Fall is here, and if you’re like me and spend most of your time in colder climates (Vermont), then you know it’s basically winter anyway. I don’t like winter.
But, there is one good thing about this time of year, and that's pulling out the Carhartt. I’ve been wearing the jackets since I was 7, and after nearly two decades, and a lot of growing, I am only on my fourth.
Carhartts are tough as nails, never pick up stains, and have a classic look that’s appropriate at most of the places I frequent. It's like a seasonal man-purse, I cram the pockets with whatever I might need: , pen, notebook, , a few cans of beer, and you’d never know I had any of it.
But this year I finally went for a Carhartt upgrade. It wasn't that my trusty Carhartt was worn out (far from it, actually). I wanted to try something from Carhartt's line.
Carhartt has made products in America since they're founding, even in times when other manufacturers left American shores, especially after the 2008 recession. In the last few years, they heard their consumers wanted to know exactly what was American made, so they made it explicitly clear.
"When you think about our consumers, it’s those in skilled trade jobs," says Carhartt President and CEO Linda Hubbard. "We want to not only support those industries but also to continue to provide opportunities for people to find jobs in the trades, manufacturing, and distribution.
Today, for its Made in the USA line, Carhartt hires 2000 American workers at plants in Tennessee and Kentucky as well as its headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. In the last 15 years, these factories have made over 80 million articles of clothing and in a single year can use as much as 19.5 million pounds of American cotton.
And among all that cotton and craftsmanship comes my new Duck Quilted Flannel-Lined Active Jac.
No surprise here: the jacket rules. There are few things better than getting that new Carhartt, when the cotton is stiff and crisp, ready for you to drag it through oil, across the pavement, and into whatever dark corner it is that the next project takes you.
The quilted flannel is incredibly warm and still soft on rough skin. Nylon lined sleeves mean your shirt sleeves won't get caught as you pull it on either, which, after "having water run down your sleeves after washing your hands," is my least favorite feeling. And yet with all the thoughtful designs, its still as tough as you expect.
Security pockets on the inside with zipper and velcro options means you won't lose your things, no matter the angle you're working at. And thick rib knit cuffs on the sleeves and bottom of the jacket mean the wind won't be shooting up to freeze you from the inside out. Between that, the flannel lined hood, and the thick wind and water resistant ringspun cotton duck canvas, this is my go to winter jacket. Even when the wind blows through the Adirondacks, over lake Champlain, and straight into my face.
I still love my old Carhartt, but now—it's got some stiff competition.