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8 Best Work Pants with Knee Pads: Protective & Practical

The pants’ knee area is  prone to wear and tear. The solution can be to use traditional knee pads, as they are a feature that provides a great deal of heavy-duty safety.

Purchasing work pants with knee pad pockets instead of work pants with built-in knee pads is going to give you a much more extensive selection of pants to choose from—and most of them will be tactical pants. Usually, work pants with built-in knee pads are quite rare, meaning you will need to buy  pants that are fitted with knee pad pockets and additionally, knee pad inserts. 

Our Work Pants with Knee Pads Picks

These are the pants we think deserve to be on the list of the best work pants with knee pads and knee pad pockets.

1. Survival Tactical Gear Pants with Knee Pads

These tactical pants offer quality and durability at a great price. With a great color selection and camo options, they also have a cool design. They are made of heavy-duty, rip-stop fabric, which makes the pants tough and super comfortable. 

These feature a knee protection system to roll down the Cordura fabric at the knees for extra protection during harsh conditions. The knee protection system serves to take the pressure off your knees, whether you’re crawling or kneeling.

Mobility

The areas who tend to have the most wear and tear—the seat, knee, and lower leg—are layered with double 1000D fabric. This feature helps to provide ultimate comfort and breathability. But that is not all; this pair has an air circulation system for those hot days and an elastic waistband to adjust according to your needs.

Practicality

As the top on our list, the Survival Tactical Gear are some of the most practical work pants out there. They have pockets everywhere, 14 in total, with a variety of sizes. The knee pads can be removed, the design includes velcro adjustments, and the zipper is strong and really easy to use. 

ProsCons
Made of ripstop CorduraN/A
Metal YKK zipper
Air circulation system
Flexible
Heavy-duty

2. Caterpillar Men’s Trademark Pant

These are the classic work pants that are lightweight and stylish. They have a double-brushed abrasion-resistant fabric on the inside for maximum comfort. All in all, they are a great fit, and have many pockets that come in handy whenever you need to store and use tools. Even though they are not heavy, they still hold their own even in harsh weather conditions. 

Mobility

These pants are  baggy in the leg to ensure movement. However, the waistband has an anti-slip rubber material inside that prevents the pants from sliding down and keeps them in place when climbing, bending, and during tricky angles. They have a double-layered articulated knee with top loading knee pad opening so you won’t battle with an uncomfortable bulge on the back of the knees. 

Practicality

The pockets allow you to have all your tools within reach. The built-in carpenter pouches can store things like hammers, pens, cell phones, and other necessary items. Also, the 20-inch leg opening fits snugly over boots.

ProsCons
LightweightCan run small
Durable
Anti-slip material at waist
Carpenter pouches

3.Tru-Spec Men’s 24-7 Series Xpedition Pant

These lightweight tactical pants are made with 65% polyester/35% cotton with double weave 91% nylon, 9% Spandex accents, designed for on-duty or off-duty wear. The material is high quality and breathable, with sections that allow airflow through the pants, adapting to changing temperatures. This pair is great for athletic or daily wear.

Mobility

What makes these pants comfortable is the adjustable slider waistband and the articulated knees. The gusseted soft flex crotch area allows for ease of movement, while the dual mesh cooling vents allow for airflow and temperature regulation. These pants are specifically made to combat the harsh weather when on a tactical mission. 

Practicality

The Tru-Spec pants include front belt loops with key chain loops, a YKK brass zipper, a french fly zipper for added security, and a zipper opening on the lower leg with expandable mesh lining. They are comfortable thanks to the stretchy material, and they are somewhat water-resistant, too. The articulated joints allow for strength in well-used areas. These feature a great number of very functional pockets and attachment points for outdoor accessories.

ProsCons
Easy access and secure back pocketsMight be short rise for some
Lower leg zipper with expandable mesh lining
Additional nylon webbing layer
Strap adjustment on ankle cuffs and boot hooks

4. Survival Tactical Gear Airsoft Wargame Tactical Pants with Knee Pads

Another pair of Survival Tactical Gear pants that does not disappoint. The strong reinforcement and sleek design make these pants stand out from the rest. They’re made out of ripstop Cordura thick material that will stay durable for years. The color selection has something for everybody, whether you like the camo design or something more neutral and lowkey. 

Mobility

These pants have built-in air circulation that even in the hottest weather can  cool you down. Cold air can enter through the knee-protector and shin pockets lined with mesh, which can be left open. The knee protection system will keep you comfortable and take some of the pressure off your knees, whether you are kneeling or crawling.

Practicality

Having 16 different size gear pockets, these pants allow you to store and access all your belongings and  necessary equipment efficiently. 

ProsCons
Abrasion-resistantZipper pockets may be uncomfortable
Stretchy waistband
Air circulation system

5. Carhartt Men’s Firm Duck Double-Front Work Dungaree Pant

These are the most outstanding work pants, both durable and practical. These have a roomy, relaxed fit that will not hug tight and will allow plenty of space to stretch the legs while seated. The fabric is really rough, and the back pockets are reinforced to help them hold up over the long term. As per the pockets, these pants feature multiple tool and utility pockets with an additional left-leg hammer loop.

