In this article we discuss the best flex work pants for men. Traditional cotton canvas work pants may be durable, but they can also be stiff and unforgiving. Finding flexible work pants that stretch can make life much easier for those of you who spend all day bending and crouching on the job.
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These are my choices for the best flex work pants that stretch:
- Carhartt Men’s Rugged Flex Rigby Five Pocket Pants (click here to view)
- 1620 Workwear Made in USA Stretch Work Pants (click here to view)
- Dickies Men’s Tough Max Flex Duck Carpenter Pants (click here to view)
- Wrangler ATG Men’s Reinforced Knee Stretch Utility Pants (click here to view)
- 5.11 Tactical Men’s Stryke Operator Flex-Tac Pants (click here to view)
- Dickies Men’s Slim Taper Stretch Twill Work Pant (click here to view)
- Carhartt Men’s Rugged Flex Rigby Dungaree Pant (click here to view)
- Carhartt Men’s Force Extreme Cargo Pants (click here to view)
- Duluth Trading Co. Men’s DuluthFlex Fire Hose Cargo Pants (click here to view)
- Caterpillar Men’s Operator Flex Trouser (click here to view)
- Wrangler ATG Men’s Stretch Canvas Cargo Pants (click here to view)
- *Women’s* Carhartt Rugged Flex Original Fit Crawford Pants (click here to view)
- *Women’s* 5.11 Tactical Women’s Stryke Flex Pants (click here to view)
- *Women’s* Dickies Stretch Duck Double Front Carpenter Pants (click here to view)
- *Women’s* Dovetail Workwear Women’s Stretch Utility Pants (click here to view)
I’ve been wearing the Carhartt Rugged Flex Pants for several years. I think they provide a perfect balance between comfort and toughness. The fabric is flexible and responsive, but still has a canvas feel to it so it can hold up on the job. Here’s a look at mine:
Finding work pants that stretch may be critical for comfort, but they still need to be durable enough to handle a tough work environment. Although the material used in the pants listed above varies, they all provide a reasonable amount of toughness and dependability.
In this article let’s take a closer look at these pants so that you can decide which pair of flex work pants makes the most sense for you. At the end of the article we will also discuss other details that may make your work pants more comfortable to wear.
Best Flex Work Pants with Stretch
Carhartt Flexible Work Pants
Carhartt is a trusted name in workwear, and a brand that many workers prefer to wear. Although Carhartt is maybe best known for their heavyweight duck canvas pants and jackets, they also have several stretch work pants.
The Carhartt flex pants that I like the best are the Carhartt Men’s Rugged Flex Rigby Five Pocket Pants. Here’s what these pants look like (multiple colors available):
This is the current price of these Carhartt Rugged Flex Pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Expect these pants to fit true to size.
These pants use a midweight cotton canvas that also has a bit of spandex added to the fabric which gives these pants their flexibility. They are designed to have a comfortable fit through the seat and thigh, then finish with a straight leg opening below the knee.
But just to be clear, these aren’t flimsy work pants. These pants have just a small bit of spandex added to give it a little bit of flexibility. They aren’t super stretchy. They still have that durable canvas feel to them.
Here’s a look at mine:
They definitely make it easier for me to bend and crouch while I work:
But, again, don’t expect these pants to be so stretchy that they become lightweight and flimsy. These pants still have a canvas feel to them. No, not as tough as 12-ounce heavyweight cotton work pants, but still durable. Here is a close up of the fabric on my pants:
Overall, these pants have a very simple, clean design. They have the traditional 5-pocket styling, but also have a phone utility pocket on the side of the right leg (my iPhone fits in there perfectly).
Click here to buy these Carhartt Rugged Flex Work Pants at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These pants have a traditional zip fly with button closure. Multiple colors available. If you prefer pants with cargo pockets, check out the next Carhartt pants we cover next.
Another pair of popular Carhartt flexible work pants are the Carhartt Men’s Force Extreme Cargo Pants. Here’s what these pants look like:
Expect these pants to be relaxed through the seat and thigh. They are built with a flexible material blend and also have a crotch gusset for additional comfort and freedom of movement.
These are great summer work pants that still have some durable toughness. The Carhartt Force Extremes collection is their fastest-drying apparel, which means it will help you stay dry while sweating in the summer heat.
The “37.5 Technology” that Carhartt uses in these pants aims to help maintain your ideal body temperature while the fibers in the pants release sweat.
No, these pants won’t cool you down like you’re sitting in the air conditioning, but they will help keep you dry and provide a bit of relief in the heat. And we all know every little bit helps out there in the brutal summer months.
