Tailoring firm Alexander James has designed a hunting coat that can conceal a Point Two Hunter air jacket.

“It came to our attention that riders couldn’t fit air jackets underneath their hunting or competition jackets,” said Alan Little, who founded Alexander James 35 years ago.

“We have been working closely with both Point Two and our clients as we understand how popular air jackets have become.”

The hunting coats are all bespoke, so can be made in different hunt colours — and can expand if an air jacket worn underneath inflates.

“We’ve inserted a side panel made from stretch fabric underneath the arm and in the sleeve,” said Alan. “From the front and back it looks like a traditional hunting coat, although it is made in a slightly lighter weight cloth.”

Duke of Beaufort’s subscriber George Kershaw has had a stretch fabric panel inserted under the arm of a blue and buff coat for this season, having purchased a Point Two Hunter last year.

“I suffered very serious internal injuries after a bad fall in 2011,” said George, who hunts regularly.

“I believe it would have been less significant had I been wearing an air jacket.”

George’s hunter was unfazed when his air jacket went off last season.

“The noise was less than the crack of a twig — and certainly less than the crack of a hunting whip.”

“Hunting is our fastest growing market,” added Lee Middleton, managing director of Point Two. The firm has a special model of the air vest designed for hunt followers, with a flusher fit to the body, and no logo.

“Hunting folk tend to be quite conservative and new ideas catch on slowly, but my guess is that in 5 years time these will be as common as straps on hats, especially now they can be worn underneath your hunting coat,” concluded George.

Prices start from £605. For more information visit www.alexander-james.co.uk

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (24 October, 2013)