Mobility

As the original loose fit, these pants sit slightly above the waist, with a full seat and thigh for the most room to move. They’re firm enough to be comfortable at the waist while loose and flexible in all the right places. These prove to be great for any type of work that requires ease of movement. 

Practicality

The most remarkable feature might just be the pockets. These are two front, back, and side utility pockets, plus a hammer loop. Another add-on is the strong sewn-on-seam belt loops for security from wear and tear.

ProsCons
True-to-size fitCan run long
Multipurpose pockets
Hammer loop
Strong belt loops

6. FREE SOLDIER Men’s Outdoor Tactical Pants

These Tactical pants are made of 35% cotton and 65% polyester DuPont Teflon fabric, which effectively repel stains and liquids. They are quite durable, wrinkle-resistant, and do not shrink or fade. The best thing is the double stitching and extra fabric in places that generally wear out over time. In cold-weather conditions, they stay dry and comfortable.

Mobility

The strengthened knees and 3D tailoring make these pants flexible and durable—perfect for any heavy-duty work, tactical setting, or other outdoor activities. They offer plenty of legroom, so you have maximum mobility. The multiple pockets have a velcro closure, so you can move at all times without worrying about items falling out. 

Practicality

These pants have up to 11 multi-purpose cargo pockets (2x front slash pockets, front thigh pockets with hook & loop, back hip pockets, back thigh pockets with hook & loop, back shank pockets with hook & loop, and a concealed pocket). They help carry and hang various tools  easily.

ProsCons
Safe hook & loop designSizing can be inconsistent.
YKK Zipper fly closure
Double stitching
DuPont Teflon fabric

7. Timberland PRO A1OVC Work Bender Utility Work Pants

The Bender Utility work pants are made with a blend of cotton/elastane to provide flexibility and comfort. The knee overlay features a 100% Cordura nylon canvas and Anti-Fatigue Technology knee pad inserts. These are resistant to stains, and the material makes them extremely durable. The knee panels have this indestructible system—ideal for heavy-duty work.

Mobility

With an original standard fit, these pants don’t hug tight against your legs. These pants also have a flexible fabric for comfort, where the amount of stretch allows for mobility for crouching, kneeling, and other possible awkward movements.

Practicality

Even though these pants are heavy-duty, they are relatively cool and comfortable to wear even in hot conditions. The pockets are the right size, depth, and quantity for any work or activity—definitely go-to cold weather work pants.

ProsCons
True-to-size fitKnee pads may be too firm
Anti-Fatigue Technology knee pad inserts
Heavy-duty
Multiple pockets

8.Walls Ditchdigger Double-Knee Duck Work Pant

Since these pants are 98% cotton, they will keep you cool when it’s hot. The 2% spandex offers comfort and stretch. The double knee pants make them ideal for professionals who need quality, durability, and comfort.

Mobility

The breathable, flexible material allows you to enjoy mobility without working up a sweat, while the gusseted crotch lets you move comfortably. They feature a Smooth Move elastic waistband for a relaxed fit.

Practicality

To handle the rigorous hard work, these work pants have double and triple reinforced stitching. The knee pad pocket is flexible for added comfort and makes it easy to keep clean. The deep and tough pockets make up for the missing cargo-type pockets and the additional cell phone pocket is easily accessible and secure.

ProsCons
Button closureNo pockets for tools
Relaxed fit
Guesseted crotch

What to Look for in Work Pants with Knee Pads?

It is not a coincidence that most of the list includes tactical pants. That’s because tactical pants tend to have thick plastic built-in knee pads outside the pants. In comparison, actual work pants offer an opening for pads that you can insert as knee safety.

All in all, when choosing which pants with knee pads will be most beneficial to the work you do, these are some points to consider.

Fit

For perfectly fitting knee pads, you need to wear the right size of your work pants. The knee pad must cover the middle of your knee to be the best match for your knees. Your knee pad pockets won’t be in the correct position if your trousers’ legs are too long or too short. 

The majority of tactical pants sit a little higher on your waist than your average pants. This fit is designed to handle duty belts and heavy gear without pants being dragged down.

Functionality

Look for pants adequate for work. That means that features like loops, tool pockets that are spacious and easy to access will help you immensely. Built-in knee pads might not be ideal for some professionals, so pay attention based on your needs.

A flexible knee pad is more comfortable to work in because it adjusts to the position you’re in. Built-in knee pads may offer the same level or more protection, but a feature is that they tend to be shock-absorbing, which help those who deal with heavy-duty work.

It can be hot to work with knee pads, so ventilation and air circulation channels, even the weight of your  pants, can greatly impact your working comfort. Look for fabrics with blends of spandex, elastane, or neoprene to get the most  out of your pants. Your apparel should not hinder you from reaching peak performance. That’s why tactical pants with knee pads are constructed with an emphasis on mobility.

Durability

Jobs  that require kneeling, crouching, and movement on abrasive and harsh surfaces lead to rips and tears. That’s why it’s essential to look at the material which work pants are made of. Ripstop is a fabric weave known for its durability, while textured designs help minimize stains. A synthetic fabric makes tactical pants more shrink, fade, and wrinkle resistant. 

Most pants intended for work have removable knee pads, which actually have a few advantages to them. Ultimately, you’re able to replace the pads, without buying new pants. We have put together this list and guide to help you find the best work pants with pads that are as practical as they are protective.

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