In 1897 the Filson brand started manufacturing outfits for pioneers heading north for the Klondike Gold Rush. Founded by C. C. Filson who believed that if a man was heading north, he should come to Filson for his outfit as hundreds had before. Filson’s 1914 catalog had the following written by Clinton C. Filson:
“The goods we quote must not be confounded with the cheap and vastly inferior grade with which the market is over-run. Such goods are not only useless for the purpose for which they are intended, but the person wearing them would be better off without them.”
With a commitment to quality goods from day one, it’s no wonder Filson has continued to be a leader in clothing and equipment for the outdoor crowd just as they had done with miners, prospectors and lumberman of yesteryear. The last 120 years of innovation brings us to the piece of gear I’ve had the pleasure of testing as of late the Filson Mesh Game Bag.
Filson Mesh Hunting Game Bag
What is it that sets this hunting vest apart from the competition? First and foremost is the weight. The regular sized Filson Mesh Game bag weights in at 12.5 oz. This is the sort of hunting vest you’ll want to wear when you plan on hiking long distances, scrambling up hillsides and squeezing through tight trees.
Thanks to the use of a rear back mesh panel Filson’s Mesh Game Bag is extremely breathable and works great when worn with layers or even over a jacket.
Filson also makes a heavier Upland Hunting Vest which I’ve used the past few seasons that offers a more traditional look and feel. The Upland Hunting Vest weights 2 lb 8 oz so it’s best used while walking through flat fields. The romantic idea of bird hunting in open fields doesn’t exists in this part of the country, to be able drop almost 2 lbs off my back while using the Filson Mesh Game Bag was such a relief without giving up anything in terms of functionality.
The Mesh Game Bag holds 8 shotgun shells that are held against your back. This may be different from other vest you have used in the past, and might sound more complicated than it really is. To grab a shell simply reach toward the lower part of your back and slide the shell up and out. If you’re duck hunting you can always bring more shells, even a box with you as well by tossing them in the two large front pockets with snap closures.
For hydration the Mesh Game Bag has 2 water bottle pockets (which I’m just now learning about) I had taken a CamelBak reservoir and thrown it in the game bag portion for my hunts.
When it comes to getting on some birds the Mesh Game bag as the name implies is a game bag. You can hold 3 decent sized grouse or ptarmigan against your back. This vest comes in 2 sizes, Regular and Super.
The only thing that could be improved on this this vest would be adding an additional strap buckle around the chest. From time to time I felt myself holding the straps to relieve weight after filling the days bag limit. The shoulder straps are adjustable so when you do add some weight you can adjust the vest a bit to help move the weight around. Keep in mind though, most of your day will be walking around “without” any birds on your back and it’s usually down hill on the way out.
For the price the Filson Mesh Game Bag ($150) is an amazing value for anyone looking for a bird hunting vest. The vest comes in blaze orange for hunting and also a dark tan color way that would work equally well for fly fishing, light hiking and for having fun exploring the outdoors.
If Filson hasn’t been on your radar it is now. All their products including the Mesh Game Bag are made in the USA with 15 stores located around the world including a flagship ship store in Seattle, WA and Portland, OR. Cheers to a fun, safe and healthy hunting season.