My Filson Twill Rucksack is one of the most timeless travel bags I own. It looks current, yet timeless. It’s built to last, and it’s virtually impossible to damage.

In this review, check out what I like about the Filson Twill Rucksacks, and the things I wish were better. As a note, I’m sharing photos of the original Filson Twill Rucksack (which is discontinued), and the size available now is the “Large Rugged Twill Rucksack,” which has a 33L capacity.

The only thing that is different is the total capacity and volume between these two models. The materials and design is the same.

Let’s get into it, and be sure to check out the photos I took in Manhattan and on my roof in Brooklyn.

Key takeaways from this review

  • The Filson Twill Rucksacks are incredibly high-quality backpacks meant to last a lifetime. See what I think of the materials.
  • Filson backpacks do not come cheap, and find out if I think this travel bag is worth it for travelers after an exceptionally-crafted backpack.
  • See what I think about the unique build of the bag, from the pockets to the zippers.
  • Find out where to buy it and explore Filson products.

What I like about my Twill Rucksack

This is a one-of-a-kind backpack, and I treat it as such. Here are a few of the features I appreciate and respect.

The leather straps

I like the thin straps that don’t look overbearing on my narrow shoulders. As you may have noticed in my list of the best travel backpacks for women, where I list the Filson Twill Rucksack as an “honorable mention,” I am nit-picky about straps.

So while I think the straps are a nice width and length, it’s up to you to feel out if you think they’re supportive. They are far from “ergonomic” like you’d find on a backpack from REI, or Deuter, or Patagonia.

Timeless style

This backpack was probably classic in the 90s, and will still be classic in the 2050s. I can’t think of a decade when a timeless style like this one felt outdated or sore. I brought this backpack to my Brooklyn office one day, and a few coworkers even called it out to comment that it was fascinatingly unique.

The buckles, the binding, the zippers, the zipper pulls and the flaps all show style of classic luggage, and that’s what this backpack is: a timeless piece of luggage to have in your collection. To me, the leather and the canvas, coupled with the brass hardware, look like something out of an equestrian magazine photo shoot.

Exceptional durability

I like that the components of the Rucksack are so thick and sturdy that you virtually can’t damage it. You could throw this backpack and beat it up, and it would probably still look the same.

The zippers are rustproof and the canvas is abrasion-resistant and industrial-grade. The Bridle Leather is meant to adjust to your body over time. In essence, all the parts of the quality in a Filson bag get better with age, just like wine. I feel like I could not break this bag, no matter how hard I tried. It’s like it’s made of steel.

Unisex design

Just by looking at this backpack, you can tell that the materials and the design are high-class. It’s also meant for both men and women, with all of Filson’s products, including this one, coming in totally unisex and agreeable colorways.

In the golden tan color of my Twill Rucksack, Dan could borrow it and we can share the bag between us.

Filson Large Rugged Twill Rucksack

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What I don’t like

Even for a bag priced at this price point, it is not perfect and I want to be clear about that. Here are some things to know about where the backpack falls short.

Limited pockets in main cavity

One thing to note about this rucksack is that it has one main cavity, and two external pockets. That’s it. The main cavity of this backpack (in the original and Large size) does not have any smaller pockets, and there are no internal zippers and no dedicated laptop compartment.

This is not specifically a laptop bag; rather, it’s a do-it-all backpack meant for various uses. It does not have a dedicated laptop compartment, nor laptop sleeve. When I use this bag to go to work, I put my laptop in a neoprene laptop sleeve, and use it as the backbone of the backpack, to give it structure while carrying.

With only these three cavities and pockets, you’ll need a way to keep your smaller items (day-to-day things like lip balm, sunscreen, keys, literally anything small) from flying around. I use a tech pouch for holding smaller stuff like tech accessories: chargers, headphones and cables. If you have something like a small-sized packing cube, that could do the trick; ultimately, this backpack begs for organization to be used inside.

Of course, if you don’t care for organization, you can stuff large things in the Large Rucksack’s roomy interior. A jacket will fit, as will snacks, hiking accessories and a water bottle.

It is far from machine-washable

Because of the Bridle Leather and cotton rugged twill not being machine-washable, this backpack can only be wiped clean. You may not want this if you spill something on it like wine, or get something oily on it, like grease or whatever else happens during your travels and use.

This is a challenge for me, as I tend to get frustrated when bags can’t be washed in my machine.

Potential for straps to bleed

Friends have noted to us that if you sweat and you’re wearing light colors, the straps can bleed on your clothes. I haven’t experienced this (yet). I recommend keeping it in mind.

The price can be inhibitive

The price of this backpack reflects the high quality, materials and craftsmanship of Filson bags. It may not be for everyone. I’m not even sure if I’ll ever own a second Filson backpack.

The consumer for a Filson backpack is someone who wants to buy a bag for life, and never have to replace it. That is what you will get.

What I’ve gathered about the benefits of Filson

Why do people love Filson travel bags? Well, they’re suppose to last a lifetime, so no fast fashion here.

I have the Twill Rucksack in the mustard color (now discontinued), and it pairs nicely with most outfits at any time of year. I can sling it over my shoulders in summer or spring, and in fall and winter it’ll brighten any outfit.

The Large Twill Rucksack comes only in Otter Green (timeless) and some seasonal color choices that sometimes go on sale, like Camo (snag them!).

If you have the budget and want to have a bag for the rest of your life (seriously), choose a Filson. It has a classic look and it will never go out of style. And if you are looking for the same bag capacit (33L), but you’re considering a duffel, check out the Filson Tin Cloth Duffel at our list of the best travel duffels.

Where to buy it

Getting your Filson Rucksack at the Filson website gets you a few things, as I see it: free shipping, free returns (if it doesn’t work out) and Filson’s unwavering guarantee that all products are made without faults or errors.

I found the Filson Guarantee very interesting in that their warranty covers, “Every item for the lifetime of the product,” but NOT things like “extreme wear” or mishandling from an airline. Be sure to see what you’re getting.

If you want a used Filson, you can easily get one on sites like eBay, Poshmark, Mercari or a store like Stuarts London, where you can get a steep discount.