Buying clothes for little kids can be tricky business. Their growth spurts are unpredictable and before you know it, that shirt that fit so well brings back memories of Chris Farley going full on Hulk on a tiny blazer. Kids are also rough on their clothes and get stains the moment they are off the hanger. As a dad of three, I often have to weigh the benefits of not having to do laundry all the time (quantity over quality!), having enough variety of outfits (it is the spice of life, after all), and trying to buy quality pieces that we can re-use (for our girls) or pass on to friends. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot through trial and error. Sometimes I ignore my own rules and buy something again because it is easy, rather than learning from past mistakes (I see you, Under Armor shoes). On the other hand, you could just say that I’m an excellent statistician and I’m just trying to increase my sample size. Well, the verdict is in, and I have to say no more! I refuse to buy these Cat and Jack Toddler Boys Pull-on Pants pants ever again! Let’s slide in.

My kids a few weeks after getting them new clothes.

The Fit:

Let’s start with the good. I think the Cat and Jack Pants (I will use “joggers” interchangeably) are very good looking. They come in a variety of colors, have a nice tapered leg, and can be dressed down with a t-shirt or dressed up with a button-up. I may be biased (I am), but I thought my son looked super handsome in these pants. He likes having all of the pockets to carry his trinkets along with him, they were comfortable, and it was pretty easy to match this with any of his t-shirts with designs and logos. They are a very good option for mixing and matching with a variety of outfit options. Buy a few different colors, and your kids’ wardrobe is largely set. I’ve really enjoyed seeing my son in these because they are just a simple every day staple option. So if we’re going simply on looks, these are a home run.

The Cost:

Cost is a huge factor when getting your kids’ wardrobe put together. We are fortunate to benefit from some of Jason’s son’s hand-me-downs in addition to supplementing with pants and shirts from a variety of retailers to really round out the wardrobe. Since I’m in charge of laundry in the house, I can say that sometimes I just get behind on things and having enough options for the kids to last a full week is crucial. Unfortunately this usually dawns on me when I’m forced to do laundry late one night before bed and I decide I need to buy a few more pairs of pants to prevent this from happening to me again! That’s often when I’m at my weakest and look for downright cheap options that can ship quickly. Enter the Cat and Jack Toddler Boy Pull-on pants. I’d say these are relatively cheap at about $9-12 a pair. While I’m sure you can get a little cheaper elsewhere, I would expect that the quality would go down accordingly. And based on my experience with these pants, it might be worthwhile to splurge a bit more and go for the $20 range.

The Durability:

This is where all my gripes are. The durability of these pants just is not there. And maybe that is to be expected based on the price, but generally I’ve had decent experience with Cat and Jack clothes before. But these joggers just do not seem to hold up with repeated use. Within a single season, my son wore through the knee on multiple pairs of the Cat and Jack joggers. And that was last year. I bought them again this year, knowing that they potentially had durability issues, and sure enough, we have knee holes in 2 pairs of pants. Keep in mind, the pants are advertised as having “reinforced knees,” but I think the material is just too thin and prone to ripping. In fact, if you look at the pictures, the failure is not even in the reinforced section, but just below it. Ultimately these pants are just not what they are cracked up to be. And if you look on Target’s website, they have hundreds of 5 star reviews. I can’t see buying these next year even though I like the fit and style of the pants.

Rip just below the reinforced knee
Cat and Jack Joggers, now with twice the number of holes as before!

Rating: 2/5

I’ll give these pants a 2/5 because the only place we’ve really had an issue is the knee. You could theoretically patch them up to make it through the season, which is exactly what I ended up doing. Relatively inexpensive iron-on patches are a good way to eke out just one more month or so with these joggers, but they’re definitely not hand-me-down quality. So while you can make it work, from a sustainability standpoint, it might be worth buying a slightly more expensive pair. We have had good experience with Gap joggers before, and they are always having sales to bring the pants down into reasonable price points. We’ve also had really good luck with Children’s Place clothes in general (not necessarily their joggers, but definitely their jeans), and you can pick up 2 pairs on Amazon for a good price. With so many options, I’d say it’s best to look beyond Cat and Jack for toddler boys joggers.

What do you recommend for tough and durable toddler boys pants? Share your tips below so that we can all benefit!