Carhartt Rugged Flex® Pants: A New Work Wear Favorite

What’s up with stretch?

If you work for a living, chances are you move around a lot. That means you’re no stranger to climbing ladders, squatting down to pick things up, or squeezing in to tight spaces. If your job requires flexibility like this, then why are you still wearing old, rigid jeans or pants that actually make it harder to move around? Not only are these types of pants restrictive, but all that movement puts stress on fabric in key areas like the knees, crotch and butt. Which means sooner, rather than later, you’ll be replacing an otherwise fine pair of work pants. The answer? Pants with a little bit of give like what you’ll find in Carhartt’s Rugged Flex® line. At their core, Rugged Flex® jeans and pants are still made from traditional materials that workers know and love. The difference is that a small percentage of spandex is added to the fabric profile to create a sturdy, yet flexible pant.

We know what you’re thinking. Pants with spandex are made for bodybuilders and dancers, not a blue-collar worker who values durability, quality and strength above all else. To be clear, Rugged Flex® pants are NOT designer yoga pants. Sure, stretchy fabrics are all the rage across many apparel categories these days, but pants made from Rugged Flex® fabrics are still durable, rugged and built for work – not spinning class. While some workers are reluctant to make the switch, for those who have the response has been overwhelming.

Still not convinced?

We get it! It takes time for customers to adopt something new, especially in a category as time-tested as pants. So, in case you needed some additional encouragement, here’s what real workers are saying about Carhartt Rugged Flex® pants:

This was my first experience with these pants and I am hooked. 


I love these pants! I’m 5’8” and have big thighs and a slim waste, these pants give me the mobility that I need to get my job done. 


The flex style was a great addition to, in my opinion, the best work pants out there. It allows more movement when working in tight spaces and is way more comfortable than the standard stiff work pants.


I was attracted to try these pants because of the material and stretch factors. At the same time, I was skeptical they would hold up as well as other Carhartt pants. It turns out they are more comfortable, more functional (allowing greater movement), and definitely just as durable.


My husband is a plumber. Kneeling, bending, climbing… all day, every day. He’s hard on his stuff, and these jeans hold up like nothing I’ve ever seen. 


It’s not often that I leave a review of anything, but I had to for these jeans. I generally have a really hard time finding jeans that fit well and look good, as I have a small waist and large thighs. But these are hands down the best fitting jeans I’ve ever bought, and look great.


Where to Start

Which Rugged Flex® pants are right for you? Just like any other apparel buying decision, a lot depends on the type of work you do, the fit you prefer, and the features you need out of a pair of pants. Like traditional pants, Rugged Flex® fabrics are found on pants with different fits, pocket configurations and feature sets that align with your job. This handy guide quickly covers those pant features in more detail.

If you’re just making the switch, the following two products have been popular with customers and would make an excellent addition to your workday toolkit.

Carhartt 102804 – Rugged Flex® Relaxed Fit Straight Jean

Built from a sturdy 12-ounce denim, these jeans are 85% cotton, 14% polyester and 1% spandex. The result is an amazingly versatile, yet basic work jean that offers flexibility and protection, day after day. Available in 3 colors and made to take a beating, these jeans also feature a fan favorite belt loop configuration that fights gapping.

See also: Carhartt 102808 — Rugged Flex® Dungaree Jean

Carhartt 102291 – Rugged Flex® Rigby Relaxed Fit Pant

Carhartt’s most popular Rugged Flex® pant to date, this style weighs in at only 8 ounces and features a 98% cotton/2% spandex canvas blend. The resulting fabric is soft, yet durable. Available in 6 colors, this pant includes a handy, left-leg cell phone pocket, reinforced belt loops and strong, yet accessible front slash pockets.

See also: Carhartt 103334 – Rugged Flex® Relaxed Fit Double Front Pant


Adding stretch to jeans and pants is no fad. As more workers grow accustom to this necessary feature, flex in work pants will become just as indispensable as pockets and belt loops!  What’s most promising is that flexible fabrics aren’t limited to bottoms. Carhartt has started to incorporate Rugged Flex® technology into a host of workwear categories, like shirts, jackets, and bib overalls, to name a few. These innovations promise to free workers up on the job site and give them that elusive combination of comfort and durability they’ve always desired.

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