5 Things to Consider when Buying Water Resistant Cargo Pants

Cargo pants aren’t a fashion trend anymore, but there’s still a very strong demand for them. If you want to understand why many people still prefer cargo pants, it’s crucial to go back to the fundamental traits that make them unique in the first place.

Firstly, the reason they’re called cargo pants is that they have additional patch pockets on either or both legs. There’s no hard and fast rule about how many pockets a pair of cargo pants should have, or how big they should be.

Still, there should be enough pockets that are big enough to provide you with added carrying capacity. Most people buy cargo pants purely for that reason; so that they can carry supplies and small tools around their job site with ease.

But choosing the right pair of cargo pants is more than just about pocket quantities and sizes, especially if you’re looking for water-resistant cargo pants.

That’s why in this article, we’re going to explore the 5 things to consider when buying water resistant cargo pants. They include:

  • Type of protection the pants provide.
  • Number and size of pockets on the pants.
  • Quality of the crotch gusset.
  • Fitting and comfort, and
  • Overall weight.


Let’s get to it!

Type of Protection

If you’re looking to buy water-resistant cargo pants, the first thing you need to be aware of is the type of protection offered by the pants. Are you sure that water-resistant cargo pants are the ones you need?

You see, it’s easy to get things mixed up, as cargo pants come in water-resistant, water repellant, and waterproof types. They’re quite different from one another, as each type will offer a different level of protection against water and stains.


When you pick up a pair of water-resistant cargo pants, what it means is that the fabric can fight off mist and light splashes of water. Water-resistant cargo pants will not allow water to penetrate through the material, but only up to a certain point.

For example, if you’re walking through the rain, your body might still be dry under those pants. But if someone points a water hose at your pants, you’ll still get wet.

If water resistance is the kind of protection you need for your cargo pants, then be sure to read the label very carefully before you buy them.

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Water Repellent

Water repellent cargo pants will also do an excellent job of protecting your body from getting wet. However, they’re usually much better at it thanks to how manufacturers produce these fabrics.

Typically, water-repellent fabrics are given a special treatment that makes it hydrophobic.

That enables the cargo shorts to prevent water from penetrating through and making your lower-body wet.

Plus, water repellent materials are generally good at preventing stains. Even if you use your cargo pants in rough environments like the outdoors or on a job site, they’ll stay clean for much longer than regular pants.


If you’re looking for pants that offer more excellent protection against water, you’ll want waterproof cargo pants. These will not let any water seep through the fabric, whether you’re walking through a storm or even if you’re underwater (you’d need to seal off the bottom of the pants, of course).

To make waterproof cargo pants, manufacturers have to use fabrics that are coated with waterproofing materials. These include materials like rubber, PVC, or wax.

As you might imagine, different levels of protection on cargo pants will also affect how the cargo pants feel while you’re wearing them. Usually, the more comfortable they are, the less protection you get; like with pure cotton cargo pants.

Pants offering superior protection might feel a bit stiff and uncomfortable, depending on your preferences.

Quantity, Size, and Type of Pockets

The next thing you need to consider when shopping for water-resistant cargo pants is the pockets. More specifically, you should think about how many pockets are ideal for your use and how big they should be.

Yes, cargo pants are all about the pockets. But you don’t want to be caught in a situation where you have too few or too many pockets. Whether you’re using them for leisure activities or for work, having too little pocket space will make it harder to carry the things you need.

Still, there is such a thing as ‘too much’ of a good thing. With more pockets than you need, you’ll end up with cargo shorts that are too bulky for your liking.

Worse yet, you might struggle to remember which pocket you used to keep your things. That might leave you digging various pockets before you find the right one, wasting time and frustrating yourself overall.

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As an extra consideration, you might want to also look at the types of pockets on those pants. On cargo pants, manufacturers generally use buttons, zippers, or flaps to cover the pockets.

Since you’re shopping for water-resistant cargo pants, you may be better off with pockets that have zips and/or flaps. These will do a better job at preventing water from finding its way inside the pocket.

Crotch Gusset Quality

If you’re buying water-resistant cargo pants, the odds are that you’ll be using them in challenging environments. Perhaps you’ll be in the outdoors, or you’ll be working a physically-demanding job on a site somewhere. In any case, you’ll need a pair of cargo pants that can take some punishment.

Cargo pants, in particular, have one unique feature that other kinds of pants don’t: the crotch gusset. That’s the extra bit of fabric around the crotch area that adds a greater degree of flexibility to those pants.

The quality of that crotch gusset is essential, as it’ll allow you to bend, kneel, squat, and stretch your lower body without tearing those pants. That’s possible because the gusset helps to distribute any stress to the fabric in that area, preventing it from focusing on one spot and ripping the fabric open.

You can tell how durable the crotch gusset is by inspecting the cargo pants visually. Then, you can try them on and move around as you usually would on-the-job or in the outdoors. Only when you’re confident in the crotch gusset quality should you choose to invest in those cargo pants.

Fitting and Comfort

At the end of the day, you’re still buying a garment to wear. Part of your consideration should be on how well those pants fit on your body, and how comfortable you feel wearing them.

Remember: the odds are that you’ll be wearing those pants for hours on end. So, it pays off to invest a little extra time and money towards getting water-resistant cargo pants that feel comfy when you wear them.

Plus, it’s good to remember that everybody’s body shape is unique. So, any pair of pants that you buy from a store might not fit your body in the best way possible. That’s why you need to try at least a few different pairs to find the one that fits well and gives you loads of comfort.

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No matter where you buy those pants, you should know that you can still alter them later on. When you alter them to the perfect length, you’ll have a pair of water-resistant cargo pants that fit you perfectly, like a tailored suit.

Overall Weight

Lastly, you have to consider the overall weight of the pants as you wear them. Cargo pants have a habit of weighing a little extra when compared to regular pants. That’s alright. But you don’t want to end up buying pants that are too heavy, even by cargo pants standards.

There are two things you have to remember in this regard. Firstly, you’re going to be walking around in those pants for a long time whenever you put them on. Heavier pants will tire you out a lot quicker, which is something you’d want to avoid.

Next, remember that they’re cargo pants. The weight of the pants when you buy them will not be the final weight when you start adding whatever tools and other items you’ll carry in the pockets.

So, you must always be mindful of the additional weight that’ll come later.

Final Thoughts: Where To Buy Water-Resistant Cargo Pants

Cargo pants, even the water-resistant kinds, are not hard to find. These days you can buy them off the shelf in a store, or you could order them online. Both of those options have their pros and cons.

The benefit of buying water-resistant cargo pants online is that you can search for any type you want. You’ll have plenty of choices down to the colour and design of the pants, all matching the exact measurements of your lower body.

But buying them online means you won’t get a chance to test them first. Sure, online stores do have return policies that help in these situations. Still, some people prefer to try them in a changing room in front of a mirror before paying for them.

No matter where or how you get your water-resistant cargo pants, always consider the five things mentioned earlier. That’ll help you find the most ideal pants to suit your needs and improve your experience of wearing them.