Best Work Pants for Construction Workers

When it comes to construction work, especially when you’re working outdoors, you need to have the best work pants. Let’s face it, construction work pants take a fair amount of abuse. Whether it’s from kneeling on concrete all day, grease from heavy machinery, or your pants getting caught in equipment, your work pants go through a lot. Don’t settle for a pair of construction work pants that will rip after only wearing them a few times, get a pair of high-quality construction work pants. You work hard and you deserve the best pants that you can get your hard-working hands on.

Table of Contents

Finding the Best Work Pants

Putting pants on one leg at a time is said to be the great equalizer for men, but when it comes to the pants they wear for work, there clearly are some that are not equal to the others.

Let’s face it, men don’t like to shop for clothes. We get that. So when looking for the best work pants, utility pants, messing around in the garage pants and all other pants, we have assembled a list of the best work pants you can wear for any job. 

A few mouse clicks or screen taps and Amazon will have the best work pants to you in 15 minutes or so. Okay, maybe it will take longer than that, but it still beats dragging yourself to the store and finding out they ran out of your size a few minutes ago (or never had your size to begin with).

Here is a list of our winners for the best work pants. That said, you might find something in the complete list that suits your needs a little better. It won’t hurt our feelings if you disagree (but you won’t).

Best Work Pants for Construction Workers:

Carhartt Flex Steel Cargo Work Pants

Best Work Pants for Mechanics:

ViviTech Cotton Canvas Utility Work Pants

Best All-Around Work Pants:

Wrangler Riggs Ranger Work Pants

Best Stretch Work Pants:

LA Police Gear Water-Resistant Tactical Work Pant (w/ Elastic Waistband)

Best Carpenter Pants:

Fashio Heavy Duty Workwear Pants

Top 9 Best Construction Work Pants (Complete List)

1. Carhartt Flex Steel Cargo Work Pants

best work pants

Best Feature: Toughness

  • Long durability
  • Extra material in knees, thigh area and seat
  • Easy-to-access pockets
  • Reinforced stitching throughout
  • Price

Don’t get the idea that there’s steel woven into these work pants. There’s just a tiny bit of hyperbole going on here with the product name, but these work pants will last so long, you’ll think there’s steel in them. So you’d better like them when you buy them, because they’re going to be with you for a long time.


The material on these rugged work pants consists of 73% cotton, 24% Cordura nylon and 3% Spandex. That blend ensures durability, color fastness and shape retention month after month and wash cycle after wash cycle. That backs up the general beliefs about Carhartt products and their indestructability.

The care and feeding of these work pants is easy. Throw them in the wash with like colors (cold water, no bleach) and tumble dry them. If you’re a real neatness freak, you could iron them (cool iron only), but come on – they’re work pants.

Comfort and Performance

The flex steel work pants include additional material around the knees for flexibility and comfort, but durability is not compromised in the process. The material around the knees is part of Carhartt’s “Rugged Flex” stretch technology, which takes into consideration that the first thing to go with pants is usually the knees.

These work pants were built with real-world men in mind, with generous material in the seat and thigh areas. So no, there is no “skinny jean” version of these. The performance and quality of these work pants are perhaps what makes them the best work pants for the job site.


Unlike the previous listing for Carhatt products, these are not waterproof work pants. They have an edge on comfort, however, and are suitable in all seasons and all weather (just don’t expect to stand out in the rain and stay dry).

Pockets are plentiful, with extra material and extra stitching. Some have angled openings for easy access. If you’ve ever tried to retrieve a ringing cell phone from a pants pocket while driving*, you’ll appreciate this feature. 

*Let’s just say “seated,” shall we?

Colors and Sizes

They come in pretty much all the sizes, beginning with 30W x 30L up to 42W x 34L, with predictable increments in between. There may be an odd size or two that isn’t listed, but that’s going to be the case with any garment.

The available color for these work pants is black. Any questions?

Due to Covid-19, some Carhartt work pants aren’t readily available online and in stores. These pants are difficult to find in stock at this time.

