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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Carhartt Short Sleeve Work-Dry T-Shirt > Test Report by Josh Moffi


Test Series
Initial Report - May 17, 2008
Field Report - July 29, 2008
Long Term Report - Septermber 30, 2008

Tester Information:

Name: Josh Moffi
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Height:  180cm (5 ft, 11 in)
Weight:  95 kg (210 lbs)
Email address: joshmoffi AT gmail DOT com
City, State, and Country: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

Backpacking Background:

I have been backpacking since I was 3 years old, owned my first pack at the age of 4, my first tent at 9. I have backpacked in various locations New York, Vermont, Ontario, Michigan, Oregon and Alaska. Once I introduced my wife to backpacking, we expanded our activities to anything that gets us out into the woods. I usually carry the heaviest pack in any party I hike with. I have recently started getting rid of some excessive weight from my pack. I am expanding my range of activities by to include winter backpacking and camping.

Pic of Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt
Image courtesy of Carhartt

Product Information:





Short Sleeve Work-Dry T-Shirt

Style #:


Manufactured In:

El Salvador





(6 oz) (size unknown)

244 g

(8.6 oz)




60% Cotton

40% Polyester


Large (U.S. Sizing)

Year of Manufacture:



25.00 USD

The Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt arrived in a small plastic bag with the hang tags attached. It is a 60% Cotton, 40% Polyester shirt, made of a material that Carhartt is calling Work-Dry. The properties of this material are supposed to have wicking and anti-odour properties.  The shirt has a ribbed crew neck collar, and a pocket on the left chest with a Carhartt logo patch sewn to it.

Initial Impressions:

When I opened the package and took the shirt out the first thing that caught my attention was the feel of the shirt. It has a cotton feel even though it is a wicking shirt. I was expecting a more synthetic feel, like some other wicking shirts. The fabric has a little stretch, but not much more than what would be expected in a cotton T-shirt. 

The colour is Tanstone, which is a solid tan colour. The colour of the collar matches the colour of the body of the shirt exactly. Both of these are different from what is shown on the website. The shirt on the on the website looks more grey and the sample colour on the website looks even greyer. The tan colour of the shirt is what I expected from seeing Carhartt clothing in stores. As a person who usually wears, grey, black or blue shirts I really like the colour, it is a very natural brown.

Initial Fitting:

When I tried on the Work-Dry T-Shirt I was once again impressed by the feel, I found the fabric very comfortable. The sleeves come most of the way to my elbows. I used the sizing recommended on the Carhartt website, which goes by neck size. I found the overall fit is loose, but not uncomfortably so. My wife feels that I probably could have gone with a medium. But I would not want the neck too much smaller. So far I like the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt.

I am going to wear the shirt when biking, running, around town, doing yard work, on day hikes, while backpacking and any other activity I feel a T-shirt would be appropriate for. I will be checking the wicking as well as the anti-ordour properties of the fabric. I will pay attention to see if the shirt shrinks when washed. I will also be testing durability as the shirt will be washed several times during testing.

Picture of tester in Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt

Test Conditions:

Over the last two months I have worn the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt on one over-night backpacking trip, a ten day backpacking trip and numerous days around town. I estimate the shirt has been worn for about sixteen days. On my ten day backpacking trip the shirt was worn in the mornings, evenings, an entire day and to sleep in. I have worn the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt while working around the house, mowing the lawn, splitting fire wood, bike riding, canoeing and just lazing around the house.

Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt has been worn in a wide range of temperature from 0 to 27 C (32 to 81 F). During my ten day trip the shirt was worn in sun, rain, snow and overcast conditions. I wore the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt by itself and with a variety of layered items. The shirt was worn under fleece shirts, rain gear, long sleeve shirts, and a soft-shell jacket. I also wore the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt over a long sleeve shirt. I have even used the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt as an impromptu towel after a deep water river crossing during my ten day backpacking trip.

These conditions saw the
Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt worn in a variety of conditions, from clean to excessively worn. The shirt was worn till it was dry or after being used as an impromptu towel the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt was spread out to dry. During my ten day trip I did not wash the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt to see how it would perform on extended backpacking trips.

