Filson’s Original Briefcase

This is the Filson Original Briefcase. Filson has been around since 1897 and actually started during the gold rush years, a time when Filson was starting out, making rugged clothing for gold rushers and lumberjacks. They kept coming back because of Filson’s commitment to quality materials and workmanship and those principles still apply today across all of their products.

The Original Briefcase is designed with the same qualities in mind, ruggedness that’s also stylish enough for everyday use, either in a professional setting or traveling or whatever else you may have it mind. We’ll cover what kind of style the Original Briefcase provides, along with its impeccable durability and what kind of functionality it has. If you want a summarized version, read on below for what we find to be the good and the bad with the Filson Original Briefcase.


Impressive Style For A Briefcase

The Filson Original Briefcase is one that has a fantastic design that suits a person more geared towards travel, casual business or just to use as a casual bag. I wouldn’t classify this as a briefcase that I would take to a formal meeting but then again if you show up with this briefcase perhaps you’ll draw some wanted attention.

Typically when it comes to briefcases you’ll usually see them in one or two colors, black and some shade of brown. Luckily for us the Filson briefcase is offered in five colors for us to choose from; Otter Green, Navy, Black, Brown and Tan. You can use these links to find the darker color Filson briefcases or this one to find the tan Filson Briefcase.

Filson Original Briefcase NavyThe Filson Briefcase or perhaps we should refer to it as a bag as it doesn’t really give a briefcase vibe, is constructed of rugged twill, solid brass zippers and leather body tabs to give it a more rugged and sturdy feel that not only works well functionally but looks fantastic. The size of the bag isn’t too big or small either and comes in at: 16”W x 12.5”H x 4”D and weighs approximately 2.5 pounds.

This twill briefcase by Filson is very versatile and can work with almost anyone from cowboys to travelers to middle-aged professionals who want to step outside the attaché briefcase box. With its rugged make yet classic look it’s perfect for many different occasions and being versatile is one of the best features about any type gear since once piece can accomplish many tasks or be used in various ways.

Finally the last piece of gold nugget information about this briefcase is that it is made with saddle-grade Bridle Leather that is source from North America and on top of that it’s also tanned in the U.S. making this a product that’s from here, so why not support a local company that puts so much pride into their craft.

With a great size, a number of colors to choose from and the excellent choices for materials used in constructing this impressive briefcase it’s easy to see why this is a briefcase that is highly sought after yet only those who have the confidence to pull it off seem to buy it. It’s unfortunate we don’t see more of these around. All of these wonderful features for this Filson briefcase allow me to easily give it 5 out of 5 stars for design and style!


Filson’s Briefcase Is Plenty Durable

Filson takes pride in the design of their products, the craftsmanship and materials used and it’s easy to see once you get your hands on this briefcase. This is bag that will last you for years to come and perhaps even be something that you pass down to your children, as something like this will never truly go out of style nor will its structural integrity fail you.

The Filson Original Briefcase as mentioned earlier is built with Filson’s signature rugged twill which provides it with Filson Original Briefcase Otter Greena type of industrial-strength fabric you don’t see in many briefcases or bags in general for that matter. It’s perfect for resisting the elements and stands up well against water, dirt, abrasions and general wear and tear. The addition of Filson’s very own proprietary Tin Cloth, which has an oil-finish wax, provides for added durability.

Aside from the actual bag or briefcase itself, the other aspects of the bag also hold up very well such as the handles which are made of saddle-grade Bridle leather. Once these handles are broken-in they tend to get softer and is actually reassuring when carrying a heavier load. You never feel like the straps are a weak point at all and they also don’t dig into your hands, making your travels that much easier and comfortable.

In addition to the handles the other part of a piece of travel gear often overlooked are the zippers. Filson, taking pride in their products and materials used, have chosen what can only be considered one of the best type of zippers you can get. They use YKK, widely considered the best brand of zippers, for their briefcase. They are made of solid brass which are custom cut at Filson. They also have a storm flap that covers the zipper adding additional security and durability.

Finally after field testing this product for quite some time in varying degrees of weather, we were proud to say that Filson Original Briefcase Sidewe never found the product to bleed or leave any stains or marks on our clothes. This is important for obvious reasons as you never want to have brown or tan leather marks all of your work uniform or nice dress clothes.

In the event you take this briefcase through a park and it gets a little dirty or you’re walking through a sandstorm (it could happen), you need to simply wipe or brush clean the briefcase to keep it looking good as new. No need to wash the bag at all.

All good companies stand by their products and the way they tend to do that is by offering some type of warranty or guarantee. Such is the case with Filson as they stand by each and every single one of their products including their original briefcase here. You get a lifetime guarantee against failures of materials, failures against craftsmanship or workmanship and a guarantee against any production defects.

Designing a product that you stand behind with such confidence as to provide a lifetime guarantee is never an easy thing to accomplish and only lends to the credence that Filson uses nothing but the best in terms of items while keeping the costs reasonable for such a briefcase. This is a magnificent product that will be useful for many years to come and as such we give the Filson Original Briefcase 5 out of 5 stars for durability!


