Carhartt Force Midweight Classic Thermal Base Layer Review

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Best base layer fishing pants
Carhartt Force Midweight Classic Thermal Base Layer Review
Our Verdict
Functionality - Keeping you warm
Design Features
Size options
The Good
11 size options, including 4 tall for longer inseam
Includes FastDry and Rugged Flex technologies
Has a non-chemical anti-odor treatment added into the fabric
Keeps you comfortable and warm throughout any outdoor activities
Very flexible, perfect for those doing bending and stretching tasks
The Not So Good
Only two colors available

Many anglers do a lot of their fishing sitting down. Keeping warm is a little easier if you move around a lot. As a winter carp angler, I need thermal pants to keep me comfortable and retain my body heat whilst waiting through the cold nights for my bite alarms to go off!

A good set of fishing pants will keep your legs and lower body much warmer if you are not a mobile fisherman.

In addition to a thermal fishing base layer shirt, you will need thermal base layer pants. A base layer bottom is going to act as that all-important second skin.

So join me as I take a deep dive review of the very affordable and comfortable Carhartt men’s force midweight classic thermal base layer pants.

Carhartt Men’s Force Midweight Classic Thermal Base Layer – My Best Overall Pick!

These fully imported (from Cambodia) base layer pants from Carhartt are made of 100 percent polyester. These are perfect for those below-freezing days. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, snowing, or blowing a gale; these pants will keep you extremely warm and comfortable.

The FastDry and Rugged Flex technologies incorporated in the design are just what you need for winter fishing. The flexible nature of these pants is crucial for moving around and constantly getting up and down, doing all the casting, baiting up, and landing fish.

For a very affordable price, you’re getting a great deal. 

Pulling on these base layer bottoms is easy, and they won’t slip down due to the strong elastic waistband sewn into the top of the pants. These will be perfect for those who have bought thermal base layer pants before and feel uncomfortable in the fly area. Carhartt has a smooth seam area at the fly area that eliminates chafing.

I love the waffle knit concept, which retains heat well, and any sweat you have will dry wick away very fast, leaving you a drier feeling. Another great feature is that these did not shrink after I did multiple washes; you can wash them in your standard wash. 

Lastly, as with all good thermal base wear, there is no tag or label anywhere inside the pants.

The Carhartt base layer has a non-chemical anti-odor treatment added to the fabric. It is safe to use and is a sustainable odor management technology that has earned an Eco passport by Oeko-Tex® certification and bluesign® blue certification


  • Waffle Knit 
  • Machine Wash
  • Flatlock Seams
  • Working Fly
  • Lightweight – Weighs only 200grms or 6 oz
  • An awesome 11 different size choices


  • It can be too warm for moderate days 
  • Only two color options – Black and Navy

Always check the option that you require, as there are a few different styles:

  • Carhartt Men’s Base Force Midweight Classic bottoms have a working fly (Style# MBL115) – my recommendation
  • Carhartt Men’s Base Force base layer bottoms with contoured front with fly include the following styles:
    • MBL121 Heavyweight Poly-Wool, 
    • MBL112-Heavyweight,
    • MBL149-100% Cotton Midweight Classic, 
    • MBL106-Midweight Tech,
    • MBL103-Lightweight.

Lastly, there are four tall sizes; make sure you follow the size chart image. The tall sizes have an inseam of 2” longer than the standard version.

If you are looking for the women’s option, check out the Carhartt women’s force midweight tech thermal base layer pants which are the same excellent quality but suited for the women’s body size.

Final Thoughts

I have worn these Carhartt base layer pants fishing in the winter for several years. You don’t need specific fishing thermal pants for the cold weather, and these are generic thermal pants that will work well for going fishing or any other outdoor activities during those freezing winter months.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review on my best pick for the thermal base layer fishing pants. Why not check out my other in-depth articles on all the best cold-weather fishing clothing and accessories, these articles cover gloves, outer pants, and every type of clothing you need.

Steve Fitzjohn