7 Best Cargo Shorts with Zipper Pockets (2022)


Finding cargo shorts with zipper pockets can be critical if you’re going to safely store essentials while working or exploring the outdoors. Unfortunately, most cargo shorts use flap pockets that don’t zip. In this article we will take a look at the best zip pocket cargo shorts so that you can find one that works best for you.

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These are our choices for best cargo shorts with zipper pockets:

  1. Eddie Bauer Men’s Guide Pro Cargo Shorts (click here to view)
  2. Wrangler Men’s Comfort Flex Waist Cargo Shorts (click here to view)
  3. Duluth Trading Co. Men’s Flexpedition 11″ Cargo Shorts (click here to view)
  4. Carhartt Men’s 11″ Force Tappen Cargo Short (click here to view)
  5. Columbia Silver Ridge Mens’s Moisture-Wicking Cargo Shorts (click here to view)
  6. LEE Men’s Performance Series Tri-Flex Shorts (click here to view)
  7. *Women’s* Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Shorts (click here to view)

In the list above we tried to provide a range of styles that might fit different needs. Some people are looking for a cargo shorts with zipper pockets to use at work, while others may be hiking. Some may prefer bulky side pockets, while others may prefer a sleek design.

In this article let’s take a closer look at each of these cargo shorts with zipper pockets so that you can decide which one is best for you.


Best Cargo Shorts with Zipper Pockets


Eddie Bauer Men’s Guide Pro Cargo Shorts

Eddie Bauer is a well-established outdoor brand that makes functional performance wear. The Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Cargo Shorts have a sleek design and feature, most importantly, two side zipper pockets. Here’s what these shorts look like:

This is the current price of these Eddie Bauer Pro Cargo Shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Because these shorts are made for active outdoor use, they have a lot of cool features.

Here are some of the details for these Eddie Bauer shorts:

  • Lightweight Flexible Construction – These shorts won’t weigh you down. They are built with a lightweight nylon/spandex blend that is flexible to give you freedom of movement. To see more stretch fabric options, visit our article about the best stretch work shorts.
  • Water Repellent – These shorts have a water-repellent finish to help keep you dry while working outdoors.
  • Sun Protection – These shorts have what Eddie Bauer calls “FerrShade 50+ sun protection” to help protect you from UV rays.
  • Odor Control – The waist band in these shorts has an odor-fighting property to help these shorts stay fresher longer.
  • Pockets – These shorts have 2 front slash pockets, 2 back pockets, and 2 side cargo zip pockets.

This is where you can buy these Eddie Bauer shorts at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These shorts have an athletic fit that won’t be baggy. Expect a true-to-size fit. Multiple colors available.


Wrangler Men’s Comfort Flex Waist Cargo Shorts

These Wrangler cargo shorts are another great option, especially if you are looking for cargo short to wear in hot weather (they wick sweat away from your body). These shorts have a sleek design, and feature two side zip cargo pockets. Here’s what these shorts look like:

This is the current price of these Wrangler Cargo Shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These shorts have a 10-inch inseam that hits around the top of the knee for most people.

Here I am wearing these shorts:

wrangler-shorts

Here are some of the details for these Wrangler shorts:

  • Lightweight Flexible Construction – Just like the Eddie Bauer shorts we covered first, these shorts won’t weigh you down. These are stretch cargo shorts. They are built with a lightweight nylon/spandex blend that is flexible to give you freedom of movement.
  • Sun Protection – These shorts have UPF 30 sun protection to help protect you from UV rays.
  • Moisture Wicking – These shorts will wick sweat away from your body to help keep you dry.
  • Pockets – These Wrangler shorts have 2 side cargo zip pockets, 2 slash front hand pockets, and 2 back pockets.

This is where you can buy these Wrangler zip cargo shorts at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Expect a true-to-size fit. Multiple colors available.


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 cargo shorts with zipper pocket 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

Yes, these shorts have a low-profile zip cargo pocket down the left leg 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 cargo shorts with zipper pocket available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These shorts are machine washable.


