Review: SPES - Axel Pettersson jacket

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Review: SPES - Axel Pettersson jacket

Postby Axel » 25 Sep 2011 09:48

NOTE: I don't make any money on this product except from getting a small % reduced cost for GHFS members so Im not trying to push a product, I am the one behind the design though together with SPES and this jacket has been the best option for steel fencing we have used so far.

The "Axel Pettersson Historical Fencing jacket" (the name was not my idea) can be bought from SPES at http://www.histfenc.com, price is 159 euros.


The jacket stands up to full contact steel sparring with longsword feders like the Albion Meyer, Ensifer and Regenyei feders, guys in our club also use them with Pavel Moc blunts and similar. The people behind the company are Bohurt fighters themselves (Eastern european reenactment fighting), they also make the fencing jackets for FEDER the Polish HEMA federation, so their products have been tested in one of the toughest environments available in HEMA today. This jacket is based on one of those designs which means it has better arm mobility than coaching jackets, aswell as padded chest, belly and arms (upper and lower). It is different from previous Polish jackets in that this one is made to look more like the coaching jacket (you know how vain we Swedes are), the front is overlapping (two layers + padding), it has a zip instead of laces, and a thrust stopper on the front collar.
The zip is on the front to the side so no more acrobatics everytime you want to put on or off your jacket like with the Leon Paul or Allstar coaching jackets.

We still recommend you wear a throat protection aswell as elbow protection, I use some kind of skateboard elbow cups and they fit inside the jacket without hindering mobility, this secures the cup better and also looks much better than wearing the elbow cup on the outside. Of course most types of underarm/elbow protection works with this jacket.

We did a video review but the sound was distorted so we'll make a new one this week, in the meantime you can see picture, ordering info, color choices and size info the catalogue here:

http://www.ghfs.se/histfenc_catalog_2011.pdf


Several of our members have ordered this jacket, I also showcased this for Ilkka Hartikainens club EHMS at a seminar in Helsinki a few weeks back, they were also impressed and are ordering this jacket, I know other people from Sweden and Slovakia have placed orders aswell.

For those of you who were at Fightcamp Andreas Engström used an earlier prototype there, changes from that prototype and the finished product are:

-collar overlaps more
-reinforced lower arm padding
-reinforced front padding
-modified upper arm padding for even better mobility
- increased length of the jacket so the belly never gets exposed when raising arms
- offical cool name


If you attend Swordfish you'll see the jacket there, an easy way to get a hold of one cheap is to win the longsword tournament, as one of the prizes will be one of these jackets ;).
Last edited by Axel on 30 Jun 2012 12:27, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: New HEMA jacket

Postby Andrew Shultz » 26 Sep 2011 00:25

Is the padding in there a foam or a cotton batting sort of thing?

It looks pretty good... I'm also very happy to see a front close. :)
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Re: New HEMA jacket

Postby admin » 26 Sep 2011 10:44

How does the padding on the arms work with additional forearms guards? Or are they not needed?
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Re: New HEMA jacket

Postby Axel » 26 Sep 2011 12:27

Im not using forearm guards, but I also have the Ensifer gloves who goes up pretty far over the arm. In my opinion the padding on the jacket is enough, but it is perfectly possible to wear forearm guards over or under the jacket.
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Re: New HEMA jacket

Postby Magnus Hagelberg » 28 Sep 2011 06:23

Having tried a trial version, I'm not sure if they are the same.

The forearm protection was then cottonbased.
It was enough for full contakt fighting with Meyer swords. It stings a bit if they hitt solidly on the arm, but no massive bruising on me. (also used Petérs Fedes, and those hit even less hard)
The escrima guards Matt uses should fitt nicely on topp or underneath depending on what size you get.
you will still feel the hitt.

