In 1897, Filson opened C.C. Filson's Pioneer Alaska Clothing and Blanket Manufacturers, specializing in goods to outfit the stampeders to the Klondike Gold Rush.
Stories of harrowing experiences in the Yukon were widely reported. The diary of Hume Nisbet, 1897 painted this picture: "Try to recall your sensations on the coldest night you have ever known: try to intensify the most bitter ice blast that has ever pierced your marrow by a thousandfold; even then you will not be able to realize spring in the Chilkoot Canyon, far less midwinter on the Klondike."
It was for these terrible conditions that Filson designed his goods. He owned his own mill and manufactured Mackinaw clothing, Mackinaw blankets and knit goods, as well as selling boots, shoes, moccasins and sleeping bags specially designed for the frigid North. Filson kept in close contact with his customers, improving his goods to meet their specific needs. The stampeders depended on Filson. In that era, clothing wasn't a matter of choice, but of survival.
Tough, comfortable outdoor clothing for hunters and fishermen, engineers and explorers, mariners and miners.
The Gold Rush faded into history, but Filson kept listening to his customers, and outdoorsmen kept coming to Filson for rugged clothes. Drawing from his past experience outfitting loggers, he soon added clothing for the timber industry, including the Filson Cruiser, the garment that was to earn Filson a place in history. Designed and named by C.C. Filson and patented on March 3, 1914, US Patent #1088891, the Cruiser has remained Filson's best selling item. Today, Filson has sold over half a million of this trademark coat.
Worldwide reputation for honesty, quality and durability
Filson continued to make his goods from the best materials obtainable, and guaranteed every piece of merchandise. If he didn't stock an item a customer needed, he custom-made it for him. Filson's name became synonymous with reliability, satisfaction and honest values. By the 1960s, Filson' reputation as the premier outfitter for outdoorsmen had spread around the globe. In addition to being stocked by retailers of quality outdoor wear, Filson garments were being ordered by mail from places as far away as Greenland.