Sunday, January 10, 2010

C.C. Filson Mackinaw Cruiser

Style No.110 Mackinaw Cruiser

Detail: back map pocket

The year was 1897; the place Seattle. C. C. Filson's Pioneer Alaska Clothing and Blanket Manufacturers was founded by Clinton C. Filson to supply goods to the horde of adventurers headed for the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush. The conditions were so harsh that the quality of their clothing was a matter of survival, and Filson staked his reputation on making clothing that stood up to the challenge. "Might as well have the best" is the company's tag line, and they have earned their bragging rights.

As the rush north ended, Filson began to supply sturdy clothing to the logging industry in the Pacific Northwest, as well as to sportsmen and others who earned their living in the outdoors.
Filson's product line-up is a traditionalist's dream- made in Seattle of the highest quality materials, their core line of heavy wool and waxed cotton outwear is largely un-messed with- same as it always was.

The Mackinaw Cruiser, patented in 1914, is Filson's signature product. Made of heavy (26 oz to the yard) dense 100% virgin mackinaw wool, it was designed to meet the needs of timber cruisers. It sports no fewer than 8 pockets including the map pocket formed by doubling the back panel and accessible via large snapped flaps at the side seams.

I've owned this coat now for more than 15 years, put it through its paces, and it is just about broken in. New, it is stiff enough to stand up on its own. A lifetime investment, my grandchildren will be wearing this coat if it doesn't end up at the Goodwill.

Eventually, no doubt, the Mackinaw Cruiser will be watered down to meet the expectations of the modern marketplace- the fabric lighter and softer, enzyme washed, sewing outsourced to Asia, and re-branded with some heritage collection re-issue nonsense. For now it is still the real deal- made in America for its intended purpose.

C.C. Filson

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