90th IDPG Reviews


WWII Impressions Closeout Raincoat

Review Date: 11/10/2012
Author: Chris Guska


(Photo from the Faulk Collection)

Otis Matthews and Delbert Calhoun of 357th AT Co, Argonne Forest, September, 1944



The raincoat,is an item every reenactor should own. Over the years, several "non original" alternatives have popped up, with the most common being the French surplus raincoat. Until the past couple of years, no true "reproductions" were available until WWII Impressions and What Price Glory came out with their copies.

We've been hesitant to use anything other than originals due to the obvious differences in the French coats as well as high price of the reputable reproductions.

This was the rain garment of the ETO, with ponchos being in the vast minority - showing up late to the party.

There are a number of variants of the raincoat, both in pattern as well as construction method. The QM Catalog, 3-3 dated May 1946 lists no less than 6 separate stock items.





Cost: $99.99 (Closeout due to glue blems)
Shipping: $12.00


The Review:

For this review, we're looking at the WWII Impressions "Closeout / Blem" Raincoat. These were placed on Closeout because " Overstock previous run, minor glue stains ". They are a significant discount off of retail list price. From what we've found - these raincoats are First quality overall, with exception of one area which will be noted below.

This review should fairly and accurately describe both the the Closeout and normal production raincoats. As of the time of writing of this article - both Closeout and normal production are available.

Original Medium, Original Small, Repro Medium.

Color is on the money. I'm really pleased with how well it fits within the shade range - I believe that in a crowd of original raincoats, I'd have a hard time picking the repro out.. General shape and appearance of the garment is pretty good from a side by side.

The only thing that stands out is the length of the garment. I took the time to line up all the shoulder seams on these jackets - and the repro is longer than the original of the same size. What I found interesting, was that the original Small and Medium shared the same length to the coat. The repro was several inches longer.


Collar Details:

The simple collar is glued down and reinforced with double cap rivets per the originals. The rivets are well set and the collar is securely glued in place. The twill hanging loop is also included and riveted in place.


Top to bottom, Original, Original, Repro.

Shoulder Detail:

The repro (bottom) matches the pattern and construction of the original medium example (top). The original small (middle) is of a slightly different pattern.

The shoulder seam is sturdy and securely glued.

Armpit Detail:

Detail of the arm vents.

Repro, Original, Original

This is where the "Closeout" tips its hand. The arm pit seam has goopy glue all over it, with some areas not securely glued down. I cant think of a circumstance where in use or on display where this would be visible - but it certainly is a reason to discount an otherwise excellent reproduction.

I don't quite understand the glue selection used, as it looks like bathroom caulking. Of the industrial cements I have used on leather, rubber and notably fixing other raincoats - none of them are clear or goopy like this.

Here is the original medium, showing how clean the seam is - with an additional reinforcing strip laid down on the seam.


Storm Flap Detail:

Original Left, Repro Right

The buttons are securely sewn in place with the reinforcing button behind them.

Detail of placement of the makers label on the storm flap. Of note - the buttons are pretty good.

Original Left, Repro Right

Manufacturer’s Label Detail:

Cuff Detail:

The cuffs look good - with the button placed correctly, closing strap of generally the right size (they vary), as well as the double cap rivets securing the flap to the seam.

Original, Original, Repro

Pocket Detail:

External view of the pocket detail. The external size of the opening is well within the range of size and style.

Original, Original, Repro

The two originals have significantly differently sized pockets. The repro falls somewhere in between the two in size. Additionally, the lining color is well within the range of originals.

Original, Original, Repro


In Use:

The WWII Impressions raincoat has been kicking around the unit for a couple of years now, looks good, is water proof and most importantly hasn't required repair. The same cant be said of the What Price Glory raincoat.

Repro, Original



Summary Pros and Cons:

Excellent Cut & Color
Buttons are actually sewn on - didn't pop off with first use
Material feels right in the hand, replicating originals well and is waterproof
Rivets were good
The garment is serviceable

The raincoat is a couple of inches longer than originals.
The arm seam may need repaired at some point in the future.


Its a solid repro - especially at the $100 price point. At $100, I'd seriously consider replacing my originals with one of these. At $175... I'd have to think a lot harder about it.

Materials are great. Construction is very good, with notable exception. The details are there.

Assuming the first quality raincoats don't have the goopy bathroom caulking on the armpit seam - these raincoats are excellent.

After seeing both this and the WPG raincoat - I really couldn't think of a circumstance where I'd recommend the WPG raincoat to anyone.



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