Editor’s Note: We welcome guest reviewer, Curtis Moore.
Moore grew up around horses and spent high-school summers at a pack station outside Bishop, California. During college, he worked on a ranch and adopted a sorrel mustang, Rooster, who’s now a solid all-around ranch horse. When Moore headed to law school, Rooster came with him.
Moore is now deputy district attorney in Elko, Nevada, where he lives with his wife and two young children.
Here, he reviews the Farrier Shirt, the Western Snap Shirt, the Chore Coat, and the Ranch Jacket by Patagonia. We’re happy to have Patagonia as title sponsor for the Best Horse Practices Summit. Come to our conference and check out these duds!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a man of two fibers: cotton in the summer, wool in the winter. So, when I was offered the opportunity to try out Patagonia’s new hemp WorkWear, I was interested, but skeptical.
Now, after several wearings and washings I’m sold on hemp-blend clothing. It’s as tough as any workwear out there, and the line is well-designed and comfortable.
For whatever reason, I expected all these clothes to have the texture of burlap. Happily, that isn’t the case. The Farrier’s Shirt has the texture of flannel. The buttons are well attached, which may seem like faint praise, but few things frustrate me more than weakly sewn buttons.
Since I have horses and the requisite skillset, I decided to see if this shirt lived up to its name.
Horseshoeing requires a lot of twisting yourself into awkward positions. This shirt performed admirably. The sleeves are long enough that they don’t ride up. The tails are long enough that they don’t come untucked while you’re bending over. And it’s wide enough through the shoulders that it doesn’t get tight or restrict your movement.
I also appreciated the wrinkle-resistance of this shirt. It comes out of the dryer looking pressed and ready for work. No rolling collar or scrunched sleeves – small details, but it’s nice not to have to worry about them.
The Western Snap Shirt is made of lighter material than the Farrier’s Shirt. It has a western-style yoke and snaps instead of traditional buttons. But like the farrier’s shirt it holds up well. I’ve worn it to work in the office, to work on trucks and quads, and with horses. The tails don’t come untucked. The shoulders are wide and roomy. And there’s plenty of room around the neck. Like the farrier’s shirt it has strong, roomy pockets with pen holders on both sides.
Of all the things I tried out for this review, this light jacket may have been my favorite. It’s the perfect weight for most of the year here in Elko. The sleeves are wide enough to accommodate a heavy flannel shirt under it, and it’s soft enough that you can wear a short-sleeved shirt without feeling itchy. The buttons are strong and large enough to manipulate with gloves. The pockets are double-sewn, and large enough to fill with nails and staples and screws. They snap shut at the top for security. The interior pocket is perfect for keeping a cell phone dry and safe while you work. The hemp-blend material is strong enough to withstand fixing a barbed wire fence despite my snagging it several times.
Although I received these clothes in May, there’s never a time in Elko when a heavy jacket isn’t going to be necessary at some point in the week. So I had plenty of opportunities to try it out.
This jacket has ribbed cuffs around the bottom and sleeves to keep out the wind and moisture, an interior pocket, and a soft layer of insulation. In freezing temperatures, this jacket held up to the standards of my other favorite work jackets and was more comfortable than many of them.
My favorite feature is that it has both buttons and a zipper. This allowed me to undo the zipper and keep the bottom button unfastened while riding.
While I was initially skeptical of a line of work clothes coming from a brand best-known for its recreation wear, I came out of this testing phase impressed with the quality and design of the product line.
Everything about them is deliberately designed for durability and functionality – from the interior pockets and the double stitching on the jacket pockets to the roomy shoulders. Perhaps most importantly, the clothes were all comfortable. There was none of the stiffness or itchiness I associate with new work clothes. They’re ready for work right out of the box and I would recommend them to anyone.