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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I don't know if anyone has posted about this yet, but IMO if you are gonna spend time in the bush for work or play, you can't beat Filson Clothing for quality and durability. I can't tell you how many North Face, Mountain Hardware, Arc'teryx, etc... pieces of gear I'v had and worn out in a couple trips. I'm a big fan of natural fibers..... waxed canvas, merino wool, moleskin, etc. Filson makes gear so tough that you will be able to hand it down to your grandkids and it will work just as well as the day you got it. They started out outfitting the men going north for the gold rush in the Yukon and Alaska, and they sill produce some of the exact same garments today.

IMO you just can't get any better gear. In my experience, no synthetic fiber in the world even comes close to wool. Their stuff is so tough, it has saved many a hunter from bad injury due to a careless shot of bird load from a hunting partner.

It is expensive, but you get what you pay for . You can find lots of great deals on ebay. It doesn't matter if the stuff is used and fifty years old. It is bombproof. Their Tin Cloth is awesome. And they will replace or repair any flaw in workmanship.
 

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I do love the Filson pieces I have, but IMO lack of breathability is their biggest downside. My sheltercloth foul weather jacket is my favorite, but any work whatsoever and I'm sweating like a pig underneath, even if it's single digits outside.

I'll swear by their leather goods and luggage though. Buy once and buy for a lifetime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wear layer systems and you can always find the right setup to stay warm but prevent overheating. I have a large collection of filson gear, but my favorite is my original Tin Cruiser, my Tin chaps, and anything they make that is wool. I've never found any synthetic that even comes close to competing with their wool garments.

Obviously it isn't light and packable, but IMO it is the best mass produced clothing you can buy.
 

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I have their jackets, hats and am carrying their wallet now. Great stuff, really expensive though, especially the leather. $700 for a bridal leather briefcase?!

Their shelter cloth hats are great, you also sweat like a pig in them as they don't breathe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, that briefcase is pretty expensive, but really not too bad when compared to the quality of comparably priced briefcases. The only stuff I have that doesn't breathe so great is the waxed stuff.

And yes, their luggage is bombproof. I've beat the crap out of my medium field bad and duffels and they are good as new.

I am also positive that filson saved my life. If I weren't wearing all the filson gear I had on when I got shot, I'm sure I wouldn't be writing this today.

As for price.... as with anything, you get what you pay for. There is nothing wrong with a high initial price if it lasts the rest of your life and saves money in the long run. It isn't for everyone, but when I lived on the ranch in MT, I met a lot of hard core ranch hands that wouldn't wear anything else.
 

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I've had a North Face mountain Park and Denali Jacket since 1988 and are still in use today. The lifetime warranty is one of the reasons I buy TNF. That and synthetics don't hold odors like natural fibers. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking Filson, I just think you didn't give TNF it's due.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm not knocking TNF gear by any means. I have plenty of their gear/clothing and plenty of other very good synthetic technical wear. There are applications where I'll take my light, synthetic gear over my filson any day. But none of those items are as durable, and IMO nothing beats Filsons wool for warmth and breathability. Only their waxed canvas doesn't breath. Filson will back up their against flaws in workmanship and normal wear for life as well.

I was crossing a fallen cedar to get to a hotspring along the Lochsa river in Idaho. I was about ten feet up when my friend started to cross too. He caused the trunk to start to bounce and I slipped right off. Fell down and impaled my leg on a branch. Obviously it tore a big hole in my Mackinaw Wool bibs. I called filson to ask about having them repaired and they sent me a new pair. I can't promise that kind of customer service... but a company usually doesn't stay around for over a hundred years and offer the exact same products if they aren't top notch in all regards.

As to holding a stink. My gear really doesn't smell with the exception of one Tin cloth hat that makes my head sweat if it is too warm out. Also, suggesting synthetics don't hold a stench is way off. I've been on trips using polypro undies that got so ripe I thought I'd gag when I whipped it out to piss. Get a dribble or two on em and you are in for stink heaven. Same goes for polypro shirts and underarm sweat. Some have antistink such and such, but they will smell too.

I don't know what ACU or BCUs are.... I'm guessing some kind of military issue gear? If that is the case, it seriously doubt it is the best gear money can buy. I wouldn't think it possible for the army to afford the best gear available. Maybe I'm wrong about that.

