7 Best Waterproof Work Pants for Wet Conditions (2021)


In this article we discuss the best waterproof work pants. Not all flimsy rain gear will work on a job site. You will likely still need something with a little toughness to it. This list puts an emphasis on waterproof and toughness so you can feel confident your waterproof pants will stand up on the job.

*This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. (info)

These are our choices for the best waterproof work pants:

  1. *Steady Rain* Carhartt Shoreline Work Pants (click here to view)
  2. *Steady Rain* Carhartt Dry Harbor Work Pants (click here to view)
  3. *Steady Rain* Filson Skagit Waterproof Rain Pants (click here to view)
  4. *Steady Rain* Duluth Trading Co. No-Rainer Waterproof Pants (click here to view)
  5. *Light Rain* Caterpillar H2o Defender Work Pants (click here to view)
  6. *Steady Rain* FROGG TOGGS Bull Frogg Waterproof Work Pants (click here to view)
  7. *Light Rain* Carhartt Hi Vis Class E Waterproof Work Pants (click here to view)
  8. *Women’s* Columbia Storm Surge Waterproof Work Pants (click here to view)

To be clear, the Caterpillar H20 Defender Pants and the Carhartt Rugged Flex Upland Field Pants listed above are not certified as “waterproof”. They are water-resistant pants, but I wanted to include them to have a couple popular options on this list that made more sense for light rain and mist.

There’s no reason to wear a heavy-duty waterproof work pant just for mist. If mist is what you are fighting, I personally would stick with just a water-resistant work pant, instead of buying a full waterproof over pant.

If you look at other best waterproof pant lists on the internet, a lot of sites include mostly water-resistant pants. That is not the same as waterproof.

A water-resistant pant is built to take on light precipitation and mist. They are not built to repel steady rain storms – for steady rain you will need a true waterproof work pant, which the list above includes.

Deciding if you need something for heavy rain, or light rain, is really where you need to start when choosing the best waterproof work pants.

  • Waterproof Pants – Usually made to slip over the top of your normal work pants.
  • Water-Resistant Pants – Usually not made to be slipped over other pants and instead, intended to be worn as normal pants. Also sometimes referred to as “water-repellent”.

It’s important to understand though, it is very unlikely that any of these pants will hold out 100% of water. Why is that? Well, to do that, you’d need a material with no breathability.

And to be clear, they do make bibs that use material that can hold out water in even the most severe rainstorms (like these by Carhartt). Problem is, most jobs need something that is breathable (to let sweat and vapor out).

The good news are the pants on the list above are very good at letting vapor and sweat out, without letting water in. They are breathable.

Depending on the pant, they are built to handle either light rain, or moderate rain. No, they won’t hold out 100% of moisture in a driving monsoon rainstorm, but they will hold up to steady rain showers, and also allow your legs to breathe.

Let’s take a closer look at the pants on this list so that you can have a better idea what breathable, waterproof work pants will work best for your specific job.


Best Waterproof Work Pants

Carhartt Waterproof Work Pants

Carhartt is a trusted name in workwear, and a brand that many workers prefer to wear. And if you are looking for waterproof work pants, Carhartt has 2 nice options for you to consider.

Carhartt’s Shoreline Pants are probably their most popular type of waterproof work pants. Here’s what they look like:

This is the current price of these Carhartt Shoreline Pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These pants are made to easily slip over the top of your normal work clothes.

Here are some of the most important details for these pants:

  • Heavy Duty Toughness – Although these are rain pants, they still have the toughness needed for a job site. They aren’t flimsy. Nylon shell with reinforced double knees that have knee pockets for knee pad inserts.
  • Easy On/Off – These pants are built with waist to ankle two-way leg zips to easily slip over top of your normal pants and boots. There are button storm flaps to cover the zippers to keep water out.
  • Zippered Pocket – These pants do have a zipper pocket in the back to give you a place to store essentials and keep those essentials dry during the rain storm. If you need a lot of pockets, I’d suggest the Carhartt Dry Harbor pants that we cover next.
  • Elastic Waistband – Again, these are pants to slip over your normal work pants in times of steady rain. The elastic, adjustable waistband makes it easy to adjust these pants to have a snug, but comfortable, fit.
  • Breathable – These are designed to let heat out without letting water in. They have a 10k breathable rating. These are best for warmer months, but Carhartt does offer an insulated version of these pants for winter (click here to view insulated version).
  • Waterproof – These are waterproof pants, and not just water-resistant. These pants have fully taped seams and are part of Carhartt’s Storm Defender series. These are built to take on steady rain showers, and not just mist.
  • Lace ProtectionThese have large enough leg openings that they can fit over your work boots and also provide some waterproof protection to the top part of the laces on your work boots.

Overall, these Carhartt Shoreline Pants are a great option if you need something that can stand up to a steady rain storm, and easily fit over the top of your work boots and normal work pants. This is where you can buy these Carhartt Shoreline Pants at Carhartt.com (affiliate link takes you to Carhartt.com).


Carhartt’s Dry Harbor pants are another great option if you are looking for waterproof work pants. Here’s what they look like:

This is the current price of these Carhartt Dry Harbor Waterproof Pants available at Carhartt.com (affiliate link takes you to Carhartt.com). Although both are waterproof, these Dry Harbor pants have significant design differences compared to the Carhartt Shoreline Pants we covered first.

Many waterpoof work pants made to slip over the top of other pants will have waist-to-ankle zippers to make it easy to slip on and off. One problem with this, is it makes it basically impossible to add side cargo pockets to the pants.

Side cargo pockets can be an important detail on work pants, and might be essential for some types of job. These Dry Harbor pants are a bit different than the Shoreline pants because these pants only zip from the knee down to the ankle (instead of waist to ankle).

This allows these Dry Harbor pants to have cargo pockets for storage. And although they don’t have full-zip sides, the knee-to-ankle zip still gives you some space to slip these over your normal clothes.

Here are some of the most important details for these Dry Harbor pants:

  • Heavy Duty Toughness – Although these are rain pants, they still have the toughness needed for a job site. 5.4 ounce nylon shell. Like the first pants we covered, these also have reinforced double knees that have knee pockets for knee pad inserts.
  • Easy On/Off – These pants are built with knee to ankle two-way leg zips to help you slip these over top of your normal pants and boots. There are button storm flaps to cover the zippers to keep water out.
  • Pockets – These pants are unique compared to other waterproof over pants because they have cargo pockets on both legs. They also have a zipper pocket in the back to give you a place to store essentials and keep them dry during the rain storm.
  • Elastic Waistband – Again, these are pants to slip over your normal work pants in times of steady rain. The elastic, adjustable waistband makes it easy to adjust these pants to have a snug, but comfortable fit, even over the top of other work pants.
  • Breathable – Although these pants are breathable, they only have a 5k breathable rating, compared to the 10k of the Shoreline pants. So these pants won’t be quite as efficient at letting heat out as the Shoreline pants we covered first.
  • Waterproof – These are waterproof pants, and not just water-resistant. These pants have fully taped seams and are part of Carhartt’s Storm Defender series. These are built to take on steady rain showers, and not just mist.
  • Lace Protection – These have large enough leg openings that they can fit over your work boots and also provide some waterproof protection to the top part of the laces on your work boots.

Overall, these Carhartt Dry Harbor Pants are a unique option that gives you waterproof work pants that can slip over normal clothes, but also have cargo pockets. This is where you can buy these Carhartt Dry Harbor Pants at Carhartt.com (affiliate link takes you to Carhartt.com).


As we discussed earlier in the article, there is a difference between waterproof, and water-repellent. Waterproof work pants are for steady to heavy rain storms, and almost always built to fit over the top of other pants.

Water-repellent pants are different. They are built for light rain and mist, and usually do not fit over other pants. They are made to be worn as normal pants.

If you are looking for a pair of water-repellent work pants, better for light rain and mist, the Carhartt Upland Field Pants are a nice option. Here’s what they look like:

This is the current price of these Carhartt Upland Field Pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These are built with a flexible material blend and a gusseted crotch for a comfortable wear.

