The Filson brand is known for gear made to last the trials of time. This gear test on a pair of tin chaps begins back in 1978.
To follow this review, you’ve got to know Phil. I know Phil because he and my family share a passion for hunting throughout the Flint Hills of northeast Kansas. In particular, we go upland bird hunting through native prairie grass and plum thickets.
What’s more, Phil has logged 37-plus years wearing Filson Single Tin Chaps. That makes this review, with Phil’s input, the longest gear test I’ve ever written about.
Filson Single Tin Chaps: Hunting Pants Review
At some point in the late 1970s, I got tired of briars and brambles. Specifically, I was tired of thorny plants poking through my pants while I was hunting pheasants and quail on the Kansas plains. Feeling unsatisfied with the nylon chaps I was wearing, I impulse purchased a pair of Filson Single Tin Chaps (now $110) when I saw them.
I spent every opportunity I had in the field watching my Brittany retrievers point and retrieve game birds (or an occasional prairie chicken). And whenever I was afield, the Single Tin Chaps protected my legs from thorny plants.
The chaps blocked the wind on cold and sometimes snowy Kansas bird hunts. And 40, 50, 60 days a year in the field hunting wouldn’t have been uncommon for me back in the ’80s and ’90s.
Filson Chaps: Farm Chore Pants
When I wasn’t hunting, the chaps saw a lot of duty while cutting up thorn-filled hedge trees for firewood. The chaps were fabulous at deflecting branches and protecting my legs from skin-piercing thorns that laughed at heavy denim.
Occasionally over the years, a barbed-wire fence would make a V-tear in the chaps. But that was quickly mended by a needle and thread.
40-Year Test: Frayed But Functional
Over the years, the legs of my Single Tin Chaps started getting shorter and shorter as the abrasiveness of the native grasses wore at the bottoms. After a decade of wear, the bottom seam fell apart and the canvas bottoms began to fray.
Finally, after about 37 years of faithful service, a new pair was in order. A fellow farming friend with a much shorter inseam received the original pair. Nearly 40 years in use, and that old pair of Filson Chaps is still in service.
Solution to Longevity
The Filson Single Tin Chaps include binding options of either twill or leather on the bottom for an additional $10. This material barrier guards against abrasive elements and keeps the single tin canvas chap bottoms out of harm’s way.
Another important part of maintaining the single tin canvas is re-waxing it. This is a mandatory skill to master to preserve the fabric’s longevity. That’s because the wax will wear off with time and use, allowing the elements to break the single tin fabric down.
For step-by-step instruction on re-waxing, Filson has a resource on its website. The example outlines waxing a jacket, but the steps for the chaps are exactly the same.
Filson Single Tin Chaps are tried and true classics, durable enough to outlast a number of bird dogs. But memories of kneeling down to receive the most prized retrieves will be virtually woven into the waxed Filson Tin Cloth canvas for decades to come.