/18 Cool, Convenient Cargo Pants to Give Your Looks Some Storage Space

18 Cool, Convenient Cargo Pants to Give Your Looks Some Storage Space

Hard to believe, but cargo pants for men are in the midst of a comeba—actually, you know what, guys? If it’s all right with you, I’m going to skip the hard sell on cargo pants being back in style this time out. It’s really not that hard to believe. In fact, we’ve been delivering the same impassioned declaration that Cargoes Hath Returned every single year since at least 2011. You get it already. If you aren’t on board by now, you never will be.

For those of you who are on board, we’ve got plenty of good stuff to talk about. Designers, as we pointed out, have been pushing this cargo renaissance for the better part of a decade, and they’ve really come into their own of late. The pants they’re making in 2021 fit better than ever, use radder materials than usual, and experiment with pocket placement and size in all kinds of clever, stylish ways. We’ve said it many times before, and we will most definitely say it again: Cargo pants for men are back. From everyday casual cargo pants to off-the-wall designer numbers, these 18 pairs prove it.

The Best Cargo Pants, Period

Todd Snyder olive infantry cargo pant


Todd Snyder olive infantry cargo pant

When Todd Snyder established his namesake menswear line back in 2011, he did it with the kinds of better-than-basic pieces that stylish guys and clueless men alike could get behind—like these cargo pants. At first glance they don’t appear radically different from the basic versions you can find in any big box store but like many of Snyder’s wares, the difference is in the details. The side pockets come slightly larger than usual, on a silhouette that’s more like a well-tailored dress pant and less like the baggy camo versions you’re apt to find in surplus shops (not to mention the trim leg opening looks equally good with sneakers, oxfords, or your favorite shit kickers). The fabric itself isn’t field-ready ripstop but instead a soft cotton herringbone cloth that offers up a similar vibe but in a package that’s better for every occasion out there, from casual Fridays at the office to raiding the cereal aisle at the supermarket on the weekend.

The Best Cheap Cargo Pants

Dickies regular straight stretch twill cargo pant

Dickies first introduced the 874 work pant all the way back in 1967 and it’s been the brand’s best seller ever since. The workwear-approved construction and hardy twill fabric stood up at 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 2000s Abercrombie-era cargo pants you’re trying not to remember, these are pared back and almost minimalist, giving them a ton of range to play in any style whether you’re wearing sneakers, loafers or boots.

The Best Designer Cargo Pants

The North Face x Gucci canvas cargo pant

How do you make khaki cargo pants look…well, not like you teach biology in the suburbs? (No disrespect to teachers!) Here’s your answer. When The North Face and Gucci got together, the results were instantly iconic. These ’70s inspired pants, in particular, got our salivary glands going, from their baggy flared silhouette that’s been trending on the streets to the elegant drape worthy of a fashion runway. Based on “bush pants,” which were super popular in the disco era, the collaborative trousers feature patch cargo pockets directly over the standard hand pockets—which solves the awkward double bulge look that cargoes sometimes engender. Go full ’70s and wear ’em with some Cuban heeled boots and a silky shirt, or rock them more casually with a pair of colorful sneakers and a roughed-up graphic T-shirt.

The Best Cargo Pants/Shorts

Nike ACG Smith Summit cargo pants

Is there anything more gorpcore than a pair of hiking cargo pants that transform into hiking cargo shorts? These convertible Swoosh joints are as practical as they are handsome: they’ve been field-tested in the trying terrains of the Pacific Northwest and are replete with nifty features like hidden zip pockets (inside the cargo pockets!), drawstring hems for keeping out the elements, a built-in nylon belt, and a crotch gusset for ease of movement. For extra feel-good points, the water-repellent, nylon-elastic fabric is made with recycled material. Sure, they’ll look great with a pair of trail shoes and a hiking backpack, but you could just as easily kick back in ’em with a hoodie and sandals like you’re getting snapped in an NBA tunnel.

The Best Cargo pants for Getting the Job Done

Patagonia Iron Forge hemp cargo pants

When you need a cargo pant built for tough labor, these Patagonia numbers are for you. You probably know the brand more for its range of outdoorsy clothes and gear, but these utility pants prove that Patagonia can hold its own when it comes to real-deal workwear. They’re cut in a relaxed fit from a duck canvas fabric that’s super abrasion-resistant and breathable thanks to the heavy dose of hemp. They’ve also got reinforcements and triple-needle stitching up the wazoo, so you can be sure they’ll get the job done (…and the next job…and the one after that). It’s easy to pair these with a denim shirt and burly boots for a full-on workwear fit, but don’t be afraid to swerve away from that and slip them on with a pair of wavy socks and Birkenstocks.

13 More Cargo pants We Love

Rothco tactical BDU pants

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.

Uniqlo cargo ankle pants

Cut with a roomy leg and just-right length, these chino-style stretch cargo pants are perfect if you don’t want to take a trip to the tailor.

Brownstone 13 pocket cargo pant

These stealthy twill cargo pants have a literal baker’s dozen pockets, ready to hold everything from your cell phone to your PPE and a whole lot more.

L.L. Bean Cresta hiking zip-off pants

For hot summer hikes, these regular-fit cargo pants turn into cargo shorts. But if the sun is just too much, you’ll still be protected thanks to its UPF50+ rated fabric which is also lightweight and water repellent.

Engineered Garments FA pant

The world is becoming increasingly touchless, cashless, and digital. So why, then, would you ever need nine pockets? Because they look a lot cooler than four pockets alone.

General Admission Rat Rock cargo pant

While most cargo pockets require you to get past a snap, flap, button, or zipper, General Admission’s Rat Rock cargo pants have an open-top patch pocket for easier access. Plus, the drawstring waist means these are among the most comfortable trousers you can wear without descending to sweatpants territory.

The Real McCoy’s cotton-poplin cargo trousers

For the scholar-level militaria fanatic, The Real McCoy’s reproduction cargo pants are the closest you can get to the real thing.

Sacai cotton-blend oxford cargo trousers

If you’re not sure about exactly how many pockets you’ll need, Sacai’s modular cargo trousers gives you the option to attach or detach a pocket at will.

Gramicci x Alpha Industries ACU Cargo long pants

When an iconic rock climbing brand and legendary military clothing brand join forces, the result is a pretty sweet pair of hybrid pants.

Barena Tepa Tober cargo pants

You know how the fifth pocket on a pair of five-pocket jeans is too tiny to be useful? The enormous fifth pocket on these relaxed fit cargo pants solves that problem with ease.

Alo Highline cargo pants

Alo’s very capable cargoes are ideal as both activewear or inactive-wear. The jersey fabric is just as soft as your favorite sweats, and the fit is relaxed enough to avoid the dreaded slim cargo jogger category.

Darryl Brown cargo pants

“Loose fit” is an understatement as far as Darryl Brown’s epic wide-leg cargo pants are concerned.

Prada Re-Nylon pants

The most luxurious recycled nylon money can buy.