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speedy611

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What’s the story behind the Black Label items?
Were they only sold overseas?
As far as I’ve ever seen it was done by Filson Italy who seemed to have approval to do higher end and different material variants of Filson designs. Now closed and only operated for 3 or 4 years I think.
 

McRiz

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I wanted to share this story, as I think I finally found the holy grail of Filson bags (at least for me). I've been collecting these bags for about 8 years and have always wanted an Outfitter bag, and have kicked myself ever since I passed on the sale years ago. About 2 weeks ago, one popped up on ebay, mislabeled and unnoticed. I was the only bidder at $250 shipped. It's in used, barely used, condition, with black marks on the bottom that I scrubbed off with a toothbrush, water and liquid soap. The strap looks unused. This bag is awesome, although I doubt I will ever use it as it is a beast.
 

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Canuckle

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I wanted to share this story, as I think I finally found the holy grail of Filson bags (at least for me). I've been collecting these bags for about 8 years and have always wanted an Outfitter bag, and have kicked myself ever since I passed on the sale years ago. About 2 weeks ago, one popped up on ebay, mislabeled and unnoticed. I was the only bidder at $250 shipped. It's in used, barely used, condition, with black marks on the bottom that I scrubbed off with a toothbrush, water and liquid soap. The strap looks unused. This bag is awesome, although I doubt I will ever use it as it is a beast.
Nice score. That looks freaking massive though. I can't imagine carrying that around. Even a large duffle would probably be easier because of the shape. Fully packed I imagine it would be like a 246 on steroids just a giant cube lol
 

Soletrane

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Nice score, McRiz. There is something about a long hunt that makes it that much sweeter when you finally get it. To Canuckle’s point, I am not sure it’s the ultimate modern airline carry-on ;-) but it is an awesome piece from a bygone day when Filson made some tough, rugged gear for harsh use. Regardless, it would still be more than fine for the back of my SUV on my next camping trip where muddy or wet clothes or footwear are a given.
 

Soletrane

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I agree with all of this. If your brand isn’t massively dependent on a MiUSA story then offshoring production makes a lot of sense.
Another factor is the incredibly cheap mass scale transport and logistics. If your stuff can be shipped back and forth for pennies then there is even less downside to offshore production.

To be slightly controversial for a moment - the “made locally” thing has always been a bit of an illusion hasn’t it? Before cheap flights were normal and people tended to be less mobile, didn’t immigrant populations often undertake skilled sewing - eg Italians in the Garment district? At what point is made in (wherever) more or less important that made BY (whom ever).
I think it’s a tremendously complex debate and not a one size fits all answer. Overseas production may indicate lower quality. Or perhaps not. Anyone for Honda vs Harley in the AMF years..?!
I figure about 60-70% of the reason I buy Filson is the high quality of the materials and workmanship. I look through racks of brand name stuff at most stores and so much of the outerwear looks cheaply made even if the MSRP is relatively high and the brand is considered upmarket. There are a few exceptions like Patagonia which makes some nice workwear style stuff, for example. But overall, it’s pretty dismal for traditional, non-technical garments.

In contrast, you go to a Filson store, and lumbersexual decor aside, almost everything seems extremely well made with thick wool or waxed canvas. Even most of the stuff made overseas like the current mackinaw jac-shirt I will gladly admit are top notch.

But there is another 30-40% part of me that just likes the idea of buying something made in the US at a Filson factory. There’s no real logic to it. Maybe it’s an illusion, as I realize there’s no magic pixie dust that makes Made in America items inherently better (though they often are, in my anecdotal experience, as the flagship or iconic items in the catalog). So I am curious what will happen to their brand if they go nearly fully to overseas manufacturing.
 

pnwprice

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I wanted to share this story, as I think I finally found the holy grail of Filson bags (at least for me). I've been collecting these bags for about 8 years and have always wanted an Outfitter bag, and have kicked myself ever since I passed on the sale years ago. About 2 weeks ago, one popped up on ebay, mislabeled and unnoticed. I was the only bidder at $250 shipped. It's in used, barely used, condition, with black marks on the bottom that I scrubbed off with a toothbrush, water and liquid soap. The strap looks unused. This bag is awesome, although I doubt I will ever use it as it is a beast.
Niiiice. I have a talon XL outfitter and love it. I’ve checked it on flights, taken on numerous camping trips, etc. it’s a tank.
 

