Dri Duck vs Carhartt (Comparison w/ Photos)


Both Dri Duck and Carhartt are known for making rugged workwear. There are a lot of similarities when comparing Dri Duck vs Carhartt, but also some differences.

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Before we go into deeper detail, here’s what you need to know about some of their most popular jackets:

  • Carhartt Yukon Arctic Active Jacket – This is Carhartt’s toughest and warmest jacket. Nylon shell with arctic insulation made for extreme conditions. Hooded, front-zip. Water-resistant, wind-repellent, and abrasion-resistant. Click here to view the Carhartt Yukon Arctic Active Jacket at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
  • Carhartt Duck Quilted-Flannel Active Jacket – This is my favorite Carhartt jacket. This is a heavyweight cotton fabric with the ultra-warm quilted-flannel lining. Hooded, front zip. Also water-repellent and wind-resistant. Click here to view the Carhartt Duck Quilted-Flannel Active Jacket at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
  • Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket – Very popular Dri Duck Jacket. Styled very similar to the Carhartt Active Jackets. Heavyweight pre-washed cotton makes this jacket sturdy, but comfortable. Hooded with a front zip. Click here to view the Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
  • Dri Duck Yukon Water-Resistant Jacket – Poly/Cotton blend canvas shell. Great for weather protection. Hooded, front zip. Bi-swing back for extended range of motion. Drop-tail for extra coverage. Click here to view the Dri Duck Yukon Jacket at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

Although both of these companies offer a wide range of workwear, in this article we are going to focus most of our attention on outerwear. Choosing the right work jacket is essential if you hope to stand up to the elements during a harsh winter.

Dri Duck stakes its reputation on making durable, yet comfortable, outerwear. They do not believe in making stiff coats and jackets (source). Their canvas material is washed to give it a broken-in feeling off the rack. With Carhartt, you get a taste of both. Carhartt offers both firm outerwear, and more flexible outwear (source).

Carhartt is most famous for their Active Jackets, which are hooded, with a cuffed waist, and are versatile pieces of workwear that can be used on a job site or just as an everyday winter jacket. These jackets are considered by many to be the standard when it comes to winter workwear jackets and are common staples on job sites.

The Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket is very similar to the Carhartt Active Jackets, and because of that, we will begin our comparison by focusing on the Dri-Duck Cheyenne Jacket vs the Carhartt Active Jackets.

Dri Duck vs Carhartt Active Jackets

The Carhartt Active Jackets have become a staple of winter workwear across all regions. To accomplish this, Carhartt produces many different types of jackets that can vary in warmth and toughness so that you can find one that makes the most sense for your situation.

carhartt-j140-jacket-frontside

The Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket is a bit different. It only comes in one style (you can choose from multiple colors). This means that when we compare the Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket to Carhartt’s entire line of Active Jackets, it is more about trying to define where the Cheyenne Jacket fits in.

dri-duck-jacket

This is the current price of the Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

But it is also fair to state that Carhartt is considered to be premium workwear for a reason, and sometimes, when you need the best, paying up to get exactly what you need is worth it. Especially if the jacket is going to be what separates you from sub-zero wind chills.

Dri Duck vs Carhartt Warmth

Again, Carhartt offers a wide range of Active Jackets (also known as “jacs”). The outer fabric and insulation used in these Carhartt Active Jackets will vary from jacket to jacket.

This is done so that you can find a comfort, toughness, and warmth that works best for you. For example, here are two different linings (Quilted-Flannel and Arctic) available for the Carhartt Active Jackets (more on that in a bit):

When comparing the Dri-Duck Cheyenne Jacket to the entire line of Carhartt Active Jackets, as I said earlier, it’s more about just trying to define where the Dri-Duck Cheyenne Jacket fits in.

How does the warmth compare?

dri-duck-cheyenne-jacket-outside

First, it is important to understand how the Carhartt Active Jackets vary in warmth. To create effective winterwear for varying climates and conditions, Carhartt must have multiple types of insulation and inner-linings so that the overall warmth of the winter jacket varies from mild-warmth to extreme-warmth.

**As a disclaimer, please understand that the table below is my opinion based on wearing these jackets over the years. Carhartt does not offer a temperature rating for their jackets, and the “warmth” that I’ve assigned to the linings below is just my opinion, and may not reflect Carhartt’s opinion on this matter. Contacting Carhartt directly for warmth advice is my recommendation.

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:

Carhartt LiningWarmth
ThermalLightweight Warmth
FleeceLightweight Warmth
BlanketMedium Warmth
Quilted-NylonMedium Warmth
SherpaWarm
Quilted-FlannelVery Warm
Arctic InsulationWarmest

Carhartt offers the arctic insulation (its warmest) in only one Active Jacket. The Carhartt Extremes Yukon Arctic Active Jacket combines Carhartt’s toughest outer shell (Nylon) with Carhartt’s warmest insulation (Arctic), making this jacket Carhartt’s toughest and warmest jacket.

