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Are Carhartt Jackets Waterproof? (Problem Solved)

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Carhartt in past was only known for their workwear but now they have stepped into the game of merging functionality with classic American style with their new brand Carhartt WIP (Work-In-Progress) and trust they stand out in their area.

But what about their rain protection? let’s look into this deeply.

Here’s How Waterproof Are Carhartt Jackets?

When I am talking about the Carhartt waterproofing I am taking the jackets listed on and not on the Carhartt WIP. Now there you can find many jackets but the one that has the power to protect you in heavy downpour are the ones that feature either Storm Defender Technology or the PVC Membrane.

However, none of them are equally made so let’s understand the different types of technology, design, and materials Carhartt uses to make the waterproof jackets for three different purposes – Light rain, Steady Rain, and Downpour.

What Carhartt Is Doing To Waterproof The Jackets?

Rain Defender Tech – Best For Light Rain

If you live in a city or hike in a place where rain happens but the drops are more often like showers then you don’t need more advanced Carhartt rain gear than this.

Carhartt developed the rain defender technology after years of experience in the working gear field though, they don’t use any high-tech fabric with this range. On all such jackets, the outer layer is treated with a Durable Water Repellent whose work is to bead off the water so that it doesn’t penetrate the main layer of fabric but the rain defender is not waterproof so it starts to leak after a point in rain pressure and duration.

However, most people think that it’s a water repellent so it may be alike to other brands, for example, the DWR of the North Face or Patagonia but it is not so because DWR is not a tech rather it is a terminology to describe the tech coating or layer Carhartt Rain Defender.

Read Also: Can Carhartt Jackets Keep You Toasty Warm?

Though what I don’t know about this is – whether the Rain Defender uses the PFC to make water repellent treatment or not but if they use it then they need to think about producing Non-PFC DWR as it is harmful to the environment.

These are the main features of water repellent jackets of this brand:

  • Drawcord-adjustable droptail hem for added coverage
  • Mock-neck collar
  • Hook and loop adjustable cuffs
  • Obviously, Rain Defender® durable water repellent
  • There are some other features too depending on your need like if you want wear, tear, and abrasison resistant to be your next priority after rain protection then look for the Cordura® fabric too which can be seen in style 102208.
  • However, if you want additional protection to wind then also look for Wind Fighet® and Rugged Flex® Strech technology for added mobility. These can be seen in styles 102703 and 102199.

Just get up any men/women jacket featuring Rain Defender but make sure you choose the right one between lightweight, midweight, and heavyweight options because the lighter is lighter in weight but not as warm as a heavyweight. To know more about the Carhartt jacket’s warmth read the article Here.

Storm Defender – Best For Steady-Heavy Rain

If you ask me to pick up only one tech from the Carhartt that will be worth every penny then it will always be the Storm Defender jackets because it is waterproof and breathable.

Carhartt also offers PVC jackets that we’ll talk about later that offer the best water protection but there are a few down points that make me choose the storm defender.

We’ve seen that the Rain defender has everything to do with the outer layer but it is not so with this because the whole fabric plays an important role to make the outerwear work efficiently.

Let’s see how? The tech is built up using a rain-resistant exterior and a breathable, sweat-releasing inner membrane which makes it a moisture-wicking technology from the inside out.

Stormdefender Carhartt Waterproofing Technology
Source: Carhartt Workwear

Although, it feels heavier than the rain defender jackets because of using more advanced methods of construction. Now here are some special combos that you should keep in mind to make the most out of the Storm Defender range.

For example, if you want a final jacket that will give you the best waterproofing along with breathability and warmth then go for the Carhartt Yukon Extremes™ with the Storm Defender Tech.

But if you want the best body coverage from rain then go for the coats with this tech and at last as you know storm defender is a heavy jacket yet you want it to be lightweight then go for the Storm Defender with Quick Duck® lightweight, durable canvas fabric that is 30% lighter than the Carhartt traditional sandstone fabric.

Carhartt PVC Jackets – Best For The Heaviest Downpour

If you only want a jacket that is 100% waterproof and you don’t care about breathability or warmth then the PVC jackets by Carhartt won’t regret you a bit when it comes to the ultimate rain protection.

Though, it is not limited to begin waterproof as it’s weatherproof meaning you’ll be protected from the wind and feel comfortable and safe even if you’re working in heavy nets in the sea for catching fish, or just working for the longest hours outdoors in the heaviest rain.

Because the PVC jackets are made up of Polyvinyl chloride the outerwear will feel heavier and sweatier so it would be good to give a thought before buying such a jacket – I’d say most outdoor workers can substitute Carhartt’s PVC with the Storm Defender.

But if still your work needs to be done in the sea weather situation like Alaska then go for it but remember it is not as versatile as the storm defender ranges.

When I searched for the Carhartt PVC jackets, I landed on this page:

As you have already noticed in the image that I marked only one jacket. why? Because after going through all the search results only one comes to be made of PVC waterproof vinyl chloride while others are better-to-say are water repellent and not waterproof because of the Rain defender so excluding one rest are good for light rain (not talking about storm defender).

Style 103508

So, if you have decided that you want the best waterproof Carhartt jackets then go for the style 103508 (amazon affiliate link). Only this jacket is made up of a .45mm coating of 91% polythylene/9% vinyl Acetate which is a complete PVC jacket by Carhartt. And if you buy this, trust me, no matter how heavy the rain is you won’t get wet.

What makes it further effective are the Reinforced major seams, Drawcord-adjustable hood for added protection, and internal rib-knit storm cuffs with adjustable cuff openings.

