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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Carhartt Mens Force Henley Tee Shirt > Test Report by John Waters

CARHARTT M'S FORCE SS HENLEY T-SHIRT
TEST SERIES BY JOHN R. WATERS
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - July 12, 2013
FIELD REPORT - September 19, 2013
LONG TERM REPORT - November 20, 2013

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: John R. Waters
EMAIL: jrw at backpackgeartest dot org
AGE: 64
LOCATION: Canon City, CO USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.40 kg)

My backpacking began in 1999. I have hiked rainforests in Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico, glaciers in New Zealand and Iceland, 14ers in Colorado and Death Valley's deserts. I hike or snowshoe 6-8 miles (10 km-13 km) 2-3 times weekly in the Cooper Mountain range, with other day-long hikes on various other southwest and central Colorado trails. I frequently hike the mountains and deserts of Utah and Arizona as well. My daypack is 18 lb (8 kg); overnights' weigh over 25 lb (11 kg). I'm aiming to reduce my weight load by 40% or more.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Carhartt
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.carhartt.com
MSRP: US $28.00 for Small - 2XL/ $31.00 for Big/Tall
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 8.1 oz (230 g)
Sizes Available: Both Regular from Small to 2XL and Big/Tall from 3XL to 4XL
Size Tested: Large
Colors Available: Heather Grey, Moss, Navy & Crimson
Color Tested: Navy
MADE in Guatemala

Other details from manufacturer's website

•5.75 ounce, 65% cotton/35% polyester plaited jersey knit

•Force™ fabric wicks away sweat and releases stains with Stain Breaker ™ Technology

•Raglan sleeves

•Relaxed fit
Carhartt Henley T-Shirt
Picture Courtesy of Manufacturer

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The Carhartt Men's Force Cotton Henley Short-Sleeved T-Shirt, hereafter called simply the "t-shirt" or "Henley", is an attractive tee for sure. The one I received was navy and in a large size. I wear a size 42 sports coat and, normally a large top. This "relaxed fit", large-sized Henley fits me just fine.

There are 3 buttons along the top center opening for ventilation and there is an flat external left breast pocket. The short sleeves are constructed in the raglan style where there is no seam at the top of the shoulders but rather, diagonal seams from the collar which is preferable when wearing backpack shoulder straps

I'm not particularly enamored with the 1 inch (2.54 cm) square white Carhartt logo on the pocket though. On a navy shirt the thing stands out like a target and I hope nobody is in the mood for target practice. On a lighter tee, it will not be noticeable, but on the navy top it is quite an icon.

The neckline is "tagless" and the only tag is the care instructions tag on the t-shirt which is quite low on the left side seam. All seams are flatlocked seams.

Constructed of a 65% cotton/35% polyester plaited jersey knit, Carhartt says its Force "wicks away sweat throughout a hot day for comfort, while its stain-release finish helps it come clean with every wash" using its Stain Breaker ™ Technology.

Carhartt also describes the Henley as being "Built for the long haul and not a long jog" and "made for workers and not athletes." I'm not sure what that means but I guess I'll find out during this testing period.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

The care instructions for washing the Henley are:

Machine wash cold with like colors.
Use only non-chlorine bleach when needed.
Tumble dry low.
Do not use fabric softeners.

Pretty simple. I'm sure my wife can handle it!

SUMMARY

I guess we'll just have to see how that goes in the 100 F (37.7 C) heat here this month. It's been hot. This tee is more on the heavy side and we had a few days this past week that I just could not bring myself to wear the Force. Then I "forced" myself to put it on and, to my surprise, it was quite comfortable. The flatlock seams make the tee quite comfortable to wear and the fabric is soft and flexible. So, over the next several weeks, it'll get plenty of use.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Over the last two months I have worn the Carhartt Henley Force Shirt for well over 20 days. I have worn it on long, strenuous hikes, overnights, while working around the house, working on my microwave towers, doing business and, of course, around the house.

In the two months I've had the Carhartt Henley, I've been backpacking and hiking in Colorado and Utah. Most of my outings were in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) properties behind our ranch (over 400 square miles (1000 square km) of mountain terrain) and in the Wet Mountains near Westcliffe, Colorado. Altitude in these areas reach to over 11,000 ft. (3353 m).

The terrain was almost always high desert rocky semi-groomed trails, pebble scree, or boulders.

It's been an extremely hot summer with most days over 90 F (32 C) and many over 100 F (38 C). The shirt has been worn in a mid-range of temperature from 55 to 104 F (13 to 40 C).

My backpack weight for day hikes averaged 15 lb (7 kg) and for overnights, about 25 lb (11 kg).

