Review: The Twin-Track waxed jacket from Private White VC

I’ll start off right here with a confession, though to the initiated it will be more like stating the obvious: I do like a nice waxed jacket.

For those of a similar persuasion, the attraction is obvious. There’s the historical aspect, cotton fabric has been treated to make it waterproof for a long time now. While we may hear tell of fishermen in New Zealand inventing what may be looked upon as modern waterproofed cotton, the Vikings were treating their sales in a very similar manner hundreds of years earlier. The proofing concoction has changed over time, as has the desired effect, but at the end of the day waxed cotton as a concept is comfortably olde worlde, and we like it for that reason.

In addition, its time has arrived again, in these times of focus on sustainability, the fact that you can reproof your waxed cotton and repair any damage means it’s not just a jacket to be used and discarded, it can be a jacket for life, or several if you really take care of it. Not something that can be said for synthetic fabrics that may start life with super technical properties, but in reality are degrading towards trash from the moment you slip them out of their plastic wrapping. Not to mention the shedding of microplastics.

If you’re interested in the Twin-Track, you may also like to read my review of the Submariner Parka.

The Twin Track is at home lurking in the woods as in more urban settings.

That’s not to say the waxed cotton doesn’t change over time. As the fabric is rubbed and creased patterns or wear are created, creating an antiqued look that many find appealing. In fact, as I see it there are two camps of waxed jacket enthusiasts, those that like their jacket with a box fresh look and those that like it looking comfortably worn in. This can also be controlled through the rewaxing process, as much of the newness is restored once you’ve applied the contents of a pot of warm wax to the fabric.

When it comes down to style, there are two basic models of waxed jackets: The outdoor coat and the motorcycle jacket. The first is exemplified by the loose-fitting coat that fits nicely over a wool sweater, allows plenty of freedom of movement and is basically all things to all men. The second is the biker style, based on the 1950s motorcycle racing outfits with a tighter fit, a belt to snug it up and pockets with waterproof flaps. A classic example of the first would be the now long out-of-production, farmer’s favourite, the Barbour Border, while the second is iconified by the Belstaff Trialmaster (or is it Trailmaster? Both make equal sense) with the skewed left pocket.

The Private White VC “Twin-Track” waxed jacket:

This handily brings us to today’s article for review: The Twin-Track from Private White VC in Manchester.

Let’s start with the overview, where does the Twin-Track fit into the waxed jacket style-wise? It’s a mix of the two main styles really. It’s got the traditional green outer and corduroy collar of the country coat, with the pockets and belts of the motorcycle style. Which is a legitimate way to go. There have been others that have added the belt before and made it work, the old Barbour Solway Zipper comes to mind, but it’s not a very common look. The four bulky pockets are a nice addition. It’s not really adding anything new to the mix though, not anything that’s not been seen before.

This is where the twin tracks come into it. I’ll admit, when I first saw it I had no idea what the thinking was there. That there were two zips on the front instead of one was obvious, but why you would want that was not glaringly obvious. Once I understood it though, it is a clever idea. The section between the zips is 4cm wide, about an inch and a half if you like and by adding or removing it you can increase or decrease the chest size of the jacket by almost a size. Hence if it’s cold and you’d like a thin sweater underneath, add the section, if you’re wearing less or would like a slimmer fit, remove it. Whether you actually actively use the removable section is up to you, but at the very least it makes for a talking point and unusual styling detail.

The outer is a 6oz waxed cotton from Halley-Stevenson in Dundee. This is a quality fabric of the classic waxed type, laden with wax to such a degree that handling the jacket leaves your hands feeling quite waxy. This bodes well for the waterproofness and also means it can be rewaxed in the traditional way when necessary. The zips are high-quality Ri-Ri Swiss metal zips which are both made to last and provide a smooth operation. The smoothness is down to Ri-Ri zips being hand polished and finished. Also, an extra point for the zips being two-way, so you can unzip from the bottom as well for added comfort. Apart from this the press studs and belt hardware are all metal and should last well.

The lower outside pockets are of the type where the pocket folds over itself to ensure water can’t enter. These are also lined half in wool, and half in something else soft. These pockets also function as hand warmers, with the outer side being lined with corduroy for comfort. The upper pockets have regular flaps, also lined half in wool, but the other half is waxed cotton out, so be careful what you use them for. The cuffs are lined with the same corduroy as the collar on the inside and have a stud fastening to tighten them

A thoughtful touch is that the back of the jacket has action shoulders which provide some extra movement and space. The belt is thoughtfully fastened on one side with a press stud on a loop, to make it less prone to being lost (the number of belted jackets for sale missing their belts hints at this being something of a problem for belted jackets in general).

