Cargo Pants: The Pants That Are Both Useful and Cool Again

best cargo pants
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Blame society or the patriarchy or whatever but men can’t walk around with any bag resembling a purse without getting serious side-eye from every other person. It’s stupid for sure, but that’s why fate invented cargo pants for men, so we could actually carry all the things we need when we go out.

What are cargo pants?

Perhaps you’re due for a refresher on cargo pants. Cargo pants are basically any pant with extra pockets beyond the two standard side pockets and two back pockets. Typically, that takes the form of two large pockets somewhere on the sides of the legs. Cargo pants were originally loose-fitting pants designed for tough, outdoorsy conditions in keeping with their military origins. While some might think they can look funny, especially when overstuffed with things, nobody can deny that pants with extra pockets are extremely useful when you’re loaded down.

So, are cargo pants hip again?

First of all, they were never not hip. OK, maybe cargo pants lost some of their luster in the ‘90s and early aughts, but the rise of streetwear brought them back and, in many cases, reworked designs for modern sensibilities (otherwise known as making cargo pants joggers).

But cargo pants were never not cool for their role as workwear staples, and those men looking for rough-and-tumble cargo pants made for actually doing stuff, while also carrying what you need, will have classic and new options to choose from.

So whether you’re trying to carry a bunch of junk or tools or just trying to give off some casual streetwear vibes, cargo pants are the solution you need.

That’s why we’ve rounded up cargo pants for men from some of our favorite brands. Some are more utilitarian and will hold up to work better while others are more for casual or athletic style. But regardless, they’re all incredibly useful when you’ve got too much to stuff for your standard front pockets. So check out our picks of the best cargo pants for men below and quit overstuffing your main pockets once and for all.


1. Carhartt Men’s Ripstop Cargo Work Pant

Starting off with more work-oriented cargo pants for men, we love the Carhartt Men’s Ripstop Cargo Work Pant.

We like these pants for their added utility while somehow not managing to look, well, awkward and terrible like the cargo pants of your childhood.

Though these cargo pants aren’t slim, they’re more fitted than more basic cargo pants, which actually makes them wearable even if you aren’t using the added pockets. But they also stick to their workwear roots. The crotch is gusseted for added comfort and flexibility, the knees have double-fronts and the ripstop 100% cotton fabric resists tearing.

Man wears green Carhartt Ripstop Cargo Work Pants Courtesy of Amazon


2. Wrangler Men’s Classic Twill Relaxed Fit Cargo Pant

If you’re looking for some of the best basic cargo pants for men, you can’t not consider the Wrangler Men’s Classic Twill Relaxed Fit Cargo Pant. You won’t find any radical fits or extra frills here. These pants are basic, casual and simply meant to give you two extra pockets to carry your things around in comfort.

Man wears military khaki Wrangler Classic Twill Relaxed Fit Cargo Pants Courtesy of Amazon


3. Dickies Men’s Relaxed Straight-Fit Cargo Work Pant

Of course, if you’re in the market for the best basic cargo pants for men, you also have to consider Dickies Men’s Relaxed Straight-Fit Cargo Work Pant. Nobody does basic workwear as well as Dickies and these cargo pants have a surprising amount going for them in addition to their two roomy cargo pockets, such as study hardware and fade- and wrinkle-resistant cotton-polyester fabric.

Man wears black Dickies Relaxed Straight Fit Cargo Work Pants Amazon


4. CQR Men’s Tactical Pants

For some work-friendly cargo pants that really take the cargo to the next level, you should check out the CQR Men’s Tactical Pants.

With these pants, you get eight — yup, count ‘em, eight — cargo pockets of varying sizes. Plus the pants also repel liquids and dirt and are also resistant to fade, wrinkles, shrinking and tears, courtesy of the ripstop cotton-polyester fabric.

Whether you’re going for a hike or just headed outside for a long day, these CQR cargo pants will carry everything you need and many things you don’t need.

Man wears black CQR Tactical Ripstop Cargo pants Courtesy of Amazon


5. Fjallraven Vidda Pro Trousers

Swedish outdoor equipment manufacturer Fjallraven knows a thing or two about making warm, durable clothing because it’s only constantly freezing in Sweden. The company brings that first-hand experience to bear with its Fjallraven Vidda Pro Trousers. These pants offer plenty of storage with two sizable side cargo pockets, but what makes these pants great is how hard you can work them. They not only have reinforced knees but a reinforced seat too so you won’t even get rips on your butt accidentally.

Man wears dark Fjallraven Vidda Pro Cargo Pants Courtesy of Nordstrom


6. Nike Sportswear Club Fleece Men’s Cargo Pants

For athletic cargo pants for men, we turn to Nike. The Nike Sportswear Club Fleece Cargo Pants are made from a soft brushed fabric for next-level comfort. They’re standard fit, but because they’re jogger-style sweatpants they still look modern and fitted enough to roll around town in style and still loaded up, courtesy of the two extra cargo pockets.

Man wears black Nike Sportswear Club Fleece Cargo Pants with Nike sneakers Courtesy of Nike


7. H&M Slim Fit Cargo Pants

Ahhhhh, H&M, we wish we could quit you. But we probably won’t because fly basics are as in as they ever were. The H&M Slim Fit Cargo Pants won’t last forever, but you’ll be styling in them for as long as they do. These more jogger-style cargo pants are slim fit, with a close fit at the thighs, knees and ankles, for a tailored look in a stretch cotton twill. But of course, we love them for their two snap cargo pockets too.

H&M Slim Fit Cargo Pants in brown Courtesy of H&M


8. PacSun Utility Olive Slim Cargo Pants

For cargo pants that lean into streetwear, PacSun is the place to look, specifically the PacSun Utility Olive Slim Cargo Pants. These slim-fit pants have a canvas construction with some stretch, adjustable drawcord ankle cuffs, a gusseted crotch and the biggest damn side cargo pockets we’ve ever seen. Seriously, we can’t imagine what you’d ever fill them with, but they look cool as heck and totally give off the streetwear vibe you’re looking for.

Man wears PacSun Utility Olive Slim Cargo Pants with light sneakers Courtesy of PacSun


9. Topman Khaki Herringbone Cropped Wide-Leg Cargo Pants

If you’re not keyed into pants fashion trends, we are here to tell you that wide crop pants are officially in. That’s why we love these Khaki Herringbone Cropped Wide-Leg Cargo Pants from Topman. With their wide crop leg opening, herringbone-patterned fabric and extra cargo pockets, they actually make cargo pants cool again.

Topman Khaki Herringbone Cropped Wide Leg Cargo Pants Courtesy of Topman


10. Stone Island Elastic Waist Cargo Joggers

If we’ve given you the impression that because of their utility and occasionally ugly appearance, there couldn’t be luxury cargo pants, we apologize. The Stone Island Elastic Waist Cargo Joggers should put any doubt to rest.

These cargo pants definitely fall on the side of sporty joggers. They’re made from a cotton-polyester blend with an elastic waist for comfort. The two front pockets use zippers to secure your items and two side cargo pockets button shut to hold on to any overflow. Of course, these pants have some utility, but really, these jogger-style cargo pants are awesome just for their stylish look. Sure, they’re overpriced as hell, but can you really put a price on flexing on everyone around you?

Stone Island Elastic Wasite Cargo Joggers Courtesy of Nordstrom


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