One of the great joys of being the San Francisco Menswear Examiner is having my expectations completely blown out of the water by things that I thought I knew about, by things with which I thought I was familiar. Take the American Giant Heavyweight Baseball Jacket, for instance. I thought I was familiar with heavyweight cotton fleece, having grown up in the cozy comfort of the old 12 ounce Champion Reverse Weave Hooded Sweatshirt, but even that pales in comparison to what American Giant considers heavyweight.
The fleece of the Heavyweight Baseball Jacket is unlike any fleece I’ve ever seen, felt, or worn. This material is seriously dense. On the outside, it is almost felt-like, with a smooth hand and unparalleled suppleness. On the inside, the fabric has been brushed for extra warmth and to maximize its natural loft. This makes for a sweatshirt that wears more like a leather jacket. To call this jacket substantial would be an understatement.
To ensure that this jacket becomes a family heirloom, American Giant has done everything in its power to make sure it lasts forever. Elbow patches extend to the cuff to make sure there’s plenty of material where it needs to be. Ribbed panels run down each flank for freedom of movement, while the three inch cuffs and waist ribbing keep everything tidy and trim fitting. The whole thing is kept together with double needle stitching throughout.
After a month with this jacket, it is perfectly clear why American Giant has had such a hard time keeping anything from their line of heavyweight sweatshirts in stock. Simply stated, the Heavyweight Baseball Jacket is a game-changer. This jacket is a showcase for exactly how good American manufacturing can be, and should be held as an example to which others should aspire.
For more information, or to get some American Giant gear for yourself, click here.
**Full disclosure: This jacket was provided at no cost for the purpose of testing/reviewing. To think otherwise would be unrealistic.