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Anyone Have A Filson Tin Cloth?

BryanB

One of the Regulars
Messages
162
It's almost winter here in Israel. That means cold rainy weather. I'm talking rain so powerful it's like standing under a wide showerhead on full blast, with an industrial fan blowing into the stall. And it also means, finally, a break from the punishing ferocious sun.

So I have a vast collection of sun hats, but few suited to the winter. I thought I would pick up a Filson Tin Cloth, Otter Green. I went with XL even though I wear a 7.5, since numerous reviews state they run small.

The company appears to sell work wear based on blue collar jobs in the Pacific Northwest, around the 1900s. Apparently, according to a review on Amazon the packer hat was more prevalent among mule pack workers in the region, hence the name. There's a picture attached.

  1. What do you guys think of this hat?
  2. Does anyone know more about the history of this style hat?
  3. Does anyone have pictures of their tin packers hats?


2462
 

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bobm

A-List Customer
Messages
495
Location
Glen Ridge, NJ
I am very familiar with many of Filson’s products - including the packer hat which I own. And I’m generally a very big fan of their clothing, even though more and more of their clothing is manufactured overseas.
It is made out of a waxed cotton fabric (tin cloth is the chosen name). I believe it’s no longer made in the USA and I’ve heard complaints that the leather band is simply glued on and not stitched on.
Moderate drizzle? Yes, but if you’re looking for protection from torrential downpour‘s this hat won’t do it.
I think that’s asking too much for any material other than rubber/plastic - which has its own and other limitations.
 

BryanB

One of the Regulars
Messages
162
I am very familiar with many of Filson’s products - including the packer hat which I own. And I’m generally a very big fan of their clothing, even though more and more of their clothing is manufactured overseas.
It is made out of a waxed cotton fabric (tin cloth is the chosen name). I believe it’s no longer made in the USA and I’ve heard complaints that the leather band is simply glued on and not stitched on.
Moderate drizzle? Yes, but if you’re looking for protection from torrential downpour‘s this hat won’t do it.
I think that’s asking too much for any material other than rubber/plastic - which has its own and other limitations.

I maybe have exagerated slighty. The rain is pretty strong though. Why do they call it it "tin cloth" if it's just waxed canvas? I thought about the Outback Trading Company River Guide since it's very similiar but has a bigger brim. But tin cloth sounded like something special, anyways the Outback is not crushable, and I think I may wear it to commute to work and a stingy brim would be less show boaty. And the whole rugged poineer clothing Filson has going on is kinda just neat, and partly I just want to add it to my collection. Is there an AA for collecting too many hats? I just hope the brim is big enough. It looks pretty dinky. One reason I never wear my Stetson gable rain hat. I may just give that one away.
 
Messages
15,043
Location
Central California
It’s easy to make a waterproof hat (or anything). You can PVC coat any cloth and it will be 100% waterproof, but the real trick is waterproof and breathable. There are several membrane materials that achieve this with Gore-Tex being the most famous. Most true dedicated rain hats don’t look as nice as say a fur felt hat, but there are almost always trade offs.

I sold C. C. Filson products when I was in college. Tin Cloth is waxed cotton and nothing magical. The wax can be replenished as needed. If properly waxed, Tin Cloth is waterproof; although, sealing the seams is iffy. As to its naming: it’s just marketing. It’s like wondering why it’s called Under Armor when it can’t stop a sword…what kind of armor is that? It’s just a trade name and nothing more.

Outdoor Research (OR) makes good rain hats, but they don’t look great to me. Some hunting companies make waterproof hats, but a lot of those are in camouflage.
 

Mm25

Practically Family
Messages
853
It’s easy to make a waterproof hat (or anything). You can PVC coat any cloth and it will be 100% waterproof, but the real trick is waterproof and breathable. There are several membrane materials that achieve this with Gore-Tex being the most famous. Most true dedicated rain hats don’t look as nice as say a fur felt hat, but there are almost always trade offs.

