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Gear Review: FILSON TinCloth Packer hat & oil finish dry wax

Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by Bushman5, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. Bushman5


    Oct 31, 2007
    One of my biggest pet peeves is the constant cycle of urban weekend warriors (the MEC /REI crowd) that i observe buying new clothing every few months. For such "eco-minded" preaching holier than thou people, i find it funny they don't see the irony of what they are doing. Your plastic clothes require tons of energy to make (oooh thats green!!!) , most of it is made overseas (so much for supporting your local makers like you preach you do, plus all the fuel used to ship it over here) and well, its just plain ugly. (my opinion your mileage might vary! )

    Traditional clothing, be it locally made wool, canvas etc, is tough, abrasion resistant (i have a brand new "goretex" jacket that lasted three days in these woods before shredding) , LONG LASTING, and when it finally wears out, can be made into something else. In the case of canvas, it makes excellent char cloth., or if you have canvas pants, you can make stow bags from the legs. Clothes like these use less energy and resources to make, and unlike the plastic clothing of today, some will last for generations, this makes for a lower eco footprint. You get the idea

    One of my favorite traditional clothes makers is FILSON. I have a TinCloth Packer hat,the design hasn't changed since the companies beginning in the 1897. MIGHT AS WELL HAVE THE BEST is the logo, and it still holds that value.

    A durable slouch fedora style, made from Filsons tincloth (thick canvas) and treated with their legendary oil finish wax. The hat repels rains all day. It can get a bit dewy inside if your slogging hard, but hey, thats what a hanky is for!) Once in a while i reproof the hat, hand rubbing in the wax and then letting it sit in a hot dryer (off), the warmth melts the wax into the fibers and you get a DRY wax finish that isn't tacky or sticky. Classic styling, nukeproof construction, nice earth tones to blend in = :thumbup: from me.

    stock photo courtesy of Filson (action pics when i access a camera)


    I bought a case of the tins of wax, and treated my Carhartt work pants (another more modern canvas clothing company). It took a bit of time, but i hand rubbed the wax into the pants and then tumbled them in the dryer for a minute or two (NO MORE, fire hazard!) to melt the wax. A quick brushing of the pants and they repel dew from low lying shrubs when slogging thru the woods. A quick plunge thru a creek and the wax repels 95% of the water splashing up, it just rolls off.

    I also treated a Propper boonie hat with it, again rubbing the wax into it and setting it on the dryer shelf for a few minutes. Dry finish, highly water repellent.

    so here is both a 10/10 for both products. :thumbup:

    EDIT: we need a CLOTHING section under WS&S Pre-fixes ;)
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2008
    K Williams likes this.
  2. ROCK6


    Feb 8, 2004
    Good to hear! I love my Filson Packer Hat...just went on a 4-5 mile hike with my son down here in TX. It's not only for cold, wet temperatures. Kept the son off my head and it didn't heat up as bad as you would think. I'll have to get some of that wax for my boonie...

  3. JCJR


    Jul 31, 2006
    They make great products.I have a Filson wool Waterfowl sweater and a pair of their wool hunting pants.They make the 10 day trip to Canada to deer hunt with me every year.Warm and durable describes their products best.
  4. DiverDn


    Jan 13, 2007

    How does the hat react to the extreme cold?

    I have always wanted one of their tin coats, but was afraid that it would get stiff when it was exposed to really cold (sub freezing/zero) temperatures.

  5. MikeH


    Oct 18, 2001
    I loved my Filson Packer Hat, until it shrank. I have a large head, and the largest available Filson Hat just barely fit. I have had two of them, and they both shrunk to the point they were unwearable. All efforts to stretch them without tearing the seams have failed.:(
  6. Brian Andrews

    Brian Andrews

    Dec 11, 2006
    Great review Bushman.

    Another product that I like quite a bit is Drizabone. It is the Australian equivalent to Filson. The main difference is the material used. It is about the same weight, but the DB is a tighter weave. DB are supposed to be legendary for their toughness and durability. I think Filson's are a bit tougher and durable, but the DB's are a touch more water repellant due to their fabric.

    Both are great products :thumbup:

    Thanks for the review.
  7. kdstrick


    May 27, 2007
    Good review... thanks! I was looking at those hats at Sportsman's Warehouse today. One question for you guys who own one...

