90th IDPG Reviews


WWII Impressions Tanker Jacket
Jacket, Combat, Winter

Review Date: 7/30/2012
Updated: 8/21/2012
Author: Sean Foster


Infantrymen of the 90th Division in formation ready to receive Silver Star awards for Gallantry in action. Major General James A. Van Fleet, Commanding General of the 90th Division addresses Captain William C. Gassman, C.O. of the 90th Reconnaissance Troops.

Date taken: Jan 4, 1945
Photographer: Bradley, Signal Corps, 166

National Archives


The "Tanker Jacket" (actual description Jacket, Combat, Winter) was a desirable garment to obtain as an infantryman serving in WWII.  It was commonly issued as a garment to armor crews and as a result the nickname "Tanker jacket" was adopted, despite its issue to non-armored personnel.

The Quartermaster Catalog describes the "Jacket, Combat, Winter" as "A windproof, water-repellent cotton jacket with kersey lining and knitted wool waistband, cuffs and neck."

I have owned several reproduction tanker jackets, of which none compared favorably against my original.  This repro is the first one I have personally been satisfied with, and as a result I am writing this review to share my observations so others can make an informed decision if they are in the market for this garment.


Purchase date: November 2011, Delivered February 2012


At $185, this is slightly higher in price than other repros currently available in the USA.  Others available as of this writing are in the range of $75 to $135 (not including the Buzz Rickson repros which are significantly more expensive and not easily obtained in the US).

Size purchased: 42L

The Review:

For this review, I will be comparing an original (which fits like a 38L or 40R, and probably was originally marked size "Medium") from my collection to the 42L from WWII Impressions. The original is on the left, or bottom of the photos.


These repros are made in even numbered sizes (40, 42, 44, etc) which is not how the originals were made, but it allows for a more precise fit. Some other repros are made in size ranges (Medium, Large, X-Large, etc) and this is how originals were sized.  

WWII Impressions also made in this batch some Long / Tall garments for those of us who are over 6' tall (40L, 42L, 44L, etc).   This I was particularly pleased with, as I am 6'4" tall and the standard repros have never been tall enough to fit me properly.  One small detail of the "L" repros made in this batch is the seams are made with contrasting OD thread, and this also matches my original.

Special thanks to Bill K. who offered a correction with regards to information on sizing of originals. Below is an example supplied by Bill of an original tag from his collection.

The patterning of the repro compares very well to the original.  Details of the seam construction were duplicated very well.   

The only areas in which I notice anything slightly 'off' from the original are in the underarm area, and in some of the interior panels of the lining, and this is not visible when the garment is worn.  It may also be a realistic pattern variation, as I admit I am comparing this to only one original I have in my collection, and there were several firms making this garment in WWII.  The sleeve/armhole area under the arm has more curvature in the original, and is amended for modern fit on the repro.  This is understandable in a modern repro and is a detail not noticed when the garment is being worn.  

The garment is well made, and the seam construction lines up with the original (single row stitching where it should be, double row stitching where it should be, etc).  

The stitches per inch are finer gauge, making a neat strong stitch and seam (many repros use larger/longer stitches that cause the seam to be weaker and more subject to rupture).

The shell fabric as well as the lining wool compare well with the original.  The visible differences are minor ( 'Z' or 'right' twill in the original, 'S' or 'left' twill in the repro - barely noticeable unless one is looking closely at the fabric itself) and as a result I have no criticism of the materials used.  

The zipper is brass and the zipper pull looks like a vintage Talon model zipper pull.


Like the original, this repro has the zipper extend only halfway up the knit collar (some others I have seen have the zipper extend up to the top).

The knit cuffs are sewn in place as in the original; they are made of one tubular piece of knit (no seam down the side of the cuff) and top-stitched where the cuff goes into the sleeve.

The pocket openings are slightly larger on the repro, but it is also a larger size than the original so I do not find this detail to be significant.


Other repros:
At this time the other repros I am aware of are made overseas (most from China, some from Pakistan).  The Buzz Rickson repro, made in Japan, is highly regarded as an excellent reproduction, though its price is several times higher than this repro.  In February during a business trip to Japan I was able to examine a Buzz Rickson and although its patterning and construction was excellent, the materials used were inferior in appearance (the blanket lining was a more loose / open weave and the shell fabric had a faded out coloration).

I am thoroughly pleased with the new Winter Combat jacket from WWII Impressions.  I believe it is a good value for the cost, and for those over 6 feet in height, it is the only option I am aware of for this jacket.  Having sought a good repro of this garment for 15 years, I can say that my searching is finished.




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