Offering both functional and stylish advantages, camo pants remain popular for use in all sorts of situations well beyond their military origins. Once used primarily by U.S. and foreign military personnel as a method of concealment in natural settings, the pattern gained popularity among civilian consumers starting in the 1980s as hunting became a more prevalent pastime. Nowadays, you can find a pair of camo pants just about everywhere. Most options are ruggedized, featuring significantly more pocket storage than conventional pants, and designed to work well outdoors. On the other hand, there are more comfort-focused styles for a more camo-casual experience. Either way, available camo patterns differ just as much as existing pants, so you’ll always find something available for the mission ahead.
Depending on whether you plan to use the pants tactically or casually, you’ll need a different pair. And choosing can get overwhelming. To lend a hand, we’ve created a list of the best camo pants on the market, along with details on finding the right fit.
Want to stay to the original spirit of tactical camouflage? Check out the Mossy Oak Hunting Camo Pants which feature a unique print that is designed to seamlessly disappear into the natural world. The pants themselves are made out of a unique blend of materials, including cotton, spandex, and polyester. The cotton ensures breathability while the polyester promotes durability. Spandex helps offer a forgiving fit, making them comfortable to wear over long periods. Incorporating plenty of storage space with pockets, these pants are great for use outdoors, versatile enough to use during vigorous treks and relaxed camping trips alike.
If you prefer camo print for the style and aren’t focused on outdoor use, then TSLA Thermal Camo Pants are a good way to go. These pants are meant for use as a base layer, making them ideal for cold weather. Featuring a prominent camo print, these pants fit tightly so you can wear them beneath your existing tactical supplies. Blended polyester and spandex ensure elasticity and durability, so you can use them during exercise without worry, while moisture-absorbing technology keeps them dry during wear using two-way ventilation. By incorporating a fleece lining, these compression pants keep you comfortable regardless of your surroundings.
Looking for something that works in all-weather situations? Then the Carhartt Rugged Camo Pants are an option you’ll want to check out. A widely known manufacturer of hardy outdoor wear, Carhartt is known for quality materials and designs, and these camo pants live up to this reputation well with their cotton and spandex blend. The canvas pants are tough against the elements, letting you wear them comfortably whether the weather is hot or cold. Stretching easily without the risk of tears, these true-to-size pants are a great option if you want versatile camo wear.
If you are looking for a pair of camo pants that are both pragmatic and comfortable, then the Zeeto Cargo Camo Pants are worth looking into. These pants feature a relaxed design that fits loosely to your legs and lets your skin breathe. Made mainly out of cotton material, these durable pants are ideal for use outdoors. Featuring eight pockets, you can easily store your important gear on a hike or some other excursion. The zipper is fine-toothed to hold in place well, especially when paired with the benefits of the sturdy belt loops. Ideal for both casual days and intense hikes, these pants are a remarkably useful option.
Those who want the aesthetic benefits of camo pattern without sticking to the traditional green and brown color should consider Match Men’s Wild Cargo Pants. Made entirely out of cotton material, these pants are remarkably breathable, designed to be worn comfortably in warm environments or during light exercise. The fabric is soft on the skin yet tough enough to withstand wear and tear. Featuring a straight-leg fit, the pants are easy to maintain (provided you hang them to dry) and incorporate a significant amount of pocket space. Closing with a zipper and button, these stylish pants hold firmly in place with the help of any standard belt.
On the hunt for classic camo pants that emulate those of old? Check out CQR Tactical Pants for their traditional appearance paired with the benefits of modern textiles. The pants themselves are made out of a lightweight material that makes exercise easier. Water-resistant by design, these camo pants work well in the great outdoors. Through a unique blend of polyester and cotton, the pants balance comfort and performance value. The fabric repels all types of debris, including fluid and dust. With a vibrant camo design that leans more towards browns, you can potentially use these pants as tactical gear without worrying about performance quality.