On the inside, the lining is 100% wool flannel. This should be beneficial for both warmth and avoiding the smell of the more usual cotton lining. The two inside pockets are also wool lined and closed with press studs for security. This is also where you find the throat tab fasted with two press studs when not required. The arms are lined in viscose, which is a low friction lining ensuring the arms slide easily on.

Construction throughout appears excellent, with bar tacks on the typical stress points like the pocket entries. After a very close examination of all the seams, I did find one that wasn’t 100% perfect, but as it’s hidden on the inside of the placket behind the zip and has no bearing on the utility of the jacket, I see it more as a testament to the fact that this is a jacket made by humans more than an actual flaw.

A nice touch is that the only visible branding on the jacket is the very subtle text on the press studs on the throat tab and on the zippers.

In summary:

There’s no doubt this is a serious piece of kit, superbly made and built to last. If you size it to fit with the centre section removed, it’ll also give more leeway if your size changes over time. With some care and the occasional pot of wax, there is no reason for a jacket of this quality not to last decades and given that the style is untethered from fashion and trends, the cost per wear will over time be nominal.

In comparison, the most well-known brand of waxed jackets would typically retail at around half of this jacket, with the main differences being the level of detail, the materials used and where it’s made, in addition to the unique styling details of the Twin Track. It’s no secret that producing jackets in bulk from cheaper materials in low-cost countries has an impact on pricing. If you value known quality components and transparent production, Private White VC ticks the boxes. Making the jacket from start to finish in their factory in Manchester, where they also welcome visitors, provides an insight into production that is unusual.

Could it be improved? Yes, for one, the throat tab will need looking after, as it is only held on with two studs, whether it is being used or attached to the lining for storage. It would have been safer if securely attached and folded back under the collar so it was ready to use when needed. I’d also like to see the belt retainer on both sides, just for peace of mind. It’s a shame when a  belted jacket is missing its belt even if it’s just left hanging on the back (incidentally the coolest way to style it). Additionally, the front top pockets and handwarmer pockets are only lined on one side, with the other side being waxed cotton. This will no doubt fix itself over time as the wax wears off, but until that happens you risk getting wax on your hands and whatever you keep in those pockets. Personally, I’d like to see the twin zips a little more visible, a dark brass or copper colour would be great, with matching press studs, but that’s really just garnishing.

A personal observation about belted jackets: Much like how trench coats look the best when worn oversize on a skinny girl, belted coats, in general, must be worn large. Wearing one closed that is barely large enough and then doing up the belt is not a great look, though a slightly larger size would likely look much better. This makes it harder for those of us with a sturdy body shape and means many of our jackets have overly long arms. Luckily, in this case, I was pleased to find that Private White has an alterations service that could take two inches off the length of the arms.

If you want to hear more about Private White VC, listen to episode 92 of Garmology podcast featuring their founder James Eden. You can also read my review of the Submariner parka by Private White VC.

You can read more about the Twin Track jacket and Private White VC here. If you use the code “NICK10” there may also be a 10% discount. (Private White VC discount code).



  • klas forsblom 05/07/2022 at 20:14

    Very nice review. Could you please tell me a bit about how you sized? From my limited experience PW runs big in sizes. I have their Peacoat in s 5 which to me runs more like a Xl than a L. which is what I normally take in jackets. Still you recommend to size up?

    • nick 05/07/2022 at 21:44

      Hi Klas, thanks for the compliment! Mine is a size 6/XL, which according to the size chart is 54 EU-size. This tallies well with my 42/44 chest, and the idea that removing the extra zip will take half a size off (the difference between L and XL is 5cm, the extra zip is roughly 4, but the zip only removes the size on the front, hence half a size all told). I usually want to see a P2P (armpit to armpit measurement of at least 25″ now, for a more fitted fit) and the 6/XL comes in at 26.5″ P2P with the extra panel, about 26″ with the panel removed (compensating for no removal at rear). At the end of the day, it’s really a case of how you want a jacket to fit, close to the body or with room to move. I’m very much in the latter camp! There are many measurements on the website, though, so it’s a case of bringing out the tape measure and taking a scientific look at the matter!

  • Bryan Lambert 25/08/2022 at 11:59

    The Motorcycle jacket was the Trialmaster, referring to motorcycle trials, which in those days were a winter sport. Virtually every competitor wore a waxed cotton oversuit of that sort. “Trail riding” was then known as “green lane riding”


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