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6 Different Alternatives to Cargo Shorts (Plus One to Get!)

Cargo shorts are comfortable, that’s why I wear them when we’re out camping, hiking, fishing, or merely strolling around the neighborhood or the great outdoors. Personally, though, I find them a little hard to style, but since I use them for comfort and convenience, a simple tee is all I need.

But what if you run out of cargo shorts? Or do you need to up your style a bit? Here are some alternatives to cargo shorts I recommend:


Shorts for overall casual wear as well as shorts for specialized activities are among your fashion options. Fishing, trekking, and hunting/tactical hobbies are just a few of the available summer outfits. Their lengths may change, since most have a shorter inseam, however, the fit is still good.

Fishing Shorts

Palmyth Men's Fishing Short Quick Dry 10.5” Sun Protection UV UPF 50+ Cargo Shorts Water Resistant for Saltwater Freshwater Fly Fishing, Lure Fishing (Charcoal/Fly,Large)

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Because they have a seven-inch inseam, fishing shorts may be a little shorter than you’d prefer. However, they have a number of advantages, including built-in UV protection. It’s like your clothing has sunblock built-in.

Cotton fishing shorts with a somewhat elastic waistband are common. Most of these shorts have two huge pockets, one of which may fit a can of soda. They often have a secure pocket with a zip closing. A D-ring is included on some of these shorts. Even if you don’t fish, they may give your summer wardrobe a boost.

Attempt this one: The Columbia PFG Brewha II shorts are available for $40 in standard sizes and $45 in large and tall sizes. These all-cotton shorts have a beer pocket and are suitable for a variety of water activities, including fishing and sailing.

Drawstring Shorts

Hanes Men's 2-Pack Cotton Drawstring Knit Shorts Waistband & Pockets, Active Grey Heather/Black, X-Large

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Similar to cargo shorts, drawstring shorts have a loose fit. Shorts made of linen or cotton mix are the most common. The drawstring clasp ensures a secure fit, which is particularly important for active usage, and there are many pockets for keys, wallets, and other valuables. Depending on the occasion, you may dress these up or dress these down, and they offer a wider range of appearances compared to cargo shorts.

Attempt this one: INC International Concepts Russ Soft Shorts are available at for less than $25. These shorts, which are linen-blend, may be styled in a variety of ways and are appropriate for a variety of informal occasions, such as baseball games.

Tactical Shorts

5.11 Tactical Taclite Pro 11"" Short, TDU Khaki, 36

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Do you think cargo shorts’ pockets are enough to make you happy? Do you like stowing your belongings within every pocket and never having to carry a rucksack, fanny pack, or purse? Okay. So how about some tactical shorts?

This gives you a more tailored appearance than baggy cargo shorts, but you still get nine or more pockets! Compared to cargo shorts, tactical shorts include extra pockets for organization. Tactical shorts, in reality, are a form of cargo shorts.

Cotton, polyester, or a polyester/cotton mix comprise the majority of tactical shorts. Ripstop fabric with DuPont Teflon fabric protection is used in this kind of short. Most tactical shorts are resistant to wrinkling, shrinking in the washing or dryer, fading, as well as stains and liquids, thanks to this combination of qualities.

These shorts are available with a zippered plus button closure, a French fly snap closure, or a button closure. Shorts with durable double seats, robust pockets, and flexible waistbands are common features. Various inseam lengths are available. Shorts with a nine-inch inseam are the most similar to cargo shorts.

Try this one: Propper Lightweight Tactical Shorts, with an inconceivable 11 pocket pattern, including two wallet pocket-in-pockets, are available for slightly under $35. has this item.

Messenger Shorts

RING OF FIRE Men's Horizon Messenger Belted 13" Inseam Twill Cargo Shorts Size 30 to 38 Black

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Maybe you’re a big fan of cargo shorts yet you want to switch things up a little. Perhaps a bit more tailored? With messenger shorts, you’ll seem less saggy. The style is similar to cargo shorts, however, it’s more fitting and less baggy. The cargo shorts with the big pockets and a length slightly below the knee are kept. Messenger shorts are a good compromise between surfboard jams and also cargo shorts.

Attempt this one: INC’s International Concepts Evans Messenger Shorts are available for a little under $50, allowing you to stay cool this summer. is where you’ll find it.

Chino Shorts

Dockers Men's Classic-Fit Perfect-Short - 38W - New British Khaki (Cotton)

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You don’t have to change to shorter shorts all of a sudden. Nobody is attempting to jolt you out of your complacency. However, chino shorts come in a variety of inseams and choosing one that is nearly knee-length might be a great way to flaunt your legs.

Inseams of nine or seven inches are good options. Enjoy the variety of hues available, which is much larger than you’ll find with most cargo shorts. Your wallet may still be kept in the rear pocket, but your keys should be kept in front. These, on the other hand, aren’t quite as big as cargos.

Crew Factory Nine Inch Chambray Gramercy Shorts are a fun style to try. These fitting shorts from have a cleaner line that makes them suitable for a dressier appearance.

Plaid Casual Shorts

Lee Men's Performance Series Extreme Comfort Short, Iron Plaid, 34

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Multiple slash pockets and two rear pockets are common in casual shorts. This sort of short may be buttoned or have a visible button and zipper. For a flexible pattern that works for informal business occasions and a summer baseball game, consider casual shorts in a polished plaid. Preppy style is easy to achieve with casual shorts.

Try It: Calvin Klein Vanderson Plaid Shorts for $65 may be found at Macy’s or eBay.

Where to buy these cargo shorts alternatives

You don’t need to go to Tactical Crew, Macy’s, or J. Crew to get these options. Dillard’s, Foley’s, Kohl’s, Belk’s, ThredUp, Cabela’s, or eBay are all good places to look for cargo short alternatives. On, you could get custom-made replicas of these shorts.

Other outfit options are also available. While these are the most similar to a pair of cargo shorts, madras plaid shorts or Bermuda shorts are also options. Yes, your body build and also leg length are important factors to consider, but you can get drawstring shorts at Ocean Pacific, Jams, or maybe Sun Pac.

Any police or fire uniform supply store, as well as an Army supply store, would have a variety of tactical shorts to choose from. A large selection of fishing shorts should be available at your local sports store.


You’re still unsure about these options. We are aware of the situation and will do our best to respond.

What are the sizing requirements?

With a different sort of shorts, you would adjust the rise and inseam, but keep the waist measurement the same. Inseams on cargo shorts are among the longest available. Changing the length is the first step in making a change.

Will khaki versions of these cargo short alternatives be available?

If you buy a fishing or maybe tactical shorts, you could still wear khaki shorts. However, you’ll have access to a wide range of additional hues. Blue, green, red, purple, orange, yellow, black, cream, brown, white, olive, and plaids are some of the colors available.