10 Best Lightweight Work Shorts for Summer [Breathable]


It’s hot, and you need lightweight work shorts for summer. Yes, lightweight, breathable work shorts are great, but they still need to be tough enough for the job. The Columbia shorts (#2 below) are the lightest in weight and do use a ripstop fabric, but the Carhartt shorts add a bit more toughness.

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These are our choices for the best summer work shorts for hot weather:

  1. Carhartt Force Ripstop Lightweight Work Shorts (click here to view)
  2. Columbia Silver Ridge Lightweight Cargo Shorts (click here to view)
  3. Carhartt Men’s Lightweight Canvas Work Shorts (click here to view)
  4. Dickies Men’s Temp-iQ Performance Hybrid Utility Shorts (click here to view)
  5. Lee Men’s Swope Extreme Motion Ripstop Cargo Shorts (click here to view)
  6. Wrangler Men’s Performance Comfort Flex Cargo Shorts (click here to view)
  7. Lee Men’s Crossroad Extreme Motion Cargo Shorts (click here to view)
  8. Wrangler ATG Men’s Asymmetric Cargo Shorts (click here to view)
  9. Lee Men’s Performance Lightweight Cargo Shorts (click here to view)
  10. *Women’s* Carhartt Force Madden Lightweight Cargo Shorts (click here to view)

All the shorts on our list below weigh under a pound for size 32. Using lightweight, breathable work shorts can make a huge difference in the heat and allow your legs to breathe a little bit.

We took time to weigh and examine these shorts (photos in article). Although all of these shorts are lightweight and still usable for most jobs, some materials will be more durable than others.

If you need something very durable, you probably want to stick with either a canvas fabric, or a ripstop fabric. In general, buying ripstop shorts is a nice way to blend lightweight with toughness.

In this article, let’s take a closer look at the lightweight, breathable work shorts on this list so you can decide which might be best for you. Let’s start by comparing the top options.


Comparing the Best Lightweight Work Shorts for Summer

Item (Rank)InseamWeightToughBreath-
ability
Carhartt Force (1)11″0.6588
Columbia (2)10″0.42610
Carhartt Canvas (3)10″0.9596
Dickies (4)11″0.5479
LEE Swope (5)10.5″0.8487
Wrangler Flex (6)10″0.6669
LEE Crossroad (7)10.5″0.6978
Wrangler ATG (8)9″0.6169
LEE Performance (9)11″0.6268

Weight

The weight posted above is in pounds, and is for a size 32. As you can see, the Columbia shorts are far and away the lightest-weight shorts on this list.

Although the Columbia shorts are lighweight, they are made with a nylon ripstop fabric that helps discourage rips and tears. No, they won’t be as durable as canvas shorts, but if you prefer something ultra-lightweight, these are a great option.

Be sure to pay attention to the inseam length in comparison to weight.

Toughness

The toughness rating posted above is simply my opinion from wearing these shorts. A “10” rating would be given to a heavyweight canvas work short.

Because these are all lightweight work shorts, none of these shorts are worthy of a 10 rating. But, of course, that’s the point of this article – to find lightweight, breathable work shorts.

The most durable shorts on this list, in my opinion, are the Carhartt Canvas shorts that use a lighter-weight, more breathable 7.5-ounce canvas fabric. I like these shorts because they give you that canvas toughness in a more summer-friendly design.

Some of the other shorts on our list (Carhartt Force, Columbia, Lee Swope) use a ripstop fabric that is lighter in weight, but designed to discourage rips and tears. Those are a nice option if you want something very lightweight, but still durable.

Breathability

The breathability rating in the chart above is again just my opinion from wearing these shorts. Yes, these are all breathable work shorts that are more summer-friendly than heavy duty 12-ounce canvas work shorts.

The Columbia shorts are very lightweight and breathable, but there are several good options on this list if you need something to help you beat the heat.


Best Lightweight Work Shorts for Summer

Carhartt Men’s Force Relaxed Fit Ripstop Cargo Work Short

Carhartt is synonymous with workwear. When you think of Carhartt, you often think of heavyweight 12-ounce duck cotton canvas, but Carhartt does have a nice selection of lighter-weight work shorts built more for summer.

