The Best Construction Work Pants of 2022

If you’re thinking those old jeans will hold up on the jobsite, you can forget it. These pants for construction will have you covered.

By Tom Scalisi | Updated May 18, 2022 1:10 PM

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The Best Construction Work Pants Options

Photo: depositphotos.com

Anyone who works with their hands knows that their clothes can take a beating. Construction, DIY projects, and trade work are all physically demanding, and typical casual pants usually pay the price. These types of activities require hard-wearing, durable pants that will last more than an hour on the job.

But it can be hard to tell which jeans, pants, or dungarees are up to the task. To help, we put together the following guide on the best construction work pants. This guide covers all the need-to-know information for DIYers, as well as some examples of the best construction work pants.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Carhartt Men’s Loose Fit Duck Utility Work Pant
  2. BEST OVERALL FOR WOMEN: Carhartt Women’s Rugged Flex Loose Canvas Work Pant
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Red Kap Men’s Industrial Cargo Pant
  4. UPGRADE PICK: Carhartt Men’s Rugged Flex Steel Cargo Pant
  5. BEST CARPENTER: Dickies Men’s Relaxed Fit Carpenter Duck Pants
  6. BEST CARPENTER/WOMEN: Dickies Women’s Stretch Duck Carpenter Slim Pants
  7. BEST CARGO PANTS: Wrangler Men’s Riggs Workwear Ranger Cargo Pant
  8. BEST FIRE-RESISTANT: Wrangler Men’s FR Flame Resistant Original Fit Jean
  9. BEST FIRE-RESISTANT/WOMEN: Wrangler Women’s Riggs Workwear Bootcut Work Jean
  10. BEST DOUBLE-KNEE: Wrangler Men’s Riggs Workwear Utility Jean
  11. BEST DOUBLE-KNEE/WOMEN: Carhartt Women’s Rugged Flex Double-Front Jean
  12. BEST LIGHTWEIGHT: Dickies Men’s Lightweight Duck Carpenter Jean
  13. BEST HEAVYWEIGHT: Carhartt Men’s Firm Double-Front Utility Work Pant
  14. BEST FLEX: Carhartt Men’s Rugged Flex Relaxed Canvas Work Pant
The Best Construction Work Pants Options

Photo: depositphotos.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Construction Work Pants

There is more to picking out the best work pants than just grabbing a cheap pair of jeans off the shelf. The following are some of the most important points to keep in mind when choosing a sturdy pair of work pants that can keep up with some tough jobs.

Features

When it comes to the best work pants for construction, features can be key. There are certain items, pockets, and additions that the best construction pants might have, but a basic pair of jeans won’t.

  • Utility pockets: Many construction pants come with utility pockets on the back of the thigh, along the front of the thigh, or even on the side of the leg. These pockets are handy for utility knives, folding rulers, writing utensils, cell phones, small hand tools, and other items.
  • Loops: Old-school carpenter jeans almost always feature a loop stitched into the fabric on the pant leg. This pocket serves as a hammer loop, giving the wearer a place to slide a hammer.
  • Double knees: Many tradespeople need to spend time working on their knees, and this can tear through a basic set of jeans in no time. Some manufacturers offer construction pants with double knees or extra fabric overtop the knee to help the jeans last longer.
  • Gusset crotch: Bending, kneeling, and crouching can be uncomfortable in a typical pair of jeans, so many manufacturers of construction pants started sewing gusseted crotches into some pairs of the best work pants for men. These gussets provide a bit more room through the crotch and seat of the pants while also lessening the likelihood of a tear.
  • Reinforced stitches and loops: Some of the best construction pants may feature reinforced belt loops and stitches. This is to help them stay put longer, even when the work is rough.

Fit and Comfort

The best pants for construction often fit a bit differently than typical pants, and DIYers and pros should know what to look for to ensure they stay comfortable on the job.

First, understand that relaxed-fit jeans are typically the most comfortable to work in on a jobsite. These jeans provide enough room to move around in without being too baggy to work safely. They offer enough space in the pockets for storing items as well.

There are other fits such as straight-leg, loose fit, traditional or original, and boot cut. Essentially, choosing the right fit hinges on the individual’s taste, needs, and body type.

Fabric 

Just like regular pants, construction pants come in many types of fabrics. Each fabric has its pros and cons and some have specialty treatments.

