Best Carhartt jacket

Outerwear

The original Carhartt product was the bib overall, which was designed specifically with railroad workers in mind.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which Carhartt jackets are best?

When searching for a durable and rugged jacket, you’ll have a hard time finding a brand more reliable than Carhartt. Since the late 1890s, Carhartt has been producing some of the most versatile winter, workwear and casual jackets available. 

Though originally designed for use while working in harsh conditions, Carhartt jackets are now worn in a wide variety of settings. Before deciding on your ideal Carhartt jacket, you’ll want to consider jacket type, sizing, material and extra features. For warmth, quality and versatility, the Carhartt Quilted Flannel Lined Duck Active Jacket is a bestseller. 

What to know before you buy a Carhartt jacket 

Jacket type

There are several different types of Carhartt jackets, though most will fall into four specific categories: 

  • Cold weather: Carhartt winter and cold weather jackets will be the warmest option, and will usually feature a lining or added insulation to provide an extra level of protection from the cold. 
     
  • Workwear: Carhartt’s workwear jacket collection will feature many of their classic pieces, designed for superior durability and protection when performing any type of strenuous manual labor. Some may feature linings while others will be unlined.
     
  • Rain jacket: Carhartt rain jackets and soft shell jackets are usually constructed from synthetic materials that have waterproof properties to help keep you dry in all conditions. 
     
  • Casual jackets: There are also Carhartt jackets designed for everyday wear that feature a more fashion-forward design, especially jackets within the Carhartt WIP line. These may not feature all of the same technical features but will still be highly durable and long-lasting. 

Size 

Depending on which type of jacket you’ll need, sizing should also be high on your list of priorities. Carhartt offers several big and tall sizes along with standard sizes. Many of their jackets will feature a loose or relaxed fit, so keep that in mind when considering the proper size. 

What to look for in a quality Carhartt jacket 

Material 

Many Carhartt workwear jackets will be made from 100% cotton materials such as duck canvas or similar styles. This material provides premium durability for high-energy activities.

Lightweight jackets and rain jackets will likely be constructed from water-resistant nylon or polyester which makes them perfect for wet days or as an additional outer layer. 

Warmth 

If you want a jacket that will keep you toasty in freezing conditions, choose a model that features some type of interior lining. You can find jackets that feature flannel lining, sherpa lining, quilted lining, thermal lining and other options which all sport a slightly different warmth rating. 

Some of their winter parka-style jackets will even feature additional insulation in addition to a lining, which can be a good option for anyone in extremely frigid regions. 

Water-resistant 

Not all Carhartt jackets will be waterproof unless you opt for a specific rain jacket, but many will have water-resistant properties. If you think you may need your jacket in wet weather, look for a material that can easily shed water and keep you dry from the occasional shower. Many cotton canvas materials will have adequate water protection and some may even be treated with a DWR coating. 

Pockets

Pockets are always useful especially on workwear jackets considering you may need extra room to hold tools or other objects. Many Carhartt jackets are equipped with spacious side hand pockets, while others feature interior pockets and even additional exterior chest pockets for maximum storage. 

Hood

Carhartt jackets that sport a hood provide extra defense against cold or windy weather. Not every style includes a hood, as some may feature a standard or lined collar instead. Hoods with drawstring closures are also convenient for achieving a snug fit. 

Cuffs

Ribbed and adjustable cuffs are a great option for keeping out the cold and providing a comfortable fit. They will also help prevent rain, snow or debris from entering your sleeve. 

How much you can expect to spend on a Carhartt jacket 

Some lightweight jackets can be purchased for as little as $60 while highly insulated parka-style jackets can run upward of $300. Expect to spend between $80-$150 for a quality Carhartt model with adequate warmth. 

Carhartt jacket FAQ

How long do Carhartt jackets last? 

A. Carhartt jackets are known for their durability and high-quality build. Many people will wear their Carhartt jackets for more than a decade without any serious rips or tears forming. The maximum life span depends on how often you wear your jacket and the overall level of care. 

Are Carhartt jackets good for snow? 

A. Many Carhartt jackets are great for cold and harsh winter conditions, though some non-waterproof models may not be ideal for heavy and wet snow. Look for fully waterproof options if you plan on wearing it often in the snow. 

What are the best Carhartt jackets to buy?

Top Carhartt jacket 

Carhartt Men's Quilted Flannel Lined Duck Active Jacket

Carhartt Men’s Quilted Flannel Lined Duck Active Jacket

What you need to know: This classic Carhartt jacket is a great workwear or cold weather option that comes in sizes ranging from small to 5XL. 

What you’ll love: The quilted flannel lining offers both wind and water resistance, making this jacket suitable for most weather conditions. This active jacket also features two additional interior pockets and a flannel-lined hood. The cuffed hem and sleeves help trap in heat, keeping you warm all day long. 

What you should consider: For some people, this jacket was too large. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Top Carhartt jacket for the money

Carhartt Men's Relaxed Fit Washed Duck Sherpa-Lined Jacket

Carhartt Men’s Relaxed Fit Washed Duck Sherpa-Lined Jacket

What you need to know: A perfect winter jacket, this Carhartt model combines comfort with functionality. 

What you’ll love: Aside from the large hand pockets, this jacket also sports a zip chest pocket and two interior pockets to hold all of your essentials. The soft sherpa lining will keep you comfortable even during unpleasant winter weather. 

What you should consider: There have been a few complaints about the quality of the zipper. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Carhartt Men's Crowley Jacket

Carhartt Men’s Crowley Jacket

What you need to know: The Carhartt Crowley jacket is a great soft-shell option for light to moderate rain or chilly days. 

What you’ll love: By using their signature Rain Defender coating, this jacket allows for water to run off the material without soaking through. The polyester interior has a soft feel for cooler weather, while the lightweight design is less bulky than other Carhartt models. 

What you should consider: The overall fit was occasionally a problem for a few buyers. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Matthew Young writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.