Indoors or out, the best work pants hold up to the elements with ease and can take some of the burden off on the toughest construction jobs. Of course, we’ve all owned a pair of pants that didn’t live up to our hopes and came apart far before they should have.
In theory, shopping for great pants online should be easy. In practice, it can become a nightmare. Every company knows that they can make a killing online if they can say the right things about their products, and since you can’t examine the pants in person before you buy, it can be hard to be sure that you’re getting a pair that you’ll like wearing, but less a good deal for your money.
We’ve evaluated some of the best work pants for construction workers of 2020, and our reviews are designed to show you the good and the bad of each type so that you can find the pants that are right for you at a price that makes you feel like you just got away with something.
|Best Overall||Carhartt Duck Dungaree||
|Wrangler RIGGS Men's Ranger||
|Best Value||Caterpillar Men's Trademark Trousers||
|Dickies Men's Loose Fit Double Knee Pants||
|Timberland Men's Grit-n-Grind||
The Carhartt B01 Double Front Duck Dungaree Pant is the pair you want to get if you need work pants that can stand up to the stresses of your job and come out ahead. These pants feature a double front, which makes them resistant to welding flames and even some cutting tools. If you don’t like wearing chaps, these pants can serve as a slimmer substitute, as they’ll stop thorny bushes in their tracks. They also allow for the use of kneepads, and their thicker double front also eases the wear on your knees.
These pants are well-made and well-designed, and they can last for years of near-daily use in tough manufacturing and construction conditions. They’re slightly more expensive than the competition, but given that you should get months more use out of them, you’re getting a tremendous deal when you buy this model. These pants do run a bit on the small side and shrink in the first wash, so most people find themselves better off buying a single size larger than they normally would to get a good fit. Overall, these are the pants you need if you need pants that can work as hard as you do.
The Wrangler RIGGS WORKWEAR Men’s Ranger Pant is another great choice for people who need a superior pair of pants for jobs that don’t go easy on them. These are made with Ripstop fabric. This fabric is designed to not only resist tearing but to limit the spread of a tear if one does occur. They also breathe very well, which can be a lifesaver on a hot day. The right front pocket comes with a leather protector, which is good for hanging things like a tape measure without worrying about damaging the underlying fabric. These pants also come with deep front pockets that come in handy.
While this may not matter for all users, you should know that you can get these pants in six different colors. Some show dirt and grime more than others, so if you’re working customer service in addition to the dirtier parts of your job, you may want to get a color that keeps you looking great, even when you’ve been working hard. These are a few dollars cheaper than the Carhartt pants and will outlast jeans, but won’t outlast the Carhartt’s, so the other pants will be a better deal for most people.
The Caterpillar Men’s Trademark Trouser is a good pair of pants that runs toward the cheaper side. It comes with a double-layered knee, which helps keep these pants in tip-top shape despite rough conditions, and also adds a bit of padding even without the use of kneepads. It also comes with front pockets with large pull-out tool bags. These are useful in many situations and allow you to have easy access to your tools, no matter where you find yourself. While all the pants on our list are some degree of waterproof, these seem to take it to the next level, and you should remain dry in just about any scenario.
Depending on the color you choose and your size, you can save some money on these pants, especially if you wear a larger size. That makes these pants the best for the money on our list for some people. The only real issue we have with them is that the kneepad compartments are large and tend to allow kneepads to slide around. These are good overall pants and not the most expensive ones on the market, so if you need something cheaper, be sure to check these out.
The Dickies Men’s Loose Fit Double Knee Work Pant is a good choice for people who don’t want their work pants to look like work pants. These have a simple, business-like look that is great for people who spend their time between front-end and back-end operations. They come with a hook and eye closure, which looks great and holds securely. It also includes two layers over the knees, so you get the extra protection and durability that comes with reinforced knees.
However, this line of pants has some fit problems. They’re advertised as loose fit, but they don’t really live up to that claim. Many users claim that the pants were simultaneously tight in the waist and two inches too long in the inseam. The problem is widespread, and many users report that their fits are accurate in other brands and even among other pant lines from Dickies. These pants also have small pockets compared to other work pants. If you need to carry many tools around at once, you’ll be disappointed with these pants. Overall, these aren’t the most expensive pants on the market, but you’ll probably want to spend your money on a pair with a better fit.
If you’re looking for a pair of work pants with a traditional jeans look, then Timberland PRO Men’s Grit-n-Grind Denim Work Pant might be the pants you’re looking for. Beyond their jean-like looks, they also come with a high-quality boot cut making them suitable for use with all kinds of footwear. They also weigh just 12.5 ounces, making them far lighter than most of the pants on our list by a significant margin.
