As a construction working, carpenter or laborer, you are working in conditions that call for the best gear possible. Not only that but the very clothing you wear acts as an extension of the tools you use to get the job done. That is why you need reliable shoes, gloves, belts, and—most importantly— work pants. Having the best construction work pants means enhanced comfort and protection throughout the day.
Yet, finding the right pair of carpenter’s pants can be difficult. Many find that they pay for expensive pants only to find that the material is scratchy and hot or that convenient features, like pockets or a gusset, are missing. For these reasons, Product Review Lad has done research on the best work pants for construction workers and carpenters so you don’t have to.
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Different Types of Work Pants
Before we jump into the review, let’s briefly talk about the different styles of construction work pants and other professionals. Your workplace will influence what kinds are the best. The types come down to:
- Cargo Pants: The key feature is the cargo pockets on the sides of the legs that are deep and allow for extra storage. These are perfect for construction workers, who need to carry more around with them. Most are made of cotton ripstop or canvas and dry quickly when wet.
- Carpenter Jeans: Usually made of soft denim, carpenter jeans are not as rugged as cargo work pants. They usually feature a utility pocket and hammer loop. Some jeans will have a gusseted crotch, but that is more common in looser fitting work pants.
- Active Pants: Not ideal for work, active pants are usually not made of durable materials but can be work alongside cargo pants for added moisture-wicking.
- Professional/Business Pants: A more classic line that resembles chinos. These may or may not have many pockets on the front and sides but will usually feature deep rear pockets. These are the type of pants you need as a project manager who goes from the construction site to the office throughout the day.
If you’re looking for the best carpenters’ work pants you may also be interested in the Best Work Socks for Steel Toe Boots.
Best Work Pants for Carpenters & Construction Workers Reviews
Even if you like going out to shop for new clothing, finding high-quality work pants amid racks and racks of clothing can be arduous. To help you save some precious time, we have done the hard work for you. We looked at the most important features of the best work pants for carpenters, such as durable materials, crotch gussets, and protective features and technology, and determined which pairs of work pants are noteworthy.
We found five of the best carpenter pants and listed them below:
Best Men’s Carpenter Pants: Carhartt Men’s Firm Duck Dungaree Pant
Tired of digging around in your toolbox for stuff? You will love the ample storage of these pants by Carhartt provide. The Carhartt Men’s Dungaree Pants have reinforced utility and back pockets that are so deep, you might think you’re sticking your hand into a wormhole. All that extra space will make it incredibly easy to organize your tools and keep you from having to make multiple trips to the toolbox. These pants also have a hammer loop—a super convenient addition.
In short, these work pants are the best when it comes to durability, a comfortable fit, and convenience.
- Reinforced knees and thighs
- Made of 12-ounce 100% cotton duck material
- Multiple hooks and pockets for optimal organization and tool-carrying
- 19-inch leg opens that fit well over work boots
- Reinforced back pockets and belt loops
- Opens for extra knee padding, if desired
- Machine washable
- Sizing may be inconsistent, especially for those with in-between sizes. When in doubt, order a size up.
- 30” is the shortest leg length which may be too long for those with shorter legs
Men’s Runner Up: Wrangler Riggs Workwear Ranger Pant
Sometimes, you are going to want something a bit more lightweight. The Wrangler Riggs Workwear Ranger Pant has everything you need to work comfortably in a warmer climate. The pants are made of 100 percent breathable cotton ripstop. The name “ripstop” does exactly what you think it does: stops tearing with a unique stitch pattern and higher thread count than normal pants.
The Riggs Ranger Pant by Wrangler is a great carpenters pant because they have a relaxed fit, thanks to the ROOM2MOVE technology. Plus, they have excellent coverage over the knees, thighs, and backside. You will never feel constricted when sitting, moving, or standing.
Every inch of these pants is reinforced: the tape measure clip, seams, and also the knees. The back pockets have been lined with 1000 Denier Cordura to stop holes before they begin. You will have these pants for many years. There is also a dirt drop vent.
Also, you get plenty of storage. These work pants have 1 hammer loop, 2 cargo pockets, 2 back pockets, a watch pocket, and 2 front pockets. That’s 7 pockets in total, more than any other pair in the Wrangler Workwear clothing line.
- Made with ripstop fabric for enhanced durability
- Available in an array of colors
- Reinforced in all the right places, including the knees and back pockets
- Gusseted crotch
- Plenty of storage space and a reinforced hammer loop
- Relaxed, straight leg fit
- Lifetime warranty
- Not very stylish; designed for heavy labor
- May be too large and heavy for shorter men
Best Women’s Carpenter Pants: LA Police Gear Women’s Operator Pant
The popular LA Police Gear Operator Tactical Pants now come in women’s sizes, so you can rejoice. LA Police Gear is a top-rated brand that maintains great quality alongside affordability. Since they are available in black, charcoal, khaki, green, and other colors, you can get a pair for every day of the week that you work. The regular fit also makes them comfortable enough to wear for extended periods.