These cargo shorts use a 5-ounce ripstop fabric that is both breathable and durable. Here’s what these Carhartt lightweight cargo shorts look like:

This is the current price of these Carhartt breathable work shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about these shorts:

  • Material – Built for ultimate ease of movement, the lightweight 5-ounce, nylon/spandex construction of this short features Carhartt’s durable Rugged Flex® stretch technology. This is a ripstop fabric that discourages rips and tears.
  • Pockets – There’s plenty of room to stash anything you may need on the job with reinforced front slash pockets, heavy-hauling reinforced rear pockets. The side cargo pockets also have utility pockets on the outside for extra storage (phone).
  • Moisture Wicking – These shorts are designed to wick moisture away. They are built using Carhartt’s FastDry® technology.
  • Fit – Sitting at the natural waist, these are relaxed fit work shorts with plenty of room to move throughout the seat and thigh. A gusseted crotch provides more stretch between the legs for increased range of motion. These shorts have an 11″ inseam.

These shorts are made with a lightweight ripstop fabric. My size 32 only weighs 0.65 pounds:

carhartt-lightweight-shorts-weight

Even though these summer work shorts use a lightweight material, this is a ripstop fabric, made to discourage rips and tears. Here’s a look at the material – if you look closely you can see the ripstop weave:

carhartt-lightweight-shorts-material

These shorts have easy-to-access cargo pockets down the side, and also have the front ledge pockets that I like. The ledge pockets make it so much easier to get my hand in and out while working.

carhartt-lightweight-shorts-pocket
carhartt-lightweight-shorts-pockets

These shorts have wide belt loops, and also have an inseam crotch gusset for extra comfort when bending and crouching on the job:

carhartt-lightweight-shorts-belt-loops
cargo-carhartt-force-gusset

I think these are the best lightweight work shorts due to their blend of comfort and toughness. If you want something ultra lightweight, I’d recommend the Columbia shorts we discuss next.

But these Carhartt shorts provide you with breathable comfort, and I feel like they are a bit more durable than the Columbia shorts covered next.

Click here to buy these Carhartt lightweight work shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). In my experience, these shorts fit true to size.


Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts

Columbia is well known for making outdoor active-wear. These shorts weigh less than any of the other shorts on this list, but still use a nylon ripstop fabric that can help discourage rips and tears.

Here’s what these Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts look like:

This is the current price of these Columbia lightweight work shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about these shorts:

  • Moisture Wicking – These shorts will wick sweat away from your body and distribute it in a way that helps it dry quickly. The evaporation process also naturally pull heat away from your body.
  • Low Profile Pockets – These shorts have low-profile pockets that aren’t too bulky. The pocket on the left leg is a zip pocket, giving you a secure place to store essentials.
  • Ease of Movement – These shorts have a partial elastic waistband and also have a crotch gusset to allow you to bend and crouch freely while wearing these shorts.
  • Material – These shorts are made with a lightweight ripstop nylon. They offer UPF 50 sun protection to help protect you from UV rays. My shorts have a 10″ inseam.

As I mentioned earlier, you’re buying these shorts if you want an ultra-lightweight work short. My size 32 weighs just 0.42 pounds:

silver-ridge-shorts-weight

They’re so lightweight it almost feels like I’m wearing swimming trunks. This lightweight, moisture-wicking material really allows your legs to breathe.

That said, the reason these are tougher than swimming trunks (and still usable for work and outdoor tasks) is they are made with a nylon ripstop material that discourages rips and tears.

Here’s a close look at the material. If you look closely you can see the ripstop weave:

silver-ridge-shorts-material

Here’s a look at how mine fit. The inseam on these shorts is about an inch shorter than the Carhartt shorts we discussed first.

silver-ridge-shorts

One thing I like about these shorts is the low-profile zip cargo pocket that gives me a safe place to store essentials:

silver-ridge-shorts-zip-pocket

An inseam crotch gusset allows you to comfortably bend and crouch on the job:

silver-ridge-shorts-gusset

These shorts also have side-elastic panels on the waistband that help provide a snug, but comfortable fit around the waist:

silver-ridge-shorts-elastic-waist

The main takeaway here is you are buying these Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts for their lightweight breathability. The nylon ripstop fabric, despite being lightweight, is still tough enough to use for most jobs. Just don’t expect these shorts to take on a beating like a pair of canvas shorts could.

Click here to buy these Columbia summer work shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These shorts are machine washable.


