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Filson Bag Thread: With Pictures - Page 356

post #5326 of 6129
Originally Posted by ertu View Post

Looks like the small duffle bag back then doesn't have the storm flap. The current ones do. I wonder why did they change it.

Well spotted, i didn't even notice it. I do prefer it with the flap for sure.
I found these pages of catalogues when i was trying to put a date on when the different "classic" filson bags came to life (duffle, field bag, original briefcase, etc). I can't seem to find anything older than these pages which make me think that they probably appeared when Stan Kohls took over in the early 80s and designed hundreds of new products.
If anyone has other info i'd love to hear more about it.
post #5327 of 6129
Originally Posted by ertu View Post

There was a mention of a different brand because some members felt Filson was not living up to their standards. I think when it comes to aesthetics, the Filson bags look much better than the look-a-like bag shown above. After all this is StyleForum and we care about looks above all else. Plus Filson quality is still very good even if there newer stuff has a slight quality drop compared to the previous years (which might not even be true, I was looking at their bags in stores this weekend and I still like the quality of the goods).

I think to make luggage that is this iconic yet simple is a great achievement for a company. While other companies make leather and canvas bags like JW Hulme, Duluth Pack, Orvis or Frost River to name just a few, they haven't achieved the same level of adoration by the market (look at resale on EBay as evidence). Either too rustic or anachronistic looking like it fell of a Stage Coach. In comparison, Filson definitely looks pretty timeless though they popularity has soared to the point of being a cliche in some urban circles. But popularity doesn't negate the great design. Though ever rising prices and (perceived) lowering quality might eventually shift market perception.
post #5328 of 6129
post #5329 of 6129

That being said here is my Filson collection.


I am considering picking up some more bags in the future too.



post #5330 of 6129

Just got a couple of duffles (small in otter green and medium in navy) in that I ordered over Thanksgiving weekend, and I'll honestly say I was expecting more. The green is nice, the navy is much darker than what was in the pics. Not sure if they're worth the price, even though I got 25% off. Gonna have to sleep on it, but I have a feeling they'll be going back and I'll be going with VP even if it is more.

post #5331 of 6129

I say keep it, here is how a new one will eventually turn out:


post #5332 of 6129
Originally Posted by ertu View Post

I say keep it, here is how a new one will eventually turn out:



I like your tan better than the navy!

post #5333 of 6129
Beautiful bag, but good luck with the current ones ending up like that. The older bags are so much better. From the leather to hardware, the downgrades that have been made are significant. That is why the old bags with old tags are worth so much. Looking at that nice leather strap almost makes me cry.

In case anyone doesn't know what VP is:

Fwiw, he does custom colors.
post #5334 of 6129

Thinking maybe I should keep the medium duffle from Filson since it's too big for carry-on, and the return the small and get the weekend from VP?

post #5335 of 6129
When it comes to canvas bags, it is hard to beat Filson.

Edited by ertu - 12/17/15 at 9:04am
post #5336 of 6129

You're not defensive at all.  Blind to the constant lowering of quality of Filson, yes.  I'll refrain from posting any more VP, I was doing it as a request from other members.  If anything I do like the original Filson bags the most.  Part of the reason I like VP, is it isn't owned by a bunch of Private Equity owners who are looking to maximize the company's value while aggressively growing the company.  Filson is soon to be Eddie Bauer-ish.   To be oblivious to the cheapened leather, the cheap chinese nickel-plated hardware, the rush to push out more products, seems at odds with a man of substance and style.  Where is the style when the leather looks bogus, the fake brass looks too shiny, and you are backing a company now owned by someone who used to hawk knock-off chinese watches, that is purposefully taking advantage of the goodwill and reputation priorly earned by Filson to grow the brand as fast as possible.


It's a little funny to me too, as some weere even shocked at how much the bag is a downright copycat of Filson, while you are able to say it doesn't look good.


"Filson is superior."  BASED ON WHAT?  Subjective aesthetics?  More ubiquity?  Brand loyalty?  Function?  


Here are some mostly vintage good-looking Filson bags.

Edited by gmanoftheroad - 12/8/15 at 1:19pm
post #5337 of 6129
I would be interested to hear more how VP is inferior. They seem to upgrade two areas from Filson: the quality of the recent leather and I believe using solid brass. But otherwise very similar though the Filson bags look a bit better - maybe due to better product photography.

