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Are Carhartt Jackets Waterproof?

Are Carhartt Jackets Waterproof?

If you need to keep your body warm throughout the cold season, a high-quality jacket is essential. One such jacket is a Carhartt jacket. Whether you’re working in the cold, the rain, or both, this jacket keeps your core temperature up while making your outdoor work go a little more easily.

Even though Carhartt jackets are very popular, many people are concerned about their waterproofing. To respond to these concerns, this article will walk you through the different Carhartt jacket technologies so you can see how they’re made and what they’re capable of. However, before going into the technologies and what they mean, it’s vital to understand a few critical terminologies used by Carhartt to define their weather-resistant gear.


When Carhartt claims waterproof, they imply that water won’t get through the garment. In the case of Carhartt gear, this means a unique liner has been put to keep water out and that the garment has been taped and sealed in most cases.

Resistant and Repellent

The terms resistant and repellent are frequently interchanged when describing clothes that will shield you from the rain for a short period. Most of these items have a specific coating applied to them that increases their functionality in wet situations. Carhartt offers a wide range of water repellent or resistant items, including jackets, coats, sweatshirts, gloves, bibs, boots, pants, and more. If these items are exposed to wet conditions for an extended period, they will not be completely waterproof.

Carhartt Waterproof Technology

PVC Rainwear

 Carhartt PVC rainwear is entirely waterproof and weatherproof. Rain will roll straight off this material, which comprises either polyvinyl chloride or polyurethane. While this is the best solution for keeping the rain out, it does have one disadvantage: you might get a bit sweaty underneath. This is because PVC rainwear lacks an interior breathable membrane. Despite this, they remain a dependable and popular choice for rainy days.

Storm Defender

Storm Defender gear is entirely waterproof. However, unlike the Rain Defender that we will discuss later in this article, this technology has nothing to do with the outer shell. Storm Defenders have a waterproof yet breathable membrane featured in Carhartt jackets, gloves, bibs, pants, and even weather-ready boots. The Storm Defender keeps water out while letting body heat and sweats out, keeping you comfortable and, most importantly, dry while on the job.

Storm Defender clothes, in most cases, have fully taped and sealed seams, which ensures that water does not get in. Seams that have been taped and sealed are critical. Other companies may claim that their clothing is waterproof, but they fail to close the microscopic holes created by needles when the fabric is stitched together. These holes, no matter how small, allow moisture to infiltrate the garment.

Carhartt Water Resistant or Repellent Technology

Rain Defender

Rain Defender is a water-resistant patent treatment applied outside popular Carhartt products such as jackets, bibs, pants, sweatshirts, coats, and more. While not completely waterproof, this finish will withstand light rain and dampness for short periods. When you see rain beading up on the outside of your Carhartt jacket, for example, that’s rain defender in action.  While it will keep you dry during a brief shower, you will eventually become wet if you are out in the rain for an extended amount of time.

Top Carhartt Work Jackets of 2021

Rain Defender Relaxed Fit Midweight Softshell Jacket

This jacket is ideal for everyday use, as it provides just enough protection from light rains and breezes while being comfortable, mobile, and not unduly bulky. It’s constructed of a stretch-fabric shell with a soft, textured fleece bonded to it. Its other standout features include:

  • Hook and loop cuffs that can easily be adjusted
  • Wind Fighter technology that helps control the wind.
  • Rugged Flex stretch technology that allows you to move freely.
  • Rain Defender, a long-lasting water repellent that keeps you dry and mobile even when it’s drizzling.
  • 100% polyester fleece lining that provides you with warmth.

Loose Fit Washed Duck Insulated Active Jac

In many respects, this one feels like a classic. From its tough outer shell to the strong stitching, this is the jacket that has long set Carhartt apart. However, it isn’t a classic. It is an improved version of one of Carhartt’s most famous active jackets, the J130. Below are some of its outstanding features:

  • Internal rib-knit storm cuffs that keep the cold at bay
  • Sleeve hems with Cordura reinforcement to resist wear and tear.
  • Easy on and off with a quilted nylon inner.

Shoreline Waterproof Breathable Nylon Jacket

If you’re looking for a jacket that will keep you dry, this is the one to choose. While many waterproofed jackets don’t breathe properly, this one does a great job attempting to strike that compromise. Its goal is to keep water out while still allowing sweat to exit. The waterproof seams, including the map pocket at the upper left, are securely taped to keep you dry. The body is lined with polyester mesh, while the sleeves and hood are lined with nylon taffeta. Other outstanding features include:

  • Strong duty front zipper with exterior and interior storm flaps
  • Snap-on and off visored hood featuring drawcord adjuster

Storm Defender Loose Fit Midweight Jacket

This is yet another jacket that excels in terms of waterproofing. Their size is slightly larger than expected, but this is less noticeable and more suited in the winter since you may be layering your garments below. If need be, the jacket can be cinched at the waist. Its other outstanding features include:

  • A full-length zipper featuring exterior and interior storm flaps
  • The visor on the hood that offers extra coverage
  • Two-layer membrane featuring Rain Defender long-lasting water repellent to keep you dry and moving in light rain
  • To stop water from penetrating and to allow sweat to get out, the jacket features Storm Defender waterproof breathable technology

Final Take

In a nutshell, Carhartt jackets built with Storm Defender and PVC technology are entirely waterproof, whereas Rain Defender jackets are only water-resistant. If you’re looking for a Carhartt jacket, consider one of the options above.