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Taking Flight | The AXC Bomber Jacket


Taking Flight | The AXC Bomber Jacket

by , August 16, 2023

The bomber jacket. Its roots date back to heroic fighter pilots in WWI, born out of necessity as a performance survival item. Since then, it has been adopted by stars and fashion subcultures around the globe. Partnering with our friends in New Zealand, the kings of performance-driven style, we’ve taken inspiration from the MA-1 Bomber Jacket and redefined this icon to entirely new elevations: creating a special piece of technical apparel using a custom Japanese fabric woven with Kevlar and laminated, then fully seam taped and insulated with a PrimaLoft Gold goosedown blend, and much more. 

Introducing the Alchemy Equipment x Carryology: AXC Bomber Jacket.


AXC Bomber Jacket

AXC Bomber Jacket

AXC Bomber Jacket

AXC Bomber Jacket



Let’s rewind back, nearly five years ago, to December 2018. We had just launched our third collaboration with Alchemy Equipment. Together, we created the AEL222 backpack. Over the years, it has since become an all-time favorite collab we’ve released.

We’ve remained close friends with Campbell Junor, Alchemy’s founder, and through the years we’ve always mused about doing another project together. We discussed it while hanging with Cam at gear shows like Outdoor Retailer and even over a long trekking plunge into an underground snowmelt cave river in New Zealand… and the consensus was: we have to do apparel together. Because Alchemy Equipment hangs in every wardrobe and is packed in every carry-on of our senior team.

Campbell Juror

Their gear expertly treads that line between performance and style, that very few brands on the planet can match. And so that would settle it. We’d enter the great unknown with a founder and designer with decades of experience. And we’d blaze a new path together.

Apparel selected… but what would it be? 

We always have to have a reason for anything we select and this was no different. So we looked back into the history books for icons. Pieces that have stood the test of time. Never fading from relevance. Versatile. Timeless. With rich storytelling tethered to it. 

Then it dropped on us all… the MA-1 Bomber Jacket.



A little history and lore on this iconic flight jacket. The MA-1 was a US Military invention and design, first created in the 1950s for fighter jet pilots. However, its roots date all the way back to WWI and WWII. Most notably, the MA-1’s design and evolution comes from the A-2 Jacket from WWII, keeping pilots warm and cozy while in extremely primitive cockpits at high below-freezing altitudes. While the A-2 was made from fur-lined leather, technology soon crept in and replaced it with a B-15 Bomber Jacket, made from a cotton cloth-shell exterior which saved weight, resources, time, and money all while increasing performance. 

Flight jacket

Bomber jacket

And finally, with fighter jets continuing to advance, so did the need for the apparel. Jets could now fly at even higher altitudes, meaning even colder cockpits. Leather and cotton are notorious for getting wet and staying wet, so the A-2 and B-15 Jackets would actually freeze in the cockpits. And these old jackets were large and hard to move around in as the cockpits got smaller and smaller with new technology and equipment onboard. 

Flight jacket

American flight jacket

Another fun fact about these Bomber jackets… they were (and still are) lined with a bright color fabric like high-vis orange. And why’s that? Bright non-earth-tone colors are relatively uncommon for military apparel. Well, the exterior was usually an olive green color, which came in handy in case a pilot was downed behind enemy lines, so they could remain hidden when they didn’t want to be found. But, if they reversed the jacket inside out, they could use it as a signal and be spotted by friendly aircraft above in order to safely be rescued.

So under the United States government military specification “MIL-J-8279”, the MA-1 jacket was designed with a nylon shell that would repel moisture, be warm enough for a subfreezing cockpit at soaring altitudes, but be cool enough to be worn unzipped in warm climates while grounded. These jackets have been in the skies all around the world, from 1953, and have now permeated nearly every corner of modern fashion.

Because it wasn’t just up in the skies that made the MA-1 notoriously famous – it earned its timeless status from its feats down on land. 

Flight jacket

For decades it’s been adorned by Hollywood stars like Steve McQueen, Kevin Costner, Kiefer Sutherland, and Daniel Craig, among dozens more. It formed and subverted subcultures. It has appeared reimagined and reconfigured on high-fashion catwalks. And captured the imaginations of generations. 

MA-1 Bomber Jacket

While this military-garment-turned-fashion-staple story isn’t that uncommon, the MA-1 flight jacket might just be the number one modern example of this phenomenon in history.

An icon worn by heroes in the sky, stars on the screens, and legends on the streets, the MA-1 is here to stay.

Flight jacket




Now… how could we set this icon soaring? 

Materials first, always. Leaning on his apparel experience, we asked Campbell if there were any fabrics that he’s been burning to use? Fabrics that were experimental or too premium to make sense in his core line. Of course, he had some big ideas. Immediately he suggested some fabrics from a favorite Japanese mill called Toray. Out of all the fabrics Cam presented, there was a clear winner we unanimously decided upon. 

AXC Bomber Jacket

An extremely technical fabric that isn’t produced often. Made from recycled post-consumer PET bottles to create a high-tenacity PET yarn with 7% Kevlar spun into the yarns for strength and durability. Yep, the same Kevlar used in bulletproof applications, a little nod to the MA-1’s military roots.

material close up

Adding this much Kevlar significantly enhances tensile strength (Kevlar is 250% stronger than nylons and Polyester) while spinning the yarn gives the material a softer hand feel and appearance similar to a high-quality worsted wool. 

Then the fabric would be rich dark charcoal (almost black) to keep the jacket versatile and understated. Allowing it to dress up or down and fit into any capsule wardrobe. Understated yet high performance.

