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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Carhartt Short Sleeve Work-Dry T-Shirt > Test Report by Mark McLauchlin

Carhartt Work-Dry Short Sleeve T-Shirt

Initial Report 24th May 2008
Field Report 21st July 2008

Long-Term Report 17th September 2008

* Reviewer Information
Name: Mark McLauchlin
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Height: 1.76 m (5’ 9”)
Weight: 80 kg (176 lb)
Email: mark at
City: Perth, Western Australia

* Backpacking Background
I have been hiking since 2006 with most of my hiking consisting of day walks averaging 16 - 22 km (10 - 14 mi) and short overnight trips where possible.

I consider myself to be a light hiker with an average pack weight of 13 kg (29 lbs).

My preference is for hot dinners, breakfasts of cereals with fresh fruit, and lunches usually of bars and sandwiches.

* Product Information
Manufacturer: Carhartt, Inc
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website:
Manufactured Location: El Salvador
Size: Medium
Style: Short Sleeve Work-Dry T-Shirt
Listed Weight: Not Available
Measured Weight: 251 g (8.85 oz)
Colour: Tanstone
Fabric: Cotton (60%), Polyester (40%)
MSRP: US$25.00

* Initial Impressions
The Carhartt Short Sleeve Work-Dry T-Shirt arrived folded neatly in a clear plastic bag.

Sizing is available from small to 4XL which is a good sign they provide for a good range of body shapes.

Colour choice can be either Tanstone, Navy, White or Heather Gray.

The shirt feels very comfortable and appears to be well made. There was no evidence of any loose threads or imperfections.

There is a pocket over the left side of the chest area as can be seen from the image below. This also has a Carhartt logo on it.

According to the manufacture's website the Work-Dry properties of the shirt pull moisture away from the body to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The shirt also contains anti-odour properties which will come in very handy after days on the trail.

The shirt has a rib-knit crewneck for a close fit. I would assume this also helps to prevent stretching and sagging of the neck line.2

Before I placed my size details for ordering I made contact with Carhartt and provided my chest measurements so they would be able to assist in ensuring I received the correct fitting shirt. The size is perfect and I am extremely satisfied with the customer service provided.

* Reading the Instructions
The only instructions with the shirt are the washing guidelines.

As per directions; Machine wash warm with like colours. Use only non-chlorine bleach when needed. Tumble Dry medium, remove promptly. Do not use fabric softeners.

* Testing Strategy
The emphasis of my test plan will be on day trips and overnight hikes, which I actively combine into geocaching. For the duration of the test this shirt will be my main t-shirt worn.

I have several day and overnight trips planned for the duration of this test series.

I am looking forward to being able to wear this out with me on my hiking trips, and will be very interested to see the advantages it provides.

Overall durability and performance of the shirt will form a major part of the review.

Field Report

Me wearing the Shirt

* Field information

Since receiving the Carhartt Work-Dry T-Shirt in late May I have used it on all of my hiking trips regardless of the weather in an attempt to experience different conditions for my review.

My first hike was along the Eagle View Walk Trail in the John Forrest National Park. The trail was made from a granite and clay base with slightly overgrown vegetation covering some of the track. Elevation ranged from 50 m (164 ft) to 260 m (853 ft). The temperature started at 20 C (68 F) and rose slightly to 23 C (73 F) during the days walk. Rain was very heavy for the last 4 km (2.5 miles) so much that water level was up to my ankles. The total length of the hike was 17 Km (10.5 miles).

The next three hikes were out to my favourite place, Helena Hut on the Bibbulmun Track. This loop walk is 22 km (13.7 miles) and can be completed either in one day or the night can be spend at the campsite which consists of a shelter, toilet and fire ring. The first two trips out to Helena the weather was fine, with a minimum of 20 C (68 F) and a max of 25C (77 F) and no rain was experienced. The trail consists of some old logging roads with a gravel based and small, somewhat over grown trails.

The third trip out to Helena was a little cooler (exact temperatures unknown) and there was also a small amount of rain on the return trip.

I wore the shirt on a hike further south of the state to a place known as Beedelup Hut also along the Bibbulmun Track. This area is well known for its cold temperatures, high amounts of rain and lush green surroundings within the Karri Tree forests. The temperature was around 17 C (63 F) and there was a constant light precipitation the duration of the hike. I wore a Gore-Tex® jacket over the shirt. This walk was quite short at 7 km (4 miles).

