Work wear for outdoor wear?

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Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,218
987
Lancashire
It's been discussed in other in other threads but I don't recall a specific thread about it, but has anyone got work wear recommendations that's good enough for outdoor use?

It seems to me that you can spend a fortune to get tough, outdoor clothing such as fjellraven trousers but work wear brands do something a fraction of the cost that's over 50% of the quality / functionality of the top outdoor brand.

I used to do conservation volunteering wearing my hiking kit but it wasn't really the best idea. Right now I'm curious because I'm close to getting my first garden and it's not small so I'll be working in it a fair bit. To get me out of decorating kit I'm honest about it. So I'm looking at getting safety boots and tough work trousers hence my query.

UK based, I know USA and Canada do really good quality and cheap workwear, but I don't recall seeing much that's good over here.
 

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,804
839
Canada
Here there is Carhartt, and you should interrogate BrianT on the subject, PaulM.

The only things I have used camping from them is their canvas work jeans. But, they are heavy cotton and agony in the wet. Also, they do focus more on toughness and longevity than mobility and lightness, and that's the main drawback. Doable, but not ideal.

What there also are is companies like Gost/BigBill who make old-school hunting clothes .. not so much realtree camo type, but the kind of wool and cotton you'd maybe want for sitting in a duck blind freezing, butchering and carting out game. Usually cut for big people.

So, maybe it is Harkila you might want to look at.
 
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lostplanet

Full Member
Aug 18, 2005
1,947
157
51
Kent
Check out dickies, snickers and scruffs. There are reasonably priced clothing available from these brands. You do get what you pay for.
I've got various Dickies gear and its mostly good but no where near 5.11 quality. I would also recommend russell but they tend to be a bit more expensive and the sizing can be odd. safety boots- I have a pair of SWAT size zip, and they do the job but have the most annoying squeak coming from the toe box. Mind boggling amount of safety boot options out there. From Haix, Lowa down to screwfix and B&Q own brands and Mil tec etc. depends on what you intend to do with them ie: waterproof, steel shank, side zip, composite toes, shoes, boots or trainers. as an example https://www.workwearexpress.com/footwear/all-footwear

AFAIK safety boots are VAT free.
 
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Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,094
1,211
Berlin
Workwear I have seen in France and Germany was of course OK for camping but not for hiking.

Have a look at Solognac.

Steppe 300 trousers are comparable with FR Karl, but cost a fracture of the price.


They exist also in reinforced versions.

Fleece jacket 300 is good.
(100 too but meant for summer use.)

They also sell warmer versions.

And top secret for garden use:
NATO surplus clothing!
 
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Mowmow

Forager
Jul 6, 2016
237
125
Nottinghamshire
150 quid for some fjallraven trousers which will only end up full of holes at the same rate as a pair of work trousers, but just a bit more stylishly.

Honestly any old workwear will do. You're really not getting anything extra for your money.

Edited because i sounded like im up my own bottom but it wasnt how it was supposed to come across
 
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punkrockcaveman

Full Member
Jan 28, 2017
1,007
832
yorks
A few mates use scruffs and Dickies, they seem pretty hard wearing.

I've had some cheap screwfix ones but they were rubbish.

Get down to wickes (they always seem to have a big range) and have a look/feel. You could always return they after trying on if your not keen
 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,448
457
-------------
After using Snickers floorlayers trousers for a few years I got sick of their stitching quality getting progressively worse.
I changes to Blaklader trousers (the ones with the aramid fibres) and so far its been great.
Not cheap though.
They do last well.
 
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Scottieoutdoors

Forager
Oct 22, 2020
202
119
Devon
Hmmm I'm in a similar position - I'm looking for trousers to wear outdoorsy that won't weigh a ton when wet like my work ones do...

They're having a decent sale on now, but I have always found dickies stuff to be really hard wearing. I've been doing a long drawn renovation job, I've been involved in everything from plumbing, painting, leccy stuff, sanding floors, pulling up floors insulating, laying floors, sanding, ummm sanding, and did I mention sanding? scrabbling about on hands a knees has taken it's toll on my first pair, as it's worn holes in the knee pad retaining areas (like a fold of material over the actual trousers that you slide foam pads into. But they're my go too painting trousers. I ordered a second pair which I've used as my more respectable work trousers...

Anyway - https://www.dickiesworkwear.com/uk/dickies-industry-two-tone-work-trousers-in30030?colour=Khaki these are exactly what I use.

I am limited in choice however as I think these are the only ones that have my leg length.

As others have said, given the hard wearing nature, they do tend to weigh a ton when wet...
 

Silverclaws2

Nomad
Dec 30, 2019
286
152
53
Devon
Blue Castle M65 BDU style work trousers, did me for years, what ten years plus and would have done longer if I had maintained my waste line. Just got a pair of the same by Mil-tec, for about the same price as the Blue Castles, will see how they do, but already, don't like the button fly.
 

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
22,308
1,834
64
Pembrokeshire
OG brand combat trousers from my local surplus store have done me well for years - available in cotton or poly cotton. They stood up well to expeds in the mountains and savanna of South Africa and in Thai jungles so should be fine for most UK work :)
 
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Oliver G

Full Member
Sep 15, 2012
352
236
Melbourne, Derbyshire
I've got a stash of the Karrimor Panther trousers, they're smart enough to bimble about the office in but weather fairly well outdoors. After a couple of years the elastic starts to go and they soften up to make lovely trousers for knocking around at home.
 

SaraR

Full Member
Mar 25, 2017
806
500
Ceredigion
Has anyone suggested 5.11's trousers yet? Despite their "tactical strap" and "action waist" :)rolleyes2:) and odd pocket designs, they are made of really sturdy, yet comfy-looking, fabric. No idea about model names or prices, but DH hasn't worn out his pair yet, and not for lack of trying.
 

Scottieoutdoors

Forager
Oct 22, 2020
202
119
Devon
Has anyone suggested 5.11's trousers yet? Despite their "tactical strap" and "action waist" :)rolleyes2:) and odd pocket designs, they are made of really sturdy, yet comfy-looking, fabric. No idea about model names or prices, but DH hasn't worn out his pair yet, and not for lack of trying.

Thanks for suggesting these. I'm looking for some outdoorsy trousers that are hard wearing and won't break the bank, my issue is leg length and it seems 5.11 offer some decent lengths for those of us who are stupidly tall...
 
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fenix

Forager
Jul 8, 2008
123
90
Kent
OG brand combat trousers from my local surplus store have done me well for years - available in cotton or poly cotton. They stood up well to expeds in the mountains and savanna of South Africa and in Thai jungles so should be fine for most UK work :)
I pretty much live in a variety of 5.11 trousers, have found them to be comfortable an long lasting. The range of materials and styles can be a tad confusing, the last couple of pairs came from ebay at £20 each in a sale. They are reasonably water repellent, but the coating will degrade over time, might try a reproofing some of them. I ware them to work, they look tidy enough for management stuff but have plenty of pockets for tools. About the only other brands I ware regularly are Rohan and Craghopper. Just about to get some shooting / stalking trousers from either Deerhunter or Percussion, they are in the £30ish price bracket.
 

chimpy leon

Full Member
Jul 29, 2013
463
101
staffordshire
Ive worn out a loads of work trousers marketed as “hard use“ and “tough“ etc and I’ve found snickers to be consistently poor, or should I say absolute crap!
Best I’ve used is black knight - very durable and comfortable. That said I still have a pair of Arco essentials that are still going strong after 7 years - got them next to nothing. It seems the less gimmicky they are, the longer they last. For me at least.
 
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