17 Best Cargo Pants for Men in 2023


This might be news for some, but cargo pants for men are experiencing a kind of renaissa-…you know what? Never mind. We’re gonna skip the hard sell on “cargo pants are back”; it’s really not that hard to believe. We’ve been delivering the same impassioned “Cargos Have Returned” spiel every single year since at least 2011. They’re here. You’re here. You get it. You’re here because you get it. And at this point, if you remain unsold on cargos, that’s okay. (Feel free to wander over to our best men’s chinos department. Afterward, we’ll all rendezvous in the essential shoes article. Talk soon!)


The Best Cargo Pants Shopping Guide


Now that all the anti-cargo pants folks have left the page, let’s get to the goods. Designers may have been pushing the cargo pants agenda for the better part of a decade, but they’ve really come into their own of late. Recent arrivals fit better than ever, use cooler materials, and get way more creative with the cargo pocket placement. From everyday casual men’s pants to off-the-wall high-fashion renditions, these 17 pairs available online and in-store prove that cargo pants are off the comeback trail, and here for good.

The Best Obsessively Authentic Cargo Pants

Orslow

Straight-Leg Cotton-Ripstop Cargo Trousers

Cargos aren’t technically American—they were invented by the British armed forces in the 1930s—but they’ve been absorbed into the Americana fashion canon. And where do you go for painstakingly-recreated Americana? Japan. Orslow, the brainchild of Japanese designer Ichiro Nakatsu, crafts cargos with a fit for today and details from yesteryear. Check out the standard-issue military details, like an adjustable waist and durable cotton ripstop fabric, which promises to hold up just as well as your favorite pair of jeans.

The Best Cheap Cargo Pants

Dickies

Regular Straight Stretch Twill Cargo Pant

Dickies first introduced the 874 work pant way back in 1967 and it’s been the brand’s best seller ever since. The workwear-approved construction and hardy twill fabric took over countless job sites before going on to dominate skate parks and, eventually, the fashion scene. These cargo-pocketed versions offer the same build quality and always-stylish straight-leg silhouette as the original 874s, easily warranting a place in anyone’s wardrobe. And unlike the military-tinged cotton khaki style, these are blue collar simple, giving them a ton of range. Sneakers, loafers, boots (steel toe or otherwise)—they’re all welcome here.

The Best Brawny Cargo Pants

Iron Forge Hemp Cargo Pants

Given Patagonia built its rep on clothing for the outdoorsiest among us, it’s maybe not too surprising that they’ve got a sub-brand built for a hard day’s work. This pair’s cut in a relaxed fit from an abrasion-resistant duck canvas made breathable thanks to a heavy dose of hemp. Reinforcements and triple-needle stitching will keep you from ripping a seam out in the field (a.k.a., squatting to pick up a dropped phone). It’s easy to pair these with a denim shirt and burly boots for a full-on workwear fit, but it’s just as fun to run in the other direction with a pair of wavy socks and some Birkenstocks.

The Best ’90s Throwback Cargo Pants

If you haven’t heard, the biggest cargo pants from the ’90s are back and better than ever. A&F’s reissued cargos are made from sturdy cotton cut in an updated fit: slightly loose and then gradually tapering, with a hem hitting just below the ankle. The resulting silhouette is just the right amount of casual without getting too messy, meaning you could lock in your favorite polo with the removable D-ring belt before heading off to drinks or a date. (We’d probably avoid these for work in favor of sleeker cargos, unless your office dress code leans heavily toward the “no shirt no shoes no service.”) Available in a range of neutral tones (with some camo in the mix as well), these are one of the few Y2K comebacks we don’t regret.

The Best Warm-Weather Cargo Pants

Cargos have come a long way from the battlefields. These brown cargos from Banana Republic are what we call “rugged elegance,” with a slim-but-not-skinny shape and the warm-weather grace of linen. Sure, you can top them with a tee or polo, but the trim silhoutte and fabric mean you can team them up with a sweater, cardigan, button-front shirt, or several of the above—the more fun and funky, the better.

The Best Dress Cargo Pants

Polyploid

Want to try out the cargo trend but tastes run a little more…refined? These pants, crafted from lustrious cotton gabardine, feature the trademark pocket space but are elevated with a single inch pleating at the waist and additional pleats at the knees to keep their shape from ballooning out.

Cargos absolutely deserve a slot in your dress pant rotation, and this pair shows just how they pull off a more high-pressure situation. Pleats (including subtly at the knees), a gentle crease, and slightly lustrous cotton gabardine team up with barely-there cargo pockets for a knife-edge sharpness. And black makes pairing them with anything else in your closet—from dress shirts to sport coats—that much easier.

The Best Fashion Cargo Pants

When capital-F fashion designers get their hands on cargos, they tend to get trippy (scroll down to our bonus picks for proof). But what we love about these black cargos from the dark lord himself, Rick Owens, is that they bring his IYKYK aesthetic without veering into art project territory or candy raver insanity. The slightly ballooned leg and relaxed hem look killer with tees, slim hoodies, and oversized sweatshirts—but those clean lines can be quickly tuned up with an oversized sport coat or button-front. If you’re looking for cargos that will have you feeling like the main character in every room, then you’re in the right place.


Plus 10 More Cargo Pants We Love

Uniqlo

Wide-Fit Parachute Cargo Pants

Trés chic. Shop Christophe Lemaire’s latest Uniqlo drop a day early and get yourself a pair of these cargos before they sell out.

Collina Strada

Multicolor Stomp Cargo Pants

Viva la punk!

Sundae School

Yin-Yang Cotton Cargo Pants

These colorblocked pants are a delightfully funky rift on the classic cargo silhouette with an assymetrical closure.

Our Legacy

Mount Straight-Leg Cotton-Canvas Cargo Trousers

Workwear for your time off.

Crafted from a durable cotton and polyester blend, these roomy, higher-rise pants are the same ones made for guys in the military—which means they’re built for anything, even if you’re just wearing them to hang around the house.

RRL

herringbone field cargo pant

Based on vintage military trousers commonly referred to as “monkey pants”, that massive back pocket is perfect for stuffing it with furniture-grade foam so you can have a comfy seat everywhere you go.

Rapha x Brain Dead

Anyone who’s anyone has a collaboration with offbeat streetwear brand Brain Dead. This psychedelic tie-dye pant is the product of a linkup with high-end cycling brand Rapha and would look pretty baller on a bike, even if just its a Citi bike.

John Elliott

Strategically-placed ankle fastenings allow for maximum sneaker flexing.

Junya Watanabe

Cargo-pocket canvas trousers

Haven’t you heard, it’s cool to wear flooded pants now.

Dickies

loose-fit cargo work pant

If you need even more room than our favorite Dickies pant, these decadently loose cargos have got it and then some.



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