I sold C. C. Filson products when I was in college. Tin Cloth is waxed cotton and nothing magical. The wax can be replenished as needed. If properly waxed, Tin Cloth is waterproof; although, sealing the seams is iffy. As to its naming: it’s just marketing. It’s like wondering why it’s called Under Armor when it can’t stop a sword…what kind of armor is that? It’s just a trade name and nothing more.

Outdoor Research (OR) makes good rain hats, but they don’t look great to me. Some hunting companies make waterproof hats, but a lot of those are in camouflage.
Second the comment on breathablity. I used to wear a tin cloth hat for upland hunting. After 10 minutes I would have to take it off due to extreme sweating. If you plan on just sitting around they are fine.
 

BryanB

One of the Regulars
Messages
162
Second the comment on breathablity. I used to wear a tin cloth hat for upland hunting. After 10 minutes I would have to take it off due to extreme sweating. If you plan on just sitting around they are fine.


Wonder hey these hats are so popular then. I lot of people say they're too hot for anything. But they've got tons of great reviews, saying they're comparable to Tilley.
 

BryanB

One of the Regulars
Messages
162
So I've got a picture from the shipping service I use. Seems to me there's a little discrepancy in how these hats look advertised, and the reality. In the advertising they seem to have a the stone wash of the Tilley T3 wanderers. In reality they look like someone took and old army tarp and coated it in Crisco.

Yet ebay is full of vintage tinpackers and some priced around $150. I'm kinda confused about why these hats are so popular.
 

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Messages
15,043
Location
Central California
So I've got a picture from the shipping service I use. Seems to me there's a little discrepancy in how these hats look advertised, and the reality. In the advertising they seem to have a the stone wash of the Tilley T3 wanderers. In reality they look like someone took and old army tarp and coated it in Crisco.

Yet ebay is full of vintage tinpackers and some priced around $150. I'm kinda confused about why these hats are so popular.


Part of it is the brand. C. C. Filson is one of those stories American brands and their stuff isn’t cheap. The quality of the old stuff was top-shelf too.
 

BryanB

One of the Regulars
Messages
162
Part of it is the brand. C. C. Filson is one of those stories American brands and their stuff isn’t cheap. The quality of the old stuff was top-shelf too.

Yeah the whole pacific northwest lumberjack/gold rush thing they got going on is pretty cool piece of Americana, and part of why I wanted this hat.

Why did you sell Filson in college? I never heard of them till I got into outdoor hats. Maybe cuz they're from the northwest? I come from Buffalo and Pittsburgh area, so maybe they just don't have much of a presence out there. I never heard of Tilley til I saw them being sold at the new Cabela's in Buffalo about 8 years ago. Being on the Canadian border, Tilley's American HQ is actually located in Buffalo funny enough.
 
Messages
15,043
Location
Central California
Yeah the whole pacific northwest lumberjack/gold rush thing they got going on is pretty cool piece of Americana, and part of why I wanted this hat.

Why did you sell Filson in college? I never heard of them till I got into outdoor hats. Maybe cuz they're from the northwest? I come from Buffalo and Pittsburgh area, so maybe they just don't have much of a presence out there. I never heard of Tilley til I saw them being sold at the new Cabela's in Buffalo about 8 years ago. Being on the Canadian border, Tilley's American HQ is actually located in Buffalo funny enough.


While in college I worked for a sporting goods store/outfitter. We did hunting, fishing, mountaineering, kayaking, etc. Along with activity specific clothing, we also sold lifestyle clothing. Soft goods like clothing had a much higher profit margin than hard goods. We would make the same produce selling $600 worth of clothing as we would selling a $1800 gun safe. Hard goods would bring people in, but the soft goods is where the money is at. Filson also wasn’t a brand that went on sale with us. The price added to the mystique and people like the exclusivity of it. It was also very well made…at least it was in the 1980s. The only C. C. Filson item I own is an upland hunting vest that no longer comes anywhere close to fitting me (must have shrunk :) ).
 

