Mackinaw wool is the thickest, most durable type of wool that Filson uses. It comes from sheep that experience both cold winters and hot summers which causes them to grow this heavyweight fleece. When combined with a tight weave, Filson Mackinaw 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 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.
These are the most popular types of Filson Mackinaw Wool Jackets:
- Mackinaw Wool Cruiser Jacket: The cruiser shirt was originally created by Filson for Timber Cruisers working in the harsh woodlands of the Pacific Northwest. Over time, the Cruiser Shirt turned into the Cruiser Jacket. It is now worn for a variety of reasons, including as both a work jacket and a casual jacket. It features four front side cargo pockets, much like a chore coat, which makes it versatile and convenient. It is made using heavyweight 24-ounce mackinaw wool that is wind-resistant, water-repellent, and insulates even when damp. Click here to view this Filson wool jacket at Filson.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Filson.com).
- Mackinaw Wool Work Jacket: This Filson Mackinaw Wool Work Jacket is built with a shorter length so that it finishes above the waist and can be easily paired with a tool belt. The shorter length also prevents it from riding up when seated operating machinery (or driving). It also uses snap buttons which are easier to handle with work gloves on. This jacket is made with heavyweight 24-oz. Mackinaw Wool that is weather ready. Click here to view this jacket at Filson.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Filson.com).
- Mackinaw Wool Cape Coat: This will be a good option for those facing rainier conditions. There is a double layer of heavyweight Mackinaw wool over the shoulders (called a cape) which adds extra protection against rain and snow. It has chest pockets and large handwarmer pockets. The cape across the shoulders add protections without adding bulk to the rest of the coat. This jacket uses a 26-ounce Mackinaw wool which is even heavier than other Mackinaw wool jackets. Click here to view this jacket at Filson.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Filson.com).
- Mackinaw Wool Lined Jac Shirt: Mackinaw wool can be scratchy, so it is best used for extreme cold with layers underneath which prevent the wool from itching the skin. However, this jac-shirt is a bit different. It has a sewn-in flannel lining which means you can wear it against your skin and the flannel lining creates a soft, comfortable fit. This will be a good option for more mild winter conditions where you don’t want to layer. Click here to view this Filson wool jacket at Filson.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Filson.com).
- Mackinaw Wool Packer Coat: This limited-edition coat combines many of the features from the jackets above. It has double-layered caped shoulders for extra weather protection. It is flannel lined so that it feels soft against the skin (and adds warmth). It has many front-side pockets, very similar to the Cruiser Jacket. The most defining feature of this jacket is the shearling shawl collar which adds warmth and weather protection. Click here to view this Filson wool jacket at Filson.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Filson.com).
In this article let’s discuss the pros and cons of Filson Mackinaw Wool Jackets and compare the different options so you can find an option that fits your needs. Let’s also briefly discuss the other types of Filson wool jackets.
Explaining Filson Mackinaw 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. When combined with a tight weave, this type of wool creates a wind-resistant and water-repellent barrier that insulates in the coldest conditions.
Here I am testing the waterproofness of my Filson Mackinaw Wool Jacket:
Mackinaw wool is known for being thick, heavyweight, and tightly woven. It has a coarse texture that provides excellent insulation and weather resistance, making it suitable for cold and harsh climates.
Here is a close-up photo of the Mackinaw wool fibers on one of my Filson wool jackets:
Some people find that heavyweight Filson Mackinaw wool is too itchy and scratchy against the skin. I personally am not bothered by it, but if you are sensitive to this type of material, layering underneath is best (or buy a Filson wool jacket with a sewn-in liner).
Due to its durability and insulating properties, Mackinaw wool is commonly used to make outerwear garments like jackets, coats, and blankets, designed to withstand rugged outdoor conditions.
Mackinaw wool is relatively less common and more specialized compared to regular wool, which is widely available in different grades and qualities depending on the specific sheep breed and processing methods.
Pros and Cons of Filson Mackinaw Wool
|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 – Mackinaw 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 – Mackinaw wool is less common compared to regular wool, which means finding specific Mackinaw wool garments may be difficult, and the cost of those garments can be pricey.|
|Wind resistance – The tightly woven construction of Mackinaw wool provides excellent protection against wind.||Limited Use – Because Mackinaw wool is a heavyweight fabric and can feel coarse, it is mainly used for outerwear. Other softer types of wool (like merino wool) are used for shirts, sweaters, etc.|
|Water resistance – Mackinaw 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 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 Mackinaw Wool Jackets?
Filson Mackinaw 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 four main reasons:
- Filson wool jackets use a unique tight weave that increases durability, wind-resistance, and insulating qualities.
- The wool can absorb up to 30% of its own weight in water without feeling damp or clammy.
- The wool retains its insulating properties even when wet, making it an ideal choice for unpredictable weather conditions.
- Filson wool jackets have a relaxed fit which makes them easy to layer underneath for harsh 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 Wool 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.|
|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.|
|Mackinaw Wool Cape Coat||Made in USA||Heavyweight 26-oz. Mackinaw wool||Similar to Filson Cruiser Jacket but with cape design which provides double layer Mackinaw wool over the shoulders to create added weather protection.|
|Mackinaw Wool Lined Jac Shirt||Imported||Heavyweight 24-oz. Mackinaw wool||Suitable for milder winter conditions and has a built in flannel lining which makes it softer against the skin.|
|Mackinaw Wool Packer Coat||Made in USA with global parts||Heavyweight 24-oz. Mackinaw wool||Limited-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.|
Other Types of Filson Wool Jackets
Mackinaw wool is the most premium, heavyweight wool that Filson uses. However, Filson also uses Seattle Wool, which is still a premium type of wool, but isn’t quite as thick and coarse as Mackinaw Wool.
Filson will also use loftier types of wool which are softer and more lightweight, and are designed to minimize itchiness. The interior of these loftier Filson wool jackets are often “brushed” to make them softer than Mackinaw and Seattle wool. Still, for those who are sensitive to wool, even these lofty, brushed wools can feel a little itchy and may need to be layered underneath.
But if you are looking for the most durable and most weather-ready wool that Filson offers, it is best to stick with Filson Mackinaw Wool Jackets.