The Women’s Operator Pant is made from high-quality cotton ripstop and polyester. The regular fit is made even more comfortable by the elastic waistband and gusseted crotch. You will never have to worry about your pants feeling too tight or restrictive. Furthermore, the fabric has been treated with Teflon Shield and Fabric Protector to stop fading and staining.
Two front slit pockets are deep enough for all kinds of tools. On the side are slanted cargo pockets. Although there is no hammer loop, two D-rings hang from the waistband on the front. You also get back pockets for more storage.
- Available in plenty of neutral tones to choose from
- Features two D-rings on the hip and tons of storage space
- Extremely comfortable to wear
- Made from a blend of polyester and cotton ripstop fabric
- Slanted cargo pockets for easy access
- Uses Teflon Shield and Fabric Protector to stop fading
- Gusseted crotch
- YKK Zipper fly
- Sizing is inconsistent—fit may be a little baggy on more petite frames.
- Seams are rough against the skin
- Durability is also inconsistent; some pants last for years, others only a few months
Best Carpenter Jeans: Dickies Men’s Lightweight Carpenter Jeans
Denim-lovers are going to enjoy these carpenter jeans. Made from 100 percent, the Dickies Men’s Lightweight Carpenter Jeans are an extremely popular style among laborers for a couple of reasons. First, the denim is soft and breathable, making it ideal for warmer temperatures. The relaxed fit also gives you plenty of space to stoop, bend, and crouch. The waistband falls slightly below the waistline.
With deep back pockets, a hammer loop, utility pockets, and a coin pocket, you get exceptional storage space (along with that classic Dickies look). The straight leg can fit over work boots with ease but also looks decent worn with sneakers or dress shoes. They also come in a pleasant assortment of neutral, earthy tones, including timber, moss green, and brown duck.
If you are worried about the durability of these pants, don’t be. Yes, they are not as heavy-duty as some other options on this list, but they have been designed with construction work in mind. For instance, the seams are triple-stitched, and there are brass rivets to stop tearing at the stress points. There is also a YKK brass zipper.
These pants are ideal for landscaping, light yard work, carpentry, and for people stocking shelves or in the restaurant business. You can also use them as hiking pants.
- Made of 100 percent cotton denim that is soft to the touch and comfortable to wear
- Straight leg, relaxed fit
- The excellent pocket design puts everything when in reach for when you need it most
- Has 5 pockets along the back, sides, and front of the pants
- Features a hammer loop
- Reinforced zipper and seams
- Affordable pants for the quality
- Not as durable as pants with reinforced rear pockets and knees. Pinholes and tearing will form under more intense conditions.
- Loops are not reinforced
- Sizing is inconsistent
Looking for a women’s version of the popular Dickies Lightweight Carpenter Jeans? Check them out.
Best Budget Work Pants: Dickies Men’s Original 874 Work Pant
Looking for a work pant that allows you to transition from the construction site to a more formal setting in a matter of minutes? Take a look at the Dickies Original 874 Work Pant. This design has a long history of reliability and class. The lines of the pant are sleek, clean; but you still get plenty of cargo options.
Dickies’ 874 pants use a wrinkle-resistant 8.5-ounce polyester and cotton blend. A crease is pressed down the center to add a touch of business to these pants. Furthermore, you can walk around construction sites with ease, because the materials are chemically treated to resist staining and wrinkling. No matter how hard you work, these pants stay looking pristine.
These Dickies also have a zip fly with a hook-and-tab closure, so you don’t have to worry about jamming. The zipper even has a ratcheting feature that prevents pulling against the zipper.
But the favorite feature of these pants? The expandable waistband. When you need to move, these pants respond by stretching a few more inches. This is great for sizing, too; people with in-between sizes will be able to get a better fit. For the price, you get a lot of great features with these pants, making them an excellent choice for the food and beverage industry, mechanics, businessmen, carpenters, and construction workers.
- Tunnel loops along the wide waistband
- Welt back pockets with plenty of space for your wallet and other belongings
- Hook and eye closure
- Stain and wrinkle-resistant materials keep pants looking newer for longer
- Available in many colors, including white, khaki, black, green, red, blue, and camo
- Classic cut and design
- Cotton/poly blend for durability
- Front pockets are very shallow and unusable
- Sizing is difficult to get right the first time
- Can only be machine washed in cold water
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look For When Buying Work Pants
There are features that every pair of work pants should have when you work in construction or carpentry. Such additions are bound to make your life easier—and work safer. Here are some things to look out for when buying work pants:
Imagine this scenario: it’s the middle of the workday, and you can’t find the screws you need or the tools you just put down. Now, you’re wasting valuable time trying to locate everything. What if you could avoid that mania altogether? Well, if the work pants you are wearing have plenty of cargo pockets and loops, you will be able to keep a lot more on your person.
Another thing to consider about convenience is the materials from which your pants are made. Chances are, if you are a construction worker, you will not want to spend hours washing your pants only to have them be damp the next day. Choose pants that are made with washable materials that are fast-drying.
