July 11, 2014
Not sure if I bought the right jacket or if I'm using this for the wrong duty. Bear in mind, I've used this for one (1) month now.
As others in the reviews have said, it is easy to get burned with this jacket. The way the jacket was designed is kind of flawed, numerous spots not covered by leather that should have been and over-all sizing of individual parts of the jacket. I bought the leather bib for the jacket at the outset, I have not used the jacket without it for even a moment. NONE, and I mean none of the snaps on the bib line up with the jacket. Its all rippled and leaves gaps for sparks and generally looks like crap. I bought the cotton bib as well at the same time, as a spare, and all the snaps on that are male side, so it can't work on the jackets male snaps. ONLY BUY THE LEATHER BIB!
I call this the 'Spark Funnel' because of the way it seems to just dump hot metal down your neck line. One of the other reviewers mentioned that the neck was to small for him, he was right. The barracuda style was meant well, but it wont close or stay upright. The velcro at the throat is too small and doesn't grab, and the back of the collar folds down to the outside instead of in. Everything that goes up must come down, and sparks seem to just find your neck every time. The wrists are too tight at the snap closed position and too big unsnapped for me. I have a large blister/abrasion/scar on my left wrist from the bunched material in the snapped closed position that can't go away while using the jacket. Its not the end of the world, but its one more thing. Another reviewer said that the stomach of the jacket is huge, it is. I wear a speedglas respirator for work and the belt bunches all the jacket at the sides and tends to get wedge tight after 10 hours at work. After 12 hours, I'm ready to take the thing off. There are large burn holes in the lower front of the jacket with all the sparks finding their way inside from the center and left breast gap and its very clear where my belt is positioned. Also the slash pockets in the front are completely useless, its nice to have pen pockets on your sleeves and a lot of the stitching has come out of the left breast where the bib snaps in. Miller really should have invested in double or triple stitching in all the load bearing areas of the jacket. I'll have to repair mine soon, I'm not buying another one of these.
I have huge holes in the cotton at the bicep area. The way the leather of the sleeve folds, dumps all the burning metal right into the cotton and just burns the crap out of your arm as the sparks fall down your bicep. The center of the jacket where it snaps closed and the bib snaps onto, leaves a hole about two inches for sparks to come right though and the cotton is torched there to point of letting the snap tear out.
Don't get me wrong, the leather is top notch, I haven't had anything come through and there have been several bad ones just sitting on top burning. It'll let you know something is there. I really like how the shoulders and upper back of the jacket are covered with leather as well as the upper half of the chest. There are big burn marks in the front and shoulders where the jacket has protected me against some really bad chunks of hot metal, but none are so bad they have injured the leather. I have give Miller props on the choice of the grade of leather, and the choice of top hide instead of split leather. I can wipe this jacket down with a damp cloth and make the leather look half-way shiny again where the other guys wearing the tillman coats can't, and they just keep getting dirtier. (Like, to the point of not wanting to put it in your car after work...yeah, total garbage bag time...) If they could fix these few problems, this would be a top flight jacket, worthy of a 90$ or even 100$price tag.
ProsDecent Leather. Holds up to really hot metal.
Leather covers shoulders, upper chest and back
Dual leather/cotton design is cooler than all leather
Conspoor sizing at neck, wrists, stomach
bib snaps don't line up
leather ends in bad places and cotton takes severe beating to near complete failure
not so great for overhead, dumps sparks onto your arms and neck