mgrennier

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I figure about 60-70% of the reason I buy Filson is the high quality of the materials and workmanship. I look through racks of brand name stuff at most stores and so much of the outerwear looks cheaply made even if the MSRP is relatively high and the brand is considered upmarket. There are a few exceptions like Patagonia which makes some nice workwear style stuff, for example. But overall, it’s pretty dismal for traditional, non-technical garments.

In contrast, you go to a Filson store, and lumbersexual decor aside, almost everything seems extremely well made with thick wool or waxed canvas. Even most of the stuff made overseas like the current mackinaw jac-shirt I will gladly admit are top notch.

But there is another 30-40% part of me that just likes the idea of buying something made in the US at a Filson factory. There’s no real logic to it. Maybe it’s an illusion, as I realize there’s no magic pixie dust that makes Made in America items inherently better (though they often are, in my anecdotal experience, as the flagship or iconic items in the catalog). So I am curious what will happen to their brand if they go nearly fully to overseas manufacturing.
This is such an interesting debate, and one I’ve had both on this forum before, and in my actual off-line life.

I think what I am drawn to with the Filson gear is, much like Soletrane said, the incredible workmanship and heavy-duty materials that make up the Filson products. Does the fact that it’s made in America make it better? Maybe. Or maybe not.

But I think we are all programmed to realize that most of the products that are made overseas end up being more cheaply made, with lesser quality materials, and not necessarily designed to last a lifetime. Will that be the case with Filson in the short term? No. I don’t believe sp as there is a drive to keep the quality high when the products are FIRST off-shored.

However, it is a slippery slope. When you start to realize the real savings that you get from having products made offshore, the natural tendency is to look for more and more ways to reduce costs which will eventually result in lower quality materials or lesser quality workmanship.

To me, it seems like made in the USA products purposefully choose to go against that concept - both in the short- and long terms.

This is what has drawn me to the Filson brand.
 

Soletrane

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This is such an interesting debate, and one I’ve had both on this forum before, and in my actual off-line life.

I think what I am drawn to with the Filson gear is, much like Soletrane said, the incredible workmanship and heavy-duty materials that make up the Filson products. Does the fact that it’s made in America make it better? Maybe. Or maybe not.

But I think we are all programmed to realize that most of the products that are made overseas end up being more cheaply made, with lesser quality materials, and not necessarily designed to last a lifetime. Will that be the case with Filson in the short term? No. I don’t believe sp as there is a drive to keep the quality high when the products are FIRST off-shored.

However, it is a slippery slope. When you start to realize the real savings that you get from having products made offshore, the natural tendency is to look for more and more ways to reduce costs which will eventually result in lower quality materials or lesser quality workmanship.

To me, it seems like made in the USA products purposefully choose to go against that concept - both in the short- and long terms.

This is what has drawn me to the Filson brand.
There was a Woolrich wool coat on the rack at Sierra Trading Post. It caught my eye at first among all the synthetic jackets. But further inspection revealed that the wool was thin and drab. And the construction just average at best. Label said Made in China.

I looked up Woolrich online and it had a long history of quality products from their mills in Pa. But ownership changed and most of their products shifted to overseas manufacture. There was brief period where it looked like they were going to continue to make at least some products in Pa. But a 2018 WSJ article says they shut down all US manufacturing at the end of 2018. I thought the last few sentences of the article were suggestive of how things may eventually play out with Filson:

“Going forward, Woolrich is opening a new flagship store in Manhattan and will now focus on higher-end clothing—such as $200 flannel shirts and $750 Arctic Parkas under the John Rich & Bros. label—and a new outdoor line in partnership with Goldwin, which specializes in technical wear. None of it is made in America.”
 

