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Filson Cruiser Jackets are outdoor work jackets that were originally made for Timber Cruisers in the Pacific Northwest. Timber Cruising is the process of evaluating a forest timber line for its potential merchantable value.
As you can imagine, the forest terrain is rugged, and Cruiser Jackets provide a durable material with plenty of front-side pockets for storage. Present day, these jackets are also worn casually and Filson has increased the variations of this jacket to include more types of materials and designs.
These are the most popular types of Filson Cruiser Jackets:
- Filson Mackinaw Wool Cruiser – Traditional design made with Filson’s most heavyweight 24-ounce Mackinaw Wool for premium warmth and durability (click here to view).
- Filson Seattle Wool Cruiser – Same design as above, but made using Filson’s midweight 18-ounce Seattle Wool so it won’t be quite as warm and durable, but less coarse (click here to view).
- Filson Mackinaw Wool Work Cruiser – Shorter wool trucker-style finishes above the waist so it pairs with tool belt and doesn’t ride up when seated (click here to view).
- Filson Tin Cloth Cruiser – The most durable cruiser. It is made with Filson’s oiled Tin Cloth cotton canvas which is abrasion-resistant and water-repellent (click here to view).
- Filson Short Tin Cloth Cruiser – A shorter trucker-style version of the Tin Cloth Cruiser which means it won’t ride up when seated and can pair with tool belt (click here to view).
- Filson Denim Cruiser – Traditional design made with heavyweight 14.5-ounce raw denim combined with wool-blend lining for warmth (click here to view).
- Filson Short Denim Cruiser – A shorter trucker-style version of the Denim Cruiser which means it won’t ride up when seated and can pair with tool belt (click here to view).
- Filson Down Cruiser – Insulated with down for extra warmth and combined with an oiled cover cloth outer shell which is a durable canvas but lighter-weight than Filson Tin Cloth (click here to view).
- Filson Leather Cruiser – Limited edition version with heirloom-quality leather in short trucker-style design combined with snap buttons and corduroy collar (click here to view).
In this article I want to discuss my favorite types of Filson Cruiser Jackets, and then compare them to other options so you can find the jacket that makes most sense for you. I also want to discuss the purpose and fit of these types of jackets.
The Types of Filson Cruiser Jackets I Wear
Filson Mackinaw Wool Cruiser Jacket
Here I am wearing my Filson Mackinaw Wool Cruiser:
This is the jacket I use the most in the winter just because of how good it is at insulating. It’s not fully waterproof, but it is very water-repellent. I have to be out in heavy rain before it starts to absorb water.
In the video below I tried to capture how water-repellent this Filson Wool jacket is:
This jacket uses Filson’s Mackinaw Wool, which is their thickest and warmest wool. In my experience, it handles the wind very well also.
It has four large front-side cargo pockets and an interior chest pocket that is big enough to hold my phone. The only drawback is because this jacket finishes past the waist, it does ride up a bit when seated (Filson does offer a shorter version).
But I like to wear this longer version as my winter jacket because it provides protection past the waist. Overall, this Filson Cruiser jacket is perfect for the wet winter conditions I face.
Filson Short Lined Tin Cloth Cruiser Jacket
Here I am wearing my Filson Short Tin Cloth Cruiser:
This is the jacket I wear more for work. Because it is the shorter version, it fits much like a trucker jacket (meaning it won’t ride up when seated). It’s also much easier to pair this short version with a tool belt.
This jacket uses Filson Tin Cloth, which is Filson’s most heavyweight canvas fabric. Because it is a cotton material, an oil finish is applied to make the material as close to waterproof as you can make a cotton garment (no, it’s not completely waterproof but very close).
Here I am testing the water-repellency of my Filson Short Lined Tin Cloth Cruiser Jacket:
Filson Tin Cloth is the most durable type of fabric used in Filson Cruiser Jackets. This type of material is very good at handling heavy, wet brush.
I prefer the short version, but Filson offers this cruiser in a full length version as well. You will need to re-wax this jacket occasionally to help it maintain its water-repellency. To read about sizing, visit my Filson Short Lined Tin Cloth Cruiser Jacket Sizing Guide.
Other Types of Filson Cruiser Jackets
Filson Tin Cloth Cruiser Jackets
These are Filson’s most rugged cruiser jackets. These jackets are made with heavyweight oil-finished Tin Cloth fabric that is wind-resistant, water-resistant, and abrasion resistant. The oil finish makes this canvas material as close to waterproof as cotton canvas possibly can be (Filson also offers dry Tin Cloth).
As I discussed earlier in the article, I own the shorter version of this jacket. The shorter version is a trucker-style design that finishes above the waist so that it doesn’t ride up when seated. The longer version of this jacket will finish past the waist for extra weather protection.
The longer version also has a double-layer of Tin Cloth along the shoulders and sleeves for extra protection. Both versions have an inside that is lined with dry cotton so that your skin is not exposed to the oiled outer shell. These jackets feature several front-side pockets for storage.
Filson Oil-Finished Tin Cloth is a great fabric to use for thick, wet brush. The material is extremely durable and the oil-finish prevents the canvas material from becoming water-logged.
Filson Down Cruiser Jacket
The Filson Down Cruiser Jacket uses 650-fill power goose down for protection in the coldest, wettest weather. Most down jackets are made with lightweight outer shells which are not durable. The nice thing about this jacket is Filson has pair the down insulation with its Cover Cloth waxed outer shell so that the jacket is both warm and durable.
