Patagonia, the company that’s been making climbers, hikers, and other nature lovers look and feel good for close to 50 years, just launched a new line of workwear, featuring ten different pieces for men such as a barn coat, double-knee work pants ($79), a Farrier’s shirt, tool tote ($59), and a field journal ($39).
It all starts with Iron Forge canvas, a blend of industrial hemp, recycled polyester, and organic cotton. The name’s in honor of the company’s beginnings when founder Yvon Chouinard was making steel climbing pitons using a coal-fueled forge and selling them to climbers at Yosemite. This isn’t your hippie-dippy hemp, folks. It’s super-durable and, surprisingly, soft to the touch. According to the company, it’s 25 percent more abrasion-resistant than cotton canvas. We were also wowed by how cool it kept us, especially for the heavy-duty weight of the material.
Patagonia really thought this line through, from the double-fabric seat and drop-in pockets with knife clip gussets on the work pants to the large lower-back storage pouch with double-sided snap-closures (where you can chuck your work gloves when you need to) on the to the large lower-back storage pouch with double-sided snap-closures (where you can chuck your work gloves when you need to) on the Barn Coat (above, $199). The clothes also provide a wide range of motion since the whole point is that you’ll be wearing them while working. But we’re talking about Patagonia, so they can’t help but make their clothes look as good as they work. And they’re keeping the prices pretty low; nothing is over $200.
Our personal favorites include the Iron Forge canvas Farrier’s Shirt in Ink Black (above, $89), that’s made from a slightly lighter weight hemp blend and is tough enough for work but good looking enough to wear out for a casual evening. Another great piece in the collection, that isn’t constructed out of canvas, is the Cutter Sweater in Glades Green (below, $99), made from a recycled wool and nylon blend that draws straight from its military roots. It’s a crewneck cable-knit and features water-repellent shoulder patches. We found it to be soft, not itchy, and versatile enough for work and play, as well as activities that don’t involve sweat and campfire smoke.
We’ve been told by the design team over at Patagonia that this isn’t about fashion, but rather about down-and-dirty, nose-to-the-grindstone manual Work. Whether you spend your weekends in the garage tinkering on engines or are an urban (or oyster) farmer, craftsman, rancher, or all around do-it-yourselfer, you’re the kind of guy Iron Forge has in mind.