Work pants are generally best kept, well, at your workplace, whether that's a farm, a woodshop, an office centered around a sewing or drafting table or a bustling brewery. There, these styles serve a purpose: to protect your legs from dirt, grime, debris, paint, hot water, tough terrain and sharp edges. These heavy-duty types look out of place outside this context, where folks gravitate toward lightweight chinos and breathable jeans, not duck canvas dungarees or waxed tin cloth coveralls.
But there are a select few pants that cross over — that become go-tos for both work and everywhere else. For example, there's Carhartt's Double-Front Work Dungaree Pant, which is commonly called the B01. There's also Dickies's Loose Fit Double Knee Work Pant, workwear with less prominent reinforcements, hidden pockets and a kind of chino-like waist. We've previously compared the two head-to-head by weighing their differences and eventually settling on a winner. Our pick ended up being Carhartt's iteration, because it supposedly withstood a chainsaw's blade — we weren't brave enough to try this ourselves but trusted an Amazon review with pictures to prove it — but also because they're simply better for the price, a mere $50.
There are, however, plenty of high-end work pants, and none may be better than Filson's Dry Tin Cloth Utility Pants, a durable unwaxed version of their iconic Tin Cloth Pants that eschews excess weight and weird add-ons in favor of a streamlined silhouette and a comfortable seat and knees.
Filson Dry Tin Cloth Utility Pants
What's Good About Filson's Dry Tin Cloth Utility Pants:
They work, well, at work — and everywhere else.
Unlike Carhartt's thick-ass B01 pants (12 oz), Filson's Dry Tin Cloth Utility Pants weigh far less, even if it's only technically a 2.0-oz difference (they weigh 10.5 oz). These are definitely made from higher quality cotton, which gives them a more refined finish. They're also pretty straight-fitting, whereas most work pants balloon out at the knees and billow at the ankles.
At the rear, the seat sits high, but comfortably, though, giving you a trimmer silhouette. There's room through the thighs — even for someone with wider thighs who wears a size 34 by 32 — and just enough of an opening at the ankle for hard-wearing boots.
Ironically, most work pants are a chore. However, the dry finish on this Filson pant makes them breathable and flexible, making them easy to wear even when you aren't working. Typically, at least for me, I want out of my dungarees as soon as the job's done, but these are comfortable enough to wear to a brewery or a restaurant, given you feel confident enough to embrace the workwear trend.
They're still work pants.
Much can be said of how good these look and feel far removed from a day's work, but they are still work pants, after all. They have a double-layered front that stretches from your zipper to the bottom of your shin, reinforced rear pockets, stow pockets on the right leg and a Talon zipper to boot.
What's Less Ideal About the Dry Tin Cloth Utility Pants:
The pockets are pretty small.
The few negative reviews of these pants and I agree: the pockets are pretty small. The right-side utility pocket barely can't fit much — maybe one marker or a few pencils, if that. The two front pockets, where most people store their phone and perhaps keys, prove tight when filled with the newest, albeit the biggest, iPhone.
The hems leave plenty to be desired.
If you are wearing boots and trudging through a dirty, debris-covered or even rocky worksite, the hems of your pants will be exposed to the elements most often. As such, they typically come reinforced, or at least double-layered. On these, there's a thin cuff that you could conceivably work through in two or three seasons, which is a somewhat reasonable timeline but not at this price — $185.
Filson Dry Tin Cloth Utility Pants: The Verdict
Get these pants, whether for work or everywhere else.
You'll be hard-pressed to find pants more versatile, especially since they're Filson-made. With Filson, most products can be repaired by an in-house repairs department. There, they can assess the damage done, offer a fix and a ship them back to you — no questions asked, meaning you can have them repaired several times over if they think it's feasible to do so.