Are Carhartt WIP Jackets Waterproof?

Unfortunately, Carhartt doesn’t have any filter for the waterproof jacket so it’s been a bit hard for me to find many.

But after digging deep enough I can conclude that none of the jackets available in are waterproof, however, some of them are water repellent and many are closer to water-resistant because of using polyester. The higher the percentage of polyester in the material the higher the chances of it being water-resistant though other factors also play the role as mentioned here.

Although, the WIP jackets seem to be stylish than those on the main website the water repellent jackets on WIP are not closer in performance with Rain Defender jackets.

Carhartt WIP Water Repellent Jackets (Men’s/Women’s)Fabric UsedStyle ID
Hooded Sail Jacket (M’s)Nylon SupplexI028436_0GC_XX
Nimbus Pullover (M’s/W’s)Nylon Supplex with Teflon coatingI028435_0EI_XX
Bode Jacket (M’s)Not mentioned but it is water repellentI028169_89_XX
Danville Down Jacket (M’s)Not Mentioned but for sure it’s water repellentI029450_0GA_XX
Trapper Parka (M’s)Water repellent fabricI028129_63_00
Trent Parka (M’s)Water repellent fabricI028130_U1_XX
Vail Parka (W’s)Poplin blend fabric that has water repellencyI028167_89_XX
Dani Jacket (W’s)Water repellent polyester taffetaI029462_0GB_XX

Are The Carhartt Rain Jackets Breathable?

It depends on various factors like the fabric construction and the technology used. However, according to Carhartt, their Rain Defender and Storm Defender ranges are completely breathable.

Where the rain defender is good for light rain and storm defender is good for steady heavy rain. Among these two the storm defender rain jackets by Carhartt are more breathable because of the tech fabric itself that allows the sweat to escape while not allowing the rain to penetrate.

Instead of them, Carhartt also offers 100% waterproof jackets that are best for the heaviest downpour but they are not breathable at all because they are made of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride).

I hope it is clear now 🙂

Are The Carhartt Winter Jackets 100% Waterproof?

Unfortunately, No Carhartt winter jackets are 100% waterproof but thankfully most of them are water repellent so you can remain dry in light rain by wearing Carhartt’s Rain Defender Insulated Jackets range.

But if you live in a location where both winter and rain are predominant then you should consider pairing your Carhartt insulated workwear with the Carhartt Storm Defender rain jackets because together they both will keep you toasty warm and 100% waterproof while not lacking in breathability.

Here’s a piece of advice: Go for Carhartt Full Swing insulated jackets if you perform high demanding physical activities as they are highly strechable and mobile though, as they are not waterproof and not even water repellent so you must consider either one of their rain jackets or other brand’s as an outer layer.

Can You Waterproof A Carhartt Jacket?

Practically, you can not waterproof the Carhartt jackets but can improve their rain protection to a good extent. For example, if you have a water repellent jacket that has rain defender tech then applying wax it can be upgraded to work in slightly heavy rain for a bit longer time than we have seen.

Though, if you have a 100% waterproof Carhartt storm defender jacket then by applying wax you can create a water repellent layer that will the rain jacket stay dryer for a longer time in the heaviest downpour.

The main reason behind this is, that most Carhartt jackets are made of synthetic fibers or at least blended with them and wax can be used to waterproof a jacket efficiently if it is applied on natural fibers like cotton. That’s why I said that practically it is not possible to waterproof Carhartt jackets with wax but they can turn into highly water-resistant pieces by applying wax.

However, if you go to many jackets are 100% made with cotton so if you apply wax on them then you can make them 100% waterproof but keep in mind that the weight of the garment will also increase.

Here’s a video that you’d like to watch about waxing jackets.

Because you’re applying the wax as a supplement you need to reapply it from time to time (in 1-2 years) to maintain the same level of waterproofing.

Now let’s see how to apply wax on the Carhartt jacket:

  • Purchase a good quality wax like Filson
  • Heat you wax and completely liquify it
  • Transfer the melted wax from container to a ceramic bowl or in a double boiler. Place bowl in another bigger bowl that has warm water so that wax don’t solidfy.
  • Place your Carhartt jacket on a flat surface above a unused towel so that you table won’t get waxed
  • Now take a paint brush of about 2 inches wide and then apply the wax as fastly and evenly
  • Now if you think there are some place where the wax is thicker then take a dryer and heat that area and then take the brus to evenly distribute it.
  • Make sure that all seams are fully waxed.
  • Now let you jacket hang on a hanger for overnight.
  • That’s all your carhartt cotton jacket is now 100% waterproof and your non-cotton carhartt jacket are now higly water repellent.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Carhartt duck jackets waterproof?

None of the Carhartt duck jackets are waterproof but a few of them are water repellent.

Though some are not even water repellent but the Carhartt duck jackets that are water repellent meaning they will keep you dry in light rain are styles 102207 and J131.

Are Carhartt detroit jacket waterproof?

No Carhartt Detroit jackets are waterproof but the one that can keep you dry in light rain is style 105000 because it is treated with Rain Defender water repellent.

Are Carhartt full swing jackets waterproof?

No Carhartt Full swing jackets are waterproof but the ones that are water repellent are Carhartt’s 103372, 102207,104460, and 102208.

Is Carhartt bartlett jacket waterproof?

Sorry to say but the Carhartt Bartlett jacket is neither waterproof nor water repellent.

Are Carhartt canvas jackets waterproof?

No, I’ve checked Carhartt women’s canvas jacket 102524 but it is neither water repellent nor waterproof.


Read Also: How Does Carhartt Jackets Sizing Run?

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