Review: Carhartt Cordura-Front Work Pants

By: Mark Clement , Contributing Writer
In: Home Improvement Tips, Garden And Lawncare

I’ve been remodeling homes, using tools–and reviewing tools–for a long time. During that time I’ve cycled through generations of tables saws and impact drivers, nailers and worm-drives, wrecking bars and tool boxes. And while all tools employ what manufacturers call “consumables” (i.e. blades, wheels, discs, bags, whatever) I think the biggest consumable on my projects over the years has been my pants.

Carhartt's Cordura-Front Dungaree at work.


I’ve worn everything from old khakis that no longer cut it for biz-caszh to work pants that claimed to be tough yet didn’t last much longer than the khakis–and cost a whole lot more. Either way, if my pants were a power tool, the biggest “wear part” would be the knees. And whether I’m going for a client meeting after being on site all day long or I’m kneeling down install a new baseboard or plumb-up a fence post on an around-the-house project perforated pants serve neither form nor function.

As for client meetings, I can’t always change before I visit, but I still want to put my best, non-ripped leg forward. And as for kneeling down on site a thousand times a day, well, I want something between me and the debris…just sayin’.

The good news is that I’ve finally found a pair of pants I can put through the paces–britches that butch-up to a beat-down job site and come back for more. I’ve worn Carhartt’s Cordura-Front Work Dungaree on projects from roofing to landscaping to fence building to carpentry–in all kinds of weather–and found a lot to love, notably a pair of pants that–finally–can handle what I dish out.

Basically, these are Carhartt’s tried and true 12 ounce, ring-spun cotton duck work pant with a Cordura nylon “chap” sewn onto the front and around the ankle. They work.

First, they’re rugged. They resist ripping and tearing like no other pant I’ve worked in.

Second, they move and breathe in all kinds of situations. I can see where it might be easy to think that the Cordura chap would trap humidity or bind up on hot days but that’s not the case, largely because there’s cotton against your skin. I can bend, climb, reach, walk fast, whatever without a hitch. However, when I kneel down in wet grass or mud to work on a fence post, unplug tools, or pick stuff up, the Cordura resists that cold, wet feeling of cotton pants soaking up water like a sponge. I also know that motorcycle riders like them because they act as a windbreaker for your legs on cooler rides.

Finally, people notice them. I wore them during my bathroom remodeling demonstrations at The Remodeling Show and I got stopped in the aisles and asked where I got them. I don’t know if clients have the same reaction, but as long as I can show up without ripped pants I feel like I’m a leg up getting down to business.