I am 5’10 and 170lbs. I wear a 32x32 size pant. I have large thighs and carry much of my weight in my lower body. Take this into consideration when you are reading these reviews and applying them to yourself.
I have worn a multitude of different pants on the job, on the trail, on the range, and in-between. I have compiled a list of the best of in three different categories of Work Style Pants. Work/Duty, Technical, and Performance.
Work/Duty Pant is a plain looking pant that is designed around daily wear and performs well at the desk, the warehouse, and around your property. These pants aren’t loaded with technical frills and don’t bust out performance features. They are Primarily Cotton Canvas or Twill.
Work/Duty Pant Category –
Arborwear is the TREE CLIMBING brand. Founded by Arborists who were tired of trying to juggle wearing Canvas Work Pants and Rock Climbing pants, they decided to design and deliver one of the most rugged and long lasting work parts on the planet. If it’s any testament to their quality…I bought my first pair of Original Tree Climber Pants in 2002 and I still wear them today.
Estimator Pant – $40-$50 – Great walkaround pant and perfect for going out on the town after work. Unfortunately these are discontinued, but can be found on Amazon or E-bay from time to time.
Arbenter Pant - $60-$70 – Great work pant with awesome features such as tool pockets and slots, reinforced heel panels, and signature gusseted crotch. Again, much like the Estimator pant, it has been discontinued. Replaced by the New Arbenter Cedar Flex*
Lightweight Originals - $60-$70 – This pant is perfect for the summer months. They are built with a 10oz Cotton canvas but don’t sacrifice utility or ruggedness. The knees are doubled up and the pants feature a gusseted crotch, a utility pocket, and work friendly cuffs (large cuffs to accommodate boots). They offer these pants in three colors.
Original Tree Climber Pant - $60-$70 – This is the original! I have several hundred washes and wears on these pants and they haven’t busted. They are built with a 12.5oz ringspun cotton canvas featuring a gusseted crotch, utility pocket, doubled up knees, and a boot friend work cuff. These pants look great and take a beating in the warehouse and out in the woods. They offer these pants in four colors. – Chestnut, Moss, Driftwood, and Diesel.
Cedar Flex Pant - $70-$80 – It’s hard to let these pants fall into the WORK/DUTY Category…but the perform so well in this role, I have to leave them here. (I actually have these pants on today) Building on the Arbenter pant…these utilize a 13.5oz Flex Twill Fabric (96% Cotton, 4% Spandex) instead of the 12.5oz canvas. They feature a gusseted crotch, utility pocket, doubled up and articulated knees, rear utility welt pocket, double layer heel panels, and a boot friendly work cuff. I will eventually fade my other Arborwear pants out in favor of these pants due to their stretch feature. They offer these pants in three colors. – Chestnut, Moss, and Russet.
Vertx was birthed from necessity. When a request was made for low profile pants, Fechheimer Brothers produced the “Original Pant” and the Vertx brand was born. With 175 years of experience making military uniforms and wear items…it’s no surprise they were able to deliver.
Original Pant - $50-$60 – This pant is the orginal creation of Fechheimer that launched the Brand. I wear these pants to the gun range and when temperatures outside get a little unruly for canvas/twill pants. Utilizing a 9oz Advantage stretch fabric (98% Cotton 2% Lycra) these pants have just the right amount of give and flex. Featuring a flexible waistband, gusseted crotch, low profile cargo pockets, and articulated knees. For a budget utility pant…I don’t think these pants can be beat. They fit well, look good, and have boatloads of features that much more expensive pants offer.
Triple Aught Design –
Triple Aught Designs is by far one of the best brands for outerwear and technical clothing. I would lump them with Arcteryx, OR, Beyond, and many other top tier brands. I don’t know much about their story but I know that they deliver a quality product that is produced her in the United State of America, which makes them one of my favorite brands.
Recon RS Pant - $120 – Awesome pants…you are getting what you pay for. Being that these pants cost twice as much as a pair of Vertx Originals, or four times as much as a pair of Columbia Roc II pants…you have to choke down some feelings when you put them in our cart. That being said…I don’t know if I own a better fitting or more comfortable pair of pants that doesn’t feature stretch material. These pants are built from a 6.5 Cotton/Nylon blend that features a DWR finish. They have a standard fit and straight leg with triple and double needle stitching. The knees are articulated(darted), the crotch is gusseted and there is an integrated back yoke for comfort. There is a plethora of pockets that comfortably store anything from your wallet and keys to extra 30Rd magazines and pocket knives. These pants utilize YKK zippers and are proudly MADE IN THE USA!
Columbia is a solid brand that has done well as a big boy in the outdoor industry at the hands of Gert Boyle and her son Tim. The Columbia Giant has swallowed up the likes of Sorel, Pacific Trail, Montrail, and Mountain Hardware in the past 20 years and shows no signs of slowing down.
Colombia Roc II Pant – $30-$40 – Good pant for the $$ and available at most outdoor sporting goods stores such as Academy Sports and Outdoors, Bass Prop Shops, Backcountry.com, and assorted others.
I have owned every color of these pants, and they served me well for 3-4 years wearing each pair a minimum of 100times. Perspective on that…I wore and washed 7 pairs of pants more than 100 Times. I had seam failures in a few of these pants after about a year of use. These pants don’t incorporate a gusseted crotch so they get snug in the jewels if you sit down abruptly or stretch them past what would be a normal walking stride. All in all…I score them well for a daily work pant. They have a flat front and look good with a polo or a T-shirt.
Honorable Mention - Mountain Kahkis and Patagonia Standup Pants
Based off of the FIT and durability of their Uniform Style Pants, I will not Purchase from Propper. Three pairs of Multicam Pants faded after the second wash and had a poor appearance. Being a military police officer, this was unacceptable. I would suggest the CRYE Field Pant and the Tru-Spec Tops for anyone wearing MultiCams/OCPs.
Based off of the FIT of their Uniform Style Pants, I will not Purchase from Tru-Spec.