mullitt

New in Town
Messages
41
I have never had a problem with the packer hat or any of the Filson tin cloth stuff holding up in the rain - I've had a jacket and some of the pants before too. I've never worn them working, but just walking around. The Filson stereotype is that they're now just a fashion brand (which in the past decade has become more and more true), but I've seen plenty of their tin cloth clothing worn by working people, mostly on boats and the docks.
Something to maybe take into consideration here is that the rain in the PNW is almost never a huge, heavy pouring rainstorm. It's just always kinda drizzling and damp.
 

johnnycanuck

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,809
Location
Alberta
Wonder hey these hats are so popular then. I lot of people say they're too hot for anything. But they've got tons of great reviews, saying they're comparable to Tilley.
Most people are not hat people. Bucket hats and boonie hats are inexpensive and easy to find. So most people think a Tilley hat is a good, high quality hat. In this level the Filson is a good option. Honestly it is serviceable and will probably serve it’s purpose well.
When the rest of my scout group bought Tilley hats one of the guys bought a British waxed cotton hat. His habit of rolling it up and stuffing it in his pocket when not wearing it gave it a distressed cracked look over time.
So it can distress over time if you treat it the right way.
Most here would recommend a nice rabbit to beaver felt hat for the rain and not overheating. I myself would go for a nice Akubra. My go to bad weather hat is a Akubra Federation. Running about $200 Canadian it isn’t cheap but mine is 16 years old now and still going strong.
Johnny
 

BryanB

One of the Regulars
Messages
162
Most people are not hat people. Bucket hats and boonie hats are inexpensive and easy to find. So most people think a Tilley hat is a good, high quality hat. In this level the Filson is a good option. Honestly it is serviceable and will probably serve it’s purpose well.
When the rest of my scout group bought Tilley hats one of the guys bought a British waxed cotton hat. His habit of rolling it up and stuffing it in his pocket when not wearing it gave it a distressed cracked look over time.
So it can distress over time if you treat it the right way.
Most here would recommend a nice rabbit to beaver felt hat for the rain and not overheating. I myself would go for a nice Akubra. My go to bad weather hat is a Akubra Federation. Running about $200 Canadian it isn’t cheap but mine is 16 years old now and still going strong.
Johnny

Here it rains really hard in the winter. This video shows that the akubras hold up to water, but do lose their shape and need to be reblocked. I don't want to do that to mine. Hence why I got the filson, but the brim looks way too small. I mean end up getting an outback trading company oilskin hat. The willis and river guide have larger brims and comparable style. Still as an American expat, it still nice to have something that's really American for my collection.

Last couple of years I've used my Tilley T3 for the rain. They're fine for light rain. Typical I just try to use an umbrella as much as possible with the Tilleys. The would need to be waxed for heavy rain, which would ruin them for any other kind of weather. I've bought quite a few boonie hat recently. They're similar to the Tilley, but I'm always disapointed they don't have the same build quality, and the brim is always shorter than the 2.75 in of the Tilley, which is about perfect IMO. And they would be bad for pretty much any kind of rain, except a drizzle in warm weather. In Israel it only rains in cold weather.
 

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BryanB

One of the Regulars
Messages
162
I got the Filson finally. DHL crammed it in the mail box and creased the brim a bit. So I ordered XL. My head measures something like 58.6 cm. It's way too small. It fits but tightly. Also the brim is way to small to be at hat for rugged weather and sun. Though the quality of the materials is on par with Tilley.
 

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glider

A-List Customer
Messages
327
My opinion, Filson has gotten pretty pricey and quality isn't what it was 10 years ago. Top that with the snooty attitude they have on the phone and that does it for me. I don't do business with people that think they're doing me a favor by taking my money.
 

BryanB

One of the Regulars
Messages
162
Now that I've worn this hat a while it's grown on me. Pretty good for rainy cold weather. Too bad they don't make a version of this without oil cloth.
 

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