Last week when I was on business travel in Portland, Oregon, I squeezed out two hours of free time after a long day of meetings and before an evening function to make my way via bus to Langlitz Leathers. This motorcycle leather gear manufacturer is the ultimate maker of super high-quality gear for the discerning biker who understands the difference between superior leather hides and construction from low-grade inferior junk made in Pakistan.
Man, when I entered the store, the aroma of leather…
…was enticing. The store is rather small — jam-packed with jackets, pants, and a Langlitz-unique product they call “westerns” — leather pants that fit over jeans and have zippers on the outside like chaps, but full leather covering front and back like pants.
The store’s staff were busy making garments of all types. A friendly guy at the counter greeted me and showed me their products, taking great pride in what they make.
I told him that I have a Langlitz Columbia Jacket that I wear regularly and was looking for something lighter weight to wear when it is too warm for the Columbia.
The sales guy suggested that I try on another Columbia to fit for size, so I did. Yep, same great jacket. The fit off-the-rack was great.
But I did not want a second Columbia jacket, so I pressed on. I looked at other jackets, including those with quilted shoulders and backs. All great jackets, but all much too heavy and similar to what I already owned.
Then he gave me a “Crescent” jacket to try on. This jacket is lighter weight and made of goatskin. The leather was very soft and flexible, but strong, water-resistant, and durable. The jacket fit terrific, allowing freedom of movement for my arms and torso — again, required when operating a heavyweight motorcycle. I fell in love.
I took the jacket off and examined the construction. From the quality zippers to the double stitched seams, it was obvious that they pay close attention to the finest details. I rubbed the leather between my fingers and felt its suppleness as well as thickness throughout the hide. No dye rubbed off (as happens with cheap Pakistani junk for sale from cheapo vendors.) These jackets are made for real bikers who will put the jacket to the test when wearing it regularly. (My Columbia attests.)
While I was there, I also tried on a pair of Westerns — leather riding overpants — and liked how they looked and felt. However, at my physical size, overpants are overpants — on top of my jeans — they made me look and feel quite bulky. I may consider getting a pair in the future, perhaps to be worn alone and not as overpants. Not sure about that, so I took a pass. (The price also was daunting. This gear is great, but is not cheap!)
I returned to the Crescent jacket. I tried it on again. Looked at myself in the mirror. Took a whiff of that rich aroma of thick black leather. It just fit perfectly and looked great… so I bought it.
Yeah, I have a lot of motorcycle jackets, but I pretty much wear two (and now three) — my Columbia, my lightweight ultrabright mesh RevIt safety jacket when riding in the dark to work, and now this Langlitz Crescent jacket.
Life is short: a real biker can’t have enough quality leather.