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Spending five years reviewing tactical products, automotive supplies, and survival gear, I’ve curated a reputation for accuracy. Equipped with three year’s experience as a news correspondent, I offer objective, reliable assessments of important products. My work is featured on Narcity Media, The Drive, and Car Bibles. Some of my most recent articles for Task and Purpose include reviews of hunting boots and emergency blankets. I focus on objectively analyzing important items so readers can find what they need more efficiently, like that perfect pair of cargo pants.
How we chose our top picks
By looking into both the military roots and civilian history of camo pants, we gained a comprehensive understanding of the diverse applications of these pants. Using this information, we sought out the leading selections in terms of design and material. Aiming to curate a list that represents all budgets, we identified the best pants at varying price points. After analyzing user reviews and product specs, we finalized our list. The result is a series of camo pants for all sorts of activities that balance quality and affordability.
Types of camo pants
Since camo (short for camouflage) refers to the pattern and color scheme of the pants, there is no shortage of design options. You can find just about any type of pants in camo print, though the most popular options are cargo pants, the closest option to those used originally for military purposes. These are mostly meant for tactical applications, offering a lot of storage and the benefits of durability. Within the realm of cargo pants, you can find straight-leg models or those with a relaxed fit. The type of pants you will need depends largely on when and where you plan to wear them. Pants meant to go under your other gear, while camo print, tend to be thinner and more elastic. As long as you pick something made out of quality materials and fits the task at hand, you will be just fine.
Key features of camo pants
- Fabric: The most important feature of any pair of pants is the fabric. To be classified as camo pants, the material needs to feature a camouflage print. Ideally, it emulates the traditional color-scheme (especially if you plan to use the pants tactically). The fabric needs to be durable and not prone to tears while remaining breathable. Most pants use a blend of cotton and polyester to achieve that. Often, pants include spandex or elastane to offer a bit of stretchiness. While original military camo pants were constructed using cotton twill with reinforced knees and seams, modern versions meant for civilians are constructed out of more diverse textiles.
- Style: Original camo pants used in military applications were cargo-style, featuring many pockets and loose legs to work with boots. Nowadays, you can find camo pants in a wide range of styles. Camo pants need more than just a good print; they have to be durable and useful, and this comes down to style. The way that the pants are cut, the way they fall at the waist, the hem, and the pockets, all fall into this category. Ranging from straight-leg cargo pants to fleece underwear and sports gear, the style of the pants will dictate how you are able to use them.
- Closure: The pants need to hold in place while you’re moving, meaning they need a reliable closure component. The most popular approach to this is through a fine-tooth zipper that is usually made out of metal. Reinforced with a button, this part is meant to keep them above your hips. Most camo pants also feature belt loops so that you can ensure the pants stay put when you’re moving around, emulating the design of military-grade camo gear. On the other hand, casual wear tends to use either an elastic, drawstring or both to suspend the pants on your person.
- Storage: If you plan to use the camo pants for hiking or any other tactical purpose, then storage is important. Cargo pants tend to have the most amount of pockets, usually closing either with a button or velcro. Conversely, plainer models may only feature the standard jeans-style pockets at the front and the rear of the pants. Be sure that the pants can hold all of your supplies before making your pick.
Benefits of camo pants
There are tons of reasons that both military personnel and civilians favor camo pants, and it’s not just for the style (though it definitely helps). Camouflage was originally developed to help people successfully blend into their surroundings, especially natural settings, with its roots in the First World War. These same advantages can be reaped today. Plus, modern camo pants feature even more resilient materials that help the pants last longer, breathe better, and be more comfortable. To that end, camo pants are incredibly versatile for everywhere from casual to harsher environments. So long as you choose a pair of camo pants you are happy wearing, they can keep you warm and dry, all while letting you subtly slip into the background.
Camo pants pricing
Because there are so many styles of camo pants, the price range is really diverse. It all depends on the quality of the materials and design, in addition to the size of the pants. The good news is that there is a pair of camo pants for pretty much any budget. For heavy-duty gear that is meant to offer a tactical advantage, you can expect to pay around $50. However, if you’re looking for something plainer and simpler, you can find camo pants for less than $30. So long as you opt for well-made pants (like the ones on this list), you can get a lot of use out of your new camo pants.
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