5 Best Wool Cargo Pants for Work & Recreation [2021]


The nice thing about wool cargo pants is not only do they provide warmth, they also provide water-repellent protection. I like the Filson Mackinaw Wool Cargo Field Pants because they are made in the USA using premium 24-ounce Mackinaw Wool. According to Filson, the Mackinaw wool fibers used in these pants can be bent and flexed 20,000 times without breaking.

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These are my choices for the best wool cargo pants:

  1. Filson Made in USA Mackinaw Wool Cargo Field Pants (click here to view)
  2. Big Bill Merino Wool Men’s Cargo Pants (click here to view)
  3. First Lite Obsidian Wool/Nylon Blend Cargo Pants (click here to view)
  4. Johnson Woolen Mills Wool Plaid Cargo Pants (click here to view)
  5. Flying Cross Men’s Wool Justice Cargo Pants (click here to view)

The Filson wool pants on the list above are made with 100% wool, but not all the pants on the list will use 100% wool. Some pants use a wool fabric blend to reduce costs, improve durability, and potentially add stretch to the pants.

Although all of the pants above have side cargo pockets, the amount of pockets will differ. The First Lite cargo pants have the most pockets, including many zip-close pockets. If you prefer a zip-close pocket so you have a safe place to store essentials, those First Lite cargo pants may be your best option.

In this article let’s take a closer look at the best wool cargo pants so you can find an option that fits your needs. Let’s also discuss several things to consider when buying these types of cargo pants.

Best Wool Cargo Pants

Filson Mackinaw Wool Cargo Field 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.

Modern day, they’ve transitioned into a company that provides a wide range of outdoor gear (not just workwear). Their gear can be worn by fisherman, loggers, miners, engineers, explorers, and even just everyday folk looking for rugged casualwear. They offer a wide variety of wool pants and jackets, including wool field cargo pants.

This is what the Filson Mackinaw Wool Cargo Field Pants look like available at Filson.com (affiliate link takes you to filson.com). Here’s what you need to know about these pants:

  • Material – These Filson wool pants are made using 24-ounce Mackinaw wool. Filson’s Mackinaw wool comes from a small herd of sheep in the northwestern United States and Canada. Filson claims that their wool will absorb as much as 30% of its own weight in moisture without becoming damp, and they say the wool can be bent and flexed 20,000 times without breaking.
  • Made in USA – These Filson pants are made in the USA to help ensure quality and durability. They are made with a straight-leg style that isn’t too tight or too baggy. They come with suspender buttons attached to the waist.
  • Pockets – Yes, these Filson wool field pants have side cargo pockets for storage. They also have traditional front hand pockets, and two back pockets.
  • Weather Protection – These Filson wool pants are naturally water-repellent, and even though they can insulate in both wet and dry conditions, they are also very breathable so you don’t sweat out of them. The wool fabric also naturally wicks away sweat to help keep you dry.

Click here to buy these Filson wool cargo field pants available at Filson.com (affiliate link takes you to Filson.com). These wool pants need to be dry cleaned.

Other Wool Cargo Pants to Consider

Big Bill Men’s Merino Wool Cargo Pants

These Big Bill cargo pants are made with a Merino wool and nylon fabric blend. The nylon helps add durability to the pants. These cargo pants have a standard design, with a zipper fly and button closure.

Yes, these pants have large cargo pockets on the side, and the pockets are pleated so they can expand a little bit if needed. These pants also have standard front and back pockets for storage. There are seven belt loops for support.

Click here to view these Big Bill Merino Wool Pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These pants are available in big and tall sizes also.


First Lite Obsidian Wool/Nylon Blend Cargo Pants

These First Lite cargo pants are a little bit different in that not only do they incorporate nylon into the fabric blend for added durability, they also incorporate polyester and spandex. Obviously, the spandex helps add stretch to these pants, and these will be the only wool cargo pants on this list that have added stretch.

Yes, these pants have side cargo pockets for storage. There are actually a lot of pockets on these pants (the most pockets on this list), and they also have conveniently placed zipper pockets to give you a secure place to store essentials. This is a quiet fabric with no shine.

