“Hey, you’re pretty good at what you do and I’m pretty good at what I do, so let’s make something pretty good together.” That’s what I imagine the conversation was like when famous sportswear/boating shoe king Sebago and legendary outdoor gear and clothes company, Filson, decided to team up on a collection together. Brand collaboration is always an interesting thing. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I’d like to think that the Fall 2012 Filson x Sebago crossover works quite nicely as the two brands, famous for their outdoor style–one by land and one by sea–manage to create some really sharp products that are bound to lighten up that wallet of yours.
Let’s start with the Sebago Medium Field Bag. Made of Filson’s 100% virgin wool and classic oil finish tin cloth (a material that put them on the map), it’s built to last and looks as handsome as ever. The sides and bottom of the bag are completely lined with wool as well as the top flap. Under the hood, you’ll find two quick access pockets in addition to the large, pocket-free main compartment. The bag is accented with genuine Bridle leather with a matching shoulder strap and brass-plate nickel hardware. On the reverse side of the bag, you’ll find a full-length zipper pocket for more quick access on the go. The medium field bag is a perfect companion to dress up or down as it looks just as nice for a trek in the woods or as fun accent to lug around your laptop, lunch, and change of clothes when walking the streets of your nearest city. It retails for $300 and is available online directly from Filson.
My next pick from the Fall 2012 collection is the Sebago Kettle Boot. This isn’t the first time the two brands have teamed up to make a pair of boots, but it is the first time they are using the 100% virgin wool in a shoe. Previous iterations of the Kettle Boot used only the tin cloth, but here you’ll see that wool is the go to material for Filson this fall.
Both the brown and black versions of the boot feature Sebago’s soft, waterproof leather that makes them comfortable from the minute you put them on (no need to break these pups in!). The brown leather model features olive colored Mackinaw Wool, whereas the black leather model utilizes the Filson wind-, water-, and abrasion-resistant oil-finished tin cloth. Both versions of the Kettle boot utilize Vibram made soles for increased grip and durability when traversing slippery terrain. These boots look great with khakis or jeans and are available online direct from Filson for $165, but deals can be had if your lucky on sites like Amazon and Zappos.
To go with your new bag and boots, Sebago and Filson made a belt that’s strong enough to swing from let alone keep your pants up. Made from two strips of Bridle leather that have been sewn onto that same wind-, water-, abrasion-resistant oil finished tin cloth material Filson is famous for, it’s a great option for casual outfits–though wearing a funky tie and some less pressed slacks with it wouldn’t look too shabby either. The belt is available directly from Filson’s online store and retails for $90.
I’m not sure how else to describe the Wool Cruiser Coat then by saying “bad ass.” It looks like something an old school park ranger might roll up on his horse wearing before he tips his hat and tells you not to wander off the trail because there’s bears out here. But don’t fret if your not the outdoor type, this thing will look just as good on the city streets with a pair of jeans and a flannel or cool sweater under it.
Made of the same olive Mackinaw Wool we’ve seen in each of the new line’s products and accented with soft Sebago leather, it’s as warm as it looks–maybe even warmer. In addition to all of the exterior pockets, Filson went ahead and snuck an open inner pocket, a full width map pocket in the back, and two hand warmer pockets on the sides. Available now from the Filson online shop for $360.
So let’s recap: an awesome, mid-size duffel with wool accents, a set of new boots with brown or black soft leather and wool or tin cloth accents respectively, a tough-as-nails belt to dress up or down, and a jacket that’ll leave those in your path wondering if there “feeling lucky, punk.” What’s left? Well, believe it or not, a hat. A big, puffy, wool and sheepskin, no-joke-head-warming hat. The Double Mackinaw Cap is Sebago and Filson’s warmest offering for the outdoor man. The sheepskin earflaps tie up using a shoelace like string, but when the wind is howling and the weather is frigid, they fold down over the ears to keep you toasty. The cap material is thick olive colored wool like the one we’ve seen used in all of the previous pieces of the Fall 2012 collection. And to further keep with the materials theme, the brim is made using the same oil finish tin cloth for durability. The cost of this fluffy winter refuge is $80 and available in the Filson online shop.
The Filson x Sebago crossover is currently a collection of 21 pieces, mainly made up of shoes from a few prior collaborations. What we’re beginning to see, though, is an expansion of scope as the two brands try their collective hand at apparel and accessories such as bags, jackets, belts, and hats. While I’ll be the first to admit that the Double Mackinaw Cap isn’t at the top of my list for winter purchases, the bag, belt, and of course, the boots, are all serious contenders in those categories and make pressing the “Checkout” button all the more tempting. I think that the consistency of using like materials in each of the products is nice for an initial line as well, but my hope is that they begin to diversify on colors and textures for the next collection. I guess we’ll just have to see what Spring 2012 brings!
By Tom Caruso