Filson makes a lot of excellent gear, from rifle cases to shirts, pants and duffle bags. They have a rich history as an American outfitter and a reputation for uncompromising quality, but gloves are an easy thing to get wrong.
“These gloves, if taken care of, will last for years.”
There are a dozen plus things that can be wrong with a glove, from stitching to poor fit. For the past two months I’ve been testing out, and brutally so, a pair of Filson’s goatskin work gloves. I’ve used them for everything you could think of, from handling rope, the working with wood, sanding, grinding, processing metal and general work.
From the fingers to the palm and wrist, everything in the fit is great. The first week or so they wore pretty snugly, and I think the may run a little small. They’re reasonably close to the fit from Petzl’s glove offerings. After a few days of solid work in them, they started to give, the leatherworking just as it should, breaking in and forming to me. A little leather wild helped me break them in throughout their first few weeks (I used Otter Wax all nature leather oil). The neat elastic at the back of the wrist is tight, but not so much that you can’t get your hand in comfortably. All in all, I’m happy with how they broke in and are wearing.
The gloves aren’t waterproofed from Filson, and many won’t care if they ever are. I personally have two pairs, one that I waterproofed after breaking in, and one that isn’t waterproofed at all. I tested the Filson Oil treatment for fabric on one glove and leather wax on the other. I did not melt it in on the first treatment, I simply rubbed it in as smoothly and evenly as possible, making sure to get the areas in between the fingers as well. Stitching is essential, make sure that if you’re going to waterproof anything, especially gloves, the stitching is well taken care of. Why especially with gloves? Because doing hard work is always hard on high wear areas on gloves and the stitching, which will be weakened if it’s still getting wet.
The Filson oil was very sticky on the surface of the leather and didn’t entirely work into the leather the same way as the wax did. I took a hair dryer and melted the oil into the leather, and it worked quite well. Fully treated with the wax (without heat) I could fully submerge my hands in warm water without any leaking for 5-10 min before some water started soaking through. With the oil proofing (heated) I got 15-20 underwater before water started getting into the leather. When I melted the wax into the leather, they went about 15 min without leaking. Under normal wear, with another treatment both the wax and oil treatments kept my hands dry working in wet or rainy conditions. The oil finish lasted longer before needing another treatment, but the oil came off on tools/objects more than the wax and is harder to clean off objects you don’t want oil on. The wax is pretty easy to clean off and produced less of a mess. All in all, the wax worked better.
These are the best gloves I’ve ever used. Currently, I’m using them for grinding and working with metal while restoring a Willys Overland CJ-5 and I have only a couple minor surface cuts from handling sharp edges. Stitching is perfect. Each line is clean; there’s nothing in the glove that rubs and creates discomfort. The cuff is long enough to offer comfort and protection, the fingers fit well and allow for working with small tool or objects. These gloves, if taken care of, will last for years. They are thin goatskin, so about the only thing I don’t recommend using them for is rappelling or welding.
These are great, well fitting work gloves that earn their place in your tool bag or climbing bag. I keep one pair in my Jeep for off-road needs and the other in my tool bag. These are without question the best work gloves I’ve ever owned. $95 10/10 LINK FP