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Filson Original Briefcase

Filson Original Briefcase


Back when Power & Motoryacht was based in Manhattan and there was nary a white hair on my head, I bought a heavy-duty, made-in-the-USA, canvas briefcase from Seattle-based Filson, a company that got its start in 1897 selling cold-weather clothing to hopeful prospectors and other folks headed for  the Klondike gold rush. I mean, you gotta have a briefcase if you work in New York, right? Filson’s since become famous for simple, practical, long-lasting products, some made from super-stout paraffin-soaked, water-repellent cotton called “Tin Cloth.” My Manhattan-era briefcase (these days Filson calls it the “Original Briefcase”), which I still carry during all marine-related adventures, was built of the same stuff the new ones are today: 22-ounce cotton twill fabric, heavy-duty brass zippers and snaps, and straps and handles made of genuine (and very robust) bridle leather. Over the years the darn thing has taken me, my laptop, my cellphone, and a raft of other odds and sods to some very far-flung places including the mountains of Papua New Guinea and the coast of wartime Iraq. I have carried it into jungles, across deserts, and through Alaskan rainforests, packed it aboard hundreds and hundreds of boats during Power & Motoryacht boat tests, tossed it into the cargo holds of seaplanes, stuffed it under the seats of inflatable RIBs, dragged it through grimy commercial-grade engine rooms, relied on its tough, water-repellent nature during saltwater dousings galore, and hey—it just keeps on pluggin’ via its nifty assortment of interior carrying compartments (both great and small) and some full-length and narrower pockets on the outside. Yeah, the ol’ Filson’s showing her age these days—the leather’s worn and there are a couple of small holes in the twill. But she’s hangin’ in there—the very thing for long-term survival in the marine environment, I’d say. 

This article originally appeared in the December 2013 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.