  • Cotton is a natural fiber that breathes well and is comfortable against the skin. In most cases, work jeans are made from strong cotton fibers. These pants are available in lightweight and heavyweight thicknesses, and they’re generally comfortable.
  • Cotton blends are typically a mix of cotton and a stretchy fabric like spandex. The blend is often to make the jeans stretchier, lightweight, or more breathable.
  • Synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester are popular for workwear, as they tend to be more water-resistant and lightweight than similar fabrics. Some even feature ripstop weaves that have reinforced threads designed to keep the pants from ripping wide open.

Also, many of these fabrics come in fire-resistant variants. For folks like welders, power line workers, electricians, and more, fire-resistant fabrics can be a requirement. These fabrics contain Nomex, Kevlar, and modacrylic fiber—all synthetic fabrics that are resistant to burning.

Style

Not only do the best construction pants come in various fabrics, but they also come in a number of styles. These may include active, cargo, carpenter, and professional.

  • Active work pants look similar to tactical pants worn by law enforcement and military personnel.
  • Cargo pants have large, billowy pockets on the side of each leg for holding items like nails, screws, or small tools.
  • Carpenter construction pants feature a loop for a hammer and a pocket for a folding rule. This style of jean is often seen as the best work pants for construction workers.
  • Professional work pants might look similar to typical pants but are constructed of a stronger material.

Which style to choose may be as much about practicality as it is personal preference. Sales folks and inspectors may prefer to wear professional pants, while electricians and plumbers might find active or carpenter pants last longer.

Our Top Picks

That’s a lot of background on the best construction work pants, but shopping for a pair might still be a bit confusing. To help, we performed extensive product research on the following construction pants.

Best Overall

The Best Construction Work Pants Option: Carhartt Men's Loose Fit Duck Utility Work Pant
Photo: amazon.com

Anyone searching for a high-quality pair of basic work pants should check out Carhartt’s Loose Fit Duck Utility Work Pant. These pants are made from 100 percent cotton, making them durable but lightweight and comfortable. Also, their loose-fit cut means there is plenty of room for walking, bending, kneeling, or anything else a job might require.

These pants have a traditional carpenter’s design. They have a hammer loop on one leg and a pocket for a folding rule on the other. The loop is reinforced for durability’s sake, and the straight leg design should fit over boots without an issue. The one drawback that some DIYers might find is that the loose fit might be too baggy for working around power tools.

Product Specs 

  • Style: Carpenter
  • Fabric: 100 percent cotton
  • Fit: Loose

Pros

  • 100 percent cotton
  • Built-in tool pockets and hammer loop
  • Comfortable loose cut

Cons

  • Loose design may be too baggy for working around certain tools

Get the Carhartt Duck Utility work pant at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Tractor Supply Co.

Best Overall for Women

The Best Construction Work Pants Option: Carhartt Women’s Rugged Flex Loose Canvas Work Pant
Photo: amazon.com

Limiting range of motion is a sure way to slow down a project. Keep the pace with flexible work pants like these from Carhartt. These pants feature a 98 percent cotton, 2 percent spandex blend that encourages flexibility and range of motion while remaining rugged enough for tough work conditions. And as if the flex isn’t comfortable enough, the loose fit should help.

These pants feature a traditional carpenter design, with a rule pocket mounted behind the right thigh and a hammer loop on the left. They also feature an additional thigh pocket on the left side for storing a phone or tools, though it could get in the way of a hammer handle.

Product Specs 

  • Style: Carpenter
  • Fabric: Cotton and spandex blend
  • Fit: Loose

Pros

  • Cotton/spandex blend for improved range
  • Traditional carpenter style
  • Rugged construction

Cons

  • Extra pocket placement might be an issue for some folks

Get the Carhartt Rugged Flex work pant on Amazon or Carhartt.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Construction Work Pants Option: Red Kap Men's Industrial Cargo Pant
Photo: amazon.com

For folks who’d rather spend their money on the renovation than the pants they’re wearing, Red Kap’s Industrial Cargo Pant might be one of the best cheap work pants available. These affordable pants are hardwearing and lightweight, thanks to the 35 percent cotton and 65 percent polyester blend known as TouchTex. This allows them to dry quickly and resist snags and rips.

The Red Kap construction pants feature two cargo pockets on the outside of each leg. DIYers can stash tools, hardware, or a cell phone in those pockets and keep them organized and safe. The downside of these construction pants is they look rather boring compared to some of the other more-rugged pants.

Product Specs

  • Style: Cargo
  • Fabric: Cotton and polyester blend
  • Fit: Relaxed

Pros

  • Special blend of cotton and polyester
  • 2 cargo pockets for gear
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • Might be a bit boring

Get the Red Kap cargo pant on Amazon or Red Kap.

Upgrade Pick

The Best Construction Work Pants Option: Carhartt Men's Rugged Flex Steel Cargo Pant
Photo: amazon.com

DIYers and pros who don’t mind spending a bit extra on their workwear should consider Carhartt’s Rugged Flex Steel Cargo Pant. These pants feature active styling with a relaxed fit. They’re made from a cotton, nylon, and spandex blend that allows for a wide range of motion (the gusseted crotch also helps).

These construction pants include many more built-in features as well. They have a hammer loop, cargo pockets, reinforced pads on the front slash pocket for a tape measure, and a folding rule pocket. DIYers will have to pay for those features, however, as these pants are a bit on the expensive side.

Product Specs 

  • Style: Active
  • Fabric: Cotton, nylon, and spandex blend
  • Fit: Relaxed

Pros

  • Flexible fabric for plenty of movement
  • Lots of utility pockets
  • Gusseted crotch

Cons

  • They’re pretty expensive

Get the Carhartt Rugged Flex cargo pant on Amazon or Carhartt.

Best Carpenter

The Best Construction Work Pants Option: Dickies Men's Relaxed Fit Carpenter Duck Pants
Photo: amazon.com

Whether it’s to hold a hammer while lifting something with both hands or storing a phone or ruler in a pocket, these carpenter jeans from Dickies might do the trick. These jeans feature a 100 percent cotton fabric and a loose fit to allow for all-day comfort on a work site. They also have a loop for a hammer and a pocket for a folding rule, just as traditional carpenter’s jeans might.

These Dickies work jeans feature oversize front and back pockets for holding phones, tools, or other items. They have rivets at the stress points like pockets and seams as well. The only complaint one might have is that these work jeans are a bit too basic and traditional.

Product Specs 

  • Style: Carpenter
  • Fabric: 100 percent cotton
  • Fit: Relaxed

Pros

  • Built-in hammer loop and rule pocket
  • 100 percent cotton
  • Oversize pockets for other tools

Cons

  • No advanced fabrics or modern touches

Get the Dickies Relaxed Fit Carpenter pants on Amazon or Walmart.

Best Carpenter/Women

The Best Construction Work Pants Option: Dickies Women's Stretch Duck Carpenter Slim Pants
Photo: amazon.com

Those who’d prefer a carpenter-style pant without the baggy fit should check out Dickies Women’s Stretch Duck Carpenter Slim Pants. These pants have a slim design that makes them safe for wearing around power tools, equipment, and machinery, but a flexible cotton and spandex blend for comfort.

These Dickies pants feature a traditional carpenter design, meaning they have a rule pocket behind the right thigh and a hammer loop along the left. This gives the wearer some onboard storage for tools anytime they need to work with both hands. The only concern may be that these pants won’t fit over work boots, though they may tuck inside nicely.

Product Specs 

  • Style: Carpenter
  • Fabric: Cotton and spandex
  • Fit: Slim

Pros

  • Traditional carpenter design
  • Flexible fabric blend
  • Improved safety around tools and equipment

Cons

  • Might not fit over top of work boots

Get the Dickies Duck carpenter pant on Amazon or Dickies.

Best Cargo Pants

The Best Construction Work Pants Option: Wrangler Men’s Riggs Workwear Ranger Cargo Pant
Photo: amazon.com

Wrangler Riggs Workwear Ranger Cargo Pant is worth some serious consideration from anyone looking for a hard-wearing cargo pant with plenty of goodies. These pants feature a relaxed cotton design that’s both comfortable and easy to move around in. Much of that range of movement comes from the gusseted crotch, giving DIYers the ability to bend and crouch without becoming uncomfortable.

These pants have multiuse cargo pockets on each leg. They include a large pocket for tools and fasteners as well as small pockets on the outside for knives and the like. They even have a leather-reinforced tape measure pad over the pocket to keep the tape’s clip from ripping the jeans. The biggest issue with these work pants is that they’re pretty utilitarian and might look a bit silly if worn out on the town.

Product Specs 

  • Style: Cargo
  • Fabric: 100 percent cotton
  • Fit: Relaxed fit

Pros

  • Large multiuse cargo pockets
  • Gusseted crotch
  • Reinforced tape measure pocket

Cons

  • A bit too work-oriented for wearing around town

Get the Wrangler Riggs cargo pant on Amazon or Walmart.

Best Fire-Resistant

The Best Construction Work Pants Option: Wrangler Men's FR Flame Resistant Original Fit Jean
Photo: amazon.com

Folks who work around sparks, flashes, or other fire-related safety hazards should think about Wranger’s FR Flame Resistant jeans. These jeans feature a classic five-pocket design similar to traditional jeans, but they provide enough room under the cuff for a work boot. They can look as good off the job as they do on the jobsite, allowing these jeans to pull a bit of double duty.

These jeans are made of flame-resistant cotton, making them comfortable and safe without the need for additional fabrics or materials. They utilize 14.75-ounce denim, which is both heavy and durable, but it can get too hot in warmer weather.

Product Specs 

  • Style: Casual jeans
  • Fabric: 100 percent cotton
  • Fit: Original

Pros

  • Flame-resistant materials
  • Classic fit
  • Heavy-duty denim

Cons

  • Might be a bit hot in warmer weather

Get the Wrangler FR jean on Amazon or Wrangler.

Best Fire-Resistant/Women

The Best Construction Work Pants Option: Wrangler Women’s Riggs Workwear Bootcut Work Jean
Photo: amazon.com

When working around electric, welding, or other flash- or flame-prone trades, Wrangler Women’s Riggs Workwear Bootcut Work Jean might be the work pants to grab. These pants feature a traditional five-pocket western jean style while also being flame- and arc-resistant to meet with workplace safety standards.

These jeans feature a cotton blend that is durable enough for tough work. Also, the wider bottom of a western-style jean will fit over work boots of almost any type, and the reinforced stitching at high-wear areas will ensure these jeans can last. Sizes might be limited, however, so be sure to consider the fit when ordering.

Product Specs 

  • Style: Traditional
  • Fabric: Cotton, polyester, and spandex blend
  • Fit: Western

Pros

  • Cotton blend fabric for durability
  • Flame- and arc-resistant
  • Wide leg openings for work boots

Cons

  • Sizing can be limited

Get the Wrangler Riggs jean on Amazon or Wrangler.

Best Double-Knee

The Best Construction Work Pants Option: Wrangler Men’s Riggs Workwear Utility Jean
Photo: amazon.com

For DIYers and tradespeople who perform work that requires kneeling, give the Wrangler Riggs Workwear Utility Jean a shot. These jeans feature a durable 100 percent cotton denim fabric for durability and breathability. However, these jeans also have an additional layer of denim over the knees to help these common wear points last as long as possible.

These carpenter-style construction pants have a lot to offer. First, they have a hammer loop along with a ruler pocket. The front and back pockets are oversize as well, allowing DIYers to store their phones or other tools on board. They also have a reinforced padded leather pocket for clipping a tape measure in place without ripping the jeans. Just keep in mind that double knees can get hot and can get heavy when wet.

Product Specs 

  • Style: Carpenter
  • Fabric: 100 percent cotton
  • Fit: Relaxed

Pros

  • Hammer loop and folding-rule pocket
  • Double fabric over the knees
  • Oversize pockets throughout

Cons

  • Can get heavy when wet
  • Can get hot

Get the Wrangler Riggs jean on Amazon or Wrangler.

Best Double-Knee/Women

The Best Construction Work Pants Option: Carhartt Women's Rugged Flex Double-Front Jean
Photo: amazon.com

For jobs that require kneeling, crouching, or simply the possibility of walking near sharp objects, check out Carhartt’s Women’s Rugged Flex Double-Front Jean. These work pants feature 10.5-ounce heavy-duty fabric composed of cotton, polyester, and spandex for durability and stretch. The knees offer extra protection because of their double-fabric design from the upper thigh down to the shin.

These double-front jeans feature a traditional five-pocket design that’s free from any extra pockets to snag equipment or cause safety concerns. The leg openings should be wide enough for most work boots as well. If there’s a downside, it would be that the long double-knee layers will prevent some breathability, so the wearer might get hot.

Product Specs 

  • Style: Traditional
  • Fabric: Cotton, polyester, and spandex blend
  • Fit: Straight

Pros

  • Durable fabric blend with plenty of stretch
  • Safe design for working around tools and equipment
  • Doubled knees for improved longevity

Cons

  • Could get hot because of the long layers

Get the Carhartt Rugged Flex jean on Amazon or Carhartt.

Best Lightweight

The Best Construction Work Pants Option: Dickies Men’s Straight Leg Carpenter Duck Pants
Photo: amazon.com

Anyone who tires of heavyweight jeans weighing them down, fret not: Dickies came to the rescue. This carpenter-style jean features a lightweight breathable cotton design, allowing users to feel comfortable for longer and without having to pull their pants up every few steps.

These pants from Dickies feature a classic carpenter style with a hammer loop on one leg and rule pocket on the other. They also feature deep front and back pockets for storing other tools or a cell phone securely. Keep in mind that because these are a lighter-weight material jean, they may not last as long as those made with a heavyweight fabric.

Product Specs 

  • Style: Carpenter
  • Fabric: 100 percent cotton
  • Fit: Relaxed

Pros

  • Lightweight fabric for comfort
  • Hammer loop and rule pocket for storage
  • Deep front and back pockets for tools and phones

Cons

  • Might not hold up as long as a heavy-duty fabric

Get the Dickies carpenter jean on Amazon.

Best Heavyweight

The Best Construction Work Pants Option: Carhartt Men's Firm Double-Front Utility Work Pant
Photo: amazon.com

Strenuous construction work may have met its match in Carhartt’s Firm Double-Front Utility Work Pant. These work pants utilize a 12-ounce cotton fabric for durability and years of use. They also feature a rugged double-front design that will last longer than typical jeans while also making kneeling more comfortable for the wearer.

These pants have lots of pockets and features. They have large front and back pockets as well as a hammer loop and a pocket for a folding rule. They also have clean-out openings that allow dirt and debris to escape from within the jean. These dungarees even have pockets to accommodate knee pads. Just keep in mind that these pants are already pretty heavy on their own, so loading them up with knee pads and lots of tools might become uncomfortable.

Product Specs 

  • Style: Carpenter
  • Fabric: 100 percent totton
  • Fit: Loose

Pros

  • Heavy-duty, 12-ounce fabric
  • Rugged design with double knee
  • Pockets for tools

Cons

  • May be too heavy for some DIYers

Get the Carhartt Firm work pant on Amazon or Carhartt.

Best Flex

The Best Construction Work Pants Option: Carhartt Men's Rugged Flex Relaxed Canvas Work Pant
Photo: amazon.com

Carhartt’s Rugged Flex Relaxed Canvas Work Pant opts for flexible materials over gussets or excessive bagginess, and the result may be worth it. These relaxed-fit pants feature a cotton and spandex blend that allows for improved flexibility. They stretch across the hips, between the legs, and over the knee when the user is crouching, allowing for more mobility and comfort.

These work pants from Carhartt feature reinforced belt loops and a cell phone pocket on the right leg (in place of a typical folding rule). The lack of a hammer loop lends these work pants a sleeker, more streamlined look. If there’s room for improvement, it might be that these jeans could use a few more pockets.

Product Specs 

  • Style: Traditional
  • Fabric: Cotton and spandex blend
  • Fit: Relaxed

Pros

  • Flexibility through hips, legs, and knees
  • Sleek look without a hammer loop
  • Pocket on right leg designed specifically for a phone

Cons

  • Could use additional pockets

Get the Carhartt Rugged Flex work pant on Amazon or Tractor Supply Co.

Our Verdict

Folks looking for an overall top-notch pair of construction work pants should consider Carhartt Loose Fit Duck Utility Work Pant. It has a traditional carpenter design with built-in tool pockets and plenty of comfort. But for those who don’t mind spending a bit more on their work clothes, check out Carhartt Rugged Flex Steel Cargo Pant for its myriad pockets, gusseted crotch, and flexible fabric.

How We Chose the Best Construction Work Pants

When we challenged ourselves to come up with a guide to the best construction work pants, we knew there’d be a lot of work to do.

First, we started by calling on our experiences as DIYers and tradespeople. This allowed us to choose the features that a pair of construction pants might need to make the cut. Next, we performed extensive product research on the brands we know and trust, compiling a list of products that offered the features we needed. Finally, we compared materials and prices to ensure we were suggesting value-minded products.

With all of those boxes checked, we were able to put together a list of the best construction work pants to ease the shopping and selection process for DIYers and pros.

FAQs

That’s a lot of information on the best construction pants, but there might still be some questions that come to mind. The following section is a collection of the most frequently asked questions about construction work pants, so be sure to check for an answer to your question listed below.

Q. How long do construction pants last?

This depends on the fabric, build quality, and design. For construction pants with gussets, flex, or heavy-duty materials, it’s not uncommon for the best heavy-duty work pants to last three years. Pants made of thinner materials might only last a year.

Q. What do construction project managers wear?

Most construction project managers wear construction pants made from cotton or a cotton blend and flannel-type shirts or polos for their comfort and range of motion.

Q. Are construction work pants comfortable?

Some construction work pants may be heavier than other types of pants, but they should be comfortable to wear, especially after a few washings.