Heavy Duty Construction
A lot of first-time buyers make the mistake of choosing the cheapest pair of work pants they can find. The issue there is that those pants are going to rip and tear within months of purchasing them. Don’t waste your money.
The most durable fabric you can find is going to be either duck or hose fabric. This has nothing to do with actual ducks or hoses. What it means is that duct tape or hose material is woven into other textiles.
You also want pants that help you stay mobile while doing a squat or kneeling or lunging. Make sure they are designed with a little flexibility. Lastly, look for pants that have reinforced fabric around the knees. They will be a blessing once when you spend several work hours on your knees at a construction site. Spare your knees from the damage.
Aside from hose fabrics, look for cotton and polyester fabrics, since those will be easier on the skin and add some breathability. Also, pay attention to the style of work pants. There are many different cuts and lengths. You will need to find the one style that is fit for your body. For example, some carpenter’s pants are cut loose in the seat.
Remember, dress to your body type. You will be able to find the best pair of pants that way.
Some features come specialized for work pants and are intended to increase toughness or enhance safety, so you can work longer. This includes things like durable water repellent (DWR) treatments that make water bead off the pants instead of soaking right in. While this doesn’t make the pants completely waterproof, it will keep you drier for longer. Some pants may have wind-blocking technology or triple sewed seams.
Other things like belt loops and hammer loops are great for clipping buckles and tools to your person. That way, you never have to worry about losing sight of your tools or fumbling around for it.
What to Avoid
Now that you know some features that should always come with the best work pants for carpenters, what about features that should be overlooked? Let’s begin with the fabric. You might think “the heavier, the better,” but that isn’t always the case. Fabrics that are heavier than 14 ounces are going to cause you to overheat rapidly, especially if you are doing work in more mild climates. The best work pants are going to use fabrics ranging between 10-14 ounces in weight.
Another feature you should never overlook is fit. Though it is typically left up to personal preference, you should avoid pants that are either too narrow/slim cut or too baggy. Slim pants will limit your range of motion and can be restrictive when you are trying to maneuver. Similarly, having excess fabric could get you strung up on machinery.
You also want to avoid a high rise fit (especially the ladies). High rise pants can be great for casual wear, but when you are working, you want pants that are not going to hinder your ability to crawl, bend, and move.
Finding a pair of work pants that suits your needs can be a very personal quest. You want nothing but the best to protect you from the dangers around the workshop or construction site. You also don’t want to spend your entire paycheck on replacement pants. That is why you need durable carpenter’s pants and jeans that will hold up to all kinds of abuse and weight. Hopefully, you have found some carpenters or construction pants on our list or can use the buyer’s guide to search for a more suitable pair. Just remember to prioritize padding, pockets, and material type! Our top recommendation is the Carhartt Men’s Firm Duck Dungaree Pant. There are some really great trousers from several big brands, but these Carhartt are brilliant. If you have any questions or comments, please leave a message through our contact form.
Hopefully, this article has helped you choose your work pants for Carpenters or Construction,
FAQs on Work Pants
Yes, for most brands, you can. Simply check the tag for the washing instructions. The question is more if you want to. If you have a job where your work pants, coveralls, and shirts are getting covered in grease, dust, paint, and other grime, you probably don’t want to stick them directly in the washing machine.
Depending on the condition of your carpenter’s pants, you can do one of two things. If any stains are oil-based, you can pre-treat your work pants with regular dish soap, like blue Dawn. Let the soap sit for about 5-15 minutes before washing in hot water.
Optionally, you can soak your clothes in Coca-Cola overnight in a bucket to remove grime and grease before washing. Some people even put the soda directly in the washing machine, because the Coke deodorizes the clothing as well.
In the same way that you can wear thermals under your casual jeans or dress pants, you can wear them under your work pants, too. As long as you have plenty of room to double up and won’t have your mobility limited, go ahead. Do what you have to to stay warm and comfortable.
Carpenter’s jeans, regular jeans, chinos—are they that different? Let’s demystify the differences. Work pants, otherwise known as carpenter’s pants or jeans (depending on the material) are designed specifically to support someone who does manual labor or is in a workplace that requires more durable fabrics. Work pants are going to have denser material, more secure enclosures, more pockets, and have reinforced knees.
Plain jeans can be used for a lighter workload or when there is no need to worry about caustic fluids or a chance of fire. Unlike most work pants, jeans can transition to and from the worksite. Most do not feature any protective elements, though.
Lastly, we have chinos, which some work pants look like but are certainly not. Chinos are designed strictly for fashion, not work. The materials are light and stain easily.
Since most work pants are not waterproofed from the factory, you will have to waterproof them yourself if your job requires it. The most common option is to get a waterproof spray. It is cheap and easy to use.
That depends entirely on the brand and whether the material has a protective coating of some kind. Usually, heavier denim and polyester do not need to be ironed. To be sure, check the care labels on your work pants.
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