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Filson Review

I tried out Filson clothing, and it made me fall in love with Americana style

Man wearing black and red checkered shirt and product photo of brown jacket Credit: Filson/Reviewed

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Inevitably each year, when the temperature begins to drop, my sense of personal style becomes decidedly outdoorsy. There's nothing I love more than donning a pair of heavy, utilitarian overalls, or some chunky work boots for a touch of rugged fall flare. I spend limited time in the actual outdoors (unless you consider trips to the coffee shop to be a wild adventure), but my affinity for well-made clothes that are designed to last remains strong. In hopes of finding the quality I want in my wardrobe, I turn to heritage brands—brands that have stood the test of time and continue to provide valued products and service.

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One such brand is Filson. A heritage brand established in the late 19th century, Filson is synonymous with quality clothing for outdoor enthusiasts. The brand sent me two of their fan favorite products, the Hyder-Quilted Jac-Shirt and the Alaskan Guide Shirt, to test out. I put these garments through the wringer in the first few days of fall, and it quickly became clear why Filson has been in business for over a century.

What is Filson?

Filson's history stretches back to 1897, when Clinton C. Filson began outfitting pioneers of the Yukon Gold Rush. What began then as a shop in Seattle, Washington, is now an American heritage brand that is closely linked to the history of outdoorsmanship and sportswear. Though CC Filson is no longer a family owned business, it remains headquartered in Seattle. More importantly, the company's dedication to providing well-made, dependable products has never waivered. Today, in addition to classics like their cruiser shirt, the brand also offers a variety of jackets, flannel shirts, sportingwear for hunting and fishing, as well as bags and luggage, and even drinkware.

What I tested from Filson

Collage of the Hyder Quilted Jac-Shirt in olive green and a photograph of a man wearing the jac-shirt with a goldenrod hoodie.
Credit: Reviewed / Filson

The Hyder Quilted Jac-Shirt offers classic style with modern design.

The Hyder Quilted Jac-Shirt

Designed to be a fall staple, the Hyder Quilted Jac-Shirt is more jacket than it is shirt. The waxed cotton that makes up the exterior of the jacket is heavy and weather resistant, and the insulation layer means that you'll stay warm in chilly temperatures. The design of the jac-shirt recalls similar styles from British fashion stalwart Barbour, with a contrasting Moleskin collar and muted color palette. The jacket features two handwarmer pockets as well as two snap-flap chest pockets on the outside of the jacket, as well as two deep interior pockets.

The Hyder Quilted Jac-Shirt is available in four colors in men's sizes XS to XXXL and men's long sizes M to XXL.

$250 at Filson

The Alaskan Guide Shirt

This classic Filson flannel shirt is made of an impressive 8-ounce cotton flannel. The Alaskan guide shirt is one of Filson's most beloved offerings—as evidenced by the almost perfect 5-star rating out of over 300 reviews on their website. The long-sleeve shirt is cut with a generous proportion to allow for movement and layering, and comes with two flapped chest pockets that come in handy for storage. The Alaskan Guide Shirt is available in seven plaid colors, in men's sizes XS to XXXL and men's long sizes M to XXL. $145 at Filson

What I like about Filson

Collage of the Alaskan Guide Shirt in red and black check, and an image of a man wearing the shirt with overalls on a boat.
Credit: Reviewed / Filson

The Alaskan Guide Shirt is made of heavyweight cotton flannel that makes it the ideal outer layer when temperatures drop.

The quality of the fabrics

When I first opened the Guide Shirt, I was shocked at just how heavy the cotton flannel was. The fabric itself is thick, and the quality of the sewing makes the shirt feel like a premium product. I'd expected the shirt to be something I'd wear on its own, but more often than not, I reached for it as an outer layer during the first few days of fall when it wasn't quite cold enough for a proper jacket. The Guide Shirt felt more like a hybrid top than the Jac-Shirt, which was made of even heavier, insulated cotton. The waxed cotton of the Jac-Shirt protects the fabric from harsh weather and I suspect that with repeated wear, the wax will wear away in high-friction areas, offering the whiskering and creasing that only comes with time on the most well-loved garments.

The ease and proven success of traditional designs

Both the Filson Jac-Shirt and the Alaskan Guide Shirt fit right into my existing wardrobe due to their classic designs. Both jackets are distinctive in quality and materials, but quiet in their design. I selected the red and black colorway for the Guide Shirt, and it fulfilled my lumberjack dreams without calling for attention. These aren't jackets that are meant to stand out or take to the runway. They're designed to have lasting appeal, and to last forever. As a matter of fact, Filson offers a lifetime guarantee on each of their products.

What I don't like about Filson

The generous sizing was hard to figure out

Figuring out the right sizing with Filson was a challenge. Though I received both of my garments in an XL, I suspect that a large would have fit—and still leave me with extra room to layer sweaters or hoodies underneath. With both of the shirts, I had to fold the cuff back once so the sleeves would be the appropriate length. Ultimately, the shirts fit in a slightly oversized trendy way, so this isn't a dealbreaker by any means. If you prefer a closer fit, I recommend buying one size down from what you normally would.

There weren't enough pockets

When it comes to outerwear, a key design feature for me is ample storage. Despite the fact that I used it as a jacket, the Alaskan Guide Shirt at the end of the day is just that: a shirt. It has two flap chest pockets, which I used multiple times while I tested out the jacket. The Hyder Quilted Jac-Shirt, however, is a jacket. I repeatedly found myself brushing my hands over the front of the jacket every single time I wore it, expecting there to be deep patch pockets to store my phone, keys, and headphone case. While the hand-warming side pockets were useful, just a handful of items in those pockets renders the hand-warming benefits moot. The two large interior pockets make up for this slightly, but because those pockets are slightly inaccessible, it was frustrating to deal with at times.

Is Filson worth it?

Collage of the Alaskan Guide Shirt in a gray check pattern and the Hyder Quilted Jac-Shirt in brown.
Credit: Reviewed / Filson

Filson designs well-made premium products for a discerning consumer.

Shopping with Filson is absolutely worth it. Despite the challenge of finding the right size and a lack of patch pockets, I was thoroughly impressed with these Filson products. It's not difficult to see why the brand has persisted for over a century: their clothes are designed with sturdy materials, made to last, and have classic style. Combined with a lifetime warranty, Filson feels like a relic of the old days in the best way, a memory of a time when dependability and quality came first.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.