Best Work Pants for Carpenters

Careers that involve manual labor, such as carpentry, often require specialized apparel. One concern for carpenters is having the right work pants. Carpenters often spend time on their knees and have tools that they need to carry around. They need work pants that are tough and durable and will last for a long time without needing to be replaced. Large pockets are necessary to carry tools and cell phones. Here are some tips on what to look for in work pants for carpenters, plus the top five work pants on the market.

What to Look For in Work Pants for Carpenters

Durability is probably the most important feature to look for in work pants for carpenters. You shouldn’t need to buy new pants frequently. Rather, you should make one purchase and those pants should last for a long time. They also need to be durable on an everyday basis. Carpentry is rough on clothing. Work pants should be tough enough to handle impacts, debris such as sawdust and dirt, and wear over time.

Most carpenters need to carry tools, such as hammers, with them. Jean pockets are not going to cut it. Large cargo pockets would be ideal for carrying lots of small tools. Many work pants also feature hammer loops, which offer a great way to both carry your hammer and keep it accessible. Workers also need to keep their cell phones handy, in case supervisors or clients call while they are working. Sometimes pants might have a special phone pocket, but any cargo pocket large enough for your specific phone would do the job.

If you do most of your work outdoors or in damp indoor environments, it would be wise to wear work pants that have moisture-wicking features or some sort of moisture resistance. Work pants can quickly turn from comfortable to miserable in the rain. This is also the case when the pants are exposed to excessive sweat throughout the day. Staying dry is the key to staying comfortable.

Flexibility is also a concern for carpenters. You need to be able to move around during the day. Work pants that are tough and durable won’t do you much good if they restrict you. The best work pants find a balance between tough and flexible.


The 5 Best Work Pants for Carpenters 2019

Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Ripstop Carpenter Jean

The Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Ripstop Carpenter Jean is comfortable and flexible with plenty of room for tools. It is made of 100 percent comfy cotton with a ripstop design and comes in a relaxed fit. The pants are rugged and durable. You can store tools, your cell phone, and other items in front pockets, back pockets, a vertical pocket, and a hammer loop. The pants are flexible and allow you to move due to the Room to Move Fit featuring a gusset crotch, which combines with the relaxed fit of the pants to give you freedom of movement. The ripstop fabric keeps small rips from becoming big holes.


  • Comfort is provided by 100 percent soft cotton.
  • Flexibility is provided by the relaxed fit and gusset crotch.
  • The ripstop material is tough, strong, and durable.
  • There are a total of six places to store items: two front pockets, two back pockets, one vertical pocket, and one hammer loop for easy access.
  • The front right pocket and back pockets feature a strip of contrast leather to prevent tears.
  • The pants can rip, but the fabric frays in a way that prevents these small rips from growing into large holes that destroy your work pants.
  • The pants are ideal in a variety of conditions, including mud, dirt, rocks, sand, rain, and snow.
  • The pants have a soft, thin feel to them, despite their ruggedness.
  • They are thin enough for hot weather, yet warm enough for cold winters.


  • The vertical pocket may not be large enough for all cell phones. It is intended for phones that are very slim (including the case). Generally, if the phone is larger than 3 ⅜ inches, it will not fit.
  • The vertical pocket is also not large enough for most tools. It is slim and not very deep, so only small items, like small screwdrivers or pliers, will fit.
  • Though the ripstop fabric stops rips from becoming larger at first, over time these rips can grow and become larger.
  • The pants can sometimes feel rigid.


Carhartt Men’s Cotton Ripstop Relaxed Fit Work Pant

The Carhartt Men’s Cotton Ripstop Relaxed Fit Work Pant claims comfort as its big draw. It is made of 100 percent cotton and features a gusseted crotch and a relaxed fit throughout the seat, thigh, and waist. The cotton material features a ripstop design that offers resistance to rips and tears. Cordura lines the front and back pockets for added durability. In addition to the front and back pockets, there are two large cargo pockets and multiple utility pockets. The cargo pockets feature flaps and snap closures, so you can be sure that your tools are secure and won’t fall out. Double-front construction provides tough durability.


  • 100 percent cotton ripstop fabric, a gusseted crotch, a relaxed fit around the waist, and extra space in the seat and thighs provide ultimate comfort.
  • The ripstop fabric resists rips and tears. Even if rips do occur, the fabric keeps them from growing into larger holes.
  • Durability comes in the form of double-front construction and cordura lining for the front and back pockets.
  • There are plenty of pockets for storing items like tools and cell phones: two front pockets, two back pockets, and two deep cargo pockets, plus several utility pockets. The cargo pockets feature enough space for larger tools and are secured by flaps and snap closures.
  • There are knee pad insert slots, so you can reinforce the knees.


  • There is no hammer loop, but you could probably store or hang a hammer in one of the large cargo pockets.
  • The knee pad insert slots are only three inches wide, so larger knee pads will not fit inside them.
  • The pants can fade quickly with regular wear and frequent washes. This can cause the fabric to begin to break down.
  • When items are stored inside the cargo pockets, it causes the knees to feel tight.


