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Filson Bag Thread: With Pictures

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

  1. letsi

    letsi Senior member

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    I guess it felt like they're cheapening out by reducing the amount of leather parts to me and I felt the stitching on filson bags have became more flimsy but maybe that's just me :embar:
     
  2. letsi

    letsi Senior member

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  3. Soletrane

    Soletrane Senior member

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    Letsi, looks like an older 242 large carry-on to me (I have the same in OG). Unpadded strap pad, Talon zippers, no interior straps to secure clothing, outer pockets with no zipper, and Filson lock. It is interesting to note that while the exterior is dirty and stained, the interior is minty. The twill takes a beating but still protects its contents - as it should.

    You're making me appreciate my neglected 242 again!
     
  4. letsi

    letsi Senior member

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    Haha, good to know that you're re-evaluating your 242 again. I was looking at the depth of this auctioned carry on bag and it seemed to be at least 1/2 the depth of the newer 242 if it's indeed an older version of 242? I was about to make an offer before it got sold but though it's too thin to work as my carry-on luggage :(
     
  5. Soletrane

    Soletrane Senior member

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    I took a look at the photo. And you can see the distance from the front seam to the beginning of the leather zipper strip is fairly substantial. I would guess each side is about 4-5 inches. I think the seller's measurements are off as a 4 inch 242 is like a briefcase in thickness.
     
  6. sightsofsounds

    sightsofsounds Member

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    Replying to an old post, but I just bought my first Filson a couple weeks ago (72-hour tin brief), and I picked up a leather strap for it (which I feel should have come with it, especially for the price). Mine starting splitting in the same spot within a day. It's obviously cheap leather (the pad part definitely), and I don't see it aging (or even lasting) like straps of the past.

    I really hope the bag is solid (so far so good), but I have a feeling Filson isn't what it once was. My guess is it's been sold to people looking to profit, like everything else, and corners will be cut where ever possible.

    Anyway, here's mine:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2015
  7. Soletrane

    Soletrane Senior member

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    (Re: Filson quality). I wouldn't induce too much by the strap pad. The original one piece pad from a few years ago was one thick piece of bridle leather but once Filson added padding, they had to resort to two thinner pieces to sandwich the padding.

    In comparing the rest of the leather on my new Sportsman to my old 242 large carry-on, I don't see a decline in leather quality.

    Some of the new designs use simpler construction,more tin cloth, and less leather but the quality, per se of the materials or stitching is not inferior, imho. And the navy twill seems thinner but my new OG tote twill seems as thick as ever.

    Long term I have no idea where they are headed. But if I didn't already have so many Filson pieces, I would seriously consider the old school design of the Pullman while it is still easily available. For now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  8. victorioussiry

    victorioussiry Active Member

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    May 27, 2015
    hey guys,

    I just got filson 256 in the mail and been using it day to day to office.
    Otter green is a lovely color!
    By the way, my left ykk zipper feels a lot smoother to zip/unzip than the right zipper.
    What do you guys use to make them buttery smooth? Would a light treatment of WD-40 spray work?
    The right zipper has a lot of resistance and creates loud noise [​IMG]
     
  9. Mojorider

    Mojorider New Member

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    This is normal. I've had this bag for years and love it. It's not a Swain Adeney and was never meant to be "upscale" even though the price is. It's a Field Satchel and was designed for such use - in the field. Going back and forth to work, to court, to the board room, to the construction site, to wherever life takes you. Funny thing happens with time and Filson - the older it gets, the more character it develops and the more other people want it. I've had a few offers to sell some of my Filson items for much more than what I have paid. Then again, I've been shopping at Filson for over 25 years.

    Filson coats their field satchels in a lot of wax. After a while the wax wears off and you get a nice patina. You can see in the close-ups around the buckles there is still a little bit of wax left. You can also see a few scars and wrinkles here and there. Embrace the wrinkles, scars, scratches on both yourself and your gear. They are markers in time of events that make you who you are today. They tell a story - your story.

