13 Best Men’s Cargo Shorts for a Great Casual Look

best mens cargo shorts

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When I think of the best men’s cargo shorts, I think of summertime, I think of the beach, I think of comfort and style. You will too once you check out this list of the best men’s cargo shorts for a great casual look. These are the best of the best in fit, comfort, style and even come in regular and big and tall sizes so there is something for every size and style.

 

g-star raw men's rackam cargo shorts, Cargo shorts, mens cargo shorts, mens casual shorts, mens shorts Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Stylish
  • Light
  • Breathable
Price: $85.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
columbia mens brownsmead II short, Cargo shorts, mens cargo shorts, mens casual shorts, mens shorts Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Colors
  • Name
  • Price
Price: $44.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
tommy bahama mens survivalist shorts, Cargo shorts, mens cargo shorts, mens casual shorts, mens shorts Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Pre-washed
  • Colors
  • Style
Price: $64.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
billabong mens classic cargo short, Cargo shorts, mens cargo shorts, mens casual shorts, mens shorts Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Stretchy
  • Trusted name
  • Military inspired
Price: $43.57 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
hurley mens one and only cargo walkshort, Cargo shorts, mens cargo shorts, mens casual shorts, mens shorts Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Colors
  • Machine wash
  • Stylish
Price: $39.90 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
o'neill mens traveler cargo hybrid shorts, Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Durable
  • Stretchy
  • Light
Price: $39.16 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
lee mens dungarees wyoming cargo short, Cargo shorts, mens cargo shorts, mens casual shorts, mens shorts Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Colors
  • Comfort
  • Design
Price: $25.42 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
amazon essentials mens classic-fit cargo short, Cargo shorts, mens cargo shorts, mens casual shorts, mens shorts Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Longer short
  • Colors
  • Price point
Price: $18.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
wrangler riggs workwear mens ranger cargo short, Cargo shorts, mens cargo shorts, mens casual shorts, mens shorts Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Hidden pockets
  • Colors
  • Fit
Price: $40.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
izod mens flat front basic golf cargo shortCargo shorts, mens cargo shorts, mens casual shorts, mens shorts Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Well-made
  • Classic look
  • Formal
Price: $49.05 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
levi's mens carrier cargo short, Cargo shorts, mens cargo shorts, mens casual shorts, mens shorts Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Colors
  • Price point
  • Trusted name
Price: $50.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Light
  • Machine wash
  • Stylish
Price: $11.37 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
scotch & soda mens garment dyed cargo short, Cargo shorts, mens cargo shorts, mens casual shorts, mens shorts Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Durable
  • Comfy
  • Stylish
Price: $105.43 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. G-Star Raw Men’s Rackam Cargo Short

    Pros:
    • Stylish
    • Lightweight
    • Breathable
    Cons:
    • Price point
    • Shrink warning
    • Sizing

     

     

    These are a unique pair of men’s cargo shorts in that the cargo pockets are asymmetric and different on both sides. On one side, the cargo pocket, which features a hidden flap, is actually in the front and features a zipper closure. The other side features entry to the cargo pocket along the side seam and it also has a zipper closure.

    The fabric is 100 percent imported cotton and, according to G-Star Raw, is “lightweight twill, woven from fine yarns.” A very contemporary look, these men’s casual shorts would work great with the G-Star Raw men’s “Manes” polo shirt.

  2. 2. Columbia Men’s Brownsmead II Short

    Pros:
    • Multiple colors
    • Trusted name
    • Price point
    Cons:
    • Sizing
    • Shrinkage
    • Plain

     

     

    Outdoor apparel giant Columbia has a huge range of men’s casual shorts, including cargo shorts. The Brownsmead II Short is 100 percent enzyme stonewashed cotton twill with a button closure and zipper fly. The fabric has a technical plus side, made with 50 UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) sun protection.

    They feature the two front side-slant pockets, two back welt pockets (no flaps, no buttons) and the cargo pockets on both legs.  Shown in “cyprus,” they’re available in 12 different colors.

     

     
  3. 3. Tommy Bahama Men’s Survivalist Cargo Shorts

    Pros:
    • Pre-washed cotton
    • Multiple colors
    • Stylish
    Cons:
    • Sizing
    • Length
    • Big and tall

    A great looking pair of men’s casual shorts from Tommy Bahama. They’re 100 percent pre-washed cotton and they feature front side angle pockets, button-through back pockets and button-flap cargo pockets. The inseam is eight inches, so they end up a couple inches above knee.

    They’re shown in “balsam green” and are available in five different colors. If you are interested in some much longer cargo shorts, check out these bad boys from Dickies.

  4. 4. Billabong Men’s Classic Cargo Short

    Pros:
    • Stretchy material
    • Trsuted name in shorts
    • Military inspired look
    Cons:
    • Shrink warning
    • Sizing
    • Minimal colors

    These should be a very comfortable pair of men’s casual shorts because they’re 98 percent cotton and two percent Elastane. The Elastane is what gives them the stretchability.

