recently reviewed a pair of
Carhartt Cotton Ripstop Pants (B432), and found them to be ideal
for work in the shop or on a job site, primarily because they are
both comfortable and super durable. With their abundant pockets,
hammer loop, and a somewhat baggy fit, there is no mistaking them
for the pant of choice for carpenter or tradesperson.
However, when I'm meeting prospective clients for the first time, or off to a trade show, I often chose to wear a somewhat classier style of pants - first impressions being what they are.
The Carhartt Men's Twill Double-Knee Work Pant (B316) looked to fit the bill. They look more like a uniform pant - the kind that seems to be more common in the service sector, yet they're designed for the rigors of the work place.
The B316s are classed as 'relaxed-fit' pants, which means you get a bit more wiggle room in the seat and thigh areas than with regular or slim fit pants, and they have a fairly wide leg opening - 19-1/4". They come in over 40 sizes, from 28" x 30" to 54" x 32", and in four muted colour choices - Khaki, Navy, Dark Gray, and Black.
The B316s are constructed of 8.5 ounce twill (diagonal weave) fabric that is 65% polyester and 35% cotton. The material feels thicker than it's 8.5 ounce would merit, but the pants are noticeably lighter than the Carhartt B432 pants, which are made of a 9-1/4 ounce 100% cotton canvas.
|Twill (diagonal weave) fabric - 65% polyester, 35% cotton|
The polyester makes these pants long wearing, resistant to mildew
and abrasion, quick drying and less prone to wrinkling and
shrinking, while the cotton adds breathability and some moisture
absorption. You'll find this same 65/30 blend used in a lot of work
According to Carhartt, the leg crease is permanent, and the fabric both wrinkle-resistant, and treated with a stain-repel-and-release finish. Only time will tell how long these claims will hold out, but after two washes, they still look like 'new off the shelf'.
|Triple stitching for maximum strength|
As you'll find on most Carhartt work clothing, the main seams are triple stitched, with most of the other seams double stitched. Which is what you want for maximum strength.
|Single stitching on the cuff seems an anomaly|
Which made the single stitching on the cuff seem an anomaly. However, I've checked all the pants at my local Marks Work Warehouse, and nary a double stitched cuff.
|Seven wide belt loops|
The B316s have seven wide loops that will easily accommodate up to a 1-3/4"
wide belt. Having more loops seems to give a better fit around the waist.
The two back pockets are of a generous size - 5" x 5". However, I find the pocket buttons too small. If you have really large fingers it might be a real battle to open and close them.
An extra 10" layer of fabric covers the knees. Which makes sense, as apart from the seat, this is the area that's likely to receive most of the day-to-day wear and tear.
|Brass zipper and closure|
Plastic molded zippers on work pants look out of place, and I'm
fairly confident that metal zippers are more durable - but maybe
that's just a guy thing. The pull tab is large enough that you can
get a good grip, even if you have gloves on. The metal closure is
pretty standard, more preferable, I feel, than a hook and loop
|Durable pocket liners|
The 7" wide diagonal opening on the front pockets make them easy
to access. They're also quite deep - 12" from the top front of the
pocket to the bottom of the pocket. Deeper pockets mean that the
contents are less likely to fall out, particularly when your seated.
Plus, you can fit more stuff in them.
There is also a mobile phone pocket on the right pant leg. With the phone in a protective case it's a bit of a tight squeeze to slip the phone into the pocket - with the case removed it fits perfectly.
The pocket liners are very sturdy, and like the leg cuffs, single stitched. Again, this is consistent with virtually all the various makes of pants I looked at. Maybe I'm the only one who's had a pocket liner seam tear.
|Comfortable, well made, and smart looking|
For just over $40 CDN the Carhartt B316 work pants give every indication of being very good value. They're comfortable, well made, and have a more finished and refined look than regular work pants.
|Available From:||Find a Retailer|
|Retail Price:||from $41.99 CA
from $36.00 US
|Best For:||Tradespeople, DIYers|