Carhartt Loose Fit Firm Duck Insulated Flannel-Lined Active Jacket Review
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|Pros||Durable, great for outdoor work and chores||Warm, long hem, comfortable hood, great features||Warm, lightweight, comfortable||Warm, weather resistant, durable||Inexpensive, warm enough, comfortable, stylish|
|Cons||Not as warm or comfortable as other models tested, lacks adjustability features, limited workwear style||Bulky, faux fur hood is polarizing||Not that durable, minimal features||Not very breathable, limited color options||Not weather resistant, few features|
|Bottom Line||This work jacket isn't as warm or comfortable as others in our review, but its durability is impressive||A warm, stylish, and budget-conscious jacket for those in the coldest regions||A warm, comfortable, and lightweight down parka that is ideal for winter hiking and outdoor activities||A versatile and high-performance winter jacket with plenty of warmth and weather protection, at a great price||Warm, stylish, and inexpensive, this jacket gets the job done at a low price|
|Rating Categories||Carhartt Loose Fit...||The North Face McMu...||Rab Neutrino Pro||REI Co-op Stormheng...||Tommy Hilfiger Men'...|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Specs||Carhartt Loose Fit...||The North Face McMu...||Rab Neutrino Pro||REI Co-op Stormheng...||Tommy Hilfiger Men'...|
|Down Fill Power||Flannel||550||800||850||Synthetic|
|Total Weight||3.44 lbs||3.55 lbs||1.38 lbs||1.94 lbs||1.84 lbs|
|Baffle Type||Quilted||Sewn-through under an outer shell fabric||Twisted arm baffle||Sewn-through under an outer shell fabric||Sewn through|
|Main Fabric||100% ring-spun cotton duck||DryVent 2L 100% nylon||Pertex Quantum||HydroWall 2L||100% Nylon|
|Hood Adjustments||2 side drawcords||Rear drawcord||2 side drawcords, rear velcro||3-way adjustable||2 side drawcords|
|Pockets||2 external hand, 2 internal||2 chest height zippered handwarmers, 2 exterior top-entry Velcro flap pockets, 1 sleeve, 1 interior media pocket, and 2 side-entry waist handwarmers||2 zippered hand, 1 internal chest||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 2 internal||2 external hand, 1 zippered interior|
Our Analysis and Test Results
A rugged-built work jacket, the Carhartt definitely has its uses but falls behind the other winter jackets that we tested in most performance categories.
The Carhartt Loose Fit Firm Duck Insulated uses quilted wool flannel to provide warmth in cold temperatures. Unfortunately, this jacket can't compete with the warmth provided by other jackets on the market. Our users consistently felt cold in this jacket when temperatures dipped toward the freezing line. The upshot is that the jacket is roomy enough to layer underneath without compromising the fit, and the hood is big enough to allow any kind of winter hat to be worn underneath.
The exterior "Duck" shell fabric is tightly woven cotton, similar to canvas. The tight weave of the fibers prevents the occasional drip of water from penetrating, and the jacket is treated with a DWR coating to help bead water off the surface. Over time, as the DWR wears off, and the cotton fibers abraid, the jacket absorbs more water. If you wear this jacket in a downpour, it will get soaked, but it can withstand the occasional sprinkle or snow flurry. This is not a good choice for a shell jacket in wet winter climates.
The Carhartt Duck Flannel-Lined had a very stiff external canvas fabric that gives the jacket an inflexible feel. Also, at 3.44 pounds for a size large, it is also very heavy and cumbersome to wear. The fit is loose and roomy, but our testers still felt limited and restricted while wearing this jacket. It's not a good choice if you will be walking around town, and is best suited to rugged chores. We do, however, like the stretchy wrist gaiters that bathe our wrists in comfort.
Carhartt makes some of the most rugged and durable work wear on the planet, and this jacket shares the blue-collar style of most of their gear. This jacket feels right at home during hard manual labor on the farm or ranch, and can look good in social situations in rural, agricultural areas, but it looks out of place in the city. Most users won't be buying this jacket for its style.
The Carhartt Duck Flannel-Lined has two external handwarmer pockets, neither of which are lined or zippered. This makes them somewhat useful for warming the hands on chilly days or storing tools while on the job site, but they aren't useful for storing hats, gloves, or scarves. On the inside, there is one zippered pocket than can hold a phone, wallet, or keychain, and one pocket with a hook-and-loop closure that is the perfect shape for holding a phone, but after losing our phones many times in the field while testing gear, we prefer zippered pockets for this critical gear.
The upshot of this jacket is its incredible durability. All of the seams are tightly sewn and we didn't notice any weakness in the construction of the jacket. The external shell fabric is rugged and won't snag on sharp edges or corners. It brushes off sharp bushes and sticks with ease. The stretchy hem and wrist gaiters are weak points and can snag or tear, but we didn't find this to be an issue during our testing. The front zipper is high-friction and won't slide around without your control. The wool flannel insulation doesn't add much warmth, but it will last a long time. Overall, this jacket is well-built.
Should You Buy the Carhartt Loose Fit Firm Duck Insulated Flannel-Lined Active Jacket?
This jacket doesn't deliver many of the performance attributes that most people look for in a winter jacket. It won't keep you as warm, dry, or comfortable as other jackets. Therefore, we wouldn't recommend this jacket for most people. However, if you need a durable work jacket for outdoor labor and chores, and know how to layer underneath or keep yourself dry if the weather turns nasty, this could be a good option. For those users, this jacket is a good deal, especially considering its construction quality. But for the vast majority of users, this isn't a good choice for a do-it-all winter jacket.
What Other Winter Jackets Should You Consider?
If you are looking for a winter work jacket that can take a beating, this is the best one on the market. If you are looking for a more useful winter for all conditions, the Patagonia Frozen Range is our favorite, though it comes with a hefty price tag. If you want a great all-around winter jacket for a lower price, the REI Co-op Stormhenge Down Hybrid Parka is versatile and affordable. And if you spend a lot of time outside, but your chores and recreation don't require much contact with abrasive materials, the Rab Neutrino Pro is our favorite jacket for active outdoor use.
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