Filson Mackinaw vs Seattle Wool Explained [What’s the Difference?]

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If you are shopping for a Filson Wool Jacket, you have probably seen both Mackinaw and Seattle wool options. What is the difference between Filson Mackinaw vs Seattle wool?

Filson Mackinaw wool is a heavyweight wool and Filson Seattle wool is a midweight wool. In most Filson Mackinaw Wool Jackets, the weight of the material is 24-ounces. In most Filson Seattle Wool Jackets, the weight of the wool is 18-ounces.

These are the most popular types of Filson Mackinaw and Seattle Wool Jackets:

Mackinaw wool is the thickest, warmest, most durable type of wool that Filson uses. However, because Mackinaw wool is made from larger-diameter fibers, it feels scratchy against the skin. The Filson Seattle wool will still be warm and durable, but just not as thick and coarse as Filson Mackinaw Wool.

In this article let’s take a closer look at Filson Mackinaw vs Seattle Wool by discussing how the products differ and how they are built to handle both rainy and cold weather.

Explaining Filson Mackinaw vs Seattle Wool

Mackinaw wool is the thickest, most durable type of wool that Filson uses. It comes from a variety of sheep that experience both cold winters and hot summers which causes them to grow this heavyweight fleece (source).

When combined with a tight weave, this type of wool creates a wind-resistant and water-repellent barrier that insulates in the coldest conditions.

However, because Mackinaw wool is made from larger-diameter fibers, it feels scratchy against the skin. That’s why these types of Filson Mackinaw Wool Jackets are made to be worn over other layering pieces (so to protect the arms) or are made with a sewn-in liner which makes the jacket feel softer and more comfortable against the skin.


Because Filson Seattle Wool is a midweight wool, it won’t be quite as thick and coarse against the skin. Now, to be clear, if your skin is sensitive to wool, it is very possible even the midweight wool feels scratchy, but it won’t be as coarse as the heavyweight Mackinaw wool.

Is Filson Mackinaw Wool Warmer Than Seattle Wool?

Yes, Filson Mackinaw Wool is warmer than Seattle Wool. Both types of wool are very good at insulating in winter conditions, but because the Filson Mackinaw Wool is a heavyweight wool, it will provide more insulation and warmth.

Are Filson Wool Jackets Waterproof?

Filson wool jackets won’t be completely waterproof, but they are water-resistant (both Mackinaw and Seattle Wool). That means they can handle light to moderate precipitation.

I use mine in very wet winter conditions and it handles very well. In the video below I tried to capture how water-resistant this wool material is on my Filson Mackinaw Wool Cruiser:

Pros and Cons of Filson Wool Jackets

Excellent insulation – Mackinaw wool’s thick, densely woven structure traps air, creating a warm, insulating barrier against the cold.Coarse texture – Some find the coarse texture of Mackinaw wool uncomfortable against their skin. It is advisable to wear a layer underneath for added comfort.
Durability – Premium wool is known for its ability to withstand rugged conditions. The heavyweight nature and tightly woven construction make it highly resistant to wear and tear.Cost – Most Filson wool garments are made in the USA using these premium types of wool, which drives up cost.
Wind resistance – The tightly woven construction of Filson wool jackets provide excellent protection against wind.Limited Use – Because these thicker wools can feel coarse, they are mainly used for outerwear. Other softer types of wool (like merino wool) are used for shirts, sweaters, etc.
Water resistance This wool is water-repellent and can absorb up to 30% of its own weight in water without feeling damp or clammy. Requires special care – Mackinaw and Seattle wool garments require proper care to maintain their quality and longevity. They should be dry cleaned and need to be stored properly in a well-ventilated area.

How Warm Are Filson Wool Jackets?

Filson Wool Jackets are capable of handling mild to moderate winter conditions on their own, or you can layer underneath them for more extreme conditions. These jackets are very good for cold, wet weather for three main reasons:

  1. Filson wool jackets use a unique tight weave that increases durability, wind-resistance, and insulating qualities.
  2. The wool can absorb up to 30% of its own weight in water without feeling damp or clammy.
  3. The wool retains its insulating properties even when wet, making it an ideal choice for unpredictable weather conditions.

Filson does offer lined versions of some of their wool jackets (which will be the warmest options) but even those lined jackets won’t be made to handle sub-zero conditions on their own. They are a great to use in extremely cold conditions, but with appropriate layering underneath.

To read more, visit my article that discusses the warmth of Filson jackets.

Types of Filson Mackinaw vs Seattle Wool Jackets

Mackinaw Wool Cruiser JacketMade in USAHeavyweight 24-oz. Mackinaw woolVersatile work and casual jacket with wind resistance, water repellency, and ample cargo pockets. Built originally for Timber Cruisers working in woodlands of Pacific Northwest. Sizing advice
Seattle Wool Cruiser JacketMade in USAMidweight 18-oz. Seattle woolJust like the Mackinaw Cruiser from above, only this jacket uses the midweight Seattle wool.
Mackinaw Wool Work JacketMade in USA with global partsHeavyweight 24-oz. Mackinaw woolShorter 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.
Mackinaw Wool Cape CoatMade in USAHeavyweight 26-oz. Mackinaw woolSimilar to Cruiser Jacket but with cape design which provides double layer Mackinaw wool over the shoulders to create added weather protection.
Mackinaw Wool Lined Jac ShirtImportedHeavyweight 24-oz. Mackinaw woolSuitable for milder winter conditions and has a built in flannel lining which makes it softer against the skin.
Seattle Wool Jac Shirt Made in USAMidweight 18-oz. Seattle woolMidweight jac-shirt that functions as a heavy shirt, overshirt, mid-layer or light jacket.
Mackinaw Wool Packer CoatMade in USA with global partsHeavyweight 24-oz. Mackinaw woolLimited-edition coat with double layer caping on shoulders for added weather protection and a flannel lining for warmth and comfort against skin. Has distinctive shearling shawl collar.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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