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Best Men’s Casual Shorts: Top 15 Cargo Shorts 2018



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When I think of cargo shorts, I see a woman’s beautiful face…somewhat changed for a moment due to the presence of an involuntary scowl. The face is my wife’s and the scowl — which, come to think of it, isn’t so involuntary — is a response to me entering the room in cargo shorts. I only bring this up as a symbol of something bigger, which is the CSC — cargo shorts controversy.

Before we get into it, let’s just tell you what the 15 cargo shorts are on this list. They’re not ranked, they’re just numbered for convenience.

1. Obey Men’s Recon Street Trunk
2. G-Star Raw Men’s Rackam Cargo Short
3. Scotch & Soda Men’s Garment Dyed Cargo Short
4. Vince Men’s Tech Cargo Short
5. Tommy Bahama Men’s Survivalist Cargo Shorts
6. Billabong Men’s Classic Cargo Short
7. Hurley Men’s One and Only Cargo Walkshort
8. O’Neill Men’s Traveler Cargo Hybrid Shorts
9. Quiksilver Men’s Everyday Deluxe Short
10. Lee Men’s Dungarees Belted Wyoming Cargo Short
11. Amazon Essentials Men’s Classic-Fit Cargo Short
12. Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Ranger Cargo Short
13. IZOD Men’s Flat Front Basic Golf Cargo Short
14. Levi’s Men’s Carrier Cargo Short
15. Columbia Men’s Brownsmead II Short

Men’s Cargo Shorts: Popular As Ever

If you look around the World Wide Web, you’ll see plenty of pros and a 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 Best Men’s Casual Shorts: Top 15 Khakis & Chinos.

Men’s Cargo Shorts: A Better Cut

One of the big differences between old school cargo shorts — the kind that make 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. The’ve got a slimmer look and, usually, a cargo pocket that’s 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 15 shorts on this list are, generally, cut with a more contemporary, slimmer look. We include some options, some of which are roomier.

Men’s Casual Shorts: Good Go-Withs

A couple of quick options if you’re shopping for more than just a pair of shorts:

Shirts —

Men’s Linen Shirts: 15 Long & Short Sleeves for Summer 2018
Top 10 Best Summer Shirts for Men: Plaid Short Sleeve 2018
Big Men’s Hawaiian Summer Shirts: 10 Must Have Styles 2018

Shoes —

Top 10 Best Men’s Summer Shoes 2018
Top 15 Best Sandals, Slides & Flip-Flops for Men 2018
Top 10 Best Slip On Sneakers for Men 2018

Men’s Cargo Shorts

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 Best Men’s Casual Shorts: Top 15 Cargo Shorts.

1. Obey Men’s Recon Street Trunk

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Obey Worldwide

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 angle 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 inches above the knee.


Price: $52.70

Buy the Obey Men’s Recon Street Trunk here.



2. G-Star Raw Men’s Rackam Cargo Short

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G-Star Raw

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.


Price: $74.79 and up (depending on size/color selected)

Buy the G-Star Raw Men’s Rackam Cargo Short here.

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

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Scotch & Soda

Scotch & Soda is an 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. For a casual pair of summer shoes to go with, some slip on sneakers would be great. Another pair of Scotch & Soda shorts — chinos, not cargo shorts — is featured in our list of the Best Men’s Casual Shorts: Top 15 Khakis & Chinos.

Price: $53.52 and up (depending on size/color selected)

Buy the Scotch & Soda Men’s Garment Dyed Cargo Short here.


http://heavy.com/


4. Vince Men’s Tech Cargo Short

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Vince

Vince is a very popular, on-trend brand and these men’s casual shorts are made with imported Italian fabric. It’s 58 percent cotton, 42 percent poly. These are the only men’s cargo shorts on the list that include an exposed drawstring closure. They do have a zippered fly. Vince calls the cargo pockets “refined cargo pockets,” and I can only guess they’re talking about the fact that they lay very flat — with a flap — and they’re set very low, toward the bottom hem. The back pockets feature flaps. Shown in “coastal” color and they’re available in two different colors. Vince products are at a higher price point but they’re high quality, including this classic V-Neck tee.

