What kind of work pants are right for you?

Having the right work pants for the job can make all the difference. A comfortable pair of pants can be the difference between feeling stressed and irritated on the job or being able to give your all and feel good doing it. 

Depending on what industry you’re in, you may need pants with specific features like stormproofing to protect against water and wind or hi vis to work at night. When you don’t need pants with speciality features like marine-ready waterproofing, comfortable and durable pants will do the trick.

If you want help finding the best work pants for you, we cover a few things to look for and some of our top choices in this article. 

General Workwear Pants

General workwear pants are suitable for daily use. They may be water-resistant and windproof, but they aren’t designed specifically for those environments. 

Good general use pants should be comfortable and versatile so you can toss them on for practically any use. It’s also important that they’re durable so they don’t have to be replaced frequently. Getting a few pairs of high-quality work pants can not only save you money, but they’ll feel better when you’re wearing them too. 

Best general work pants

  • FXD Stretch Work Pants. FXD Stretch Work Pants are built for movement and unmatched comfort. They have double-layer internal pocket bags and dual back welt reinforced pockets so you can carry everything you need on the job. The pants have a comfortable stretch so they can fit comfortably no matter what task you’re doing. 
  • Bisley Flex & Move Stretch Cargo Pants. These versatile pants by Bisley have several pockets and are made from stretch cotton canvas for extra movement and comfort. They are reinforced in several areas such as having a crotch gusset to prevent splitting. 
  • FXD 360 Taped Stretch Pants. Designed to maximise movement, these pants also feature Scotchlite 5510 reflective tape for increased visibility. They also have triple needing stitching and reinforced stress points to keep going strong. The biomotion technology allows for maximum movement and comfort on the job. 

Best general work pants for women

While many workwear pants are unisex, some are designed specifically for men or women. Here are some of our top choices for women’s workwear pants: 

  • Syzmik Women’s Rugged Cooling Pants. Made from a state-of-the-art cooling fabric, these rugged cooling pants have advanced breathability. The unique fabric maximises airflow while also having mechanical stretch for freedom of movement. They have an impressive 10 multi-functional pockets as well so you don’t have to leave anything behind. 
  • FXD Women’s Stretch Pants WP-3W. With a comfortable fit and stretch waistbands, these work pants are excellent for many types of jobs. They have advanced polyester reinforced pockets and double-layer internal pocket bags. The pants also come with an attachment loop to help carry important tools. 
  • Syzmik Women’s Taped Cargo Pants. The women’s taped cargo pants by Syzmik are an excellent all-around pants. The pants have a slim fit and are made from stretch cotton fabric. They come with both a mobile phone pocket and an oversized cargo pocket, along with two back and side pockets. These pants are also reinforced at key stress points and have reflective tape for safety in low light conditions. 

Hi-Vis Work Pants

Hi-vis pants are any pants that meet the hi-vis requirements from Standards New Zealand. They will be in orange or fluorescent yellow so that they can be easily noticeable by other workers and civilians. Many come with reflective strips for additional visibility.

Depending on your job, you might need hi-vis clothing for Day Only (D), Night Only (N), or Day/Night (D/N). We have an article dedicated to Hi-Vis workwear if you’d like to find out more at What is hi-vis clothing?

Best hi-vis work pants

Here are some of our top choices for hi-vis work pants:

  • Kaiwaka Stormforce Hi-vis Overtrousers. These waterproof overtrousers are NZ Made and are suitable for Day/Night use. They have a wide strip of reflective tape on the lower legs and reinforced pockets. An added bonus is that they are 100% waterproof and windproof, making them ideal for foul weather conditions.
  • Syzmik Pant Men’s Bio Motion Hi Vis Taped. Suitable for Day use, these pants are comfortable, made from 100% cotton. They have two side pockets and two back pockets. They also have a larger cargo pocket and mobile phone pocket. You’ll have plenty of room to carry whatever you need!
  • Protos Hi-Vis Chainsaw Chaps. These hi-vis pants provide extensive chainsaw protection using tear-resistant Gladiator fabric. They also have preformed knee reinforcement and lining from high-quality fibre. The pants meet Dyneema ENGTEX Chainsaw Protection Class 1. These pants are also suitable for use in wet weather, making these multipurpose pants excellent for outdoor chainsaw use when hi-vis is required. 

