Three Things to Look for in a Great Pair of Men’s Cargo Shorts

Get the most out of this utilitarian fashion essential.

Man walking in cargo shorts
Cargo shorts are classics for a reason.Unsplash

Cargo shorts are all about pockets—lots of them. As a general rule though, one extra pocket on each side is better than two—the shorts will look less weighed down and the pockets should fall around the middle of your thigh.

Unionbay Men's Cordova Belted Messenger Cargo Short - Reg and Big and Tall Sizes

Lived-In Look

Relaxed fit, available in waist sizes 30 to 55.Unionbay

Shorts that fall a little lower than the knee (but not too much) make a statement. To avoid looking sloppy, they should fit like a pair of chinos—loose enough to lounge around in comfortably, but not too baggy. When shorts are long enough to cover the knee joint, the fabric shouldn’t be so stiff that it restricts easy movement.

Wrangler Authentics Men’s Premium Twill Cargo Short


Eight pockets to hold everything you need—two regular side slant pockets, two back pockets and a pair of flap pockets on each leg.Wrangler

Cotton twill fabric is generally thicker and stiffer than regular cotton. It lasts longer, too, making it a great choice if you’re hard on your clothes.

Amazon Essentials Men's Classic-Fit Cargo Short

Streamlined and Casual

Comes in nine colors and two camouflage prints.Amazon Essentials

If you want to be able to dress up your cargo shorts, look for a simple pair that falls just above the knees and doesn’t have any additional design features like zippers or extra buttons. Look for a pair with just one cargo pocket on each side for a classier profile.