A comfortable, warm, and waterproof pair of gardening trousers are essential for sustained working in the garden. With autumn jobs being increasingly manual in nature, extended stints of (relatively) hard labour may be ahead. Don't cut the day short through not feeling warm enough, not staying dry or – worst of all – being driven mad by uncomfortable trousers that refuse to move when you do.
Pinching waistbands, seams riding up, back-of-the-knee fatigue through repeated snagging and catching while reaching and stooping… You name it we've all been there. The answer is a pair of dedicated garden workwear trousers that will not only keep the elements out but can transform a day of hard work from being a chore to becoming a pleasure.
And don't forget that it's tough out there so dedicated gardening trousers go the extra mile to keep you safe. Padded knees will help you work faster and longer at ground level and snag and tear-resistant materials will let you wade into the nettles and undergrowth with confidence.
Add in two-way pockets (to keep hands warm and tools close by) and plenty of zips to keep keys, wallets and more safe while working and you've got the perfect gardening partner.
And these days there's something for everyone. Today's gardening trousers are tailored for men and women so there's no need to make do with uncomfortable, baggy overalls and unflattering unisex clown pants. Now it's easy to find a pair that'll perform under stress and still have you smart enough to receive guests or take a trip to the garden centre.
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Here's our pick of the best for gentlemen and ladies.
Men's Gardening Trousers
MS9 Mens Cargo Combat Work Trouser
With the comfortable, familiar cut of jeans but with all the sculpting and stretching you need for kneeling and crawling, these cargo combat trousers from the experts at MS9 are sure to get the job done.
There's a pocket of every shape and size here with extra large cargo pockets on one side and smaller ruler and tool pockets elsewhere. Edges are defined with reflective tape – so even given their dark, dirt-hiding colour, you'll still be visible to workmates when the dusk starts to fall.
They're 65% polyester and 35% cotton so they're extra hardwearing with the industry standard YKK zips and triple stitch seams where it counts. And they're simple and easy to care for – just sling them in with your wash.
Strauss Holster Vintage Trousers
If you're looking for a less industrial, more relaxed look that still gets the job done then Strauss have a huge range that deliver the performance and perhaps the softer look you're looking for.
These crisp canvas pants have casual cargo looks but still pack the storage and comfort levels you need for sustained garden duties.
There are two detachable tool bags – so you can travel light and stylish or go in fully armed depending on the job in hand – and the holster waistband has the perfect slot for carrying today's most used equipment.
Their durable and elastic canvas features a high percentage of cotton mixed with T400 Stretch and Cordura®Nyco to help repel dirt with the right leg carrying a two-part ruler and knife pocket while the leg takes care of creature comforts such as a large, adjustable mobile phone pocket with strong velcro fastening.
Magcomsen Mens Cargo Work Trouser Cotton Pants
Another soft and all-day wearable combination, these Cargo Work Trousers by Magcomsen have a high cotton content – 97% – with 3% spandex giving you that little bit extra stretch.
They're cut loose around the leg so there's plenty of movement and zippered pockets throughout will keep your essentials safe. Ideal for wearing over boots the adjustable, zip-able vented legs allow you fit even the chunkiest of boot or wellington inside the leg for maximum water and air proof weather protection.
Multi-layered at the knee where it counts, you'll have protection while kneeling without resorting to lumpy knee pads that ruin their more casual look. Just the job for outdoor socialising before returning to that hard work in the garden.
Ridgeline Covert Ripstop Pants
Ridgeline are huge in the outdoor and gardening space, offering a massive range of co-ordinated products that'll keep you safe and warm from head to toe.
The Ripstop fabric of their Covert Ripstop Pants – here in Prairie Brown finish – is lightweight and flexible with articulated knees and kneepad pockets ready for a day of kneeling and up-close garden work.
A semi-elasticated waist gives you room to bend and stretch and there are cargo pockets large enough for tools. And when the work is done, the polyester/cotton mix means that dispensing with a day's worth of dirt is a simple machine wash away.
