Style | Updated December 10, 2020 6:11 pm
Originally Published February 5, 2019 9:00 am

We Tested Five of the Most Popular Flannel-Lined Jeans

From Carhartt to Wrangler, who comes out on top?

Five of the Most Popular Flannel Lined Jeans
ALEX LAUER/INSIDEHOOK

Nota bene: If you buy through the links in this article, InsideHook may earn a small share of the profits.

Update, 12/10/20: Has there ever been a time that we’ve all collectively needed to slip into a pair of flannel-lined jeans more than the winter of 2020-2021? We certainly can’t think of one. To help you find the best pair of flannel-lined denim for your lifestyle, whether you’re working all day outside or just trying to lower your heating bill, we’ve updated our test from 2019 (which we still stand by) with five new options, including fleece-lined pants.


If you experience below freezing temperatures at any point during the year, you need a pair of flannel-lined jeans in your arsenal.

Flannel-lined jeans are the KFC Double Down of pants. They’re the garment equivalent of putting on your clothes straight out of the dryer. Wearing them feels like you never left the metaphorical womb that is your flannel-sheet-covered bed. What we’re trying to say is they’re warm, comfy and rugged.

In an effort to spread the gospel of flannel-lined denim, I took the five most popular pairs for a test drive — wearing each to find out which is best.

A couple notes: Some brands release limited edition pairs every fall, others do one-offs, but these are all stalwarts of the style. Also, we’re only talking about flannel-lined denim. No fleece. No khakis. As with most lined pants, you’ll most likely need to order a size up in the waist. And yes, we’ll admit most of these won’t flatter your figure (the pitfall of sewing an extra layer inside your pants), but if warmth is what you seek, read on.

Below, a ranking of the best:

Carhartt flannel lined jeans for men
Carhartt

Best Bang for Your Buck: Carhartt Relaxed-Fit Straight-Leg Jean

What we expected from Carhartt: rugged, warm, work-ready pants. What we got: That to a T, and for a paltry $40. The 100-percent cotton denim is the heaviest of the bunch at 15-ounces. And while Wrangler, J.Crew and L.L.Bean have your typical small YKK zippers, Carhartt has a larger, tougher version. But hipsters be warned — this is not Carhartt WIP. This is classic Carhartt, so the fit (widest leg of the bunch) and color (pure American blue jean) may scare someone accustomed to skinny selvedge denim.
Other superlatives: Widest leg, strongest zipper (tie)

L.L.Bean flannel lined jeans for men
L.L.Bean

Best Dad Jean: L.L.Bean Double L Jeans

Side-by-side, these jeans are indistinguishable from Carhartt in color. But the feel of the exterior denim is softer, and the legs aren’t as wide, making it the ideal runabout jean for dads and older men. It’s not going to win you any style cred at your kid’s (or grandkid’s) hockey game, but the blue-and-yellow flannel will keep you warmer than that concession stand hot chocolate ever will.
Other superlatives: Softest blue jean, most online 5-star reviews

Wrangler flannel lined jeans for men
Wrangler

Best Color Scheme: Wrangler Rugged Wear Canvas Jean

The one cotton canvas option we tested. That color — paired with the lumberjack-esque red, black and yellow plaid interior — gives this top marks for pigment. You could even pass them off as khakis and wear them to work. But in the warmth department, these are found wanting. Even though they carry the “rugged” label, these were the least rugged of the bunch. They’re too thin in the legs even though the flannel was the softest, and there’s not enough reinforcement for me to trust them when hauling wood, sledding a hill or playing pick-up broomball.
Other superlatives: Thinnest jean, softest flannel, softest exterior

J.Crew flannel lined jeans for men
J.Crew

Best Looks: J.Crew Straight-Fit Jean

Yes, I modeled all these jeans for my girlfriend for an objective opinion, and she preferred these. The reason? They look like your average stylish denim: dark wash, sit below the waist, fit comfortably at the hip but slim down for a skinnier (read: more flattering) fit. But don’t expect these to last. The fast-fashion construction is equal to Wrangler. The other downfall: the brand only offers limited runs of their flannel-lined jeans every year, so right now they’re almost sold out. Fear not, gents, the flannel will come again and we’ll update here when it does, or look for yourself on J.Crew Factory and J.Crew.
Other superlatives: Stiffest denim, best out-of-the-box flannel feel, girlfriend-approved

Duluth Trading Co. flannel lined jeans for men
Duluth Trading Co.

Best Overall: Duluth Trading Co. Ballroom Jeans

No, “ballroom” doesn’t stand for the dancing variety, it’s the … other kind. The dad-joke name aside, this is the pound-for-pound best flannel-lined jean on the market. It kept us the warmest during our test, but also felt the most durable. Upon closer inspection, it’s all in the details: the beefy zipper and deep pockets are on par with Carhartt, there is “Fire Hose cotton canvas” lining in key areas (waistband, cuffs and pockets) that no other jeans had, and the blue denim is darker than both Carhartt and L.L.Bean (admittedly, that’s not saying much). No, it will not win you any best-dressed awards. But if anyone feels the flannel lining, they’ll quickly whisper, I need some of those.
Other superlatives: Warmest, best work pant, strongest zipper (tie)

A few other options you should know about …

Duer fleece lined jeans
Duer

Duer Fireside Denim

A relative newcomer, at least compared to companies like Carhartt and L.L.Bean, Duer still makes a brilliant pair of fleece-lined jeans. But we’re not sure we can exactly call them fleece-lined because in both the slim fit and the relaxed fit, Duer has actually woven the fleece in with their denim fabric. If you’re looking to try something new — and for jeans that are much more flattering than the older brands on this list — this is your pair.

Eddie Bauer flannel lined jeans for men
Eddie Bauer

Eddie Bauer Flannel-Lined Flex Jeans

This straight-fit option from Eddie Bauer is nice because it’s available in four different washes ranging from black to classic blue. Plus, the denim is mixed with a splash of spandex from some extra stretch. 

Wrangler flannel lined jeans for men
Wrangler

Wrangler Flannel and Fleece-Lined Jeans

When we originally tested a pair from Wrangler, the main complaint was that the “rugged” qualifier belied the quality; they were just too thin. But that pair also isn’t available anymore. You shouldn’t have the same problems with these three blue-jean versions: the flannel-lined Cowboy Cut, a signature style of denim; a fleece-lined carpenter jean, the most affordable option; and the Riggs Workwear pair, a Thinsulate-lined option comparable to Carhartt, in that it’s not flattering but still a customer favorite that will keep you warm when you’re stuck outside.

lee flannel lined jeans for men
Lee

Lee Flannel and Fleece-Lined Jeans

While we wouldn’t recommend Lee’s version for long days working outside, they do offer some welcome variety, like the flannel-lined, teak-colored option pictured above. They also offer a flannel version in black, as well as two fleece options in a classic American blue and darker “black quartz” denim. 

Dickies flannel lined jeans for men
Dickies

Dickies Flannel-Lined Denim and Duck Jeans

There’s nothing too exciting to say about the straight-leg denim from Dickies, except that the back pockets are lined with nylon for some extra heft. Then there’s the heavyweight duck fabric option, which offers some more utility (it’s also a carpenter style with cargo pockets and hammer loop) and style thanks to the khaki color. Both acknowledge that they sit slightly below the waist, which may be preferable to some, but may lead to plumber’s crack in others.