Cargo pants

Cargo pants (cargo trousers) are much like regular khaki pants, but were designed originally for tough, outdoor activities. They are baggier, permitting free movement, made of hardwearing, quick-drying fabrics, with tough stitching, and have large belt loops and several additional patch pockets.

or sport hunting clothing for carrying maps, compasses and other equipment in an easily accessible way.

The garments are normally made of rectangular panels of fabric, designed to allow bending at the knee and hip without stretching. Occasionally the knee joint has a hidden gap for ventilation. Stitching is often expressed as an external felled seam, and may be sewn in a contrasting colour to give the garment strong lines. Felled seams are commonly used in outdoor garments to improve water resistance.

Cargo shorts are similar to cargo pants. Some styles have zip-off legs, and can be converted from long to short trousers to suit the weather. These are particularly useful for hikers and global travelers.

Cargo skirts are made in the same style, with the same features. Long and mid-length cargo skirts are typically straight or slightly flared, with a long back split to permit long strides. Cargo miniskirts may be tight with a back split, or deeply pleated like a sports skirt or kilt.


The cargo style was copied by fashion designers in the late 1970s in the UK, and the late 1990s in the USA, and applied to everyday urban wear. This would prove to be popular due to tough construction, capacity for carrying small belongings, and aesthetic appeal. They are commonly worn by travellers and tourists, who use the extra pockets for items such as cameras, film-rolls, maps and so-forth. When cargo pants are worn for purely aesthetic reasons, the pockets are often not used.

Early designs of trousers, shorts and skirts alike were typically robust and hardwearing. Later designs applied the same style to softer and thinner fabrics with lightweight details, creating a hybrid style which is more comfortable, but less hardwearing and less suitable for outdoor use.

Some manufacturers have since combined the style of the cargo skirt with the contemporary kilt to create the "hiking kilt". This has all of the advantages of kilts or pleated skirts, made as tough outdoor clothing for men. It is shorter than a traditional kilt, and has deep pleats to permit free movement for outdoor activities such as hiking and climbing.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • cargo pants — or cargo trousers plural noun Wide, baggy trousers with large pockets on the side of the thighs • • • Main Entry: ↑cargo …   Useful english dictionary

  • cargo pants — n. loosefitting, casual pants having a number of capacious pockets, some typically on the side of the upper leg * * * …   Universalium

  • cargo pants — cargo ,pants noun plural loose pants made of heavy cotton with six pockets, two of which are at the side of the legs just above the knees …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • cargo pants — n. loosefitting, casual pants having a number of capacious pockets, some typically on the side of the upper leg …   English World dictionary

  • cargo pants — noun plural Date: 1980 pants with cargo pockets typically on the sides of the legs at thigh level …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cargo pants — noun Pants with many pockets for cargo …   Wiktionary

  • cargo pants — /ˈkagoʊ pænts/ (say kahgoh pants) plural noun casual, loose fitting, cotton trousers or shorts with pockets sewn onto the outside of the legs, usually at mid thigh level. Also, cargos. {US (1950s) …   Australian English dictionary

  • cargo pants — plural noun loose fitting casual cotton trousers with large patch pockets halfway down each leg …   English new terms dictionary

  • cargo pants — UK / US noun [plural] loose trousers made of cotton with large pockets on the legs …   English dictionary

  • ˈcargo ˌpants — noun [plural] loose trousers made of heavy cotton with pockets on the legs …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

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