Fieldwork Wish List: What to Wear
It needs to be said.... Patagonia still will not kick out gear to be tested by people who actually WORK IN THE FIELD.
Patagonia, NF, Arcteryx, MEC, etc. are great, sure, but who can afford them- every year? And, they don't really hold up that well to devils' club, rocks, drillers' grease... which all really take a toll on the plastic-bottle tech.
FILSON. Repeat. F I L S O N. I'm super-inspired by their oil-finished, single-tin pants <$145>.
I know a couple of ranch hands who have had and USED a pair of Filson single-tin pants for over FIVE YEARS. Rain, shine, shite, no matter. Note- these pants are tough. They will take the abuse, and only get better. They have to be worn, and worn-in, however, before they fit and feel like second skin... not showcased as a fashion frontispiece out of the box. Filson also makes a double-tin, for those who don't mind stiff leggin' it for a year... or three.
Owning a pair, I'm a winter-daily-wearer of Filson's all-wool Mackinaw Bibs <$250> for the cold, rainy wet days. (Though not intended for scruffin' it through the trees and mud, they home-run the snow, ice, and light rain, regardless of how low mercury go).
And more. Can find it all at Filson's Website. My favorite place for Filson apparel is at the Montana Woolen Shop, a locally-owned shop in Bozeman, MT. DO NOT MISS OUT!
Options exist for those of us who do real work with real dirt and real weather. Sure, you could shell out $300+ for a shell... go purchase some patagucci, gaudi, or otherwise savvy tech gear that will only last you for a field season or two. It'll be lighter than some of the Filson stuff, too.
Or, spend your money on the technology built upon thousands of years' worth of reality, whose construction do not require a swimming-pools' worth of fresh water, or otherwise destroy our planet. Oil. Wool. Cotton. Get real. Go Filson.
Last plug: check out the original tin-cloth coat unchanged since inception in 1914: