Lifestyle

Best Carhartt pants for men and women

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The Carhartt brand is synonymous with rural life in America — the brand captures our lifestyle, our need to work hard and play hard, and to cope with some of the most extreme conditions that Mother Nature throws at us. Carhartt’s clothing lines keep us protected when working on machinery, herding animals, and cultivating the land. One of our favorite items, that the company delivers on is its pants. Some of the best Carhartt pants for men and women will serve you season after season, year after year.

Most of Carhartt’s pants are going to be a primarily made of cotton, with a bit of spandex blend thrown in. Carhartt has a special flex technology — appropriately called Rugged Flex — that it works into most of its newest garments. The Rugged Flex feature allows pants to move and stretch with your body, but also for that piece of clothing to recover well (meaning it won’t remain loose and overstretched) and remain durable. 

While Carhartt may have long been associated with a carpenter-style pant, for work around animals and heavy machinery, we tend to prefer more of a regular- or straighter-leg fit. We don’t want pants that are so loose they get snagged on things. And for women, we’ve had staffers test out Carhartt’s line of utility leggings, and they’re top notch, so you’ll see some of those among our picks below, along with jeans and lined pants.

We strongly encourage you to consult the online size and fit guides to get the most comfortable fit out of your Carhartt work pants and leggings. Carhartt has a separate Men’s Sizing Guide and Women’s Sizing Guide for you to explore. 

So which pieces stand out to us as the best Carhartt pants for men and women? We’ll split it up for you:

Best Carhartt pants for women

Rugged Flex Relaxed Fit Double-Front Jean

We love the double-front jean largely because of its great durability under the situations we all find on our farms and in work environments. They’re made of a slim-fit stretch denim (that “Rugged Flex” feature is right there in title), and they have a higher cut in the back for extra coverage as you reach down. Plus, if you’re needing this feature, the double layer at the knees accommodates knee pads.  

These jeans are mid-rise, sitting just below the waist, and have a fitted hip and thigh and a straight leg opening. Did we mention real pockets? Yeah, they’ve got those, including a hammer loop.

Heads up: These jeans tend to run small, so you may need to size up when buying.

Here is an overview of other features and specs:

  • 77% cotton, 21% polyester, 2% spandex denim
  • Waistband construction prevents gaping in the back
  • Double-layer knees with openings for adding knee pads and cleaning out debris


carhartt leggings

Force Fitted Midweight Utility Legging

This style of legging also comes in lightweight and heavy-duty, but the fact is, the midweight ones are extremely versatile and perfect for a variety of seasons outdoors. And they’re so comfortable that it’s easy to forget you have them on — they just move with you so perfectly. They blend that flexibility with durability, and they have a high waistband and features that keep them from gaping open in the back. 

One of the best things about leggings like this is how quickly they dry. Slosh a bit of water on them? No problem! They’ll be dry in no time. Plus these leggings have great deep and wide pockets, sizable enough for a large cellphone while still keeping it very snug — no worrying about it falling out! And there’s still room for keys and pocketknife.

Here is an overview of other features and specs:

  • 95% nylon, 5% spandex ponte knit
  • Uses Force technology to wick sweat and dry fast
  • FastDry technology wicks sweat
  • Fights odors: Traps and releases them in the wash
  • Stretch-knit fabric fits close to the body
  • Abrasion-resistant front, back, and utility pockets
  • Reinforced knee panels for durability


Rugged Flex Canvas Work Pant

This feels truly like a Carhartt classic. It’s a mix between relaxed and loose fit, but with a straighter-leg design that doesn’t make it feel too baggy. And while this is a rugged and durable as they come, it doesn’t bring along much stiffness for the ride. It’s built with that Rugged Flex features to keep you mobile and, honestly, eliminating a lot of the fatigue during a long day that more rigid pants might give you.

They have triple-stitched seams and pockets galore — I mean, Carhartt would be dropping the ball if they didn’t deliver on that, right? Like many other Carhartt pants, you likely should look at sizing down, especially since these aren’t a slim-fit styling and wear with a little more room.