Again, do not expect these water-repellent pants to stand up to heavy rain. That’s not what they are built for. They’re built for light rain and mist.

If you are looking for a water-repellent pant, and not waterproof, although these are a great option, I’d recommend considering the Caterpillar H20 Defender pants we cover next.


Duluth Trading Co. No-Rainer Waterproof 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 offer a wide range of work clothing, with unique products that other companies won’t produce.

Duluth has a popular pair of waterproof work pants called the “No-Rainer” pants. This is what these Duluth No-Rainer pants look like.

These are fully seam-sealed and made with a ripstop fabric which helps them stand up to a tough work site. They have thigh-to-ankle zips so that they can easily be slipped over your normal work pants.

These pants have a folding “envelope” pocket on the side which gives you a secure place to store your phone. These pants also have pouches for knee pad inserts.

This is the current price of the Duluth Trading Co. No-Rainer Waterproof Work Pants. These pants have a built-in crotch gusset for freedom of movement.


Caterpillar H2o Defender Work Pants

First thing to understand about these pants is, despite the name, these are not fully waterproof pants. These are just water-resistant pants made for light rain and mist.

If you are looking for protection from steady and heavy rain storms, you will want to go with a waterproof work pant, not a water-resistant work pant.

But as I’ve mentioned earlier, most waterproof work pants are made to slip over normal clothes. These water-resistant pants are different. They’re designed to be worn as normal pants, and are not made to slip over other clothes.

Ultimately, you’ll have to decide if you want a water-resistant pant you can wear as your normal work pants, or if you want a waterproof pant, that can give you protection against heavier rain, but are made baggier so that they can slip over the top of other pants.

If you’d prefer a water-resistant pant that gives you protection against light rain and mist, and can be worn as a normal work pant, I’d recommend these Caterpillar H20 Defend Pants. Here’s what they look like:

This is the current price of these Caterpillar H20 Defender Pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These are built with a flexible material blend and have knee pad pockets built-in.

These pants have a lot more pockets than other pants on this list, including removable front tool holster pockets. Overall, this is a versatile work pant that does provide protection against light rain.


FROGG TOGGS Bull Frogg Waterproof Work Pants

Frogg Toggs is a well-known name in rainwear, and one of the major strengths about them, in my opinion, is price.

Their Bull Frogg Waterproof Pants can stand up to steady rain and are easy to wear. Here’s what they look like:

This is the current price of these Frogg Toggs waterproof work pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These pants are built to wear over the top of your normal pants.

These won’t be flimsy pants. They’re made with a puncture-resistant fabric which helps them hold up on a job site. They will fit over the top of boots and provide some protection to the laces of your boot.

These pants are breathable and will let sweat and heat escape from your body. They have fully-taped seams, zipper knee-to-ankle legs for easy on/off, and pass through pockets at the top.

Click here to buy these Frogg Toggs waterproof work pants at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Again, these are over pants, so expect them to be baggy and loose.


Hi Vis Waterproof Pants

Carhartt Hi Vis Class E Waterproof Work Pants

If you need hi vis waterproof pants for work, there are actually several options out there on the market. I would suggest looking at Carhartt’s Hi Vis Waterproof Pants.

This is where you can view the Carhartt Hi Vis Class E Waterproof Pants at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These pants have leg zips with button flaps so that they can easily be worn over other clothes.

Women’s Waterproof Work Pants

Columbia Storm Surge Waterproof Work Pants

Unfortunately, for women, the selection of waterproof pants for work is much more limited. There are several water-resistant options on the market, but it is much harder to find waterproof over pants, and you might need to try a men’s option listed above.

One women’s option that I would recommend you to consider is the Columbia Storm Surge Waterproof Pants. Click here to view these pants at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

These pants are made with nylon and are fully seam sealed. They will provide breathable waterproof protection.


***In this article we discussed the best waterproof pants for work. If you are looking for more rain gear, visit our article about the best rubber boots made in the USA. For work jackets, visit our article about the best winter waterproof jackets.

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.

Recent Posts