8 Best Work Pants for Men in 2020 – Top Picks & Reviews
Construction workers don’t just need your average pair of pants; they need pants that are going to withstand the labor they do every day. If you’re a construction worker, you probably know just how hard it is to find the perfect pair of pants (and how frustrating it is to be stuck with a pair that aren’t your favorite.)
For most people, choosing a pair of pants isn’t explicitly complicated. However, for construction workers, it absolutely can be. We’re here to help.
We reviewed countless pairs of work pants for construction workers to help you choose the best of the best. We’ve included reviews of some of our favorite products – as well as reviews for some we weren’t too fond of.
A Quick Look at our Favorites of 2020:
|Best Overall||Carhartt B01 Men’s Firm Duck Double-Front Work Pant||
|Best Value||Caterpillar C172 Men’s Trademark Pants||
|Premium Choice||Wrangler 3W060LD Riggs Workwear Men’s Ranger Pants||
|Dickies 85283DN Men’s Loose Fit Double Knee Work Pants||
|Timberland PRO Men’s A1OWF Work Pants||
The 8 Best Work Pants:
1. Carhartt B01 Men’s Firm Double-Front Work Pant – Best Overall
You can’t get much better than these Carhartt work pants. They look professional and can withstand the dirt and debris of the job site. They’re made of 100% cotton and are machine-washable, as you would hope a pair of work pants would be. They are made of 12-ounce, firm-hand ring-spun duck, which is exceptionally durable. You can expect the pants to withstand years of use, even if your daily job tends to be quite unforgiving.
There are cleanout openings that let dirt and debris escape, so they don’t sit and irritate your skin. There is also room for knee pads if your job calls for them. Plus, these pants also come with utility pockets in multiple places, so you’re always prepared. The back pockets are heavily reinforced so they can take on hand tools and other bulky items. There is even a hammer loop on the left leg for easy access. The belt loops are very secure and stable, so these pants should have no problem supporting all your gear.
These pants come in four different colors and are made in the USA.
Overall, these pants do have everything. Once you give them a try, you probably won’t want to use anything else.
2. Caterpillar C172 Men’s Trademark Pants – Best Value
These Caterpillar C172 Men’s Trademark Pants are also quite good. They are made of 60% cotton and 40% polyester, which is a decent mix. The front pockets are durable and come with pull-out oxford tool bags, allowing you to stay organized and ready to go. The multi-purpose tool pockets are in the front and the back. There is also a carpenter loop at the thigh, which many construction workers find exceedingly helpful.
We loved that the larger-than-average leg opening fit over even the bulkiest work boots. Now, you won’t have to choose between your excellent pair of boots and a nice pair of pants. There is a knee pad opening as well, though the knee is oxford double-layered anyway.
Perhaps the best thing about these pants is that they’re cheap. They’re the best work pants for construction workers for the money. If you’re on a budget, pick up a few pairs of these. They have great features and will last you for a while.
There wasn’t much we didn’t like about this pair of pants. The knee pads are not particularly helpful and tend to migrate, but that was the only obvious complaint that we could find.
3. Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Ranger Pants – Premium Choice
These Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Ranger Pants were another pair that we liked. They’re a premium pair of pants and will serve their wearer for days ahead. We particularly liked the relaxed fit. The company designed these pants with your comfort in mind as well as overall durability. There is plenty of room at the bottom for these pants to fit over your work boots so that we wouldn’t worry about that in the least.
These pants also feature an “improved fit,” which we rather liked as well. The deep front pockets and gusset action crotch add to your range of movement and comfort. If you’re particular about how your pants fit, these are probably a good option.
The material they’re made out of is durable, 100% cotton ripstop fabric. We expect that these pants will last for a seriously long time, even when you’re on the go all day long. The pants also offer a layer of protection of the elements thanks to the ripstop fabric, which just further adds to the comfort of these pants.
These work pants also have reinforced knees and plenty of pockets and loops.
4. Dickies Men’s Loose Fit Double Knee Work Pants
While these Dickies Men’s Loose Fit Double Knee Work Pants weren’t quite as good as our first few pants, they’re decent and can still make a good pair of work pants for some users. The reinforced knees prevent wear-and-tear, while the fade-resistance design keeps these pants looking new for an extended period. These pants are also wrinkle-resistant, so you won’t have to worry about ironing them much either.
These pants came with quite a few features we liked. The waist closure is a hook-and-eye, and the tunnel belt loops are incredibly supportive. The pockets seemed very sturdy and extra-enforced. We highly doubt they’ll be breaking any time soon. The bottom of these pants is plenty big enough for work boots as well.
