A Bush Jacket Recommendation.

Flanderian

Connoisseur
First, all the qualifiers; I like bush, also called safari styled jackets and believe they're becoming for me. If you don't, or have little interest in them, this probably is not a thread that will interest you. Some time ago, I posted a thread of a beautiful, and very costly leather jacket with nominal bush jacket styling that Oldsarge correctly pointed out one would have to be crazy stupid to actually wear into the bush. But this jacket isn't such an ultra luxurious and costly jacket, so if your interest lies there, this also isn't really for you. And finally, there are plenty of so-called bush/safari jackets on the market with all kinds of bells and whistles (Some might say gimmicks.) of varying usefulness, and others designed to last a thousand years in the tundra. But this isn't one of those either, so if that's what you need, there are much better choices.

But what this jacket is, is -

1. A lightweight, cool-wearing jacket with enough storage if needed.
2. Likely rugged within the context of its weight and price.
3. Authentic in it's design without any extra styling details.
4. Modestly priced.

So if essential bush jacket styling appeals, and that particular combination of virtues has interest, this might be an item to look into.

Aside from it's essential design, the big deal about this jacket is the cloth from which it's made. It has a delightfully retro, low tech approach to functionality. Listed as 100% cotton, it's loosely woven of very tightly spun cotton yarn. The result is cloth that wears cooler than if it wasn't so spun and woven, wrinkles less easily and should offer good resistance to abrasion.

The jackets are piece-dyed then pre-washed and pre-shrunk. But the instructions suggest laundering before wear anyway to assure you don't experience any residual dye transfer. I followed these instructions and was surprised by how well the jacket laundered, and how easily it ironed with a steam iron. (Note: cloth woven loosely such as this will never appear as smoothly ironed as, for example, quality broadcloth in a shirt.) The jackets come tightly folded and in need of a bit of ironing anyway.

I'm very pleased with my choice, and delighted by the suitability of the garment for its purpose, and its modest price for the level of style and usefulness it offers.

(Disclaimer: As always, I have no financial interest in the sale of this item in any way.)
 
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Langham

Honors Member
I think a bush jacket should look more like a jacket than a shirt. As a concept, the idea quite appeals to me - I visit Africa from time to time and conceivably have a need for such a jacket. No one I have ever met or seen there wears them, but that is neither here nor there - the same thing applies in England sometimes.
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
I think a bush jacket should look more like a jacket than a shirt. As a concept, the idea quite appeals to me - I visit Africa from time to time and conceivably have a need for such a jacket. No one I have ever met or seen there wears them, but that is neither here nor there - the same thing applies in England sometimes.

While made there, I have no idea if that contributed to its functionality. Depending on locale in Africa, I would think it's main functions would be to offer some stowage, help keep the bugs off, and take away some early morning chill.


Edit: The epaulets are functional and button and unbutton, so if you have anything with a strap that you wish to secure that isn't too heavy, they might prove useful also.

Additional edit: The inside of the upper sleeve has a strap which buttons to a reinforced button on the outside of the upper sleeve to keep rolled up sleeves in place.
 
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Tempest

Honors Member
I want a slightly more paramilitary look myself. The rounder corners are just too nice, and the horn looking buttons add too much character.

Here are some other options that I don't have. I have an ancient tropical BDU camo jacket that serves the purpose for now.
What Price Glory has two UK military repros and an unbelted US Aertex one.

Some rather drab milspec looking one
https://www.uswings.com/product/usw-adventure-gear-bush-jacket-short-long-sleeve/
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
An iconic design a surprisingly reasonable price, light weight fabric of loose weave construction that promises a cool wearing garment....what's not to love? I also, I rather like those horn looking buttons. LOL, if it works in Africa, it would just have to work in central Florida. ;)
 

godan

Elite Member
This question is not to challenge or criticize those who prefer cotton shells, but to try to learn why they do. I hike,climb and ski in all seasons, primarily in the American West, but also in Alaska. As soon as GoreTex appeared and its qualities were tested, serious outdoorsmen here abandoned cotton or blends in favor of GoreTex. This may be a specific response to locations where it might rain or snow at any time and usually does. What I am trying to grasp is why thoughtful, capable people prefer all-cotton to GoreTex when virtually any style of shell can be found in either fabric. In the spirit of the OP, this is not an invitation to an argument. I really want to know - why cotton?
 