Test Results:

The first trip I wore the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt on was an over-nighter. My first day on the trail with the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt the conditions were hot and sunny. Within an hour I had worked up a sweat and the shirt was damp. I found that the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt worked well at wicking the moisture off my skin. I found that if I took off the shirt my body was dry. I sat on a log in the sun to have lunch and within a half an hour the damp shirt was dry to the touch. I hiked for another two and a half hours to get to my campsite. During this stint I took one fifteen minute break and a couple of quick on my feet water breaks. By the time I got to my camp site the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt was soaked. I put a long-sleeve Work-Dry shirt over top of the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt and within two hours the T-Shirt was dry.

On my second day I wore 
the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt until I arrived home at 7:30pm. Over the course of the day the shirt was exposed to similar conditions as the day before. The shirt preformed the same for wicking and drying quickly. When I arrived at the trail head my wife said I smelled like sweat but did not stink. I washed the shirt with other clothes and there was no residual smell of sweat.

After wearing the Work-Dry T-Shirt on its first over night I noticed that there was what seemed like excessive wearing on the lower back where my backpack waist belt sat against the shirt. This wearing was in the form of pilling on the fabric. But after wearing and washing the shirt a few more time shirt I noticed that this pilling disappeared. Even now there seems to be no visible difference between the area of initial pilling and the rest of the shirt.

During my ten day extended I wore 
the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt the entire first day on the trail. After that the shirt was worn mornings, evenings, periodically during the day as an additional layer and while sleeping. On the first day the shirt wicked moisture very well and dried quickly during breaks. When I got into camp that evening I put an additional layer over the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt and was able to wear the T-shirt to bed as it had dried entirely. The next morning I smelled the shirt to determine how well the anti-odour properties were performing. While the shirt did smell sweaty I do not think that it smelled bad for how much I had sweated the day before. After the second morning I did not smell the shirt again as I figured I was getting use to the 'bush smell' and could not accurately determine how much the shirt smelled.

I continued to use the shirt over the entire trip. After a deep water river crossing I used 
the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt as an impromptu towel. I found that it wicked water off my body very well and I noticed a difference in how wet my hair was. I put the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt on a sunny rock to dry. Prior to going to bed I checked the shirt to see if it was dry, it was still very damp. I put the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt on a guy line of my tent to dry over night. In the morning I found that it was completely dry. I was impressed with the fact that it had dried over night as we were camped down stream of a major waterfall and there was a large amount of fog in the air that morning.

Once I got home at the end of the ten days I inspected 
the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt to see how dirty it was after an extended trip. I found that there was a lot of trail dirt on the shirt. But I did not see any spots that I would expect to leave stains. I ended up washing the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt twice to get the 'bush smell' out of it. But then I had to wash all of my clothes twice to get the smell out of them. After the second wash I did not detect any 'bush smell.' I felt this was impressive as we had had two fires for the specific purpose of drying out after cold wet days and I had spent a lot of time in the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt. I inspected the shirt and found that all of the dirt had come out of the shirt. I also found this impressive as I have had T-shirts that I can see trail dirt on even after repeated washings.

Since my ten day trip I have worn the shirt around town and while doing yard work. There is no detectable residual smoke smell, even when the shirt gets sweaty or wet. I have worn the shirt while cycling, cutting the grass, splitting fire wood, canoeing, doing house work and just lazing around the house. No matter when I wear 
the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt I have found the shirt comfortable. I have not noticed any movement restrictions. The Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt has been comfortable as a base layer regardless of what I put over it. I have worn the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt over a long sleeve shirt and it performed very well this way as well. I found that the T-shirt moved freely as an over layer. It did not twist or cling to the other shirt. I found that with this layering I could put a fleece or a rain jacket over top and again the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt performed very well.


I like the wicking properties of the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt it does a good job of removing moisture from my skin when I am on the trail. The fact that the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt dries so quickly is another thing I like. The thing I like the most is the fit and feel of the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt. It is a comfortable shirt regardless of what I am doing.


My only thing I dislike about the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt is the fact there is a logo on the pocket. But that is more of a personal thing and has nothing to do with how well the shirt performs.


I found that the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt performed very well. I found that the shirt wicked moisture off my skin and dried very quickly. I did notice that the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt did dry quicker while on my body than in the sun. The way the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt fits was very comfortable. The fabrics and construction have held up and the shirt shows no real signs of wear so far. Overall I am very happy with the performance of the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt at this point of the test and I find that I often reach for it when I am headed out into the bush.


