Do Filson zippers get better with age?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by swad, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. swad

    swad Member

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    It seems widely acknowledged that Filson's brass zippers are hearty, yes, and beautiful, but they're so sharp that they easily scratch/pull delicate materials.

    I called Filson to ask about the zippers, and the rep I spoke to said they might get less sharp with time. He wasn't confident, though. I cut out the zipper from my 257 (now perfect!) but that's not an option for luggage.

    For those who have had their YKK-zippered Filson pieces for a few years - do the zippers ever get better/softer/worn-in, or are they always a fabric threat?
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012


  2. Thrifter

    Thrifter Senior member

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    Not sure as my Filson duffle is pretty new, but I wonder if one could skim over the zipper with a 200 grit sandpaper and dull the edges of the teeth.
     


  3. swad

    swad Member

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    I carefully took a fine file to the zipper on my 257 before I cut it out. The parts that "bite" are the top right and top left corners of the teeth. The file certainly made them smoother, but the zipper pull snagged a few times.

    So I wouldn't recommend trying to fix it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012


  4. swad

    swad Member

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    So no one has observed their Filson zippers getting better with time? If not, that's pretty damning for a company that puts function over form.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012


  5. Crane's

    Crane's Senior member

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    Function is part of form. Filson stuff is designed to be beat mercilessly hence the oversized zippers and heavy waxed twill fabric. I have luggage that's 20 years old and if you don't pay attention the zippers eat whatever gets in the way.
     


  6. deepitm

    deepitm Senior member

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    Do they get "better" with time? Well, better is a loaded term, but from your perspective they will not get less...rugged? I have had a set of Filson luggage for 5 years and the stuff has been all over the world many times. The zippers are as rugged as they were when I first got the luggage. It will always present a threat to delicate fabrics or fine leather shoes if you're not careful. It's a trade-off, really. You are pretty much guaranteed you're stuff is never gonna pop out on the luggage turnstile at the airport, but you might scratch a pair of fancy shoes on the way in/out.
     


  7. swad

    swad Member

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    Thanks for the replies, but I don't buy the argument that we have to sacrifice comfort for durability.

    This is one of those cases where, at first, it seems like we want contradictory things: durability and... well... I'm not sure what to call this other quality, but let's call it the won't-tear-up-your-cashmere quality.

    But these two don't have to be contradictory. There are plenty of high-quality, durable, non-scratchy YKK zippers out there that Filson could use, so it's not that they're forced to use them for durability. If they chose their current zipper because they like the brass look, for instance, then that's an aesthetic choice and sacrifices function for form.

    But thanks deepitm for the report from the field... I'll just have to know that about Filson zippers going forward.
     


  8. bellyhungry

    bellyhungry Senior member

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    I have 3 Filson bags, used them several years now and never found them to be troublesome.

    I imagine wear and tear eventually will dull the edges a little bit.
     


  9. edinatlanta

    edinatlanta Senior member

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    I can't believe how unrelentingly stupid SF is now.
     


  10. Cant kill da Rooster

    Cant kill da Rooster Senior member

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    I have honestly never had this issue. Mine is about a year old.
     


  11. entrero

    entrero Senior member

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    Not sure about you, but I don't want plastic zippers on my Filson. I bet more people would have issues with plastic zips than with scratchy brass.
     


  12. stevent

    stevent Senior member

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    Put your shoes in the bags they came with (if they don't come with bags then you shouldn't be worrying about them) and wrap a undershirt or boxers or something around your knits. Taken my duffle everywhere never had an issue. Do get a bit worried sometimes putting items in but it's never been an issue.
     


  13. Cold Iron

    Cold Iron Senior member

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    If it is while zipping the bag up that your catching your sweaters you can contact Filson custom orders and get a strip of cloth, same material as your bag. Then sew it on the inside as protection against snagging sweaters.

    I wore my Filson black oiled weekender jacket today while carrying my Filson padded briefcase. Pretty sure I looked like a big ole' brass zipper on the way in to work. I'll stick with zippers that work. If I wanted a zipper that lasted 6 months I would have bought something with a YKK zipper.
     


  14. Trompe le Monde

    Trompe le Monde Senior member

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    Filson has dedicated an army of physicists to collaborate with YKK on engineering zippers that "get better with time".

    They've got them working in shifts.
     


  15. james_timothy

    james_timothy Senior member

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    They've never been a fabric threat.

    For me. For the 4 years I've had the bag. You're worrying about a very weird thing.
     


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