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Filson Bag Thread: With Pictures

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by LawrenceMD, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. mgrennier

    mgrennier Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Jan 21, 2015
    Hey guys. I need your help in choosing a bag. A LOT of my business travel is for one night only. I try to be an extra-light packer. I'm going to give you some of my specs, and please help me choose a bag (if you're willing):

    - For my one night trips, I only pack an extra dress shirt (maybe two), a pair of jeans, socks, underwear. I usually pack that in an Eagle Creek folder which keeps everything compact. I also pack my toiletry bag and my electric razor.
    - I wear my suit coat that I can wear both days (most times I end up throwing over the back of the chair in the meetings) and I wear the same pair of shoes both days.
    - I really like the quality, history and story around the Filson bags. I'm a fan so I'd like to find something of theirs, if possible.
    - I'd like to be able to pack my laptop, notepad and charger IN the same bag so I'm only carrying one bag in total. (I think it's ridiculous to see grown men with a roller bag AND a laptop bag for one night trips).
    - This must be carry-on size of course.
    - The bag will ideally look ok to carry into the meeting, although the bag will just be thrown into the corner during most meetings while I have my notepad and laptop out (if I'm presenting)

    I've tried the Sportsman for these trips (great size wise, but my macbook pro doesn't necessarily "work" in there. It fits, but I alway thought it a bit awkward.

    I've carried my FIlson 72 hour bag which is nice but it's a LITTLE BIT TOO cramped for this purpose. I just flew back from Philly today and it was tight.

    I've carried my Medium Travel bag which is close but not cigar. It is just too big and boxy for one-night trips - although this may be my best option.

    What do you say? Any recommendations?
     
  2. Soletrane

    Soletrane Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    287
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    May 15, 2015
    Mgrennier, the 48 hour duffle seems like bag that was designed for this type of overnight trip. I can't speak to it as I haven't seen one in person. Though for large rectangular non folding objects like laptops and Eagle creek folders I would consider going with a Pullman or tote as they carry much better for these types of contents.

    The new small Pullman seems like a solid option. You would sacrifice on the fly accessibility to the main compartment compared to a duffle but the shape is rectangular and the capacity is there for a pair of shoes too.

    For a minimalist option, the zippered tote might be able to meet your needs too. It is compact but with a good capacity. If the dimensions fit your folder and laptop it could work.

    I have the discontinued large tote and the discontinued large carry-on and the suitcase rectangular shape works better for carrying laptops for rectangular wide objects than a duffle. They also carries closer to the body compared to the travel bag shape or duffles.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
  3. dcg

    dcg Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,113
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Philly
    

    I use a 258 for this exact purpose.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
  4. Soletrane

    Soletrane Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    287
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    May 15, 2015
    Okay needed a replacement strap for my large carry-on. After all this discussion on the leather quality of Filson luggage, bought a Frost River strap: solid brass (not plated) and the same leather supplier as for Red wing footwear. Top strap is Filson. From a recent bag. Bottom is Frost River. It is slightly lighter brown than the newer bag strap but matches the color and texture of my old Filson bag better.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
  5. ertu

    ertu Well-Known Member

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    95
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    Oct 9, 2013
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I would bring both straps to a leather worker and pop the rivets and swap the hardware. Then you will have the original filson buckle and clip with your bag along with the new leather strap.
     
  6. petroengineer

    petroengineer New Member

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    1
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    Nov 15, 2015
    I finally broke down and bought a 257. Mine looks nothing like I have seen before. I got it in tan and it is far more brown than tan. Bought it from filson. Anyone else seen a tan that looks like this? [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
  7. Soletrane

    Soletrane Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    287
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    May 15, 2015
    Ertu, great idea. But I lost the original strap for my old large carry-on so nothing to switch. The Filson strap I showed was for my Sportsman 266. I will leave it on as OEM.

    I would have mixed feelings about switching it out - in any case - as the Frost River brass is solid brass and much heavier than the plated hardware on the Filson strap.

    I also bought a dog leash from Frost River. Same leather. The leash gets a lot of heavy usage very quickly - will see how that ages compared to the Filson leather straps.
     
  8. emidyl

    emidyl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    474
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    Nov 24, 2014
    I had posted mine up a couple weeks ago, and in the pic looks a lot lighter than it actually is. And agree it does look more brownish tan than a more yellow tan despite what this pic looks like.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. ertu

    ertu Well-Known Member

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    95
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    Oct 9, 2013
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    About the buckles, back then I remember asking Filson through the phone about this and they said it was solid brass. I took a good look at my buckle on my Filson bag and I now I have doubts. How do you check if a piece of hardware is solid brass?

    Tomorrow I will give Filson a call about this and lets see what they say.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
  10. Soletrane

    Soletrane Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    May 15, 2015
    If you do a search on the phrase "brass plated roller buckle" and "Filson" - you will see it comes up a lot including in Filson's own ad copy.

    If you compare the hardware on the Frost River strap to that of Filson, it seems pretty clear the former is brass. You can sometimes determine if it's brass with a magnet. A magnet will not stick to brass.

