Carhartt Shoreline Vapor Rain Gear Review
The Carhartt Shoreline Vapor Rain Gear sets a high standard for breathability and freedom of movement for the jobsite. With the ability to cover warm winter clothes and still fit well in the summer, you can eliminate the need for different sets of rain gear for each season.
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There’s a picture running around social media outlets right now that says “I Survived Florida Winter 2015: Remembering February 19-20, 2015”. That’s pretty accurate. This winter was the first time we’d seen freezing temperatures in two years… and it lasted for about 2 hours. That’s how we roll in central Florida. Winter just isn’t that bad for us. For the other 363 days of the year, we get maybe 10 days of Spring and Fall each to go along with our 343 days of summer. That leads into why I am loving the Carhartt Shoreline Vapor rain gear with Storm Defender and Rain Defender technology.
Summer in Florida is a meteorological wonderland. We get afternoon thunderstorms formed by the collision of Atlantic and Gulf sea breezes that become almost as predictable as Old Faithful. Are there days where that doesn’t happen?
Sure, when a developing hurricane affects the pattern.
Here’s the point: Florida is hot, humid, and wet. Since we can’t simply call it a day at 2:00 pm or take a 2 – 3 hour break for the storms, we work on. Combine all of those elements and try to wrap yourself in waterproof rain gear. What do you get? A recipe for tons of sweat and the very real possibility of dehydration.
Carhartt Shoreline Vapor Rain Gear
Rain Defender Technology
Rain Defender technology built into the Carhartt Shoreline Vapor Jack and Pant is simply a durable, water resistant finish. It’s a part of what makes a rain jacket keep the water outside your jacket. This is Carhartt’s proprietary version of what many rain jackets use.
Storm Defender Technology
Storm Defender Technology is what makes made me do a double take when I first looked at the Carhartt Shoreline Vapor Rain Gear. Most rain jackets combine waterproof material with a finish that keeps water out… and locks sweat in. Storm Defender allows for rain resistance while remaining breathable so that built in body heat can escape. That makes Storm Defender a critical technology in Florida!
Carhartt offers a very helpful sizing guide for their clothing. It includes an easy to understand diagram about how and where to measure chest, waist, and inseam. It’s got some helpful tips based on the way you already buy clothes. They’ve also got a pant size helper that allows you to choose your favorite pair of jeans along with the size and recommends pants and sizes from the Carhartt line.
I went with a large for both Carhartt Shoreline Vapor Jacket and Pants based on that sizing guide and chatting with one of the experts from the company. The jacket definitely has some extra room in it. It’s not that it’s too long overall or in the sleeves; that was near perfect. My first thought was that I’d rather have too much room than too little. That’s when I stepped outside to test the breathability of the Storm Defender technology…
… and went right back inside. That wind was COLD! Breathable? Check. So I put a jacket on and realized the genius within the design. The Carhartt Shoreline Vapor Jacket wasn’t made to just go over a t-shirt. That extra room gave me the ability to wear a jacket for warmth underneath and still have room to move. 3 days later, it was in the mind 80’s. Just to be sure that my claim of breathability wasn’t based solely on cool temperatures, I wore the gear outside in the heat with the same results. No longer do I need separate winter and summer rain gear. One set covers them both. That’s a big value consideration for me.
Like the jacket, the Carhartt Shoreline Vapor Pants seemed overly roomy at first. Similarly, these are designed to be worn over pants and or shorts, not in lieu of them. I was able to pull them on over shorts, pants, and jeans again, with room for movement. The leg is long enough and wide enough at the base to cover the cuff of the pants and the upper of the boots you are wearing. That’s nice considering down is where the repelled rain is going. Assuming you’re wearing water tight boots, this should keep you completely dry.
When it comes to the comfort level of rain gear on the jobsite, I’m looking for several things. First, it has to be dry. I had to wait a while for a front to move through that would allow me to go play in the rain and check that. Not surprisingly, the Carhartt Shoreline Vapor Rain Gear passed that test with ease. All of my outer clothing was completely covered and the rain channeled down for my boots to deal with. All that got wet was my hands and a little bit of my face that was exposed. The only complaint that I had was that the hood made it very difficult to keep my glasses in place so I could still see easily. I don’t know that you can correct for that in a rain jacket though. There’s got to be some trade off in order to minimize what is exposed to the rain.
The second consideration was the breathability. I’m testing this in a 60 degree breezy rain, which definitely is cool. The room certainly seems to be allowing for substantial air movement and the material itself seems cooler from the rain. In the summer, this should also be the case with the coolness of the rain pulling some of that body heat away and continuing to allow air flow so that I won’t turn into a sweat factory. Retesting with temps in the mid 80’s confirms that line of thinking.
Finally, you’ve got to be able to move! This is jobsite workwear, not walk to the office outerwear. The same additional room that allows the Carhartt Shoreline Vapor Rain Gear to be worn over warm clothing in the winter and air to flow also gives you plenty of room for movement. Whether swinging a sledge hammer getting the last of the shingles on as the storm arrives, movement seems free and easy.
Aside from Rain Defender and Storm Defender technology in the Carhartt Shoreline Vapor Rain Gear, there are other great features to look at. Both the pant and jacket benefit from 100% nylon material design and fully taped waterproof seams.
The jacket features an adjustable hood and full length front zipper. That zipper includes inner and outer flaps that prevent water getting in through it. To keep the outer flap down, 5 buttons secure it from the wind. Three zipping outer pockets also have flaps for additional protection. The chest pocket is a breathable mesh material on the inside. There is an inner pocket that objects can be dropped in. I don’t mind that it’s not zippered, but I would like to see some Velcro placed there just to keep those objects from falling out if I lean too far over.
The pants only have a single pocket on the back that is zipper and flap protected. There are zippers at the ankle to create more room. I don’t really see a need to use them in the rain since the pant leg is already wide enough to accommodate any type of boot that I wear. However, after the storm, these are great to open up for additional ventilation if you’re going to leave the pants on. It wouldn’t hurt to add a couple of zippered pockets on the sides here. Because of the climate that I am in, this is something that will be worn for no more than a couple of hours at a time. In wetter climates where the rain can set in for days at a time, the pants will likely stay on and make users want those side pockets.
Final Thought and Conclusions
What I’m most excited about is that the Carhartt Shoreline Vapor Rain Gear is an all year solution. I can continue to wear my favorite jackets, pants, and boots in the winter and simply cover it in the Shoreline Vapor. In the summer, the gear is breathable enough to keep working without becoming a completely sweat covered, disgusting mess.
The combination of double and triple stitching along the highest stress seams should keep this gear waterproof for a good long time. There is clearly a lot of consideration in keeping the design movement friendly for the jobsite.
This would also be an excellent set to keep on hand for fishing, hiking (provided your backpack is waterproof), and a variety of other outdoor activities. Drawstrings around the base of the jacket, the hood, and waistline work together with Velcro on the arm and leg cuffs to give you plenty of flexibility to function over what you’re already wearing. The Shoreline Vapor Rain Gear is the first I’ve had the pleasure of owning from Carhartt, and it’s already relegated my other rain gear to the donation pile.
Retail price for the Carhartt Shoreline Vapor Rain Jacket is $119.99 ($129.99 for tall sizes). The Carhartt Shoreline Vapor Rain Pant is $109.99 ($116.99 for tall sizes). You can pick your own directly from Carhartt or through any of their nationwide retailers.