heavy for travel, but it feels substantial.
3. Pockets! Four in the front, all with snap closures.
4. Warm, removable liner.
5. Well-made, solid seams, strong zipper and snaps. Nothing flimsy about this jacket.
6. Stand-up collar, where a fold-up hood may be attached/stored. (We bought the jacket without the hood.)
For size: my husband is 6'2", 195 pounds. He wears flannel shirts w/ sweaters in winter. The XL fits well, a little large perhaps, but perfect since he normally wears thick shirts/sweaters. He loved that the shoulders weren't tight fitting and, as a bonus, sleeve liners don't pull out when removing coat.
What I think can be improved: the bottom hem on sleeves is odd, closed by a fold-over with small Velcro closure. A proper cuff would be better. Also I would like to see side pockets for keeping hands warm.
All in all, this is an excellent coat for the price. Well worth buying.
I was hoping for a jacket that would live up to his memories and my own memories of issued field jackets acquired in the early 90s.
What I got was even better. Material was excellent. Build quality was very impressive. Zippers were quality brass. Everything about the jacket was a little better than I think anyone would have a right to expect of an issued piece of gear.
My Dad loved it and everyone who say it commented on how nice it was. Big win.
And of course, there's the huge win of the inherent design of this jacket. As practical and comfortable as you can get.
First, it looks absolutely amazing. I even wear it to church. Second, it is surprisingly warm for it's thickness. Third, it's perfect for layering (since that's what M65s were designed for). You get the point, it's a really good jacket.
Note, that the sleeves are bigger around than you normally see on jackets. That goes back to the purpose of this one, to be used in layering systems.
You know when you try to layer under a jacket, but your arms are constricted because of all the fabric trying to fit in the sleeves? Doesnt happen here.
Also, the synthetic liner is slippery, so putting it on and taking it off is really fast and easy. Even wearing wearing tons of layers.
There are so many other things I want to say, but im running out of time. In short, well worth the money!
I am a veteran and I am not expecting an exact copy at all to my original issue. It’s just got to be kind of close. In fact I have an Alpha Industries (top of the line authentic) nylon flight jacket and a Rothco flight jacket. Though the Alpha much higher quality I prefer the Rothco cheapie as though poor quality keeps me warmer in my open top Jeep. Though the jacket does melt if near sun or engine warmed metal. I can live w that. But this Rothco M-65 is not something any veteran will like.
1. It will do the job, it is warm. Quality is like any other jacket. I will give this jacket that kudo. But there are a million other jackets decent quality n warm. But they are not an M-65.
2. Brass zipper good. Fit is good, I’m a Large bought a medium.
3. To be honest, it seems more sturdy, warm and weather resistant than my original M-65 from the 1970’s.
1. It is in a very odd Commie green. US Army olive drab greens always vary between wars, years, washing’s and suppliers. Look at MASH or any WW2, Korean War, Vietnam movies and you see guys in the same unit w mismatching shades of the exact same garments. But not the shade of this coat’s green. It is NKA, PLA VietCong green. If you suffer from PTSD (I don’t) you will scare yourself looking in the mirror wearing this jacket. You will think “they” are sneaking up on you.
2. The outer shell. It feels like rough cheap polyester. Even my rugged 1988 and 1992 Army issued M-65’s which are 50/50 cotton/nylon have a soft, brushed feel to them. This jacket just rough plastic fiber.
3. Lining is not a soft silky feel. It is rough will catch any hangnails you have. Very rough. For those of you that served nothing better than a soft silky woobie blanket and your soft silky M-65 lining on a cold night in the field in lieu of having female friends around. This lining just isn’t there.
If you are a veteran looking to replicate your ‘Nam’ coat. Negative not even close. If you are an 80’s 90’s Cold War warrior looking to replace your USGI woodland coat w something more fashion friendly but still says “I served”. Negative, unless you want to say you served in the enemies army. If you are an Airsoft, paintball or other type. Negative, do not get this unless you are playing the part of the Vietcong, PLA or Other “ People’s Army”
Update 11/1/19 pocket button already fell off while I was at the store. Only worn twice. I’m sure the seller would be cool with a replacement but I’m returning. Too flimsy. I expected a more durable material and better stitching.
This jacket is ideal. I got a large/regular which fit perfectly (I am 6'2'' and 203 pounds). It is comfortable with plenty of freedom for arm and shoulder movement with the lining in place. I live and play in the high deserts and mountains of Nevada and Utah. I normally wear mine without the supplied lining, which leaves room for a vest, etc. -- as well as the looseness I desire when carrying a pistol.
There are a few differences from the real deal but they are minor. This is better than buying a 30+ year old coat as long as you care for it and service it now and then.