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Cargo Shorts vs Chino Shorts

Shorts are a terrific choice for every occasion, regardless of the weather. However, picking which sort of shorts to wear might be difficult. In fact, shorts aren't the easiest clothing to put on. Choosing between cargo and chino shorts is even more difficult, especially if you're not sure which style will work best for you. We'll go over the distinctions between the two in this article to clear things up. Continue reading to learn more.

Cargo short and a blue chino shorts.

Shorts are always a great outfit choice regardless of the weather conditions. But, deciding on the type of shorts to wear can be a quandary. In fact, shorts aren’t the most straightforward item to wear. I mean, what if you choose a design that is too short, too long, or too tight? Or one that has far too many details? You’ll instantly seem less put together. 

Choosing between cargo shorts and chino shorts specifically is an even tougher decision, especially if you’re not sure which style works for you. To dispel any confusion, we’ll go through the differences between the two in this article. Keep reading for more. 

What Are Chino Shorts?

Chino shorts are similar to chino pants, but they are shorter, slimmed, and tailored, making them perfect for the summer’s scorching temperatures.

Chino shorts are typically made from lightweight cotton but they can also be made by combining cotton with other kinds of fabrics. These pants can be worn by both men and women and are a great choice for hot weather. 

Related: 24 Different Types of Chino Shorts

What Are Cargo Shorts?

Half naked man wearing cargo shorts on a mountain.

Cargo shorts are shorter versions of cargo pants and have legs that only end at the knee. Because of their fashionable and practical knee-length design, they are a great alternative to chino shorts.

However, they are frequently off-putting: stuffed pockets can end up making your proportions appear unsteady. If you decide to go with them, keep your belongings in a purse instead of keeping them in your pockets.  Furthermore, make sure they reach just a few inches above your knees.

Related: Different Types of Cargo Shorts

What Is the Difference between Cargo Shorts and Chino Shorts?

Even though cargo shorts and Chino shorts look fairly similar, particularly in terms of style, there are numerous differences between the two kinds of shorts. The following are the key differences between cargo shorts and Chino shorts. 


Chino shorts and cargo shorts are almost identical in line with the way they are cut as well as the way they are styled. Chino shorts are a more beautiful and minimalistic version of the cargo shorts since they do not have utilitarian pockets. Furthermore, the embroidery on Chinos is concealed, whereas cargo pants are often baggier than Chinos in terms of fit.

Typically, the cargo shorts are held in place by a magnet, a Velcro flap, and a button, among other things. They are often longer and seem heavier with pockets. The overall look and feel of cargo pants are much more casual and utilitarian. 


Black chino shorts in a hanger hanged in the wall.

Cargo shorts feature pockets on each side of the leg, near the knee. Velcro flaps, buttons, or magnets are often used to close and fasten these compartments. Cargo shorts are a popular choice with most people because they are extremely comfortable. Furthermore, cargo shorts allow you to carry multiple items without the need to carry a bag.

Chino shorts, on the other hand, usually have few to no pockets on them. Compared to cargo shorts, they are a considerably more formal alternative. Chino shorts are also often shorter and, on the whole, sleeker and more attractive than regular shorts.

Brief History

Essentially, cargo shorts are a shorter version of cargo trousers, which were originally designed for a purely practical reason. Cargo shorts were first used by the United States Air Force during World War II and were developed in the 1940s to obtain supplies during flights or weapons while hiding on mountaintops.

Chino shorts, on the other hand, are shorter variants of chino pants that are primarily designed for hotter climates. Chino shorts gained popularity, during the Spanish-American War in the Philippines. Chinese manufacturers created uniforms made of lightweight cotton weave that was based on the uniforms first created and the rest, is history. 

Benefits of Each

Chino shorts are among the most adaptable and comfortable pieces of clothing available. When it comes to practically any setting (aside from weddings and serious meetings where you have to wear suits) Chinos are a wonderful choice. They allow for good air circulation, especially in hot weather. 

There are also several benefits to wearing cargo shorts. Aside from the fact that they are eye-catching, they are also really comfortable to wear. Most crucially, cargo shorts allow for unrestricted airflow, which keeps you feeling cool even on the hottest summer days.

They are very well stitched and made of durable material, making them beneficial when it comes to being outside in the elements. You may play basketball, participate in sports, or just walk about with astonishing ease thanks to cargo shorts. 


A man wearing black tshirt and cargo pants at the river.

Both chino and cargo shorts are quite resilient when it comes to wear and tear. Chino pants are often constructed of a lightweight 100 percent cotton or cotton mix fabric with a tighter weave, similar to that of a tee shirt. This twill fabric is made of cotton and is sturdy and durable, making it an excellent choice for trousers or shorts.

Cargo pants are comprised of durable cloth that is sewn together with strength. Most of them are now constructed of quick-drying synthetic materials, such as polyester or cotton-polyester blends, and they often include bigger belt loops to accommodate broad webbing belts. Rips and tears are unlikely to occur with this material.

Cost Differences

Various chino shorts with different colors for sale.

Generally speaking, Chino shorts are costlier than cargo shorts when it comes to price. However, this is dependent on the maker. The majority of chino shorts cost approximately $21 to $69, while cargo shorts cost somewhere in the ballpark of $5 to $59. Additionally, the difference in pricing is attributable to the fact that one is more formal attire and the other is more casual wear.


Chino shorts are a good, formal, and stylish choice to have in your closet. They are a great alternative to casual trousers or shorts in warmer weather. Pay close attention to the size and durability of the item, just as you would with any other.

When choosing whether to buy cargo shorts or chino shorts, don’t just purchase the first thing you see in the store or online, you might end up with something that does not fit you or last a long time. Most importantly, choose something that makes you feel comfortable and confident.