If there is anyone on the planet who demands as much performance out of their gear as outdoor enthusiasts it is construction workers. Day in and day out, they go to work in demanding, and often harsh, environments. In order to do their jobs effectively, they need apparel that keeps them comfortable, doesn't restrict motion and is durable enough to survive the wear and tear that comes with a construction site. Carhartt is a company that has built a reputation for manufacturing tough, high-performance clothing for the work place and, over the years, their gear has become incredibly popular with many people who have to work out in the elements.
This spring, the company has released a new line of rainwear that brings its considerable experience with performance apparel to the outdoor crowd. Carhartt has released three new rain jackets of various weights that will certainly be popular options for both the workplace and the trail. I've been lucky enough to put the Huron jacket to the test this spring and I've found that it is a worthy addition to a gear closet already full of rain gear from a number of well-known and popular outdoor companies.
The Huron is built from 100 percent nylon ripstop fabrics that are designed to be both lightweight and breathable. The jacket succeeds on both counts, keeping the wearer comfortable and dry, even in heavy downpours. Lesser rain jackets are often good at keeping water from getting inside, but their poor level of breathability means you end up cooking under the extra layers. Carhartt has managed to create a jacket that performs surprisingly well, even when the rain is dropping by the bucket and temperatures are warm.
Designed for use in warmer environments, the Huron is the thinnest and lightest of the new jackets from Carhartt. Its heavier brothers include the Steelhead and the Bad Axe, both of which are built for increasingly cooler weather. You won't need either of them until fall at the earliest however, as the Huron will serve you quite well through the rest of spring, summer and into early fall. This is the kind of jacket you'll want in your pack on a long hike or backpacking trip. To that end, this jacket can pack down to a relatively small footprint and stores itself inside a back pocket, which makes it easy to bring along on any trip without taking up too much space.
Speaking of pockets, the Huron has two rather large zippered hand pocks and a spacious chest pocket that seals nicely with a couple of snaps. Each of these pockets is great for keeping moisture away from small, valuable equipment. For example, I carried my phone in the breast pocket during a heavy downpour and it stayed completely safe and dry the entire time. That same pocket includes a media port that allows you to pass your earbuds through so you never have to miss a call or stop listening to your tunes.
Other nice touches include a hood with an adjustable draw-cord that can be pulled tight around the face in particularly bad rainstorms or expanded to fit over a helmet as needed. Fully gusseted seams help to further seal out the elements, while a high quality zipper pulls smoothly and easily – wet or dry. Additionally, side seams help with ventilation while a tapered cut ensures that the jacket doesn't impede movement when on an active excursion or working hard on the job site.
Whether you're looking for a tough, durable jacket for your next outdoor adventure or something that you can wear at work, Carhartt's Huron Jacket is a winner. I am very impressed with how well this jacket performs, particularly coming from a company that isn't known for making outdoor gear. The company brings the Huron to market with a price tag of $120, which is competitively priced with similar jackets from competitors, most of whom won't be nearly as rugged or versatile.