However, these pants suffer from some of the worst problems common to work pants. They tear easily, and while they should last longer than jeans, they won’t last for years like other work pants will They also have severely inconsistent sizing. Pants ordered at the same time in the same size will alternately be snug and loose, leaving the end-user without clear direction on what to do next. That makes it hard to figure out which size you need. These aren’t the most expensive work pants out there, but unlike some models, the lack of quality shows. If you’re looking for a pair of pants that will last a long time and arrive at the correct size, you’re likely to be unhappy with these pants.
Our reviews may already have led you to the work pants that are right for you. However, we know that there can be a lot of things to consider before you buy pants, so if you’re not sure which pair is right for you, don’t worry. This buyer’s guide walks you through the major things you should consider before you buy, and helps you weigh the different features that should weigh on your final decision. We’ve also included some tips on maximizing the value you get out of your buy, so if you’re looking for a great deal, make sure you check out this guide.
Arguably the most important feature of work pants is their durability. Many of the pants on our list are available at similar prices, so you get better value out of one pair over the other if it lasts longer. If it lasts a few months or half a year longer, your value could be as much as 50 percent higher, which makes for a really good deal.
Durability is also important because it’s what gives you some protection in the case of an accident. Some of these pants are resistant to welding flames, while others can resist a glancing blow from a chainsaw. While these aren’t a substitute for proper safety gear, they do serve as an above-average line of defense against certain kinds of injury.
Many of these pants are also woven in a way that resists tearing and water, which further extends their life, but also keeps you dry while you work, which makes your day that much better.
Comfort is something that people don’t often think about when shopping for construction workers, but the fact remains that a comfortable pair of work pants will always be worn until its threadbare and holey because comfort makes your day easier.
When it comes to comfort, the most important factor is the fit. Some brands make pants that are consistently the same size. That makes it easy to find the size that is right for you, even if they run a bit on the larger or smaller side. On the flip side are the pants which have inconsistent sizing. These make it hard to find the right size. You might order three pairs and discover that one pair fits perfectly, one is too large, and one is too small. You could return the pairs that don’t fit, but then you don’t know for certain that any replacements you order will fit correctly. The good news is that there are brands out there that consistently deliver pants of the same size.
Breathability is another important factor. Your pants won’t be nearly as comfortable if they trap heat and humidity inside. Pants that can breathe will help you keep cool even when the weather outside is hot and sticky.
Weight is a factor that many people forget about. With modern material science and fabric spinning methods, you don’t have to get work pants that weight more than a few pounds, unless you want to. Lighter pants will put less of a strain on you during the day, which is something we’re all looking for.
The ability to add kneepads within the layers of pants is another nice feature. Pants with double-layers above the knees often have this ability. You can get a secure fit, and also not have to clean your kneepads from day to day since they’ll be contained within your pants.
Ultimately, the right pair of work pants for you depends on two things: your budget and your workplace. Not everyone’s going to get good value from pants with exceptional water resistance, or from pants which are kneepad-compatible. Some people are going to need pants that look good, in addition to their durability and breathability.
Instead of focusing on the price, it’s a good idea to think about the features that your dream pair of pants have. Then, find the pants that most closely fit those requirements. From that list, choose the cheapest pair. They’ll keep you happy due to their features, but will also provide great value since you’re getting those features for the lowest possible price.
The Carhartt B01 Double Front Duck Dungaree Pant is the best work pants for construction workers on the market today due to their reinforced stress points, incredible durability, and double front. The Wrangler RIGGS WORKWEAR Men’s Ranger Pant has a right-pocket leather protector, ripstop fabric, and deep front pockets, though its inability to beat Carhartt’s durability keeps in second place. The Caterpillar Men’s Trademark Trouser comes with a double-layered knee, large front pockets with pull-out tool bags, and since you can get it for cheaper than our top two models, it’s the best overall for the money. The Dickies Men’s Loose Fit Double Knee Work Pant comes with a simple look and reinforced knees, buts its odd fit and small pockets drop it to fourth place. The Timberland PRO Men’s Grit-n-Grind Denim Work Pant has a nice traditional look and doesn’t weigh much, but its tearing problems and inconsistent sizing means it takes the last spot on our list.
We hope that our reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you think through your needs in work pants. Armed with that information, you should be able to find the model which keeps you happy and safe on the worksite.
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Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!