10 Best Ripstop Pants for Work to Help Avoid Tears & Rips


Ripstop pants can be extremely useful on the job because, as the name suggests, they help prevent rips, tears, and other abrasions. Ripstop work pants are lighter in weight than traditional heavy-duty duck canvas work pants, but still carry a level of toughness that makes them suitable for job sites.

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Here are our choices for the best ripstop pants for work:

  1. Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Ranger Ripstop Cargo Pants (click here to view)
  2. Carhartt Men’s Cargo Ripstop Work Pants (click here to view)
  3. 5.11 Men’s Cargo Taclite Pro Work Ripstop Tactical Pants (click here to view)
  4. CQR Men’s Lightweight Tactical Ripstop Cargo Pants (click here to view)
  5. Topo Designs Men’s Mountain Ripstop Pants (click here to view)
  6. Carhartt Men’s Force Tappen Ripstop Cargo Pants (click here to view)
  7. Edgevale Stretch Foothill Ripstop Pants (click here to view)
  8. Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Carpenter Ripstop Work Pants (click here to view)
  9. Gravel Gear Carpenter Ripstop Work Pants (click here to view)
  10. *Women’s* 5.11 Tactical Women’s Stryke Covert Cargo Pants (click here to view)

Ripstop fabrics are fabrics that are interwoven in a crosshatch pattern that makes the fabric resistant to tearing and ripping. No, it doesn’t mean these pants are indestructible, but this abrasion-resistant fabric is quite useful for workers who desire a lightweight fabric that won’t rip easily.

Our list above contains both ripstop cargo pants and more traditional ripstop work pants (like carpenter pants). Ripstop cargo pants can be especially popular for workers not only for the lightweight fabric that discourages rips and tears, but also for the cargo pockets that help workers perform their jobs better.

**Here’s a look at the ripstop work pants I wear in the summer – the Carhartt Force Tappen Lightweight Cargo Pants:

cargo-ripstop-pants-for-work

In this article let’s take a closer look at the best ripstop pants for work so that you can decide which style might work best for you. Ripstop pants, in general, tend to be lightweight. If you need something ultra-tough, please visit our article about the best heavy-duty work pants.


Cargo Ripstop Pants for Work

Many work prefer cargo work pants due to the extra pockets and increased functionality that they provide. The extra pockets come in handy when storing tools and other essentials while working.

There are a lot of ripstop cargo pants on the market. Even some of the most well-known names in workwear like Carhartt, Wrangler, and Filson offer ripstop cargo pants.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the best cargo ripstop work pants on the market today.

Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Ranger Pants

Many are familiar with Wrangler jeans, but Wrangler has a specific line of apparel dedicated to work clothing called Wrangler Riggs Workwear. The Wrangler Riggs Men’s Ranger Pants are very popular cargo ripstop pants for work.

Here’s what these Wrangler Riggs Men’s Ranger Pants look like (multiple colors available):

This is the current price of these Wrangler work pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Expect these pants to fit true to size, and have a relaxed fit.

  • Ripstop Fabric – Yes, these pants are made with a 100% cotton ripstop fabric to help prevent tears and rips. They also have reinforced knees for long-lasting durability.
  • Cargo Pockets – These pants have standard cargo pockets on both legs. They also have very deep front pockets, and have reinforcement on the front right pocket so that it can handle a tape measure clip without wearing out. These also have a hammer loop.
  • Roomy Fit – These pants have a relaxed fit that won’t hug tight against your legs. They also have a crotch gusset for easy bending, crouching, and driving.

These are my favorite cargo work pants. Yes, these are ripstop pants that have a durable feel that holds up well on a job site. Here’s a look at mine:

wrangler-ranger-work-pants
wrangler-ranger-tool-loop

Snap button side cargo pockets give me plenty of storage space:

loose-fit-cargo-pants

These are double knee work pants, and they also have a knee pocket to take knee pad inserts if needed:

wrangler-ranger-knee-pockets

Yes, these pants are made with a durable ripstop material, and the back pockets are lined with Cordura nylon to help them last longer:

wrangler-ranger-material
wrangler-ranger-cordura-pockets

One of the main reasons I turn to these cargo pants is the gusseted crotch. I prefer my work pants and work shorts to have a gusset for extra comfort and freedom of movement. These pants have a standard diamond-shaped gusset:

wrangler-ranger-gusset

Overall, these Wrangler Riggs Ranger Pants are a reliable ripstop pant to wear on the job. They’re tough, roomy, and have plenty of storage from a brand I trust.

Click here to buy these Wrangler Ranger Pants at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Again, expect a relaxed fit that runs true to size.


Carhartt Ripstop Cargo Work Pants

Carhartt is a trusted name in workwear, and a brand that many workers prefer to wear. The good news for you if you want ripstop work pants, Carhartt has a popular pair of cargo ripstop pants.