Filson Cover Cloth is a canvas material but it is not as thick as Filson Tin Cloth from above (but it is still very durable). The design of this Filson Cruiser jacket is slightly different due to the puffer insulation, but keeping with traditions Filson has incorporated four front-side pockets for storage.
Filson Wool Cruiser Jackets
Filson Wool Cruiser Jackets are their most classic type of cruiser. As I discussed earlier in the article, I own the regular version of the wool cruiser.
Filson also offers a shorter version that they call the Filson Wool Work Jacket. The shorter length makes it easier to pair with a tool belt and it uses snap buttons which are work-glove friendly.
This short wool cruiser does not have as many pockets as most other types of Filson Cruiser Jackets. It has two large front cargo pockets, but does not have external chest pockets. It is made using heavyweight 24-ounce Mackinaw wool.
Filson Denim Cruiser Jackets
Filson also offers Cruiser Jackets made with heavyweight raw denim. Because it is raw denim, these jackets form their own unique patina as you break them in and use them. Filson offers these denim cruiser jackets in both a regular and short version.
The short version (just like the other short cruisers we have discussed) is designed to finish above the waist much like a trucker jacket. This keeps the jacket from riding up when seated. This short version is lined with flannel in both the body and sleeves. It uses a traditional button-front closure.
The regular version is also lined, but uses a wool-blend lining in the body and a polyester lining in the sleeves. This jacket looks very similar to a chore coat. It uses snap buttons which make it easier to button and un-button while wearing work gloves.
Because these jackets use a heavyweight denim, they are very durable. But they won’t be as durable as the Filson Tin Cloth Cruiser Jackets, and they are not water-repellent.
Chart Comparing Types of Filson Cruiser Jackets
Below is a chart comparing some of the most popular types of Filson cruiser jackets:
|Mackinaw Wool Cruiser Jacket||Made in USA||Heavyweight 24-oz. Mackinaw wool||Versatile work and casual jacket with wind resistance, water repellency, and ample cargo pockets. Built originally for Timber Cruisers working in woodlands of Pacific Northwest.|
|Seattle Wool Cruiser Jacket||Made in USA||Midweight 18-oz. Seattle wool||Same style as Mackinaw Cruiser from above, only this jacket uses a midweight 18-ounce wool which will be a bit softer than Mackinaw wool (but will still feel a bit itchy to sensitive skin).|
|Down Cruiser||Imported||8-oz Cover Cloth + 11-oz Shelter Cloth||This cruiser combines 650-fill goose down insulation with lightweight oil-finished canvas cloth to create a jacket that is warm but more durable than other down jackets.|
|Mackinaw Wool Work Jacket||Made in USA with global parts||Heavyweight 24-oz. Mackinaw wool||Shorter length makes it work appropriate because it pairs with tool belt and doesn’t ride up when seated. Also has snap buttons that are easier to use with work gloves on.|
|Lined Tin Cloth Cruiser||Imported||Heavyweight 14-oz. oil-finished Tin Cloth canvas||The most durable cruiser. It is made with Filson’s oiled Tin Cloth cotton canvas which is abrasion-resistant and water-repellent|
|Short Lined Tin Cloth Cruiser||Imported||Heavyweight 14-oz. oil-finished Tin Cloth canvas||A shorter trucker-style version of the Tin Cloth Cruiser which means it won’t ride up when seated and can pair with tool belt|
|Lined Denim Cruiser||Made in USA with global parts||Heavyweight 14.5-oz. raw cotton denim||Traditional design much like a chore coat made with heavyweight 14.5-ounce raw denim combined with wool-blend lining for warmth|
|Short Lined Denim Cruiser||Made in USA with global parts||Heavyweight 14-oz. raw cotton denim||A shorter trucker-style version of the Denim Cruiser which means it won’t ride up when seated and can pair with tool belt|
|Roughout Leather Short Cruiser||Made in USA with global parts||Full-grain oil-tanned leather||Limited edition version with heirloom-quality leather in short trucker-style design combined with snap buttons and corduroy collar|
History of the Filson Cruiser Jacket
As we discussed above, cruiser jackets are outdoor work jackets that were originally made for Timber Cruisers in the Pacific Northwest. Timber Cruising is the process of evaluating a forest timber line for its potential merchantable value.
The Filson brand has long been credited with establishing the Cruiser Jacket because owner C.C. Filson first created a “cruiser shirt” in 1912 to be used by outdoor tradesmen, including Timber Cruisers. A patent was awarded to C.C. Filson in 1914 for the cruiser design.
The Cruiser jacket may have been originally designed for timber cruisers, but it was quickly adopted by trades working in similar conditions such as miners, lumberjacks, dam builders, prospectors, and fisherman.
As you can imagine, forest cruisers faced harsh, rugged conditions, and cruiser jackets provided a durable material with plenty of front-side pockets for storage. Present day, the role of a cruiser jacket has expanded to include several different types of trades and hobbies.
How Do Cruiser Jackets Fit?
Cruiser jackets usually finish near or just below the waist, and often feature a button-front design with no zipper and no hood. Yes, there can be exceptions. Some cruiser jackets may have extra material over the shoulders, known as a “cape”, to provide extra weather protection around the shoulders and chest.
Although the fit of a Filson cruiser jacket can vary slightly depending on the type of jacket you choose, most cruiser jackets are designed to have a relaxed fit that doesn’t hug tight against the body. This provides space underneath for workers to add extra layers if needed, and also provides the needed space to move freely while working.