One of the main issues we discovered was the quality control as far as sizing goes. It seems like these pants are made in different countries, which means that the sizing may differ slightly from one pair of pants to another. Prepare to return your pants if you get a size that ends up not fitting. For the most part, this is a minor problem, but it can be very significant for those that are affected by it.
5. Timberland PRO Men’s Work Pants
These work pants by Timberland are made with almost complete cotton. They have a modern fit, which is a bit different from most of the others that we reviewed. They are machine washable as most work pants are and feature a button closure. They are decently durable and rugged, though perhaps not as much as other work pants on this review list. Overall, they’re just your average pair of work pants. They aren’t great, but they aren’t dismal either.
They look pretty good and do not seem to fade particularly fast. They are comfortable enough for all-day wear, even when you’re in a rugged environment.
There were a few negatives we discovered about these pants, however. They tend to get quite tight after each wash and take a while to get broken in again. This isn’t a significant issue for us, but it may be annoying if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing. Furthermore, these pants are not as durable as the others we reviewed. They’re about the same price as well, which is quite disappointing. If they were cheaper, the decreased durability might be okay. But they aren’t, so buying them feels like a waste of money.
6. Dockers Men’s Straight Fit Workday Pant
Dockers Men’s Straight Fit Workday Pants aren’t made for hard work outside, even though they’re called “workday” pants. They may be okay if you’re not doing anything too strenuous, but they are not going to withstand a day full of kneeling.
They are mostly cotton and designed to be stretch khakis. The waistband is flexible and quite comfortable. They have the pockets you’d expect on an average pair of pants, but not as many as we would like to see for construction work. We need somewhere to put our tools! There is a hidden security pocket, which is a nice feature to have. However, you probably aren’t going to be using this feature all too often.
One positive feature is that these pants come in many different colors – more so than some of the other pants we reviewed. However, this is mostly an aesthetic thing and doesn’t contribute to the overall functionality of the pants.
These pants are far down on our list because they have several defects. They shrink excessively when you wash them. You need to take extra care when putting them in the washing machine because of this.
7. Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Utility Jean
Designed to provide you as big of a range of motion as possible, the Wrangler 3W030A1 Riggs Workwear Men’s Utility Jeans are very comfortable. They come with a gusseted crotch as well as a few additional adjustments around the thigh, knees, and seat. They are made of 100% cotton Durashield denim, which is decently durable and comfortable. It isn’t our favorite material, but there are far worse options out there. It is designed to protect the denim coloration during wash and wear so that they don’t fade.
Despite all these great features, we did find a few things about these pants that we didn’t like. Firstly, there is no place to put a knee pad. There is extra fabric covering the knees. However, there isn’t a pocket to put a kneepad in, so don’t let the pictures fool you. They are also very heavy, and many people reported that they had trouble keeping them up. Of course, it also means they’ll probably outlast most other pairs of jeans.
We did like the variety of pockets and loops on these pants. They allow you to keep lots of different tools close by.
8. 5.11 Tactical Ripstop TDU Work Pants
With a premium construction, these Tactical Ripstop TDU Work Pants are designed to stand up to plenty of wear-and-tear. They feature triple-stitching and are lightweight and breathable. We found them to be quite comfortable, which is always a plus. They also seemed quite durable, so we had no complaints there. The fabric is reinforced with Ripstop material, which is about as good as it gets. It is highly resistant to things like snags and tears, which can be shared at the worksite.
We also enjoyed how breathable these pants were. They are very comfortable, even when it is quite hot outside.
The size info was somewhat misleading, however. The pants have an odd sizing interpretation that makes ordering the wrong size very easy. We recommend taking a close looking at the sizing information before making your order. On top of this, we were also disappointed by the small seat pockets and the surprisingly short leg length.
The elastic waistband was a bit tighter than average, which may be a huge turnoff for some customers. The wider-than-average belt loops can also interfere with your tool belt and other accessories. They’re less likely to break than smaller loops, but we did find that they got in the way of some positioning.
We’ve provided you with reviews of several work pants. Hopefully, they gave you a pretty good idea of which pair you should get. However, if you’re still having difficulties, then this part of the article should be helpful. We’ll offer you some necessary information that may help you make the best buying decision possible.
There are quite a few features and designs that go into a good pair of work pants. In this section, we’ll explain everything you need to know.
Features to Look For in Work Pants
There are a few features that are must-haves when it comes to working pants. It can be challenging to find a pair of pants that include all of these things, so you may need to choose the features that are most important to you.