FilsonDude

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I thought the last few sentences of the article were suggestive of how things may eventually play out with Filson:
So what you mean is, we should buy as much of the current or older stock as we can now before it’s too late ;)
 

speedy611

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There was a Woolrich wool coat on the rack at Sierra Trading Post. It caught my eye at first among all the synthetic jackets. But further inspection revealed that the wool was thin and drab. And the construction just average at best. Label said Made in China.

I looked up Woolrich online and it had a long history of quality products from their mills in Pa. But ownership changed and most of their products shifted to overseas manufacture. There was brief period where it looked like they were going to continue to make at least some products in Pa. But a 2018 WSJ article says they shut down all US manufacturing at the end of 2018. I thought the last few sentences of the article were suggestive of how things may eventually play out with Filson:

“Going forward, Woolrich is opening a new flagship store in Manhattan and will now focus on higher-end clothing—such as $200 flannel shirts and $750 Arctic Parkas under the John Rich & Bros. label—and a new outdoor line in partnership with Goldwin, which specializes in technical wear. None of it is made in America.”
That’s spectacularly depressing isn’t it? The wsj quote reads more like an obituary than an optimistic new start.

As for Filson however - perhaps, just maybe - they’ve travelled past that point. Their private equity buyup with Bedrock is done. Their shared backend with Shinola is in place. And they continue to make a good number of the classic products at a good level of quality. They are also making some new products that are good - ultralight vests, dry bags etc. So perhaps there is hope...
 

Tom Lebrando

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I’m sorry, I meant the now discontinued (or at least currently unavailable) Tin Cloth Lined Seattle Cruiser... which is why I’m looking on eBay.
Woods-

Doesn't look like there were any takers on your question.

I think you mean the grey jacket that was recently discontinued that had the same silhouette as the standard mack cruisers, no? Anyway I have this jacket and I really like it a lot. I would say that, first off, the tin cloth is 17 oz waxed British Millerain with probably a 3-6 oz. moleskin liner. This tin cloth material is slightly beefier than the typical 15 oz. waxed tin cloth and has a much softer "hand" .... it feels nicer (but oilier) to the touch. The fit is relaxed and not too tight. The overall impression of the jacket is that it feels more weighted and cozy when worn compared to the 15 oz tin cloth jackets including the unlined version (tan/brown) of the Seattle Cruiser with the 15 oz. tin cloth that was sold several years earlier than the 17 oz. grey version. Sorry I don't have pictures to post since mine is in storage because it is still not cold enough to wear in socal yet. You should be able to get this jacket between $150-200. I picked mine up at ~$150 @ STP and feel it was an absolute steal for the usual quality of craftmanship and the much nicer grey tin cloth material.

Hope this helps. I would be happy to answer any specific questions. I'll even pull the jacket outta my garage if you would like any close up photos.

Tom
 

speedy611

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Anyone got the beartooth Jac shirt and can tell me how it sizes please? I’m guessing it’s quite a loose fit as it’s designed to go over things? I’m generally a medium in Filson shirts but a large in coats. I’ve got a line on a large Jac shirt but wondering if it will be huge...
@woodsjw I think you got one last year?
 

TinMan3

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Anyone got the beartooth Jac shirt and can tell me how it sizes please? I’m guessing it’s quite a loose fit as it’s designed to go over things? I’m generally a medium in Filson shirts but a large in coats. I’ve got a line on a large Jac shirt but wondering if it will be huge...
@woodsjw I think you got one last year?
I have one, I’m a medium in jackets small in shirts and medium in Bear tooth jack shirt. Awesome Jac shirt, shrinks a little if you plan to wash it especially in arm length. Mine got a LOT of wear last year!
1F3BD9D6-EB04-4B33-9333-BA6E54E8676A.jpeg
 

speedy611

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I have one, I’m a medium in jackets small in shirts and medium in Bear tooth jack shirt. Awesome Jac shirt, shrinks a little if you plan to wash it especially in arm length. Mine got a LOT of wear last year!View attachment 1243267
Perfect, thank you. I have pulled the trigger and we will see if it needs the hot wash treatment! At £35 it’s a bit of a bargain :)
 

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