Here’s what these Carhartt’s Ripstop Cargo Work Pants look like (multiple colors available):

This is the current price of these Carhartt work pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Expect these pants to fit true to size. Here are some details for these pants:

  • Ripstop Cotton – Yes, these Carhartt Cargo Pants are made using a 100% cotton 9.25-ounce ripstop fabric. This type of fabric is woven in a way that helps prevent tearing and ripping.
  • Pockets – This pant has standard front and back pockets, and also has multiple utility pockets and multiple cargo pockets. It also has a hammer loop.
  • Double Knee – These pants have a reinforced double knee with knee pad pockets that can hold knee pad inserts.
  • Gusseted Crotch – These pants do have a gusseted crotch for freedom of movement.

These pants are very similar to the Wrangler Ranger pants. Both have double knees, gusseted crotch, ripstop fabric, cargo pockets, utility pockets, relaxed fit, and reinforcement on the front pocket for a tape measure.

Which one is best for you might come down to brand. One difference that is worth noting is these Carhartt pants have knee pad pockets for knee pad inserts. The Wrangler Ranger Pants do not have knee pad pockets.

Click here to buy these Carhartt Ripstop Cargo Pants at Carhartt.com (affiliate link takes you to Carhartt.com). These pants have a loose, relaxed fit that won’t hug tight against your legs.


Carhartt Men’s Force Tappen Ripstop Cargo Pants

The Carhartt Men’s Force Tappen Cargo Pants are another popular pair of work ripstop pants. These are great summer work pants, and this is actually the pair of cargo pants I turn to in the summer months. Here’s a look at mine:

cargo-ripstop-pants-for-work

This is the current price of these Carhartt lightweight ripstop pants at Carhartt.com (affiliate link takes you to Carhartt.com). These pants have side cargo pockets, including a zip-close pocket on the right leg.

The 7-ounce fabric allows your legs to breathe a little bit, while still having enough toughness to handle a job site. These are nice cargo pants for working in hot weather.

As I said above, these are great summer work pants, and actually do make our list for the best summer work pants. There are two main reasons why these are nice summer work pants.

  • Ligthweight Fabric – Most Carhartt pants use 9-ounce or up to 12-ounce cotton fabric. These pants use a lighter-weight 7-ounce cotton, which allows your legs to breathe a little bit.
  • Moisture Wicking – This moisture wicking fabric is designed to wick sweat away from your body to help keep you dry in the summer heat.

The tradeoff here compared to heavyweight pants is obviously toughness. Seven-ounce fabric is about as light weight as you can find for work gear. But this is where it is nice to know that this is ripstop fabric, which will help discourage rips and tears.

I really like these pants and recommend them if you are looking for a lightweight cargo pant to use in the summer months.

Click here to buy these Carhartt cargo pants at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These pants have a relaxed fit with a straight leg opening. Expect a true-to-size fit. To read more about sizing, visit our article about Carhartt Pants Sizing.


Filson Buckhorn Cargo Ripstop Pants

Filson is a clothing company based in Seattle WA that has a deep-rooted tradition in providing heavy-duty dependable workwear. Their founder, C.C. Filson, opened shop in 1897 and, at that time, specialized in making ultra-tough, ultra-dependable clothing for stampeders heading north for the Klondike Gold Rush.

The Stampeders who marched north towards the Klondike region put their lives at risk in search of gold. The conditions in the Yukon were brutal. Winters were dark and devastatingly long.

The stampeders faced blinding snow storms, avalanches, hypothermia, towering terrain, malnutrition, disease, and all the other perils of wilderness. It is estimated that out of the 100,000 people who set out to stampede for gold, only 30,000 actually made it to the Klondike region.

Making clothes that could hold up in the sub-freezing wilderness meant C.C. Filson couldn’t cut corners, and had to emphasize toughness and dependability. And although the Klondike Gold Rush has long since passed, that tradition of toughness and dependability has carried over to Filson’s current collection of workwear.

Although Filson has a history rooted in heavy-duty duck cotton canvas work pants, they also have a nice pair of ripstop cargo work pants you will want to consider.

The Filson Buckhorn Cargo Ripstop Pants give you an option that uses breathable ripstop fabric, but is still rooted in that durability that Filson is known for.

These pants have a double-reinforced knee and a double-reinforced seat. Think of these as a sort of hybrid pant that gives you a nice bit of toughness, but is also lightweight, breathable, and suitable for summer.

Click here to view these pants at Filson.com (affiliate link takes you to Filson.com). These pants have a classic cargo design and are quick-drying. Made with a standard zip fly and button closure.


