Filson's Mackinaw Wool Cruiser Jacket is perfect mountain town wear. Filson photo.
We’ll be completely honest here: here at TGR, we’re used to testing all kinds of high-tech hardgoods and apparel built for getting rad in the mountains. So, when we our friends over at Filson sent us a Mackinaw Wool Cruiser jacket to test, we weren’t quite sure how to approach it. This thing wasn’t designed to go anywhere near a bootpack, let alone up a chairlift, but good thing we’re just as comfortable with a good après sesh around a big bonfire as we are earning our turns up in the mountains. Filson's jacket has become a stylish every day favorite for those cold winter days.
When your first customers were gold miners during the Alaskan Gold Rush, you know you’ve been around for a while. Filson first set up shop in Seattle in 1897 to provide the highest possible quality goods to the influx of gold miners that were heading into the harsh environment of Alaska. Since then, that dedication to quality and rugged style has remained steadfast.
Filson Mackinaw Wool Cruiser out in the wild. Filson photo.
After the goldrush, the coat was adjusted slightly to accommodate the booming timber industry. The resulting Mackinaw Cruiser had a higher hemline and pockets designed for timber cruisers, who were charged with bushwhacking through the forest to locate the finest stands of timber. So, when it comes to top-notch work wear for the outdoors, it’s no surprise that this jacket remains Filson's bestselling item. These days, everyone from mountain rescue professionals to ski patrollers swear by their Filson goods to keep them warm and comfortable in harsh working environments. But we'll go ahead and add active mountain town-dwellers to that list.
“I was introduced to Filson goods while working as a surveyor’s apprentice in Southeast Alaska during my college years. After graduation, I took a position as a California State Park Ranger, and was issued a Mackinaw Cruiser as part of my Class A field uniform. That was in 1972, and I’m still wearing that Cruiser every day here at 9,000 ft. in the Wasatch Range in Utah winters. Thirty-two years later, after a lifetime of outdoor adventures all over the western United States, Canada, and Mexico, it still looks brand-new.” - Jim, a Park Ranger based in Utah
The jacket has a comfortable, relaxed fit and plenty of pockets to stash items. Filson photo.
Originally patented in 1914, the Men’s Mackinaw Cruiser Jacket’s timeless design features 100% virgin Mackinaw wool that provides unparalleled comfort (it’s not your grandma’s scratchy wool sweater), natural water repellency without sealing off airflow, and lots of extra warmth. Fun fact: Wool can absorb up to 30% of its weight in water without feeling wet.
With a high collar and nine pockets, the jacket is designed both as a style piece and rugged work wear for anything mountain town life will throw at you – whether that’s a campfire après session, chopping firewood (in all seriousness), or staying warm around town in Jackson while repping that true Western vibe. Natural fibers like wool were once the go-to for mountaineers and skiers around the world for cold-weather protection. While we've certainly come a long way since then in terms of material choice and design, high-quality wool still has a place in our wardrobe.
The Mackinaw Wool Cruiser is no high-tech supermembrane creation, and that’s exactly why we love it so much. It’s a simple, durable, and extremely comfortable piece that anyone living in a mountain town would appreciate. It’s best paired with a comfy flannel shirt, a nice whiskey, your favorite hat, and a pair of sturdy leather boots. So, grab yours to go out and get dirty.
When it comes to knowing how to move in the mountains, there are few in the world better at it than Zahan “Z” Billimoria. The Jackson-based mountain guide, educator, coach, and father of two spends the better part of his year doing the impossible in mountains all across the world, climbing and skiing lines most of us would never even dream of. Z has been a close friend of the TGR family, and a guide on many of our mountain adventures, ensuring our safety and success in high-stakes
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