Offering maximum flexibility and fit there's even a choice of three leg lengths to ensure the perfect weatherproof (but comfortable) fit.
Scruffs Men's Pro Flex Plus Workwear Trousers
Bringing a little hi-tech know-how into the gardening space, Scruff's Pro Flex Plus slim fit offers 4-way stretch fabric for superior comfort and freedom of movement.
Special care has gone into the design of the CORDURA knee pad pockets to deliver top class resistance to abrasion, scuffs and tears without impacting on comfort and wearability. There are even two positions available for the knee pads so you can ensure that whatever the job you can kneel for longer in more comfort.
Large pockets are of course on board, along with three loops for carrying tools and a range of holster pockets for smaller equipment (including that all important mobile phone).
Rounding off there's triple stitching on the seams and a YKK zipped fly.
Kincraig X3 Waterproof Trousers
Kincraig make excellent jackets and these trousers will team and match perfectly. These trousers are specifically waterproof and are designed to withstand the rigours of outdoor country life.
The 85% micro polyester and 15% nylon honeycomb composition is very hardwearing and durable but moves and feels like softer natural fibres with non of that annoying nylons 'swoosh' when walking.
There are six zipped pockets and a high waistband to prevent riding up while Sid elastications gives you a comfortable fit as you move.
A simple, reliable velcro leg enclosure allows you to tighten the legs around whatever your choice of footwear maybe to deliver a snug and stylish outline with a countryside look (see top of article) that's just at home when working hard.
Women's Gardening Trousers
Genus Women's 3-Season Gardening Trousers
Top brand, Genus, have designed these trousers specifically for use by gardeners – and they're endorsed by non other than the Royal Horticultural Society.
Designed to be showerproof, they are also adjustable with stretch fabric and breathable - an essential function when you are busy at work in the garden. Stylish, yet functional, the handy pockets are stab-resistant, among them ideal for safely storing secateurs and knives, and the raised waist band helps protect your back. Plus, the added waterproof knee pads are perfect for kneeling on. These trousers are easy to care for thanks to the quick drying material.
Women's Outdoor Action Workwear Cargo Trousers
These affordable, outdoor trousers are designed for withstanding a hard graft. Featuring an impressive 11 pockets, many with zips, you will have plenty of room to store your tools. There is also a cargo pocket on the side leg which is ideal for popping your phone in. The practical trousers are made from Kingsmill poly cotton and feature reinforced seam for added comfort and functionality. They are also UPF 50+, providing an extra layer of protection from the elements. A wide range of size, length and colour options are available.
Baleaf Women's Outdoor Cargo Trousers
These lightweight, outdoor trousers are made from 90% Polyester and 10% Spandax and come with a comfortable elastic fastening. They are water resistant and quick drying meaning that you don't have to worry about a light shower while you're busy at work gardening. The breathability of the fabric is a huge bonus as it enable you to stay cool and fresh as you move about. Built in UPF50+ helps to potent you from harmful ultraviolet rays. The cargo-style design makes them aesthetically appealing. They are easy to care for as they can be machine washed.
Helly Hansen W Loke Pants
Don't let the rain stop you from enjoying your work in the garden. The W Loke Pants from top brand Helly Hansen will help protect you from the weather with 10,000mm waterproofness and 10,000g moisture vapour permeability. They are made from a mixture of Polyamide and Polyurethan, the nature of which ensures that they are breathable. Included Helly Tech Protection helps you stay dry and comfortable. A loose fit by design, you could pop these over a pair of fleece leggings for very cold temperatures.
Highton Waterproof Trousers
Regatta's Highton Stretch Overtrousers are a brilliant addition to your gardening wardrobe. Made of Isotex 10,000 stretch-fabric, they are both waterproof and breathable. Offering you protection from the elements and high performance thanks to a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish. There are handy zipped pockets to safely store your phone and other valuables in, and the ankle zips make it easy to open up and put boots under.
Katie is Editorial & Digital Assistant on Gardens Illustrated
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