Tempest

Honors Member
This is for warmer weather. I've never found Gore-tex to be all that breathable except when compared to vinyl or rubber. The delicate Gore-tex membrane has to be sandwiched between other layers, and that alone will make it a heavier and hotter garment. It is also 'crinkly' and not splendidly flexible in my experience. But mainly one is sacrificing water repellency for coolness.
If anyone has experience with the pricy tightly woven cotton Ventile that is the darling of a certain outdoor crowd, I'd be curious to hear about it.
 

Semper Jeep

Senior Member
^ This.

When/where rain and foul weather are a concern GoreTex (and other synthetics) are definitely the best choice. However, if I am not concerned about rain and/or if the weather could turn warm, I'd much rather have cotton or a cotton-linen blend.
 

Andy

Site Creator/ Administrator
Staff member
I have several from Polo, but they are cotton and one from ? (maybe Orvis) that is a blend.
 

Andy

Site Creator/ Administrator
Staff member
Just found this from J. Peterman, on sale for only $89



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Oldsarge

Moderator and Bon Vivant
My only objection to this jacket is the belt. What we today call bush jackets were originally cast off British military field uniforms and they had belts purely for style. If style is as important to you as it is to friend Flanderian, then I humbly suggest that this version from Tagsafari is about as good as you can get for any price. Functionality plus style, a winning combination. Myself, I am less concerned with style in this sort of garment so if the belt is removable, I will. But for the price? Unbeatable. Good company. They know their continent.

I'm kind of sorry the Peterman doesn't come in Large. That's my preferred design. Oh well, I have a Willis and Geiger . . .
 

Matt S

Connoisseur
Just found this from J. Peterman, on sale for only $89



View attachment 16340

I like the lack of a belt on this jacket. It makes it less traditional, but I like that is gives the jacket the option to wear it open. However, the one-piece back without a yoke or two pieces side-by-side makes me wary that the fit will be too shapeless.
 

Dhaller

Elite Member
^ This.

When/where rain and foul weather are a concern GoreTex (and other synthetics) are definitely the best choice. However, if I am not concerned about rain and/or if the weather could turn warm, I'd much rather have cotton or a cotton-linen blend.

I really miss Orvis's Zambezi twill jackets - they were my bush jacket of choice for many years (I say it as though I had so many, but I had two, as they were fairly rugged).

I'm surprised they were discontinued, though I suppose bush jackets, like everything else, are subject to demand cycles. Maybe they'll come back.

I'm still looking for the perfect "serious bush jacket" replacement for the Orvis.

DH
 

Oldsarge

Moderator and Bon Vivant
Possibly but I think that's what the staff was for--along with carrying the ivory, the camp, six months worth of rations, and the 8 ga. double rifle 'for emergencies'.
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
An iconic design a surprisingly reasonable price, light weight fabric of loose weave construction that promises a cool wearing garment....what's not to love? I also, I rather like those horn looking buttons. LOL, if it works in Africa, it would just have to work in central Florida. ;)

This question is not to challenge or criticize those who prefer cotton shells, but to try to learn why they do. I hike,climb and ski in all seasons, primarily in the American West, but also in Alaska. As soon as GoreTex appeared and its qualities were tested, serious outdoorsmen here abandoned cotton or blends in favor of GoreTex. This may be a specific response to locations where it might rain or snow at any time and usually does. What I am trying to grasp is why thoughtful, capable people prefer all-cotton to GoreTex when virtually any style of shell can be found in either fabric. In the spirit of the OP, this is not an invitation to an argument. I really want to know - why cotton?