    A second test is a scratch test which will show white below if not brass
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
  11. ertu

    ertu Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    95
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    Oct 9, 2013
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I called Filson and they did confirm to me that it is not solid brass after I told them I did the 2 tests I found out from a google search and verified that parts of the buckle is magnetic (because solid brass is not magnetic). I just don't like the feeling of this. Now the 2 Filson bags I got just feel cheap because Filson got stingy and decided to use cheap plated brass instead of solid brass, all to save $5-10 worth of buckles (it would be even less for them if that buy them in bulk, which they do).

    The CS representive said she would ask the product team about this but then it would take several weeks to get back to me because of the holidays. I don't really expect much of an answer anyways, the bags and buckle are in front of me and I can see and test the evidence myself, Filson really just cheaped out on the bags.

    They said they offered to refund (even though I didn't buy the bags at Filson (I bought them at Brooks Brothers) , which was a nice gesture, but it would have to be a Filson store credit. But the problem is, I already have 2 bags from Filson and am not interested in any other their other product lines, which makes the store credit not really usable for me.

    I definitely would not have bought the bags if I knew the hardware was not solid brass, it seems like such a silly thing to cut corners on. I am just really disappointed that Filson would resort to this just to save a tiny tiny bit of money.
     
  12. letsi

    letsi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    207
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    Sep 5, 2009
    

    Well, sorry to hear your experience but as you've read in this thread that's just how Filson rolls now...
    That said, I'm not sure if Filson ever used solid brass for their metal hardware before so your anger might be a bit misplaced but I might be wrong.

    Lastly, I think you might want to take the refund and sell off your filson store credits here in the B&S and use that money for some other makers that we've listed out lately.

    At least, I'm still in favor of Filson for their customer support, very responsive and decent esp. when you compare to other retailers whose product and customer services are both bad. So although you're not paying for quality and worksmanship anymore, at least your money is still going somewhere (i.e. their CS and lifetime guarantee)
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
  13. Soletrane

    Soletrane Well-Known Member

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    May 15, 2015
    Letsi, I think you're right. My old filson bag has the same sort of dull antique finish look to them as my newer bag. Pretty sure both old and new use plated brass. It looks okay until you compare it to the solid brass then it looks a bit 'faux' antiqued to my eye in comparison.

    Though Filson has taken a bit of hit on this thread regarding the plated hardware and the bridle leather quality, I still think the twill material itself and the classic canvas/leather designs are often imitated but only matched by a few niche brands (within that general price range). For the pieces I have & for the price I paid by leveraging sales and close-outs - I really can't complain too too loudly. I might feel very differently though if I threw down $500 for one of the new duffles though!
     
  14. patrick_b

    patrick_b Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,135
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    Aug 13, 2007
    Location:
    NBPT, MA
    I just did the magnet test on 4 filson bags, from 15 yrs to 3 yrs old. The spring loaded clasps (on the straps) are all non magnetic. The D-ring attached to the bags is magnetic. That doesn't necessarily mean they are solid brass but they all seem made from the same material.
     
  15. milw50717

    milw50717 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Apr 14, 2011
    I've just looked back through a 2011 catalogue and the only things that are listed as 'solid brass' are zippers (NB - not all zippers are described as solid brass). Everything else is described in such terms as 'brass', 'brass-plated nickel hardware', 'antique brass finish' or 'heavy duty brass'.

    Would be interested in people have older catalogues or adverts to see if the descriptions have changed over time.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. letsi

    letsi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    207
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    Sep 5, 2009
    I think the magnet test might not be so accurate since there are many other metal that does not contain steel alloy?

    For me, I think the sure fire way to know if it's solid brass would be to check for patina? Esp. for solid brass (with its copper alloy) where their top most protective layer has wore off would tarnish green. Here's a picture of my Bexar bag with solid brass hardware: [​IMG].

    Only problem with this method is you would have to wait a couple to many months for it to happen :embar: I had this bag for almost a year.
     
  17. patrick_b

    patrick_b Well-Known Member

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    Aug 13, 2007
    Location:
    NBPT, MA
    ^ That makes sense. Thx for the info. That must be why my Equus belts all patina green. I never knew that.
     
  18. chev4x4

    chev4x4 Well-Known Member

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    May 22, 2013
  19. letsi

    letsi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Sep 5, 2009
    
    If your 252 is bought recently (i.e. last 5 years) high chance it's not... Probably need advertising material evidence to confirm that Filson advertised it as "solid brass" cause I've only seen the contrary so far...
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  20. Soletrane

    Soletrane Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    May 15, 2015
    Just like when I compared side-by-side the Frost River bridle strap up against the Filson bridle strap highlighted the deficiencies in the latter (to my mind, at least), I found the same when I compared the Yuketen brass clasps (pictured below) to the Filson ones.

    Giving Filson the benefit of the doubt, maybe plated brass has some material advantages over solid brass hardware.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015

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