Our friends at Mountain Khakis sent some of their newest offerings but also one of their most tried-and-true products, their Original Cargo Pants. Like our instant favorite Approach Henley, the Cargos have a cut and fit that make them immediately welcoming and comfortable.
I liked the robust feel of the Cargos from the get-go—triple stitched with reinforced cuffs and action-gusseted inseam, the Cargos are not just for looking good but are built for action. They are made with two-ply 8 oz cotton canvas that both breathes and moves well, say for stepping up during bouldering or hiking (also aided by the comfortably relaxed fit). The fabric is also stain-treated, adding a little more resiliency, which is particularly appreciated with the pale Freestone coloring of our testers.
The Cargos performed admirably on the trail, never hindering movement and staying fairly cool even as temperatures rose. I like the way the pockets are made and placed, and the cell-phone stash is great for small devices like the idiot-proof little GPS I favor for shorter hikes. I haven’t seen any signs of wear, even with scooting over rocks, abrading my knees, catching prickers, and otherwise treating the Cargos to the average trail treatment.
Mountain Khakis praises the Cargo’s chameleon nature, perfect for adventure or sophisticated functions, but I honestly found them better for the trail for the simple fact that the cotton canvas wrinkles pretty easily. Just pulling them out of the dryer may not cut it for that brunch with the in-laws, but wrinkles aren’t on my radar on the trail.
With the action/performance quotient firmly covered on the trail and with the robust manufacturing promising good durability over the long haul, Mountain Khakis’ Original Cargo Pants can actually make a reasonable case for their value, even at $95 on the website. You can save $5 by promoting MK via social media, but nearly $100 is still a significant investment for a pair of pants. If you value a single pair of pants that give you good freedom of movement for a variety of outdoor activities and could keep up with you over a multi-day hike and then a wash later be worn to a nice dinner, the Original Cargo Pants are definitely worth checking out.