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The 15 Best Cargo Pants for Men, From Valentino to Bottega Veneta

The military classic gets a stylish update primed for the season ahead.

best cargo pants for men

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If nothing else, the past couple years have proven that we must be prepared for anything. Which is why it’s a fitting time for cargo pants to make its return to your wardrobes. Designed for utility, the style that is built to endure whatever life throws at you. And while the baggy, excessively-pocketed iterations of yore have given cargo pants a bad rap, the latest examples from the likes of Brunello Cucinelli, Stone Island, Thom Sweeney and more prove that the best cargo pants for men can be both rugged and refined.

As you might expect, cargo pants—also known as combat pants—are rooted in the military. Initially used by British forces in 1938, the large pockets were designed to hold field gear, maps and other battlefield essentials. (The US Paratroopers would adopt them to allow for K rations and ammunition.) In 2023, those plentiful pockets are ideally suited to the modern man’s needs: phone, wallet, headphones, hand sanitizer and, for frequent flyers, a pretty convenient place to keep your passport.

Moreover, with options ranging from tailored to technical, cargo pants offer all-important smart-casual versatility. They’re a natural fit with T-shirts and sneakers but can also add a casual attitude to a blazer and brogues. Adding a pair to your rotation affords ample opportunities to experiment across seasons. Here are some of our favorite cargo pants to suit any style.

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