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The Best Cargo Shorts Men Can Buy

A Caucasian man balances on railroad tracks while hiking along a coast.
Chad Zuber/Shutterstock

When you have slipped into a pair of shorts for the day, you’ve made one truth abundantly clear from sun-up to sundown: it’s all about leisure. Men love their shorts, from the perfect elastic pair that grants you tenfold stretching power when climbing up the side of a hill to the smooth corduroy choice that ties together the perfect afternoon look. So, if you are in the market for new pair of shorts to stroll around in, then here are a few options we think you should check out.

What to Look for in Your Next Pair of Shorts

Consider these factors when making a selection:

  • Occasion: When searching for a pair of cargo shorts, it’s essential that you outline what you want to accomplish in them. Are you seeking a pair for your active lifestyle, like hiking, exercise, and any form of sporting? Or, are you just looking for a casual kind of pair that looks good, day or night?
  • Sturdy Functionality: It’s also important that, regardless of the occasion, your shorts are up to the task of staying intact and on your hips. Of course, if you are doing some tough work, then buy with durability in mind. Still, there are a handful of solid features you should expect out of every pair: a comfortable waistband, a heavy-duty zipper fly and button closure, flexibility, or even an overall length that provides ample protection from the sun.
  • Storage: Cargo shorts are such a beloved piece of attire for hikers and workmen because they offer some of the best storage space in clothing. It’s like wearing a backpack around your legs, only socially acceptable. Think beyond the two pockets at your waist, and consider a pair that features pockets all around your legs. Heck, if there are pockets within those pockets, that’s an even better place to start.

Most Relaxed Fit: APTRO Men’s Cargo Shorts

A light green pair shorts that features an elastic waistband with drawstring closure, and a thigh pocket on each side.

For starters, when you slide into a pair of cargo shorts, you know that you want to be comfortable. That’s why this pair of Men’s Cargo Shorts from APTRO utilizes the easiest and most comfortable fit on your waist. Featured here is a snug but laid-back elastic waistband with a drawstring running through it, providing constant adjustability for each wearer. They are also crafted from lightweight but durable cotton that can take a beating while still looking good.

Most Relaxed Fit

APTRO Men's Elastic Waistband Cotton Cargo Shorts Relaxed Fit Summer Casual Shorts A901 Army Green S

A pair of shorts that is easy on the waist, thanks to its elastic and drawstring closure.

Best Hiking Pair: Wrangler Authentics Men’s Canvas Utility Hiker Short

A man stands at center frame wearing a pair of beige shorts with button closure around the waist.

Most cargo shorts are going to offer you ample comfort. However, if you are looking to get a hard day’s work in, this Wrangler Authentics Utility Hiker Short should be your outdoor go-to. It features 100% cotton twill construction for a soft feel while in motion, pairing well with its eight-inch inseam to create the most mobile experience.

Best Hiking Pair

Wrangler Authentics Men's Canvas Utility Hiker Short, Nutmeg, 30

A tough but comfortable pair of work shorts that brings out the hiker in you.

Most Supportive Pair: AKARMY Men’s Lightweight Multi Pocket Cotton Casual Cargo Shorts

A khaki-colored pair of shorts with six visible pockets on its front, two of which are zippered and sit above button-enclosed thigh pockets.

Another hard-wearing choice that won’t look out of place when strolling down the street, this pair of Lightweight Multi-Pocket Cargo Shorts from AKARMY brings you style and then some. Like other dependable choices, this pair features 100% cotton construction that’s lightweight and breathable but also tear-proof and anti-wrinkle. What provides wearers with a bit more to enjoy, however, is the inclusion of two more utility pockets than standard pairs, so you get eight pockets in total.

Most Supportive Pair

AKARMY Men's Lightweight Multi Pocket Cotton Casual Cargo Shorts,Outdoor Twill Camo Shorts with Zipper Pockets(No Belt) 038 Khaki

Featuring anti-tear and anti-wrinkle design qualities, this multi-pocket pair of shorts offers great storage space.

Best Pattern Styles: Lee Men’s Dungarees New Belted Wyoming Cargo Short

Two models stand left to right wearing two different styles of shorts, one of which is plaid and the other is tan.

Another quality brand that dishes out quality looks, this pair of Dungarees Cargo Shorts from Lee takes the tired look of cargos and brings 21 unique design patterns instead. From camouflage and sporting blue to breen and white clifton plaid, you will find a color and pattern that matches your style to the tee. Of course, the short’s natural fit on the waist and cotton twill material are also a huge plus.

Best Pattern Styles

Lee Men's New Belted Wyoming Cargo Short

This pair of shorts take the traditional look of cargo shorts and spruces it up with some much-needed color.

Best Knee Length Pair: Dickies Men’s Flex 13-Inch Relaxed Fit Cargo Short

A model at center frame wears a pair of dark navy shorts with a button closure, and two visible Velcro pockets.

For those seeking a multifaceted but seemingly simple kind of cargo short, this pair of Dickies Flex Cargo Short features a stripped-down look that still promises big reasons to slide in. The pair features a pairing of polyester and cotton, making this a comfy, sleek, and expandable option that works well in any setting you can think of. And if you are going to get dirty, then go on ahead because this fabric features a moisture-wicking surface and stain-resistant capabilities.

Best Knee Length Pair

Dickies Men's 13 Inch Relaxed Fit Stretch Twill Cargo Short, Desert Sand, 30

A soft and roomy pair of shorts that's up to the task of performing in any environment you face.

Hollis Mills Hollis Mills
Hollis Mills is a freelance journalist and a content writer for LifeSavvy. He has a bachelor's degree in English literature, and as an undergraduate at Texas A&M University, Hollis wrote and edited for the nationally recognized student newspaper, The Battalion. When he's not writing, you can find him complaining about Boston Celtics basketball or giving plenty of peanut butter biscuits to his always-hungry Catahoula dog, Blue. Read Full Bio »
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