    And for those of you out there who would speed up time. Why? Why would you want to “buy” someone else’s history? Or create a false history by speeding up the "patina?" Some of my fondest memories and a couple of hard lessons learned are in that “patina” everyone is dying to get.

    Now to answer your question. If you really think and feel that infinitesimal "blemish" is a blemish, Filson will exchange it.

    But then, I have a different philosophy. My field satchel is nothing more than a tool I use to conduct business. A high quality tool that I will not have to replace for decades to come. One that may have a few blemishes here and there, but is still just as functional as the day I bought it. Even more so now that it has softened up a bit. And shows to those whom I do business with just how secure I am in myself - with all my scars and wrinkles.

    Jimmy Buffett once said that a tattoo is nothing more than a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling. Chew on that for a minute as you debate returning your field satchel.


    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  10. dukerules

    dukerules Well-Known Member

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    ^^^Absolutely beautiful.
     
  11. Soletrane

    Soletrane Senior member

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    Well, I was predicting they would discontinue the Pullman or redesign with less twill and leather. I guess I was wrong for now. They just bumped up the price 35 bucks.

    Reminds me a bit of Rolex with their annual 7-10% price increases.
     
  12. letsi

    letsi Senior member

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    Well, to be honest. I've pared down my filson collection from 6 down to just 1 (70256) in the past 1 year. I had a pre 12 zippered tote and small field bag while the rest of my collection (sportsman, computer briefcase, duffle, 256 tweed & ) were after 2012.

    Pet peeve is some of the leather straps used on the post 12 bags, they just feel thin and brittle which even conditioning with HDLP does not help. Also, once the stitching starts to run (which happens very frequently) on the leather mount attachments connecting the brass snap-ons of the should strap, there's nothing you can do to stop the course of the attachment coming lose from the twill.

    I don't see these problem on the pre-12 bags. Of course, it might be that the QC has gone down in Filson these past few years since my remaining original briefcase is still doing ok (except, the smaller piece of leather strap that connects to the main shoulder strap feels insubstantial as well and pills a lot faster than the main shoulder strap) but we'll see how if it manages to hit the 3 year mark first.

    All in all, since the recent changes to the whole product line up, I've decided to put my money on other brands though I'm still looking out for a pre-12 medium travel bag. Was fun while it last :slayer:
     
  13. Soletrane

    Soletrane Senior member

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    Letsi, Still not sure there is a precipitous drop in quality or workmanship but a line-up that dropped the medium travel bag but introduced the multi-buckled "tote briefcase" with bright orange paneling is a company with an identity crisis. Case in point, I have bought two heavy tin duffles and one heavy tin open tote (2014) and they are all like green granite on leather straps. And my Sportsman 266 is also impressively well made (2013).

    And you know, I can't seem to find anything else that really scratches the same itch like Filson: rugged but not rustic or too "Western", made in the U.S., priced less and with similar quality and materials.

    Frost River and Duluth Pack are more rustic. Red Oxx Topo and Tom Bihn are all synthetics. Modern era LL Bean, Barbour and Orvis are not as well built. Makr and Tanner are often more expensive. Will Leather Goods are mostly made in China. And so on. Filson really hits that function meets form sweet spot.

    One bright spot was an Owen & Fred duffle bag I saw today at J Crew's Liquor Store in TriBeCa. Sort of a stylistic cross between Topo and Filson. Made in USA. And only 99 bucks for their duffle. You pick that bad boy up and you can immediately feel the quality.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2015
  14. krafty

    krafty Member

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  15. Churchill W

    Churchill W Senior member

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    I thought the tote was the regular twill they use with tin cloth on top. Guess not. This makes it less appealing IMO. Guess it's probably lighter weight than the regular zippered tote.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
  16. krafty

    krafty Member

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    Nope sadly it isn't, these 2015 series is made using tempered-finished cotton, which to my understanding is waxed canvas and it isn't twilled.
    Yes the weight is significantly reduced.
     
