|Fresh outta the box.|
|Comes ready to insulate with buttons for an optional quilted liner.|
Second time around, I went with an extra-small, crossed my fingers, and hoped I'd be off to a better start. Unfortunately, while not quite so comically large, the extra-small is still much too large for my scrawny self.
|Still might be able to fit another smallish human in this bad boy.|
Second lesson: even sized appropriately, this is definitely not a 'fashion' coat, and is built for a military man to be able to move and operate comfortably. Most significantly, that means very wide sleeves, as well as a less fitted cut throughout the body.
|Though the picture doesn't do it justice, you can get an idea of the width through the sleeves.|
Now, after all that, I don't want this review to come off entirely negative by any means. Besides the aforementioned durability and warmth, there's still a lot to be admired. Since I haven't gotten to wear the jacket out, I can't comment too much on comfort or break-in, but I did put together a little list of attributes I dig, as I sit here wishing I could grow a few sizes overnight:
For some reason, I expected this to roll up bulkily in the collar, but instead, the collar pouch extends into the back, and the hood becomes almost unnoticeable when stashed away. Maybe this is par for the course for a jacket of this type, but I'm a newb to the style and I'm impressed.
Durability: Yep, I know I've said that like, twice already, but it really is a huge part of the appeal - for just $150 you're getting a jacket that will withstand the test of time. And even as it does start to break in, it's just going to look better and better, and likely become more and more comfortable in the process.
Pockets Pockets Pockets!
So many pockets, but well placed - you could find places to store half of your worldly belongings, but it doesn't look like a walking duffle-bag.
So, not a real in-person review, but hopefully there's some useful information here. If any of you have had the pleasure of rocking an AI M-65 of your own, and would like to give your review, I'd love to hear it and maybe share it with the crowd!
Also, the PR folks who hooked me up with the AI connection are working with me to look into an alternative that will fit better for a more thorough review, so keep your eyes open.