HealthyHandyman is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Best Work Pants for Men in 2020 – Top Picks & Reviews

Last Updated on September 17, 2020

construction worker in black pants

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:

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Carhartt B01 Men’s Firm Duck Double-Front Work Pant Carhartt B01 Men’s Firm Duck Double-Front Work Pant
  • Opening for knee pads
  • Made of a durable material
  • Clean-out openings
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Caterpillar C172 Men’s Trademark Pants Caterpillar C172 Men’s Trademark Pants
  • Durable
  • Many pockets
  • Double-layered knees
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Wrangler 3W060LD Riggs Workwear Men’s Ranger Pants Wrangler 3W060LD Riggs Workwear Men’s Ranger Pants
  • Lots of pockets
  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Dickies 85283DN Men’s Loose Fit Double Knee Work Pants Dickies 85283DN Men’s Loose Fit Double Knee Work Pants
  • Fade-resistant
  • Reinforced knees
  • Tunnel belt loops
  • Timberland PRO Men’s A1OWF Work Pants Timberland PRO Men’s A1OWF Work Pants
  • Modern fit
  • Comfortable
  • The 8 Best Work Pants:

    1. Carhartt B01 Men’s Firm Double-Front Work Pant – Best Overall

    Carhartt B01 Men’s Firm Duck Double-Front Work Pant

    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.

    Pros
    • Opening for knee pads
    • Made of a durable material
    • Cleanout openings
    • Utility pockets
    • Hammer loop
    • 4  colors available
    Cons
    • Some sizing problems – if in doubt, size up

    2. Caterpillar C172 Men’s Trademark Pants – Best Value

    Caterpillar C172 Men’s Trademark Pants

    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.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Durable
    • Many pockets
    • Double-layered knees
    Cons
    • Poorly designed knee pad opening

    3. Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Ranger Pants – Premium Choice

    Wrangler 3W030AI Riggs Workwear Men’s Utility Jean

    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.

    Pros
    • Lots of pockets
    • Durable
    • Comfortable
    • Great fit
    Cons
    • No zippered pockets

    4. Dickies Men’s Loose Fit Double Knee Work Pants

    Dickies 85283DN 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.

    Pros
    • Fade-resistant
    • Reinforced knees
    • Tunnel belt loops
    Cons
    • Sizing problems

    5. Timberland PRO Men’s Work Pants

    Timberland PRO Men’s A1OWF 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.

    Pros
    • Modern fit
    • Comfortable
    Cons
    • Takes a while to wear in
    • Not as durable as other options

    6. Dockers Men’s Straight Fit Workday Pant

    Dockers 39898-0006 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.

    Pros
    • Many colors available
    • Security pocket
    Cons
    • Shrink very easily
    • Not as durable as others
    • Few pockets

    See: The Best Work Pants for Women


    7. Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Utility Jean

    Wrangler 3W030AI 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.

    Pros
    • Comfortable fit
    • Lots of pockets
    Cons
    • Heavy
    • No knee pad pocket

    8. 5.11 Tactical Ripstop TDU Work Pants

    5.11 Tactical Ripstop TDU 74003 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.

    Pros
    • Durable, Ripstop fabric
    • Lightweight and breathable
    Cons
    • Huge belt loops
    • Tight elastic waistband
    • Strange sizing interpretation
    • Small pockets

    Buyers Guide

    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:

    • Stretch fabric. When you’re moving a lot all day, you’ll be pleased to be wearing pants that stretch to accommodate your movements. Next, to stretch fabric, loose-fitting fabric is your next best bet. It won’t fit as snuggly, but it won’t get in your way either. Furthermore, be aware of what your work area is like. Some places have machines that can catch the loose fabric, which can make the loose-fitting fabric a safety hazard.
    • Pockets. You need pockets to keep your stuff in, especially when you’re at the job site. The pair of pants your purchase should have larger-than-average pockets. This allows them to hold hand tools and similar items. Regular sized pockets just aren’t going to cut it in most cases. Cargo pockets are the best option, as they often have some sort of snap to keep them closed. If you carry around lots of tiny objects, cargo pockets may be a must-have for you.
    • Loose. These go hand-in-hand with the pockets, but they deserve their own point. If you’re using a hammer or similar tool regularly on the job, you need a utility loop to carry it. Luckily, most work pants come with this. However, not all of them do. Be sure to check before making your purchase.
    • Gusset Crotch. This is a design feature that involves a diamond-shaped piece of fabric that is inserted into the crotch of pants. As you can imagine, this feature is essential for active men. Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself very uncomfortable whenever you need to do something like crouch. Needless to say, this is an important feature.
    • Knee protection. Most pants come with kneepad pockets. This allows you to add additional knee protection, which is essential for jobs that require a lot of kneeling. Your knees will get tired and banged up after a while, so it is essential to keep them protected. Even if pants don’t include a pocket, there is usually an extra layer of fabric over the knees for this particular reason. The amount of knee protection you need will depend on what you’re doing, exactly, but be sure to keep this feature in mind while shopping.
    • Rip proofing. You don’t want your pants to rip at the job site, especially after you’ve paid good money for them. Preferably, you want pants that have had some form of rip proofing. This is often called Ripstop fabric, though some other companies may call it something different.

    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:

    Carpenter

    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.

    Cargo Pants

    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.

    pants

    Credit: superburo, Shutterstock

    Active

    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.

    Professional

    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.

    Divider 2

    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.

    construction worker in black pants

    Image: Pxfuel

    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:

    Lunch cooler buying guide

    Dust mask buying guide

    Woodworking clamps buyer’s guide

    divider 8

    Conclusion

    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.


    Featured Image: Pikrepo

    About the Author Adam Harris

    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!