Filson Vs. Tom Beckbe Waxed Jacket: In-depth Differences

For over a century, Filson and Tom Beckbe have crafted some of the most iconic and beloved waxed jackets around. These American heritage brands have garnered devout followings thanks to their rugged dependability, timeless style, and quality craftsmanship.

But how exactly do Filson and Tom Beckbe waxed jackets compare? Which one is right for you? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the key differences and similarities between these two classics to help you decide.

A Brief Comparison Table

AspectsFilsonTom Beckbe
Fabric22oz tin cloth cotton twill10-18oz waxed cotton
Waxing ProcessProprietary otter wax processHand waxed in England
FitRoomy, boxyTrimmer, tailored
SizingNumeric sizing 36-54Alpha sizing XS-XL
Style SelectionOver 10 classic and limited styles4 main jacket designs with customization options
DurabilityExtremely durable with rivets and reinforcementsMilitary-grade durability with precise vintage construction
Price Range$325-$595$275-$550
AvailabilityWidely available online and in retailers globallyLimited distribution through select stockists

An Overview of Filson

Filson Waxed Jacket

Founded in Seattle in 1897, Filson is one of America’s oldest and most respected outdoor clothing companies.

They pioneered the original “cruiser” jacket worn by fishermen, hunters, and outdoorsmen braving the rugged Pacific Northwest wilderness.

Over the decades, Filson has continually perfected their signature waxed cotton fabric, known as tin cloth.

It’s made using heavyweight 22oz cotton twill woven tightly to be wind and water-resistant.

Before weaving, each fiber is impregnated with oil and wax to make it even more durable and moisture-repellent.

Once woven, the tin cloth is dipped into a wax mixture and finished with a secret Filson otter wax formula. This intensive waxing process makes Filson jackets extremely adept at shrugging off rain, sleet, and snow.

The wax also causes the cotton to stiffen for a retro crinkly look that softens and molds perfectly to your body over time.

Some of Filson’s most iconic waxed jackets include:

  • Tin Cloth Cruiser Jacket – The OG Filson jacket in a classic knee-length profile. Designed for hunting and fishing since 1914.
  • Tin Cloth Packer Coat – A longer duster-style coat with a vented back ideal for horseback riding.
  • Tin Cloth Double Mackinaw Cruiser – A heavyweight version with a wool Mackinaw lining for serious cold weather protection.
  • Tin Cloth Shelter Cloth Ashby Jacket – A relaxed-fit waxed jacket with corduroy collar and pocketing.
  • Tin Cloth Mile Marker – A slim-fit, shorter length waxed jacket great for urban wear.

No matter the style, Filson waxed jackets offer incredible protection from the elements thanks to their trademark tin cloth fabric. They’re built to handle years of outdoor abuse while staying stylish enough for everyday wear.

The Tom Beckbe Brand

Tom Beckbe is a smaller boutique brand founded in 2001 and based in Seattle, Washington. Inspired by vintage workwear and military garb, they focus on crafting faithful reproductions using the same materials and techniques as the original historic pieces.

Their waxed jackets are sewn in the USA from 10oz or 18oz waxed cotton sourced from one of the last remaining waxed cotton mills in Britain. The fabric is specially woven for Tom Beckbe then impregnated with natural waxes to achieve water resistance without using chemical DWR treatments.

Like Filson, Tom Beckbe waxed cotton is further waxed by hand to deeply saturate the fibers. This laborious process creates a dense waxed exterior that shrugs off rain and wind while remaining breathable.

And the more you wear your Tom Beckbe jacket, the more it conforms to your shape.

Some noteworthy waxed jackets from Tom Beckbe include:

  • Type G-1 Officer’s Jacket – Inspired by 1940s Naval deck jackets with signature knit cuffs and waistband.
  • Type D-1 Double Breasted Deck Jacket – A 1940’s US Navy work jacket reproduction with deep pockets.
  • Type 432 “Stormer” Jacket – A rugged ranch jacket with corduroy collar inspired by 1920s workwear.
  • Type 423D Deck Jacket – Modeled after vintage 1940s military jacket patterns with signature bi-swing back.

Tom Beckbe prides themselves on painstaking accuracy and military-grade durability. Their waxed jackets offer an authentic heritage look backed by timeless, functional design.

Filson And Tom Beckbe: How They Compare?

Now that you have a basic overview of both brands, let’s dive into a detailed comparison across some key categories:

  • Fit & Sizing
Tom Beckbe Waxed Jacket
Tom Beckbe Waxed Jacket

Both Filson and Tom Beckbe have a classic boxy fit inspired by vintage military and workwear pieces.

However, Filson jackets tend to fit a bit roomier overall.

Filson offers their waxed jackets in numeric sizes ranging from 36 to 54 (with tall sizes too).

Their jackets have a rectangular straight shape designed to fit over layers.

Tom Beckbe uses alpha sizing from XS to XL.

