Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.
You’ve heard me talk oh-so-lovingly about the “Mud Season” that we’ve started into here in Pennsylvania, right? Well, a big part of this particularly awesome time of year are the rain showers and storms that get the ground nice and soggy. On some days, it’s really a non-stop Slip ‘N Slide party out around the barn. When life gives you lemons…you know the rest.
For a nice change of pace, sometimes we’ll actually get some snow. Which is great, because not only do the horses LOVE playing in it–but it also gives us a couple of days reprieve from dealing with the mud. And it’s amazingly pretty to boot…as long as we don’t get a blizzard and lose power!
But seriously – I take all of the enjoyment that I can from this season. Because there is always something good to find during every one of them. Maybe it’s a good thing that I got to use “Mud Season” as an excuse to improve the footing around the barn and in my winter paddock. Plus, I’m getting to catch up on doing some cleaning around the barn – always a good thing. Always.
Something else that I find that I like during winter is my wardrobe – I always feel like there are so many more chances to be creative with cool & cold weather wardrobes. Between the layering, the outerwear, the footwear…you name it. And these days, it is much easier to find cold weather gear that is functional, and comes in flattering colors and styles.
One of the pieces of outerwear that I’ve been donning this “Mud Season” has been the women’s Force Equator Jacket from Carhartt. And I’ve been extremely pleased that not only does combination of the styling & ‘Wild Pink’ coloring of the jacket look very flattering–I’ve also found it to be very functional for working around the barn and going out for a ride as well.
The Force Equator Jacket is constructed using a 5 ounce, 3-layer shell that is made out of 100% polyester. The shell also has Carhartt’s own Storm Defender membrane, which is both waterproof and breathable. In addition, the FastDry technology incorporated into the Equator Jacket’s construction also helps to pull away moisture, so that the wearer stays comfortable.
Another great feature that the Equator Jacket has to offer is that the fabric helps to fight stains (that are so easy to pick up around the barn). And, the fabric also has been designed to fight odor – which when you are wearing it while being active, can only be a good thing!
The seams of the Equator Jacket are fully taped and waterproof, and it also features a vented back panel which allows air flow in order to help keep the wearer cool. A three-piece attached hood also sports a draw cord and barrel locks, so that it can be adjusted to just the right fit to stay in place.
Storage space is also provided in the form of two front pockets that zip shut, as well as an internal pocket with a Velcro closure. There is also in integrated media port (in case you are totally looking to rock out while working or riding), as well as a drop tail that gives a little extra coverage.
I’ve found that the Force Equator Jacket has been really versatile for me personally. It is a great, lightweight piece that keeps me dry and comfortable when I’m out in the rain. The temperatures have been a little wacky here lately – they’ll drip down into the 20s, and then pop back up into the 60s on a rainy day. And the great thing is…I can wear the Equator Jacket in both of those conditions.
On the warmer, rainy days, I wear the Equator Jacket just over a tee or long sleeve shirt to go out and get my chores done around the barn. And it keeps me nice and dry, and I also don’t get the feeling that I’m overheating–it’s like my skin is able to breathe! The attached hood adjusts nicely to fit my head, which really does help it stay in place without falling down. Which I’m a fan of, because in the rain, it definitely needs to stay up.
And on cold and windy days, I simply layer up with the Equator Jacket. A shirt, with either a sweatshirt or my heated vest works very nicely under the jacket in the wind or snow. While I feel like the Jacket runs true to size for me, I really like the fact that I still have enough room to comfortably layer underneath it–so that I can keep warm enough even in cold conditions, while keeping the jacket on so that it can be my outer protective layer against rain, snow, sleet…you name it!
I also feel like the Equator Jacket design gives me plenty of freedom of movement while I’m wearing it. Which is nice, because I don’t feel constricted at all while I’m wearing it to muck stalls, throw hay, or get any of my other chores done around the barn. Plus, I’m super happy to have the odor protection and stain fighting abilities of the jacket on my side.
Even on those days when I’ve been working particularly hard, I can’t seem to notice any odors on the Equator Jacket after I shrug it off after and hang it up after use. And while I know I’m always one good horse slobber or sneeze away from having a lovely stain on my barn wear, I’ve been pleasantly surprised the Equator Jacket looks great to wear out around town even after it’s been worn quite frequently around the barn.
The Equator Jacket has also been versatile enough to wear out for a nice hack, after the barn work is all done. I do keep in mind that the jacket was not specifically designed for spending time in the saddle, so it does not offer the same close, tailored fit that you would find in a riding jacket. But most importantly, I find it to be very comfortable to wear, as it continues to offer me freedom of movement in the saddle. And it does a great job at keeping rain and snow from getting IN, while allowing my skin to BREATHE.
And I light the lovely BRIGHT PINK color to ride in – especially this time of year when hunting season is upon us here in Pennsylvania, and I favor outwear that is especially VISIBLE!
The Carhartt Force Equator Jacket for women is available in either Black or Wild Pink, and it has a retail price of $159.99.
Go Jackets that Protect from the Elements (and Don’t Overheat). Go Carhartt. Go Eventing.