2. Carhartt Shoreline Work Pant

best waterproof work pants

Best Feature: Waterproof

  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Waterproof wallet pocket
  • Durable
  • Price

The next time you find yourself on deck with gale force winds and heavy, surging seas, you will appreciate the Carhartt shoreline pant with its waterproof material that stands up to the gnarly winds of the Atlantic. They also are helpful when crossing the backyard deck to get the barbecue grill covered before the summer rain shower gets worse.

In the minds of many, Carhartt reigns as the king of the best work pants. The company produces quality pants, jackets, vests, coveralls, and more and the name represents excellence. We agree.


These shoreline pants should not be thought of as work pants in the sense of heavy construction work, but more suitable for all-weather general labor. The material is 100% “Storm Defender” (Carhartt patent) nylon with a mesh liner that keeps water out but lets the air flow freely. Perhaps more importantly, it lets sweat out. Below the knee, the lining transitions to Taffeta lining for easy dressing and removal.

Taffeta would seem to belong more to the high fashion realm of wedding gowns and evening gowns, but its slick and luxurious surface actually helps it rate as a tough material for weather gear.

These features come standard on Carhartt’s “Steady Rain” collection, which includes jackets, coats, overalls and work pants. They go together, appearance-wise and function-wise.

Comfort and Performance

Flexible and breathable, the Shoreline work pants are suitable for day-long wear. Users seem to enjoy their water-shedding properties, which hold up for 10 hours of solid rain. Soggy day on the golf course, but you feel duty-bound to keep your tee time? These pants would probably work well for you.

The breathability rating for these work pants is 10k/10k. You don’t want an outdoor garment that’s 100% waterproof. Those yellow rain coats you use to wear while waiting for the school bus were 100% waterproof, if they were zipped or buttoned up properly. Do you remember how uncomfortable they were? So there has to be an outflow of moisture (sweat) for a garment to be comfortable.

What is a Breathability Rating?

With work pants and outdoor gear, you might see a breathability rating of 10k/10k, as you do with these Carhartt Shoreline work pants. The two numbers mean different things. 

The first number rates a fabric’s water resistance, expressed as how much water in a one-inch tube would it take before the first water droplets seeped through the fabric. The volume of water is expressed in height in millimeters. 10,000 millimeters (10K), the rating for these work pants, equals 33 feet.

The second number is the actual breathability rating. It reflects how much water passively passes through the fabric in a 24 hour period. In the case of a 10k rating, 10,000 grams passed through the fabric to the other side.


The main seams are triple-stitched and the seams critical to the work pants’ water-shedding properties are taped. (Strips of fabric stitched along the seams.) 

The Shoreline work pants come with an sturdy elastic waistband with hook-and-loop side adjusters for a custom fit. Zippers run the entire length of the legs, from ankle to waist.

Now these aren’t carpenter pants, but they do have some pockets, including a waterproof back pocket that zips up. Keep your wallet zipped up and dry!

Colors and Sizes

You can have any color you can think of, as long as it’s black. The sizes run from small to 4X, with tall options for the large, extra large, 2X and 3X sizes.

3. LA Police Gear Water Resistant Tactical Work Pant with Elastic Waistband

best tactical work pants

Best Feature: Elastic Waistband

  • Tear-resistant material
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Slanted pockets for access while seated
  • YKK zipper
  • Breathable fabric
  • Limited sized available

These are tough work pants for the guy who doesn’t have six-pack abs. (Heck, those guys don’t even work anyway. When do they have the time?) The elastic band helps cinch up the waistband to your waist and helps the belt out when there’s a bit of a paunch pushing down from above.

This is important for work pants – staying up. You put a lot of things in your pockets, as you would a pair of carpenter pants, and they weigh the pants down. And if you have a belly, well you get the idea.


The LAPG work pants are made from a blend of 65% polyester and 35% cotton rip-stop fabric. This blend combines the comfort of cotton with the strength and durability of polyester. The work pants’ fabric is reinforced at critical places, like the knees and, um, seat.

What is Rip-Stop Fabric?

Ripstop fabrics are most often made of nylon, and employ a reinforcing thread that makes them resistant to tearing and ripping. During weaving, reinforcing threads are woven at regular intervals in a crisscross pattern. 

Advantages of ripstop are the favorable strength-to-weight ratio and the way it resists ripping when a small tear occurs . Fibers used to make ripstop include cotton, silk, polyester and polypropylene.

