What to Know About Filson Tin Cloth Workwear Before You Buy

I currently use Filson Tin Cloth Workwear and have past history owning both dry and oil-finished Filson Tin Cloth work jackets and pants. In this article I want to answer some of the most common questions about Filson Tin Cloth Workwear.

Quickly, here are some of the most important things to know:

  • I prefer Lined Tin Cloth – I will discuss this more below, but for oil-finished Tin Cloth I prefer the jackets that have a dry lining so that my skin and shirts do not contact the oil-finished material. This is just what I’ve learned to prefer. To be specific, this is the type of lined Tin Cloth that I like because it uses the dry-finish Cover Cloth as the internal lining (paid affiliate link takes you to Filson.com).
  • Is Filson Tin Cloth Waterproof? – No, but it is really close. Technically Filson Tin Cloth is not listed as fully waterproof because cotton canvas cannot be completely waterproof. It is listed as water-resistant. However, the oil-finished Tin Cloth is as close as you can come to making a cotton garment waterproof. In my experience, it can handle wet brush with ease.
  • Heavyweight Fabric – Filson Tin Cloth is the most heavyweight cotton canvas material that Filson offers, so expect a break-in period. Filson also offers a midweight cotton canvas fabric (called Filson Shelter Cloth) and a lightweight cotton canvas fabric (called Filson Cover Cloth) that are used in certain workwear garments. Those midweight and lightweight canvas fabrics will be easier to break in (but less durable). To read more, visit my article that compares Filson Tin vs Shelter vs Cover Cloth.
  • Dry versus Oil-Finished – Filson offers both dry Tin Cloth and oil-finished Tin Cloth workwear garments. The oil-finish makes the garment water-repellent and more durable. Filson dry tin cloth is not water-repellent, however, it is much more breathable than the oil-finished Tin Cloth. Update – Filson now offers certain types of dry Tin Cloth garments that are treated with DWR finish to make them water-repellent.
  • Will the Garment be Oily? – Yes, this may seem rather obvious but I want to make sure you are prepared for what you buy. Oil-finished Tin Cloth out of the box will have fresh oil on the shell. This means when you touch it, you will see some oily residue on your fingers. This is what makes the garment water-resistant. Over time, my jackets patina and the oil doesn’t sit on the surface as much. However, you must periodically re-wax to preserve the water-repellency. Dry tin cloth will not have oil.

In this article I want to take a closer look at what makes Filson Tin Cloth Workwear so popular and discuss the different types of Filson Tin Cloth Workwear garments so you can find an option that fits your needs.

Filson Tin Cloth Workwear Jackets

Popular Filson Tin Cloth Jackets

Filson Lined Tin Cloth Cruiser Jacket – This is Filson’s classic waxed cruiser jacket. It is made with Filson Tin Cloth, which is their most durable, heavyweight canvas. The oil finish adds even more abrasion resistance and makes the Tin Cloth fabric highly water-resistant. It is lined with a dry canvas fabric for extra durability and warmth. This version finishes just past the waist, but Filson also offers a shorter version we discuss next.

Filson Short Lined Tin Cloth Cruiser Jacket – This is the shorter version of Filson’s waxed cruiser jacket and this is the Filson Tin Cloth Jacket I wear. I like that it finishes above the waist in a sort of trucker-style fit (which prevents it from riding up when seated). Yes, this is an oil-finished Tin Cloth, but it has a dry lining so the oil-finish material doesn’t impact my skin. To read about sizing, visit my Filson Short Tin Cloth Cruiser Jacket Size Guide. Below you can see the dry lining on my oil-finished Filson Short Tin Cloth Jacket:


Filson Tin Cloth Work Jacket: This jacket is very similar to the Filson Short Lined Cruiser from above, only this Filson Waxed Jacket is tailored a bit more towards being a work jacket. It finishes above the waist so you can pair it with a tool belt, and it has snap buttons which makes it easier to button and unbutton with work gloves on. It uses oil-finished heavyweight Tin Cloth for the outer shell and is lined with lightweight dry Cover Cloth canvas. The hand pockets are flannel-lined and the collar is wool-lined for added warmth.

Filson Tin Cloth Field Jacket: This is a versatile jacket that can be used for many reasons, including work. The outer-shell is made with heavyweight Filson Tin Cloth and is oil-finished to add weather protection. This jacket is built to maximize storage with two large front cargo pockets and a back game pocket. It also has chest pockets and internal pockets. This jacket comes unlined, but it is compatible with Filson’s zip-in jacket liners. It is also compatible with Filson hoods.

Filson Dry Tin Cloth Jac-Shirt – This is a newly released version of Filson Tin Cloth Jacket that uses dry Tin Cloth. Again, dry Tin Cloth means this jacket will *not* have an oil-finish. However, what makes this jacket unique is Filson has treated it with a DWR finish so that it is still water-resistant without the oil finish. This jacket also uses a 10.5-ounce Tin Cloth fabric, making it a bit more flexible than the heavyweight jackets.

Testing the Water-Repellency of My Filson Tin Cloth Jacket

In the video below I tested the waterproofness of my Filson Oil-Finished Tin Cloth Jacket to see if it would absorb water:

Filson Tin Cloth Workwear Pants

Filson Oil Finish Single Tin Cloth Pants: These are my favorite option. They are made with Filson’s ultra-durable Tin Cloth canvas and have an oil-finish to add water-resistance and extra toughness. These pants are very durable, but Filson does offer a double tin cloth version of this pant which is even more rugged (which we discuss next). The only drawback for me regarding these pants is the oil-finish reduces breathability. If you need something breathable it’s best to stick with Filson’s Dry Tin Cloth that isn’t waxed.

Filson Oil Finish Double Tin Cloth Pants: These are the most rugged Filson work pants. They are similar to the single Tin Cloth pants from above, only these pants have two layers of Tin Cloth fabric from the waist to the knee. These pants have an oil-finish to add water-resistance and extra toughness (and also retains heat). These pants are double-needle stitched and reinforced with bar-tacking for added strength.

Filson Dry Tin Cloth Pants: Filson’s Tin Cloth is popular because it is durable and handles well in harsh work environments, but the oil-finished versions we discussed above lack breathability due to the wax. Also, some people don’t like the feel of waxed work pants. These Filson Dry Tin Cloth pants don’t use that oil-finish, which means they won’t be water-resistant like the options above, but they will be more breathable and you can machine wash them.

My Advice for Filson Tin Cloth Pants

Filson oil-finished pants are not very breathable. The oil finish makes the pants ultra-durable and water-resistant, but it also makes the pants less breathable. If you need a durable work pant that is also breathable, it is best to stick with the dry Tin Cloth pants.

The Dry Tin Cloth Filson work pants, as the name suggests, are designed with a dry finish that provides increased breathability compared to waxed fabrics. This makes them a suitable choice for milder temperatures and activities that require a balance of durability and airflow. However, they are not water-repellent like the oil-finished pants.

To read more, visit my article that discusses Filson Work Pants.

Other Types of Filson Tin Cloth Workwear


Although Filson Tin Cloth workwear jackets and pants are the most popular types of Tin Cloth garments, Filson does use this material in other types of workwear, including:

  • Vests
  • Hats
  • Hoods
  • Aprons
  • Bags
  • Chaps & Bibs
  • Shorts

Filson Oil-Finish Tin Cloth can be particularly useful in headwear, and the Filson Oil-Finish Tin Cloth Hood is compatible with many Filson Jackets.

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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