Update: Carhartt has replaced the J133 Jacket with the Carhartt 104458 Jacket. Just like the J133 jacket, this new jacket is still Carhartt’s toughest and warmest jacket. It uses a durable nylon duck shell and Thinsulate as the lining. There are a few design tweaks in the new jacket. Most notably, the jacket now zips all the way to the chin to provide extra protection on the face. Click here to view the new updated version of this Carhartt jacket at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
Recently I wrote about the best Carhartt work jackets, and explained how this Carhartt J133 jacket was, in my experience, the warmest and toughest Carhartt jacket on the market today. It combines Carhartt’s most durable outer shell fabric (nylon duck canvas) with Carhartt’s warmest insulation (Arctic Insulation).
That said, this jacket won’t make sense for all climates. It will be too warm for some southern states, and some of you may actually prefer a cotton canvas outer shell instead of the nylon shell that the Carhartt J133 work jacket uses.
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Here are my general recommendations for Carhartt Jackets based on different winter conditions:
- Extreme Winter Conditions – Carhartt Yukon Extremes Jacket (click here to view)
- Moderate Winder Conditions – Carhartt J140 Jacket (click here to view)
- Mild Winter Conditions – Carhartt J131 Jacket (click here to view)
In this article I want to focus specifically on the J133 jacket to give you an idea of what type of outer shell it uses, what type of lining it uses, and how that compares to other options. In general, this is the warmest and toughest Carhartt winter jacket available.
Here’s my J133 jacket:
**As a disclaimer, please understand that Carhartt currently does not assign a temperature rating to their jackets. I obviously cannot either. But I’m going to give you my best judgement on what climates makes sense for this jacket. Just understand this is my opinion based on experience with this Carhartt jacket.
Understanding the Warmth of the Carhartt J133 Jacket
Probably the first thing you need to do if you are trying to find a Carhartt work jacket is understand the different insulation linings that Carhartt offers, and how they differ on warmth. The table below should help you understand the options and how the linings in these Carhartt winter jackets differ.
Here are Carhartt’s available linings, and my personal opinion on how they rank from lightweight warmth to warmest. Just for reference, I would consider the thermal lining something I’d wear on a mild winter day:
What Lining Does the Carhartt J133 Jacket Have?
UPDATE: Carhartt has replaced this J133 jacket with the 104458 jacket, which is still part of the Carhartt Yukon Extremes Series. To read more about the new jacket, visit my article about the Carhartt 104458 Yukon Extremes Jacket.
This J133 jacket uses the Arctic insulation. This is Carhartt’s warmest lining. I’ve used several Carhartt winter jackets over the years, and still do. For Kansas winters, I use the Carhartt J140 jackets as my main jacket, and then I use this J133 jacket for the few extreme winter days we get each year.
Here’s a look at the Arctic Insulation in my jacket:
Again, Carhartt does not offer a temperature rating on their products, so I won’t put one on this jacket either. But this jacket is capable of handling extreme conditions, and might be best if you work in the Northern US and Canada, and need a durable, warm work jacket.
What is Another Warm Jacket to Compare it To?
As I mentioned above, I like to wear the Carhartt J140 jacket the most. The J140 jacket is not quite as warm as this J133 jacket, but it is still very warm. I think the J140 is the second warmest Carhartt jacket that I’ve tried.
The J140 uses the quilted-flannel lining. For Kansas winters, this quilted-flannel lining works perfectly. It is quite warm, and can handle even most of the coldest days we get here in this climate.
Here’s a look at my Carhartt J140 jacket:
If you want to read more about Carhartt winter jackets for the brutal cold, visit my article about the warmest Carhartt jackets.
Carhartt J133 Jacket Temperature Rating
If you are looking for a J133 temperature rating, as I mentioned earlier, unfortunately Carhartt does not do temperature ratings for their jackets. All I can tell you is from my personal experience, the J133 is the warmest and toughest Carhartt jacket that I have tried.
It’s a good match for those of you who work in extreme winter conditions, and need a durable outer shell that can not only resist abrasions, but is also water and wind-repellent.
Is the Carhartt J133 Jacket Good for Mild Winters?
For cool, but mild winters that you’d experience in the southern US, this jacket will likely be too warm. Obviously, personal preference can greatly impact this.
I’d recommend considering one of the milder linings, for example the thermal lining or the fleece lining. The blanket lining might also be a nice fit for those who like a warm jacket, but are in a mild climate. The blanket-lining is warm, but I would describe it as a medium-warmth.
If you like the design of the J133, but live in a warmer climate, the J131 jacket has a similar design, but has a cotton canvas shell (instead of nylon) and has a thermal lining which will be better suited for the mild climate.
Understanding the Outer Shell Fabric of the Carhartt J133 Jacket
Duck Canvas fabric is important for a work jacket because it gives you the abrasion resistance you need on the job. When most people think of canvas, they think of cotton duck canvas, but this jacket uses a nylon duck, and is the toughest outer shell fabric that Carhartt offers.
Similar to firm cotton duck, this jacket can feel a bit stiff when you first wear it. You will need to give it time to break in. Also, in my experience this nylon duck is noisier to move around in. Probably not a huge issue, but something to consider.
This nylon duck outer shell also provides a level of wind resistance needed during those brutal winter days. Sometimes when comparing Carhartt winter jackets, this outer shell fabric is the most difficult thing to understand. Please understand that Carhartt does offer soft-shell jackets too, which means that not all their jackets use a canvas outer shell.
