"Colonel" Fencing Jacket
Evoking the look of later-period fencing jackets and those worn by officers, this jacket offers some lighter padding for extra mobility while retaining a durable, thrust-resistant fabric. The jacket includes energy-absorbing pads in the shoulders and elbows as well as attachment points with INCLUDED hard elbow protection. The back cinch will keep your jacket looking and feeling fitted. There are two layers of 800 Newton fabric (rated by the manufacturer) over the chest to help enhance safety.
There is a whole lot to like about the Colonel jacket from SupFen, and even more to like about it when you choose to order from SoCal Swords. I got the package next day (!!! like, whaaat?! I'm in SoCal too but they beat Amazon dude it's wild!) and ordering was simple, price was right, and I get to support a small US business who is doing it right. Thanks guys
As indicated this is my first HEMA jacket and I am a military saber/broadsword fencer (almost) exclusively so my needs and priorities may not align perfectly with the 'typical' HEMA practitioner. That said I wanted a jacket that would fit well and cover me properly while looking interesting (and IMO this jacket is a nicer design than Spes's Officer but that's me) and not weigh a ton. I didn't have a lot of empirical evidence available, nor much to compare to between other jackets, but I am very pleased with what I got. The jacket itself is beefier than I expected with more padding built in than I'd have guessed. It is a hot jacket certainly, but likely not as hot as other 'heavy' options in the market. I wager the 800N (read 'redundant layers of fabric') provides more insulation and heat retention than a lighter coat. That said, I think this model is a good balance. I feel very safe using synthetics in this jacket, to the point where I believe I won't need to up-armor for steel saber/broadsword/spadroon (a la additional external plates etc). Ultimately we'll find out, quite soon in fact
The overall quality of the coat is great, as is the hardware. All the stitching is expertly finished, the interior and guts of the coat are nicely done and easy to work with (removing pads etc), the zipper feels very high quality (as good as if not better than all my YKK motorcycle jackets), and the actual fit feels bang on per size chart. I'm on the upper end of size L (chest/gut/height) and the L fits well. I can get in and out without issue, the arms move freely and easily, sleeve length and torso length are bang on...the only fit issue I have pertains to my collar style gorget and the fitment of the neck closure. It all fits, but it is more snug than I'm used to. I imagine that with more time and wear (and adjustment from me) it is a temporary detractor. If it continues to be a problem luckily a minor alteration is something I can figure out at home cheaply and effectively
The Colonel fits my needs perfectly while remaining an affordable piece of kit. I expect to use it for years to come and am eager to try more Superior Fencing products through SoCal Swords. If you like the look of the coat I recommend it fully. You're buying good protection and a very well finished product at a very fair price. It could be a little lighter, it could breath a little better, I think that could be said of any fencing jacket that is able to stand up to the heavy blows this one can. I also have to state plainly that I'm VERY heat sensitive, having lived at altitude for a long time anything over 70F outside makes me sweaty anyway so it is possible your perception of the heat and insulation will vary. That all said though, I'm happy to wear it in my fencing and wouldn't doubt it for a second if I were practicing longsword aggressively as well as my chosen focus of single handed late-period swords
My club surprised me with this jacket, as I had been looking for something lighter for both rapier and longsword. Fit amazingly, and just needs some hard plates (shoulders, forearms, and plastron) to make it great for competitive longsword. Very comfortable, breathable, ways to take on and off. I removed the foam shoulders and will add my own kydex ones (you can also get awesome shoulders from Amber Damare). These have more torso padding than the SPES Ap lights and officers jackets, which is nice for rapier thrusting, though I still like a plastron under for additional protection. I competed at Socal 2023 on this and didn't even get a bruise! I also love that the cuffs are thinner material, so they don't bulk up with forearm protection the way heavier jackets do. And at this price, it's hard to recommend much else!
I'm a beginner in HEMA, and this is the first jacket I've bought. It offers good mobility, much better than the heavy Red Dragon loaner jackets that I've tried at my club. Being able to fully turn my head and raise my arms is great! It seems to offer fairly good protection despite being lighter, based on the few sparring bouts I've put it through so far. The included hard elbow cups are appreciated, as is the removable shoulder and elbow padding. It's a good jacket, and compared to other products on the market, at a very affordable price.
It's still stuck in customs, but SupFen products have always been good, and this should not be the exception. I will update once i actually have it in my hands ;)
Having a gut, it is hard to find a jacket that will fit off the rack. Not wanting to pay extra and wait for a custom, I took a chance on this jacket. Fits like a glove. Can't wait to take it to my club and break it in properly. Thanks Socal Swords!