Test Conditions:

Over the last two months I have worn the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt on another over-night backpacking trip, as a base layer underneath my SCUBA dry suit and around town. I wore the shirt for about ten days over this section of the test. Around town my activities included more yard work, walking of the dogs and jogging. I also wore the shirt while out with friends.

The Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt was worn during sunny and overcast days during the time of the Long Term Report. The temperatures ranged from 10 to 32 C ( 50 to 90 F).  
I continued to wear, wash and handle the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt as I had during the Field Report phase of this test and the same as I do all of my other shirts.

Test Results:

This portion of the test series allow me to diversify what I have done while wearing the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt. I wore the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt while I was a base layer under my dry suit while I spent the day SCUBA diving. The air temperature was it was sunny and about 30 C (86 F). This meant that I spent a full day on the water, I put my dry suit on before we launched the boat and did not take it off for eight hours. I preformed two one hour dives and opened the zipper on the dry suit while I was not diving. Thus I was sealed in to the dry suit for about five hours. I found that the Work-Dry T-Shirt was comfortable while on the boat as well as while I was under water. With the warm air temperatures, the cool water and little air flow the usual result is very wet clothes at the end of the day. But when I took off my dry suit I found that the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt was only damp. Once I was out of my dry suit I found that as always the Work-Dry T-Shirt was dry in no time.

During the last two months I found that I could treat the
Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt as I would one of my cotton T-shirts. I found that the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt was a very nice compromise between the easy care of a cotton T-shirt and the wicking and quick dry properties of a T-shirt made of high tech synthetics. Although the Work-Dry T-Shit did show initial signs of wear along the area where my backpack hip belt rests this area took on a similar look to the rest of the T-shirt after washing and has does not appear to have warn any differently than the rest of the shirt.

I work the
Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt during another over-night backpacking trip. Once again I wore the Work-Dry T-Shirt for then entire trip. I found that once again the T-shirt preformed very well for wicking moisture off my skin. Once I got into camp I found that the shirt dried very quickly. I found that the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt was as comfortable on day two as it was when I left the car. The Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt's performance does not see to be affected by how dirty, sweaty, smoky or covered in bug repellent the shirt is. It is a reliable piece of gear to have when backpacking.

The Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt has also continued to perform well with its anti-odour properties. I find that no matter how the shirt smells when it goes into the washer it always smells clean when it is dry. I also like the fact that it does not require the attention that 'high performance' sports shirts require. It is not a huge issue of the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt accidentally ends up in the dryer. There was no apparent shrinkage to the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt during the four months of the test period.

No matter what activity I performed while wearing the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt I still found the shirt to be comfortable. The Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt has continued to perform very well over the entire test period. I have found that the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt has not show signs of excessive wear even though I have worn the shirt more than I would have an average shirt.


My likes of Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt have not changed. I still like the wicking properties I often find myself wanting to put this shirt on when I know I am going to be doing activities that are going to cause me to heat up. I also find that the shirt is quick drying and I like that property about it. Also I still like the fact that the shirt is so comfortable no matter what I am doing. 


I have gotten use to the fact that there is a Carhartt logo on the pocket. But I still do not like fact that I am billboard for the company. 


During this test series I have worn the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt on a ten day extended backpacking trip, two over night backpacking trips and numerous days around the house and town. I have worn the Work-Dry T-Shirt for about twenty six days over the four months of the test period. The Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt has been worn for a range of activities including backpacking, Canoeing, SCUBA diving, chopping wood, walking the dogs and yard work. I have even used the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt as an impromptu towel after a deep water river crossing.

I have been very impressed with the way that the
 Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt has preformed. The Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt has been effective at wicking moisture off my body and it dries very quickly. I enjoy the fact that no mater what I do while wearing the Work-Dry T-Shirt I know that the shirt will be comfortable. Overall the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt is a very nice T-shirt.

Continued Use:

From the way the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt has performed so far that I will continue to regularly wear the shirt for all of my activities from backpacking to around town and anything in between. It is a nice shirt to have in my wardrobe and I know that I will continue to wear it on a regular basis.

This concludes my Test Series on the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt.

I would like to thank and Carhartt for allowing me to be involved in this test.

Read more reviews of Carhartt gear
Read more gear reviews by Josh Moffi

Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Carhartt Short Sleeve Work-Dry T-Shirt > Test Report by Josh Moffi

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