Price: $71.92 and up (depending on size/color selected)

Buy the Vince Men’s Tech Cargo Short here.


http://heavy.com/


5. Tommy Bahama Men’s Survivalist Cargo Shorts

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Tommy Bahama

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.


Price: $70

Buy the Tommy Bahama Men’s Survivalist Cargo Shorts here.


http://heavy.com/


6. Billabong Men’s Classic Cargo Short

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Billabong

These are a 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 Best Men’s Casual Shorts: Top 15 Khakis & Chinos.)


Price: $53.10 and up (depending on size/color selected)

Buy the Billabong Men’s Classic Cargo Short here.


http://heavy.com/


7. Hurley Men’s One and Only Cargo Walkshort

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Hurley

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.


Price: $25.69 and up (depending on size/color selected)

Buy the Hurley Men’s One and Only Cargo Walkshort here.


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

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O’Neill

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.


Price: $39.99 and up (depending on size/color selected)

Buy the O’Neill Men’s Traveler Cargo Hybrid Shorts here.


http://heavy.com/


9. Quiksilver Men’s Everyday Deluxe Short

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Quiksilver

These are a terrific looking pair of men’s shorts, if for no other reason than the double-stitch that is used throughout the shorts. They feature the two slanted front pockets, two flapped rear pockets (one with the woven “Quiksilver” label on the flap) and the flapped cargo pockets on both sides. A very popular pair of men’s cargo shorts, these get a 4.3 out of 5-star rating average. Shown in “elmwood” color, they’re available in 10 different colors. Quiksilver’s “Maldive 8” shorts are a bit sleeker in silhouette, with zippered cargo pockets and a button-fly closure.


Price: $18.28 and up (depending on size/color selected)

Buy the Quiksilver Men’s Everyday Deluxe Short here.


http://heavy.com/


10. Lee Men’s Dungarees Belted Wyoming Cargo Short

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Lee

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. These are extremely popular men’s shorts, with more than 1,700 customer reviews and a stellar 4.5 out of 5-star rating average. The Lee men’s cargo shorts are shown in “khaki” color and they’re available in 22 different colors. For a good look on top, check out these great shirts on our list of the Top 10 Best Summer Shirts for Men: Plaid Short Sleeve.


Price: $25.54 and up (depending on size/color selected)

Buy the Lee Men’s Dungarees Belted Wyoming Cargo Short here.


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

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Amazon

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.


Price: $18

Buy the Amazon Essentials Men’s Classic-Fit Cargo Short here.


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12. Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Ranger Cargo Short

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Wrangler

These are going to be the most cargo-y cargo short 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 Top 20 Best Trucker Hats for Men.


Price: $29.50 and up (depending on size/color selected)

Buy the Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Ranger Cargo Short here.


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

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IZOD

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.


Price: $23.99 and up (depending on size/color selected)

Buy the IZOD Men’s Flat Front Basic Golf Cargo Short here.


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14. Levi’s Men’s Carrier Cargo Short

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Levi’s

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 short 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. Customer reviews are very good, with a 4.4 out of 5-star rating average and 80 percent of the reviews say the shorts fit as expected. 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.


Price: $11.91 and up (depending on size/color selected)

Buy the Levi’s Men’s Carrier Cargo Short here.


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15. Columbia Men’s Brownsmead II Short

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Columbia

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. These cargo shorts get great customer reviews, with a 4.3 out of 5-star rating average. Shown in “cyprus,” they’re available in 12 different colors. Another option — with an even higher customer rating average (4.5) — is the Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Short. It’s got a bit longer outseam and partial elastic at the waist.


Price: $13.82 and up (depending on size/color selected)

Buy the Columbia Men’s Brownsmead II Short here.


http://heavy.com/


Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.



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