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Filson Vest

Discussion in 'General Land Surveying' started by Kent McMillan, May 24, 2013.

  1. Kent McMillan

    Kent McMillan 4-Year Member

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    I've bought Filson Vests for more than thirty years. For those unfamiliar with the item, it's what I'm wearing in the photo below on the ridge overlooking the Marathon Basin out in West Texas back about fifteen years ago when my mustache wasn't grey.

    [​IMG]

    I learn from their catalogue that came in today's post that Filson is now asking $110 for a plain canvas vest, the so-called Cruiser vest. I don't expect to pay $11 for such a thing and have it made in some Third World sweat shop that ends up in the news, but somehow $110 seems on the steep side. This is, after all, the same catalogue that advertises $200 dog beds.

    Is there any other company making something similar in the US or am I condemned to pay boutique prices for my vests?
     
  2. Jim Frame

    Jim Frame 5-Year Member

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    I've done some half-hearted searching for an ANSI-approved vest that replicates the pocket arrangement of the Filson Cruiser, to no avail. If you come up with something, please let me know.

    In the mean time, I've been buying my Filsons on eBay (I prefer the blaze orange variety for visibility, both to my assistant and to oncoming vehicles). Sometimes new, sometimes lightly used, but always at a substantial discount to list. Best price I've gotten new was about $40. Worst price I've paid for used was around $60.
     
  3. Kent McMillan

    Kent McMillan 4-Year Member

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    > I've done some half-hearted searching for an ANSI-approved vest that replicates the pocket arrangement of the Filson Cruiser, to no avail. If you come up with something, please let me know.
    >
    > In the mean time, I've been buying my Filsons on eBay (I prefer the blaze orange variety for visibility, both to my assistant and to oncoming vehicles).

    The blaze orange are still made of a polyester blend, aren't they? In a warm climate, 100% cotton is more comfortable since it wicks perspiration (of which there is plenty) away from the perspirer.
     
  4. davidinbrisbane

    davidinbrisbane 3-Year Member

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    Kent,
    i use cotton vests from FORRESTRY SUPPLIES in CANADA, they mail to Australia. They will custom make from your design, pockets as required to your diamentions, for about $100 or so. The orange fades in time, but they will sew on any amount of reflective strips to compensate.
    Cheers
    David
     
  5. Kevin Samuel

    Kevin Samuel 5-Year Member

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    Bend, OR
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    OR
    Yes, $200 dog beds and $1200 man purses!

    I stopped in their retail store in Portland OR. I am no behemoth but the cut of their clothing is suspect... billowy shirts with extremely tight cuffs. It seems to me their clothing is trending more towards designer than functional.
     
  6. party chef

    party chef 5-Year Member

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    One thing to keep in mind about Filson clothing is that they will repair their product free for life. That includes damage caused by regular wear and tear as well as from abuse. I had a Filson wool shirt that I brought back to them many times, first the put elbow patches on it and kept on repairing it until it looked like Frankenshirt, eventually I felt a bit embarrassed as the shirt was so far gone so I bought a new one instead of further exploiting the policy. I then promptly left the brand new shirt unattended for a bit on a survey in town and it walked off on me.

    If you have to pay for shipping I suppose that cost would have to be considered but if you live in Seattle it is a pretty killer arrangement, I am actually dropping off my tin overalls for new knee patches this weekend.

    While totally different from the vest you seek I have been kind of fascinated with these vests that have a internal frame and back pack straps,

    http://www.deakin.com/shop/products/?p=5317

    If anyone has a review of one I would appreciate hearing about it.

    Also I am in the market for a new machete, if anyone has a solid recommendation I would dig hearing about that as well, preferably something that could be found in Seattle but I can order online if it is worth it.
     
  7. Dave Karoly

    Dave Karoly 5-Year Member

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    Ontario knife.

    Or just get a pair of gear loppers, less damage to elbows.
     
  8. Bryan Newsome

    Bryan Newsome 5-Year Member

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    Driftwood, TX
    Machete...

    10-4 on Ontario Knife. I've been using the military surplus blades for over 35 years. Heavy, good quality steel, keeps a good edge. You can find one with an 18" blade, add the sheath to your web gear belt, and squat down to draw in the fieldbook without the blade handle shoving into your side.

    For light trimming, or for covert trimming near a house, I use loppers. A heck-uv-a-lot quieter than swinging a blade. Helps keep the neighbors from looking out the window.
     
  9. A Harris

    A Harris 5-Year Member

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    Ontario Knife

    The 18in is a handy cutting blade.

    The 22in is for the heavy lifting day.
     