    The silhouette on these is sleek and the cargo pockets lay flat against the legs. The cargos are flapped and there’s a welt-style coin pocket on one side. The back pockets are flapped with buttons and the front pockets are side slant.

    This good looking pair of men’s cargo shorts is offered in three different colors. If you’re looking for a pair on non-cargo Billabongs, the men’s “Crossfire X Walkshort” is a great option in a typical pair of chinos. (For even more chino or khaki shorts, check out this list of the 15 Best Mens Casual Shorts for 2018: Khakis & Chinos.)

  5. 5. Hurley Men’s One and Only Cargo Walkshort

    Pros:
    • Multiple colors
    • Machine washable
    • Stylish look
    Cons:
    • Some shrinking
    • Shorter length
    • Sizing

    These men’s casual shorts from Hurley feature a bit longer outseam, at 23″, so they will hit the knee or just below. They feature flapped back pockets with button closures, as well as double-button closures on the two cargo pockets. Regular side-slant front pockets.

    They come in five different colors, and are shown in “sequoia camo.” Another camo option is the Carhartt Men’s Rugged Cargo Camo Short, which is available in two different colors.

  6. 6. O’Neill Men’s Traveler Cargo Hybrid Shorts

    Pros:
    • Durable material
    • Stretchy
    • Lightweight
    Cons:
    • Price point
    • Slight shrinkage
    • Sizing

    There’s a reason these are called “traveler” shorts — they’ve got a lot going on for the person who wants some men’s casual shorts that can do a lot. First off, they come with a tool (yes, that’s right): a detachable church key/flathead screwdriver hangs from one of the back belt loops.

    The inseam panel is “hyperblock-treated,” according to O’Neill, which they say prevents the accumulation of odor-causing bacteria (good for hikers, etc.). The shorts can be stowed into the back pocket and there is a looped metal tab for hanging (from a backpack, for example). They’ve got front angled pockets, with the right one featuring a zip pocket.

    Zip and hook-and-loop flap back pockets and hook-and-loop flap cargo pockets, which features a “passport pocket” on the right hand side. The fabric — an Elastane/nylon/poly blend — has some stretchability and is rip-stop fabric. Shown in “army ripstop” color.

  7. 7. Lee Men’s Dungarees Belted Wyoming Cargo Short

    Pros:
    • Multiple colors
    • Comfortable
    • Design quality
    Cons:
    • Sizing
    • Shrinking
    • Plain

     

     

    If you wanna go cargo, why not double up on the cargo pockets? These cargo shorts from Lee feature double cargo pockets on each side, both flapped, one with an exposed button closure. The rear pockets are flapped with button closures and the front pockets are side angled.

    They’re 100 percent cotton and they’ve got a longer inseam — 11.5″ — so they should go just to the knee. The Lee men’s cargo shorts are shown in “khaki” color and they’re available in 22 different colors.

  8. 8. Amazon Essentials Men’s Classic-Fit Cargo Short

    Pros:
    • Length
    • Multiple colors
    • Price point
    Cons:
    • They shrink
    • Sizing issues
    • Take a while to break in

    A great price for a product that you know is going to be rock solid, because it comes from Amazon’s own Amazon Essentials brand. These men’s cargo shorts are 100 percent cotton in a relaxed fit. They’ve got the two side entry angled pockets, two flapped pockets with button closures on the rear and the flapped cargo pockets on both sides.

    They sit naturally at the waist and have a 10″ inseam, so they should fall right around the knee. Shown in blue, the shorts are available in 10 different colors. A good go-with on top would be the extremely well-priced ($12) Amazon Essentials men’s regular-fit cotton polo.

  9. 9. Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Ranger Cargo Short

    Pros:
    • Hideen pockets
    • Multiple colors
    • Fit
    Cons:
    • Sizing
    • Shrinking
    • Plain

    These are going to be the most cargo-y best men’s cargo shorts on the list. That is, they’ve got that sorta old school cargo shorts look with quite a bit going on in the cargo section.

    Each cargo side has three pockets: the main cargo pocket (with hidden snap closure under the flap), one medium, curved open-top pocket and one small straight open-top pocket. They also feature a hammer loop on the right side. They’re rip-stop 100 percent cotton and they’ve got deep front pockets and a gusseted crotch (meaning there’s an extra “diamond shape” bit of fabric sewn in to give more roominess).

    To put it simply, these are pretty much “work shorts” and they are from Wrangler’s “Riggs Workwear” category. Shown in “slate,” the shorts are available in six different colors.

    If you are gonna be working outside in these men’s cargo shorts, make sure you protect the head! Grab a cool trucker hat here from our list of the 21 Best Trucker Hats for Men: The Ultimate List (2018).

