Stay Cool on Jobsites with Breathable Work Pants for Hot Weather

To protect your legs this summer, consider purchasing one of these five breathable work pants. These work pants are breathable and light, helping minimize sweat.


Let’s face it. In a perfect world, you’d be able to wear shorts on your jobsite during the peak of summer. But, unfortunately, that’s simply not reality.

As a construction worker, you need as much protection as possible—from the sun, the elements (such as heavy rains and high winds) and the injury risks you may encounter while you’re working, including cuts, dropped objects, falls and slips.

Therefore, pants are, without question, your best option, even when temperatures are approaching 100℉. But you can’t just wear whichever pants you prefer either. Instead, you must keep the following benefits in mind, as you search for the most ideal options, which will protect you in hot weather, day in and day out.

Why Buy Breathable Work Pants?

Above all else, breathability is key, with regards to choosing work pants for hot weather. The more breathable the fabric, the better, as air will circulate consistently and, in turn, maintain your body temperature, regardless of how hot it is outside. Cotton is the most breathable material available; if you prefer work pants comprised of linen, they are highly breathable as well.

The bottom line? The more breathable your pants—due to their light weight and loose fit, as a result of their composition, in particular—the better, as you’ll dry faster and remain more comfortable longer, while working in high heat and humidity.

In addition, you need pants that will not only wick away moisture as you sweat, but absorb it, too. Aside from minimizing moisture, your pants should also offer UPF protection so that you’re shielded from the sun’s UV rays as much as possible. And, of equal importance, you should strive to find pants that provide ample airflow, light colors and high flexibility, thereby diminishing any likelihood of wearing pants that are sticky and tight fitting.

As is always the case, durability is critical too, despite the weather. You need to purchase brands that are renowned for their endurance, due to their craftmanship and materials. Not to mention, you must then take care of them through proper washing and drying.

In preparation for the coming hot months, consider purchasing one of these five work pants, each of which will offer you breathability, comfort, dryness and durability.

ATG by Wrangler Reinforced Utility Breathable Work Pants

work pants for summer

ATG by Wrangler Reinforced Utility Pants.

Comprised of 97 percent cotton and 3 percent spandex, these machine washable pants—available in several widths, ranging from 30 to 44—offer UPF 30 protection. Highly durable, due to their articulated, reinforced knees, along with their reinforced kickplate, the straight leg pants are designed with stretch canvas and a gusseted crotch, leading to high flexibility and, consequently, mobility. As a result, you’ll be able to easily bend over, squat down and stretch while conducting your job tasks. Featuring moisture-wicking fabric, the pants also have a zip utility pocket, as well as a hidden, interior pocket, which you can utilize to securely store small tools.

Best Features: Moisture-wicking fabric; UPF 30 protection

Price: $54.00 – Buy breathable work pants on

Carhartt Loose Fit Canvas Utility Breathable Work Pants

construction work pants

Carhartt Loose Fit Canvas Utility Work Pants.

Offered in several colors (including light brown and tan) and sizes (28- to 50-inch waists), these pants are comprised of 7.5-ounce, 100 percent cotton ringspun canvas. In turn, they’re lightweight, highly breathable and capable of absorbing moisture, allowing you to remain dry, even in hot, humid weather. For further comfort, the machine washable pants—which are designed to sit at your waist—have a loose fit too, particularly within their seat and thighs, ensuring they won’t stick to your legs. Therefore, you’ll have a high range of motion as you conduct various job tasks, no matter how often you have to bend, kneel or stretch.

Best Features: Cotton ringspun canvas composition; loose fit, especially in their seat and thighs

Price: $39.99 – Buy breathable work pants on

CQR Water-resistant, Lightweight, Stretch Breathable Work Pants

summer work pants

CQR Water-resistant, Lightweight, Stretch Work Pants.

Featuring three key components—cotton (64 percent), nylon (30 percent) and elastane (6 percent)—these pants can either be hand washed or machine washed at a low temperature. Offering a mesh ventilation system, which wicks away moisture and enables air to steadily circulate, the highly breathable pants are very flexible, too. After all, they not only have a 3D pattern design, but they’re also comprised of a spandex mixed fabric, each of which will enhance your mobility. At the same time, they have mesh flaps (located in the back), which will provide high ventilation too, yet another component that reduces your body temperature, despite working in high heat.

Best Features: Mesh ventilation system; spandex mixed fabric for mobility

Price: $36.97 - $36.98 – Buy breathable work pants on

Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Breathable Work Pants

work pants for men

Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Pants.

Lightweight, these highly durable, 100 percent nylon work pants offer a straight leg design, leading to an easy fit, along with high comfort as you bend and stretch on your jobsite. Featuring Omni-Wick technology, which pulls moisture from your skin into their fabric, allowing it to then rapidly evaporate, the pants help you remain cool and dry. Additionally, they will protect you from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, as they’re comprised of Omni-Shade UPF 50 fabric too, an offering that’s only associated with the manufacturer. For further flexibility as you conduct your job tasks, the pants also have articulated knees, along with a partial elastic waist.

Best Features: Omni-Shade UPF 50 fabric; Omni-Wick technology, which wicks away moisture

Price: $38.50 – Buy breathable work pants on

FreeSoldier Lightweight, Quick Dry, Tactical Breathable Work Pants

cargo work pants

FreeSoldier Lightweight, Quick Dry, Tactical Pants.

Due to their UPF 50+ protection, these pants will block UVA and UVB rays all summer long. Renowned for their fast-drying capabilities, the pants also feature a DuPont Teflon Coating that repels water, along with stains. Consequently, they’ll not only remain dry, but clean as well, regardless of the wear and tear they experience. Comprised of 86 percent nylon and 14 percent spandex, the pants are scratch and wear resistant too, leading to their high durability. Lightweight and breathable, the pants are also highly elastic, thereby increasing your range of motion. Featuring a COOLMAX mesh lining that wicks away moisture, the pants have reinforced, articulating knees as well.

Best Features: COOLMAX mesh lining; UPF 50+ protection

Price: $39.99 – Buy breathable work pants on

Things to Know about Breathable Work Pants for Hot Weather

Which color should I consider, as I purchase work pants for hot weather?

The lighter, the better. You don’t necessarily want white pants, as they’ll stain easily. But you definitely don’t want to purchase dark colors either. Look for pants that are either khaki or light blue, brown, grey or tan, in particular.

Is nylon a better option than polyester?

When it comes to being cool, yes. And, like polyester, nylon pants are also highly durable, so you’ll be able to retain them for long periods of time.

Which type of UPF protection should I look for?

Pants must have UPF 30 fabric to qualify for The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. A UPF of 50+ is the most ideal though, as it will block at least 98 percent of the sun’s rays, while only allowing 2 percent (or less) of all UV rays to penetrate your skin.

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