Carhartt Men’s 10″ Canvas Work Shorts

As we discussed earlier, when you think of Carhartt, you think of tough, cotton canvas. In the middle of summer, perhaps you want that canvas toughness, but not the heavyweight fabric that retains heat.

These shorts use a lightweight 7.5-ounce cotton canvas fabric which will allow your legs to breathe a little bit. Here’s what these shorts look like:

This is the current price of these Carhartt lightweight work shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about these shorts:

  • Material – Made of lightweight 7.5-ounce, 100% ring-spun cotton with sewn-on-seam belt loops, this canvas carpenter short delivers a rugged sturdiness but with summer-friendly comfort.
  • Fit – Cut with a generous fit throughout the seat and thigh and a 10-inch inseam. In my experience, true to size and wasn’t too tight or too baggy.
  • Pockets – Offering all the storage you could need for tools and essentials, there is a left leg ruler pocket; a right leg tool pocket; two front pockets; and two heavy-hauling back pockets that are reinforced to prevent blow-out.
  • Tool Loops – These shorts have two tool loops. On the left leg they have a traditional carpenter hammer loop, and on the right leg they have a utility band. Pictures below.

Carhartt’s heavyweight cotton canvas is made with a 12-ounce fabric. These shorts use a lighter-weight 7.5 ounce cotton canvas.

The 7.5-ounce cotton is awesome because it is a nice blend of toughness and comfort. The canvas fabric can stand up to tough work conditions, but the lightweight material lets your legs breathe a little bit.

In my experience, these shorts fit true to size. Here I am wearing these Carhartt shorts:

carhartt-shorts

The cotton canvas used on these shorts is a lightweight cotton in comparison to traditional firm duck Carhartt material. Here’s the weight of my size 32:

carhartt-shorts-weight

Here is a close-up look at the material of these shorts:

carhartt-shorts-button

As you can see, it has that canvas look to it. Expect toughness, just don’t expect these to be super heavyweight (which is a good thing for summer). These shorts use a traditional button closure, zip fly.

These shorts have two tool loops, one on each side of the shorts. This is the only pair of shorts on this list that has a tool loop.

carhartt-shorts-loop
carhartt-shorts-loop-2

These shorts are a great option if you need that canvas toughness, but just want a lighter-weight fabric to help you in the brutal heat.

Click here to buy these Carhartt lightweight work shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These shorts are machine washable.


Dickies Men’s Temp-iQ Performance Hybrid Utility Shorts

I actually use the Dickies Temp-iQ t-shirts as my summer work shirts because the fabric is designed to help regulate (to a small degree) your body temperature. These shorts are made with the same “Temp-iQ” design.

The only reason these haven’t become a go-to summer work short for me is I personally prefer cargo shorts for work. These shorts just utility pockets down one leg. If you like utility shorts, these are a great option.

Here’s what these Dickies Temp-iQ Utility Shorts look like:

This is the current price of these Dickies summer work shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about these shorts:

  • Breathable – The fabric is breathable and designed to wick away your sweat to help keep you dry throughout the day.
  • Cooling Effect – These shorts have a cooling effect that is triggered by your perspiration to help control your body temperature in the extreme heat.
  • Material – These shorts are made using a cotton/nylon/spandex fabric blend that fights stains and, in my experience, resists shrinking more than other tees.
  • Pockets – These shorts do have 7 total pockets. Front and back pockets with mesh pocket bags, and utility pockets down the right leg.

Again, these are breathable work shorts with fabric designed to wick away sweat and help keep you both cool and dry while you work. When moisture is wicked away to the outside of your shorts, the evaporation process naturally helps pull some heat away from your body.

Here’s a close-up look at the material on the Dickies shorts I own:

dickies-shorts-material

These shorts also have the easy-to-access front ledge pockets that I like. They also have utility pockets down the right leg. I personally tend to use more cargo style work shorts, but if you don’t like cargo pockets, these will be a great option for you.

dickies-shorts-ledge-pockets
dickies-shorts-utility-pockets

These are lightweight work shorts. My size 32 weighs just 0.54 pounds:

dickies-shorts-weight

These shorts are made with a stretch fabric blend that makes it very easy to bend and kneel while working:

dickies-shorts-stretch

The main takeaway with these shorts is they use a material technology designed to help provide temperature control. No, don’t expect these to feel like you’re wearing an ice pack.

