Are Duck Pants Waterproof?

With its tough and durable qualities duck pants are indeed one of the most sought out work wear out there. These sturdy cotton canvas pants are lauded for their ability to survive even in the toughest of climates.

A much better alternative when compared to denims or regular canvas pants, duck pants have indeed built a throne for itself in the work wear sector.

But are these duck pants really that awesome? The real test is whether they can fare well in the rain and damp and wet swamps. Well worry not, for we have an answer for you. 

Are Duck Pants Waterproof

Are duck pants waterproof? 

Duck pants can resist wear and tear and can function well even in extreme environments. This is why it is hailed as the best work pants out there. But when it comes to resisting water or moisture they don’t really fare that well. Cotton duck canvas is not originally waterproof.

Even though duck pants are made to resist the advances of the elements they cannot keep you dry in the rain. But it will be able to protect you from mild drizzles.

But this is just the case of untreated simple duck pants. But based on the brands and additions it’s waterproof feature can vary and can be improved. 

Pros and Cons of duck pants 

Before getting all disheartened by the not so great waterproof feature of duck pants it is important to consider it’s positives and negatives to build up an unbiased opinion. 


Given below are some of the most desirable features of duck pants: 

1.) Duck pants are tougher and sturdier than most work pants. 

2.) Duck pants can protect you against extremely low temperatures and frosty winds.

3.) Some varieties possess flame resistant/ water resistant properties.

4.) Duck pants are not prone to wear and tear. They are designed for rough use. 

5.) They are extremely durable. Duck pants will remain in good condition for years. 


Here are some of the not so desirable features of duck pants: 

1.) Duck pants can be stiff initially and they do have to be broken in. 

2.) Duck pants can be too hot for summers. 

3.) The thick, rugged look may seem unattractive to some

But when we weigh in the pros and cons we can clearly say that the positives are indeed greater than the minor inconveniences duck pant users face.

So if the waterproof feature is somehow introduced or amped up, duck pants can remain unrivalled in the work wear arena.

 There are indeed waterproof varieties of duck pants available but normal ones lack it. But what if there was a way to make your regular duck pants waterproof?? 

How to make duck pants waterproof? 

There are indeed quite a lot of simple methods to turn your regular duck pants into waterproof duck pants. Read on to find out about a few: 

1.) Sprays 

You can make use of waterproofing sprays to make your duck pants waterproof. If you are using waterproofing sprays, sun proofing the duck canvas by using sprays with UV protection as well. You can also use DWR spray to make duck pants waterproof. 

2.) Wax method 

You can also make use of wax to turn duck pants into waterproof duck pants. You can mix up paraffin or beeswax or use pure organic wax to carry out the waterproofing process.

You can directly rub the wax on to the pants and apply heat using a hairdryer to create a waterproof coating on the pants.

Or you can apply molten wax on to the pants and then even out the layer by removing the excess using a brush. 

Note that you will have to reapply the wax after each wash. 

3.) The detergent and alum method 

Take a bucket or container. Full it up with hot water and add laundry detergent to it. Now fully submerge your duck pants in it and make sure that the pants remain completely submerged.

Leave it aside for half an hour. Take out the pants and do not rinse it. Let it air dry completely out in the sun. Clip the pants on to the cloth line and do not fold it over as this would cause one side to dry up faster than the other. 

Now mix half a pound of alum powder in two gallons of water. Now take the dry duck pants and soak it in the alum and hot water mixture. Make sure that the pants remain completely submerged in the water.

Leave it aside for two hours. Now take it out and air dry in the presence of good air flow. Your duck pants have become impervious to water now. 

How to wash duck pants in order to preserve its waterproof feature? 

After waterproofing your duck pants or after purchasing special waterproof duck pants, it is indeed important to preserve the waterproof feature by taking some care in washing and maintaining your duck pants.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind while washing duck pants to retain their waterproof feature. 

1.) Do not wash your duck pants regularly. Wash them only when they are really dirty.

2.) Do not wash your duck pants in hot water. 

3.) Instead of regular detergent or soap make use of duck canvas cleaners to retain the waterproof feature. 

4.) Do not use high heat option in dryer. Use the low heat option or let the pants air dry. 

5.) Do not use bleach. 

6.) Avoid ironing your duck pants. 

Common brands of duck pants

Among the plethora of companies that manufacture duck pants, the most popular ones that produce good quality duck pants are Carhartt, Dickies, Wrangler and Filson. 

These companies provide stylish, durable and versatile duck pants with desirable features at an even more desirable price. 

Here are a few options you can check out: 

1.) Dickies Men’s Relaxed Fit Straight-Leg Duck Carpenter Jean 

This stylish one from Dickies provides a relaxed fit for all-day comfort and ease of movement and also comes in a variety of colors to cater to your taste and needs. 

2.) Carhartt Men’s Washed Duck Work Dungaree Pant 

This breathable and heavyweight duck pants is best for rough outdoor use and is easy to maintain as it is machine-washable. 

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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