  10. Dave Karoly

    Dave Karoly 5-Year Member

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    I switched from Filson to an ML Kishigo vest which is pretty good but cheaply made. The reflective tape is coming off.

    I like having the zippered rear pocket and there are generally more pockets. The Cruiser was a pain in rough country (very steep, sometimes a lot of huckleberry). Stuff keeps falling out of the back pocket when scrambling over logs or boot skiing down a steep slope. The ML Kishigo vest also has water bottle pockets which are handy.
     
  11. Kent McMillan

    Kent McMillan 4-Year Member

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    > I switched from Filson to an ML Kishigo vest which is pretty good but cheaply made. The reflective tape is coming off.
    >
    > I like having the zippered rear pocket and there are generally more pockets. The Cruiser was a pain in rough country (very steep, sometimes a lot of huckleberry). Stuff keeps falling out of the back pocket when scrambling over logs or boot skiing down a steep slope. The ML Kishigo vest also has water bottle pockets which are handy.

    My favorite features of the Filson Cruiser Vest (which I wear in the stealth khaki version seen in the photo above, except when I'm working on ranches during hunting season), are:

    - inside pockets perfect size for field book,
    - tall, narrow upper front pockets perfect size for pencils, scribe, center punch and hand level,
    - relatively rugged fabric, somewhat water resistant, that won't rip on barbed wire fences or thorny vines and shrubs,
    - side pockets large enough to hold compass, clinometer, and assorted Allen wrenches.

    I seldom use the back pocket.
     
  12. Kent McMillan

    Kent McMillan 4-Year Member

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    > Yes, $200 dog beds and $1200 man purses!
    >
    > I stopped in their retail store in Portland OR. I am no behemoth but the cut of their clothing is suspect... billowy shirts with extremely tight cuffs. It seems to me their clothing is trending more towards designer than functional.

    Yeah, my guess is that C.C. Filson is being run by some Wall Street type with romantic visions of what it would be like to actually work outdoors and need suitable clothing. At least it's made in the US. I can't fault them for that. The $200 dog beds? Yes, I can fault them for that.
     
  13. Kent McMillan

    Kent McMillan 4-Year Member

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    > i use cotton vests from FORRESTRY SUPPLIES in CANADA, they mail to Australia. They will custom make from your design, pockets as required to your diamentions, for about $100 or so.

    David, I've done some searching on the web and am not sure I've identified the enterprise you mentioned. Do you have a URL for them?
     
  14. Duane Frymire

    Duane Frymire 5-Year Member

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    One that might be of interest is on sale:

    http://www.forestry-suppliers.com/product_pages/View_Catalog_Page.asp?mi=11013
     
  15. Dave Karoly

    Dave Karoly 5-Year Member

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    The back pocket is for a folding garden saw, extra water and sometimes my sandwich (lunch).
     
  16. LRDay

    LRDay 4-Year Member

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    I have a Filson Style 8, Size 46. Probably purchased early 90's. Not real worn, has some stains (might wash out). Somebody want it for $50?
     
  17. Kent McMillan

    Kent McMillan 4-Year Member

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    > One that might be of interest is on sale:
    >
    > http://www.forestry-suppliers.com/product_pages/View_Catalog_Page.asp?mi=11013

    Yes, that definitely looks as if it would be worth trying.
     
  18. BruceRupar

    BruceRupar 4-Year Member

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    Too small for me or I would jump on it:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Filson-Tin-Cruiser-Vest-Style-8-Made-In-USA-100-Cotton-Mens-40-/221230640983?pt=US_CSA_MC_Vests&hash=item33825faf57#ht_63wt_1328
     
  19. Kris Morgan

    Kris Morgan 5-Year Member

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    Kent

    I realize most of your work is off road; however, you may remember in 2010 whereby a law was passed that all workers working on highways that received federal funding are required to wear class II safety vests. According to TxDOT, all roads maintained by them are subject to this law.

    So, in light of that, we had to procure those vests. SECO makes a class II vest with a wicking material lined in it. I believe the number is 8603. They satisfy the federal law and wick moisture away as well as the old filson I had and better than any fishing vest I tried. They are the same price as the filson you quoted above and have more storage for water than my old cruisers vest.

    It's just a thought as you work in the highway ROW at times.
     
  20. Kent McMillan

    Kent McMillan 4-Year Member

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    Kent

    > I realize most of your work is off road; however, you may remember in 2010 whereby a law was passed that all workers working on highways that received federal funding are required to wear class II safety vests. According to TxDOT, all roads maintained by them are subject to this law.

    Yes, if I'm ever so foolish as to subcontract with TxDOT to do work for them, I'll keep that in mind. :> I don't see it happening.
     

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