What you wear to work will affect how you perform, and this is especially true for many construction workers and carpenters. All too often, you will be exposed to the elements as you walk, operate machines, or mix cement, and make sure that everything gets done on time. Hence, you need to put some more thought into choosing the right pair of construction pants.
Here are the three main features to check at when choosing the best construction work pants:
- Fit: Work pants are made in different ways to match diverse body types. The ‘classic fit’ is neither tight nor loose around the thighs and seat. By contrast, the “slim fit’ is slimmer around the legs, which allows you to fit over work boots. “Loose fit” is baggy around the thigh area and seat. There are no rules in choosing the right fit but keep in mind that very loose pants may get caught in machines.
- Fabric: Most work pants are made of denim, canvas, cotton duck, or fire-resistant fabrics. While they are stretchable, they may need a break-in period. By nature, denim is thicker than your ordinary fashion jeans, and some are lined with fleece to keep you warm during the winter. Cotton ducks and canvas can block the wind and do well under hot conditions.
- Utility pockets and loops: Another basic feature of construction work pants is that they have more pockets and hammer loops. The pockets are roomier so you can store and quickly access your hammer, screwdriver, and other tools as you work. Beyond that, some trousers are designed with knee pads and other protection for sensitive areas to prevent injuries.
Each type of industrial job requires some specialized garment. For that, I curated and reviewed twelve of the most popular trousers to give you an idea of how they perform under different conditions. Also, check the “Buying Guide” if you need advice in selecting the right pants for your work.
Table of Contents
- Best Work Pants for Construction Reviews
- 1. Wrangler 3W060BR Riggs Workwear Pant
- 2. Caterpillar C172 Men’s Trademark Pant
- 3. Carhartt B151-TAN Dungaree Work Pant
- 4. Dickies 874 Men’s Original Work Pant
- 5. CQR Men’s Tactical Pant
- 6. Carhartt B324-DFE Relaxed Fit Utility Work Pant
- 7. Caterpillar 1810008 H2o Defender Pant
- 8. LA Police Gear Core Cargo Work Pant
- 9. Dickies 23214RDN Loose-Fit Cargo Work Pant
- 10. TRUEWERK T2 WerkPant
- 11. LABEYZON Outdoor Work Pant
- 12. 5.11 64360-190 Taclite Pro Ripstop Pant
- What is Construction Work Pants
- How Does It Work
- Types of a Pair of Construction Work Pants
- Why Do You Need Construction Work Pants
- Buying Guide
- Care and Maintenance
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Work Pants for Construction Reviews
1. Wrangler 3W060BR Riggs Workwear Pant
Engineered construction workers, carpenters, and handymen, these cargo pants are made of cotton ripstop. Designed for a more relaxed fit, they promote good airflow. That’s why I love wearing them during the summer when every move that I make tends to make me sweat. Along with the gusseted crotch, the fitting promotes better movement. I can climb ladders or squat without feeling like I’m being held back or ripping the seams.
Every part of these trousers is durable. All seven pockets and the hammer loop can hold the weight of all the tools that I attach or put inside them. Despite wearing them frequently to work and washing them twice a week, they lasted a year until I started seeing a few holes. Even then, they grew more comfortable so I wore them at home.
2. Caterpillar C172 Men’s Trademark Pant
Coming in at number two is one of the toughest work pants designed by no other than Caterpillar. Made by a reputable workwear brand, the quality of these trousers can hold up to any physical activity. Hence, these are the staple for those in construction, landscaping, and other industrial jobs. Some people also find them comfortable for hiking.
Many workplaces require workers to tuck their long sleeve shirts. As such, these pants are equipped with waistbands that have gripper tapes to keep the shirt and pants in place. My shirt won’t get pulled up when I need to reach something on the top shelf or bend over. If you kneel for most of the day, you will find the top-loading knee pockets useful.
Besides the regular belt loops, the pants have sturdy loops that can carry the weight of loaded tool belts. They have several pockets that are placed in areas that I can easily reach when I’m on a ladder. In particular, I like that the front pockets have pull-out oxford tool bags that I can use or hide if I don’t need them. Plus, there is a dedicated phone pocket!
3. Carhartt B151-TAN Dungaree Work Pant
Are you looking for something lighter than the usual heavyweight duck dungarees? These lightweight cotton canvas work pants are up for grabs for anyone who needs to get through the summer heat. What I love about them the most is that they provide ample room for my legs and thighs to move and breathe. Similar to hiking pants, these trousers let me move up and down a ladder or bend over comfortably.
Apart from the spacious front pockets, the pants have extra utility pockets and a hammer loop on the left side. Despite the lightweight material, the construction makes them durable enough to hold whatever tools I put in. In terms of style, these pants are versatile. I can wear them for client meetings, working at the job site, or hiking. Plus, they come in five different colors for me to choose from.
4. Dickies 874 Men’s Original Work Pant
Here’s another pair of versatile work pants coming your way at number four. From the messiest fieldwork to formal meetings, the design fits any activity or event. One of the reasons why they became my favorite is the fabric. Since it is resistant to wrinkling, I don’t have to iron after taking the pants out of the dryer. As such, I can wear them immediately to work.
Speaking of washing, these pants are pretty low maintenance since the stains are very easy to remove. Hence, I find them appropriate for jobs at the restaurant where you need to look nice but also deal with food spills from time to time. At the same time, they are durable enough for outdoor site visits. They are flexible for you to squat or bend as you inspect every part of a structure.
5. CQR Men’s Tactical Pant
While tactical pants may not be commonly used for construction work, they are designed for action. Available in dozens of colors, the gusseted construction and knee-bending cut allow for natural movement. That’s why I like wearing them when I need to climb ladders or squat. Built with Duratex, the quick-drying fabric can repel water, dust, and other contaminants. Plus, it feels comfortable on my skin.
More than that, these work trousers are easy to maintain since they are resistant to wrinkling, fading, and shrinking. Featuring an elastic waistband, they are snug around the waist and keep my shirt tucked in at all times. As for storage, the pockets are roomy and deep. Although their shapes are meant for knives and mags, I fit in some tools just fine. I can even put my phone inside and it will not slip off when I squat.
6. Carhartt B324-DFE Relaxed Fit Utility Work Pant
Once again, I’m featuring Carhartt because this brand never disappoints. Heavy-duty yet lightweight, these stylish pants are my go-to for both office and woodworking projects. For semi-formal or casual occasions, the color options are quite attractive and easy to pair with just about any shirt. Even more impressive, the fabric is soft and gentle on the skin. Yet, it does not tear up easily.
In terms of thickness, I’d say that these trousers are best worn during spring or autumn. Designed for a relaxed fitting, I like that these pants provide space for my legs and thighs to move without being too baggy. As such, I can move naturally. Furthermore, the pockets give me ample storage for my phone, marker, pencil, flashlight, or whatever I need to carry. Also, the hammer loop is sturdy enough.
7. Caterpillar 1810008 H2o Defender Pant
The name says it all! Caterpillar H20 Defender is tailored for anyone who works in wet conditions but it is also perfect for rainy days. With a good blend of polyester, cotton, and water-resistant fabric, these men’s construction work pants can stretch well to enable the wearer to move effortlessly.
Storage is abundant. Tucked inside the front pockets are heavy-duty nylon tool oxford bags that I can easily pull out if I need to store something. Apart from that, the pants have easy-to-access multipurpose cargo pockets for pencils, gadgets, and construction tools. Those who need to protect their knees can also slip pads into the top-loading knee pockets.
Unlike most water-resistant pants, this one does not make an annoying sound that’s similar to plastic bags rubbing each other. Even the texture of the fabric is soft on my skin. More importantly, the fitting allows for the air to flow. Despite the lightweight construction, these pants do not compromise durability.
8. LA Police Gear Core Cargo Work Pant
While these pants are mostly worn by law enforcers and first responders, they are suitable for various physically demanding jobs and leisure activities like fishing, camping, and hiking. When it comes to construction or carpentry work, these affordable trousers cover the basics. The pockets, for example, are adequate for tools and gadgets. Having angled pockets at the front also ensures that items inside do not slide off when I squat.
Meanwhile, the construction is durable enough for any outdoor work. As far as fitting is concerned, the pants are true to size. Thanks to the elastic waistband, I don’t feel any tightness when I stand or sit. Even when I’m full, they feel comfortable. Moreover, the lightweight fabric makes long walks more bearable.
9. Dickies 23214RDN Loose-Fit Cargo Work Pant
If you are looking for a wash-and-wear kind of work pants, then this one fits the bill. When I take them out of the dryer, the trousers look nice and crisp with no hints of shrinkage. Since I don’t have to iron them, I can free up my time for something more worthwhile. Quality-wise, these trousers can withstand all the strains that come with squatting or climbing. At the same time, the loose fit does not make the pants do not look too baggy.
Available in four different colors, the style is versatile for both job sites and office environments. I never look out of place with these pants! Featuring pleated cargo pockets, the space can expand a little further to accommodate more items. On the other hand, the front pockets are spacious enough to hold a phone or wallet. More importantly, every part of the fabric feels comfortable on my skin.
10. TRUEWERK T2 WerkPant
Touted as the world’s first “softshell” work pants, these trousers are unlike your ordinary construction work jeans or cotton ducks. Crafted with double-woven nylon and polyester, the fabric stretches and bends as I move. When I squat or crouch, I can do so without worrying about busting the seams. Plus, the interiors of the trousers feel smooth and comfy on the skin. It almost feels like I’m wearing sweatpants.
As with any work pants, these trousers have many pockets that are easy to access. But what makes them different is that they are lined with protective fabric shielding my legs against the sharp items inside. Meanwhile, the exteriors are simple yet stylish. In addition, this model comes in five different colors. Although I don’t choose trousers solely based on looks, it is nice to wear something that makes me feel more confident.
11. LABEYZON Outdoor Work Pant
Pockets are essential for those who work in the construction industry and these pants have plenty. Located at strategic places, the design allows me to access any item quickly. Instead of having the phone, small notebooks, pens, tools, or gadgets mixed, the internal pockets help me keep everything more organized.
Considering the affordable price and quality, I feel like I got more out of what I paid for. The combination of cotton, Spandex, and ripstop keeps the pants light and flexible. Apart from squatting, I can climb ladders and run.
Thanks to the elastic waistband, the trousers do not feel tight even when I sit or eat more than usual. Moreover, the belt loops are wide enough to accommodate any belt size. On top of that, the fabric ensures good ventilation during the hot season. When it comes to style, these pants are offered in seven different colors; I think they all look trendy.
12. 5.11 64360-190 Taclite Pro Ripstop Pant
For our final product review, these 5.11 work pants are best known for their lightweight and durable fabric. Popular among law enforcement officers and first responders, these are also suitable for hiking and construction work. Featuring a Teflon textile finish, the fabric can repel dirt, water, or stain. Even if you expose yourself to the elements, these pants will keep you protected.
Regardless of the kind of work you do, the triple-stitching and bartacks will hold the fabric together and keep them from tearing. On top of that, the pants are equipped with spacious pockets that can hold the weight of your tools and gadgets. You can take advantage of the fact that they are knee pad-ready.
In terms of fitting, the pants are true to size so you won’t run the hassle of figuring out your size. Like most work trousers, this one has belt loops so you can further adjust the fitting around the waist. As for style, they come in six colors that you can easily match with any uniform, athletic, or casual outfit.
What is Construction Work Pants
The trousers that workers wear at the job site or workshop are called “construction work pants,” utility pants, or cargo pants. Characterized by the big pockets and hammer loops, they are made of denim, cotton ducks, or canvas. Other innovative brands have also come up with hemp work pants. Some have protective features like knee pads or fire-resistant fabrics.
How Does It Work
Because work pants have roomy utility pockets, you will be able to store and access your tools quickly. They leave your hands free to lift and carry items as you move from one place to another. Belt and hammer loops should be strong enough to support and carry the weight of your tools.
As with any classic, slim, or loose cargo work pants, the fabric is stretchable. Meanwhile, the rivets and bartacks reinforce the seams. That said, the double or triple stitched seams must be able to hold up to all your movements even with all your instruments inside your pockets. Some trousers feature a gusseted crotch for the wearer to squat, kneel, or crouch.
If you are always kneeling, you need work pants with sewn-in knee pads or pouches that allow you to insert knee pads to prevent injuries.
Types of a Pair of Construction Work Pants
What you need to wear varies depending on the type of job that you do and the climate in your region. Generally speaking, they need to be durable enough to handle the work that you do. Anyway, here are the different types of work pants that you can choose from:
- Holster pants
- Utility or cargo pants
- Canvas work pants
- Ripstop pants
- Flex pants
- Gusseted crotch pants
- Double-knee pants
- Pants with knee pads
Why Do You Need Construction Work Pants
Physically demanding jobs can contribute to the wear and tear of the trousers. Hence, work pants are over-engineered at the areas where tearing is most prone: crotch, buttocks, knees, and pockets. Meanwhile, double front work pants are a good alternative if the pants do not feature knee pads or pouches for additional padding to prevent injuries.
Made of heavy-duty materials, the fabrics are sewn together and reinforced by rivets for stronger protection. Rugged work pants can hold hammers, screwdrivers, and other tools without causing the loop or pockets to break easily. Comfort is also essential as it helps the workers perform better for long hours regardless of where the job site is.
Those who need protection on the knees or against the fire will benefit from highly specialized work pants that provide knee pads or are made of fire-retardant materials. These garments can help reduce work-related injuries such as knee pains or burns.
For many of us, the brand, type of fabric, and fitting are not the only deciding factors when we buy construction. We want trousers that can last long yet they are comfortable enough to wear daily. At the same time, we need to think about whether they are suitable for the specific tasks we do at work.
After scouring through different blogs and Reddit, I have compiled some of the things that most workers consider when buying work pants.
Squatting, crouching, and kneeling will test the limits of the seams but there is nothing more embarrassing than accidentally ripping your pants at a workplace. Plus, it will make your job less comfortable. You can prevent this issue by taking the time to inspect the seams inside and out. One of the signs of weak construction is that the threads are loose. Another thing you need to check is if there is lifting at the backstitching as it can also cause the seams to break.
Our criteria for comfort vary depending on the weather and the type of work that we do. Fortunately, manufacturers are coming up with construction work pants for hot weather to promote better ventilation. If you find the cotton duck too warm, you can wear ripstop pants as they are lighter and cooler. For the cold winter days, you can opt for trousers with fleece. Also, make sure to choose the design that allows you to move comfortably.
There is no one-size-fits-all type of work pants. Each style aims to address specific needs. Many workers who operate machines would rather wear slim or classic fit to prevent the fabric from getting caught in the equipment. Plumbers often kneel for long periods whenever they work so they choose pants with knee pads. Meanwhile, managers who split their time between the office and job site would opt for plain khaki or double-knee pants.
While many of us prioritize durability and comfort when we look for construction work pants, we don’t always have to set aside our sense of style. We all know that many fashion-forward individuals wear cargo pants. Furthermore, there will be occasions when you need to dress up to meet clients or go to your office. Khakis are one of the most versatile trousers since they also go well with polos and leather shoes. Yet, they are comfortable enough to wear when you need to visit and check a job site.
Budget is often one of the deciding factors for many of us. Regardless of how much you are willing to spend, you will surely find well-made trousers that suit your needs. In this article, I’ve featured many cheap work pants that are just as functional, comfortable, and durable as their expensive counterparts.
Care and Maintenance
Washing your work pants will not only keep them clean and odor-free but will also help you maintain good hygiene. Take the time to read the manufacturer’s instructions because each type of fabric requires specific methods of cleaning.
How frequently you put your trousers in the washing machine also depends on how dirty they are. If you are constantly exposed to greasy substances, you will need to wash your clothes with a liquid dishwasher detergent. A dishwasher liquid is mostly used for greasy dishes but they can remove the oil from fabric as well.
If you only wear your khakis or jeans to visit job sites and spend more time at the office, manufacturers recommend two to four days of wearing the trousers before you put them in your washing machine. When it’s time to wash, remember to turn your pants inside out and undo the buttons. This will help maintain the shape of your pants.
If your pants get stained, you need to clean them immediately. Instead of rubbing the stain, remove with a knife or any stiff material like cards. For liquids, get a paper towel and blot the affected area to absorb the moisture. Using a fresh sheet of paper towel, work on the opposite side of the stain.
Apply some cleaning solvent onto a cotton swab or clean cloth and use it to clean the opposite side of the stain. The idea is to avoid the stain sinking deeper into the fabric. Begin at the edges of the stain and work towards the middle to prevent the residue from spreading further. Repeat the process until the stain is completely gone.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most trusted construction work pants brands?
I know that there are several trustworthy brands out there that I have yet to explore and review. However, I decided to feature only the ones that I have worn. Wrangler, Caterpillar, Carhartt, Dickies, CQR, LA Police Gear, TRUEWERK, LABEYZON, and 5.11 produce excellent quality pants for various industrial jobs, as well as trousers for casual occasions.
What pants do construction workers wear?
Most of the time, construction workers wear rugged functional pants with more than four easy-to-access pockets for their tools. Alternatively, they wear tactical or hiker pants since their features are similar.
Are tactical pants good for construction?
Yes, you can wear tactical pants for construction work if the type of job does not require knee pads. Just like cargo pants, tactical pants have plenty of pockets, and they are much cooler compared to cotton ducts, which makes them appropriate for hot climates.
What should you not wear on a construction site?
Working at a construction site exposes you to a wide variety of hazards but this can be minimized if you wear proper protective gear from head to toe. Wearing sleeveless shirts, sweat pants, fashionable jeans, shorts, sandals, sneakers, high heels, or open-toed shoes is prohibited.
How long should construction work pants last?
If you move up the ladder, bend, kneel, or squat every single day, your pants will likely last for up to 6 months to a year on average. Of course, this will vary depending on the quality of your trousers. Some can withstand the wear and tear of construction work a lot longer.
Heavy-duty work pants are part of the full ensemble of garments and protective gear worn at the construction site. These trousers keep up with all the climbing, crouching, and kneeling. Beyond the functionality, many of them offer protection. Hence, you cannot substitute them with regular jeans or sweatpants.
Nowadays, it is not difficult to find a broad range of designs that suit the climate, as well as the type of work or body that you have. As I said, there is no single brand or style that makes the best construction work pants. As long as the trousers fit your work requirements and your body, then you’re good to go!
Veronica is our content editor. She is a talent in delivery. Her main work is editing and writing articles that are both informative and simple to follow. She is in charge of synthesizing our understanding of what personal protection equipment (PPE) is needed in each job, how to best apply it, and how to visualize that equipment.