Jackets are a must-have for any closet. They keep you warm, comfortable, and well-protected from bad weather – and, of course, they’re stylish! If you want to shop for your next jacket from some of the best clothing brands in the world, look no further than Filson and Barbour.
Whether you want a rugged-looking, tough, and durable outdoor jacket from Filson, or a stylish, more formal, waxed cotton jacket from Barbour, you will have a wide product range to choose from to find the best jacket for you.
This article explores the Barbour and Filson brands, their history, and the best jackets each of these world-famous outfitters has to offer. Let’s dive right in!
Filson is an American-based outfitter and maker of high-quality apparel for outdoor enthusiasts. On its website, the company acknowledges that it makes apparel for not only outdoor professionals but “anyone who refuses to stay indoors.”
Filson is famous in the U.S. and worldwide as a well-established manufacturer of apparel such as bags, hats, shirts, pants, jackets, coats, and accessories like wallets. Our focus today is on the brand’s jackets.
History of the Brand
Filson Official Website
Clinton C. Filson established Filson in 1897 in Seattle. Born in 1850, Filson came to the Northwest in the early 1890s from Nebraska.
Filson started C. C. Filson’s Pioneer Alaska Clothing and Blanket Manufacturers in 1897 to supply the Klondike Gold Rush prospectors with quality outdoor gear, including blankets, sleeping bags, clothing, and boots.
When the gold rush came to a halt around 1899, Filson began making gear for outdoor professionals in logging, hunting, and fishing.
In 1919, the company was handed over to Filson’s wife and his nephew, George Stroble. In 1970, the family sold their stake in the company.
In 1981, Stan Kohls bought the company and catapulted its product range from 35 to 250 items while preserving its authenticity.
Doug Williams and California-based Brentwood Associates bought Filson on Jan. 1, 2005. He sold the company in 2012 to Bedrock Manufacturing, which was founded by Tom Kartsotis.
Despite the changes in ownership, Filson has remained true to its original goal of making high-quality outdoor wear for anglers, hunters, miners, mariners, explorers, timber cruisers, loggers, engineers, ranchers, forestry personnel, and, as they say, “anyone who refuses to stay indoors.”
The Filson brand is famous for its Tin Cloth and Filson Cruiser Shirt, which it started making in 1914. It’s also renowned as a maker of durable hunting jackets for those who spend their outdoor time hunting in challenging environments.
Filson has a wide reach with retail locations and stores in the U.S. in places like Seattle, New York City, California, Texas, Minnesota, Oregon, Massachusetts, and Illinois. The company also has stores in Tokyo. Other stores are operational in Canada, both in Vancouver and in Toronto.
Materials and Manufacturing
Filson uses various materials to make its outdoor apparel. The materials range from natural to recycled materials, which the company uses as part of its sustainability and environmental conservation endeavors.
Filson uses materials and fabrics such as vegetable-tanned leather, Ripstop nylon, 100% cotton, fleece, Tin Cloth, Cover Cloth, canvas, Mackinaw wool, down, waxed cotton, recycled fleece, Rugged Twill (a 100% cotton fabric), and military-grade ballistic nylon.
Filson uses canvas, fleece, down, recycled polyester fleece, and Mackinaw wool (100% wool) for its jackets. These materials and fabrics result in tough outerwear known for durability and cold-weather protection. (Learn more: Fleece vs Down Insulation: Comparison and Differences)
Filson uses the three-layer laminated fabric technology to produce some of its outdoor clothing, such as Filson’s 3-Layer Field Jacket that features a tough outer shell that withstands abrasion and punctures encountered when hunting.
The three-layer laminated fabric technology features an outer shell with a waterproof membrane fixed to the inner surface and a thin brushed fabric laminated on the inside to protect the waterproof membrane. The membrane thus remains sandwiched between two layers.
Filson also uses a two-layer fabric technology featuring the waterproof membrane protected by a liner that is not bonded to the inside of the fabric. Besides protecting the membrane, the liner also offers optimum insulation.
Besides the two- and three-layer fabrics, Filson also uses 2.5-layer fabric technology in which a printed-mesh grid protects the laminated waterproof membrane.
Filson uses Oil Finish on its Tin Cloth to produce jackets that withstand tears, wind, water, and punctures.
To make the Oil Finish Tin Cloth fabric, the company saturates a woven canvas duck fabric with a mixture of oil and liquefied paraffin wax under high pressure and heat. The pressure and heat force the wax into the cotton fibers to produce a tough waxed cotton fabric.
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Popular Filson Jackets
It’s worth mentioning some of Filson’s most popular jackets that you might want to try for your outdoor activities. Below are two popular Filson jackets.
Filson Fleece-lined Waxed Jacket
The Fleece-lined Waxed Jacket features 100% recycled fleece lining, a fold-up collar, elastic cuffs and hem, dry-waxed 100% cotton, a full-length front zipper, snap-secure hand pockets, and a lightly waxed tumbled finish that resists light rain and stains.