Click here to view the current price of the Carhartt Yukon Arctic Active Jacket at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here is a look at mine:

carhartt-j133-jacket
carhartt-j133-lining

Carhartt offers almost all of the linings listed above in some type of Active Jacket so that you have a wide range of warmth to choose from. My personal favorite for my region (Kansas) is the quilted-flannel lining.

Click here to view the price of the Carhartt Duck Quilted-Flannel Active Jacket at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here is a look at my quilted-flannel lined Carhartt Active Jacket:

carhartt-j140-front
carhartt-j140-jacket-lining
carhartt-j140-jacket-back
carhartt-j140-jacket-frontside

Of course, Carhartt also has more jackets and coats besides just the Active Jackets, so all of the linings listed above are used in some type of Carhartt outerwear. But let’s stick to the Active Jackets so that we can compare them to the popular Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket.

Again, one thing to remember is the Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket is only offered with one type of inner lining. The Carhartt Active Jackets are a line of jackets (with numerous choices) whereas the Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket is just a singular jacket. So, as I said earlier, in this article let’s just define how the Cheyenne Jacket fits in with the entire collection of Carhartt Active Jackets.

One challenge when comparing warmth is neither of these companies (Carhartt or Dri Duck) put out a warmth rating on their outerwear, so I am left to speculate from my own experience on where the Cheyenne Jacket ranks compared to the warmth of the Active Jackets.

The Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket has a Diamond-Quilted brushed tricot-lined body and hood with 3 oz. polyfill insulation. How does that compare to what Carhartt offers?

Again, this is strictly my opinion, but I think the Cheyenne Jacket warmth ranks behind the Carhartt Arctic Insulation and behind the Carhartt Quilted-Flannel lining, but in front of the Carhartt Sherpa Lining. In my opinion, this is how it would rank:

Carhartt LiningWarmth
ThermalLightweight Warmth
FleeceLightweight Warmth
BlanketMedium Warmth
Quilted-NylonMedium Warmth
SherpaWarm
*DRI DUCK CHEYENNE**Very Warm*
Quilted-FlannelVery Warm
Arctic InsulationWarmest

Remember, I said earlier that I think the Sherpa, Quilted-Flannel, and Arctic insulation are the 3 warmest from Carhartt, and are all capable of keeping you warm in most winter conditions.

I would rank the Dri Duck insulation in the middle of those 3, probably warmer than the Sherpa, and just under the quilted-flannel lining by Carhartt.

So the question is, would the Dri-Duck Cheyenne Jacket be warm enough for winter work sites? In most all cases, yes.

If you are in the extreme northern parts of the US or Canada and face freezing conditions consistently, I would personally stick with the Carhartt Arctic Insulation with a firm protective shell. But for most winter conditions common in the US, the Dri-duck Cheyenne Jacket should be plenty warm enough.

I live in Kansas, and the Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket is warm enough for this region to use as an everyday work winter jacket. Here is a look at mine (size medium; 6’3″ 200 pounds):

dri-duck-cheyenne-jacket-side
dri-duck-cheyenne-jacket-flap
dri-duck-jacket
dri-duck-cheyenne-jacket-cuff

If you were to combine the Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket with the entire line of Carhartt Active Jackets, and then rank the top 5 warmest, I personally would include the Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket in the top 5. Here is how I would rank the top 5 based strictly on warmth (my opinion):

  1. Carhartt Active Jacket with Arctic Insulation (J133)
  2. Carhartt Duck Cotton Quilted-Flannel Active Jacket (J140)
  3. Carhartt Sandstone Cotton Quilted-Flannel Active Jacket (J130)
  4. Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket
  5. Carhartt Sandstone Sherpa-Lined Sierra Jacket (J141)

Again, there are more Carhartt Active Jackets than just the ones listed above. There are also active jackets built more for mild winters. The top 5 above includes only what I consider to be the warmest. It is also worth noting that the Carhartt Sierra J141 Jacket is not considered an actual Active Jacket, but it is styled so similarly that I included it.

**If you are shopping for extreme winterwear, we have a guide that discusses the warmest Carhartt jackets and coats. Visit our article: Warmest Carhartt Jackets.

Dri Duck vs Carhartt: Outer Shell

As I mentioned earlier, Dri Duck prides itself in creating dependable and durable outerwear that isn’t stiff and annoying to wear. Carhartt, on the other hand, does a bit of both. They offer both stiff outerwear that needs time to break in, and also pre-washed outerwear that has a more broken-in feeling off the rack.