Filson’s Functionality Could Be Better

If style is how cool the bag may look and durability is for how long it will last you, then functionality is all of the cool features that set a bag apart and makes you want to show it off to your friends and family. Functionality is also a good measure of how valuable will a product be in your everyday use of it. Now while the Filson Original Briefcase Filson Original Briefcase Openhas some decent functionality there’s also quite a lot left to be desired.

To start us off on the right foot, the Filson briefcase here has a large interior compartment that come with dividers and smaller slotted pockets to keep you extremely organized and not to have you worrying that when you open the briefcase everything is a garbled mess.

The large interior of the briefcase is able to hold up to 15” laptops and maybe even slightly larger although it’s a tight fit to begin with and you may want to just stick to the 15” laptops and smaller. Unfortunately there’s not much padding so you may want to consider putting your laptop in a sleeve to give it more protection. If you want something slightly larger and provides ample padding for a computer then you should check out the Filson Padded Computer Bag.

To provide you with a couple carrying options Filson smartly decided to make its shoulder strap with the same Bridled Leather as the handles which are soft and easy on your shoulder, especially once broken in, but to also give you the option to remove it. Some people prefer the traditional briefcase look and feel of just carrying the briefcase by the handles. This is a good design decision as a poor design decision by Filson was to make the shoulder strap too long, even for someone standing at 6’1.

To give a better sense of the briefcase’s organization there are four stow pockets, two interior dividers, an interior slotted pocket, two interior all-purpose pockets and one patch pocket. Unfortunately not all of these are well designed as the side pockets are just a bit too slim and deep making it almost impossible to get anything at the bottom of the pockets if something falls down there.Filson Original Briefcase Tan

This original briefcase is capable of standing up on its bottom side alone on a flat surface but since it’s not hard-sided it’s perhaps best to prop it up against a table leg if you want it to stay upright while you are putting folders, pens and pads in there. Be sure to also get your bag monogrammed after you buy it so you can be sure that everyone knows that you’re the proud owner of this briefcase.

I know we mentioned the dimensions earlier in this review but just to emphasize this; the Filson Original Briefcase is a slim bag at only 4 inches deep. Therefore it would be difficult to carry much more than just a computer and notebook with some pens thrown in there. Lastly, this briefcase obviously meets airline carry-on requirements so don’t worry about taking this on a flight with you.

The Filson Original Briefcase has some nice features but there is still a bit that could be improved on. It does a great job of giving you carrying options and is able to organize your bag to your preference but there are some features that are tough to look past. It seems like it’s mostly good but far from perfect and for these reasons we have to give the Filson Original 3 out of 5 stars for functionality. It will get the job done but there are a couple pain points.






Filson’s Original Briefcase Gets Good Ratings

The Filson Original Briefcase is a very durable briefcase, designed to last quite some time while also looking good at the same time. Unfortunately it didn’t measure up as well with regards to functionality. Looking over what we’ve covered so far let’s see where its strengths and weakness lay.



  • Filson gives us five colors to choose from for this briefcase, Black, Brown, Navy, Tan and Otter Green.
  • Top quality materials are used to construct this briefcase from the bridled leather strap down to the solid brass YKK zippers.
  • The Original Briefcase is perfect for business settings, travel or just to use as a casual bag.
  • All Filson products are made in the U.S.A.
  • The rugged twill that makes up the briefcase provides protection from the elements as well as dirt and abrasions.
  • Filson’s shoulder strap does not bleed or leave marks on your clothes.
  • Easily clean by wiping it or brushing away dirt.
  • There is quite a bit of organization with over five pockets and dividers, never lose track of your stuff.
  • This briefcase is quite capable of holding up to 15” laptops.
  • The shoulder strap on this briefcase can be removed if you prefer to use just the handles. The strap is also made of Bridled Leather.
  • Filson’s Original briefcase is capable of standing on its bottom alone but seeing as how it’s not hard-sided, it’s best to prop up against a table leg if you are pulling and putting items into the briefcase.
  • This briefcase meets the airlines carry-on requirements with ease.
  • Filson’s lifetime guarantee provides you with peace of mind that if there are any defects or compromises in the materials quality, Filson has your back.


  • The Original Briefcase does not come with any padding so you will want to buy a sleeve for your laptop.
  • Deceptively big briefcase, although it is quite slim at 4 inches deep, hard to pack more than a laptop and a notebook.
  • The briefcase strap is just a bit too long, even for someone standing at 6’1.
  • Side pockets are too slim and narrow, making it almost impossible to retrieve anything that falls to the bottom of the pocket.
  • For a briefcase this is a pricey one, although the durability and lifetime guarantee may mean you’ll never have to buy another one again.


This briefcase has shown that it has quite a few good things going for it and the potential to be even better when the leather breaks in a little and becomes softer. Unfortunately everything isn’t perfect as the functionality of the briefcase gives a pause for concern. Finally the price of the Filson Original Briefcase is a little high but that’s almost to be expected since the materials are top notch.

Overall the Filson Original Briefcase has proven to be a product we can get behind and recommend it for anyone who can splurge a little and wants to stand out from the crowd. This is definitely a piece of travel gear that can get the job done and for quite some time. This briefcase gets a total rating of 4 out of 5 stars!