Dickies Men’s Relaxed Fit Straight-Leg Duck Carpenter Jean

The Dickies Men’s Relaxed Fit Straight Leg Duck Carpenter Jean is durable and comfortable. It is made of 100 percent cotton which is sanded and pre-washed. This gives it that “broken-in” kind of comfort without sacrificing durability. It features a relaxed fit with a straight leg design, making it even more comfortable and flexible. The straight leg isn’t too straight – it will still fit over work boots. There are tool pockets on the right side and a hammer loop on the left side, allowing you to carry your essentials with you. Extra durability is provided by the triple-stitched seams and heavy-duty brass zippers.


  • Durability comes from triple-stitched seams and heavy-duty zippers.
  • Comfort is provided by the pure cotton construction, which is sanded and pre-washed for extra comfort, and the relaxed fit.
  • The straight leg is comfortable and still accommodates work boots.
  • The pants are flexible and easy to move around in.
  • You can store tools and other items in the front and back pockets, dual tool pockets on the right side, and hammer loop on the left side.
  • The pants are heavier than normal blue jeans, giving them added durability and warmth.


  • The pants wrinkle a lot after drying, so ironing is necessary.
  • They are a bit stiff, even after a few washes.
  • The pockets are tight and too small to fit most hands inside to retrieve tools.
  • The pants fit tight in the waist.


Carhartt Men’s Loose Fit Five Pocket Canvas Carpenter Jean

The Carhartt Men’s Loose Fit Five Pocket Canvas Carpenter Jean is versatile, comfortable, and lightweight. It is made of 100 percent cotton canvas and sits securely at the waist. The straight leg design is secure, snug, and fits over work boots. The loose fit keeps you comfortable throughout your work day. Five pockets, two hammer loops, and a special cell phone pocket give you lots of space for your tools, phone, and other items. The pants are lightweight and flexible, letting you move around easily throughout your day.


  • The cotton canvas construction, loose fit, and straight leg design lend comfort to the pants.
  • Any tools and other items can be carried in the multitude of pockets and hammer loops included with these pants.
  • The straight leg fits over work boots.
  • The pants are lightweight and flexible.
  • The loose fit allow even wearers with large legs to move around easily.


  • The dedicated cell phone pocket is not large enough for a larger cell phone, such as a Samsung Galaxy Note or IPhone 6 Plus.
  • The phone pocket is not secure and does not conceal the phone. Most phones will fall out whenever the right leg is moved to a 90-degree angle or greater.
  • The pockets, though plentiful, are not very deep.
  • The front pockets feel tight and it’s difficult to retrieve items out of them.


Red Kap Men’s Stain Resistant Flat Front Work Pant

The Red Kap Men’s Stain Resistant Flat Front Work Pant is comfortable and durable. Its blend of polyester and cotton makes it soft and comfortable, yet strong and durable. It also has a wrinkle-resistant finish that reduces the need for constant ironing. The fabric resists fading, even after frequent washing. The Touchtex Pro Technology makes the fabric breathable and resistant to stains. It allows the fabric to easily release soil, dirt, and grease during washing without affecting the color or fit of the pants. Other features include a heavy-duty hidden zipper, covered buttons, and four pockets to hold your essentials throughout the day. Two of these pockets are “slack style”, and two are set-in hip pockets with button closures.


  • The polyester material makes the pants durable, while the cotton gives it softness and comfort.
  • The wrinkle-resistant finish keeps the pants from becoming too wrinkled. This prevents the need to iron the pants.
  • The Touchtex Pro Technology retains the color and fit of the fabric, even after multiple washes.
  • The Touchtex Pro Technology also makes the fabric stain-resistant by allowing the fabric to release stains, such as dirt and grease, during washing.
  • The fabric is breathable, allowing you to stay cool in the summer and move around easily without feeling restricted. This also keeps the pants lightweight.
  • A hidden zipper and covered buttons keep these features from getting in the way. The zipper is heavy duty and durable.
  • Two slack style pockets and two set-in hip pockets allow you to store and carry small tools. The hip pockets have button closures to keep items secure.


  • There are no hammer loops and the pockets may be too small to hide or hang a hammer.
  • The pants fit very snug and could feel too tight for some people.
  • The seams seem very awkward and only connected by weak stitching, likely to fall apart.


Which Work Pant is Best for You?

The work pant that’s best for you will depend on the aspect that is most important to you. Both of the Carhartt versions offer the best fit for all-day comfort. The Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Ripstop Carpenter Jean and Carhartt Men’s Cotton Ripstop Relaxed Fit Work Pant are the most durable work pants for carpenters. The Carhartt Men’s Loose Fit Five Pocket Canvas Carpenter Jean is the best option for carrying tools and a cell phone, as well as keeping a hammer accessible. All the work pants on this list offer some degree of flexibility. The Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Ripstop Carpenter Jean is unique in its ability to handle any situation, including wet and muddy conditions. Whatever your need, you’re sure to find a work pant on this list that will benefit you throughout each work day.