Otherwise, I have both old and new Filson and most people outside of bagaholics/Filsonistas aren't going to notice any difference other than the effects of usage and time. The old bags seem to have plated brass too.

I agree there is an impact with Filson marketing to a new audience. Which would largely include the SF cohort in all fairness and most anyone who has ever posted on this thread. The catalog is definitely selling a lifestyle and image to a affluent urban or suburban audience that borders almost on parody. The pricing is so high now that alone suggests it is not selling primarily anymore to its original target audience. This doesn't mean automatically that the product has descended to the level of those cheap J Crew homages. Or that real fishermen and hunters don't use Filson anymore. i am more curious what happens to Filson's marketing once all the heritage/Americana phenomenon fades.
Edited by Soletrane - 12/8/15 at 4:59pm
post #5338 of 6129
Originally Posted by Soletrane View Post

Thank you for the link. Surprised to see there were 3 different types of leather satchel including one called the "Rood Satchel".

What timing! There's a Rood Satchel for sale on the big Internet site right now. BIN for less than $500. Cool looking bag...
post #5339 of 6129
Originally Posted by gmanoftheroad View Post

Thanks for the pictures! Stitching and finishing looks great on photos although I can't tell for sure unless I feel one up in person biggrin.gif
Congrats on bagging a nice bag smile.gif

Originally Posted by ertu View Post

I took a look at your link. I say he has poor design skills and had to overcompensate with "quality". Brands like that really don't deserve any recognition or attention at all.

I sometimes see bags from companies like that, even some right now from a few affiliate vendors on this menswear forum. They think they are good but they are not and they don't know any better. I don't want to call them out because this is not the forum for that, but I will say they will be above-average at their very best, but never better than that.

I don't know why you are hyping up VP because they are not as good as you think they are. I don't want to look like I am going out of my way to defend Filson because I don't care if people say things about Filson bags, good or bad, but I cannot accept someone promoting inferiority over superiority. Filson is superior. I would say that even if I hated Filson bags and didn't have any.

I am only writing this post to make things clear: Those VP bags are ugly, and no amount of "higher quality" will overcompensate for that.

Filson bags are high quality (yes, even the current ones today, and bonus points if you have a "vintage" one that is even higher quality, but I don't have one so I don't know and it doesn't matter to me because I am not going to buy a used one) and well designed.

VP bags slightly higher quality (I have nothing to back this up, but I will take your word for it for arguments sake) and poorly designed.

I'm not sure how you define quality but I don't think you made a fair assessment above in regards to Filson bags now. The material quality (i.e. stitching, leather, workmanship) is just not there anymore so how do you qualify Filson bags are still of high quality? If you're comparing Filson to Jack Spade then perhaps you are right but that's a really low bar to clear. Were Filson bags of high quality in the past? Yes, perhaps but their bags now are definitely not as many examples have been shown just pages back. Unless you prefer to ignore them then foo.gif

If you're referring to design then yes Filson might have a better design in terms or look and layout (to be honest, I still prefer Filson's outlook but then I might just be accustomed to it) and VP might be compensating in terms of design by material quality but design alone does not elevate a bag in terms of quality.

I'll come out and say I like some of the new designs that Filson is pushing out with (e.g. Pullman-Small - even more than the Medium Travel bag (the only Filson bag that I have left) but I'm never going to put out the amount of cash they are requesting for. All because the quality (or loss in quality) of the new bags doesn't warrant the kind of money they're asking, knock it down by 50% and we'll talk more.

All in all, like many have said Filson is turning into another "high perceived quality" life style company and their competitors moving forward will probably be fashion bag houses like Jack Spade and the likes where Filson will occupy the rugged macho segment of the market with more contemporary outdoor designs but like all bags in this market space, it will be blah in quality since consumers in this segment change their bags frequently and the bags never have to last beyond 3 years.
Edited by letsi - 12/8/15 at 10:39pm
post #5340 of 6129

I have been alternating a navy and an otter green Filson 256 on a weekly basis for one year now.  I love them both, but the patina on the otter green one is very nice.  I would like to add a tan briefcase to the arsenal now.  I can't decide between a 256 and a 257.  The 256 has been absolutely fine for day to day use.  I'm leaning towards the 257 in hopes of fitting in a pair of shoes for the office (I'm an 8.5) during winter.  Is this a good idea?

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