Protection of the warrior in the battle was achieved by combining different items of armour. Each of them performed its own function as well as complementing the others. Some armour protected the wearer from direct penetration of the enemy's weapons. Others served to absorb the impact or for additional reinforcement. Padded armour was worn either by itself or as a foundation for other forms of armour to be worn over. It is the starting point to build a complete suit of armour on.
We are New Zealand's leading Padded Armour specialists. While there are many types of padded armours available on the market, most are not suitable for combative activities because they have not been styled correctly around the shoulder so movement is restricted. As a jouster I need maximum mobility to control both horse and lance. Gambesons or similar padded garments form the first layer of defence in a suit of armour (or harness). If it does not provide maximum freedom of movement then the entire harness becomes unworkable and dangerous.
Because of this I have carefully selected a small range of gambesons (essentially padded jackets) which are not only historically accurate but provide great freedom of movement for the arms and shoulders. I have also carefully chosen a small range of supporting padded separate limb and head garments. As a side note it is interesting to see how the design and styles of these gambesons followed the changes in men's civilian clothing over time.
Our Gambesons are also suitable for martial arts practitioners who want a sturdy but functional padded garment for drilling and light sparring with wooden weapons such as bokken, jo and bo. We also have a martial arts gambeson which is quite generic that we recommend as a 'sports gambeson' for this activity.
Gambesons were the first Lord of Battles items that we started to sell in quantity in New Zealand back in 2012. Since then we have sold over 100 to martial artists, medieval re-enactors, jousters, IMCF/HMB fighters and LARPer's and have had none returned. They do require a bit of maintenance from wear and tear like re-sewing on buttons and reinforcing button holes but I have used my 2 gambesons almost weekly since 2012 and these are the only repairs that I have had to make.
No surviving references to Dark Age or Viking padded armour survives but it is known that gambesons formed the basis of most warrior's kit. This gambeson copies the civilian fashion of the time and is therefore our best interpretation of what it might have looked like.
This gambeson is based directly on period illustrations (for example the "Masciejowski Bible") and is a highly functional piece of kit. Suitable for any portrayal from the early 12th century though to the ealry 14th century. It may have been used even earlier but surviving evidence for this period is rare.
This gambeson is based directly on period illustrations and a few similar surviving examples. It has special tailoring in the shoulder area to allow great freedom of movement. Suitable for any portrayal from the early 14th to early 15th centuries and available in black, off-white or split colours. Listed price is for black, off-white or red and black split colour only. This is our best selling gambeson.
By the late 14th century our standard 14th century gambeson had changed slightly into this more stylish version with more tailored lines through the waist and dagged edges. It still retains the great shoulder mobility of our best selling 14th century gambeson.
This gambeson really captures the feel of the 15th century which saw the pinnacle of the development of full plate armour for battlefield use. This garment can be worn as 'stand alone' or under items of plate armour. Available in black and off-white (natural state).
15th Century Arming Doublet for Western Martial Arts or as a foundation garment for a 15th century harness. It is also great for HEMA or any sword based partial art. It provides excellent protection to the torso and arms while its clever tailoring provides the greatest freedom of movement of all of the padded body armours in our range.
Available in all sizes in black or off-white (natural undyed state). This is a very sturdy and functional piece of kit. Although it was superceded by our more historically accurate 11th - 13th Century gambeson, it has proved popular with martial artists for weapons sparring.
This item combines the padded collar and arming cap into a single garment. It is slightly more bulkier then either but combines both into a single garment. We use this type of item as a core part of our Jousting equipment and is our best selling padded garment.