The temperature control can be minor, but in my experience, it helps. As I said earlier, I wear the Dickies Temp-iQ shirts as my go-to summer cooling work shirts. I like the results.

Click here to buy these Dickies breathable work shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These shorts are machine washable.


Lee Men’s Extreme Motion Swope Cargo Short

LEE is another well-established name in apparel, and they make these lightweight ripstop cargo shorts that also have an “Extreme Motion” elastic waistband to provide you with even more comfort and freedom of movement on the job.

Here’s what these Lee Men’s Extreme Motion Swope Cargo Shorts look like:

This is the current price of these LEE summer work shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about these shorts:

  • Material – Yes, this short is made with a 98% cotton/2% spandex stretch ripstop fabric will provide the durable comfort you need on the job.
  • Pockets – Two front pockets, two flap rear pockets, side flap cargo/utility pockets, and a cell phone pocket offer plenty of space to stash whatever you need to meet your next job or adventure head-on.
  • Fit – If a traditional cargo is too bulky for you, the Extreme Motion Swope Short will be a refreshing change with its streamlined-yet-relaxed fit and slim pockets. The 10.5-inch inseam hits right at the knee and the Extreme Motion elastic waistband provides maximum flexibility.

Here’s how these LEE cargo shorts fit on me:

lee-swope-shorts

Yes, these shorts use a lightweight, summer-friendly fabric that has a breathable feel to it. My size 32 weighs 0.84 pounds:

lee-swope-shorts-weight

But even though these shorts are lightweight, the material is a ripstop fabric designed to discourage tears. If you look closely, you can see the ripstop weave in the material:

lee-swope-shorts-material

These shorts have side cargo pockets, but also have additional pockets on the outside of the cargo pocket which gives me a nice spot to store my phone:

lee-swope-shorts-pocket
lee-swope-shorts-pocket-2

Yes, these shorts stretch and make it very easy to bend and crouch on the job. They also have an elastic waistband that is hidden on the inside of the shorts:

lee-swope-shorts-stretch
lee-swope-shorts-stretch-waistband

Click here to buy these LEE lightweight cargo shorts at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These shorts are machine washable.


Wrangler Authentics Lightweight Comfort Flex Cargo Shorts

Okay, this is a lightweight cargo short that I personally have been wearing for several years. I don’t have them at the top of the list tough because they might not make sense for all jobs (they don’t use a ripstop fabric). These are another VERY lightweight option, which is what I prefer for extremely hot temperatures.

Here’s what these shorts look like:

This is the current price of these Wrangler lightweight work shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about these shorts:

  • Comfort – These shorts, in my opinion, feel almost as lightweight as swim trunks, and that’s why I like them. In my experience, still tough enough for most types of work. Overall, a nice blend of lightweight and toughness.
  • Fit – These shorts have a relaxed fit in the seat and thighs. They do not hug tight against your legs (but also aren’t obnoxiously loose). That relaxed fit in combination with the flex fabric makes these easy to wear. They have a 10″ inseam.
  • Material – These shorts are made with 94% cotton and 6% spandex and have a lot of stretch. They do not feel restrictive. They also have a flexible waistband that allows you to move easily.
  • Pockets – One other thing I like about these shorts is they use low-profile zip cargo pockets that aren’t bulky and don’t take up a lot of space.

Here I am wearing these Wrangler Authentics Lightweight Comfort Flex Cargo Shorts:

wrangler-shorts

These shorts feel very lightweight and won’t weigh you down. My size 32 shorts only weigh 0.66 pounds:

wrangler-shorts-weight

The moisture wicking fabric can help you stay dry while you sweat in the brutal summer heat. The fabric is also rated UPF 30, so it will also provide some protection from the sun.

Here is a close-up look at the material on these stretch shorts. Again, although it is a lightweight material, it still has a bit of toughness to it.

wrangler-shorts-material

One thing to note about these shorts, is they have a snap button front. This may affect your decision, so I wanted to make sure I pointed it out.

wrangler-snap-button

Overall, it fits very comfortably around the waist. The belt loops have quality stitching:

wrangler-shorts-belt-loop

These shorts have low-profile zipper side pockets to help you safely store essentials. If you like low-profile pockets, visit our article about the best cargo shorts with zipper pockets.

wrangler-shorts-zip

These shorts are great for summer and really allow your legs to breathe in the hot weather. Obviously, they won’t be as tough as super heavyweight canvas shorts, but there has to be a trade-off for summer.

Click here to buy these Wrangler summer work shorts at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Again, in my experience these shorts fit true-to-size.


LEE Men’s Crossroad Extreme Motion Cargo Shorts

We discussed the LEE Swope Cargo Shorts earlier in the article. These LEE Crossroad Cargo Shorts are another lightweight option, and are actually lighter than those LEE Swope Cargo Shorts.

Here’s what these Lee Men’s Crossroad Extreme Motion Cargo Shorts look like:

This is the current price of these LEE summer work shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about these shorts:

  • Material – Yes, this short is made with a 98% cotton/2% spandex stretch ripstop fabric will provide the durable comfort you need on the job.
  • Pockets – Two front pockets, two flap rear pockets, side flap cargo/utility pockets, and a cell phone pocket offer plenty of space to stash whatever you need to meet your next job or adventure head-on.
  • Fit – If a traditional cargo is too bulky for you, the Extreme Motion Swope Short will be a refreshing change with its streamlined-yet-relaxed fit and slim pockets. The 10.5-inch inseam hits right at the knee and the Extreme Motion elastic waistband provides maximum flexibility.

These shorts are made with a lightweight fabric blend. My size 32 shorts weigh 0.69 pounds:

lee-crossroads-shorts-lightweight
lee-crossroads-shorts-material

These shorts have easy-to-access cargo pockets down the side of both legs:

lee-crossroads-shorts

These shorts are very comfortable to wear. Not only are they made with a lightweight stretch fabric blend, they also have an elastic waistband and a gusseted crotch which makes moving in these shorts very easy:

lee-crossroads-shorts-waist
lee-crossroads-shorts-stretch

Yes, these are lighter in weight than the first LEE shorts we discussed, but those first LEE shorts had (in my opinion) the more durable material. But both are nice options if you need cargo work shorts for hot weather.

Click here to buy these LEE lightweight work shorts at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These shorts are machine washable.


Wrangler ATG Men’s 9″ Asymmetric Cargo Shorts

If you are looking for a super lightweight, flexible work short, these Wrangler ATG shorts will be a great option. But you will want to note that these shorts have a shorter 9″ inseam that will finish above the knee for most people.

Here’s what these Wrangler ATG Men’s 9″ Asymmetric Cargo Shorts look like:

This is the current price of these Wrangler lightweight work shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about these shorts:

  • Material – These stretch cargo shorts are made with a lightweight 96% nylon/4% spandex stretch fabric blend. Very easy to move around and work in these shorts. The elastic flex waistband offers a smooth fit with no digging.
  • Pockets – One thing I like about these shorts is one of the cargo pockets is a zip cargo pocket, which provides a secure place to store essentials.
  • Weather Protection – This short is rated UPF 30 to give you some protection from the sun. It also has a water-repellent finish to help keep you dry in light precipitation.
  • Fit – This asymmetric cargo features a flexible fit that allows you to move through your day in total comfort. The regular fit through the seat and thigh aren’t restrictive and the gusseted crotch provides increased mobility. The 9-inch inseam makes these short inseam work shorts.

These shorts have a very lightweight design. My size 32 weighs only 0.61 pounds:

wrangler-atg-shorts-weight

The material is definitely designed for comfort, but it still has some toughness to it that makes these shorts usable for work and other outdoor activities.

Here’s a close-up look at the material:

wrangler-atg-shorts-material

These shorts have a standard cargo pocket down the left leg, and a zip pocket on the right leg:

wrangler-atg-shorts
wrangler-atg-shorts-zip

For comfort, these shorts have both an elastic waistband and a crotch gusset so bending and crouching on the job is comfortable:

wrangler-atg-shorts-elastic-waist
wrangler-atg-shorts-gusset

These are a great option for lightweight work shorts, just remember these shorts use a 9-inch inseam, which makes them the shortest shorts on this list. These shorts will finish above the knee for most people.

Click here to buy these Wrangler breathable work shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). In my experience, these shorts fit true to size.


Lee Men’s Performance Cargo Short

This is the third LEE shorts we’ve featured in this article, and these shorts are the lightest-in-weight of the three (the other two have sturdier material in my opinion).

