As soon as Clothing Tall Men received a note from an anguished (or at least mildly disappointed) reader noting the difficulty of finding tall (not big) cargo pants, we swung into action to see what we could find.
Originally used by the British army, cargo pants are frequently called combat trousers and have also evolved into a version called tactical pants that are widely used by police. The main feature is an extra set of large pockets on the legs for carrying equipment - originally for medical supplies, now for important things like smartphones. Although the original color was khaki, there are now variations in browns, greens, blues and black.
So here's the bad news. If you're slimmish and need anything longer than a 36 inch inseam then as far as we can tell right now, your choice appears to be limited to the no-nonsense Dickie's Industrial Relaxed Fit Cotton Cargo Pant. It also comes in cotton/polyester and Tactical rip-stop versions that really are work-wear not casual wear but I guess that's the point of cargo pants. There are straight and relaxed fit variations and four colors.
For the longest inseam, you will need to choose UL, which is an unhemmed 39 inch inseam that should give a little over 38 inches if hemmed carefully. That option is available in waist 30 - 38 inches. Perhaps the best news is that these are cheap! Around $40 for a pair of tall pants in cotton is not a bad thing and they look pretty solid according to the specifications and the reviewer comments.
You could also try the Tactical Cargo Pants from Tru-Spec. These basic tactical pants are constructed with cost in mind but still didn’t forget the needs of the wearer. They are available in Big & Tall sizing that offers unhemmed inseams up to 42” long in waist sizes from 28 inches to 60 inches. They are definitely on the work-wear side, with tough cotton/polyester construction and plenty of seams. Other styles from Tru-Spec have unhemmed styles up to 37 inches inseam.
For those who have the luxury of needing "only" a 36 inch inseam and a normal waist, you are spoilt for choice. Which, for tall people, means having a choice at all. Read on for more details. And for those who need a longer inseam but have a larger waist (classic Big & Tall) we've also highlighted a couple of options for you below.