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Filson Rugged Twill Duffel Review

A rugged bag with a handsome design, but not as versatile as others
Filson Rugged Twill Duffel
Photo: Filson
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Price:  $425 List | $425.00 at Backcountry
Pros:  Classic rugged style, durable and water-resistant materials, removable padded shoulder strap
Cons:  Heavy, expensive, no backpack straps, no additional storage pockets
Manufacturer:   Filson
By Nick Bruckbauer ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 20, 2020
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 16
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 7
  • Storage and Ease of Packing - 25% 7
  • Durability - 20% 8
  • Weight - 15% 3
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 8

Our Verdict

The Filson Rugged Twill Duffel stands out with its classic rugged style but doesn't quite match up to the versatility and performance of more modern designs with fancier features and high-tech materials. The lightly waxed heavy-duty cotton twill material and bridle leather straps provide a handsome aesthetic in addition to a durable and water-resistant finish. While this bag is capable of withstanding plenty of abuse, it lacks some creature comforts found on most of today's duffels, like backpack straps or additional storage pockets. The straight zippered opening is also not as convenient as larger D-shaped zippers. Still, travelers looking for a durable, reliable duffel with a classic style will appreciate the Filson Rugged Twill.

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Pros Classic rugged style, durable and water-resistant materials, removable padded shoulder strapRugged build, comfortable removable straps, variety of carry optionsDurable and weather resistant, comfortable carry options, convenient storage designEasy to pack, comfortable shoulder straps, excellent pockets, super durableLightweight, affordable, packs into own pocket
Cons Heavy, expensive, no backpack straps, no additional storage pocketsOnly one small pocket, heavy, priceyShoulder straps are somewhat difficult to removeHeavy, not as comfortable as others, less refined styleLimited durability and weather resistance, no backpack straps
Bottom Line A rugged bag with a handsome design, but not as versatile as othersOur favorite model due to a heavy-duty build and versatile carrying systemsA fully-featured duffel with a sleek and durable design that's ready to tackle your next adventureThe longtime standard for expedition duffels that we have recommended for a decadeA light, packable, high-volume duffel with an affordable price tag
Rating Categories Filson Rugged Twill... Sea to Summit Duffel Gregory Alpaca The North Face Base... REI Co-op Roadtripper
Ease Of Transport (25%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
4.0
Storage And Ease Of Packing (25%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
Durability (20%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
Weight (15%)
3.0
4.0
5.0
4.0
9.0
Weather Resistance (15%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
Specs Filson Rugged Twill... Sea to Summit Duffel Gregory Alpaca The North Face Base... REI Co-op Roadtripper
Weight (Pounds) 4.5 lbs (75L size L) 4.3 lbs (90L model) 3.8 lbs (90L model) 4.1 lbs (95 L model) 1.6 lbs (100L model)
Volume Size Options (Liters) 33, 43, 75 Liters 45, 65, 90, 130 Liters 30, 45, 60, 90, 120 Liters 31, 50, 71, 95, 132, 150 Liters 40, 60, 100, 140 Liters
Material 100% Cottton twill, bridle leather straps and accents 1000-Denier nylon tarpaulin laminate 900-Denier TPU diamond ripstop with additional bottom layer of 630-Denier nylon 1000-Denier phthalate-free TPE laminate body with additonal bottom layer of 840-Denier Jr. ballistics nylon 610-Denier coated Cordura polyester
# of pockets (excludes main compartment) 0 1 3 2 1
Backpack Straps No Yes Yes Yes No
D or I opening I D D D I

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.

Performance Comparison


The Rugged Twill duffel uses heavy-duty natural materials, including...
The Rugged Twill duffel uses heavy-duty natural materials, including waxed cotton and bridle leather, to create a handsomely rugged design.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

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.

The bridle leather handles wrap entirely around the bottom of the...
The bridle leather handles wrap entirely around the bottom of the bag to provide excellent carrying support.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

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.

The Rugged Twill duffel from Filson is one of the only models we...
The Rugged Twill duffel from Filson is one of the only models we tested with a traditional single shoulder sling.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

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.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

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).

Durability


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.

The leather reinforcement tabs and heavy-duty hardware accent the...
The leather reinforcement tabs and heavy-duty hardware accent the durable leather straps and heavy-duty waxed cotton material.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Weight


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.

Weather Resistance


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.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

Nick Bruckbauer