Duluth Trading Co. Men’s Flexpedition 11″ Cargo Shorts

Duluth Trading Co. is a workwear brand established in 1989, but has really gained steam during the recent decade. One thing I personally like about Duluth is they offer a wide range of work clothing, with unique products that other companies won’t produce.

Duluth Trading does have a pair of popular cargo shorts with zipper pockets. They are called the “Flexpedition Cargo Shorts”. Click here to view these cargo shorts at DuluthTrading.com.

These shorts are made with a flexible fabric so that you can comfortable move and work. They also have a crouch gusset so you have space when bending, kneeling, and crouching.

These shorts have an 11″ inseam. They have 2 low-profile zip cargo pockets along with standard front and back pockets. These shorts have a water-repellent finish to help keep you dry.

Click here to buy these Duluth Trading Co. zipper cargo shorts at DuluthTrading.com. These shorts are built to be abrasion resistant and tough enough to handle a job site.


Carhartt Men’s 11″ Force Tappen Cargo Short

Carhartt is synonymous with work-wear. If you prefer to wear Carhartt, they do have a pair of cargo shorts that might work for you. The Carhartt 11″ Force Tappen Cargo Short have a classic cargo design, and do feature a side zipper pocket. Here’s what these shorts look like:

This is the current price of these Carhartt shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here are some of the details for these Carhartt shorts:

  • Relaxed Fit – These shorts have a relaxed fit that will give you plenty of space in the seat and thighs. They have a gusseted crotch for ease of movement.
  • Material – These shorts are made with 100% cotton ripstop fabric and have an 11-inch inseam that hits at the knee for most people. If you prefer ripstop, visit our article about the best ripstop shorts.
  • Stain Fighter – These shorts have stain-breaker technology to help keep you looking clean.
  • Moisture Wicking – These shorts will wick sweat away from your body to help keep you dry. They are also quick-drying.
  • Pockets – Although these shorts have a lot of pockets, one draw back compared to the shorts we featured above this is these shorts just have one zipper pocket (on the right leg).

This is where you can buy these Carhartt zip cargo shorts at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Expect a relaxed, true-to-size fit. Multiple colors available.


Wrangler Men’s Side Elastic Cargo Utility Shorts

We featured a pair of Wrangler cargo shorts second on this list, but this is another option by Wrangler that has zip pockets.

  • These shorts have zip pockets in the back, and one side zip cargo pocket. The total of three zip pockets means this pair of shorts have the most zip pockets out of any of the cargo shorts on this list. But only one of the zip pockets is a side cargo zip pocket.

These shorts have a partial elastic waist band to make them easy to wear (best drawstring cargo shorts). They have a 10-inch inseam and are made with water-repellent polyester fabric.

Click here to view these Wrangler Side Elastic Cargo Shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Expect a relaxed, true-to-size fit. Multiple colors available.


LEE Men’s Performance Series Tri-Flex Shorts

LEE is a famous brand for jeans, and they also make several types of cargo shorts. These shorts have more of a sleek design, and don’t have bulky side pockets.

In fact, these shorts only have one side pocket (on the right leg), but it is a zip pocket. These shorts are made with a poly/spandex blend that wicks moisture and is flexible for ease of movement.

Click here to view these LEE Performance Series shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Expect a classic, true-to-size fit. Multiple colors available.


Best Women’s Cargo Shorts with Zipper Pockets

Women’s Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Shorts

The men’s version of these shorts were our pick for best cargo shorts with zipper pockets. The good news is, they also make a women’s version of these shorts. Here’s what they look like:

This is the current price of these Eddie Bauer women’s zipper cargo shorts available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These shorts are made with a nylon/spandex and have a water-resistant finish.

They have “FreeShade” UPF 50+ sun protection. These shorts have a side zip pocket on both legs, and two front hand pockets. They do not have back pockets.

This is where you can buy these Eddie Bauer women’s zipper cargo shorts at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). These shorts are available in regular, petite, and tall sizes. Multiple colors available.


**In this article we discussed the best cargo shorts with zipper pockets. To read more about work shorts, visit our article about the Best Work Shorts for Summer. For carpenter shorts, visit our article about the Best Carpenter Shorts. For what to consider when buying cargo shorts, visit our article about tips for buying cargo shorts.

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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