I just got my big Filson catalog in the mail and I am baffled at the cost of some of their items. I know their clothes are high quality, and I own a few items, but it seems like the cost of some pieces is crazy. They sell a $175 sweatshirt, $425 sweater, etc. It seems more and more of their clothes are "imported" now, so made outside of the US. Has anyone else noticed their sky high prices lately?
They are also making so many things that are out of their wheelhouse and ridiculously expensive. I bought a bunch of their bags several years ago, plus a few hats and a pair of gloves. No doubt their stuff is quality, but is it worth it? I certainly wouldn't buy a lot of their imported stuff. I think they lost their ass on the Shinola watches too. There is a thread on the styleforum, the Filson bag thread, that discusses this exact topic.
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I grew enchanted with their products 3 decades ago. They were spendy then too. I still wear nearly daily an "1880 conductor" style vest that was built so good it may outlast me.
I had one of their outrageously spendy woolen MacKenzie Cruiser jackets. It proved SO warm that after about 5 years I sold it for more than I paid retail.
One of my favorites is a 'tin vest' that I've worn in heavy seasonal labor both firewood & outdoor chores over the last 25 years. Each season it serves even better than the last.
That amounts to about $4/year cost, and I think it will outlast my grandson.
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Filson is certainly trading on their name that can demand a higher price-point. For certain collections/capsules, depending on how they're presenting it and whom the target audience is, they can get away with a higher costs for overseas made. European luxury brands do this all the time. Filson's tin cloth, twill and cruiser wool sets them apart from other brands, not sure where the mill is they source from.
Certain fabrics are still milled here in the US, its entirely possible they are getting US Made fabrics but, sending it out of country to be cut and assembled. My friend is currently doing that with his sportswear company, it drives the cost up but, its partial US Made and helps support a segment of the domestic supply chain. Factories that do cut n'sew work here in the US is nearly impossible to find, especially ones that can do quality work, on-time and at volume. Filson has their own factory in Seattle, and likely contracts to a few others around the country. Not sure if the fabrics and trims are also domestically produced here, if so, that's great but, also mean higher costs since US Made raw goods are expensive due to a near non-existent cut n'sew industry here.
Pretty sure their twill is, and has been for a long time, made in the UK. The bolts are shipped to Seattle and certain products are made from it. If you read their tag it says made in the US of imported materials. That is on the duffle bags, briefcases and high end bags. Their leather comes from Pennsylvania. I think the clothing and other things that say imported are exactly that, made in other countries.
Yes. They are expensive. But, as Signewt alluded to, the initial cost is high but the lifetime cost is not. If you divide the initial cost by the number of times you wear it you can see the value vs something less expensive.
I agree with you that they seem to have broadened their product line substantially. They tried this in the early 2000’s as well (the Lodge Collection). It didn’t last... this too shall pass.
A long time ago I found a really cool old Filson coat at a goodwill. I think I paid $5 for it. Too bad I can't fit into it now.
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Filson products turn up on Sierra Trading regularly at a substantial discount.
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I second this. I picked up my Filson shirt-jac at Sierra for a great price.
http://shotworkspro.com - Much better than scrap paper! Use 'Take5' to get 5 bucks off.
I enjoy my Filson wool coats, vests and jackets and feel that they are not too overpriced.
High quality wool from anyone aint cheap these days.
Their other stuff? Over the top expensive and often produced overseas.
Sierra Trading is a great source for Filson.
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STP along with TJMaxx are the go-to clearance retailers that 'outdoor' brands sell their discontinued styles/colors.
They were purchased by the Shinola Watch people a few years ago. I see the new product lines as a way to increase the brand. Filson watches have been made by Shinola for a few years, I guess they wanted more.
My Mile Maker coat is my facorite.
Bedrock actually owns both Shinola watches and Filson, Tom Kartsotis is the CEO of Bedrock.
|Little ray |
If you stick to their core lines, you will get great items, albeit at very high prices. But that stuff is top quality and will last a very long time.
The "consumer" stuff, I wouldn't give you a nickle for.
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I have, or had, many Filson products over the years going back to a wool cruiser coat that I’ve probably had for 25 years. Good product.
I don’t love everything they make. I bought a “tin cloth” jacket and “moleskin” liner years ago. The liner I still use and like. I decided I don’t like tin cloth. I used to roll it up and tie it behind my saddle. When it’s even mildly cold, it’s stiffer than hell. Worst of all it absorbed the smell of a horse—not the good smell, the smell of old horse sweat. Tin cloth can’t be washed. I’ve tried to hose it off, but no joy. It’s still in my war bag, and I went through it s short while ago. Still stff, dirty and smelly. No thanks.
I have two Filson heavy wool vests and the moleskin liner I spoke of (essentially a zip up vest). Love ‘em.
I recently asked for, and received, a “dry waxed” cotton anorak. I really like it, but truthfully, I haven’t been in the rain yet. Hope it’s good, I plan on it being a key part of my outerwear for a planned trip to Scotland, Ireland, and Normandy.
My wife likes their stuff. She has a shoulder bag that she carries all the time. A women’s short jacket that looks a bit like a flight jacket—-I think it looks great on her. She got that on sale and it was a good buy.
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I have their wool beanie. Paid up for it because I wanted wool, not acrylic and US made. At least advertised as US made.
One day I’ll pay up for a mackinaw cruiser. There is a outdoor store near me that carries most of their line. Man it’s nice but spendy.
They do make great products but they are also cashing in on the trendy lumberjack hipster stuff. Stick with their classics, made in USA, and you will be happy. Venture outside of that and I'm not sure. Kinda like Sig Classic P-series pistols.
I have a a few bags, a Packer hat, and some accessories and shirts. I prefer Barbour for my waxed cotton and, living in Atlanta, I have little use for Mackinaw wool, but I do love it. I will probably snag a tin cloth work apron soon.
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There's a certain quality to classic, well-known materials but, they also have their short-comings that modern textiles exceed at. Waxed canvas has a very appealing look especially when broken-in and full of character; however it sucks though when it starts to wet-out, it also can be overly stiff and generally not pleasant to wear, along with not very packable or, light. Filson, and that old school look/aesthetic is good for some things but, not everything.
Dom's Outdoor, Livermore (oldest dealer in CA)
Proof Lab, Mill Valley (largest seller of Filson bags in CA)
Filson used to require their dealers to carry a minimum assortment, since they've expanded their line, their dealers have also shrunk their on-hand assortment.
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Yes, Dom's is the go to place for Filson.
I have been going to Dom's since I was a little kid. Back in the day at the original location they were more of an Army surplus store. We would go in there and buy knifes, helmets, Army belts, canteens etc and play Army.
I have fondled the Filson garb but couldn't pull the trigger due to the price.
It is my go to store for my Carharrt stuff. Great store and is owned by a guys family I went to school with.
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In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, my job required a lot of outdoor time in all kinds of weather. Filson wool shirts, vests, socks, tin cloth coats, wool coats were and still are my winter staples. I spent a lot of money for exceptionally well made and durable American products. These clothes will outlast me.
Their current prices are stiff to the max. Made in America still pays. The only other wool mill that I know of now is Johnson Mills. Some of their items, American made, are good, too.
Best Regards for Thanksgiving.
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