How to Choose Carhartt Pants

Deciding what type of Carhartt Pants to buy can be a difficult decision, especially if purchasing online. Having the right mix of comfort and durability is usually the deciding factor on whether you end up being happy with your decision. Hopefully this buying guide can help you order your next pair with confidence.

Types of Fits

The all-important fit. No matter how the pant performs, more than likely you won’t be satisfied if you don’t get this right. Carhartt Pants come in four different fits – Traditional, Relaxed, Loose & Original (sometimes also known as Dungaree fit). Deciding which of these you need should usually be based only on your body type, and not so much what you will be doing in them. To simplify it, the major difference is how much room is in the seat and thigh of the pants.

Relaxed – These pants will have a slimmer fit than the Loose-Original and sit right at the natural waist.
Loose-Original– The loosest fitting pant that Carhartt makes. It sits right at the natural waist, has ample moving room and wide leg openings.

Fabric Selection

While mainly known for their common denim & duck fabric, there are plenty more to choose from.

Duck – A durable fabric that Carhartt is known for, these pants should last you a long time.
Canvas – For a lighter, yet still durable fabric, the canvas pants would be a great fit for you.
Ripstop – Ripstop pants are fairly new to the Carhartt line. They do exactly what it sounds – they stop rips from forming and becoming an issue. The weight of these typically falls in between the duck and canvas.
Twill – Twill fabric is going to be a little dressier that some of the others. Twill pants are a favorite amount workers looking to dress a little nicer.

Double Knees

Some do question whether they need double knees or not. This really comes down to how you are using your pants. Generally, most uses of Carhartt pants would not require double-knees, however if you are someone that is on their knees consistently without knee pads, you may want to consider them. That is unlikely as most would choose to wear knee pads and the more likely scenario would be if you were regularly carrying or rubbing something along your knees that would eventually rub a hole in them. A lot of these scenarios would not warrant knee pads but would be hard on the pants themselves.


For the most part, there are really only a couple different pocket arrangements. There are the typical 5-pocket pants, meaning two in the back, two on the side and then in inner pocket inside one of the side pockets, and then their are pants with utility pockets which most styles come in. While they do vary in placement a bit, most have a side pocket on the side that is big enough to accommodate a cell phone and generally have a hammer loop as well. There are a couple cargo styles that don’t fit either of those descriptions as well.


Most Carhartt Pants are unlined, but there are a handful of styles that do come lined with flannel. These jeans are usually meant only to be worn outdoors in the cold, unless of course you happen to work inside a freezer.


More than anything, the type of jean you want to purchase usually comes down to how you will be using them.


  1. Billy

    Do you not have traditional fit pants in anything but jeans? I love your pants but I have very little butt. What would you recommend?

  2. kerry

    Our daughters want the same comfy Carhartt fleece lined pants as the boys and men! I can’t find them anywhere. Please don’t forget that little girls live on farms too.

  3. Jon

    I have two pairs of carharrt pants that are old and worn and I want to replace them but I cannot find dungaree fit. The tag states they are dungaree fit size 44/30. These are the ones that fit me best since I am a big man. Help a brother out

  4. Ryan Saunchegraw

    I bought some double front ( I’m guessing duck) from a Dicky Bub retailer. The tag says “Original Fit” , however Carhartt wesite says Loose original and relaxed…. Is it possible these are just original and Loose original should say just that on the I side tag??? I want more room in hip area. Thanks

    • Shayna

      Carhartt has changed the name of their pant fits. What used to be called the original fit is now called the loose-original fit. The loose-original should fit the same as your pants with the original fit label.

  5. Bruce

    Have been wearing your canvas pants & shorts for years. Is there a slimmer tapered leg option? When I ride a motorcycle, the pants flap too much. Thanks…

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