If you read my teaser, you know that Carhartt supplied a rather generous box of joy (in the form of clothes) to me right before Christmas. Today, I will be reviewing the ¼ zip hooded sweatshirt (affectionately nicknamed “hoodie” for brevity’s sake) and the thermal lined hooded jacket. I have to say that most of the items that have come out of the box have become my go-to-all-time-favorite-things-to-wear. Really. I spend at least half of the week in something that has a Carhartt logo on it. (Not continuously, I change-they sent a lot, honest!)
We’ll start with the hoodie; which is made from 50/50% blend of cotton and polyester and in sizes that range from XS to XXL. The first time I really put this to the test was the one time that it snowed this year (not that it snowed much). The snow actually stuck to the driveway and my husband was going to be coming home soon. I figured I would be a good wife and shovel so he wouldn’t; A. slide into and through the driveway, and 2. have to shovel the driveway himself after work. (I know, I’m a gem…I also know that I used A. followed by 2. I do it all the time. Drives folks crazy.) In any event, it was 23 degrees and the wind was whipping something fierce. I had on a thermal shirt, a long sleeved t shirt, and my hoodie from Carhartt. The sizing of the Carhartt ¼ zip hooded sweatshirt was generous which allowed me to easily layer my clothes underneath. I had enough room for more layers, if I had needed them, but I didn’t. I was comfortable and super warm. So warm in fact, that I was sweating inside of 10 minutes. The hood had to be tied and the zipper fully up to stay on since the wind was blowing so hard, but once it was it stayed put and did a great job of stopping the wind from turning my ears into icicles. I had enough ease in the arms to allow me to shovel to my hearts content. Which was probably a minute after I got outside. There was some bunching after about 10 minutes shoveling, but that came from the shirts underneath the hoodie and not the hoodie itself. The hoodie also features a front pocket to warm those fingers if you forget your gloves. I use the pocket frequently. I constantly forget gloves for myself.
The hood itself was a pleasant surprise for me. I don’t know if this will be the case with everyone who gets one, but for me, the hood fell further down my back than any other hoodie has. This is fantastic. I HATE most hooded sweatshirts’ hoods. This is because all of the hoods (save my Carhartt) usually lay at the neckline. Super uncomfortable, especially when you’re trying to drive. Normally, a hood will bunch up right at the back of my neck which pushes my head forward to an unnatural angle. This hooded sweatshirt laid flat against my back and hung down just short of the mid point of my back. That was such a huge difference in the fit factor for me that I was tempted to throw my other shirts to the goodwill pile! Also, the hood makes a super light blocker when traveling at night. Let me explain. Sleeping in the car at night presents a whole litany of problems; sore neck, cramped knees, body parts falling asleep. One thing makes me more upset than any other: the streetlamps. I couldn’t sleep-blink, blink, blink- the lights made it impossible. So my fix was to pull the hood up and pull those ties as tight as I could. The only thing showing was my nose and some of my mouth. Yep, I looked like Kenny from South Park, and I slept!!! Oh I still had the other problems, but the lights were no longer an issue.
The other piece from Carhartt that I wore with the hoodie was the thermal hooded zip jacket (sized XS to XXL). This jacket is made of 50/50 blend cotton poly shell and a 100% poly thermal lining and features “raglan” sleeves. For those of you not in the tailoring business, I will explain. Raglan sleeves are a type of sleeve that have the seam running from the collar, to the underarm. Think a baseball t-shirt. This type of sleeve is popular for exercise and sports clothing as well as jackets because it allows more room in the underarm. Also, the rest of the sleeve is more loosely fitted which allows you to wear a more bulky sweatshirt underneath more comfortably. This is really apropos since that is exactly how I wore it one day. It doesn’t sound like it would be comfortable, but it was.
My daughter and her Girl Scout troop went to a maple sugar demonstration. It wasn’t supposed to be cold (especially at 1pm, when we went) and I took the thermal zip jacket “just in case”. Well, we might have been out of the car 10 minutes and I was reaching for the extra warmth. The jacket fit easily over the hooded sweatshirt and hardly bunched at the elbow at all. I had plenty of room for movement and was thankful for the extra warmth that this jacket offered that day. I will say, though, that two hoods were a bit cumbersome; I remedied that by putting the sweatshirt’s hood up.
On its own, the thermal zip did a great job keeping the morning cold at bay at my normal testing area: the bus stop. Don’t let its unassuming name fool you-this is no ordinary bus stop. We are directly across from a golf course. The wind (and occasional golf balls) whip at us from all directions. As does rain, snow and road dirt. With just a long sleeved t-shirt and this jacket I was quite comfortable. With the hood up, my ears also escape the vicious attack of the wind. This jacket has also accompanied me on multiple treks into the backyard, the park and countless grocery store trips. (That frozen food section is too much for me) My purple (Carhartt calls it grape seed) thermal jacket is soft, warm and perfect for cold mornings or frozen vegetables.
A word on washing either of these pieces (really any of them with zippers)- I recommend zipping them fully before washing. (You can wash these-really-nobody will think you’re any less rugged) Those ultra tough zippers are no match for your other clothes. After several washings, the jacket and sweatshirt haven’t shown any appreciable shrinkage or fading. I do put them into the dryer-but on a low setting. They do just fine but boy are those zippers hot!
Both of these Carhartt pieces are go-to items when I need to keep warm. They are soft, comfortable, easy to layer and make those late winter/early spring temperatures completely doable. If you are looking for a replacement for one (or more) of your hoodies or thermal jackets, check Carhartt out. You will be so glad you did.
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