A Filson Story

Dave Westburg

WFF Supporter
This is my Filson Mackinaw. Was a gift to me in 1976. Purchased at Warshalls Sporting Goods in downtown Seattle. It's been my go to fishing jacket for 45 years. I throw a waterproof wading jacket over it and am off to the races. Have worn out lots of fancy high tech rain jackets but the Filson looks good to go for another 45 years.

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My son wears a Filson. It was Grandpa's. Now that's quality.
 
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sroffe

Active Member
I have a lot of respect for Filson. They were one the the last brand name hold out garment manufactures here in Seattle. They make good stuff too. Your Mackinaw looks really good. Good as it new.
 

Matt B

...
WFF Supporter
Here’s our family Filson item, complete with squirrel blood stains. It was my falconer Father in law’s; now my wife wears it sometimes. It’s quality. From what I can tell, Filson has changed over the years.
 

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IHFISH

WFF Supporter
My first job offer after college 20ish years ago was answering the customer service line at Filson's old building in SODO. Turned it down in favor of something that was more in line with my long-term career plans. No regrets but interesting to think about. Popped my head in the new location for a few minutes when I was waiting for something nearby to open. Things had definitely changed.
 

BC33

Active Member
I have a couple pairs of their Heavyweight reliable boot socks. Best cold weather socks I've ever had...and I've used plenty of different ones as I spent 12 years fishing the Eastern Sierra while most others are up on the slopes....I would've never bought em based on price....got em as a gift......they are impressive.
 

Salmo_g

WFF Supporter
My Filson Mackinaw is the red and black plaid, 1974 vintage. Also still in very serviceable condition. Unfortunately it seems to have shrunk slightly over the years, or I'd still be wearing it regularly. Or maybe it's because I was skinny as a stick in my youth and finally filled out to a medium build, causing it to fit too snug through the shoulders.
 

David Loy

Senior Moment
My Mackinaw was green, purchased in 1970. I wore the piss out of it here in the PNW, 4 years fishing in AK and 4 or so working as a surveyor both with NOAA (charting) and in the woods around here. I almost wore it out, finally becoming threadbare in the cuffs. Loved that coat but somehow in my 30s it shrunk ;-). Currently I have a few Filson items, a couple vests, wading jacket (now snug), fishing items and a oil cloth Tin Cruiser. It’s pretty heavy so I don’t wear it often, but I still eyeball the Mackinaws from time to time.
I did have them make a Whipcord Cruiser several years back, so a lighter version of the Mac. They don’t stock much Whipcord anymore but if you want one I think you can special order.
 
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Tim Cottage

Formerly tbc1415
WFF Supporter
Both my Filson Mac and my wool vest are 30 plus years old and still going strong. The vest has a lot more miles on it because the Mac is so warm it gets less use.
 

dustinchromers

Active Member
This is my Filson Mackinaw. Was a gift to me in 1976. Purchased at Warshalls Sporting Goods in downtown Seattle. It's been my go to fishing jacket for 45 years. I throw a waterproof wading jacket over it and am off to the races. Have worn out lots of fancy high tech rain jackets but the Filson looks good to go for another 45 years.

View attachment 270967

My son wears a Filson. It was Grandpa's. Now that's quality.


My personal Filson story started before I was born. My first Filson garments were handed down to me when I was young. I've said it before and I'll say it again, old school Filson quality is second to none, bar none. I've owned several Filson pieces and still do. I've purchased several Filson pieces and still own and wear many of them. My favourite by far is my wool Mackinaw hat. I can't recall when I purchased it but it was eons ago and it was sixty dollars as I recall. It is and was absolutely worth the price and more. Filson wool products are still extremely high quality, made domestically for the most part, tasteful, and timeless. All the Filson products I own and use regularly are twenty plus years old at a minimum and I possess pieces far older. One item was admired so much by a very good life long friend I gifted it to him. He recently passed away and nearly every picture I see of him he is wearing the item. Filson is very tasteful in not flaunting their logo like a billboard. I'm not a billboard, stock car, or a sponsored anything so I like that.

My issues with Filson started when quality of their tin cloth declined. I did not hold this against them too much and simply found an alternative. The shop I bought Filson clothing from was not so lucky and was left holding the bag on more than a few returns due to QC issues. Not my problem but it sucks and I'm a staunch supporter of small businesses and at one time a major Filson advocate as one of the last great American brands produced here in the northwest. Then I noticed some further troubling changes.

Marketing became more aggressive as outsourcing became more prevalent. I felt "American made" and the American worker were being used as a punchline in a bad joke. I have no issue buying something from overseas if it's a good product at a fair price. I would prefer to buy domestic but these options are becoming scarce and I'm a pragmatist. In my opinion charging a premium price for a mass produced item made overseas because it bears a particular logo is not good value and inauthentic. I then noticed the nail in the coffin for me. This nail was hammered home in the form of other companies products rebranded as "Filson" and sold at an ultra premium price. That admittedly I found downright offensive. Does Filson still have a grasp of their customer base? Do they even care who they are anymore? Do they think we are stupid? Filson as a company markets themselves under the idea and words like: authentic, American made, classic, timeless, traditionally crafted, and "the best".

While some of their products are still "the best" and indeed timeless pieces of craft there is way too much rebranded offshore common mass produced items sold as premium. I'm not the only consumer to notice this and feel betrayed. To me Filson is a sad and cautionary tale of a company who lost it way and tried to expand into territory beyond that which they could control and guarantee excellence. This alienates your customer base that supported your rise. A high priced quality American made product is not offensive to me in the least and I'll pay if it's the genuine article. I don't however pay for faux and find the prices for faux in their catalogues offensive and laughable along with marketing the American worker in an inauthentic manner. To those who still own vintage Filson fare, cherish it and use it. For it may be some of the last of a line in the tradition of old school straight up quality craft along with being very nice functional stuff.
 

dustinchromers

Active Member
Want to see a pic of the hat!

Will do here when I get a chance. Please understand I'm not trying to jam in on your thread I just felt an explanation of my views might be in order.

PS. I recently washed the hat which is rare and it basically looks like the day I bought it. Solid quality.
 

Dave Westburg

WFF Supporter
Appreciate your response. Can't say I've bought anything recently at Filson except for a canvas vest which I bought on sale at the Filson Outlet. The quality of my mackinaw is amazing,.
 

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