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Work Pants

Carhartt Men’s Ripstop Cargo Work Pants

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Rating : 8.0/10
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Performance Breakdown

8
9
7
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Bottom Line

Designed with abrasion-resistant Ripstop cotton and Cordura reinforcements on most pockets, the Carhartt Men’s Ripstop Cargo Work Pants won’t let you down with high-performance benefits.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Abrasion-resistant material
  • Multiple pockets (most of them with Cordura reinforcement)
  • Dual front knee panels
  • Triple stitching on main seams

Cons

  • Not ideal for cold weather
  • Fits quite small

Material

100% cotton ripstop

Weight

1.65 lbs

Sizes Available

W (28/30/31/32/33/34/36/38/40/42) / L30, W (28/30/31/32/33/34/36/38/40/42) / L32, W (30/31/32/33/34/36/38/40) / L34, W (32/33/34/36/38) / L36

Manufacturer

Carhartt

Summary

The Carhartt Men’s Ripstop Cargo Work Pants worked as hard as I did while on the job but stayed comfortable all day. It was obvious that these were of top quality, from the strength of the 100% ripstop cotton with its abrasion resistance to the triple stitching on the main seams. I like that these pants have plenty of pockets that allow me to have the essential items on hand, with most of these compartments reinforced with Cordura sections for superior durability. The lightweight structure weighed almost like a regular pair of jeans, which was quite surprising given the number of pockets built into these cargo pants. However, the minimized weight made these pants comfortable, especially for mild weather conditions or areas that may heat up as the day progresses. They fit quite small, though, and felt tighter and shorter than other pairs of the same size. They’re also not ideal for cold weather because of the fairly thin, lightweight material.

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Key Takeaways

  • The Carhartt Men’s Ripstop Cargo Work Pants are comfortable, durable, and ideal for mild or warm weather. The lightweight material offers a comfortable experience and doesn’t restrict movements.
  • This ripstop fabric is abrasion resistant and is strong enough to perform well even in challenging surroundings, with triple-stitched seams to ensure that the pants won’t easily fall apart.
  • Multiple pockets offer more than enough space to stash essential items that must be within reach daily.
  • A double layer of material on the knee area offers protection against premature wear while also saving the knees from extreme pain while kneeling on hard floors.
  • It should be noted that the pants’ lightweight design results in unsuitability for cold conditions.

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Ideal For

  • Those who want durable cargo pants
  • Mild or warm weather
  • People who are after lightweight, comfortable work pants

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Performance Analysis

Comfort

The Carhartt Men’s Ripstop Cargo Work Pants didn’t disappoint when it came to comfort – which I needed from work pants.

I appreciated that even with the abrasion resistance enhancing the material, it maintained a lightweight and soft structure that let me move more comfortably throughout the day.

These pants felt protective, at the same time, had enough flex not to restrict my movements in any way.

I was happy to discover that these pants had a gusseted crotch that made moving much easier and more comfortable. This gusseted area offered the extra space I needed to crouch, kneel, and go up and down ladders without feeling like the pants’ material was limiting my movements. With that small bit of room added to the crotch, the pants didn’t tighten in an uncomfortable way when I moved certain ways, so it was easier for me to finish the required tasks.

I liked the straight leg cut that made the pants feel roomy enough, so my legs could enjoy a wider range of motion and didn’t feel forced into tight spaces. In addition, the leg opening was designed to fit over work boots easily and didn’t bunch up awkwardly around my ankles – which was a problem I often encountered with other work pants.

The double layer of material on the knee area not only delivered enhanced durability to the pants but also made them more comfortable to use. This reinforcement offered to cushion the section so my knees didn’t feel directly in contact with hard surfaces – such as concrete or wood. In addition, I liked the design that’s meant to lie just below the waist, maintaining a secure fit while aiding comfortable motion.

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Weight

These pants were lightweight, making them ideal for mild to warm weather where heavier designs would feel uncomfortable and restrictive.

