After moving to the farm, one of our biggest trepidations was the coming winter. When your new home sits atop a pretty steep hill and you haven’t yet acquired the necessary equipment to deal with snow and ice, you have reason for concern.
Armed only with our trusty UTV we named Delia the Intimidator, warm boots and our Carhartts, we made a plan: Should the snow build up on the hill a bit too much for our cars to handle, we’d let Delia do the hauling and suit up to shuffle our necessary work gear to the car so we could head to town. (The alternative was to grab a cookie sheet and sled down the hill to where we’d park our cars—way more fun but perhaps less practical.)
Well, fortunately or not, our winter has been a lot more rain and a lot less snow than we anticipated, so our winter-ready plans are on the backburner for now. As a result, Delia got some much-needed R&R this season, though we still managed to put those boots and Carhartts to use.
Carhartts are a staple in any farmer’s wardrobe. If you’ve been working the land for any bit of time, this is something you already know. And I must admit, I greatly overlooked their value until tried them for myself. Mr. B has gotten his fair use out of them, as well.
In the summertime in Kentucky, a smart person does their best to stay out of the deep woods if possible. In the winter, however, with all the bugs dead and gone, the invitation to wander into the deep thorns and thickets is a lot more inviting—even moreso with a nice outer layer of Carhartts. We’ve been out chainsawing trees and clearing out areas of thorny plants and small trees to create garden space, and our Carhartt Biberalls and jackets provide excellent, rugged barriers to keep us safe from unpleasant pokes and prods.
On one chilly, single-digit morning, when we happened to get a light snow covering the ground, I was eager to try out a new wood-splitting maul. While other folks were posting pictures of thermometers on Facebook from inside, I was suiting up to head outside. I put on some regular clothes, nothing particularly warm, and then pulled my biberalls and Armstrong Jacket overtop and headed out. They kept me tremendously warm, and I even got a little sweaty where I had to sit and take a wood-splitting break a few times to enjoy the view. My outdoor cat with villain claws jumped in my lap, and with the Carhartts on to protect me, I didn’t even mind the extra pawing since I couldn’t feel it at all.
The jacket goes on easily and provides plenty of flexibility in the shoulders and arms. It has normal side pockets to keep my hands warm, a convenient zippered sideways pocket near the chest and two convenient inside pockets, one zippered for important stowaways and one with Velcro for easier access. Another key feature is the warm hood, which allows you to venture out on a windy day or take a more pleasant ride on an ATV or a tractor.
On the biberalls, the zipper/button lower leg feature is convenient for pulling them over any large boot. They also offer plenty of pocket options: deep pockets at the sides and the rear to keep your hands warm or stow away your cell phone and small tools; leg loops with thin, deep pockets for your hammer, knife, etc.; and a handy double pouch on the chest with a zipper inside and button outside.
If you want to go outside to do work, venture into thorny woods or simply stay warm on a chilly day, these Carhartts are very well suited for the job! The only bad thing is that I will have to put them up for most of the year while waiting for cooler weather to roll back around.
One of the best features of this jacket is its ability to let you move. I hate when I wear a puffy winter coat and feel like a giant marshmallow in it. The Full-Swing Cryder keeps you warm, but thanks to the design of the jacket’s shoulders, armpits and elbows coupled with the Rugged Flex stretch technology of the fabric, it gives you the necessary range of motion to get work done around the farm. Made with a durable cotton outer fabric and lined with Thinsulate insulation, it also keeps you warm without getting too bulky. Plus, it’s water-repellent, so you can feel comfortable working in any weather conditions (except for perhaps the January monsoons Kentucky experienced this year).
It’s been a decade since Carhartt first launched its women’s line of clothing, and for that I’m thankful. These bibs are made of the same durable cotton sandstone duck material they’re known for and lined with quilted nylon, meaning on days in the mid-30s, I can get away with just a pair of long underwear underneath, while on colder days, I can layer up. The zippers on the legs make it easy to get my boots on and off, and there are plenty of pockets to hold the tools I need for my farm chores.
One thing I must note, though, is that It may take some shopping around to find the right size bibs for you. Being tall and lanky, when I found a size that worked with my waistline and bustline without gaping too much, I found the length of the bib body fell a little too short. Even with the adjustable straps, I couldn’t necessarily find the right fit for complete comfort, so be aware that depending on your body type, you may have to sacrifice a perfect fit for the ability to move with ease. While I like the idea of having full-body coverage in the bibs, a pair of lined pants may actually suit me better.