Here are some things you should explore when considering each pair of pants:
Type of Work Pants
There are a few different styles of work pants. They’re all made with the different situations in mind, so the best type for you depends on what you’re doing every day. Below, we’ve listed some of the most basic styles. However, some companies may come up with other unique styles. Still, there are only four you need to pay attention to:
These pants are made to carry lots of tools. They have multiple tool and utility pockets since carpenters typically need to carry around lots of gear. They’re also often loose-fitting, which allows you to move around easier. They’re made for bending.
These pants genuinely have all the pockets – hence the name. You aren’t going to find more pockets in a pair of pants than cargo pants. If you’re continually hauling lots of stuff with you, get these pants. The pockets are often larger than usual as well, with snaps to keep them closed when you need to. They are most commonly made out of some kind of cotton that’s stitched to be durable. Many may even be made out of ripstop material.
These are your most basic style of work pants. They don’t have many pockets and are more worried about your comfort and mobility. They may have some sort of moisture-wicking ability since they are made to be used while very active. They are often resistant to sweat and stains as well. They’re usually made with cotton since this fabric is entirely breathable.
If you work in the office and at the job site, these pants are made for you. They feature an in-between design. They aren’t working pants, but they aren’t dress pants either. They’re something in the middle. That way, you aren’t worried about ruining your dress pants and aren’t worried about showing up to the office in rugged cargo pants either.
Finding the Perfect Fit
The correct fit is essential when it comes to work pants. You could have the best pair of pants in the world. But, if they don’t fit correctly, they won’t do you much good. Most importantly, your work pants should be comfortable. You should be able to move in them freely and they shouldn’t snag you as you’re working.
They also shouldn’t fall off of you while you’re working. You’ll probably find yourself carrying quite a few tools around in your pockets, which means your pants will be quite weighed down. This factor can be the odds of them slipping off higher. While there are ways you can get around this, like wearing a belt and suspenders, these things won’t fix super baggy pants.
The best way to ensure the correct fit is to check the sizing information that is provided on the pant’s listings. Most manufacturers have their sizing information, so don’t just assume you know your size.
Work Pants for Construction Workers FAQ
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear about work pants for construction workers. If you have any leftover questions, we hope you find the answer here.
What kind of work pants do construction workers wear?
Most construction workers wear pants made of a natural material, like cotton. Some job sites are full of welding sparks, which can cause synthetic material to melt. That is the last thing you want. Many of the pants we suggested in our reviews section are made of cotton, which is quite breathable.
What are the coolest work pants?
If you’re concerned about staying cool and not necessarily with the number of pockets you have, then choose a pair of active pants. Active pants are made to sweat and the heat, so they are often the most breathable pants around.
With that said, some cargo pants are quite breathable as well. It just depends on the particular pair and company. Look for buzz phrases like “moisture wicking” for pants that were designed to help you stay cool.
Do construction workers wear jeans?
Some do. However, it is easy to say that this isn’t true for all construction workers. Many prefer things like cargo pants and active work pants, both of which are going to be more functional than jeans. If you’re doing a lot of unfinished work, your best bet is to invest in a good pair of work pants, which probably doesn’t mean jeans.
What do construction managers wear?
Usually, these managers will wear professional work pants. These work pants aren’t as durable as some other options and don’t have as many pockets. However, most managers aren’t going to be spending their time hauling stuff around and kneeling.
Professional pants also look more professional. They’re a mix between work pants and dress pants – an excellent middle ground for a manager who also happens to work in a rough location.
If the managers are very involved and hands-on with the project, then they may just wear their usual work pants. Those who work in the office part of the time will likely wear professional pants.
More construction gear guides:
Choosing your work pants is a critical decision. If you want to stay comfortable and safe all day, selecting the best work pants for your situation is essential. We provided all the information you need to know in this article, so hopefully, you found all the answers you were looking for.
Our favorite pair for most people is the Carhartt B01 Men’s Firm Duck Double-Front Work Pant. These pants are incredibly durable and come with plenty of pockets as well. They’re truly the best pair of pants you can purchase in most situations. When in doubt, buy them.
If you need to save a bit of money, choose the Caterpillar C172 Men’s Trademark Pant. These pants are great for their price. They’re durable enough for most situations and come with quite a few great features as well.
- A Quick Look at our Favorites of 2020:
- The 8 Best Work Pants:
- 1. Carhartt B01 Men’s Firm Double-Front Work Pant – Best Overall
- 2. Caterpillar C172 Men’s Trademark Pants – Best Value
- 3. Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Ranger Pants – Premium Choice
- 4. Dickies Men’s Loose Fit Double Knee Work Pants
- 5. Timberland PRO Men’s Work Pants
- 6. Dockers Men’s Straight Fit Workday Pant
- 7. Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Utility Jean
- 8. 5.11 Tactical Ripstop TDU Work Pants
- Buyers Guide
- Work Pants for Construction Workers FAQ