Filson Rugged Twill Duffel Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Filson Rugged Twill Duffel impresses with its handsome style and robust build but lacks some features and comforts found on most other modern competitors. It scores well in our durability and weather-resistance performance metrics with its heavy-duty waxed cotton and leather construction. Still, it falls behind in the other parameters with its heavier weight and simple design. It's always ready to tackle your most rugged outdoor adventures and has a classy style ready to impress on a business trip or during general travel.
Ease of Transport
The Filson earns average scores in this rating metric its useful classic strap design, but it lacks modern features we appreciate like backpack straps, grab handles, and daisy chains. If you can sacrifice these extra conveniences, you'll enjoy the simplicity and effectiveness of the bridle leather straps. The main carrying handles wrap entirely around the bag and snap together with a leather hand grip. This strap design does an excellent job of supporting the weight of the bag and makes it reasonably comfortable to carry at your side.
An additional shoulder strap includes a comfortable strip of padding and is easily adjustable and removable. The bridle leather straps and body tabs are very high quality, and all of the snaps and buckles are quite robust.
Storage and Ease of Packing
The main storage compartment of the Filson Rugged Twill is accessed by un-snapping the protective weather flap and unzipping the main straight-shot zipper. The zipper is very robust and is fortified with leather reinforcement strips, and convenient leather pull tabs accent the two zipper pulls. While we recognize the strength and quality of this zipper, we typically prefer the accessibility provided by a larger D-shaped or U-shaped zipper designs that offer better internal access.
One inside the main storage compartment, there is a small storage sleeve at each end, but no further zippered pockets or storage compartments. Although we typically appreciate additional storage features, we recognize that this more straightforward design helps reduce the weight and bulk of an already burly bag. We tested the size Large option, which has an approximately 75-liter storage volume. It is also available in size Small (approx. 33 liters) and size Medium (approx. 43 liters).
The Filson's 100% cotton twill material is lightly waxed to repel dirt and water and is very durable for both general travel and more rugged use. Very tough without being too stiff, it has a fairly soft touch to the hand, but also a confidence-inspiring thickness and weave density. Seams are strong, hardware quality is top-notch, and leather strips or patches fortify typical wear points like zippers and strap attachment points. While the leather straps and accents might not hold up as well to extended abuse in wet or freezing environments, this bag is plenty durable for general travel and most outdoor use.
Weighing in at 4.5 pounds in the size Large model (approximately 75 liters), the Filson Rugged Twill is one of the heaviest bags that we tested. It's natural materials, while beautiful and quite durable, are simply heavier than other more modern nylons and laminates with similar protective qualities.
The Rugged Twill duffel receives high scores in this performance metric thanks to its waxed cotton construction that repels moisture, and an extensive weather flap that protects the primary zippered opening. This bag is as capable as any other model at withstanding splashes or short jaunts in the rain. Still, its natural materials likely won't hold as well as heavy-duty nylons and laminates to wet conditions or freezing temperatures. However, keeping these materials clean and well-conditioned, and reapplying a water-resistant wax coating will help extend this model's lifespan and ability to take on rough and wet conditions.
The Filson is one of the prices models that we tested. However, with its premium natural materials, rugged build, and classic style, it looks to be appropriately priced compared to other similar duffel styles across the market. While this design adds some extra weight and sacrifices some performance features compared to more technical-minded duffels, it would provide a good value to the user who appreciates its style, materials, and high-quality construction. Other travelers looking for more versatility, more comfortable carrying options, or more high-tech materials and features would find a better value in one of the other packs in our lineup.
The Filson Rugged Twill duffel bag has a classic style with rugged natural materials, and we think it's one of the most handsome models we've tested. It keeps up with some of the more modern designs and materials when it comes to durability and weather protection, but falls short of more technical models in other areas. Travelers looking for a tough, stylish duffel will appreciate its design and construction.
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