Here in Alaska, Carhartt clothing and XTRATUF boots are the Official State Outfit. Or would be, if Alaskans could be bothered to have such a thing. Seriously, it's not unusual to see bride and groom walking down the aisle in this stuff. Both brands are lived and worked in 24/7, and although XTRATUF may have taken a PR hit on reliability issues, Carhartt is still the go-to section of our closets.
Carhartt has always had awesome t-shirts, but they rarely went on extended outings with me because they were 100 percent cotton. No longer! Carhartt's new Force line of clothing blends cotton and polyester so you get the best of both worlds. The Force t-shirt is 65 percent cotton, 35 percent polyester, and it's a keeper. Feels like cotton, works like a technical fabric, and magically cleans up like new.
We had to be nagged to pull this t-shirt out of rotation to get this review written, the shirt is getting that much attention. Flat lock seams on the shoulders and a no-tag collar make the Force t-shirt fit perfectly under a pack or heavy jacket. It wicks enough for medium exertion activities like backpacking and climbing, and doesn't get the funk-factor that all-technical fabrics can get. The Carhartt logo on the pocket bestows instant (unpaved) street cred.
Even in AK we get to wear shorts once in a while, and Carhartt's got us covered there too. The Rugged cargo short is a burly canvas short that can take abuse, but feels like you've been wearing it forever right off the shelf. The 8 ounce 100 percent cotton canvas is super-soft, and the fit is relaxed but not boxy. If you're a pocket hound you've got two open hand pockets, two side snapped cargo pockets and two rear snapped pockets. On the outside of the right front cargo pocket is an open cell phone pocket that easily holds an iPhone or slightly larger phone.
You just can't go wrong with Carhartt, and both the Force t-shirt and the Rugged cargo short are great additions to your work and casual wear. We've saved the best for last: Carhartt is 100 percent dirtbag friendly with their pricing, so prepare to be comfortable while abusing yourself on the trail or on the job.
Rugged cargo short $36.00 at Carhartt
Force t-shirt $24.00 at Carhartt