Weighting 1.65 lbs, these weighed as much as a regular pair of jeans in the same size. This was a surprising discovery because I expected these cargo pants to feel much heavier, considering the number of pockets built into the structure. Instead, this lightweight construction makes the pants easier to move in and more comfortable in warm conditions.

However, I won’t suggest their use in low-temperature environments as the cold will easily seep in.

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Fit and Sizing

These pants have a relaxed fit design. However, I was surprised to discover they felt quite short and tight – even when I wore the same size (W32 x L30). I also felt these cargo pants were shorter and fit more tightly compared to other Carhartt trousers I’ve tried. The straight-cut leg and gusseted crotch helped ease the tightness to allow me to move more freely. However, I would’ve felt more comfortable if I had upsized to W33 x L32.

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Waterproofing

The material is strong enough to resist abrasion but doesn’t stand a chance against liquid penetration. Unfortunately, these pants aren’t waterproof or water-resistant, so that I won’t recommend them for use in heavy rain and other extremely wet surroundings.

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Breathability

The ripstop cotton material allowed air to move into and within the pants. Hence, they continued to feel comfortable doing physically taxing activities after long hours in warm settings. I’m happy that even with the material’s strength and abrasion resistance, these pants stayed breathable enough to prevent overheating, protecting me from feeling unbearably hot and sweaty as the temperature in the environment started to rise.

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Quality and Durability

The Carhartt Men’s Ripstop Cargo Work Pants are made with 100% ripstop cotton resistant to abrasion. This strong material gave me the confidence to work on the toughest tasks without worries that my pants would easily get damaged. I appreciated the triple-stitched main seams that ensured all the pants’ sections were strongly bonded and won’t easily fall apart. The metallic zipper and buttons all around the pants looked sturdy enough to last a long time while also bringing a nice contrast to the cotton fabric.

Two layers of fabric over the knees strengthened these sections and made kneeling on hard surfaces more manageable.

Even with the pants’ enhanced strength, I loved how they remained comfortable without restricting movements. The ripstop fabric had a lightweight feel and allowed more air for superior breathability. These pants weighed just as much as a pair of regular jeans, which was surprising since these cargo pants were equipped with quite a few pockets. I’d recommend these pants for use in mild weather because of the light structure of the material.

These pants had plenty of storage space with multiple pockets, so I had no problems carrying the stuff I needed for the day.

Two front slash pockets were the ideal compartment for easy access to items and were reinforced with Cordura and metal rivets for superb durability. The back pockets had Cordura lining and edges that were wrapped with Cordura, significantly increasing their resistance to normal wear and tear. I liked the hammer loop that’s discreetly fastened on the left pant leg, and I’m even happier with the two side cargo pockets that were roomy enough to hold much bigger items.

The gusseted crotch made the pants more adaptable to certain movements, so I had an easy time climbing ladders and crouching as I didn’t feel uncomfortable with too-tight pants getting in the way. In addition, I appreciated the straight leg cut that allowed my legs to move freely, with the leg opening fitting well over work boots.

They’re advertised to have a relaxed fit, but these pants somehow felt a bit too tight and short – even when compared to other Carhartt pants in the same size.

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Other Versions

The Carhartt Men’s Ripstop Cargo Work Pants are available in 5 colors: gravel, black, moss, desert, and dark coffee. Unfortunately, they don’t come in other versions.

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The Challengers

Dickies Duck Canvas Stone-Washed Carpenter Pants

The Dickies Duck Canvas Stone-Washed Carpenter Pants are made of duck canvas strong enough to take on challenging work settings without damage. They feel as soft and flexible as regular jeans, with a regular fit that allows freedom of movement without feeling extremely loose. These pants are much lighter than cargo pants with plenty of pockets, although they have front and back pockets that are typically built into work or casual pants. The hammer loop and tool pocket on the side allow you to bring your work essentials to access them throughout the day easily. The double-stitched seams keep the pants’ components strongly bonded for improved durability and strength. These pants are ideal for mild to slightly warmer weather, so they’re unsuitable for use in severely cold environments.