    How does it breath? It seems like the waxed cotton would not breath very well, and would be HOT on your head. Bear in mind that I'm in Texas. Generally, I'm fighting the heat more than the cold. Normally, I go with just a baseball cap or Propper boonie.

  8. Bushman5


    Oct 31, 2007
    DIVERDN, yea they get pretty stiff in cold weather, its never really bothered me though (your milage might vary) ....but i tend to wear my TILLEY wool winter hat in cold weather......

    KDSTRICK, ya sweat a bit in hot weather, the hat get pretty soft too but i find it no different than any other hat in hot weather, sweat is sweat so to speak. I just occasionally wipe me noggin with a hanky and wipe out the inside of the hat and good to go.
  9. HornyToad


    May 2, 2008
    I wear a 7-1/4 hat in case you want to get rid of one. ;)
  10. Bushman5


    Oct 31, 2007
    BTW, if anyone is planning to use the Oil Finish wax on their canvas clothing, it takes about 1- 2 tins depending on how much you apply, and the size of the garment. Expect to drink about 6 beers and spend 2 hours rubbing wax into the fabric.

    Use a hair dryer after to melt it all in and then wipe it down with a clean lint free cotton towel. A couple of fabric wipe downs followed by a damp cloth wipe will finish off the proofing nicely.

    hand wash in cold after extensive use, unless you like wax sticking (and stick it will!) to your washer tub......
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2008
  11. collecter


    Aug 21, 2002
    I have one and found that it didn't breath like I need it to. My hair would get wet from perspiring and when I stop moving I'd get a chill because my hair was wet.

    I love the styling and it does work in a moderate climate and if your not working up a sweat.

    For a hot climate the hat I like is all cotton in a similar style by Scala, They call it the "Classico".

    That's my hot weather hat. For very cold weather I like a berber Mad-Bomber hat and when neihter of those fits the bill I'll wear a wool baseball cap.

    Something that goes well with any hat is a wool scarf. It's light weight and backs easily but makes a world of difference when the sun goes down or if the winds pick up.
  12. elelbean


    Apr 5, 2005
    "One of my biggest pet peeves is the constant cycle of urban weekend warriors (the MEC /REI crowd) that i observe buying new clothing every few months."

    You and me both. I really dislike all these ultra-lite hikers who complain that anything made of wool or waxed cotton/canvas is too heavy. I'm starting build a pretty big filson collection with the double mac and heavy pants. I was really close to getting a packer hat and I love the look of them, but i couldn't never get a size to fit right. Plus, i only wear brimmed hats when it's either sunny (summer) or raining (spring-fall). Because I don't need this type of hat for insulation I have gone to a Tilley-type hat instead and it gives a lot more sun and rain protection with the bigger brim. I've also got a oiled canvas hat from MEC for cheap that I really like. It's got a huge brim.
  13. DPris


    Nov 27, 2003
    I've had my Filson Packer for about 15 years now.
    I like the hat, but I've found it's not a good one for activity. As mentioned above, it doesn't breathe well, and when wearing mine on long walks I've invariably come back with wet hair and water beaded up inside the hat (especially in cold weather).
    For casual wear in any kind of weather where I'm not being particularly active, it's a good hat & one of my favorites.

    It's stiff in it's normal state, softens up quite a bit in hot weather under the sun, and I have not noticed the stiffness in mine changing much from about 60 degrees on down to 20.
    Mine has not shrunk, and it's been around some.

    Last edited: Sep 2, 2008
  14. Anjin


    Mar 30, 2007
    Filson and similar products are largely bullet-proof, but they can be damaged. One thing you do NOT want to do is wash any Filson, Barbour, etc. products in a washing machine. My wife figured she'd help me out by washing my scruffy looking oversize Barbour waxed jacket, bought in England and that I'd used for hunting in Africa, plus many, many duck and pheasant hunts, fishing trips, etc. It took out all the wax, shrank the jacket from XXL to L so extra coats and sweaters wouldn't fit under it and the machine ripped holes in the cotton material. Barbour's instructions say wash only under a hose, without soap, as I recall.

    I bought a Barbour repair kit and patched the holes, then rewaxed the coat with great effort, but it was basically worthless to me. Maybe my young son will be able to use it when he's a bit older.

    I keep my Filson stuff far away from my wife.:eek:
  15. Bushman5


    Oct 31, 2007
    Agreed! I just sponge mine down with a cold damp sponge afer use, thats it.

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