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What are the best cargo sweatpants?

Whether you’re just lounging around or on the go, sweatpants are easy to wear and comfortable. Though they’re casual apparel, cargo sweatpants are now considered a fashionable item when paired with the right pieces. They are especially loved for the multifunctional design their pockets bring and the versatility they create in outfits.

For a classic pair of cargo sweatpants that are comfortable with a laid-back style, the Pro Club Heavyweight Fleece Cargo Pants are a top pick.

What to know before you buy cargo sweatpants


Sweatpants should not be too tight or too droopy. Unless you’re going for a specific look, sweatpants that hang loosely off the body will appear sloppy. On the other hand, a too-tight pair will be uncomfortable and may highlight any bulges you have. The best fit is snug enough to complement your figure and loose enough to be easy to move around in. 


Cargo sweatpants are traditionally made from pure cotton fleece because it is comfortable and breathable. Some brands mix cotton with small percentages of other materials such as spandex, polyester or nylon to add to the structure or feel. Spandex adds stretchiness while nylon aids in wicking away sweat. Polyester makes the sweatpants less likely to shrink.


Most cargo sweatpants have sleek cuts with drawstrings that can be either internal or external. Their pockets can be either straight or side-slitted as a stylish detail. And of course, they have more pockets than are usually seen on a pair of sweatpants. 

Additionally, they can have either elastic cuffs that scrunch around the ankles or classic jogger cuffs that are ribbed. Some cargo sweatpants have no cuff at all but wider leg openings. 


Some cargo sweatpants are designed for leisure while others are meant for more active wear or for athletic activities. If you are wearing them to relax or run errands, a roomy design will work for you. However, If you’re going to be active while wearing them, choose a pair that is a bit snug and has a good amount of stretch in it, allowing full-range movements.

What to look for in quality cargo sweatpants


A top pair of cargo sweatpants should remain in good condition after at least eight to 12 months. With high-quality cotton, there should be no noticeable frays, tears or pilling on the material. (Pilling would cause unsightly lint balls to form on your sweatpants.) 

Some materials are thinner than others, but they should not be transparent. That signals cheap, low-quality material that will not last. A good way to test for transparency is by holding the sweatpants up directly against a bright source of light. If you can see a lot of light through the fabric, it is of poor quality. 


Even though most sweatpants do not use zippers or buttons, they tend to be somewhat elastic and easily adjustable for a high level of comfort. Elastic waistbands and drawstrings in the legs mean that you get a good fit and can adjust the tightness at the legs for your comfort or the way you’re styling the pants. Additionally, a good pair of cargo sweatpants retains its shape and doesn’t lose any elasticity even after washing.


Sometimes the lining is made from a material different from that used on the outside. A good pair of cargo sweatpants should have a lining that feels soft and adds a layer of warmth. Because this is directly against the skin, it should not be scratchy or itchy.

How much you can expect to spend on cargo sweatpants

Depending on the brand and type of material used, they cost about $20-$70.

Cargo sweatpants FAQ

How long should sweatpants be?

A. Sweatpants should not fall over your shoes but should cuff or stop just at the ankle length. 

How do I keep my cargo sweatpants from shrinking?

A. They should be air-dried as much as possible to avoid too much shrinkage.

How many pockets should cargo sweatpants have?

A. They will have a minimum of four to six pockets, following the classic cargo pants style.  However, some designs have even more. 

What are the best cargo sweatpants to buy?

Top cargo sweatpants

Best Pro Club Heavyweight Cargo Sweatpants

Pro Club Heavyweight Cargo Sweatpants 

What you need to know: This loose-fit pair of sweatpants has an untapered bottom, a drawstring closure and pockets lined with Velcro.

What you’ll love: The heavyweight fleece fabric makes it a cozy, comfortable choice to lounge or run errands in. It has roomy leg space and the drawstrings around the ankles are easily adjustable, making it versatile for a range of looks.  It comes in seven colors.

What you should consider: The heavy fabric is quite warm, so it’s not suitable for warm weather or hotter climates. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Top cargo sweatpants for the money

Champion Women's Powerblend Joggers

Champion Women’s Powerblend Joggers

What you need to know: This classic pair of jogger-style cargo sweatpants has ribbed hems.

What you’ll love: The front cargo pockets have ribbed detailing. The tapered leg offers a simple but fashionable silhouette. The mix of cotton and polyester makes these a good choice for both athletic and leisure purposes. 

What you should consider: Some of the colors are different from what is pictured. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Adicolor Essentials Trefoil Cargo Pants

Adicolor Essentials Trefoil Cargo Pants 

What you need to know: This is a slim-fit pair of ’90s-inspired cargo sweatpants. 

What you’ll love: They have a clean, minimalist style with a classic Adidas trefoil design on the leg. Their ribbed cuffs add comfort to the sleek design and they’re easy to dress up or down. They come in black or gray. 

What you should consider: They’re on the more expensive side.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Nentapmun Gomwalk writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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