So, I'm not bashing the North Face or any other of their competitors.... There are situations where I wouldn't dream of wearing my filson. But for nontechnical applications, Filson is hands down the best gear I have ever owned. I have a lot of logger, rancher, and fire fighter friends in the North West that will tell you the same thing.

Just read through some of their many pages of customer testimonials:
Filson - About Us
 

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Filson rocks. The luggage is incredible and we have several pieces that have held up to pretty much all abuse that we have thrown its way. It takes a while for the leather to soften up and break in, but once it does, you can keep it for life as long as you take care of it. I have one of their laptop bags and use it every day without fear of getting it dirty or damaged like I would with more "designer" bags. I keep their Foul Weather rain coat in the FJ at all times, along with several other items for those "just in case" moments.

:)

At one point, my wife was calling me "Filson" because I was buying so much of their gear and clothes.
 

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I keep their Foul Weather rain coat in the FJ at all times, along with several other items for those "just in case" moments.

:)

At one point, my wife was calling me "Filson" because I was buying so much of their gear and clothes.
I too keep the foul weather coat in my FJ as part of my "just in case" gear. It's great for working on the side of a trail in the nasty weather. :rocker:


If you're really a Filson nut, make sure you stop by their store if you're ever in Seattle. It's outdoor wear paradise.
 

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Great to know about Filson. I have not heard of them before. I have been a huge advocate of TNF for over 15 years. I still have some of the original pieces that I bought when I first started climbing and they still look brand new. But I will surely check them out. Always looking for new gear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
They don't really make much technical gear. Just very solid outdoor oriented clothing. More hunting, logging, work gear. Lots of people haven't heard of them before, but Filson is almost legendary with hunting guides, fishermen, general outdoors men, and people who make a living in the woods.
 

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I to every much like all their products which I've worn for twenty years or more. Down hear in Florida we sweat almost daily,and their jackets don't breath well. Love their Classic Packer hats to keep the rain off though. Check out long-grass products. I'm off to South Africa in lease then a mouth. I will take both products over their. It will be the dead of Winter. June/July.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
In my experience with their gear it is only the tin cloth and shelter cloth that doesn't breath well. Particularly the waxed tin and shelter cloth. Their wool jackets breath beautifully... better than any gortex garment I've ever owned. Filson made me a true believer in hight quality wool. Their wool is amazing stuff. Keeps me warm and dry when it is cold and wet, and keeps me sweat free when it is a bit warmer or I'm working hard.
 

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filson's is about as breathable as wrapping yourself in garbage bags. the moment you're out there doing adverse weather activities, you begin to realize the less durable synthetic crap is what breathes, wicks water off of you, and keeps you cool and warm at the same time.

a pair of steel-toed construction boots will outlast ANY breathable mountain biking clipless shoes, for example.

do you want to go on a 40 mile ride through the pacific northwest in them, no.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Are you implying that everything they make doesn't breath? If you are, you are incorrect.

I have many, many Filson products (luggage, sweaters, waders, boots, belts and wallet, shooting gear) from their heaviest to their lightest fabrics and as I said in the last post, the only thing that doesn't breath well is the shelter and Tin cloth. It is, however, bombproof, so you have to make a trade off somewhere.

I'm just speaking from my experience, and I spend a great deal of time in the woods. Their wool sweaters and shirts are the most versatile and dependable garments I own.

Will I wear them on a 40 mile bike ride? Of course not. Synthetics have their place in the outdoor world, no doubt. I've worked in outdoor retail sales before, and I own many north face, patagonia, mountain hardware, moonstone, Arc'Teryx, Marmot garments. They are great.... in certain situations I wouldn't trade em for the world. For other activities though, I'll take my Filson gear hands down.

It wasn't my intention to start a debate about the merits of synthetics vs natural fibers. I know that many people don't know about Filson, and I know that they make an exceptionally fine line of products. We all have FJs, so we all like quality. I just wanted to let people know about this IMO awesome company.

If you don't think their clothing will work for your application, no biggie. They still make some of the best leather and luggage products I've ever seen. It is expensive, but I've never had a single product that I've bought from them let me down, and I've used all of it heavily for years.

You can often find good deals on Filson gear on E-bay. It doesn't matter that it is used. It will last a very long time.
 

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My dad has been a Filson nut for years now, but it looks like this good thing is about to come to an end. As of last year I believe none of their gear is made in the USA and it looks like the original owners are gone. It looks like another great company is on the way downhill.:mecry:
 
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