On each of my hikes I carry a pack with a few items such as water, first-aid and food for safety reasons.

* Field experience


I am really enjoying wearing this shirt on my hiking trips. The material feels nice and the seams have been done in such a way that they do not irritate or bother me.

Stretching, shrinking and becoming out of shape is something I regularly experience with my shirts, hiking ones or otherwise, so when I putting together my application to test this item I was very keen to see how it would perform. I am glad to announce that after approximately 10 washes I have seen no issues. The shirt fits as well today as the day it arrived. There are no loose threads, seams are all intact and there are no holes.

When the shirt is washed it is simply thrown in the machine with all the other household clothes and does not get any special treatments. No bleach is used.

I wear shirt as an outer layer so it is in direct contact with the elements and the back of my pack. I have worn the shirt when carrying a light load of 3 Kg (6.7 lbs) and heavier loads of up to 13 kg (28.7 lbs) and again I am happy to report that there are no visible signs of wear on the back of the shirt.


I have noticed that the shirt does move the moisture and sweat away from my body and force it to the outer edge of the shirt material which is a great benefit. I would note however that the shirt does tend to retain the sweat longer than I had hoped. It takes a considerable amount of time to completely dry out in the natural air around camp or when taking a break with the pack off my back. I suspect this is partially due to the thickness of the material.

The shirt does a great job at repelling body odour. I have worn it several days in a row on my last hike out to Beedelup Hut and then around where we were staying on holidays (at a farm with lots of smelly animals) without washing it and I didn’t manage to offend anyone by the smell or lack of in this case. I even managed to convince my wife to have a sniff. It appears as thought the anti-microbial really works.

The only criticism I would make about this shirt, albeit a small one, is that the chest pocket provides no real functional use whilst hiking as with all three of my packs I have tested with this shirt the straps cover it making access or putting anything in there impossible. On the occasion that I did put some chewing gum in there it was soon squashed by the shoulder straps. The image below is taken at Helena Hut campsite and shows how the pack straps cover the pocket.

View of Pocket

* Summary

Overall I am very happy with the performance of the Carhartt Short Sleeve Work-Dry T-Shirt. The shirt is well constructed and feels great. The odour eliminating properties are a great advantage.

Long-Term Report

Since July I have worn the Work-Dry Shirt on all my hiking and outdoors activities. This includes a total of six days hiking with a backpack.

The shirt saw two days hiking along the Coastal Plains trail in the Yanchep National Park. Temperature during the day was approximately 25 C (77 F) and reached a low of 8 C (46 F) during the night. The shirt formed my base layer for the duration of this trip.

I also managed to get out along the Bibbulmun Track four times in temperatures of 17 C (63 F) to a maximum of 25 C (77 F). Rain was also present on two of these hikes. Average hiking distance each trip was 21 km or 13 miles.

The Work-Dry shirt has made a very comfortable addition to my hiking wear and has continued to perform very well.

After it's continued use the anti-odour properties still work as though the shirt was brand new.

The shirt dries out overnight however I still feel that perhaps it is a little slow. There are many factors which can influence this part of the test, most obviously the temperature so I will not record this as a negative on the shirt.

A nice steady breeze provides a great cooling effect as the shirt wicks moisture very well. A great plus for the shirt.

The Work-Dry show no signs of stretching or distortion from being washed in a normal washing machine cycle with my other clothes.

There are no wear marks on either the back or shoulders of the Work-Dry from where my pack sits. As I have several packs I have been able to test different combinations to assess how the material of the shirt stands up to continual contact and rubbing. I am pleased to report it has performed very well.

The shirt does not have any holes either directly in the material or where the seams are. The seams are in perfect condition which is testament to the quality of both the workmanship and the materials used.

The pocket still continues to prove to be not very functional when carrying a pack. However this has not caused any performance issues.

* Summary

I will definitely continue to wear this shirt and look forward to trying it out later in the year during our hottest months which are December through to February.

Things I liked
Odour repelling continues to work well.
Work-Dry holds is shape.
Excellent durability.

Things I disliked
Nothing to report on at this time.

This concludes my Long-Term Report and the test series for the Carhartt Short Sleeve Work-Dry T-Shirt.

Thank you to Carhartt and for the privilege of testing this great shirt.

Read more reviews of Carhartt gear
Read more gear reviews by Mark McLauchlin

Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Carhartt Short Sleeve Work-Dry T-Shirt > Test Report by Mark McLauchlin

Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

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