  17. letsi

    letsi Senior member

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    Well, like you have said, it's really the rugged rustic look (leather handles with the 22oz twill fabric) that attracted me to Filson. They've lost me as a customer by heading towards the direction where all the low-mid range bag makers are at currently(nylon straps, thin/light fabric/synthetics with average water repellent capability).

    If I want a truly light and water repellent bag, I would have gone with bag using Cordura fabric and water proofing it with silicon spray. The heavy tin cloth bags were interesting but they were a limited release and I don't think Filson is going to bring them back.

    As such, I'm actually looking at these makers with similar heavy weight twill/canvas fabric:
    http://shop.millscanvas.com/DuckDuffelBags.html
    http://www.islandcanvas.com/duffels.html
    http://beckelcanvas.com/

    Island canvas with its many customization option is very attractive for me other than the fact that I have to call in to make an order... Thanks for the heads up on Owen & Fred, I'll check them out too.



    Well, gotta love the words their marketing dept comes up with. With it, they could charge more ($170 list price prior to sale) while saving cost...

    Incidentally, they added two patches of leather on the original zippered tote and up the price by 100% (zippered tote was $140 prior to price hikes) http://www.filson.com/products/tote...sProduct=luggage/tote-bags&fmetaProduct=1019/

    Oh well... :deadhorse:
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
  18. Soletrane

    Soletrane Senior member

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    I usually Google "Martexin", "Horween" and "duffle" if I want to identify smaller makers of canvas and leather luggage. In my experience, a company will not generally spring for expensive US made materials and make a low quality bag.
     
  19. dcg

    dcg Senior member

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    Philly
    To address some of the recent commentary in this thread -

    Re: the zippered tote, I've been using one lately and find it a surprisingly useful bag. That said, the 22 oz version can often be found on sale around that $109 price point of the 8 oz bag on the Filson site. IMO, a much better option. You're not talking about a particularly heavy bag here. The added durability and rigidity of the 22 oz makes this a no-brainer (added benefit of the bag being all one color.....I don't understand Filson's fascination the past few years with these multi-color bags).

    The 22 oz rugged twill* really is a great material. I've been significantly less impressed with the other Filson materials I've handled (34 oz heavy tin excepted, though as noted above, no indication that it's coming back). Tin cloth is touted as having better water resistance, but my real world experience has been very much the opposite (with a field camera bag and levi's trucker).

    *In tan, otter, or brown. Love the look of the navy, but as has been mentioned quite a bit in this thread, there's no doubt it's flimsier than the other colors. I've not handled the black twill.

    Regarding pre/post 2012 quality, tough to say. I bought my first Filson bag in 2009, and have had quite a few of their bags since then. I don't think I've noticed a perceptible change in the materials themselves (that is, 22 oz tan twill from 2009 seems consistent with the same material in 2015), but of course, there's been a greater focus in incorporating lighter weight materials the past few years. I bought a bag recently that had a ton of loose threads all over the place, but that hasn't been too uncommon in my experience, and it's never impacted the durability of a bag for me.

    The bridle leather has been hit or miss since I've been a customer. I returned a few really bad examples back before 2012, so issues with the leather are nothing new (to me). It's the first thing I check when I get a new Filson bag. Those new bags with the leather accents (the tote is linked above) are terrible - the placement of the leather makes no sense, and a close look at the pics on the site seems to show it's not even a good match for the bridle leather.

    The nylon straps are more comfortable than the leather. The leather looks better than the nylon. On the nylon strap I'm a little bit concerned with the piece of leather sewn to the end of the nylon that attaches to the buckle - much thinner than the standard bridle leather, and I could see it being a point of failure in the future. Something I'm keeping an eye on.

    All that said, one bag that incorporates many of Filson's new design cues (use of tin cloth, nylon strap, multi color) is the Heritage Sportsman Bag (http://www.filson.com/products/heritage-sportsman-bag.70073.html), and it's a keeper. Get it tan on tan and the multi-color aspect isn't so bad :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  20. krafty

    krafty Member

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    I 100% agree with you:lol: The price for zippered tote is $140, a $30 increase in price is a killer. The new material looks really flimsy.
     

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