Looking forward to trying out the latest version before doing a more indepth commentary.
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Re: New HEMA jacket

Postby admin » 28 Sep 2011 08:45

Very interesting, thanks for the extra info.
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Re: New HEMA jacket

Postby Axel » 30 Sep 2011 20:42

SPES will (alongside PBT; Allstar, Darkwood, knight Shop and others) provide prizes for the Swordfish tournaments this year, one item that usually is popular is forearm guards, I hav enot seen SPES version live yet but they will probably be available for showcase at swordfish, they seem to be similar to the escrima forearmguards that are very popular, but have inserts of hard plastic. You can see a picture in the pdf I linked to in the first post.
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Re: New HEMA jacket

Postby tabiris » 07 Nov 2011 13:22

Just received the package with the jackets. They look pretty damn good.

It's possible to wear the mask so that the throat bit is over the mask, which is awesome. Mobility is perfect, padding seems to be pretty good too.

You've probably head that the sleeves tended to be too long; well, i got 3 jackets today, two s one m, the sleeves fit perfectly, so they've taken care of that.

All in all... seems very nice. :)
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Re: New HEMA jacket

Postby admin » 07 Nov 2011 13:45

Is anybody managing to find anything through www.histfenc.com ? Or are people just contacting them by email?
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Re: New HEMA jacket

Postby MugginsToadwort » 07 Nov 2011 15:00

admin wrote:Is anybody managing to find anything through http://www.histfenc.com ? Or are people just contacting them by email?


Nah, still email it seems.
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Re: New HEMA jacket

Postby admin » 07 Nov 2011 17:04

I have to say, they may be making the best product in the world, but having such a rubbish website does not inspire me to give them my money at the moment.
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Re: New HEMA jacket

Postby tabiris » 07 Nov 2011 21:11

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Re: New HEMA jacket

Postby Laurent » 23 Dec 2011 19:11

The website histfenc.com has now evolved, and it features many products which seem to be interesting.
Among which there is obviously the "Axel Pettersson" fencing jacket, but has the Fechtschule Gdansk Gambeson already been reviewed ?
It is available at the same price, and by reading the description It seems to be as good as the fencing jacket.
Thank you.
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Re: New HEMA jacket

Postby admin » 23 Dec 2011 19:56

I have to say, their stuff looks really good, and at last a decent website! -
http://www.histfenc.com/

I'm a bit confused by the differences between their three jackets, but they all look great. I also highly approve of the padded skirt - it is the same safety solution that the Victorians came to, and if you're using steel weapons then you need to be as concerned about protecting the artery in the groin and thigh as much as anywhere else.

A shame they haven't tackled gloves as well!
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Re: New HEMA jacket

Postby Axel » 25 Dec 2011 11:21

I think the Gdansk and the Feder jackets are longer and have laces instead of a zip, I also dont think they overlap over the chest, atleast not much. My jacket has a zip as I think it is easier to take on and off that way, it also overlaps for better chest protection. It does not go down over the thighs as the Gdansk and FEDER jackets, that was mostly to make it in the same style as regular fencing jackets. That means it does leave the thigh unprotected though, as Leon Paul and Allstar jackets, thigh protection such as the skirt SPES has or the girdels Hammaborg and other groups use is a nice addition for steel fencing.

I will get a new version of my jacket after new years, hopefully also one of the mask covers so we can test it. I don't know if they are working on gloves yet, but I do know they are working on alot of different things and wants to be a leading producer of HEMA equipment, so they will have to think about gloves at some point.
Last edited by Axel on 30 Jun 2012 12:32, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: New HEMA jacket

Postby SeanH » 25 Dec 2011 14:31

I'm using this jacket and it's fantastic (great range of motion), but after having gotten hit by a false edge sottano last weekend that went very low and hit me under the jacket, that skirt is certainly worth considering.
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Re: New HEMA jacket

Postby Laurent » 25 Dec 2011 14:54

Thank you for your answers.
All the products available at histfenc.com seem to be very good.
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Re: New HEMA jacket

Postby admin » 26 Dec 2011 09:39

Agreed, I'm really quite excited to finally see a *range* of decent HEMA protective clothing. Now to decide which new jacket I need....
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Re: New HEMA jacket

Postby Ivan » 26 Dec 2011 10:19

I got the jacket, and I must say that it's excellent... Needs a bit more padding between the neck and shoulder, but that's about it.
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Re: New HEMA jacket

Postby admin » 26 Dec 2011 11:00

Which one - the Axel version?
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