It's important to have the best work pants when you're on the job. Jeans can be good, but they usually never hold up that well to medium or extreme work conditions.
Here's the thing:
We like to work really hard. When you put in a hard week's work, you want clothes that are comfortable, easy to move around in, and durable.
There's also nothing worse than pants that easily get torn up and don't wash up well. We don't need that kind of hassle in our lives.
I don't know about you, but...
I personally don't like buying multiple pants throughout the year just because the ones that I have won't hold up.
It turns out:
There are some awesome pants out there that have a proven track record on performance.
It's the pants that not only have great specs, but are also very affordable.
That means we can work in comfort and ease, knowing that we are wearing the right clothes for the job.
In this article, we are going to look at the top 10 options out there based on popularity and performance. That way, you can pick the right pants for your type of work and start enjoying the benefits.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, where I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Top 10 Comparison Table
Before we get into the details about the top pants, let's go over a few main criteria that is important to consider when buying the right pants.
The right material is super important because depending on the environment that you are in, it can mean the difference between being comfortable and not.
For example, 100% cotton is comfortable in nice conditions. However, it doesn't wick moisture away from the body, which means that in super hot conditions, it can get a little stuffy.
Also, cotton doesn't dry quickly, so if you are in wetter conditions, it can make the temperature a bit more extreme based on how it feels.
Some more modern day materials include the addition of Polyester. A typical mix is 35% Cotton and 65% Polyester, which makes for a better experience in warm environments.
The Polyester is better at pulling the moisture off of your body, which helps to cool you down faster.
We all want our pants to hold up well under the harshest conditions. The durability usually comes down to how well the pants were made, and the materials selected.
Another feature to consider is if you will be brushing up against a lot of stuff, consider getting pants that have a Ripstop fabric.
Ripstop simply means that the fabric is weaved in such a way that prevents tears and rips a lot better as compared to fabrics that don't have this feature.
For example, if you are in the outdoors a lot and will be working in brush and briars, Ripstop pants are the best way to prevent your pants from getting shredded.
Otherwise over time, you will typically see the knees and front legs get torn up.
Of course, price always plays a role. We want good performing pants at an affordable price.
The good news is that almost all of the pants that made our list are typically cheaper or about the same price as an average pair of jeans these days.
That means we can get awesome pants designed to do the job we are doing, for the same price that we have been paying before.
How are awesome pants so cheap? Well, it turns out that manufacturers crank out a lot more of their highest performing and most popular items.
This drives the cost way down because it's a lot more efficient. And we as the consumer win big time.
Let's jump right into the details next.
Best Work Pants - Top 10
1. Dickies Original 874
Our top winner here is a classic, where blue collar and white collar work merges into one.
It's the Dickies Original 874.
These pants have a great mix of 35% Cotton and 65% Polyester.
What's awesome about these pants is they are nearly indestructible.
However, they can actually pass as dress pants, making them the best pants for work.
You can bridge the best of both medium labor, or look like you belong at a business meeting.
Many of our jobs these days in industry requires both, so these pants deliver with their good looking style, and tough build.
They are just as good for mechanics as they are for waiters. With a company like Dickies, you know you're getting quality.
The color also stays well over time after many washes. There are tons of colors to choose from, including black, grey, green, brown, khaki, and blue. They are the best black work pants by far.
They are also good at resisting stains. There is a hook and eye closure at the waist. The belt loops measure about 1.5 inches wide, so make sure this is a good match to the type of belt you normally wear on the job.
2. 5.11 TacLite Pro
If your work allows a bit more of a casual look, then let me introduce you to some of my favorite pants.
These pants are so comfortable that I enjoy wearing them for all sorts of activities including hiking, shooting, and of course work.
The 5.11 TacLite Pro have a great reputation for quality and durability.
The 65% Polyester and 35% Cotton mix work well and the fabric is ripstop, so it doesn't tear easily.
There is a Teflon coating on the fabric that makes them extremely resistant to stains. The pants do a great job at wicking moisture away from your body and are the best work pants for hot weather.
The double reinforced seat and knees ensure that they will hold up a long time, no matter how much you punish them. I have been through caves, woods, and snow in these pants and they perform.
One of my favorite features about these pants is the pocket storage. There is a well thought out storage scheme where you have plenty of places to store almost anything you would need on the job.
There are many different colors to choose from as well. The belt loops are extra wide so that you can wear a heavy duty belt, which is ideal if you have a bunch of gear to strap on it.
