One of the most frequently asked questions we get is how military surplus sizing compares to US commercial sizes. For years we have looked for a comprehensive size chart and have never found one that was complete or fully accurate. We now present you with our complete guide to military surplus sizing.
The British military is one of the largest sources of genuine military surplus from their Ministry of Defense stockpiles. With the British military operating globally in virtually all climates the surplus that comes from the Ministry of Defense varies in condition, type, and end use. Some of the items that you will want to get are the British windproof smocks which have long been associated with the Special Air Service. Before you purchase your British military surplus jacket you want to learn more about how it is sized to ensure you get one that fits you well.
British Army Jackets
The sizing of British Army jackets is very easy to follow once you are familiar with how the system works. You will see two numbers for sizing which represent the chest and height of the wearer in centimeters. Where this can become confusing however is some British Army jackets are designed to be worn over a full combat load yet the sizing is still based on the chest and height. What this results in is certain jackets will feel oversized if you use just the British military sizing and not the added US sizing that we provide on the website. To give you an example, the British Windproof Smocks are all designed to be worn overtop of a full combat load. This requires the jacket to be constructed oversized to allow the jacket to be issued to a soldier based on the chest size and height yet still fit properly when wearing a complete combat load. We have solved this issue by providing the "true" US sizing along with the British military sizing on a per-product basis. This allows you to purchase your British army jacket with the complete confidence in it fitting you properly.
Lets get into how sizing works now. Taking a typical British Army jacket size of 170/104 you want to convert the first number from centimeters to feet and inches. You can do this using Google which will show you that 170cm is 5-feet 5-inches. This would indicate that this jacket is ideal for someone who is at least 5'5" tall. The second number is for the chest size which converts into 41-inches which on most jackets would make this a size large. On the British Army jackets which are made to be worn over combat gear it would fit like a US Extra Large due to the design. So on our product pages we list British Army jackets of this design with a chest measurement of 104 to be an extra large jacket as it will fit like an extra large jacket would if you purchased one commercially. Now if you planned on wearing the jacket to play airsoft where you would have a combat load, you would of course want to buy the proper sized jacket for this use, which is why we also list the original British army sizing.
When you are deciding on the proper size jacket for you, follow this easy step by step guide: