Some of you have talked about the quality of Filson leather on this thread. Thought I might share my recent experience.
I purchased a Small Duffle in Tan online from a retailer in London. The one I ended up with was after an exchange due to the original one being slightly damaged.
Anyway, I found that the duffle had very loose grain on the shoulder strap. You could feel that the top layer was so loose that it may 'peel' if the top layer was damaged in any way (which already was). It affected about 6 inches of the strap. Got some pictures here, showing it under flex as well:
Here is some of the tighter grain from the same shoulder strap, different section:
Their bridle leather does smell and feel plasticky compared to the leather on my full grain veg-tanned boots, but that's another issue...
I contacted Filson with the above pics. A customer service rep replied that "The loose grain is not typical of new Filson bags; the wear and tear shown is typical of bag that have been used for many years, so I can conclude that it does appear to be defective."
The London retailer gave me a refund. They claimed, however, that they have spoken to Filson at length about the leather and said that "...due to the nature of the bridle leather, slight cracking and abrasions will occur when new and over a period of use which is a natural process of all leathers." On this basis, it was not defective and I understand they put it back out on sale.
This has not put me off Filson bags completely, but I would be more critical of the leather and inspect each bag before purchase.