Carhartt Cotton Ripstop Pants - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

Comfortable, durable, with a unique hidden crotch gusset - if you do a lot of crouching in the shop or on the job you'll really appreciate this extensible feature


Carhartt Cotton Ripstop Pants

Carhartt has been around for over 100 years, and their line of hard wearing work clothes is well known among construction workers, though perhaps less so in the general woodworking and DIYer community.
Their new Cotton Ripstop Pants (B432) come in a 'relaxed fit' in a wide range of sizes, from 30 x 30 to 55 x 32, and in four subdued colours. Relaxed fit pants give a bit more wiggle room in the seat and thigh areas than do slim fit pants, and have a wider leg opening than bootcut pants, yet aren't as baggy looking like as straight cut pants.
The B432 pants are made of a mid-weight 9-1/4 ounce 100% cotton 'ripstop' fabric. Ripstop refers to a fabric in which reinforced fibres are woven in a crosshatch pattern to minimize the expansion of holes and snags. If interested, read more about ripstop fabric.
For quite some time I've been wearing an 11-1/2 ounce weight pants in the shop. The B432 is noticeably lighter, though the fabric feels just as durable. Time will tell how well it stands up to the rigors of job site and work shop wear and tear.
There are two additional features that should help prolong the life of these pants. The first is a double knee covering, which extends from the crotch to about 6" below the knee. It consists of a double layer of ripstop fabric, which provides extra coverage where work pants tend to take a lot of abuse.

Double layer of fabric from crotch to just below the knee
Cordura-lined ledge on front pocket
The second feature is the use of Cordura fabric for the front pocket ledge and back pockets. Cordura is a proprietary fabric noted for its wear and abrasion resistance and overall high level of durability. The extra material on the front pocket ledge is a good idea, as it's a popular location to clip a tape measure or utility knife.

Triple stitched main seams
No nonsense metal zipper
The main seams are triple stitched, and most of the other seams are double stitched, which add to their overall durability. You'll also find a metal zipper, which I prefer over nylon. The pull tab is a good size - you can securely grasp it even if you're wearing gloves.

Single stitched bottom cuff
Single stitched pocket liners
The bottom cuff is single stitched - I would have thought to find a double stitch here, particularly on work pants. I also noticed that the pocket linings are single stitched. I have had pocket linings tear on several pants, which I attribute to single stitching (likely aggravated by a habit of putting screws and nails in my pockets as well).

Deep side leg pockets
Hammer loop on left leg only
With wearing a work vest and often a tool belt on a job site, I really don't need a lot of pockets on my work pants. On the B342 there are eleven pockets. They have two 6" deep front pockets (the right pocket has a change or pocket watch pocket), and two 5-1/2" deep pockets in the back. Each leg has a generous 8-1/2" deep pocket with double metal snap closures. Plus there is a cell phone pocket on the left leg and three narrow slot pockets on the right leg, one having a metal snap closure. This provides me with more than enough real estate to house all the personal gear I carry around all day - wallet, cell phone, pens, knife, keys, notepad, and the like.
What I do miss is a hammer loop on the right side - on the B342 the loop is on the left leg. I'm right handed, and this means I have to reach across my body to the left side to retrieve my hammer. It's somewhat of an awkward movement.
I prefer fairly wide belts, so was glad to see that the B342 has large belt loops - they accept belts up to 1-7/8" wide. And, there are seven belt loops rather than five, which do a better job of holding pants snugly around the waist.
These pants are very comfortable, made more so with the hidden crotch gusset - if you do a lot of crouching in the shop or on the job you'll really appreciate this extensible feature.
The Carhartt B342 ripstop pants are a great choice, whether you wear them on a job site, in the shop, gardening, or even loafing around town. They're comfortable, durable, and well priced.


  • 9-1/4 oz 100% cotton ripstop fabric
  • 2 - 6" deep front pockets
  • 2 - 5-3/4" deep back pockets
  • 2 - 8-1/2" deep leg pockets
  • 4 narrow pockets
  • 1 hammer loop
  • Crotch gusset
  • 18" circumference leg opening
  • Triple stitched main seams
  • Cordura®-lined ledged front pocket and back pockets
  • 30" to 50" waist
  • 30" to 36" inseam
  • Available in Dark Coffee, Moss, Desert and Black colours
  • 60-day refund

AVAILABLE FROM:Find a Retailer
MODEL #:B342
MADE IN:Mexico
Carl Duguay, December 2011
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