I am 100% positive that it is indeed a different coat. The one they sell on their website also retails in department stores such as Macy's, Lord & Taylor etc so drop by any one of those places to check it out. The only difference between the outlet coat and the retail coat, besides the vent, seems to be that one is made in Italy while the other is made somewhere in the third world. Alas, even the web site doesn't sell a size small for the Italian coat.
They evidently do the same thing on the linen jackets. Two local stores have them. One has a jacket in a heavier weight linen, constructed as I want with the 1/4 or so lining. With patch pockets and functional sleeve buttons. Only in Very dark blue or dazzeling white. Made in Macau and priced at $225 - on sale for $180. nothing in Small, or so they tell me. The other has the Italian sourced one. Inset pockets, Italian lighter weight linen, but in the desirable cream color. Same lining style with functional sleeve buttons. Price is $595. Nothing in Small, or so they tell me. Both are three button, single vent. Neither has trousers to match - that I could find. What a miss by RLP. And, who can keep up with what the company is really producing and selling? I bought both, took them to the tailor to look at. I'm working on getting the Irish linen to have the suit made.