AXC Bomber Jacket



For the lining, we clearly had to opt for orange, as this is both synonymous with classic flight jackets and, of course, Carryology. However, we couldn’t resist referencing our third Carryology collab, the Alchemy Equipment x Carryology AEL222 Backpack (with its black-on-black jacquard exterior fabric), by weaving an orange jacquard camouflage pattern in the recycled PES lining. (And we’d be lying if we said we didn’t enjoy the juxtaposition of high visibility and camouflage).

AXC Bomber Jacket



Of course, that’s not all. Improving upon the original MA-1’s performance-driven function to keep the pilots both warm and dry, we took the Japanese PET Kevlar face fabric and laminated it with the legendary Dermizax waterproof membrane. As the previous statement suggests, this transforms the fabric from a heavy-duty fabric into a waterproof heavy-duty fabric. And for those who love technical specifications and numbers, the fabric has a 20,000mm waterproof rating, and by combining hydrophobic and hydrophilic molecules in the membrane, there is a strong affinity to transport moisture vapor to the outside (breathability). Moisture Permeability 10,000g/m2 hour by JISL1099 B-1 method.




Now, we always say, a fabric is only as good as its construction. You can use proper waterproof fabric (like we’re using here), but as soon as you cut the fabric into panels of the pattern and join them together via stitching, you’ve created a seam that will allow water to come through. But we weren’t cutting corners here. 

All the major seams on this jacket are fully seam taped – a 22mm wide PU tape is blasted with hot air, melting a durable adhesive backer over all needle holes so that there is no chance for water entry via the seams. And YKK AquaGuard zippers ensure water-tight closures – making this jacket carry superior construction, making it fit for any environment or adventure.

Seam taping



To keep things cozy, the AxC is filled with PrimaLoft Gold and goosedown blend. This premium insulation blend pairs certified RDS (Responsible Down Source) Goosedown with PrimaLoft ultra-fine fibers. This highly packable and lightweight insulation is warm in all conditions, providing the equivalent warmth of 750 fill power down, with the advantage of a hydrophobic finish that sees loft and warmth retained in wet conditions. 

We haven’t gone overboard with the insulation fill here, keeping the suitable temperature range wide for more opportunities to wear this piece. 

While we’ve tested down to 2 degrees Celsius (35 degrees Fahrenheit) watching kids’ rugby, that is getting to the edge of a comfort range – worn with a merino long sleeve t-shirt.




Like any great EDC and travel jacket, pocketing is essential. And so we designed in five options (all YKK AquaGuard): two zipped high-inner chest pockets on both sides for your phone and wallet, two zippered hand pockets patterned to ‘hide’ when not in use and to keep your hands warm when the wind bites, and, of course, the iconic arm zippered pocket. Originally designed for pilots in World War II to carry morphine and first-aid kits and alike, but now perfect for backup notes, bank cards, and smaller slim wallets. 

AXC Bomber Jacket



    • Japanese Kevlar blend outer
    • Dermizax lamination Waterproof 20,000mm (JIS1092B)
    • Moisture Permeability 10,000g/m2 hour by JISL1099 B-1 method
    • PrimaLoft Gold and goosedown blend insulation
    • YKK AquaGuard front zip
    • 2 x YKK AquaGuard zipped internal chest pockets
    • YKK AquaGuard zipped hand pockets
    • Rib-knit cuffs, collar, and waistband
    • Critically seam sealed (Shoulder, Armhole and Yoke)
    • Camouflage jacquard in recycled PES – Carryology orange
    • Laser-etched leather Carryology and Alchemy Equipment branding

AXC Bomber Jacket



To score that perfect tailored fit, below is our sizing guide. Note, Alchemy does things a little differently. Most brands ask you to measure your body, but AE asks you to measure your clothes. So best practice is to measure your favorite best-fitting jacket and compare. 

Make sure you are measuring an OUTERWEAR JACKET.
Not a shirt. Not a shacket.

Measurement guide below is in METRIC, so please measure in Centimeters.

You must completely FLATTEN your outerwear jacket so you can get the maximum measurement possible.

If you need assistance, join the Carryology Classified Facebook group before ordering to ask questions.

(Editor's note: Taylor wears a size XL and he has a 46.5 Inches chest)

AXC Bomber Sizing Guide



The AxC Bomber is available for limited pre-sale right now for $550 NZD (~$330 USD) with free shipping.


The pre-order will run for two weeks until the 31st of August.


Please note, the pre-order is capped. There is a ‘ceiling’ when it comes to producing the AxC and pre-orders will be closed if/when that ceiling is hit. So get in quickly! 

Jackets will be delivered to your door (with free shipping to many different countries around the planet) in February 2024. 



The pre-sale is being hosted on Alchemy Equipment’s Australia/New Zealand website (http://www.alchemy-equipment.com/). 

If you are not located in New Zealand, when you’re asked to redirect or ship to your own country, please CLICK “NO”. 

Otherwise you’ll be redirected to (www3.alchemy-equipment.com) and that’s not where the pre-sale page is.

Also note, the price will show up in New Zealand Dollars (NZD), it will charge you in your country’s equivalent currency based upon real-time currency exchange rates, which is approximately $330 USD.

Good = www.alchemy-equipment.com
Bad = www3.alchemy-equipment.com

If you have any trouble, please email info@alchemy-equipment.com and the team at Alchemy Equipment will sort it for you, no problem. 







(Note, our shipping provider does have restrictions in place for a number of countries. If your country is on this list, please contact info@alchemy-equipment.com and they’ll find a solution for you)

No returns policy on pre-sale (excluding manufacturing defects)

AXC Bomber Jacket


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