Cargo pants used to be the butt of many fashion jokes. The baggy pants with huge side pockets—derived from World War 2 military paratrooper fatigues—were seen as sloppy dad pants no stylish man should don. But there are a ton of new options that aren’t slouchy and are great to wear during outdoor adventures or just life on the go. They are utilitarian, after all.
Cargo pants of today have evolved with endless variations on the original style. Pockets don’t have to be huge sacks that dangle on the sides. The newest position them in handsome, convenient configurations and sizes, some even in novel locations. It all comes together to give men with lots of essentials a prime place to stash them. Here are our top picks you can find right now.
1. Dockers Cargo Pants
The most classic—and dare we say, refined—pair of cargo pants in this roundup, Dockers goes with a straight-leg fit and a low profile with streamlined pockets. Old-school touches include adjustable side tabs to dial in the waist and drawstrings at the bottom of the leg hem to tighten the opening when scrambling up and down trails. The pants are also made with the brand’s “Water<Less” technique, which reduces the amount of h2o used in the manufacturing process.
2. Eddie Bauer Altimeter Cargo Pants
The Altimeter pants are another modern refresh to the quintessential cargo pant silhouette. They bring back vintage touches like unique buttoned front pockets, a reinforced seat, side waist adjustment pulls, and bottom-leg drawstrings. The fabric is a cotton blend that features a bit of spandex to give some stretch. No one else will see it, but we love the pocket lining’s camping-inspired pattern.