Filson Mackinaw Wool Cruiser Jacket
The Mackinaw Wool Cruiser Jacket offers complete cold-weather protection. It absorbs as much as 30% of its weight in water without getting clammy or losing its breathability.
The jacket features a water-repellent, wind-resistant, breathable fabric, button-front closure, multi-pocket design, 100% wool construction, and button-adjustable cuffs.
Filson Jackets FAQs
Here’s a quick look at some common questions about Filson and its jackets.
Are Filson Jackets Worth the Money?
Filson jackets are certainly worth your money. Given that the company makes tough, durable jackets, you can expect to gain real value for your money as each jacket lasts a long time, even in the harshest outdoor conditions.
Where Are Filson Jackets Made?
Headquartered in Seattle, Filson makes most of its products, including hunting jackets, in the U.S. Filson’s original factory is in Seattle, and it has since opened another one in 2012 in the same city. The third factory that opened in 2014 is in Post Falls, Idaho.
Barbour is a famous English luxury brand known for its iconic waxed cotton jackets. They are so famous for these jackets that a lot of people refer to waxed cotton jackets as “Barbour jackets,” even when they are from another brand.
How has the Barbour brand grown tremendously to become an English luxury apparel brand? Let’s see below.
History of the Brand
Barbour Official Website
Barbour was founded as J. Barbour and Sons in 1894 in Market Place, South Shields, England, by John Barbour, a Scotsman.
The company had its headquarters at Market Place but has since moved them to Simonside, South Shields, where it established a manufacturing plant.
From John Barbour, the Barbour brand has been family-owned across five generations and is currently led by chairman Dame Margaret Barbour.
Malcolm Barbour became chairman in 1927. In 1928, his son, Duncan Barbour, joined the company and introduced the famous motorcycling range of Barbour apparel in 1936.
In 1980, the Bedale jacket was released, the first lightweight thornproof riding jacket. The company’s iconic black and gold badge was first printed on a Bedale jacket.
The iconic brand has won the love of the Royal Family, receiving three Royal Warrants that allow it to supply members of the royal family with its products. This also explains why its products have the “Royal Warrants” label on the inside.
The first Royal Warrant came in 1974 from HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, the second one in 1982 from Her Majesty the Queen, and the third in 1987 from HRH the Prince of Wales.
Since 1894, Barbour has grown tremendously and has retail stores and outreach in more than 40 countries, including England, Argentina, Japan, Germany, the U.S., Austria, Spain, New Zealand, Italy, Holland, and France.
Besides jackets, Barbour makes other apparel and accessories for children, men, and women, including footwear, dresses, shirts, knitwear, nightwear, blouses, trousers, shorts, and even various dog accessories like leads and coats.
Although the Barbour brand is best known for its waxed cotton jackets, which it makes for women, men, and children, it also manufacturers other types of jackets such as quilted, parka, waterproof, and wool jackets.
Materials and Manufacturing
Barbour makes its products using cotton, canvas, tartan, nylon, moleskin, wool, fleece, and polyester.
Each Barbour waxed cotton jacket is handmade, ensuring that although the company makes other apparel, it remains true to its production of the famous waxed cotton jackets.
Popular Barbour Jackets
Here are two widely popular Barbour jackets you just might want to check out.
Barbour Men’s Classic Bedale Wax Jacket
The Barbour Men’s Classic Bedale Wax Jacket is made of 100% waxed cotton outer, 100% tartan lining, and has moleskin lining in its two pockets for warm hands any time. You can choose between various colors and sizes.
Barbour Acorn Waxed Cotton Jacket
Made with 100% waxed cotton outer and 100% polyester lining, the Women’s Barbour Acorn Waxed Cotton Jacket is an excellent addition to your closet for the warmth, durability, and classiness that Barbour jackets provide.
Barbour Jackets FAQs
Below are two questions people often ask about Barbour jackets.
Are Barbour Jackets Worth the Money?
Considering that Barbour is recognized by the Royal Family as a maker of high-quality products, you can be sure that your Barbour jackets are worth the money you spend on them. The jackets are durable, stylish, and warm, even though quite expensive. They also command a good deal of prestige due to Barbour’s fame.
Where Are Barbour Jackets Made?
Barbour waxed jackets are made in England, while quilted jackets and other types are made in Portugal, Bulgaria, and Turkey.
3. Which Brand is Better?
Barbour and Filson are two great brands, given their high-quality products and global reach. It’s difficult to proclaim one brand better than the other. However, you can use a few parameters to distinguish the two brands.
Firstly, Filson essentially makes jackets for men and women in outdoor professions like hunting, forestry, mining, and ranching. The jackets are known for their toughness, ruggedness, and durability.
Barbour, on the other hand, makes more formal apparel that appeals to a greater range of people with products for children, women, and men. It offers a wider variety of jacket types, and it even has a line of dog products.
Secondly, Filson products, including its jackets, are quite expensive. The company focuses on originality and high quality and doesn’t compromise its reputation and product quality by using lower-quality materials.
Barbour offers a wider selection of products, so you have much more to choose from in a more reasonable price range.