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When you are working in the brutal heat, you need relief. And, yes, having a lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric helps, but I have found the most relief when I started using vented work pants.
The problem is, your options for vented pants are limited. I personally use these CQR vented cargo pants. Below is what these vented CQR pants look like:
This is the current price of these CQR vented work pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Please note that certain colors of this pant don’t have vented knees, so just verify the color you choose does.
The vents are pretty well hidden on the back side of the knee. They have a mesh paneling guard and a flap that slides down over the vent. Here’s what mine look like:
For me, having that extra bit of air circulation down around my knee really allows these pants to provide relief in the heat that I simply don’t get from other work pants.
In this article let’s take a closer look at these CQR vented cargo pants so you can decide if they might work for you. As much as I like them, there are a few drawbacks to consider, and they might not make sense for all jobs.
CQR Vented Work Pants
Okay, probably the first thing to understand is these are VERY lightweight cargo pants. My 32×34 pants weigh only 0.68 pounds. They are made using a cotton/nylon/spandex stretch fabric blend that is very thin and packable:
As a word of caution, if you need a heavy-duty canvas fabric for a harsh work environment, these pants likely won’t be durable enough.
That said, I have found these pants to be reasonably durable all things considered. I’d say for most jobs, they’ll hold up, but there will be exceptions.
Here’s a close-up look at the material:
CQR makes a wide range of pants, many of which are designed to be lightweight and responsive. And these pants are no different.
The fact that the fabric is both lightweight and flexible makes these pants very easy to wear. In the brutal heat, I appreciate the lightweight material.
Overall, I have found these pants to fit true to size. They have what I would describe as a regular fit. Here I am wearing these CQR pants:
They fit a little snug through the hips, so if you are in between waist sizes, sizing up may be the right thing to do. I personally ordered my normal sizing and it fit me fine.
One thing I would suggest is to consider the leg opening. Although these pants fit over the top of my Thorogood boots, I could see this leg opening being a tight fit for more bulky types of boots. Something to consider.
Yes, most importantly, these pants have vented knees. I have had the hardest luck over the years finding vented work pants.
I’m sure there may be a few other options out there somewhere, but these are truly the only option that I personally have been able to find that was available to buy.
This isn’t a huge leg vent. The vent is tucked neatly behind the knee, and has a flap that sits down over it. There is a mesh guard inside the vent.
Here’s what my knee vents look like:
I have found that the flap does a decent job at holding out moisture, but yes, if you experience heavy rain, water coming in through this vent will be an issue as it always is with vented pants.
Overall, these provide awesome relief and really allow air to circulate down the leg in a way that other work pants simply can’t match.
Yes, these are moisture wicking work pants. If you’re like me, and sweat a lot, this type of fabric is essential during the summer.
Moisture wicking pants are designed to combat sweat. They are made out of a fabric engineered to move sweat away from the body and disperse it across the outside of the fabric in a way which causes it to evaporate quickly.
During the evaporation process, heat is naturally pulled away from your body, and this helps (to a small degree) control your body temperature in the heat.
Buying summer work pants that have a gusseted crotch is a great way to add additional comfort to your work pants.
A crotch gusset is extra material sewn into the crotch to increase your freedom of movement. Not only does it make it more comfortable to crouch, bend, and kneel, it also takes some stress off the crotch, which can help prevent tears and rips.
Some gussets will be large inseam gussets that run down near the knee, while others will be diamond-shaped, and confined to the crotch area. These CQR pants use a diamond-shaped gusset:
If you bend and crouch a lot on the job, this really helps. I’ve also noticed it makes sitting and operating equipment more comfortable because the pants don’t ride up in the crotch as bad.
These pants have plenty of storage options. They have flap-close cargo pockets on both sides, and also have small utility pockets just above the cargo pockets (good place to store a small utility tool):
The pants also have standard front and back pockets. One thing I like about the front slash pockets is they are angled in a way that makes it easy to slide my hand in and out.
One thing you will want to consider is these vented pants are not flame-resistant pants. If you work around flames, you’ll need to find another option.
Also, because these pants aren’t made with heavy-duty 12-ounce canvas, they won’t offer as much protection from the environment.
For me, these pants hold up just fine for most all types of work, but I’m also not working in heavy brush or near flames. Just be mindful of the material.
Where to Buy These Vented Pants?
Click here to buy these CQR vented cargo pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These pants are machine washable and have a standard zip fly with button closure.
As a word of caution, when you click through to buy those vented pants, make sure the color you choose does have the vented knees. Some colors do not have vents.