Carhartt Steel Rugged Flex Relaxed Fit Cargo Work Pants

The Carhartt Steel Rugged Flex Relaxed Fit Cargo Work Pants are built with Cordura stretch ripstop fabric that resists abrasion for superior durability that shines through even in the most challenging settings. This material is further enhanced with the proprietary Rugged Flex technology that allows the pants to quickly adapt to movements, allowing a wider range of motion and promoting superior comfort simultaneously. The kick panels feature Cordura sections that increase their resistance to premature damage. The front ledge and spacious cargo pockets are likewise reinforced with Cordura to make them stronger, and more protected against normal wear and tear. Meanwhile, a zippered pocket on the pant leg offers a secured area where a phone can be stashed. The articulated knees enable squatting to be managed more comfortably, while more fabric layers continuously protect the knees when kneeling on hard floors. These are slightly heavier than other cargo pants and jeans, but they must be better for extremely cold settings.

Dickies Renegade Jeans

The Dickies Renegade Jeans are made with polycotton that gives a more rugged feel compared to average pairs of jeans while offering superior durability to last through tough activities and environments. The material is much more flexible than regular denim, though, so moving comfortably won’t be an issue with these jeans. These jeans won’t restrict movements and, given their relaxed fit, will make challenging tasks much easier to deal with. The abrasion-resistant waistband holds its own even with heavy use, resisting signs of damage and discomfort to deliver high-performance benefits for longer. The double knee design reinforces the knee area to protect it from extensive damage while also making kneeling more comfortable. As these jeans are on the heavy side, they’re not the best choice for those who prefer lightweight pants.

Dickies Eagle Bend Cargo Pants

The Dickies Eagle Bend Cargo Pants are designed to offer superior comfort, with a very relaxed fit (including on the waist area) that allows complete freedom of movement. These pants don’t feel restrictive, so moving and working on different tasks is more comfortable without compromising performance. The double layer of material on the knees protects this area from easily damaging. Also, it adds a bit of cushioning to save the knees from pain while kneeling on hard ground conditions. The cargo pockets are spacious and can hold more or bigger items that need to be within reach all day. The heavy stonewashed ripstop cotton softly moves with the body’s motion and showcases an old-school vibe for a ruggedly stylish aesthetic. This material is durable enough to keep up with many activities, but there are better options for those who are after extremely rugged pants.

Conclusion & Verdict

The Carhartt Men’s Ripstop Cargo Work Pants perform remarkably well in mild or warm weather. I liked the lightweight feel of the ripstop cotton material that made the pants quite comfortable. This fabric features an abrasion-resistant weave to keep the pants as strong as possible to continue their exceptional performance even in tough settings. Cordura reinforcements on most pockets protect these compartments from premature damage, even with heavy use. I appreciated the multiple pockets that gave me enough storage space for the important things I needed to carry around all day. The double layer of fabric on the knee area protected against extensive wear and discomfort, while the triple-stitched seams strengthened the pants’ construction even further. Unfortunately, these pants felt a bit too tight and short, even when compared to pants of the same size from the same brand. The lightweight material also makes them unsuitable for cold weather.

What we like

  • Lightweight
  • Abrasion-resistant material
  • Multiple pockets
  • Dual front knee panels
  • Triple-stitched main seams

What we don’t like

  • Unsuitable for cold weather
  • Not true to size – they are a bit short and tight

Professions These Are Ideal For

Carpenters, Warehouse technicians, Construction workers, Electricians

Luke Davis

Luke is the lead author on WorkWear.org. He has a vast experience in construction engineering and project management in California and Texas, where he had the chance to put to test a wide range of safety boots and PPE. Outside work, Luke is an avid hiker and not surprisingly a DIY fanatic!