Comfort and Performance

Users like the flexibility of these work pants. But that’s a fairly easy feature to get right, so what sets these work pants apart is their breathability. With summer construction or maintenance work comes a lot of walking around in the sweltering heat and spending hours in un- air-conditioned spaces. Chafing can pose a real problem that doesn’t go away at the end of the work shift. 

These LAPG work pants permit a robust airflow to keep the wearer as cool as possible, helping eliminate perspiration. Plus, their overall light weight increases the comfort level significantly.

How would you like some articulated knees? Articulated knees simply means that these work pants have extra material at the knees to make bending and stooping a little easier. The knees on this pair of work pants articulate with the best of them.

Fit of Pants

The LAPG utility pants fit a little snugly, say some. You should consider ordering a size larger than your dress pants. The listed size is with the elastic band stretched to maximum, so also keep that in mind. Extra wide belt loops accommodate the popular Condor riggers belt and their imitators. Keeping your work pants on the job just got a bit easier.


The pockets on the LAPG work pants are double stitched and open wide for easy access. The extra long cargo pockets are long enough for a hammer and pair of Visegrips, and have secure Velcro closures.

If you’ve ever been driving and jammed your hand into a pocket looking for something, you can appreciate the way the pockets on these utility pants are oriented on a slant for easy access. 

You may have heard the term for “YKK” zippers in a commercial for a jacket or travel bag and wondered what it was. YKK is actually a brand name for the zipper manufacturer, and those who know about such things consider them the best in the world. We’ll take the experts’ word on that, and since the LAPG has YKK zippers – along with other nice features – we’ll include them on our best work pants list.

Colors and Sizes

The LAPG work pants come in nine colors, but not all colors are available in all sizes. The available sizes range from 28Wx30L to 44Wx34L, but some in-between sizes are not available.

4. ViviTech Cotton Canvas Utility Work Pants

most comfortable work pants

Best Feature: Comfort

  • Very comfortable
  • Very flexible
  • Abundant pockets
  • Removable knee pads
  • Long durability
  • Waist size only goes up to 38″

The manufacturer wants you to know that these utility pants are “battle ready.” Maybe they know something about your knuckle-scuffing struggles with changing the oil on your ’87 Jeep Wrangler or fixing the swinging gate on the backyard fence. At any rate, these work pants are up to the challenge.


The material is 100% cotton. Wow. 

But there’s more to it than that. It’s not just any old cotton. It’s soft, pre-shrunk, 10-ounce cotton canvas. So, belay your fears about the pants drawing up in the dryer or getting shaggy before their time. The comfort part might be surprising to you, though.

What is Canvas Anyway?

You’ve heard the term canvas all your life and you probably associate it with tough fabric that isn’t all that comfortable and is more suited for sails, tents and canteen covers.

While canvas has a wide range of heavy-duty applications, it can be made quite comfortable for garments. Long ago, canvas was made from hemp. Now that would be uncomfortable! 

There are two basic types of canvas – plain and duck, with duck being the most tightly woven. The thread count is generally expressed in weight per square yard. Therefore, a square yard of 10-ounce canvas would weigh – hmmm, let’s see – 10 ounces.

Ten-ounce canvas is on the high side of the spectrum, offering strength and durability while sacrificing comfort and flexibility. What garment manufacturers do, however, is soften the threads without compromising their viability, and the resulting fabric is suitable for garments.

The knock on cotton is that it shrinks. Many garment manufacturers “pre-shrink” their garments, but this doesn’t mean that the shrinking won’t continue

Comfort and Performance

We’ve already established that the material on these utility pants is comfortable. Adding to the comfort level in the finished product is extra material in the places where it’s needed most – knees, thighs and seat. 


These are pants of many pockets. Eight ergonomically-placed pockets provide places for cell phones, pens, screwdrivers, putty knives, pliers, spare wood screws and even a small ball ping hammer.

The knee pads are removable, if you had a special task where they might be inconvenient. Extra stitching in the seams, crotch and cuffs ensure that these work pants will retain their brand new look for a long time.

Colors and Sizes

The available colors for these are black, brown, navy, tan and white (sounds risky, but they clean up really well).

