So I found myself in a mall recently, god knows why but in meandering through the various clothing stores I saw a lot of cheap nylon flight jacket knock-offs. Now thats not terribly surprising as they're one of the more popular pieces of milsurp. back in the 90's punks and skinheads were especially fond of them. What offended me was the price to quality ratio, these things were absolute garbage even compared to the likes of the Alpha Industries clones and yet they were priced abut the same as the real thing. A fool and his money I suppose...
Flight Jackets come in a summer weight model, the CWU-36/p and a winter weight model, the CWU-45/p. The CWU-36/p is insulated about on-par with a heavyweight hoodie, I also think the older OD ones feel slightly warmer than the newer sage green or tan ones. That could just be my personal prejudice though.
The CWU-45/p on top of being heavier to begin with can also take a button-in quilted liner and an attachable hood with artificial fur ruff. The only downside to one as a winter coat is that they ride rather high on the waist which can let a cold draft in at your belly or back, especially if you bend over or reach for something up high.
Besides simply being made to a higher quality standard the military models are made of flame-retardant Nomex while the civilian models are just plain nylon and usually with shitty stitching and bad zippers.
Pic is my CWU-36/p. found it a Goodwill a few years back for $4 or $5.
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