Cargo pants are an item that everyone should have in their closet. No, seriously. This pant is rooted in function but also has an inherent cool factor, thanks to all the ’90’s skater kids who made cargo pants part of their uniform.
Cargo pants can be categorized somewhere above joggers and khakis but below chinos. They’re definitely casual, but they can be elevated when paired with the right top and shoes. These military-inspired pants can be dressed up for a date night or down for a more streetstyle look. For a more tailored fit, find a pair where the pockets are flush against the pants instead of sagging outward to prevent bagging, which won’t flatter your frame. If you’re going to go baggy, make sure your pants aren’t too baggy around the waist. You want to add volume and space at the legs, but you don’t want them to be falling off of you.
Being anti-cargo pants is so 2014. From baggy basics to classic utilitarian, here are our top picks for the best cargo pants for men.
It would be remiss to recommend the best cargo pants for men and not include Dickies classic cargo. The brand got its start producing uniforms for the second World War and it’s been making the best workwear-approved gear ever since. We love this pair for its relaxed fit and affordable price.
Todd Snyder Italian Brushed Twill Cargo Pant in Navy
Fit can make or break a pair of cargo pants, and this pair from Todd Synder gets it just right. A slim silhouette, flattering pockets, and soft cotton material give this working pant a proper facelift. With the feel of a proper dress pant and the comfort of a classic chino, you’ll be surprised by all the ways you can wear this utilitarian cargo pant.
Alo Yoga Highline Cargo Sweatpant
If you’re not ready to give up living in athleisure, we can’t blame you. These cargo sweatpants are just the right amount of baggy and the diagonal French terry material is crazy levels of soft. Pair with sneakers and an iced coffee and you may just get mistaken for a celebrity.
Explorer Pleated Pant
These vintage-inspired cargo pants are ready to hit the road with you—wherever you’re headed. Crafted from organic cotton with front, back, and side cargo pockets, remember to pack these before your next adventure-filled getaway. Cuff at the hems for an park ranger off-duty look.
Carhatt means business, and these pants certainly didn’t come to play. These cargos have a comfortable fit through the seat and thigh and a straight leg opening to help you move around easily. These working pants are designed to meet high standards for stretch, recovery, and durability, so they’re ready for just about anything.
General Admission Rat Rock Cargo Corduroy Grey
This elastic waist cargo pant is the epitome of a style that can only be defined as stoner chic. The loose fit, wide leg, and corduroy material bridge comfort and style. Open cargo pockets are perfect for hiding a joint and then immediately forgetting where you put it.
The North Face Men
This military-inspired pant has all the practical features one expects from a cargo pant: two back pockets with snap closures, two cargo pockets on the thighs with reinforced webbing and button-flap closure, and drawstring around the ankles for a snug fit. Additional tactical gear not included.
Stone Twill Desert Cargo Pant
Can cargo pants be cool? Buck Mason took that question as a challenge and ran with it. Rugged yet refined, these tapered cargo pants take the cargo pant popularized by military men from America’s greatest generation and bring this classic style into the 21st century. Still tough, but with a softer edge.
Your favorite joggers just got an upgrade. Whether you’re out on the trail or spending a day running around in the city, these cargo pants from Nike move with you so you can travel comfortably in style. Cargo pockets and a flap back pocket hold your gear while a cotton/nylon blend gives in all the right places.
AE Flex Slim Lived-In Cargo Pant
These cargos come pre-washed for a broken-in look and feel. Light distressing gives this pair of pants a vintage, lived-in look that pairs well with a vintage t-shirt and sneaks or cable knit sweater and winter boots.
How to Style Cargo Pants
Cargo pants are elevated casual wear, and can just as easily be paired with a pair of classic Chuck Taylor’s for an All-American look or combat boots to complete your vintage-inspired uniform. Or, take a streetwear approach and add a trendy sneaker and roll up the cuff of the pant to show off the shoes. Finish the look with a field jacket and a baseball cap and you’ve got a stylish daily dress code that’s as functional as it is comfortable.