What are cargo pants made of? How can I buy the right ones? Well, the best fabric for cargo pants is a durable fabric that can handle all types of rough or physical activities such as manual labor jobs, camping, hiking, etc.
These pants need to be able to endure potential rips and tears. They are designed to be able to withstand bending at the knee or hip and are sewn typically with felled seams for overall strength and durability. With all that being said, it is important they are made out of a fabric that can hold up to this kind of abuse.
The original design of the modern cargo pants originated in the 1940s from the American military. The pants were used by paratroopers and since the pants had extra pockets, they were able to carry things such as food, ammunition, bandages, and anything else they might need. This is why the cargo pants of today are still designed with the same extra pockets which make them excellent for a large variety of utility.
Today we are going to dive into what exactly makes the best pair of cargo pants by breaking down the types of fabric used as well as the correct pair to buy for your activity.
What is the best type of fabric for cargo pants?
Typically, you want a pair of cargo pants made out of some sort of synthetic fabric or fiber. You want to use a synthetic fabric because these will generally be quick-drying and can handle a fair amount of abuse. Some examples of these types of fabric would be a cotton synthetic blend such as linen or twill. Both of these fabrics are relatively durable and also look great.
A cotton-nylon blend is also a solid choice. This fabric will give you the best of both worlds when it comes to durability and comfort. A Cotton nylon blend is going to be a bit pricier than your traditional pair of cargo pants.
You also want a fabric that is stretchable. With cargo pants being used for utility and functionality over fashion, you want to be able to move freely in them when you bend. Blending spandex with cotton and polyester achieves these desired qualities. Some people choose to go with a straight 100% polyester fabric because of the comfort it provides as well as the durability of the fabric and quick-drying properties.
However, if you want something that is a bit more stylish you want to go with a poly-cotton blend. It’s a bit more breathable and overall looks better due to the added cotton.
What are the different types of cargo pants?
There are multiple different types of cargo pants. Due to them having such a wide variety of utility there are custom fits for different roles:
Tactical cargo pants: These types of cargo pants are typically worn by police officers. Tactical cargo pants are designed to be very durable with concealed pockets inside of their larger pockets. These pants are made with double stitching to keep them resistant to heavy wear. These pants are made of 65% polyester and 35% poly cotton ripstop blend.
Hiking cargo pants: These pants are made to withstand the conditions that come with hiking such as weather, rough terrain, and be rip-resistant. You will find hiking cargo pants are made out of spandex or nylon since it is both durable and warm. These pants are generally produced in a natural color such as brown, khaki, or camouflage.
EMT cargo pants: These are worn by first responders and are made of polyester or cotton fabrics. These fabrics create a very durable material that holds up well to high use. EMT pants will come with many pockets and reinforced knees.
High fashion cargo pants: These pants are made out of high-quality fabrics such as silk, leather, or other high-end materials. They are marketed to be a fashionable cargo pant and not a utility cargo pant. They still maintain the cargo style pockets on the leg but are often sewn to have a skinny or a straight-leg fit. These are often very expensive and come in a wide variety of colors.
Slim-fit cargo pants: This style of cargo pants is one of the newer styles to hit the scene. These are slim fitting and not loose, unlike the traditional cargo pants. They are still made out of the same durable material as traditional cargo pants.
Cargo jogging pants: These cargo pants are designed for athletic use. They will not be made out of the same durable material as a traditional cargo pant. However, they still maintain the traditional pockets of cargo pants on the legs. They’re made to be lightweight with a breathable fabric as well as soft. Cargo joggers also generally have a drawstring or elastic waistband for added comfort.
You don’t need to be a first responder, a soldier, or an outdoorsman to wear cargo pants anymore. There are options for a variety of uses and styles.
Is there a “best” material?
Cargo pants can be incredibly adaptable and the design you choose should be in line with the way you tend to use them. These pants can be worn in a variety of seasons, it just depends on the materials you choose to wear.
They can be stylish and comfortable to wear. For the average person, you will want your cargo pants to be breathable, comfortable, but still a bit durable.
The more fashionable cargo pants will come in a variety of colors whereas the more utilitarian cargo pants come in traditional darker colors.
If you plan on using them for outdoor activities, you want to make sure your cargo pants are designed to handle a lot of abuse. It’s important to find a fabric that can hold up that kind of abuse.
So what should your cargo pants be made of? You have to decide between utility and comfort. Overall, the best choice would be a poly-cotton blend. They are breathable and look great. However, if you want something a bit more durable, a straight polyester pant is for you.