Sizes run from 29W x 30L up to 38W x 36L. While there are plenty of size combinations in between these two, the fact that the waist size tops out at 38 inches is a bummer for men with more generous bellies.

5. Tyndale FRMC Summerweight Canvas FR Work Pants

Best Summer Work Pants

Best Feature: Protection Against Flash Fire

  • Fire resistant
  • Best sump work pants
  • Flexible
  • Reinforced stitching
  • Only two colors available

One of the first things you might notice on these work pants is the FRMC® logo on the inner pocket. What does that acronym mean? Well, it’s not the Freedom Riders Motorcycle Club, even though that would be a nice touch.

FRMC® is Tyndale’s patented fire-resistant fabric. The FRMC stands for flame resistant modacrylic cotton. (So you guessed that, eh.) All that’s important to remember is that these utility pants are woven with fire-resistant fibers that won’t degrade throughout the life of the garment and all the washings that go with it.

These work pants are flash-fire rated, meaning there is a 50% probability that the wearer will suffer second or third degree burns when the fabric is exposed to three seconds of fully engulfed fire. Compared to fabrics offering little to no protection from flame, that’s a significant amount of protection.


The FRMC® material’s fire-resistant qualities are just part of the story. The medium duty (nine-ounce) canvas provides comfort against the kind of heat that you are more likely to encounter than a fire – summer. They call it summerweight because it’s breathable and lightweight, and you’ll appreciate those characteristics when it’s 94 in the shade.

Comfort and Performance

In addition to being comfortable temperature-wise, these utility pants move and flex when you do. They allow extra room in the seat and thigh areas, so that they’re not clingy, even when you’re standing still.

The leg openings are slightly flared so that you can slip the cuffs over work boots with ease.


The waistband is button-closed, and the crotch is reinforced. These pants don’t have an abundance of pockets, however, but what pockets it does have are reinforced and loose-fitting for easy access.

The leg seams are triple-stitched for strength and durability

Color and Sizes

These work pants are available in sizes that will fit 95% of the men out there, from leprechauns to Paul Bunyans (and chunky Paul Bunyans at that). A couple of sizes might be temporarily unavailable, but the number of size choices available is pretty amazing.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of the color choices. You have two – blue and, um, khaki. 

6. Round House Dark Stone Washed Carpenter Work Dungarees

best carpenter work pants

Best Feature: Comfort

  • Comfort
  • Nice casual look
  • Reinforced stitching
  • Easy-to-access pockets
  • Hammer loop
  • None

For the weekend warrior seeking liberation from the pleated dress pants he wears Monday through Friday, these dungarees are sure to please. They simply ooze comfort. Even if you’re not embarking on a DIY project or helping your brother-in-law pour footings for his new deck, these work pants work the look really well.


These work plants are made of 100% cotton, which is generally a good indicator that they’re going to be comfortable. It’s heavy cotton, though – 14 ounce (which means a square yard of the fabric would weigh14 ounces). So, in hot weather, they might be a tad smothering, but considering all the plusses these work pants offer, it’s worth the trade-off.

What Does Stone Washed Mean Anyway?

Stone washing means pretty much what you think it means. It’s a manufacturing process by which wet cotton (and sometimes other fabrics) are scraped by large, tumbling stones to roughen up the fabric.

The result is a softer fabric with somewhat faded, scratched and worn appearance.

Comfort and Performance

Whether you’re hammering nails or making the perfect cornhole toss, you’re going to be comfortable in these dungarees. They’re made for work, first and foremost, but they have a life after 5 p.m. With reinforced seams and extra volume in places like the knees, thighs and seat areas, these utility pants will move with you and not bind or fight back.


These work pants have five pockets, if you want to include the little “watch pocket” in the front right. There’s nothing ground-breaking there, but when some cheaper work pants skip on pockets, it’s important to not that they didn’t scrimp.

The waist closure is a dependable antique brass button and the zipper fly is high quality, which is always a good thing, and ought to be federal law.

It’s not really a feature, but it’s nice to know that these work pants are manufactured in the USA.

Colors and Sizes

As far as colors go, they’re blue jeans. Some buyers have remarked that the stone washed appearance is a little subdued compared to other stone washed garments, but that may be a minor consideration for you.

Waist sizes run from 28 inches all the way up to a hefty 54 inches. Inseam lengths are as you might expect, so unless you have a very odd size combo, you’re going to find your size on the chart.

7. Wrangler Riggs Ranger Work Pants

best wrangler work pants

Best Feature: Relaxed Fit

  • Comfortable
  • Strong
  • Durable
  • Reinforced where it matters
  • Hammer loop
  • Tape measure reinforcement
  • None

Wrangler, one of the most identifiable brands of jeans and work pants established its Riggs Workwear Collection to provide work garments that were comfortable yet rugged in a no-nonsense way. Their spokesmodel on this line of garments, now entering their second decade of existence by the way, is Brett Favre. He wouldn’t support a wimpy product, would he?

These ranger pants, as they call them, do indeed stand up well on close inspection and have a lot of features that might not be deal makers initially but end up being appreciated later on.


These work pants are made of 100% cotton ripstop fabric. Ripstop means just what it sounds like it means. The fabric is resistant to ripping and tearing thanks to its high thread count and stitch pattern. 

Comfort and Performance

For these work pants and for Wrangler’s entire Riggs Workwear line, this is where the rubber meets the road. Can they deliver comfort without compromising performance? 

The answer is a resounding yes. These particular carpenter pants are relaxed fit, which Wrangler calls ROOM2MOVE technology. They’ve increased the coverage in the knees, the thigh areas and the all important seat area. The range of motion may greatly exceed the wearer’s.

Best Features

  • Cordura lined back pockets. Cordura is a collection of fabric innovations that produces an advanced level of durability and strength. In this application, nylon is blended with cotton threads.
  • Action gusset in the crotch. When the user bends, sits or squats, this is the critical point in the whole garment. Reinforcement in this area helps prevent catastrophic failure.
  • Side cargo pockets. Deep and easy to reach into, these make the work pants work.
  • Dirt drop vents. Yeah. We scratched out heads on this one too. What it means is, the pockets have flaps that seal out dirt.
  • Hammer loop. On the right side. Sorry, southpaws. 
  • Wide belt loops. This is more important than what you might think. If you’re a fan of rigger belts, the extra wide belt loops are wide enough for them.

Colors and Sizes

There’s not a huge selection of colors, but the most popular ones are listed: loden (gray/green), bark (tan), black, dark brown and navy.

As far as sizes go, don’t worry. They have your size, all the way up to 60W x 32L.

8. Fashio Heavy Duty Workwear Pants

most rugged work pants

Best Feature: Built Super Tough

  • Nearly indestructible
  • Durable enough for all types of work
  • Comfortable
  • Low cost
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Odd look

Of all the work pants or utility pants on our list, these are the least likely to be mistaken for casual wear or an all-purpose garment. They are strictly all work and no play. But for the money, these may represent the best value of them all.


These are described by the manufacturer as “safety pants.” The base material is 100% high-thread count cotton, but they come with reinforcing material in so many places, it’s hard to keep count. 

Comfort and Performance

For comfort, you can’t go wrong with cotton, but with all the reinforced areas, is comfort pushed out of the way? Those who have purchased these in the past say no.

The work pants are made with Cordura fabric flaps and sections that provide strength in critical areas, like knees and front pocket areas. Cordura straps and fasteners help other pockets stay securely shut and protect them from harm when the user is working in tight places. 


If you like pockets, you’ve hit the mother lode with these work pants. There are pockets in the front, back and thigh level. There is a special close-tight pocket for cell phones and pockets-within-pockets.

The fly has a quality zipper and closes at the top via a sturdy button. Belt loops are wide enough for virtually all belt types.

Colors and Sizes

These work pants come in three colors – khaki, black and gray. But the Cordura sections are all black. With khaki and gray, these make the pants looks like they’ve been patched in a half dozen places. It’s almost a special ops military look, which some people might like. With the black pants, you don’t notice the Cordura as much.

The size chart is somewhat limited. It starts out at 30W x 30L, but goes only as high as 40W x 34L, leaving bigger and stouter gentlemen out of the picture.

