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Review Summary

As if the original Himalayan pants weren’t enough, John Elliott has taken the design one step further to incorporate seven pockets into the silhouette. I mean, can you ever have too many pockets? There’s literally pockets on top of pockets. Unlike the original Himalayan pants, this variant is made from 100% high shrunk Japanese nylon with accent colored Cordura canvas pockets. The lightweight nature of the nylon paired with the slightly darker heavyweight canvas creates quite a unique contrast. But be warned, the full nylon construction does come with quite a ton of noise when in stride. YKK aquaguard zippers secure 3 of the pockets making them highly water resistant if caught in the elements. They’re also very easy on the eyes. 

The overall fit is a bit more relaxed than the traditional Himalayan pants which is a welcomed change. You still have the elastic cinch cords at the ankle which allows these to be worn as a jogger if preferred and the drawstring can still be found around the waist, albeit on the exterior. The full interior is lined with mesh which gives the pants more structure and weight. Styling is simple by pairing these cargo pants with a whole host of outerwear silhouettes including anorak jackets (my go to is the Veilance Conduct), fleece pullovers, sweatshirts, or even just a basic tee. 

Prepare for sticker shock if purchasing the John Elliott Himalayan cargo pants at full retail. At a price of $398, you’ll have to be committed or a little crazy (I’m guilty of both) to convince yourself to pull the trigger. It’s undoubtedly tough to justify any pair of pants at this price point, but if you’re sold on the style, you’ll definitely be able to work them into your rotation for many years to come. 

Review Ratings


  • Slightly more relaxed fit through the legs compared to the original himalayan pants
  • Elastic cinch cords at the ankle allow these to be worn as joggers which is a style I always prefer
  • Full mesh lining adds a bit of weight, comfort, and structure to the pants which allows them to hold crinkles and stacks nicely
  • All Cordura canvas pockets are durable and spacious with YKK aquaguard zippers


  • Pants are extremely loud when walking (or during any movement for that matter) due to the high shrunk Japanese nylon
  • Price point is unarguably wildly high for nylon cargo pants

John Elliott Himalayan Cargo Pants


Review Details

John Elliott Himalayan Cargo Pants Sizing

John Elliott sizing is always a fun puzzle. I’ve found myself bouncing between sizes over the years depending on the individual garment. With the Himalayan cargo pants I opted for a size 2 which is said to measure 31 inches in the waist. At the time of writing this, I am 5’11” and 170 pounds with a 31-32 inch waist (depending on the season). I have various pairs of the original himalayan pants in a size 2, thus I had no concern when purchasing the cargo variations.

If you’re used to the original Himalayan pants then it’s important to call out that the cargo version fits ever so slightly more relaxed. I found this to be true in both the waist as well as all the way through the leg. I wouldn’t call these baggy by any means, and I’m a bit surprised to see the recommendation on the John Elliott website to size down. I believe if I were to go one size smaller, I’d be in a tough situation. 

The elastic in the waist stretches roughly 2-3 inches which I found to be plenty for my waist circumference. I definitely do not need to utilize the drawstring, but I appreciate the incorporation of it. Mobility is not hindered the slightest in any facet of the pants and I do believe that if I were to go with a size 3, they would fit significantly more baggy. This was the case when I tried on the original himalayan pants and those have a more tapered fit. 

The overall length of the Himalayan cargo pants is average on my 5’11” frame. The inseam is noted as 31.4 inches which leaves very little in the way of stacking when wearing these without cinching the ankle. This leaves a nice looking fit when opting to wear these as traditional pants. When cinched and hiked up above the ankle bone, there is just a bit of bunching that looks aesthetically pleasing, not like an early 90’s b-boy. 

All in all, if you currently own a pair of John Elliott Himalayan pants, I’d recommend taking your same size in the cargo variations. If you’re new to these pants, I’d follow the measurements on site and feel comfortable taking a size that is within an inch or two smaller than your natural waist. The pants are comfortable and allow for total freedom of movement without feeling like any seams are being stressed. 

John Elliott Himalayan Cargo Pants Construction

John Elliott has a history of contrasting material interplay in many of the garments the brand produces. This has always drawn me in as it is less conventional and absolutely more interesting from an aesthetics standpoint. The Himalayan cargo pants are primarily constructed from high shrunk Japanese nylon on the exterior with a full polyester mesh lining on the interior. The high shrunk nylon is very lightweight with a subtle matte finish to it. Due to the shrinking process, the nylon becomes more dense and forms a slightly wrinkled appearance with an added texture. Be warned, the nylon material is super noisy when walking, shifting, or just flat out moving in any way.

The mesh lining material is similar to that of the inside of a bathing suite or athletic shorts. This runs the full length of the legs and gives some added weight to the himalayan pants. I’m not positive on why the brand chose to incorporate this, whether it was to hide the interior stitching of the cargo pockets, add some needed structure to the otherwise light weight material, or simply just for comfort. Either way, I don’t mind the mesh.

There are 7 total pockets that are conveniently located throughout the pants. The two regular slant hand pockets are easy to use and plenty spacious enough for your everyday carry. I applaud the use of slant pockets as opposed to the inseam pockets found on the regular himalayan pants as they’re more natural to access. Four more pockets are found in the cargo position along the side of the upper thigh, two on each side. These are constructed from a super tough and thick matte cordura canvas that contrasts in color every so slightly. The main pockets are covered with a small flap that helps keep items secure and any type of poor weather out. These pockets are not secured with a zipper, button or velcro, which makes it super simple to quickly access belongings.

The other two pockets are visible on the exterior of the cargo pockets and are shielded by a shiny YKK aquaguard zipper. These zippers are always instantly recognizable by their high gloss covered coil and smooth finish. Each zipper has an added pull with a textured rubber pinch which gives extra leverage for opening. The dimensions of this pocket are the same as the pocket beneath it, just with less depth. I find this compartment to be especially useful for smaller, more valuable items such as a passport when traveling. 

The final pocket is along the right rear and is similar in style to the cargo pockets. It too is made of cordura canvas and has a YKK aquaguard zipper along the top. This pocket is gusseted giving it more volume which is nice from an aesthetics standpoint, but you’re unlikely to store much in there beyond a wallet as it can make sitting awkward. Being that there is only one pocket in the rear, there is an asymmetry that I quite like. With 7 pockets of varying size and functionality, you should have no issue finding somewhere to store whatever you may need to keep on your person. 

One of the key features that initially pushed me to purchase both the original and the cargo version of the Himalayan pants was the elastic shock cords in the ankle. These can either be left loose or cinched up to turn them into a jogger, which is my preferred style. When cinched, some extra stacking occurs in the ankle as you would expect. Custom John Elliott branded cord toggle locks are used to lock the cinch in place which you can dial in based on how tight you pull the cord. 

At the waist is a corded drawstring that runs through the elastic and exits at the front through two metal eyelets. On the end of the cord are two crimped on metal caps that add a little detail and prevent any fray. Because the cord is on the exterior and is rather long, it can either be left dangling down the front of the pants, tied into a bow, or simply tucked into the top. I have no functional need for the drawstring since these pants fit just right, thus, I prefer to leave it draped down the front and peeking out the bottom of my shirt. 

From a detail standpoint, there are 4 minor knee pleats along the front of the pants and an extra pleat along the back which creates a bit of bunching and texture in the material. This was a good call to help break up the otherwise straight silhouette, however, they’re hardly noticeable. Durability of the Himalayan cargo pants seems to be decent when worn regularly and laundered appropriately. I have yet to have any issue with tearing, loose stitching or elastic fatigue after about 8 months of wear. I do consciously avoid overstuffing the cargo pockets with heavy items as I don’t want to strain the connection points, which I think is solid advice. 

John Elliott Himalayan Cargo Pants Style

On paper, cargo pants don’t sound all that stylish. In fact, they probably bring back memories of your awkward days in elementary or high school. John Elliott has successfully changed this narrative time and time again (case in point, the John Elliott Miramar tactical cargo shorts). Through a mixture of unconventional materials and more modern cuts, the John Elliott cargo pants are far from what the dads at the farmers market are wearing.

The overall aesthetic of the Himalayan cargo pants can be classified as modern athletic, functional milspec, or proper fitting gorp depending on how you style them. Available in my two personal favorite colors, black and olive, the himalayan cargo pants pair effortlessly with just about any form of outerwear, collared shirt, or basic tees. They’re unique enough to stand out, yet subtle enough to wear frequently when mixing styles.

I typically pair these pants with a basic solid tee like the Reigning Champ lightweight shirt and a John Elliott hemi or military work shirt over the top. This is an easy to wear fit that can be casual enough for everyday or dressed up for dinner. During the transitional months, I’ll grab a solid fleece like the Haven Boulder Jacket and hike up the ankles for a more technical feel. When the temp really drops, I like to pair these with a Veilance Conduit jacket or some of my other favorites from the brand.

The John Elliott Himalayan cargo pants are super versatile and have become a staple in my regular rotation. Having both black and olive pairs makes it super simple to mix and match to create various unique outfits. Because of the lightweight nature of these pants, they can most likely be worn for the majority of the year without issue. If you’re a supporter of the original Himalayan pants, then the cargos are a must add to the closet.

John Elliott Himalayan Cargo Pants Value

If you thought the original Himalayan pants were expensive, then these are sure to drop the jaw. At a price of $398 per pair for nylon pants, you’ll have to be pretty committed to pull the trigger. I was lucky enough to time my purchase around one of the annual John Elliott essential sales which helped save roughly 20%, however, there was still a hefty bill to be paid. Very rarely if ever will John Elliott be considered a great value. If this ever does become the case, the brand went somewhere wrong. The quality is typically strong which helps provide some justification for the price. You’re also very unlikely to find a similar style from an affordable brand, thus you truly have to pay to play. 

If you keep your eyes peeled, you may be able to find some past season John Elliott on sale through sites like grailed. The problem with the himalayan cargo pants is that they are a mainline staple of the brand which means they’re typically always in stock and don’t follow seasonal refreshes. This makes it tricky to find a new pair for under retail. At the end of the day, what you’re paying for is a unique cargo pant style, unconventional technical materials, quality craftsmanship, a perfect fit, and the John Elliott name.

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Light and Tight: John Elliott Himalayan Pants Review
I thought my younger days of wearing joggers were behind me, I was definitely wrong. Lured in by the ankle cinch shock cord and interesting material mix, I couldn’t pass up the purchase.
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