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I was surprised that the shirt did not seem as heavy to wear in high temperatures as I had expected. It apparently wicks well enough that I never sweated a lot even during high activity in really bright sun at altitudes of over 5700 ft (1737 m) where the sun can just beat a person up. The shirt never got soaked by sweat or made me feel uncomfortable. However, it is important to note that the highest humidity I wore this in was about 30%. Most of the time, the humidity was under 20% and as low as 3%.

Carhartt Henley Tee
View of pink "stain" from chest downward
I also never noticed any residual body odor even after a full day of activity at these high temperatures. I had gotten accustomed to lighter weight blends and was surprised that a shirt of this heavier weight and durability would wick and not hold body odor.

The shirt has been very comfortable. Not at all itchy or sticky. In fact, it is quite comfortable to sleep in and does not bind up when tossing and turning.

Since it was so hot during this trial period, I did not have to wear the shirt with any layers and just wore the shirt at all times against my bare skin.

About 2 weeks ago I decided to wash the shirt. It was not washed after extensive use until this time and it did not stink or show signs of wear at all. No pulls or loose threads.

A problem arose when we washed it. In cold water, in a high-efficiency front load washer using a tech wash soap, the shirt came out discolored with a vague pink tinge on the entire outside of the shirt. There was nothing in the load that would have had a pink or red color and, after a lot of careful inspection; nothing else in that load had the same discoloration. So where and how that happened is a mystery. My wife turns all our clothes inside out. The inside of the shirt, which was outside during the wash, was not discolored. I can still wear the shirt on the trail and around the house, but, while I would have worn it before in public, I really can't now due to the discoloration.

SUMMARY

Likes:

I like the wicking performance and the comfort of this shirt.
It fits me just fine (I wear a 42 jacket) and it looks great, or looked great until the discoloration. If it had not discolored, I could wear the shirt all the time and it could be one of my "go to" shirts, especially since it has a pocket so I can store my glasses and a pen.

Dislikes:

I don't like the big logo on the pocket.
I am concerned about the discoloration and will report back on that.

Thank you to BackpackGearTest.org and Carhartt for the opportunity to try out the Force Henley T-Shirt. Please check back in early November to see how I and the Henley fared during our last two months of field testing.

John R. Waters


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

In the last two months I've had the Carhartt Force Cotton Henley T-Shirt, I've been backpacking and hiking in Colorado and Utah. Most of my outings were in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) properties behind our ranch (over 400 square miles (1000 square km) of mountain terrain) and in the Wet Mountains near Westcliffe, Colorado. Altitude in these areas reach to over 11,000 ft. (3353 m).

The terrain was almost always high desert rocky semi-groomed trails, pebble scree, or boulders. Vegetation is of the prickly variety with lots of juniper, pinon pine trees, cactus, tumbleweed and assorted other "hitch-hiker" type plants.

My backpack weight for day hikes averaged 15 lb (7 kg) and for overnights, about 25 lb (11 kg).

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I've been able to wear my Carhartt shirt a lot the past 8 weeks. It's been worn hiking, base camping and for work. Lately I have had to wear it under a light jacket or fleece at times since the morning and evening temperatures here have been at or just below 50 F (10 C). Otherwise, during the day, I wore it alone as my only layer during most of this test period.

It is appropriate that this test for this short sleeve top is ending this month, in November, since the daytime temps are now going to be mostly below 60 F (15 C) starting next week and we are forecasted to get an inch of snow in a few days (however, out here a day after it snows it is 50 F (10 C) and sunny).

Because the Henley discolored so badly when it was washed in the early stages of this evaluation period, I really can't wear it out in public. I've (ok, my wife) washed it several more times and there hasn't been any positive change. In fact, the discoloring on the outside face of the shirt even got a little more spread out. Yet there was still no discoloration on the inside of the shirt. Considering every time it was washed inside out, we are still at a loss for what this is all about, especially since no other items in the wash had any discolorations.

Now that this test is over, I would like to know what the discoloration is from, so I am going to contact customer support and see if they have an answer.

SUMMARY

I like the shirt. It is very comfortable and looks good (when it is not discolored of course). It wicks fairly well and fits well. It wears well under a jacket or sweater without bunching up or twisting. It doesn't seem to hold odors even when I'm sweating and have worn the shirt for many hours. So, even though winter is coming, this is still such a comfortable shirt that I will continue to wear it around the house and not just be packing it away for next year's summer backpacking treks.

Thank you to BackpackGearTest.org and Carhartt for the opportunity to try out the Force Henley T-Shirt.

John R. Waters

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

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