Weatherproof Winter work pants

Comfort is important when you’re hard at work. One thing that will get you uncomfortable real fast is bad weather. If wind or rain get through your clothes you can feel cold and miserable in no time.

Weatherproof pants are designed to combat these weather conditions. With higher-end weatherproof pants, you can go out in storms or good weather and hardly notice a difference!

Each kind of resistance has its own measurement specifications. Waterproofing, for example, is often rated in mm like 5000mm. As a general rule of thumb, you can typically stand out in the rain for 1 hour without getting wet for every 1000mm. So you would get 5 hours of waterproofing with 5000mm in general. The higher the rating, the more waterproofing: it’s not uncommon to get 20000mmm or above for fishing work pants and jackets.

Best Weatherproof pants

There are several good pairs of weatherproof work pants depending on how much protection you need.

  • Stormline Crew 654 Heavy Duty Waterproof Bib and Brace Pants. Made for heavy-duty weather conditions, this combo by Stormline will help you stay warm and dry. It uses thick 650 gsm PVC with a triple-layer in the knee. The combo has reinforced tape on the stress points and is also hi-visibility.
  • Kaiwaka AGTEX Overtrousers. AGTEX is the latest material from the team at Kaiwaka. It’s super lightweight, abrasive resistant, and also flexible. The outer layer is resistant to wind, water, oil, chemicals, and fat. With a waterproof rating of 10,000mm the pants are suitable for all-day use. They are also made right here in New Zealand.
  • Bisley Stretch Waterproof Overtrousers. Featuring reflective tape and two layers of water-resistant fabric, these waterproof pants are also rated over 20,000mm. The fully-elasticised waistband lets you adjust the sizing to your perfect fit.

Jeans and Denim

Suitable for work and casual use, jeans and denim are a popular and versatile type of work trousers. A good pair will be durable for tough jobs while also being stylish and practical. Jeans are typically made from denim, a long-lasting fast-drying fabric that is easy to iron. Denim also has high breathability and moisture wicking on higher-end fabric. 

Best jeans and Denim

There are many popular types of jeans and denim, but we’ve found that these ones are also suitable as good work pants: 

  • Syzmik Heavy Duty Stretch Jeans. These jeans are heavy-duty and feature Cordura knee patches that are compatible with the Syzmik Knee pad. They also have a triple stitched in-leg seam with a ruler pocket. They have a straight leg fit and are made with 1% Elastane for a stretch fit. 
  • Levi’s® 505 Regular Fit Jean – Dark Stonewash. Made by the world-renowned Levi’s brand, these dark stonewash jeans provide all-day comfort. The straight-leg jeans have extra room in the thigh and have extra strength to work as hard as you do. They also have 2% elastane for a comfortable fit. 
  • Bisley Rough Rider Denim Jeans. Practical and affordable, these jeans by Bisley are meant to withstand tough on-the-job conditions. They have reinforced stress points and double stitched seams for durability. The jeans also have 5 pockets and a YKK zipper and a 5% Elastane content. 

Corporate Uniform Clothing

What about work pants for indoor or corporate settings? Choosing good quality work pants for this kind of work will ensure you have a comfortable and stylish fit. When you need to stay in the same pair of work pants for long days at the office, it helps if they look and feel good!

Best Uniform clothing

Here are some of our top choices for uniform or office clothing:

  • Men’s Classic Slim Pant. The Men’s Classic Slim pant is made from a polyester and viscose combination. They also have a mechanical stretch for added comfort and 5cm hem allowance. The work pants have 2 side pockets in addition to 1 back pocket and give a slimming look.
  • Ladies Stella Perfect Pant. With 4-way stretch comfort, the Ladies Stella Perfect Pant are made from polyester, viscose, and Elastane. They have a mid-rise with a flattering waistband in addition to a low-profile front. These pants are ideal if you find most pants fit well in the hip and thigh.
  • Men’s Barlow Pant. These pants feature a mid-rise tailored fit that works with most body types. There is a 5cm hem allowance for alterations and the pants are made from 2% Elastane stretch fabric. They have a flat front with tapered leg styling.

Speciality Work Pants

If you have a speciality job and need additional protection, you’ll likely be able to find work pants designed for your particular job. Some manufacturers make these speciality pants available at several shops for purchase. Other times you may need to go to a speciality store.

If you need help choosing the right winter work pants or want to see our selection and try some on yourself, you can also stop by our store in Invercargill. You can also get in touch with us by phone or on our contact page if you have a quick question.