10 of the Best Work Pants for Every Project
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A spring thaw is well under way (at least, we hope it’s happening in your neck of the woods), and as you survey the landscape, you’re probably realizing that, well, you’ve got some spring cleaning to do. Literally and figuratively, that’s where the best work pants for spring come into play. There’s a delicate middle ground here: Those heavy-duty, flannel-lined pants you wore through the winter are probably too bulky, but it’s not quite time to turn to ripstop shorts and a sleeveless tee yet.
The best spring work pants provide a tough-to-find mixture of stretch, durability and abrasion resistance, yet you shouldn’t feel like the pants are wearing you. That is to say, it’s easier than ever to actually track down a pair made with the modern wearer in mind, be it greater ease of movement or more forgiving cuts. Sure, plenty of classic brands make exceptional work pants, too, but there’s something out there to suit every type of guy — and every task.
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Most are made with durable cotton canvas, but plenty are going even more lightweight and moisture-wicking, often featuring lots of pockets and reinforced stitching at stress points. Team your work pants with one of the toughest waxed trucker jackets, and everything from readying your cabin for summer to hauling brush and cleaning gutters will get that much easier (or at least, marginally easier).
We can’t tackle your do-to list for you, but we can offer up our favorite picks for the best work pants right now. Time to gear up and get out there.
KUHL Free Rydr Pants
KUHL’s take on work pants hits that nice middle ground we talked about, with a tough-yet-flexible cotton twill blend fabric that’ll fade nicely (and rather stylishly) over time. Key stress points are reinforced with contrast stitching, while a stealth cell phone pocket and reinforced bottom cuffs provide utility and crucial EDC storage space. Pick from a wide range of waist and inseam sizes, plus Full or Tapered Fits – and 11 colors to suit every day of the week.
Taylor Stitch Chore Pants
We’ve all got Taylor Stitch style staples we know and love, right? If not, do yourself a favor and shop the brand’s well-cut, perfectly executed chambray shirts and Oxford shirts, or perhaps a nice sweater or two. And for all those times you’ve got to get down and dirty, the equally iconic Chore Pants are your best bet. The brand’s Boss Duck fabric repurposes hemp, recycled polyester, organic cotton and spandex in a custom blend that’s remarkably durable and made to be worn time and time again.
Dickies 874 Flex Work Pants
Dickies is one of those classic brands we mentioned that hasn’t ever strayed from the path in terms of meeting the needs of its hard-working customers. There’s a reason the 874 is the brand’s most popular work pant, yet it’s been modified to meet the demands of today’s hard-working guy. That means using a wrinkle and stain-resistant stretch blend twill, plus a sturdy, thick waistband and durable belt loops you can use to attach your key carabiner or other small tools.
Carhartt Washed Dungaree Pants
Carhartt, like Dickies, knows the name of the game — and practically invented said “game” – when you consider the heritage and history of workwear. Trusted by auto workers in Michigan and hard-working fellas everywhere, its work pants are an indispensable staple if you want long-lasting durability and a no-frills design. 12-oz. Fabric means these are well-suited for blustery spring days, while slant front pockets allow ease of access to your EDC. Team them with a rugged Carhartt jacket for outstanding spring cleaning reliability and power.
Filson Dry Tin Cloth Five-Pocket Pants
Perhaps you’re already well-accustomed to the durability and timeless design of Filson’s gear, from its legendary flannel shirts and waxed trucker jackets to its hard-wearing pants. The company’s Dry Tin Cloth fabric is adept at repelling water and stains while taking on grease and grime – in fact, they look even better with a bit of wear. The brand bills this material as its “strongest cotton fabric,” so be prepared to get plenty of wear out of these.
BRUNT Workwear Martin Pants
Customers have been clamoring for apparel over the years from BRUNT, which takes time-tested workwear designs and amps them up with modern materials and construction. That results in pieces like the Martin Pants, which retail for under $100 and yet deliver all the dependability you need for spring’s toughest tasks. They’re water and abrasion-resistant, fashioned with handy hidden pockets and even reinforced from thigh to shin with another fabric layer for maximum performance.
Wrangler Riggs Workwear Ranger Pants
You trust Wrangler jeans and denim jackets for off-duty spring and summer style — just like your father and grandfather, right? Turn once more to a brand you can really count on when the going gets tough. Cotton ripstop fabric provides lightweight performance while resisting dings and scuffs, and the relaxed fit gives you room to move with ease. Note the hammer loop and reinforced side cargo pockets for incredibly useful storage and easy tool access.
5.11 Tactical Pro Lightweight Performance Pants
Like we said, finding that delicate balance between workwear-minded style and spring comfort can be tricky, so if going super-lightweight for unexpected spring heat is what you’ve got in mind, 5.11 Tactical has you covered. Don’t let the name fool you: You can wear these pants for both tactical settings (the company supplies tactical first responders, after all), and of course, for more straightforward days in the spring sun. The gusseted inseam makes it easy to move around all day long, while eight pockets deliver next-level carrying capacity.
CQR Water-Resistant Outdoor Pants
Sometimes, your to-do list can’t wait, even if the weather has other plans. So, throw on your waxed jacket and grab these water-ready pants, then get out there and get the job done. These are also billed as hiking pants, but they’ll do just fine for most sorts of spring cleaning. The cotton-nylon-spandex blend makes them much lighter than a pair of Dickies or Carhartt work pants, so consider beefing up the layers on your top half if the day dawns bright and slightly chilly.
Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Work Pants
Eddie Bauer’s gear has quite literally made its way from slope to summit, writing history in the process, but they also make plenty of time-tested styles for those of us at lower altitudes. The Guide Pro Work Pants are suitable for day hikes, sure, but when it’s a balmy spring day back home, make use of the active stretch fabric and DWR finish, plus UPF 50+ sun protection. Once again, these are more lightweight than canvas work pants, but useful to have on hand all the same.
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