Here are your options for outer canvas fabrics for the Carhartt Work Jackets:
|Outer Fabric Duck||Details|
|Extremes Nylon||Toughest; Wind/Water Resistant|
|Firm Cotton||Toughest Cotton; Wind/Water Res.|
|Traditional Cotton||2nd-Toughest Cotton Shell|
|Washed Cotton||Tough, but Broken-in Feeling|
|Sandstone Cotton||Tough, but Broken-in Feeling|
|Quick Duck||Lightweight, Flexible Blend|
Again, the nylon duck is the toughest, and also is very wind-resistant. Here’s a look at the nylon duck canvas on my Carhartt J133 work jacket:
If you want to consider a cotton canvas, the firm duck and traditional duck (in my experience) are very similar, and both take time to break in. The J140 that I mentioned earlier uses this firm duck outer shell, which is the toughest type of cotton shell. It will be stiff at first, but break in over time.
Here’s a look at the firm duck on my J140 Carhartt winter jacket:
My advice – If you need the toughest outer shell fabric that Carhartt offers, I’d stick with the nylon duck shell of this J133 jacket. If you care more about comfort (but don’t want a soft shell jacket) I’d go with either the quick duck shell or the pre-washed cotton duck shell that has a worn-in feeling on the first wear. The nylon duck is best used for extreme climates and jobs.
Is the Carhartt J133 Jacket Stiff?
Yes, you can expect the J133 jacket to be stiff off-the-rack. It uses a firm nylon duck outer shell, which will have a break-in period. Some jobs need this stiff, firm outer shell to stand up to tough work sites.
The nylon duck shell is very abrasion resistant and adds protection against scrapes and scuffs, and is both water-repellent and wind-resistant. It is Carhartt’s toughest shell.
If you want a Carhartt jacket that has more of a broken-in feeling off the rack, then you will want a pre-washed shell. These shells are pre-washed to help break the canvas in and give it that worn-in feeling on the first wear. Unfortunately, as of now, Carhartt does not offer a pre-washed nylon shell. So if you want pre-washed, you’ll have to go with a cotton canvas (J130).
What is Quick Duck Fabric?
Quick Duck is unique to Carhartt, and is a fabric blend that they offer which is lighter in weight than other canvas shells, but still durable. So, no, don’t think of this like a flimsy jacket.
The Quick Duck fabric still feels like canvas, but it is lighter in weight and, in my experience, more comfortable and more flexible. Here is a close-up look at the Quick Duck fabric on one of my Carhartt work jackets:
As you can see, it still has a canvas texture. No, it isn’t quite as durable as the tough cotton duck or the nylon duck, but this is a nice middle-ground that still provides some abrasion resistance, without the stiffness of canvas.
Carhartt J133 Jacket Sizing
How does the Carhartt J133 jacket fit?
In general, you can expect this jacket to fit loose. All Carhartt winter jackets, in my experience, fit loose, but I thought this J133 jacket had the loosest fit. All things considered, I still ordered my normal sizing and it worked out fine.
Sometimes that extra space is needed for these extreme jackets because they want to give you plenty of space to layer underneath. Here is a look at my size medium (6’3″ 190 pounds):
Here is my size medium compared to a size medium t-shirt straight out of the package:
And just to prove it runs a little bigger than other Carhartt jackets, here is my J133 (black) sitting underneath my J140 (brown):
As you can see, the black J133 jacket has a slightly bulkier build.
***If you want to read more about Carhartt jacket sizing, visit our article How Do Carhartt Jackets Fit?. This article is property of workwearcommand.com.
How Much Does the Carhartt J133 Jacket Weigh?
My size medium J133 work jacket weighs 2.94 pounds:
All things considered, the J133 work jacket is reasonably lightweight despite being the warmest Carhartt jacket. For example, my J140 jacket weighs more:
Carhartt J133 Work Jacket Design
This jacket is made with the standard features typical of Carhartt’s active jackets. You can expect 2 front hand-warmer pockets, with two internal pockets. One of the internal pockets is a zip pocket, perfect for storing essentials.
This jacket does have a cuffed waist making it very easy to pair with a tool belt. It has an attached insulated hood with drawstring, and is a full-front zip, giving it a sort of bomber jacket style. Here are some photos of mine:
Coat Version of the J133
The Carhartt C55 is the coat version of this J133 work jacket. The coat version has the same nylon duck outer shell combined with the Arctic insulation, but obviously has design differences. The drop tail adds protection below the waist, and it has more pockets that the J133.
Here I am wearing the C55 coat. To read more, visit my article about the Carhartt C55 coat.
Carhartt J133 Jacket Conclusion
UPDATE: Carhartt has replaced this J133 jacket with the 104458 jacket, which is still part of the Carhartt Yukon Extremes Series. To read more about the new jacket, visit my article about the Carhartt Yukon Extremes Jacket.
This is the warmest hooded work jacket that I have tried. It combines Carhartt’s toughest outer shell (the CORDURA nylon Duck) with the warmest insulation that Carhartt offers (the arctic insulation). This jacket has a cuffed waist so that it traps in heat and you can pair it with a tool belt.
It is wind-resistant, water-repellent, and abrasion-resistant. This jacket is best used for extreme winter conditions. It will likely be too warm for those of you working in more mild winter conditions.
But if you are looking for the warmest Carhartt jacket, this is it. The firm nylon duck shell is very durable and also offers some weather protection. Yes, it will be a bit stiff at first, but it breaks in just fine with time.
Click here to buy this Carhartt J133 jacket available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). This jacket has a loose fit, but I order my normal sizing. To explore other options, visit my article about alternatives to Carhartt, or my article about the best workwear jackets.