Here are your options for outer shell fabrics for the Carhartt Active Jackets:

Outer Fabric DuckDetails
Extremes NylonToughest; Wind/Water Repellent
Firm CottonToughest Cotton; Water Repellent
Traditional Cotton2nd-Toughest Cotton Shell
Washed CottonTough, but Broken-in Feeling
Sandstone CottonTough, but Broken-in Feeling
Quick DuckLightweight, Flexible Blend

Again, because Carhartt offers a wide range of Active Jackets, you can find most all of those outer fabric types offered in some form of Active Jacket. All of those outer shells are durable, but it is important to note that the Extremes Nylon and the Firm Cotton shells will have a stiff feeling off the rack that will take time to break in.

carhartt-duck-active-jacket-review-cuff

The Carhartt Washed Cotton, Sandstone Cotton, and Quick Duck fabric will have a much more comfortable, broken-in feeling from the first wear. The Dri Duck outer shell on the Cheyenne Jacket also has a very comfortable, broken-in feeling.

dri-duck-cheyenne-jacket-cuff

The Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket has a heavyweight 12-oz pre-washed cotton canvas shell that has a very comfortable, worn-in feeling off the rack.

Do not expect the Dri Duck jacket to have a stiff feeling to it. That said, you can still expect the outer shell to be tough enough to handle a job site. Expect toughness without stiffness.

One thing you must consider about the stiffer shells is they often provide wind and water resistance that some of the washed fabrics do not. Now, do not expect the washed fabrics just to give you no resistance whatsoever.

The difference, in my opinion, is somewhat minimal, but it does exist. If you need water and wind protection, sticking with a stiffer shell may be best.

As I mentioned earlier, the Carhartt Extremes Cordura Nylon is Carhartt’s toughest outer fabric. It is both wind resistant and water repellent, but also abrasion resistant. It is made with 1000-denier Cordura Nylon Duck. Here are some pictures of it up close:

carhartt-nylon-fabric

This is the toughest shell Carhartt offers. It can stand up to extreme conditions and extreme elements. The Carhartt Extremes Arctic Yukon Active Jacket combines this toughest shell with Carhartt’s warmest insulation (Arctic) to create an ultra-warm and ultra-tough work jacket.

What is the drawback? Expect the jacket to be stiff off-the-rack, and a bit noisy to move around in. But I should add, even though the shell is stiff, the inside of the jacket is ultra-comfortable and the stiffness, to me, is not a huge deal.

Comparing Similarities and Differences

Although we’ve already discussed how the Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket and the Carhartt Active Jackets differ as far as warmth and outer-shell fabric, let’s discuss a few other similarities and differences. In the pictures below, the Carhartt Jacket is the brown jacket and the Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket is the gray jacket.


Hood

Both the Carhartt Active Jackets and the Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket have insulated hoods with draw string:

dri-duck-vs-carhartt-jacket-hoods

Triple-Stitched Main Seams

Both types of jackets have the triple-stitched main seams to help the jacket stand up over the long haul:

dri-duck-vs-carhartt-jacket-seams

Fit

Both the Carhartt Active Jackets and the Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket have, in my opinion, a true-to-size fit. Yes, they have a bit of extra room built-in, but it is needed so that you have room to layer and to function.

The actual sizing of the Carhartt Active Jackets can vary slightly depending on which one you purchase, but as you can see below, the Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket is sized very similarly. In this picture, the gray Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket is sitting on top of a Carhartt Duck Quilted-Flannel Active Jacket (both size mediums):

dri-duck-vs-carhartt-jackets

Again here I am wearing a size medium Carhartt Duck Quilted-Flannel Active Jacket (6’3″ 200 pounds):

carhartt-j140-front

Here I am wearing a size medium Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket (6’3″ 200 pounds):

dri-duck-cheyenne-jacket-side

Rib-Knit Cuffed Waist

While both types of jackets have a rib-knit cuffed waist to help trap in heat and to allow you to pair with a tool belt, the actual cuff material is a bit different.

Personally, I like the cuff material on the Dri Duck jacket better, and wish Carhartt would adopt it. The Carhartt cuff material seems to stretch a bit after a season or two. Pictured below, Dri Duck then Carhartt waists:

dri-duck-cheyenne-jacket-waist
carhartt-duck-active-jacket-review-material

Hanging Loop

One very minor detail (but perhaps you have an opinion on it) is the loop to hang the jacket is in different spots. The Carhartt loop is on the inside of the collar, just above the tag (like most jackets). The Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket loop is actually on the outside of the jacket, under the hood:

dri-duck-vs-carhartt-jacket-hook

Pleated Elbows

The Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket has pleated elbows so that the jacket has a little extra give in the arms to make it easier for you to work. Although both types of jackets are fairly easy to work in, this is a nice bonus for the Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket:

dri-duck-vs-carhartt-jacket-elbows
dri-duck-pleated-elbow

Pockets

While both types of Jackets have the front hand-warmer pockets, the inside pockets do differ a bit, and in this instance, I tend to prefer Carhartt. Most Carhartt Active Jackets have the zippered internal chest pocket which gives you a secure place to store essentials (phone, keys etc) and feel quite confident that they won’t get wet.

carhartt-duck-active-jacket-review-pocket-zip

The Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket does offer internal pockets for storing essentials, but they are button-close instead of zippered:

dri-duck-jacket-pockets

Conclusion: Dri Duck Cheyenne vs Carhartt Active Jackets

My conclusion regarding the Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket is yes, it is a satisfactory replacement for the Carhartt Active Jackets that allows you to save a bit of money as well.

