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8 Years and Counting: 1620 Work Pants Are Tough as Nails

1620 is a brand known for its high-end (expensive) workwear. Its reinforced, DWR-treated, thoughtfully designed Double Knee Utility Pant 2.0 is a perfect example of why its apparel is so high-priced.

1620 Workwear Double Knee Utility Pant 2.0 - Carry(Photo/Nick LeFort)
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When it comes to work pants, everyone eventually starts wearing the same things. At my last engineering job, one guy started wearing Duluth Trading Fire Hose Work Pants — within a month, everyone else was, too.

Working in a demanding environment, you want a pair of pants that keep up with the abuse you put on them, day in and day out. And when you see a tool or piece of gear keeping up with your coworkers, you tend to drink the Kool-Aid.

But it’s hard for some folks to adopt a new brand. The work pants market has long been dominated by brands like Carhartt, Dickies, and Arborwear, to name a few. These brands and others have proven their worth over the years. They’re also generally affordable, ranging from $30 to $80 per pair.

Where those brands may offer some pants beyond that price range, a $200 pair of pants is laughable. Unless you’re 1620 Workwear and all your pants start north of $100. Sounds crazy, right?

On top of my 3 months of testing, GearJunkie’s editorial director Sean McCoy has owned and used a pair of the original 1620 Double Knee Utility Pants for over 8 years — his, like mine, are still holding strong. It’s a perfect case of needing to spend money to save money. $200 may seem like a lot for a pair of pants until you realize they’re the only pants you’ll need to buy for work, play, and beyond.

1620 double knee utility pant review
Eight years and countless house projects and upland hunting trips later, McCoy’s original 1620 Double Knee Utility Pants are still in great shape; (photo/Sean McCoy)

In short: The Double Knee Utility Pant 2.0 is a DWR-treated, durable, and flexible pair of pants with thoughtfully placed pockets in all the right places. Unlike some CORDURA NYCO work pants, these are supple and easy to break in. And almost all the seams are double-stitched. Moreover, they’re made in the USA and have a lifetime warranty.

To compare the 1620 Double Knee Utility Pant 2.0 to other work pants, check out GearJunkie’s guide to the Best Work Pants for Men and Women.

1620 Workwear Double Knee Utility Pant 2.0


  • Fabric 14 oz. CORDURA Stretch NYCO
  • Utility pockets Back yoke welt pockets, dual watch pockets, right phone pocket, right zip key pocket, military-spec shank button, dual hammer loops, left leg utility pocket
  • Water resistance DWR coating
  • Fit Regular
  • Price $198


  • The balance between durable and flexible in the CORDURA NYCO material
  • Fantastic fit
  • DWR treatment


  • EDC knife can get hung up on the hammer loops

1620 Workwear Double Knee Utility Pant 2.0 Review

162 Double Knee Utility Pants review
(Photo/Nick LeFort)


1620 builds its Double Knee Utility Pant 2.0 from 14-ounce CORDURA Stretch NYCO material. 1620 claims it is 10 times more abrasion-resistant than cotton duck fabric (the material of choice for workwear across the spectrum).

The material has also been treated with a DWR coating, which makes it lightly water-resistant. If they do get saturated, 1620 claims that the 2.0s will dry in half the time of other work pant fabrics.


In terms of fit, the 2.0s have articulated knees with a second layer of fabric and a gusseted crotch. This makes them perfect for working, playing, and a night of disco dancing as they flex with you as you move.

But it also means they’ll last longer because they’re not strained in these reinforced areas. I tested out 1620’s regular fit 2.0s. They’re not baggy, and they’re not tight. The proprietary NYCO material keeps them from stretching out and hanging off you. The leg opening fits well with hiking boots and work boots as well.

1620 used this same NYCO material in its original Double Knee Utility Pants, and it has proven very durable in McCoy’s longevity testing.


The pocket layout on these pants is incredible. In the rear, you have two smaller yoke welt pockets above the deep back pockets. There are also two hammer loops back there.

Up front, you have two standard pockets and two watch pockets. Both standard pockets have a reinforcement on the lip for pocket clips. Additionally, utility pockets are on each side for a level, folding saw, or large wrench. There is also an additional zippered pocket on the right hip for your phone or other things you don’t want to be exposed to the elements.

It’s a lot to take in. But it’s all for good reason and ultimately makes these pants ambidextrous. Everyone who works in a blue-collar environment, or even people who enjoy a good backpacking trip, generally put specific things in specific pockets. In the case of these pants, you can put all the things in all the pockets and really make yourself prepared and efficient.

