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Lower cost alternatives to Filson canvas bags

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by Dave Johnson, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. Dave Johnson

    Dave Johnson Loaded Pockets

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    I really like the look of the Filson Medium Field Bag (232). I think it would be great for carrying my stuff (iPad, iPhone, knife, small tools, Moleskine notebook, sunglasses, handgun, pocket first aid kit). The only problem I have with it is the price. In my opinion, it's a bit steep. I have no problem with paying for quality; paying for a label is an issue. Are there any alternatives out there? I'm looking for something that is durable, with old-school styling (no tactical nylon or molle webbing). Want something made with real canvas and leather that is going to last for years. Is there anything that even comes close to Filson, but doesn't cost +$200? I've heard that Filson's customer service is great, so that would be a factor to consider as well.
     
  2. b.s.

    b.s. Loaded Pockets

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    How much are you willing to pay?
    A Good quality holster can cost 100-300 dollars, so I suppose its all relative to what you're carrying. IMHO, belstaff is paying for name... Filson is quality gear.
     
  3. doktorziplok

    doktorziplok Loaded Pockets

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    duluth pack or frost river spring readily to mind
     
  4. gatorfan

    gatorfan Loaded Pockets

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    Duluth Trading or Frost River makes excellent quality bags. Fossil may also be an option too. I have the Frost River Big Manitou bag with some custom work. Pretty bombproof.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free
     
  5. JT2V

    JT2V Loaded Pockets

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    b.s. likes this.
  6. Brisket

    Brisket Loaded Pockets

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    My current EDC bag is a Filson Medium Field Bag after downsizing and taking my tablet instead of my laptop. I have used them for years mostly for optics & cameras and I think they are superior overall to and better value than all others I have used including ones from Duluth, Barbour, LL Bean and Orvis.
     
  7. plk7

    plk7 Loaded Pockets

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    i was going to suggest duluth pack and ll bean, but i see some others beat me to it. that being said, both my wife and i have filsons, and i wouldn't be surprised if we are able to pass them down to our kids. (the following phrase is found on filson tags: "might as well have the best.")
     
  8. patrat

    patrat Loaded Pockets

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  9. plk7

    plk7 Loaded Pockets

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    i also saw a waxed canvas work bag from land's end that is about $100 less than the filson. no idea about quality, though.
     
  10. davedigerati

    davedigerati Loaded Pockets

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    Check out Domke, their 505 can be got in waxed canvas and is a great bag

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk 2
     
  11. Brisket

    Brisket Loaded Pockets

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    I should have mentioned in my prior post that the several field/angler/small messenger bags that I have tried were all before I eventually ponied up and bought my first Filson field bag years ago. I too thought I could save some money with other alternatives but in retrospect I would have saved money and time by getting the Filson. I knew Filson made good quality products as I had a Filson jacket and a shooting belt bag at the time, but I didn't fully appreciate the 232 until I put it into use.

    The 22 oz. waxed twill fabric, double layered on the bottom, and thick bridle leather base plate on the back give the 232 give the bag structure I had not experienced in other bags. The bridle leather strap, which is more heavy duty than what most larger bags from other makers come with, attaches to rings on that leather base plate on the back of the bag. That allows not only a more comfortable carry than bags with side attached straps but also allows for easier access to gear while the bag is worn. That design combined with the bag's structure makes for excellent one-handed access to gear whether being worn on my side on on the seat of my truck next to me. The leather loop on the back is a feature not seen on most bags of this type and really comes in handy.

    These bags wear like iron and develop a patina with age which only enhances their looks. I always get positive comments on my Filson bags and it was this particular bag that sold me on the true value of Filson luggage which I am proud to have several pieces of including 2 of the medium field bags and a small one I use as a binocular bag. Here is my current EDC bag which does a good job of hiding its age.

    [​IMG]
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    JT2V, RobME and plk7 like this.
  12. Dave Johnson

    Dave Johnson Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the comments, fellas. I've been carrying a Fossil bag for about 1.5 years now. The waxed cotton is starting to wear through in a couple of places, but the bag seems like it's going to last for a few more years. I was mainly considering the Filson medium field bag because I wanted something larger than what I've got, and at the same time I thought going with something more durable than the Fossil bag would be a good idea. Wish I could compare the Frost River, Duluth Pack and Filson bags side-by-side. The Filson twill is 22 oz, Frost River Manitou bag is 18 oz (but described as "waxed canvas" - is that much different to twill?), and the Duluth Pack field satchel has 18 oz canvas but also a lot of leather. Tough call. The prices are quite different: Filson ($248), Frost River ($160) and Duluth Pack ($155). To justify the extra $90 or so, you'd hope that the Filson bag is going to be more durable.
     
  13. Brisket

    Brisket Loaded Pockets

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    I paid about $150 for my last Filson 232 (not the one in photos) less than a year ago on ebay and recently bought another Filson bag for 50% off retail with an online coupon from a retailer so I know you can get one for much less than $248.
     
  14. Dave Johnson

    Dave Johnson Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks, guys. I finished up buying a lightly used Frost River Big Manitou bag. It's a little bigger than what I'd carry every day, but it totally rocked when I went ice fishing recently - carried a bunch of gear, including the all-important thermos of hot chocolate and hip-flask of Baileys.

    I'll continue to keep an eye out for a $100 Filson bag on Ebay, but I think Brisket was incredibly lucky.
     
  15. dml24

    dml24 Loaded Pockets

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    Low costs alternatives:
    • Patagonia Half Mass Courier Bag - 15 liters, 3 compartments 3 + main .
    • Timbuk2 Commute 2.0 Messenger Bag - Medium - 18 liters, 2+ main compartment.
    • REI Quantum Messenger Bag - 23 liters, compartments - 4 + main.
    All these bags have padded compartments for tablets or small laptops. None have a price over $100.00.