I say that while also saying that yes, Carhartt is still (in my opinion) the more premium option, and I personally would stick with the Carhartt Extreme Series if I had to work in sub zero wind chills on a daily basis.

If you are not in those extreme, dangerous conditions, then the Dri-Duck Cheyenne Jacket works as a perfectly satisfactory replacement for the Carhartt Active Jacket, especially if you are looking to save some money. You can read more about the Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket by visiting our Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket Review.

Click here to view the Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

***If you want to read an in-depth breakdown of the individual types of Carhartt Active Jackets, and how they compare to each other, visit our article: Comparing Carhartt Active Jackets.


Dri Duck vs Carhartt: Other Types of Outerwear

We compared the popular Carhartt Active Jackets to the Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket, but it is important to remember that both of these brands offer a full range of outerwear. You can get anything from hoodies and softshells, to canvas jackets and work coats.

If you are looking for firm-shell outerwear, you will need to stick with Carhartt. Dri Duck puts most of its emphasis on creating outerwear that has a worn-in feeling on the first wear.

Comfort is a positive for most all situations, but there are times where the trusty firm shells are best. Of course, Carhartt itself also offers a wide range of pre-washed broken-in shells.

Here are 3 popular pieces of outerwear from each brand if you are in the mood to browse and see what each brand has to offer.

  • Carhartt Arctic Quilt-Lined Yukon Coat (C55) – This coat features Carhartt’s toughest shell (Nylon) with Carhartt’s warmest insualtion (Arctic). This is Carhartt’s toughest and warmest coat. Water-resistant, wind-repellent, and abrasion-resistant. Built for the harshest of winters. Click here to view the price of this coat at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
yukon-arctic-Carhartt-extreme-coat-review-front-flap
  • Carhartt Quick Duck Camo Traditional Jacket – Flexible Quick Duck canvas is both comfortable and tough. I call it toughness without stiffness. Mock-neck collar style camo jacket for outdoorsmen. Quick duck fabric helps keep noise down. Click here to view the price of the jacket at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
camo-carhartt-quick-duck-traditional-jacket-review-zip
  • Carhartt Crowley Jacket – Mock-neck spring jacket that is versatile enough to wear almost anywhere. Perfect jacket to keep by the door and wear as an everyday spring jacket. Water-repellent, flexible fabric. Easy to wear. Click here to view the price of this jacket at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
crowley-jacket-carhartt-review-front-zip
  • Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket – Probably Dri Duck’s most popular jacket. Styled very similarly to the Carhartt Active Jackets. Hooded, front-zip with cuffed waist. Pre-washed canvas cotton for a worn-in feeling off the rack. Click here to view the Dri Duck Cheyenne Jacket at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
dri-duck-cheyenne-jacket-side
  • Dri Duck Motion Camo Softshell Jacket – Flexible softshell jacket that is also tough enough to stand up to outdoors. Part of Dri Duck’s DDX series (Dri Duck Extreme). Quiet to move around in. Mock-neck collar with full front zip. Media pocket. Spring/fall jacket. Click here to view the price of this jacket at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
dri-duck-softshell-jacket-worn-flap
  • Dri Duck Outlaw Jacket – Canvas jacket perfect for spring and fall. Medium warmth, corduroy collar, with no hood. Zippered chest pocket. 12-oz heavyweight cotton pre-washed for comfort. Click here to view the Outlaw Jacket at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

***If you are searching for brand alternatives to Carhartt, there are other brands to consider besides Dri Duck. To read more, visit our article that discusses Carhartt alternatives.

Dri Duck vs Carhartt for Women

If you are looking for a women’s work coat, Carhartt is going to offer a wider selection. If you are needing something ultra-warm, I would stick with Carhartt. The Carhartt Women’s Weathered Wildwood Jacket is an ultra-warm Sherpa-lined jacket that comes with a built-in hoode and a durable cotton duck shell. Click here to view this jacket at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon).

Dri Duck does have some nice women’s outerwear available, but in general, their offerings are built more for mild-winter days, not the extreme cold. They do have one heavy-insulated work jacket for women: the Dri Duck Solstice Jacket.

This jacket has a warm Thinsulate insulation and combines it with a unique ripstop flexible shell fabric that is both comfortable and durable. Click here to view this jacket at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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