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Patagonia Iron Forge Hemp 5-Pocket Pants

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Patagonia Iron Forge Hemp 5-Pocket Pants hiking pant

A sustainable and durable pair of functional work pants for outdoor jobs. Well constructed and thought out with well placed, deep pockets. They are comfortable for work pants, although a bit heavy like many others - the trade off for protection and durability. These are not hiking trousers, and are not designed to be, so fit the bill as work pants excellently.


  • Solid construction
  • Well thought out pockets
  • Sustainable manufacturing
  • Comfortable
  • Provide great protection
  • Durable


  • Heavy (like most work pants)
  • Run large at the waist


The Iron Forge 5-pocket hemp canvas pants, with Light Farriers shirt

 I wore the Patagonia Iron Forge hemp canvas 5-pocket pants for work in the outdoors from October 2023 through March 2024.  These pants are designed for work (based on the marketing and the 30+ ounce weight), and value sturdiness and protection, as well as function, over style.  I think they fit the bill nicely.  They are comfortable right off the bat without break-in washing or wear, unlike traditional canvas work pants which can take a while to soften to comfort levels.  The durability seems excellent as I have taken them through brush and briers multiple times.

Fit & Comfort

The fit is relaxed, and seems to run a bit large in the waist.  I used the Patagonia size chart for this review and got a 33-inch waist (which I wear without belts for my jeans) and regular length (32-inch inseam).  The length seems fine (covers my boots)

32-inch inseam (regular) was right for me and true to size

but the waist is larger than I am used to and forces belt wearing most of the time. 

I used a belt most of the time due to the larger waist fit for me

 A closer look at Patagonia's website mentions the waist size is typically true to fit, but that slim body types may want to go a size smaller.  I think a 32-inch waist would be perfect for me.

Patagonia says "the gusseted crotch and a contoured, mid-rise waist increase comfort and freedom of movement".  I was comfortable and free to move in my various field activities so can't disagree.

No restrictions on movement and very comfortable

I was comfortable in these trousers from day break in washing/wearing needed.  They find a good balance between durability/protection and comfort.  I never noticed abrasion or chafing of my legs on long days in the field.  The relaxed fit above the knees and tapered leg is great for work but probably not stylish enough for other uses.

The relaxed fit is generous and you should be able wear thermal bottoms under them with no issue.  The length is perfect for me - covers my boots and prevents sticks and leaves from working their way in. 

True to size length gives stick, leaf, and bug protection as well

 Pre-treated with Permethrin, they give good coverage so I don't have to worry as much about tick tape in the southeastern US prime tick country.

Breathability/Water Resistance/Moisture

The Iron Forge pants are not for warm weather...they weigh a lot and while relatively breathable for the type of pant, are designed to primarily protect and last. These are heavier cool-cold season work wear.  Being thicker they don't breath or wick moisture like hiking pants, but that is not their purpose.  Compared to similar items (canvas pants and jeans) they seem to have a slightly better in drying time.  They are also thick enough that during field work on rainy days it took a good bit of rain to soak through and I remained comfortable on rainy days.


The construction of the trousers is solid. On inspection after several months of solid use I can't see any loose threads, stitching, or worn areas.  The only evidence of wear is a few small "nicks" that haven't gotten worse, caused by obstinate thorns trying to pierce the Iron Forge pants, and me!

Each nick shown is a separate thorn-entry attempt, and haven't got worse

 I am confident I can rely on them for years to come.  No wearing of common areas, like knees, is apparent.  If you have a job that requires you to kneel a lot, there are other Patagonia options with double knees as well.


I tend to be pretty warm so don't often need layering of work trousers in anything but the coldest weather.  We had a relatively mild winter in the southeast in 2023-4, so I didn't have to layer these with thermal bottoms.  I stayed warm throughout the workday even in the 20s, although I do wear thermal muck boots when it drops below 30 degrees, so that could be a big factor. 

Iron Forge with thermal much boots on a 20-degree (F) day

 Either way, no complaints on the warmth - exactly as expected for non-lined trousers.


The five pocket locations and depths are well thought out and generous.  No fear of something falling out of my pockets.  Standard four pocket locations at the front and back around the waist help with familiarity (so my keys and wallet are in the same pockets I keep them in on other trousers, and there is no momentary panic as I check around different locations). 

Pockets in front and back are deep

The two front pockets have "integrated fabric designed to hold clip-on tools" - I never tested this out as my work requires high-visibility safety vest so pockets are ample. 

Reinforced back pockets

The back pockets are reinforced, which should increase wear resistance.

Carpenter pocket (for my cell phone) sits behind the seam and protects equipment

The thigh pocket (called a carpenter pocket by Patagonia), which sits slightly behind the leg is fantastic for those of us who use apps for work and need the cell phone handy.  I collect all my GPS data and do sketch mapping on my phone and the location of this pocket is easy to reach, and protects the phone from damage when in brush and other rough country.

The Iron Forge trousers come in two colors dark ash and coriander brown (the tested pair).  They are available in a range of sizes from 28 to 44 inch waist in short (30"), regular (32") and long (34") inseams.

The pants are made in a Fair Trade Certified Factory, which means the people who make the product earned a premium for their labor.  They are constructed of 53% 14-oz industrial hemp, 28% recycled polyester, 15% organic cotton, and 4% spandex blend to optimize mobility.


As mentioned earlier I tested the Iron Forge pants for four plus months in the southeastern US in field conditions from the 20s to 70s (deg F), and in sun, wind, and rain.  Activities included standard field reconnaissance, wetland delineation in swamps with thorny greenbrier, clambering over downed logs and rocks, and struggling through disturbed sites overgrown with blackberry.


I have been wearing jeans and canvas pants for work in the outdoors for several decades.

Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps

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Price Current Retail: $79.00
Historic Range: $36.99-$79.00
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