One thing I like about these pants is they have the low profile cargo pockets that give you space to store essentials, but aren’t too bulky. These pants also have odor-fighting technology.
Click here to buy these Carhartt Flex Cargo Pants at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These pants offer a unique blend of toughness and flexibility, and also help you survive in the summer heat.
Dickies Men’s Tough Max Flex Duck Carpenter Pants
Dickies is another well-known workwear brand. They specialize in making work apparel for a wide range of jobs.
Here’s what the Dickies Men’s Tough Max Flex Duck Carpenter Pants look like (multiple colors available):
This is the current price of these Dickies work pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Expect these pants to fit true to size.
These Dickies stretch canvas carpenter pants have utility pockets on the right leg, and a hammer loop on the left leg. They’re made with a cotton/poly/elastane blend that gives them stretch and flexibility.
These pants are built using the “Tough Max” technology which helps create pants that have a higher tear and tensile strength for added toughness and durability. They are made to sit slightly below the waist.
Click here to buy these Dickies Men’s Tough Max Flex Duck Carpenter Pants at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These pants have a standard zip fly with a button closure.
Edgevale Men’s Stretch Foothill Pants
Edgevale is a newer apparel company (established in 2013), and the cool thing about them is they offer a flexbile work pant that is made here in the USA.
The Edgevale Men’s Stretch Foothill Pants are a stretch work pant that is lightweight and easy to work in, but still very tough. Edgevale describes these pants as “tougher than a $2 steak”.
These pants are built using a 6-ounce ripstop fabric that helps prevent tears and rips. They use a polyseter/spandex blend which gives these pants their stretch.
These pants also have a gusseted crotch for additional comfort and reinforced knees for additional toughness. Overall, these are dependable stretch work pants that should give you some peace of mind knowing they are built here in the USA.
Wrangler ATG Men’s Reinforced Summer Utility Pants
You’re probably familiar with Wrangler, but you might not know that Wrangler has a specific line of apparel called “ATG by Wrangler” which stands for All Terrain Gear. A lot of Wrangler ATG collection can make for ideal work clothing in outdoor, rugged environments.
In my opinion, these are the best lightweight canvas pants for summer if you need something that still has reinforced knees. The tradeoff is these pants are a bit heavier than some of the other options on this list.
Here’s what these Wrangler ATG Utility Pants look like:
This is the current price of these Wrangler stretch work pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about these pants:
- Material – This reinforced utility pant is constructed of an 8.9-ounce cotton/spandex blend stretch canvas. So although this pant is made with a durable canvas fabric, it still has flexibility for comfort, and is lighter in weight than heavy duty canvas pants.
- Sweat Wicking – These pants are moisture-wicking to keep you dry and comfortable (best summer canvas pants). The fabric also offers UPF 30 to help block the sun’s harmful UV rays.
- Pockets – Securely store your valuables in the zip utility pocket and hidden inside pocket, perfect for a wallet or cell phone. Two front pockets as well as two rear pockets provide even more space for whatever you may need. No hammer loop on these pants.
- Fit – Featuring a mid-rise and a regular fit through the seat and thigh, this straight-leg pant is made for all-day comfort. Lending to their durability is an articulated, reinforced knee and kick plate. Gusseted crotch for additional comfort.
Here I am wearing these Wrangler ATG pants. In my experience, these fit true to size:
Yes, these flexible work pants are made with a comfortable stretch canvas blend that has reinforced knees and a reinforced kick plate:
These pants also have a diamond-shaped crotch gusset for extra comfort while bending and crouching:
For storage, these flexible work pants have a side-zip utility pocket which gives you a secure place to store essentials:
Again, this just comes down to how much toughness you need. These are a great option for those of you who need reinforced knees on the job.
Click here to buy these Wrangler lightweight stretch work pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These pants are machine washable.
5.11 Tactical Flex Pants
5.11 is a trusted name in tactical workwear. The thing about tactical pants is they usually put an emphasis on flexibility and mobility, and because of that, these 5.11 pants may be a great option if you’re needing work pants that stretch.
Although 5.11 has several types of flex work pants, there are two specific styles I want to discuss: The 5.11 Stryke Operator Flex-Tac Pants and the 5.11 Tactical Men’s Defender-Flex Slim Pants.
Here’s what these 5.11 Tactical Men’s Stryke Operator Flex-Tac Pants look like (multiple colors available):
This is the current price of these 5.11 pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Expect these pants to have a relaxed fit that runs true to size.
These pants have 12 total pockets and really prioritize giving you plenty of storage options. They are also knee pad compatible.