I have several from Polo, but they are cotton and one from ? (maybe Orvis) that is a blend.

Just found this from J. Peterman, on sale for only $89



View attachment 16340

My only objection to this jacket is the belt. What we today call bush jackets were originally cast off British military field uniforms and they had belts purely for style. If style is as important to you as it is to friend Flanderian, then I humbly suggest that this version from Tagsafari is about as good as you can get for any price. Functionality plus style, a winning combination. Myself, I am less concerned with style in this sort of garment so if the belt is removable, I will. But for the price? Unbeatable. Good company. They know their continent.

I'm kind of sorry the Peterman doesn't come in Large. That's my preferred design. Oh well, I have a Willis and Geiger . . .

I really miss Orvis's Zambezi twill jackets - they were my bush jacket of choice for many years (I say it as though I had so many, but I had two, as they were fairly rugged).

I'm surprised they were discontinued, though I suppose bush jackets, like everything else, are subject to demand cycles. Maybe they'll come back.

I'm still looking for the perfect "serious bush jacket" replacement for the Orvis.

DH

This is a hodgepodge of thoughts -

This jacket might work well in in central Florida when it grows less hot, though for me the climate is too hot to wear almost anything much of the year. And Oldsarge knows me well, it's primarily the style that interests me as I am not an outdoors-man, and don't expect to be visiting Africa anytime soon. It's essential authenticity and functionality serve to burnish its aesthetic for me, but I fully understand why others might have other preferences.

I always thought that when Gore-Tex was first introduced, it was handled much better than after cheaper methods of employing it became the norm. It was really about the fabrics between which you placed it, their properties and how the garment was constructed. At first, I think those things tended to be much better than they became.

And yes, if you're going to be outdoors somewhere where it's wet, you need adequate technical protection. In this bush jacket you would simply get wet.

Orvis used to be very different from what it has become. And it's not for the better. I had a Zambezi Twill jacket and it may be useful to offer this comparison for any who actually have an interest in the jacket in the OP. The cloth of the ZT jacket was a very heavy cotton twill, the yarn of which was not particularly tightly twisted. It offered some modest warmth in cool weather. The Tag jacket isn't suitable for very cool temperatures. And the cloth is not a twill. It is square woven like broadcloth or hopsack. But unlike hopsack the yarn is slender and very tightly twisted. I was initially disappointed until I examined it more closely. The best comparison might be to Fresco cloth, as the principle is the same, only executed in cotton rather than wool. The individual strands of yarn have the feel almost of cord, and the cloth has a slightly rough, pebble-like hand. When held up to the light, you appreciate that it is loosely woven, though it is not translucent in anyway when worn. The cloth is only 5 1/2, ounces, both light and substantial at the same time.
 

London380sl

Senior Member
I've always liked bush jackets with the belt. It helps keeps the chill out on those coolish fall days and the belt also helps accent my slightly hour glass figure:)

if I didn't already have one from a previous demand cycle I would snap one of these ups.
 

WA

Honors Member
Lived in the northwest practically my whole life. Cotton shirts and pants/shorts in the summer. Wool pants are nice in the winter. Not exactly trail trained, so crashed a lot of brush. Plastic clothes can come in handy sometimes, mosquitoes. Skiing and mountaineering Gore-tex can be kinda nice when wet. When not wet breathable is better. Gore-tex allows some moisture out. Sometimes I'd rather have a long Gore-tex cape. When it's windy Gore-tex is nice. For a bush jacket, it needs to be mosquito proof.

The horn buttons are nice. Maybe they are water buffalo?
 

Oldsarge

Moderator and Bon Vivant
Only today the 'staff' repair the vehicles, keep the dim tourist hunter out of trouble, manage the habitat and generally look on the visitors with quiet amusement. I know. I was one! :confused2:
 
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