Here is an overview of other features and specs:

  • 98% cotton, 2% spandex canvas
  • Built to move with Rugged Flex stretch technology
  • Mid-rise sits just below the waist with a fitted hip and thigh and a straight leg opening
  • Straight waistband prevents gap in the back
  • Utility pockets and loop


Rugged Flex Slim Fit Jean

If you love slim-fit styling, here is a new go-to all-around pair of pants for you. There’s almost no one who has a bad thing to say about these jeans. For as snug as they look at first glance, they move amazingly well with your body, and the material cleans up nicely from a lot of the kinds of dirt and stains they may encounter. 

This Carhartt jean is made of stretch denim with a skinny leg opening that easily tucks into your boots. Perfect for horseback riding or wearing your Muck boots out to the milking parlor.

Here is an overview of other features and specs:

  • 78% cotton, 20% polyester, 2% spandex denim
  • Built to move with Rugged Flex stretch technology
  • Mid-rise sits just below the waist with a fitted hip and thigh and a skinny leg opening
  • Higher back rise for added coverage


Best Carhartt pants for men

Rugged Flex Duck Double-Front Utility Work Pant

If you chose to stop reading this list now, I would totally understand it, because there’s no pair of men’s pants we’re going to gush over as much as these double-front utility work pants. It’s hard to remember a day in the past year that I haven’t worn these for at least part of the day. These pants check all the right boxes, from how they fit, how they move with me, how many pockets they have, and how they’ve held up after a whole lot of use! They’re flexible enough for when I have to pound some staples into the bottom board, but they’re also durable enough to deflect wood chips when I’m splitting logs.

The pockets on these pants hold a lot of items in just a way as to not feel like I’m bogged down with gear. Overall, their comfort and quality is top-notch.

Here is an overview of other features and specs:

  • 99% cotton, 1% spandex duck
  • Built to move with Rugged Flex stretch technology
  • Strong sewn-on-seam belt loops
  • Double-layer knees with openings for adding knee pads and cleaning out debris
  • Multiple tool pockets


Straight/Traditional-Fit Straight-Leg Jean

There’s something beautiful in a back-to-basics look and feel. With a work-industry classic heavyweight cotton build, and styling that feels like a work jean should (tough, a bit roomy but not loose, good waist), these Carhartt pants capitalize on everything that you’ve ever imagined about the iconic brand. Comfortable, durable, and with a leg that easily fits over most types of boots.

Forget the frills and feel the functionality with these work jeans.

Here is an overview of other features and specs:

  • 15-ounce, 100% cotton denim
  • Closer-to-the-body fit through the seat and thigh and a straight leg opening
  • Strong sewn-on-seam belt loop


Ripstop Cargo Work Pant

Can we just go ahead and call Carhartt the king of cargo pants? We’d be doing a disservice if we didn’t feature one of the brand’s standout cargo pant styles in this list. Like with so many of the other picks, we steered clear of the overly loose-fitting pants to zero in on a relaxed fit with a straight leg, to best keep you from getting caught on anything in a workplace environment. (And even if you do get snagged on something, the tears won’t go far with the ripstop material.)

These pants have an abrasion-resistant weave that holds up to wear, while the double-front design adds durability. They also have a gusseted crotch to give you plenty of room to climb ladders or crouch to get the job done.

Here is an overview of other features and specs:

  • 100% cotton ripstop fabric
  • Durable Cordura-lined front ledge pockets
  • Double-layer knees for added durability
  • Two large cargo pockets


What are Carhartt pants made out of?

Most of Carhartt’s pants are primarily heavy-duty cotton, often incorporating a very small percentage of spandex denim or spandex duck, like in its Rugged Flex lines. Some of the more traditional and affordable styles are 100 percent cotton, made in the way classic work pants have been done. It wasn’t long ago that Carhartt added women’s leggings to its lineup too, and those are going to be primarily nylon with a good measure of spandex, giving the leggings a lot of great stretching and fit qualities.

Where are Carhartt pants sold?

Carhartt is a brand as ubiquitous with rural America as is John Deere or Tractor Supply Co. Speaking of which, if you’re not buying a pair of Carhartt pants directly from carhartt.com (the company does run discounts a lot, especially around the holidays, on their flagship website), Tractor Supply offers a wide array of styles. Big box stores such as Walmart and Sportsman’s Warehouse have Carhartt offerings, and even your local True Value or Ace Hardware franchise likely stocks a good supply of Carhartt basics — though some of the more unique and newest items may not have yet made it to those smaller locales.

 

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