Click here to view these First Lite Wool Pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These pants come with suspenders attached.


Flying Cross Men’s Wool Justice Cargo Pants

These Flying Cross pants are uniform pants that use a polyester/wool fabric blend for durability. They actually only use 25% wool, and will have the least amount of wool compared to all the other pants on this list. They have bar tacking at stress points for added durability, and have a waistband grip to help ensure your shirt stays tucked in.

Yes, these pants have large side cargo pockets. They also have standard front and back pockets, and have a hidden cell phone pocket and a watch pocket.

Click here to view these Flying Cross Wool Blend Cargo Pants available at FlyingCross.com (link takes you to FlyingCross.com). These pants have a relaxed fit that won’t hug tight against your legs.


Johnson Woolen Mills Wool Plaid Cargo Pants

Johnson Woolen Mills began making wool products from local sheep in Northern Vermont in 1842. They have nearly two centuries worth of experience making quality wool clothing, including pants.

These Johnson Woolen Mills Cargo Pants are made with their premium wool and feature two large 8×10 inch side cargo pockets for storage. You can feel confident in the quality knowing these pants are handcrafted here in the USA.

Click here to view these Johnson Woolen Mills plaid cargo pants available at JohnsonWoolenMills.com (link takes you to JohnsonWoolenMills.com). Certain waist sizes come with attached suspender buttons.


5 Things to Consider When Buying Wool Cargo Pants

Fabric

Not all wool pants will be made with 100% wool. This is one reason why I like the Filson Mackinaw Wool Cargo Field Pants because they are made with 100% wool.

There are several reasons why a company may choose to add other fabrics to the wool pants. The most obvious is it helps reduce cost. But certain wool blends that include nylon or polyester can help improve the overall durability of the pants.

Durability is one drawback of some types of wool pants. If you are working in an area that has a high risk of abrasions, then I would recommend considering canvas cargo pants.

Although wool isn’t as durable as canvas, another reason I like the Filson wool cargo pants is their Mackinaw wool fibers can be bent or flexed 20,000 times without breaking, which helps extend the life of the pants.

Another fabric that will occasionally be added to wool pants is spandex. Obviously, this helps increase the stretch of the pants and creates a more flexible, responsive fit. For other warm stretch-fit pants, visit our article about the best stretch corduroy pants.

Made in USA

Buying wool work pants that are made in the USA helps ensure quality and protects the lifespan of the pants. On our list, both the Filson wool pants and the Johnson Woolen Mills Pants are made here in the USA.

If you prefer pants that are made in the USA, and want to see other options, visit our article about the best work pants made in the USA.

Weather Protection

One huge advantage of wool is it is naturally water-repellent. Whether you are using your wool cargo pants for work or for recreation, having that added rain protection is nice.

No, don’t expect these pants to keep you dry in a monsoon, but they will help repel light precipitation and morning dew. If you are working in extremely wet conditions, you will want a waterproof work pant. To read about more water-resistant cargo options that aren’t made with wool, visit our article about the best water-resistant cargo pants.

Wool is very good at insulating, even when it is wet (work pants for winter). That said, for extreme cold temperatures, insulated cargo pants may be the better option. To read more, visit our article about the best insulated cargo pants.

Other Wool Clothing

Wool is comfortable and does a great job at insulating while still remaining breathable. The fabric is naturally water-repellent and does a good job at continuing to insulate even after it gets wet.

If you love wool, and want to read about other wool clothing options, visit our articles linked below:

Zip Pockets

Most wool cargo pants come with standard front and back pockets to go along with the side cargo pockets. These cargo pockets usually have a button-flap closure.

If you prefer a zip-close pocket to give you a safe place to store essentials like your keys, phone, and small tools, then the First Lite wool pants on our list will be a nice option. These cargo pants have several zipper pockets, including a zipper on the cargo pocket itself.

Click here to view these First Lite Wool Pants available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). As we discussed earlier in the article, these wool cargo pants use a wool fabric blend, which includes spandex to add flexibility to the pants.

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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