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cdburner5911

Question about buying a gambeson

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I have recently been really interested in buying a padded gambeson to wear under my chainmail/scalemail.  (I also don't know the proper names for everything, so excuse any errors).  I don't plan on doing any sort of combat with it, and I am not super concerned with the historical accuracy of it, just going for a bit more than chainmail over a tshirt.  Currently I only have a chainmail shirt (but I would like to expand it to a hauberk at some point), a stainless scale vest (way too dang heavy), a plastic scale vest (so much lighter), and a mantle (to be turned into a coif at some point).

I have done some looking, and there are quite a few different styles (pull over, buckle/lace up, sleeves separate, ect), and while I am leaning towards a pull over style, as that's what my chainmail shirt is, I was wondering if anyone had any experience or suggestions.  Further, I was wondering about padding for a coif, does anyone have any suggestions for style? I like the look of a full cap/collar, but having never worn one, any wisdom anyone has would be appreciated.

As for where to buy them, it seems like Armstreet is a good place for high quality stuff, but I just cant justify ~$400 for a gambeson right now.
I found a few other places with prices that are more in my price range, and I was wondering if anyone has bought stuff from them before (or if you know a better place), and if the stuff is any good:
Steel Mastery
Historical Clothing Realm
Medieval Collectibles
Also, there are a number of sellers on Etsy


Thanks for any advice or wisdom you can pass on!

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In the spirit of full transparency, I have the Armstreet "Asian Gambeson." If money weren't an object I'd recommend them, because they're semi-made to measure. I wouldn't do a pull-over type gambeson. To get it on easily it would have to be a bit large on you, which could equate to uncomfortable folds under the shirt.

What would be more economical for you depends on where you are. I'm in Canada and my first gambeson purchase was from the UK; a place called LARP Inn. They were a joy to deal with, but the shipping costs to Canada were painful at the time. I then discovered that much of that sort of thing seems to be made in Quebec, Canada. If you're in the US you could likely save a bunch due to the depressed Canadian Dollar, by buying from someone there. Some of the stuff at Medieval Collectibles seems to be sourced there.

http://www.en.calimacil.ca/
https://www.epicarmouryunlimited.com/

Hopefully some of the more experienced SCA combat types will be along, presently, with more fulsome advice ;)

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Ah, yes, forgot to mention I was in the US =P

Thank you for the feedback. I hadn't considered that pull overs would have to be a bit bigger to actually put on.
It looks like the buckles on the Asian Gambeson aren't too large, but do they press in when under something, or do they catch when putting chainmail on or taking it off?

Thanks for the links, i will check them out.
Although, it seems calimacil.ca just times out for me =[

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A gambeson (or aketon, per ArmourArchive.org's precisionist-modern parlance; for your purpose it's all the same) that laces closed has come to be favored, especially by plate harness wearers whose components in some measure actually attach to the gamby.  They find buttons rip out, Velcro gives out, but lacing the thing shut like an army boot is strong enough.  It's also very comfortable since it can't make lumps nor hang up on any part of your hard-layer.

Your gamby should have long sleeves, pretty closefitted, regardless of anything:  putting a mailshirt on over a shortsleeve gambeson shoves its sleeves into your armpits, but you can hang on to long sleeves so they stay in place.  Completely sleeveless gamby doesn't have this problem.

Edited by Konstantin the Red

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1 hour ago, cdburner5911 said:

Ah, yes, forgot to mention I was in the US =P

Thank you for the feedback. I hadn't considered that pull overs would have to be a bit bigger to actually put on.
It looks like the buckles on the Asian Gambeson aren't too large, but do they press in when under something, or do they catch when putting chainmail on or taking it off?

Thanks for the links, i will check them out.
Although, it seems calimacil.ca just times out for me =[

I checked Calimacil before posting it and they're currently having server issues, but were fine a little earlier in the day. They'll likely be good to go again tomorrow and I wanted to make sure to include them, as they have frequent sales.

If I was doing combat, I wouldn't want the buckles on the Armstreet gambeson. they're just something to transmit impact energy to the body. Since I will occasionally be wearing it by itself, I like the fancy look of them ;)

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Konstantin, You have a good point about both laces and long sleeves.  Currently my shirt is short sleeve, and I am not sure if I want to make it long sleeve, but it is certainly annoying having to retrieve my shirt sleeve out from under it.

Rob, I figured it was some sort of issue with a server, seems it still doesn't work for me, but Ill make sure to keep checking, sales are always nice! =P

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5 minutes ago, cdburner5911 said:

Konstantin, You have a good point about both laces and long sleeves.  Currently my shirt is short sleeve, and I am not sure if I want to make it long sleeve, but it is certainly annoying having to retrieve my shirt sleeve out from under it.

Rob, I figured it was some sort of issue with a server, seems it still doesn't work for me, but Ill make sure to keep checking, sales are always nice! =P

Especially when you're paying $0.75 or less on that sale dollar ;)

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I just finished my finals, and was getting antsy to work on a project (because I clearly don't have enough already 😛) so I ordered the "Arthur Gambeson" from Medieval Collectables
Its not exactly what I was looking for, but I figure for $100 its at least a good starting point.

Thank you guys for the feedback!

I also ordered up some lamellar plates. Too many projects, whats that? 😀

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The other gambeson that I have, that I mentioned was my first, is the Arthur Gambeson. When I received mine there were no ties for the sleeves and tassets. I found that some black paracord was a cheap solution.

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Nice!  
One of the reviews mentioned that the leather ties were not too great anyway, and I happened to have ordered some paracord for my lamellar already 😛

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Good choice -- as is bootlace if you'd rather, like if it makes knots that don't slip.

You can easily locate and install these ties -- armour heads call them "points," after the old terminology -- by putting in pairs of eyelets anywhere you like.  The mid-part of the lace will be where the eyelets are, and if you want, also make a 1 1/2" leather washer with two holes in it, same spacing as the eyelets.  Spreads any load; put the lace through the two holes, then through the eyelets you put in your gamby and snug up.  Remove for laundering, etc.

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