3. Dickies Duck Carpenter Jeans
If you prefer a more work looking style pant, then check out the Dickies Duck Carpenter Jeans.
They are 100% Cotton and come in many different colors.
There is of course a hammer loop and also two tool pockets.
These pants are very comfortable and offer a more work style feel to them.
They will also fit over your boots.
The belt loops are normal sized as well so they can handle a variety of belts. If you want the casual look of jeans that work really good, then these are your pants.
4. Dickies Loose Fit Double-Knee
If you are on your knees a lot, then it's a good idea to go ahead and get reinforced knee pants.
The Dickies Loose Fit Double-Knee is the perfect option.
Their knee patches give you extra durability but aren't overly obvious that they are there.
There are not any openings for knee pads though.
These pants could also almost pass as a dress pant if you work in an environment that requires a little higher dress code. The style and extra durability make them some of the best work pants for men.
They are a Cotton/Polyester mix and come in several different color options. The belt loop size on these are smaller though, so watch out if you wear a standard or larger belt.
5. Wrangler Riggs Ranger
If you are looking for some great pants for construction, look no further than the Wrangler Riggs Ranger.
There are deep front pockets, reinforced rear pockets, and side cargo pockets which give you a ton of room to store your tools.
The reinforced knees keep these pants in the action for a long time.
There is also a hammer loop if that's important to you.
An added feature is a reinforced tape measure reinforcement on the right side front pocket. The fabric is all Cotton and is ripstop, so no worrying about easy tears.
6. Dickies Loose-Fit Cargo
Another great lighter style is the Dickies Loose-Fit Cargo pants.
100% Cotton and the loose fit makes these pants pretty darn comfortable.
There are a few cargo pockets that give you a little bit of storage.
The belt loops are pretty stout, so they can hold a decent belt with tools.
The pants fit well over boots as well.
And of course they come in many different colors. These pants have plenty of room for the rear and the croth, so those of us that are huskier builds will find comfort here.
7. Dickies Rnd Nb Carpenter Jeans
If you want to go for more of the jeans look, then get some that are built for hard work.
The Dickies Rnd Nb Carpenter Jeans are 100% Cotton and 14 ounce denim.
These bad boys have a triple stitched side seam, yoke, and seat seam, giving them that extra durability.
A heavy duty zipper keeps them going.
There is a hammer loop as well as two tool pockets for great storage.
These heavy denim pants are designed for heavy work and will not disappoint. If you work in a casual setting, these are the way to go.
8. Carhartt Duck Utility Dungaree
The Carhartt Duck Utility Dungaree are the pants you need if they are going to be taking a heavy beating.
These pants have heavy duty reinforcement on most of the front of the legs going through the knee area.
They are 100% Cotton, so they feel comfortable.
These pants are more of a loose type fit. There is a hammer loop and plenty of pocket storage.
The colors come in black, brown, moss, or gravel. If you are on your knees a lot or out in thick brush, the leg reinforcements are the best solution to prevent your pants from getting torn up.
9. Carhartt Relaxed Fit Ripstop
If you have the extra cash to go for high quality materials, then the Carhartt Relaxed Fit Ripstop will not disappoint.
They are 100% Cotton with Condura fabric lined front and rear pockets.
Two of the cargo pockets have flaps and snaps to keep important gear stowed away properly.
The ripstop fabric ensures that these pants won't get torn up in bad situations.
There is double front construction to make sure that your pants don't wear out easily on you. The casual look and color choice make these a great option.
Another great option if the Ranger wasn't a good fit is the Wrangler Riggs Carpenter Jeans.
These rugged jeans have a relaxed fit.
There is a hammer belt loop and pockets on these as well.
Another feature is the tape measure reinforcement on the front right pocket as well.
They are also 100% Cotton and ripstop on top of that. The color choice includes the standard colors as well as the normal jean look.
Having the right pants for the work you are doing just makes sense. Many of us have learned this the hard way by normal jeans wearing out way too quickly.
And let's face it, many of these work pants that we covered actually cost less than a normal pair of jeans these days.
So not only can we get some pants that are designed for the work we do, but we can also get them for cheaper.
That's a big win for many of us.
The only question then is which ones to get? We just covered the top 10, so make your choice based on your work environment and preferences.
With any of these options, you can't go wrong. That way you can start working in comfort and style, and not worry about tearing up your pants.
If you are looking for tough pants made for the outdoors, check out this review.
Don't forget to protect your hands with the right gloves. I've got you covered in this article. Your knees are important too, so get some pads to protect them as well.
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