  10. 10. IZOD Men’s Flat Front Basic Golf Cargo Short

    Pros:
    • Well-made shorts
    • Classic look and design
    • Formal
    Cons:
    • Not a casual short
    • Straight fit
    • Minimal colors

    As you might expect with golf shorts, these men’s casual shorts have a very clean look to them. They are cargo shorts, despite the fact that they’ve got a very sleek silhouette. The cargo pockets are welt-style, so they don’t have any flaps but they do have zipper closures.

    In a nutshell, these are about the least cargo-like cargo short you’re gonna find. The front features slant-side pockets and the back features two welt pockets. Shown in “deep stonedust,” the shorts are available in four different colors.

    For a more traditional men’s cargo short from IZOD, the Rip-Stop Cargo Short is an option.

  11. 11. Levi’s Men’s Carrier Cargo Short

    Pros:
    • Multiple colors
    • Price point
    • Trsuted name in pants and shorts
    Cons:
    • Sizing
    • Inseam
    • Shrinks

     

     

    Levi’s men’s Carrier Cargo Shorts feature a 9.5″ inseam, so the hem lays just an inch or so above the knee. They’re cut with a little bit lower rise, so they sit just below the waist. This cut of shorts by Levi’s is designed to be a loose fit through the seat and thigh, so make sure you get the proper size so they won’t end up looking sloppy.

     These men’s shorts are 100 percent cotton. They’ve got the two side-slant front pockets, two back-flap with button pockets and the flapped cargo pockets on either side.

    As shown, the shorts are “nightwatch blue twill” but they’re available in 24 different colors. For a longer, looser fit from Levi’s, check out the Squad Cargo Short.

  12. 12. Obey Men’s Fubar 90’s Cargo Short Ii

    Pros:
    • Lightweight
    • Machine washable
    • Stylish
    Cons:
    • Shrink
    • Limited colors
    • Sizing

     

     

    Obey’s Men’s Recon Street Trunks are made from 100 percent imported nylon. They’re a classic pair of men’s cargo shorts from the very contemporary Obey apparel maker. They feature the Obey label above the back right pocket (back pockets are flapped).

    The cargo pockets are flapped and the shorts feature side angled front entry pockets. They’ve got a belt loop waist with side adjusters, so you can get the precise best fit. Button closure with zipper fly. The inseam is 8″ so they’ll sit a couple of inches above the knee.

  13. 13. Scotch & Soda Men’s Garment Dyed Cargo Short

    Pros:
    • Durable material
    • Comfortable
    • Stylish
    Cons:
    • Price point
    • Limited colors
    • Shrink warning

     

     

    Scotch & Soda is a fashion apparel maker from Amsterdam. These men’s cargo shorts are cut a bit slimmer, so they’re one of those cargo shorts that isn’t bulky and has a sleeker silhouette.

    When you talk about “garment dyed” products, it refers to the fact that the fabric was dyed in bulk, prior to the piece being produced. These are 98 percent cotton and two percent Elastane, which means they’ll have very comfortable and forgiving stretchability.

    They’re shown in “sand” color and they’re available in two different colors.

Men's Cargo Shorts: Popular As Ever

If you look around the World Wide Web, you'll see plenty of pros and whole lotta cons about men's cargo shorts. Which is a bit odd because when you look around the Plain Old Real World, you will see everybody and his (or her) dog in cargo shorts. These things are incredibly popular and -- despite the no-no cargo naysayers -- men's cargo shorts ain't going anywhere but up.

According to the website Uproxx, cargo shorts accounted for $700 million in sales in 2016. In March of 2018, New York Times fashion writer Vanessa Friedman counseled fashionable travelers to pack a pair of cargo shorts. She's not always right, but she is about cargo shorts.

Whenever and wherever it's decent weather, the need to wear shorts cannot be denied. Whether it's cargo shorts or athletic shorts, drawstring shorts or linen shorts. And of course the always fashionable and wardrobe-reliable chino and/or khaki shorts, which we talked about in our list of the 15 Best Mens Casual Shorts for 2018: Khakis & Chinos.

Men's Cargo Shorts: A Better Cut

One of the big differences between old school cargo shorts -- the kind that makes certain people's faces scrunch up -- and the more contemporary versions is the cut. Fashion has, thankfully, evolved for the better so you're not getting the big, floppy, gigantic-pockets-designed-to-hold-as-much-as-a-backpack cargo shorts. Today's cargo shorts have got a slimmer look and, usually, a cargo pocket that hugs closer to the short.

Many of them will still have the accordion cut, which lets you put more in the pocket if you need to, but I think that's mostly a tradition more than a practicality. Bottom line: the 13 shorts on this list are, generally, cut with a more contemporary, slimmer look. We include some options, some of which are roomier.

As we've pointed out, the list below isn't ranked. We're just numbering them for convenience. And the photos each show what we think is a great looking pair of shorts. But remember: most pairs are available in other colors. So let's face it, there is no controversy: you've got style enough to know that copping a pair of cargos is a great idea, and you'll find just what you need in our list of the 13 Best Men's Cargo Shorts for a Great Casual Look (2020).

See also:

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