Review: Cotton Pirate Waistcoat

Rating: ★★★½☆
Flying Canoe Traders

To date, I’ve had the great pleasure of reviewing several Flying Canoe products – a shirt, some slops, buckle shoes, and even sailor’s bags. If I were to select one over-riding feature that they all share it would without question be durability. To a product, each has been made from heavy duty materials, and the stitching is amongst the strongest I’ve ever seen – wear points are even pre-patched and multi-seamed, just to make sure. I’ve reviewed many fine articles of pirate clothing from several manufacturers, and Flying Canoe remains the hands down winner when it comes to rugged tailoring.

The Flying Canoe sleeveless cotton waistcoat carries on in this fine tradition. Being made from a heavy canvas material, it does bear some notable stiffness when fresh off the rack – a few washings and wearings softened it up a bit. It then remains on the stiff end of the spectrum, but not overly so.

This waistcoat has two fully functioning pockets, each with a large scalloped flap and four buttons. These are actual, functioning buttons, so you can secure your valuables within (but it does take a minute or two to get it back out.) Truth be told, I’m a fan of Flying Canoe’s buttons – many plain face buttons on the market at lead free pewter, which tends to be rather shiny and boring. But these buttons have a nice aged feel about them – they look like they’ve experienced some weather, which is quite a plus in my book.

The back of the waistcoat is split, and has lace holes. The split is a long one, going from the bottom and up a full three quarters of the back. A lace was not provided, but any strip of leather will do fine. Personally I like the look this adds, but they do offer a non-split back on request. The inside of this waistcoat is virtually identical to the outside – same color and material, and all seams are finished. I actually put it on inside out once and couldn’t tell the difference until I tried to button the thing.

The Flying Canoe Waistcoat is everything I would expect from a company that has shown a trackrecord of making “battle ready” clothing. This is not a fancy king’s garment – lacy and flowing. Rather, this is for those who need to count on their clothes for many, many seasons of hard use. And I expect this waistcoat will live up to such demands admirably.

7 thoughts on “Review: Cotton Pirate Waistcoat

  1. My breeches from Flying Canoe have withstood many wearings and washings, the buttons are great . Total quality.

  2. Eye recommend Flying Canoe as a source for period correct Togs. I have a kit made up from some of thar digs and the clothing is very comfortable especially on hotter days.

  3. Have ordered My cotton Waist Coat in Rust.
    After a very poor waistcoat from another mfg.
    am looking forward to recfieving my coat and
    continue pirating in style. Will review futher on
    recieving. thx for the heads up Bilge! ARRRR!

  4. Have recieved my waistcoat and it is all the Bilge said it was.
    I ordered mine in “rust” and was expecting something more of a reddish brown.Was in face more of a light sand stone brown,not red at all.But still very nice.Changed the color of my hat order with the Mckay to Tobacco Brown. Also I`m glad I ordered the XL(48in. chest)wanting it to fit slightly looser.It just fit with out being too tight.I informed FlyingCanoeTraders of this.Me having a 44in. chest. Still i`m keeping it! Quality is outstanding.Thx Bilge!

  5. I submitted an order online with Flying Canoe Traders last month and other than an automatic confirmation e-mail I never heard from them. This past week I tried to follow up by calling them (got a voicemail and left a message) and submitted an e-mail message through there website and still nothing. Does anyone know of any problems Flying Canoe are having or is there a better way of getting in touch with them? I have wanted to purchase a waistcoat from them for some time now and am ready to do so but have been having no such luck contacting them to place my order. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  6. After a couple of months wondering what was going on at Flying Canoe I had the pleasure of speaking with a man called John who is now heading up Flying Canoe Traders USA. The company has apparently made several changes in recent months which has left their website out of date but I am happy to report that they are still in business and I received my new sleeveless waistcoat today (it’s Monday and the waistcoat was mailed on Friday, so very fast shipping). This is a great piece. A bit stiff, just like the reviewer said, but sturdy and I have no doubt it will wear nicely.

  7. Placed an order with Flying canoe today 5/2/12 calling the number they have listed gets you a message to contact their US rep John Destate at 419-874-7632. John was extremely helpful. He told me that the owner of the company pretty much now just ships the merchandise down from Canada to him in Ohio where he stockpiles it for doing shows. Hope this helps anyone looking to order from them.

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