First Impressions: 1620 Workwear Double Knee Utility Pant 2.0

162 Double Knee Utility Pants review
(Photo/Nick LeFort)

The first time I put the 2.0s on, they were tight and stiff. I legitimately had to do some power stretching to get them to a point where I felt comfortable. But, about half an hour later, as if a switch was flipped, they broke right in. Even after I wash them now, they don’t tighten back up. They have a good broken-in feeling that never falters to the point where the pants get baggy or hang off me.

Initially, the pockets were a bit of a trip to figure out. The standard pockets on the front hips are deep. But they’re wide enough so that when you put your keys or a lighter in them, they don’t disappear into an abyss you can’t access. The reinforcement for pocket clips on these pockets is awesome.

Located at the back of the pocket, they allow you to tuck a knife or multitool into the corner, and they stay there. Additionally, the watch pockets aren’t like the fifth pocket on a pair of jeans, which is what a watch pocket is. They’re big enough to accommodate an iPhone 14 Pro in an Otterbox Commuter case.

If I had to gripe about anything, it would be the hammer loops. There’s a bit of a learning curve for anyone who puts a knife in their back pocket with these pants. You will, without fail, hook the pocket clip to the hammer loop instead of the lip of the welt pocket or back pocket, and it’ll dangle back there; flapping in the breeze. It’s easy to overcome and more silly than anything.

In the Field

20 Workwear Double Knee 2.0 Work Pants
(Photo/Nick LeFort)

Even though they’re work pants, the 2.0s look nice when sitting on a bar stool enjoying a craft beer. They’re also right at home when you’re out and about off-roading through mud and snow.

They arrived as part of the testing samples for the Best Overall Work Pants for 2024. Along with the Carhartt Rugged Flex Double Front Pants, the 1620 Double Knee 2.0 quickly became my favorite of the bunch.

I am a creature of habit. I don’t change my pants every day. The 1620 2.0s are made for this type of wear. That’s what makes them great for work and play. You can be out and about in them for prolonged periods, and they don’t require much, if any, upkeep.

(Photo/Nick LeFort)

Part of that has to do with the DWR treatment. Liquids bead on the surface instead of soaking in and staining the pants. Even mud and dirt are easy to wipe off. That’s a big deal if you plan to go out after work or hiking.

On one of my adventures in these pants, I had to walk out to the stream in our yard through a path of intense prickers. These were massive thorns on 1-inch thick branches. In the past, I have ripped up my arms, legs, and clothes bushwhacking back there. However, in the 2.0s, I did just fine.

There is a little spot on the left leg where I got hung up pretty badly. What would have ripped a pair of regular pants or a gash in my leg turned out to be a tiny hole on the outer layer of the double knee.

1620 Workwear Double Knee Utility Pant 2.0 Review: Overall

162 Double Knee Utility Pants review
(Photo/Nick LeFort)

$200 for work pants is a lot — on the surface. You could buy two or three pairs of other brands for that price.

However, considering that 1620 Workwear’s Double Knee Utility Pant 2.0 could last you more than 8 years, the $200 price tag seems more reasonable. There is a reason that GearJunkie named these pants the Best Overall Work Pants for 2024.

I like the fact that they’re made in Massachusetts. But I like even more that 1620 claims its pants could last 10 times longer than any other cotton duck pants on the market. That’s a bold statement. But having worn these pants as long as I have, I believe it.

While McCoy’s original pants have a slightly different design, the material is the same. He used them on rough upland game hunts, concrete work, and other tough projects. They’re hanging strong after many years.

The Cordura NYCO material excels in form and function. The tight woven fabric doesn’t feel like it weighs 14 ounces. When I think of 14 ounces of material, I think of heavy canvas, which is not very forgiving.

This fabric is the opposite of that; it’s supple and flexible. No, it’s not a pair of Dockers. But it’s one fine example of the innovations we’ve seen in clothing materials in the last few years.

Long ago, I realized that I am the type of person who can end up anywhere, doing anything at any time. The other day, I was picking my kids up from school, and then I was lying on the ground in the parking lot, reinstalling my fog light bulb. We were in line getting ice cream 10 minutes later, and then out by a local creek looking for frog eggs. If you live an active lifestyle for work or play, don’t sleep on these 2.0s.

A man cuts wood while wearing work pants.

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