They are made with flexible ripstop fabric and have a gusseted crotch for comfort. Ripstop pants are popular for lightweight toughness.
If you want to maximize your pockets, these 5.11 pants will have more pockets than the other pants on this list. For some people, the 12 pockets is overkill. For others, the 12 pockets are helpful and sometimes essential.
Click here to buy these 5.11 tactical flex work pants at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Again, expect a relaxed fit. These pants have a teflon finish that is stain and water resistant.
Another pair of 5.11 pants I want to specifically mention are the 5.11 Tactical Men’s Defender-Flex Slim Pants. The reason these are worth mentioning is they are a slim fit pant.
It is difficult to find slim fit work pants because most companies make work pants with a loose fit or relaxed fit for easy movement. If you prefer a slimmer fit, or need it for your body type, these are a great option.
Here’s what these 5.11 slim work pants look like:
This is the current price of these 5.11 slim work pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These pants are made with a flexible cotton/poly/elastane blend, so they do have some stretch. These pants have a traditional 5-pocket design, and won’t have any side leg pockets.
Duluth Trading Co. Flex Work Pants
Duluth Trading is a workwear brand established in 1989, but has really gained steam during the recent decade. One thing I personally like about Duluth is they put an emphasis on creating comfortable, easy-to-wear clothing.
They have a lot of flexible work pants available, but there are two specific options that are very popular.
- Duluth Men’s DuluthFlex Fire Hose Relaxed Cargo Pants – Although Duluth has several cargo pants, and several different styles of their “Fire Hose” cargo pants, these are probably their most popular. The “DuluthFlex” version is made with a flexible material and a crotch gusset for comfort. Water repellent finish. Pre-washed to give them a softer feeling on the first wear. Click here to view these pants.
- Duluth Men’s DuluthFlex Fire Hose Relaxed Carpenter Pants – These pants also use have the “Fire Hose” toughness combined with the flexible “DuluthFlex” fabric, but these are carpenter pants, so the styling will be a bit different. They don’t have cargo pockets, but do have 7 total pockets, including several utility pockets. These pants also have a crotch gusset. Click here to view these pants.
Caterpillar Men’s Operator Flex Trouser
Caterpillar is another well-known name in industrial equipment and workwear. The Caterpillar Men’s Operator Flex Trouser puts an emphasis on freedom of movement, and has several different types of gusset panels throughout the pants to help with movement.
Here’s what these Caterpillar Flex Trousers look like (multiple colors available):
This is the current price of these Caterpillar gusseted crotch work pants at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These pants are designed, in part, to help those who spend most of their day sitting, operating equipment.
Here are some of the details for these pants:
- Flex Fabric – These pants are made using a flexible poly/cotton/spandex material blend that will move with your body to help increase your freedom of movement.
- Gusseted Crotch – These Caterpillar pants do have a fully gusseted crotch for comfort while bending, kneeling, sitting and crouching.
- Extra Gussets – In addition to the crotch gusset, these pants also have a side waist gussets, and knee gussets for added mobility.
- Pockets – These pants have standard front and back pockets, and also have multiple utility pockets and a cargo pocket. One of the utility pockets is a zip-close pocket, and gives you a place to store essentials.
Click here to buy these Caterpillar Flex Gusseted Crotch Work Pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These pants have a standard fit that runs true-to-size.
Topo Designs Men’s Duck Canvas Work Pants
Topo Designs is a Colorado-based apparel company focused on providing dependable clothing and gear for an outdoor lifestyle. They produce a wide range of products, and do have a pair of work pants that stretch. They are called the Topo Designs Men’s Dual Pants.
Click here to view Topo Designs Men’s Dual Pants (affiliate link). These pants are made using a stretch canvas material, have reinforced knees, and a water-repellent finish. They have a standard straight fit.
3 Additional Ways to Add Comfort to Work Pants
If you are looking for flexible work pants because you need something that is ultra comfortable, there are 3 other things you will want to consider when choosing your pants.
- Gusseted Crotch – You may want to make sure your pants have a crotch gusset. A gusset is a diamond-shaped piece of material sewn into the crotch to give you extra space to comfortably bend, crouch, kneel, and drive. Many workwear companies make pants that have a gusseted crotch. To read more, visit our list of pants with a crotch gusset.
- Fit – Choosing a pair of pants with a relaxed fit through the seat and thighs will also help give you additional comfort and additional freedom of movement while working.
- Articulated Knees – Pants with articulated knees better mimic the natural shape of your leg, and allow not only for a more comfortable fit, but also make it a bit easier to move while wearing the pants.