Which is Better? The Freewheelers Conductor Jacket or the Sugar Cane Railroad Coat

Workwear has a rich history, with different professions often developing unique types of clothing suited to their specific tasks.

Renowned for their premium reproductions of American workwear and denim, these brands both provide a comparable jacket model: the conductor jacket by Freewheelers and the railroad coat by Sugar Cane.

We will compare the Freewheelers Conductor Jacket and the Sugar Cane Railroad Coat in terms of their design, materials, and fit.


Both brands replicate quite a few details from the vintage overalls, sort of like a tribute to the classics.

Union Special Overalls, a sub-brand of Freewheelers, is a faithful reproduction of an original jacket from the 1920s.

The chest pocket is designed to hold a pocket watch and pen, which pays homage to quality vintage workwear.

Special union label inside left pocket for stying authenticity.

There is an inner pocket on the right and its stitching is quite visible on the front due to the lack of lining.

The two eyelets allow you to change the size of the cuff opening, but the metal springs may snag the shirt you’re wearing inside.

The reproduction conductor jacket has 4 detachable engraved “Union Special” brass buttons on the front.

It is a contemporary take on the classic conductor jacket design.

The right breast pocket is designed for train tickets, while the left is for pocket watches, complemented by two large pockets on the lower sides.

A chin strap collar ensures the collar stays in place during inclement weather.

Brass buttons adorned with locomotive motifs exhibit oxidation, symbolizing the essence of railroad workwear.

Each cuff is equipped with 2 button holes and 3 Sugar Cane logo buttons, allowing for size customization.

A center vent at the back prevents the hem from feeling cumbersome, and selvedge specification is featured on the fabric edges.

Triple-stitched seams and meticulous detailing highlight the main section, reflecting skilled craftsmanship.

Freewheelers: Ideal for aficionados of true vintage style, this jacket caters to those who seek an authentic reproduction filled with original details from the past.

Sugar Cane: Blending the timeless allure of the classic conductor jacket with contemporary touches, this option is designed for those who admire tradition but crave modern comfort and enhancements.


Both jackets utilize 100% cotton material, ensuring comfort and simple maintenance. However, the specific characteristics of the fabric in each jacket differ, catering to various tastes and preferences.

11oz cotton twill dyed black indigo gives a beautiful vintage look after multiple wears.

The fabric is also very durable and resistant to abrasion and wind.

Black Wabash Stripe is applied to the back of the collar, pockets and cuff edges to create a delicate two-tone look.

It is crafted from 10oz pure cotton convert fabric, providing a strong and durable material.

The fabric’s unique marble texture, created by woven twisted yarns, imparts a classic feel.

With breathability and flexibility, the fabric ensures added movement and comfort.

Certain areas of the coat exhibit an uneven aging effect, resulting in a brownish surface coloration.

Freewheelers: This brand offers a jacket that seamlessly blends a captivating two-tone design with robust longevity. Ideal for enthusiasts of timeless vintage aesthetics, it stands as a go-to choice for those seeking a wardrobe staple that will endure through the years.

Sugar Cane: Crafted from a fabric that’s both durable and breathable, this jacket is tailored to attract those who appreciate a harmonious blend of classical elegance and contemporary style. The unique aged appearance of the garment infuses it with character, setting it apart as a distinctive fashion statement.


Both jackets are designed to fit true to size, but they have different cuts and measurements that may suit different body types and styles.

It is designed with a thin and custom-fitted fit that hugs the body closely, highlighting its narrow shoulders, thin sleeves, and tapered waist.

This tailoring is complemented by stylish details, such as a curved hem and a slightly longer back, adding to the coat’s flattering shape.

Ideal for those who lean toward a fitted and refined look, this coat is also versatile enough to be layered beneath a heavier coat, catering to various style preferences and needs.

It features a relaxed and boxy fit, providing a loose drape over the body.

With wide shoulders, roomy sleeves, and a straight waist, the design prioritizes comfort.

This jacket is well-suited for those seeking a laid-back look or intending to layer it over other clothing pieces.

Freewheelers offers an option for those who gravitate towards a refined and tailored appearance, with a focus on chic details and adaptable fitting. In contrast, Sugar Cane caters to those who prioritize comfort, delivering a relaxed and loose fit that aligns with an easygoing and unrestricted style. Both brands present unique strengths, allowing consumers to select the one that resonates with their individual preferences and needs.


Both jackets are excellent choices for anyone who loves vintage-inspired workwear and denim. They are both well-made, stylish, and versatile. Freewheelers conductor coat is excellent in detail, but the Sugar Cane coat can be worn as windbreaker with a hoodie underneath. From a cost-effective and practical point of view, I would recommend the Sugar Cane covert railroad coat.

You can find other related posts:

[Filson Tin Cloth Cruiser vs Sugar Cane Hunting Jacket: Which One Wins?]


What is Conductor Jacket or Railroad Coat?

The conductor jacket, also known as a railroad coat, harkens back to the early 20th century as a staple garment for railroad workers. Typically constructed with a button-front closure, it includes features like a versatile collar that can be styled up or down, a chest pocket for essentials, two waist pockets for added utility, and adjustable cuffs for a customized fit. Often crafted from heavy cotton or wool fabric, this jacket is designed to endure harsh weather conditions, embodying a blend of function and classic style.


Stan is an adventure enthusiast with a love for the outdoors and American heritage brands like Red Wing and Filson. With a background in environmental science, Stan combines his outdoor experiences with a commitment to sustainability. His reviews go beyond functionality, exploring the brand ethos and craftsmanship. Stan inspires readers to choose gear that's durable, environmentally responsible, and true to American craftsmanship, making his advice indispensable for outdoor aficionados.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *