The 5 Best Work Pants for Men to Buy Right Now

You know the drill: You’ve got a to-do list a mile long, impending foul weather on the way and not a lot of time to get to work. Buckle down, step into some rugged work pants and get the job done. That’s not an order, but merely a suggestion: The right work pants can go a long way towards ensuring future success, a smooth job well-done, and top-notch functionality. Work pants fight back against the elements, prevent tears, scrapes and abrasions, and work nearly as hard as you do (and that’s saying something).

Work pants are, simply put, not something to screw around with, to put it lightly. Don’t waste your time with flimsy pants that can’t stand up to hauling brush or tackling the litany of other chores on your to-do list and in your garage. Work pants developed out of necessity over the years, and the best ones are made by the same brands who’ve been making tough-as-heck gear for years.

Work pants should be easy to move around in, so you’ll often find styles that have gussets at the knees or in the crotch

The toughest and most durable work pants on the market are even made all the better by the right accessories, like a hard-wearing tactical belt, for instance. And if you step out in rugged boots (like, say, leather work boots from Whites), you’ve got yourself precisely the right gear for whatever the heck you’ve got to take care of on any given day.

Work pants should be easy to move around in, so you’ll often find styles that have gussets at the knees or in the crotch – a gusset is a triangular piece of fabric that’s a helpful addition to provide added mobility. These design touches keep you comfortable and prevent your work pants from fitting too tightly, for example. Every design addition helps when it comes to work pants, to say the least. Here’s the thing about finding your new favorite pair: If ever you’ve worn less-than-optimal gear when trying to get the job done, you know the consequences of not being properly prepared.

And when time is of the essence and efficiency counts, then dependability is the name of the game. After all, it’s better to put in the time up front finding high-quality work pants as opposed to skimping on a pair that could cost you time and performance on the job.

Stretch work pants are becoming more and more common these days, as many brands look to blend performance fabrics and menswear. That’s great news for you, because work pants in decades gone by were often made from thick canvas that stood up to the elements, but proved hard to wear at times. Comfy work pants solve this problem nicely while still ensuring you’ve got adequate protection on any job site.

Wondering how to shop for work pants and the proper pairs to buy? Keep these tips in mind, first and foremost.

How to Shop for Work Pants Right Now

  • Look for quality, not quantity: It’s a helpful adage any time of year and when shopping for any menswear essentials, but you’re going to want to invest in work pants that hold up and last a long, long time. That means investing some of your hard-earned cash into a tough-as-nails pair, as opposed to stocking up on multiple pairs at a cheap price. The best brands, like Filson, have made work pants the same way for years, so you can be sure quality and rugged durability is what you’re getting.
  • Go comfortable and durable: Like we mentioned above, many brands are delivering work pants with plenty of comfort and stretch these days. This is a crucial move, because it means that companies are evolving with the times and delivering effective, useful gear, rather than sticking to making work pants that are hard to move around in. Durability is still a big part of the equation, and that’s also equally important. Work pants of today are abrasion-resistant and often coated in water-repellent finishing, which only ups the ante even further. But again, your work pants shouldn’t be stiff as a board.
  • Consider your to-do list: Some work pants feature bells and whistles like carpenter pockets and reinforced belt loops, while other work pants are just a bit more streamlined and feature your typical set of four pockets. If you need handy add-ons, like those trusty carpenter pockets or even a small pen pocket as part of your everyday carry, be sure to keep a weather eye out for pants that truly suit your needs. Funnily enough, some work pants are even dependable and yet stylish enough to be worn to other similarly rugged locales (think an upstate trip to a farm brewery, for instance). If you find a pair you really love, consider whether you want to wear them solely for work, or if you think they can team with a flannel shirt and henley off the clock (more on a pair like this below).

You’ve just added three more items to your to-do list, if you consider the above trio a helpful guide to finding the right work pants (and we certainly think you should). For now, these are the proper work pants to buy. If you can’t wait to get started on your next job, you’ve found the gear you need.

The Best Work Pants for Men to Buy Now

Taylor Stitch Chore Pants in Natural Boss Duck

Taylor Stitch Chore Pants in Natural Boss Duck

Rewind it just ever-so-slightly to our last point above. Taylor Stitch has something of a specialty in making outrageously dependable and hard-working gear that also does a fine job delivering style points off the clock. We know that’s not the point of wearing work pants, but hey, it can’t hurt either (especially if you’re willing to shell out a bit more dough). But what really gets us here with these Taylor Stitch Chore Pants is the custom-developed hemp-polyester-organic cotton fabric that’s been reinforced for added toughness and yet some nice mobility all the while. Angled front slash pockets make it easy to access your everyday carry, too.

Filson Dry Tin Cloth 5-Pocket Pants

Filson Dry Tin Cloth 5-Pocket Pants

Filson has been delivering legendary, extremely hard-working gear for more than a century now, and they show no signs of letting up. Its Dry Tin Cloth fabric is a staple throughout the Pacific Northwest outfitter’s entire product line. Filson has a thing or two to tell you about that. The brand notes that its “Dry Tin 5-Pocket Pants are forged from an unwaxed, more-breathable version of that iconic fabric–all of the rugged durability in a comfortable cut.” That iconic construction and standout reliability is more than enough reason to consider giving the brand a shot. The best part is, you can team your Dry Tin Pants with a waxed trucker jacket from Filson for all-day performance in the worst weather you can imagine. You’ll be done with your to-do list in no time.

Carhartt Twill Utility Work Pants

Carhartt Twill Utility Work Pants

When it comes to work pants that simply don’t waste any time getting down to business, Carhartt knows plenty about how to craft the perfect pair. The Michigan-based brand is legendary and commonly found on job sites across the country for good reason. It comes down to tough construction and rugged-as-can-be performance, best found in these tightly woven, abrasion-resistant twill utility work pants. Carhartt hit the nail on the head (pun intended) when delivering this affordable and highly useful pair of cheap work pants. As the brand says, “Legendary Carhartt durability meets everyday comfort.” That’s more than good enough for us. What about you?

5.11 Tactical Fast-Tac Cargo Pants

5.11 Tactical Fast-Tac Cargo Pants

If you’re the type of guy to rely on expertly crafted tactical and work gear that won’t break the bank, we’re willing to bet you already know 5.11 Tactical. They’re a staple in jobs that require the utmost in efficient, effective performance in the field, from the armed forces to police officers to any guy who just needs a darn fine pair of work pants. These cargo work pants check all the right boxes if you want a “bells and whistles” pair (note the plentiful added loops, pockets and the like). The best part is, these can also work as field pants for tactical endeavors without missing a beat. Team them with 5.11 Tactical’s impossibly well-made boots to fly through any garage projects you’ve been putting off (trust us, we’ve been there).

Proof Rover Pants

Proof Rover Pants

Proof, without a doubt, delivers the work pants every guy needs right now. Available in both Slim and Straight cuts, these pants are ideal for everything from hiking to chopping wood to kicking back around the bonfire, beer in hand, when the day’s work is done. Again, style certainly isn’t everything when it comes to work pants, but it’s always nice to have (and it’s certainly nice to have when a pair of pants like these comes in tons of colors and retails for under $100 at Huckberry). The Proof Rover Pants are certainly some of the most versatile work pants on the market, and that’s saying quite a lot when you stack ’em up against other options.

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Beau is Brooklyn-based style and lifestyle writer. He covers menswear, gear, spirits, craft beer and music. When not writing, Beau can be found shopping for vinyl or sipping on a Brooklyn beer.

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