I've only ever had distressed cowhide and dark brown novapelle as a winter jacket, but of those two I reckon the novapelle is a bit thicker and heavier, but not by much. ( although that may well have been the batches used at the time) However while the novapelle feels more substantial, and certainly warm with a jumper or fleece, I've found it to be fairly porous; gets wet through pretty quickly. No noticeable shrinkage though. It would need a coat of Pecards to make it a bit more rain proof.
I've never had brown cowhide,but I seem to remember a guy over at the Indy Lounge saying it reminded him of upholstery leather.
Must say though, the warmest leather jacket I have is a heavy duty lambskin A2. Very thick, extremely heavy, I can only comfortably wear it when the weather is really cold. Great leather. It's a shame Wested don't offer it as an option, it would work really well as a Hero.
Upholstry leather, that doesn't sound too good. You don't hear much about the brown cowhide in relation to these jackets. Maybe that's why. I want to get a good cowhide Indy jacket that I feel comfortable to wear in all weathers, so to speak, and offer a decent layer of protection. I do have a pre-distressed LC already, which is quite nice but I was thinking it would be cool to have a Hero Raiders in hide. Horse is out of the question, because I hear it's just too heavy and people don't wear them because of that.
I may look into other leather jackets I suppose, an A2 as you say.
Does the Wested Horsehide have a texture or character to it, or is it quite smooth?
The Wested HH has slight grain but pretty much smooth. Would take years of wear to get character. Might be able to get it looking aged with the standard treatments. Thing about most HH is it takes a long time to get that look just by wearing.
I have an A2 US Wings in HH that they made the leather to age faster. They have a couple of them left on their sales page.
The Aero one I have is preowned and shows some creases but not much grain at all.....
I have an S&J Indy that is HH and this sourced leather has grain right out of the box. Not as stiff and smooth as the other HH I have owned.
HH is usually a great leather if you want a jacket to last and have a newish look to it for a long time.
I might look into those, thanks. I like the toughness aspect, but I've got enough jackets that look new. Still breaking them it, so part of me wants something that has a head start on it, or will have some hope of showing age by itself from wear. I hear the Dark Novapelle does this, but it's still quite a heavy hide.
I ended up buying a lighter vest and a heavy fleece vest. Got them a size smaller so they would not hang below the jacket. Have used this setup for the last several Winters.
Now, if the temps drop below 10 degrees (F), I switch out to a work style heavy lined canvas jacket.......
I have found with HH and cowhide with the vest, you will stay pretty warm if you are moving. I used to walk to work when in Germany and would actually sweat through my shirt. This was in the Winter when it was pretty cold.
I have read that unlined leather jackets are just an insulator from wind and the elements. It is what you layer underneath that determines how warm you stay. I would think the Wested standard lamb and any of their jackets except for the really light ones would be alright.
I think the weight of the HH makes it a colder weather jacket. Has to be in the mid-forties or below for me to wear them.