While bottoms come in many forms, there are only a handful that qualify as quintessential closet staples: your jeans and chinos, of course, some nice dress pants, shorts for the summer and working out, sweatpants/joggers for lounging, and, of course, the almighty cargo pants. While perhaps not as omnipresent as they once were, at the end of the day, carrying things can never go out of style, so there are few forms of pants that have proven to be as cool — let alone as convenient — as cargo pants. Plus, seeing as military-inspired attire has had such a major impact on the modern fashion scene, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that countless brands are putting their own spin on a surplus store staple.
Having become immensely popular among the fashion world’s cream of the crop, it serves you right to know the best pairs of cargos to buy for your wardrobe. Whether you’re aiming to load your pockets with a particularly bulky EDC for a night out or you need some extra room for your gear when you’re out on the hiking trails, there are a number of styles to consider. So without further ado, we encourage you to bring your dearest belongings with you as we unravel the 15 best pairs of cargo pants for men.
Dickies Stretch Twill Cargo Pant
Serving as the entry-level option that stands head-and-shoulders above any adjacent brand, Dickies excels in this category, as the century-old workwear staple crafts the quintessential pair of starter cargo pants. Fit for skaters, blue-collar workers, and just about anyone else, the Stretch Twill Cargos are as versatile as they come. Equipped with a total of seven spacious pockets, one of these includes a multi-use cell phone pocket that is bound to come in handy when straining through the workday.
The North Face M66 Cargo Pant
In theory, The North Face is to outdoor apparel what Dickies is to workwear, making the San Francisco-bred heritage brand another go-to choice. The sustainably-made, military-inspired M66 Cargo Pant is composed of a durable brand of 100% organic cotton that offers a relaxed fit without shedding any of its rugged makeup. Equipped with a pair of rear pockets with arrowhead bartack stitching, a pair of traditional cargo pockets on the thighs, and a couple of side pockets, you’ll have no issue packing up all your gear when you’re taking to the trails in these.
Carhartt WIP Aviation Pant
It often seems like Carhartt WIP can do no wrong, and the streetwear-centric sub-label’s swiftly designed Aviation Pant is one of its many garments that checks every box. Available in a wide assortment of colors, these stylish bottoms are made from a lightweight, sturdy, cotton ripstop fabric and are rounded out with a double layer at the knee for enhanced durability. If you’re looking for a slim-fitting pair of cargos without fully breaking the bank, then look no further.
Buck Mason Twill Desert Cargo Pant
The humble, L.A.-based clothiers craft an impeccably stylish pair of cargos. Aside from being soft to the touch and crafted from a relaxed brand of 8.4-ounce cotton twill, they are rounded out with a button fly, which we deem the superior fly. For added style and comfort, these pocket-clad pants are garment-dyed and washed with enzymes to convince you that these don’t need any breaking in.
Nike ACG Smith Summit Pants
Arguably the most versatile pair of bottoms this list has to offer, Nike’s renowned outdoor sub-brand crafts a convertible pair of cargos that can easily double as a pair of shorts when things get too tepid. The Smith Summit Cargo Pants are loaded with features like an integrated belt, zip-off pant legs, and spacious pockets, including a zipper-equipped one at the rear. For added elemental protection, they are composed of water-resistant nylon that is sure to keep you dry on your next outdoor adventure.
On Explorer Pants
As another leader in fashionable performance wear, the Swiss garment engineers at On are adept at crafting far more than excellent footwear. The brand’s Explorer Pants shed the heavyset weight without the functionality that often comes along with it, serving as a surprisingly light pair of pants that are still built to handle whatever mother nature throws at them. Moreover, they garner a water-repellent treatment to ensure that whether you’re trail running, hiking, or simply taking a walk in the park, the weariness of getting wet gets whisked away.
Oliver Spencer Judo Corduroy Cargo Trousers
Steering away from athletic attire and aiming for a more sartorial option, these exceedingly subtle pants from Oliver Spencer are a great place to start. Composed of 100% cotton, the Judo Corduroy Cargo Trousers are as suitable with a tucked-in tee as it is for an upscale ensemble — with a matching corduroy blazer, of course. With a pair of cargo patch pockets at the side and pack, these deep-green, tapered bottoms are sure to come in clutch when you find your hands full at a more formal event.