9. Dickies Men’s Loose Fit Double Knee Work Pant

best double knee work pant

Best Feature: Lots of Options

  • Inexpensive
  • Double reinforced knees
  • Comfortable and loose fit
  • Stain-resistant
  • Wrinkle-free
  • Lots of size and color options
  • Made of durable twill fabric
  • Fit might feel too baggy for some (though they have these pants in other a slimmer style)

Reinforced knees? Check. A wide variety of colors? Check. Durability? Check. These work pants by Dickies are a great buy for those looking for high quality work pants at an affordable price. They comes in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and hold up well on the job.

The bonus on these pants is the reinforced knees. Since pants tend to wear our the most in the knees, it’s good to know you have a bit of insurance. They’re also baggy enough that you could fit a smaller sized knee pad underneath if needed. However, there is no opening for a knee pad. Also, some might not like the fact that these work pants are so baggy (nearly 4 inches wide), and thus they ended up lower on our list for that reason.

Some other major plusses of these durable work pants is the roomy waist, large tunnel belt loops and the multi-use picket on the right leg. They’re also stain-resistant and wrinkle free, which is a big plus if you tend to leave your work pants in the clothes basket or dryer from time to time.

The work pants themselves are made from mostly polyester (65%) and some cotton (35%). Most people know this material as “twill.” Twill tends to be more durable than standard pants and provides good resistance to the elements (rain or snow). Another advantage of twill is that it helps hide the dirt, which is great if you’re a mechanic or work outside or in the mud.

All in all, a solid work pant for the working man on a budget. If you decide you don’t like the fact that these are baggy, Dickies also makes these pants in a slim fit, relaxed fit and a big & tall version. So, there’s lots of options when it comes to these work pants.

What to Look for in the Best Construction Work Pants

When choosing a pair of work pants, carpenter pants, utility pants, etc. the most important factor doesn’t lie with the pants. It lies with the type of work (or job) you intend to perform in them.

Work Pants Pockets

For carpenters, who might run around with a hammer, tape measure, spare nails, nail sets and note pads with measurements written down on them, having plenty of pockets would be important. Look for work pants with reinforced pockets, perhaps with Velcro closures or button closures. Pockets should have plenty of room inside, room for your hands to pull stuff out without having to fold your fingers flat. 

Most of the work pants on our list have hammer loops, so no worries there. 

Work Pants with Knee Protection

If your job requires a lot of kneeling, perhaps making electrical connections, running pipes or cutting rebar, you put a lot of stress on your knees. While your work pants can’t help the inner workings of your knees, you don’t want your knees to wear a hole in your work pants.

All of the work pants on our list have extra material around the knees. That’s kind of a given. If you do a lot of your kneeling on unforgiving surfaces, like rough concrete, you need more than just extra material in the knees. You need reinforcement. Some of these work pants have heavy duty canvas or Cordura fabric in the knees, so that should be a factor worth considering.

However, if you work with knee pads you may need a pant that you can easily take out and insert your knee pads. The Caterpillar Men’s Trademark Work Pant has an easy access for knee pads, so these pants might be the best work pants for you. Or, if you’re just looking for knee pads in general, we recommend these knee pads for most workers and these professional knee pads for more serious knee protection. Both offer superior protection and good comfort.

They Call Me Stormy Monday (or Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.)

If your job requires you to be out in the elements, regardless of the weather, you need work pants that don’t mind getting wet. One of our work pants selections provides just about the best waterproofing option you’ll find, short of those seafaring yellow raincoats like the Gorton’s Fisherman wears. (You don’t want something like that anyway. You’ll suffocate.)

Water-resistant work garments tend to be a little uncomfortable when the sun pops back out, so be aware of that when selecting.

Fire Resistant Work Pants

If you work around sparks, as in a welding shop, or anywhere where fire is present, you should consider some fire-resistant work pants. Work pants get oily, and the last thing you want is to get oil-soaked pants near a fire. So look into something that has fire-resistant fibers woven into the fabric.

Cost of Work Pants

Some of these work pants require a bit of an investment, but when you consider they might last five, six or more years, the investment won’t seem so bad. Some are remarkably inexpensive, and if they meet your needs, you can save some serious money.

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