Here’s what these Lee Men’s Performance Cargo Shorts look like:

This is the current price of these LEE lightweight work shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about these shorts:

  • Material – The 100% polyester construction of this lightweight short is moisture-wicking, keeping you cool and comfortable whether at work or at play.
  • Pockets – Two front pockets, two rear pockets with flap closure, and two cargo pockets provide room for everything you need to have easy access to. There is also a media pocket just behind the cargo pocket so you know exactly where your phone is at all times.
  • Fit – This cargo features a snap closure and zipper fly as well as a relaxed fit for enhanced ease-of-movement. The roomy leg has an 11-inch inseam that hits just above the knee, which is an attractive length for a variety of heights.

This isn’t a ripstop material, but in my experience the material on these shorts is still reasonably durable in comparison to how lightweight the shorts are. But no, if you work in a rugged environment, I’d stick with sturdier material.

Here’s a look at the material:

lee-performance-cargo-short-material

One thing to note about these shorts, is they have a snap button front. This may affect your decision, so I wanted to make sure I pointed it out.

lee-performance-cargo-short-button

Easy-to-access cargo pockets down the side:

lee-performance-cargo-short

Overall, these shorts are very lightweight and breathable. My size 32 shorts weigh 0.62 pounds:

lee-performance-cargo-short-weight

One thing I like about these shorts is the material moves with me as I bend, and doesn’t restrict my movement:

lee-performance-cargo-short-stretch

Click here to buy these LEE breathable work shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These shorts are machine washable.


5 Things to Consider When Buying Lightweight Work Shorts

Toughness

In general, lightweight work shorts tend to be less durable than traditional heavy-duty work shorts. In my opinion, the toughest shorts on our list are the Carhartt canvas shorts that use a lighter-weight, summer-friendly canvas fabric.

Ripstop is another good summer option. This type of material is very lightweight, but is designed in a way that discourages rips and tears, and can add some durability to your shorts.

Ultimately, you know the demands of your job better than anyone else. How durable of a work short do you need?

I personally turn to a lightweight work short when the heat gets brutal, but which style is best for you will likely come down to personal preference and the demands of your job. I also prefer a flexible waist short for extreme heat.

Inseam & Fit

You will definitely want to consider the inseam of your work shorts. Obviously, your height matters, but a 10″ inseam will often hit near the top of the knee.

We have listed the inseam of these shorts at the top of the article in the comparison table. For shorter options, visit our article about the best short length work shorts.

Most shorts for work need to have a relaxed fit that give you proper space to move and function on the job. It’s much harder to find slim fit work shorts. If you prefer slim, visit our article about the best slim fit work shorts.

Moisture Wicking

Buying summer work shorts that are designed to wick sweat away can be a very helpful way to stay cooler and drier on the job. When moisture wicking shorts pull sweat away, it gets dispersed on the outside of the short allowing it to dry quicker.

Another small benefit from this is the evaporation process can naturally pull a small amount of heat away from your body. This quick dry evaporation is a sort of win-win process. To read more, visit our article about the best quick dry cargo shorts.

For all types of summer workwear, visit our article about the best lightweight work clothing.

Pockets

How many pockets do you really need? Having too many pockets can be overkill and just add bulk and weight to your work shorts. That doesn’t help anyone. But not having enough pockets can be a problem too.

You’ll also need to consider how bulky the cargo pockets are. For less bulk, consider low-profile zip close cargo pockets. If you prefer carpenter work shorts instead, visit our article about the best carpenter shorts.

Crotch Gusset

A crotch gusset is extra material sewn into the crotch to add comfort and flexibility to your shorts (buying a stretch material is another way). To read more, visit our article about the best gusseted work shorts.

Here’s a look at two gusset shorts I own:

wrangler-cargo-shorts-gusset
cargo-carhartt-force-gusset

There are several types of breathable work shorts that have a crotch gusset. The size of the gusset can vary. Some crotch gussets will be smaller (diamond shaped) and confined to the crotch area, while others will run the full length of the short.

In comparison, the full length gussets will provide you with more range of motion when hiking and running. But for simple bending and crouching on the job, both types of gussets work just fine. Buying summer work shorts with a gusset adds flexibility and comfort.


***In this article we discussed the best lightweight work shorts. For more summer workwear, visit our article about the Best Summer Work Pants, and our article about the Best Long Sleeve Work Shirts for Hot Weather.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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