Posted by: towmasters | November 29, 2008

Carhartt Man

“In the finest NW tradition, in addition to the Xtra-tuf boots and Grundies, I never leave home without my Carhartt’s. Shirts, flannels, jacket, socks, pants, shorts. All Carhartt, all the time.”

I strongly agree with Capt. Anonymous over at the gCaptain.com Maritime Forum’s Best Gear discussion: with few exceptions, when it comes to work clothes it’s tough to beat Carhartt. And because I’ve hardly ever seen anyone but myself wearing them, I’ll point out a few of my Carhartt favorites that some of you may not know about.

Double-Front Logger Dungarees: made of 15 oz. denim, they have double-layered fronts and are very tough. Available washed or unwashed, they’re my year round work jeans of choice in most circumstances besides wicked cold weather, although wearing top-grade long underwear (like Patagonia’s Wool 3 or Wool 4 bottoms) beneath them extends their comfort range downward considerably. If you want to be able to wear the heaviest long underwear with them, remember that you may have to go up a size with the pants to avoid an uncomfortably tight and restricting fit.

Cordura-Front Work Dungarees: made of a slightly lighter weight 12 oz. cotton duck, with the outer layer of the logger’s double-front and kick panels made of tough and water-resistant nylon. 

Double-Front Work Dungarees: also made of the 12 oz. cotton duck, they’re available for men both washed or unwashed, and for women in an unwashed version only.

Sherpa-lined Waist Overalls: made of the 12 oz. cotton duck and still sporting the logger’s double-front, they’re lined with a thick polyester “Sherpa” fleece and have outseam zippers that go up to mid-thigh, making them a snap to put on or take off over even the bulkiest of boots, plus hammer loops and extra tool pockets on both upper thighs. For cold-weather pants it doesn’t get any better than this.

Washed Duck Flannel-Lined Dungarees: also made of 12 oz. cotton duck, but without the double-front, they have a hammer loop on the left thigh and extra tool pockets on both.  

Be advised that all of the above items have hammer loops which constitute, for mariners especially, a potential snagging hazard that must be taken into consideration. It’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons of leaving them on for yourself, based upon your specific working environment, and then carefully snip them off if you feel that its best to do so. I think that sometimes people get a little out of hand trying to eliminate every possible risk imaginable, no matter how small, which is neither possible nor even necessarily desirable. Those loops do serve a legitimate utilitarian purpose that may or may not offset the safety risk to you, so think about it first.

Relaxed-fit Flannel-Lined Jeans: they make them specifically for men and women, out of 15 oz. denim. No tool loops or extra pockets, but very comfortable.

Fleece-Lined Jeans: also made of the 15 oz. denim, and available in a dungaree or relaxed fit, they’re lined in polyester fleece.

Click here for Carhartt’s dealer directory.

As one would expect, the majority of our readership consists of tug and towboat deck officers. For the most part, we don’t spend nearly as much time out in the weather as do the deckhands, tankermen and, in some cases, engineers. So, keeping in mind the holiday spirit, don’t be a Grinch. Please be kind and pass this info on to them since they’ll benefit the most from it. Remember, the fellow crewman you help today could be the deckhand, tankerman or engineer that saves your ass tomorrow.

Bon voyage…..

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