RRL Camo Ripstop Cargo Pant
As a brand that epitomizes American heritage, not to mention the rootin’-tootin’ old west, it’s no question that Ralph Lauren’s RRL line has an excellent take on a closet essential. Its camo-coated Ripstop Cargo Pant is equipped with articulated knees and drawstring hems to make them all the more comfortable and tailored to your liking. These are a stylish pair of bottoms crafted by the brainchild of a man who arguably knows style as well as anyone else in Ralph Lauren.
Todd Snyder Italian Herringbone Cargo Pant
Todd Snyder’s allegiance to American essentials just had to result in a worthy pair of cargos. The New York-based label’s Italian-made Herringbone Wool Utility Cargo Pants are about as luxurious as it gets, boasting a lush blend of cotton and well over 50% wool. In an attempt at crafting a pair of classed-up cargos infused with a jogger silhouette, the brand managed to pull it off seamlessly, rounding this option out with an elastic waist and elastic cuffs.
John Elliott Back Sateen Cargo Pants
John Elliott’s brand of consistent, minimalist design earns him a spot no matter what the garment is, so it shouldn’t surprise you that the L.A.-based label crafts an excellent pair of cargo pants, too. The sturdily-made offering is made from smooth back sateen fabric, with its yarns twisted thinner and longer, providing a feathery soft touch, but far from a feathery light makeup. Seeing as these are cargos, it’s worth noting that they come equipped with seven pockets throughout, assuring that this fusion of function and high-fashion is nothing to overlook.
Stone Island Broken Twil_Garment Dyed Trousers
Seeing as this is a list of cargo pants, it was only a matter of time before Stone Island made an appearance here. The compass patch seen around the world embellishes these garment-dyed trousers that are given the brand’s signature OLD treatment for a worn-in look. Rounded out with a standard tapered fit, hidden snapped fastenings, and the ultra-convenient button fly, these are a pair of trousers that are as well-made as they are stylish. Available in a handful of colors, these pants are fit for anyone from trendy style aficionados to techwear connoisseurs.
Thom Sweeney Corduroy Cargo Trousers
Thom Sweeney is well aware of what it takes to craft a quality pair of tailored bottoms, which is why we’re big fans of the London-based garment maker’s corduroy-crafted cargos. Made from a cotton and elastane blend and solely available in a shade of brooding green, these are bound to look good with any pair of shoes you have on hand, no matter how dressy the pants may insist they are at first blush.
South2 West8 x Pendleton 5 Pocket Slacks
If there’s one thing we know, it’s that plaid can never go out of style. South2 West8 has been around the block, and this is a great example of the brand’s sartorial know-how with this Pendleton team-up. This unique collaboration fuses high-end Japanese streetwear with American heritage, and we genuinely can’t ask for much more. The 5 Pocket Slacks stays true to their namesake, as they’re equipped with a handful of pockets throughout, all the while maintaining the stylish integrity of a timeless Pendleton flannel. These are bound to hold up well in the frigid winter too, as they’re composed of nothing but wool.
Engineered Garments FA Straight-Leg Cargo
Going all-out is what Engineered Garments does best, so these bolstered bottoms come as no surprise to us. The New York-bred label’s take on cargo pants offers you a baffling amount of pocket space, coming equipped with two side slant pockets, a pair of cargo pockets, two rear flap pockets, and a trio of front patch pockets — that’s a whopping total of nine, each of which is unreasonably roomy. Adding to their distinct flair, the pants are composed of a cozy, plush corduroy, deeming them one of the more unique pairs of pants on the market across the board.
ACRONYM P41-DS Articulated Cargo Pants
Innovative in every aspect, ACRONYM is often tough to beat, and it’s even tougher to stumble upon a cargo pant offering as exorbitant. Be that as it may, quality comes with a price, and these technical cargos are no short of a water-resistant miracle. This particular piece from the German design house utilizes Schoeller’s patented 3XDRY and DRYSKIN tech to provide unrivaled protection from the elements. In other words, these are far more than just a fashion statement, but an unabashed showcase of refined garment engineering.
The Best Tactical Pants
If you’re looking for an even more capable set of bottoms, then you may be better off taking a look at our thorough guide to the market’s best tactical pants.