8 men's lightweight jeans for hot weather
The phrase "hot-weather jeans" might sound like an oxymoron, but despite the long legs and denim material, some pairs are actually well-suited for warmer climates. The best men's lightweight jeans for hot weather can keep you cool and comfortable even in high temperatures. That said, especially when shopping online, it can be difficult to discern the cooling pairs from the stifling ones.
Most jeans are made from primarily cotton (which is already pretty breathable and moisture-wicking), but it's the tightly woven construction that makes them so durable, stiff, and insulating. Jeans were initially created for laborers who needed dependable, rip-resistant pants that could stand up to damage and protect against injuries. Now, they're worn primarily for style, so thinner weaves and additional materials (like polyester and spandex) are sometimes used; the thinner, stretchier, and more breathable the denim, the better it'll be for hot-weather wear.
Next, there's the matter of style. Relaxed-fit jeans will likely allow for better airflow, but that doesn't necessarily mean you can't wear slim-fit or skinny jeans come summer; just check the fabric construction (and the reviews) to ensure that they're moisture-wicking and thin enough for comfort. If you're not sure where to start, these eight pairs of jeans come in various colors, sizes, and fits — and they're all surprisingly cooling, too.
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1. The fan favorite pair
With more than 6,500 reviews and a 4.2-star rating, Levi's 511 jeans are some of the most popular on Amazon. Buyers love their slim fit, wide range of sizes, and 30 different color options — but they're especially thrilled with the lightweight, breathable fabric. Still, despite the softness and comfort, these jeans still manage to retain their durability.
One reviewer says: " I wear these pants nearly every day outside of the summer months and they hold up beautifully," one reviewer says, while another writes, "A bit on the thin side compared to my other jeans, which I find even better in this hot [and] humid summer."
- Available sizes: 26W by 29L — 42W by 32L
2. The affordable pair
It's often hard to find a quality pair of jeans for less than $30, which is why Wrangler Authentics Comfort jean has a 4.5-star rating. This pair utilizes 98-percent cotton and 2-percent spandex to offer breathability alongside stretch. The flexible, regular-fit design also allows you to move while sitting at the natural waist. You can get this one in seven colors ranging from slate to black.
One reviewer says: "Why does anybody buy fancy jeans when these are so great and so affordable?" Another buyer writes, "Great for hot weather!"
- Available sizes: 29W by 30L — 60W by 32L
3. The pair with the most stretch
Hot-weather jeans are about so much more than the weight of the fabric. A stretchier jean that allows for a greater range of motion will be infinitely more comfortable than a stiff, confining material. LEE's Modern Series Extreme Motion jeans are designed to move along with you thanks to their spandex construction. They're also made with a percentage of rayon, which effectively breathes and wicks sweat for a much more comfortable jean.
One reviewer says: "If you have to wear long pants in the summer," one buyer writes, "these are the ones to buy. Very light, cool and comfortable." Another raves, "Very stretchy without losing the classic 'jeans' look or feel."
- Available sizes: 29W by 30L — 42W by 34L
4. The pair for work
Dickies are widely-considered some of the best men's work jeans available — but this pair in particular offers lightweight, broken-in cotton fabric for hot-weather comfort. Thanks to their various pockets and triple-stitched seams, they're ideal for labor-heavy work or outdoor activities that require durability and protection. That said, buyers say they're still lightweight and cooling compared to other carpenter jeans. Get them in nine different neutral colors.
One reviewer says: "Bought for my son working in a lumber yard for the summer. Jeans were just too warm. He says these are much more breathable and cooler.
- Available sizes: 30W by 30L — 50W by 30L
5. The moisture-wicking pair
If you're looking for something that'll effectively wick away sweat, Wrangler Cowboy moisture-wicking jeans are your best bet. Using a mix of cotton, polyester, and spandex, this pair is designed to pull sweat away from the body and allow for quick evaporation. It's also constructed with four-way stretch seams and reinforced durability, so it's well-suited for those looking for protection and movement in hot weather.
One reviewer says: "These jeans are made for working. They feature an extra-heavy duty denim build and have reinforced stitching all around. I was originally worried that they would get hot but they wick moisture and sweat away keeping me comfortable and cool. Overall, highly recommended."
- Available sizes: 29W by 32L — 42W by 34L
6. The skinny jeans
Since skinny jeans are especially form-fitting, it's important to ensure that the fabric is breathable enough for higher temperatures. This pair from GINGTTO comes in various colors and designs (including distressed styles), but each one is moisture-wicking, soft, and surprisingly stretchy. Given the thinner, body-conforming fabric, some buyers say they feel more like athletic pants while still looking like jeans.
One reviewer says: "These ones fit perfectly and actually covered my long legs to the ankles with a little more to spare. Beware that the material is thin unlike typical jean fabric, but it's comfortable to wear — will be ordering from them again."
- Available sizes: 28 — 36
7. The big & tall jeans
For a wider range of sizes and inseams, there's the Wrangler Authentics Big & Tall classic fit jean. This pair has a flex material with a relaxed fit, both of which allow you to move without confinement. Even though the construction is durable, it's thinner than other brands for a cooler, more breathable wear.
One reviewer says: "I'll buy these again! So comfortable and lightweight!" Another says, "Wear them to work. They are extremely comfortable and fit well. I'll be buying more pairs. As a bigger guy it's often hard to find a pair that fits that are reasonably priced. These do!"
- Available sizes: 44W by 29L — 60W by 32L
8. The Best Jeans For Travel
A $62 price tag might seem a little steep for jeans, but buyers say prAna's Bridger is worth every penny — especially for avid travelers. They're made from cotton, polyester, and spandex to create a lightweight performance denim that's soft to the touch. They're also cut for a slim fit and have five pockets, not to mention a wide range of inseams and 11 fashionable color options.
One reviewer says: "They really are that amazing. They are stretchy, comfy, great color, and the fit for me is perfect," says one buyer. "Some people say they travel in them [and] some people hike in them ... They pretty much are just that good." Another writes, "These travel so well because they're lightweight, they take up very little space in a suitcase and they air-dry super quickly when washed in a hotel sink."
- Available sizes: 28W by 30L — 42W by 36L
Also Great: Linen Pants That Look Like Denim
Thanks to Manwan walk's summer pants, it's possible to get the look of denim without the added weight. This pair is made from 45-percent linen and 55-percent cotton, so it's infinitely more cooling, moisture-wicking, and breathable. Even though they feature a drawstring closure, the side- and fly-seams alongside the blue fabric make them look like a pair of jeans from afar.
One reviewer says: "Great hot weather alternative to jeans for a guy [who] doesn’t like shorts."
- Available sizes: S — XXL