CQR Men’s Lightweight Tactical Ripstop Cargo Pants

Now we are into the ripstop tactical pants. Many people actually like to turn to tactical pants as work pants because tactical pants are generally both easy to move around in and highly functional with several pockets. Plus, tactical pants often use ripstop fabric that makes them tough despite being lighter in weight.

CQR is a popular brand for tactical work pants, and the CQR Men’s Tactical Ripstop Cargo Pants are a great option if you are looking for ripstop cargo pants. Here’s what they look like:

This is the current price of these CQR tactiacl cargo pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Expect these pants to have a straight fit that isn’t too loose or too baggy.

Yes, these are made with a poly/cotton ripstop fabric. Just like all tactical pants, they have several multi-purpose tool pockets, and are very easy to move around in.

Overall, tactical pants are for you if you like lightweight work pants. These are very good for the summer and spring months. If heavy-duty pants annoy you, these types of pants area great soluation.

Click here to buy these CQR tactical cargo work pants at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Expect these pants to fit true-to-size. They are shrink-resistant.


5.11 Tactical Men’s Taclite Pro Cargo Work Pants

5.11 is well known for making tactical service clothing, and many of their pants also function well as work pants. As we just discussed above, some people like wearing tactical pants as work pants because tactical pants prioritize flexibility and pockets, which both are helpful on the job.

Here’s what these 5.11 Taclite Pro Cargo Pants look like (multiple colors available):

This is the current price of these 5.11 cargo pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about these pants:

  • Material – These pants are made with a 6.2-ounce poly/cotton ripstop fabric blend that is both lightweight and durable. An elastic waistband helps add comfort and flexibility.
  • Pockets – If you want to maximize your pockets, these will have more pockets (8 total) than many of the other pants on this list. For some people, the 8 pockets is overkill. For others, the 8 pockets are helpful and sometimes essential.
  • Crotch Gusset – These pants have a gusseted crotch for extra comfort and increased range of motion while bending and crouching on the job.
  • Teflon Coating – These cargo pants have a Teflon coating that is stain- and moisture-resistant.

Click here to buy these 5.11 tactical cargo work pants at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These cargo pants are machine washable.


Traditional Ripstop Work Pants

Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Carpenter Pants

As we discussed earlier, Wrangler has a specific line of clothing dedicated to workwear called Wrangler Riggs Workwear. The Wrangler Riggs men’s carpenter pants are very popular and are made with ripstop fabric.

Here’s what these Wrangler carpenter pants look like (multiple colors available):

This is the current price of these Wrangler ripstop work pants at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These pants are 100% cotton and have a relaxed fit that won’t hug tight against your legs.

Here are some of the details for these pants:

  • Ripstop CottonYes, these Wrangler Pants are made using a 100% cotton ripstop fabric. Please understand that the denim versions of this pant do not use ripstop fabric, but instead use “durashield denim”.
  • Pockets – This pant has deep front pockets, a side utility pocket, and a hammer loop. The right front pocket is reinforced to handle a tape measure clip.
  • Gusseted Crotch – These Wrangler pants do have a fully gusseted crotch for comfort while bending, kneeling and crouching.
  • Carpenter Style – These pants are classic carpenter pants and are available in several colors, including regular denim jeans.

Click here to buy these Wrangler Carpenter Pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Again, these pants have a relaxed fit that runs true-to-size.


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 ripstop work pant made here in the USA.

The Edgevale Men’s Stretch Foothill Pants are comfortable work pants that are lightweight and easy to work in, but still very tough. Edgevale describes these pants as “tougher than a $2 steak”.

Click here to view the Edgevale Men’s Stretch Foothill Pants at EdgevaleUSA.com. Again, these pants are made in the USA while most other work pants on the market today are imported.

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.


How to Choose the Best Ripstop Pants for Work

If you are looking for work ripstop pants, there are 5 things you need to consider when choosing what style will work best for you:

  • Pockets – How many pockets do you really need? Having too many pockets can be overkill and just add bulk and weight to your work pants. That doesn’t help anyone. But not having enough pockets can be a problem too. If you need pockets, cargo ripstop pants will be your best bet.
  • Knee Pads – Do you need knee pad pockets in your ripstop pants? If so, several of the pants on the list at the top of this article do have knee pad pockets (but not all of them do).
  • Style – Do you want a more traditional work pant made by Carhartt or Wrangler, or do you want a tactical pant? This will likely come down to personal preference. If you need something lightweight, stick with the tactical pants like 5.11 or CQR.
  • Toughness – Although ripstop pants are durable, they are thin, lightweight, and breathable. They are a great summer option. If you need something thicker, canvas might be better. To read more, visit our article comparing canvas vs ripstop.
  • Fit – Most ripstop work pants come in a relaxed or loose fit. The CQR pants have more of a straight fit, and might be best for you if you need a slim fit work pant.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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