After three months of Colorado winter, it’s time for my final review of all the Carhartt clothing. I’ve certainly enjoyed it, and the clothing has held up extremely well. Which, after all, was exactly what I expected.
The item that got the most use is the Sandstone jacket. It has been my daily wear jacket here in the Rockies, and I can say its certainly seen it’s fair share of testing. The Sandstone jacket lives by my front door, and is thrown on nearly every time I walk outside. I’ve found the jacket to be plenty warm when the temps dropped into the teens. When the mercury fell below zero, which is a normal occurrence for our winter, I coupled the Sandstone jacket with a fleece pullover. This is fairly standard winter wear for me, and I never felt uncomfortable. Although I’d like to have them lined for comfort on bare cold hands, the exterior pockets are plenty large enough for gloved hands to fit inside.
For elk hunting this season, I paired the Sandstone jacket with the flannel lined Washed Duck Dungaree’s and the long sleeve t-shirt. I spent several days searching for elk, on foot, at elevations above 11,000ft. While the temps were unseasonably warm in mid-January, each day started out below zero. I did not wear thermal base layers, since I expected to be walking a lot in daytime temperatures in the upper teens. Nor did I bother with snow gaiters while tromping off trail to glass mountain sides. Never once did I get cold. In fact, I ended up having to shed the jacket a few times to keep from sweating.
My first day out hunting I covered about six miles on foot, carrying a rifle, pack, binoculars, and assorted kit. The Carhartt gear held up just as expected, and the flat colors actually did a good job of blending in with the lodgepole pines. The jacket was worn as normal, and also spent some time strapped to my pack. The flannel pants were worn for several days, and spent plenty of time knee deep in snow. At one point, I set my pack and rifle down while glassing a hillside across a large valley. As I was working my way out of the timber to get a good view, the icy snow underneath me gave way and I took a bit of a tumble. Luckily, my rifle was leaning on my pack nearby, so it was just me hitting the rocky dirt. The landing was hard, but I managed to avoid going end over end down the mountainside. I did peel back a good chunk of skin on my left hand, but the Carhartt’s didn’t get a scratch. I was pretty impressed with this, actually, because my fall was broken by a few well-placed rocks. Lucky me. My hunt was back underway after patching myself up with my first aid kit from my pack, and all things were more or less ok. That ended up being a good reminder of just how quickly things can go wrong when you’re miles from the nearest road.
A few weeks after my elk hunting season ended, I had the chance to attend a three day sniper field craft course through my employer. I’ve been trying to get to this class for a year now, so this was a real opportunity. While the round count was low, we spent a great deal of time in the field building hides, working on and learning about camouflage (that was a real education!), and constructing and learning the proper use of our gillie suits. For the course, I brought the Carhartt blue jeans, the double front Dungaree’s, the short sleeve t-shirt, the button up shirt, and the Sandstone jacket.
The morning of day one started out on the plains of eastern Colorado, and the subsequent winter wind that came along with it. It was cold, plain and simple. I wore the Carhartt blue jeans, and the sandstone jacket coupled with a fleece pullover. The only thing that was cold on me was my head and hands. Subsequent days found my crawling on my stomach in my gillie suit, through thick juniper and oak scrub brush. The double knee Dungaree’s, and the shirts held up just find. In fact, the stuff out layer helped me shed thorns and sticks with ease. Over the entire course, I never tore or scratched any of the Carhartt gear. And it was used hard.
Back at home, I wore the Carhartt gear while doing a lot of metal fabrication for my truck and a friends newly purchased, classic, Toyota FJ-40. I cut, ground, and welded all sorts of metal components, and the Carhartt gear was subjected to all of it. With hot slag dropping on your thighs, there’s no compromising with cheap clothing. The Carhartt gear performed perfectly. My skin never even felt warm, and the only marks of wear occurred when I accidently pressed my forearm onto freshly cut metal. But even that only left a mark you truly have to look for to see.
Overall, I have to say I’m happy that Carhartt is still at the top of the heap for durability. There are plenty of cheap look-alikes out there, so make sure you get the genuine stuff. If you’re looking for clothing that will literally last a generation, go for Carhartt. You won’t be sorry.
“Like” the Monkey on Facebook while you’re at it too!
Check out more discussions on the Woodsmonkey Forum: