You might not call raw denim a summer staple. So, as temperatures rise, consider lighter weight chinos — a cooler alternative to heavyweight jeans. Chinos, like denim, are made from cotton-twill fabric, which typically ranges in weight between seven and 10 ounces per yard. Lighter weight summer options, meanwhile, are exactly that — lighter — and they provide a more flexible, less-insulating pant.
While there are the straight-ahead chinos some know simply as khakis, the range of this classic pant goes a bit wider than sandy-tones and twills. We’ve got a full spread of chinos ripe for the rising mercury and here are what we consider to be eleven of the best options out there.
Best Overall Chinos: Flint and Tinder Lightweight Stretch Chinos
Made for warm-weather wear with a comfortable dose of stretch tossed in, these come in four classic colors and are cut in a perfectly tapered silhouette. Oh, and they’re made in the US for just under a hundred bucks.
Best Upgrade Chinos: Incotex Summer Uniform Chinos
Cut from lightweight cotton, these pants feature a zip fly, horn buttons and two side entry pockets. Detailing draws on military and workwear influences.
Best Affordable Chinos: J.Crew Lightweight Garment-Dyed Stretch Chinos
One of J.Crew’s most popular items is its chinos, thanks to its wide range of garment-dyed colors that get better with age and its variety of silhouettes from perfectly tailored to classically straight-legged. This summer rendition takes all the best parts of J.Crew’s famed chinos and lightens the load while adding a touch of stretch for flexibility.
Uniqlo Ultra Light Kando Pant
Uniqlo’s Ultra Light Kando Pant could certainly be paired with its matching sport coat to achieve its full form, but it looks just as good on its own, with a tee and sneakers. It’s an all-poly makeup that’s woven to be super breathable and even includes mesh pocketing.
Patagonia Lightweight All-Wear Hemp Pants
Not only does the fabric of Patagonia’s airy chinos weigh a mere 4.5 ounces, it’s also a 76/24 organic cotton/hemp blend that punches up its cooling power.
Madewell Relaxed Taper Lightweight Chino Pants
Constructed from lightweight cotton twill, Madewell's slightly tapered chino pants run small — the brand recommends sizing one full size up — but offer a relaxed fit through the thighs and legs. They're also Do Well Certified, ensuring transparency in the cotton sourcing process. This color, dubbed Capers, fades well and gives off a broken-in look.
Todd Snyder Tab Front Stretch Chino
Featuring a lightweight stretch-cotton blen, these chinos come in a slim fit with a tapered leg. They are available in sizes 30 to 36 and eight differ colorways.
Faherty Reserve Lightweight Pant
This slim-fit chino is cut from soft, breezy Pima cotton. With added elastane for comfort, they sit just below the waist and have traditional trouser-style front pockets and rear-welt pockets.
Bonobos Refined Stretch Chinos
Bonobos' Refined Stretch Chinos offer the look of dress pants with the comfortability of breathability of lighter options. They're cut from a 50/50 cotton-linen blend and feature a front pleat for structure.
Save Khaki Light Twill Trouser
These chinos come in a paper-thin yet durable all-cotton twill that’s been lightly brushed for an ultra-soft feel. They’re made Stateside and come in an astounding 21 different colors and three different fits, one of which is even more relaxed thanks to a sly drawstring.
Bills Khakis Vintage Twill Chinos
Available in four different fits, these chinos are cut from 8-ounce cotton twill. The pant comes in four different colors, washed for a more casual appearance.
Drake’s Cotton-Linen Single Pleat Game Chinos
Crafted in Italy from a breezy blend of cotton and linen, these chinos straddle the line between dress, casual and workwear all at once. They feature waist adjusters, flap pockets, cotton twill at the waistband and for the pockets.