Their jackets have a trimmer cut while still allowing room for layering. Some styles come in numeric sizes.

If you prefer a contemporary slim-fit, Tom Beckbe is the better choice. For an overly roomy, rugged outdoorsman fit, go with Filson.

  • Fabric and Waxing Process

When it comes to waxed cotton, Filson and Tom Beckbe are neck and neck. Both brands use proprietary weaving and intensive waxing techniques to create water-resistant, weatherproof fabrics that age beautifully.

Filson tin cloth starts out thicker and heavier at 22oz cotton twill before waxing. The dense weave and heavy waxing makes it essentially waterproof.

Tom Beckbe fabric is lighter at 10-18oz but the meticulous hand waxing still makes it extremely durable. The lighter material makes their jackets a bit more packable.

Both will fade and soften with age – Filson tin cloth develops a more textured, crinkly patina.

  • Style Variety

With its long heritage, Filson naturally offers more waxed jacket models – over 10 classic styles along with limited editions and collaborations. From short packer coats to long dusters, they have a silhouette for every setting.

As a smaller brand, Tom Beckbe has a tighter collection with just 4 main waxed jacket designs. However, they offer numerous customization options like logo embroidery to make each jacket unique.

If you value variety, Filson wins. But Tom Beckbe lets you put a personal spin on their classics.

  • Quality and Durability

You really can’t go wrong with either brand when it comes to quality. Filson and Tom Beckbe both make jackets meant to endure years of hard use in rough conditions.

All Filson tin cloth jackets are handmade in their Seattle factory. They’re famous for their bulletproof construction and reinforcements that can handle serious abuse. Storm flaps, thick leather patches, rivets and durable stitching make them practically indestructible.

Tom Beckbe matches Filson for military-grade quality. Their waxed jackets are constructed using precise vintage methods like chain stitching. Thick cotton thread and solid brass don’t skimp on hardware either.

Expect decades of wear from both. They’ll likely outlive you!

  • Price
Tom Beckbe's Tensaw Waxed Jacket
Tom Beckbe’s Tensaw Waxed Jacket

Filson waxed jackets range from $325 to $595 depending on the exact style.

Their flagship Cruiser will set you back around $395.

Tom Beckbe jackets cost $275 to $550. The standard Deck Jacket runs about $325.

Considering the stellar quality and craftsmanship, both brands offer reasonable value.

But Filson prices are a notch higher overall.

  • Availability

Thanks to the popularity of Filson, you can easily find their jackets at retailers worldwide and online.

As a small brand, Tom Beckbe has limited distribution through select online and brick-and-mortar stockists. But you can also order directly from their site.

Filson definitely wins out for accessibility. But Tom Beckbe offers that cool, small-batch exclusivity.

Also Read: Comparison of Barbour Bristol And Beaufort Jackets.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Tom Beckbe a good brand?

Yes, Tom Beckbe is an excellent brand known for making high-quality, functional waxed jackets inspired by vintage military garments. They use durable fabrics and components combined with precise, hand-finished craftsmanship.

Who wears Filson?

Filson waxed jackets have a long-standing cult following among outdoor enthusiasts, field workers, hunters and fishermen. But their signature style also appeals to rugged urbanites, heritage clothing aficionados, and anyone who values well-made gear.

What is the difference between Tin Cloth and Tin Cloth ES?

Filson’s standard Tin Cloth fabric is 22oz cotton twill treated with wax for water and abrasion resistance. Tin Cloth ES is a lighter 18oz oiled cotton that’s slightly more packable while still being durable.

Does Filson tin cloth shrink?

Filson tin cloth jackets may shrink up to 5% during the initial waxing process. The thick waxed fabric tends not to shrink much, if any, after that. Following Filson’s care instructions to avoid high heat drying can prevent shrinkage.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, Filson and Tom Beckbe both make exceptional, practically indestructible waxed jackets. Which is best comes down to your priorities:

  • Filson offers rugged dependability perfect for the great outdoors, with tons of styles and easy availability.
  • Tom Beckbe provides a trimmer, more custom-fitting waxed jacket with vintage military styling and exclusivity.

No matter which you choose, keep in mind proper care is key to extending the life of waxed cotton. Avoid washing too frequently, high heat, and abrasion to let the natural patina develop. Treat stains promptly and re-wax as needed to maintain performance.

With some thoughtful consideration about your needs and style, you really can’t go wrong with Filson or Tom Beckbe. Both brands make heirloom-quality outerwear that’ll last a lifetime and look better with age.

So try one of these classics on for size – your next favorite jacket awaits!

Clayton S. Johnson

Well, I am Clayton who writes, manages, and does overall stuff for this website. I live somewhere in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and used to have a full-time job. But the pandemic taught me to do more do with my life. So, I quit my job and travel a lot! Since I have tons of time now, I write about all the stuff I have done, used, and have first-hand experiences.

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