9 pairs of jeans you can still wear when it’s sweltering hot this summer

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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.

Which fabrics and fits should you look for?

Most jeans are primarily made from 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 nine pairs of jeans come in various colors, sizes, and fits — and they're all surprisingly cooling, too.

Shop the best lightweight jeans

In a hurry? These are the best lightweight jeans for hot weather.

  1. The fan-favorite pair: Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Jean
  2. The affordable pair: Wrangler Authentics Comfort Flex Waist Jean
  3. The pair with the most stretch: LEE Men's Modern Series Extreme Motion
  4. The moisture-wicking pair: Wrangler Cowboy Moisture-Wicking Jeans
  5. The linen pants that look like denim: Manwan walk Linen Summer Pants
  6. The big & tall jeans: Wrangler Authentics Big & Tall Classic Fit
  7. The pair for work: Dickies Relaxed Fit Duck Carpenter Jean
  8. The best jeans for travel: prAna Men's Bridger Jean
  9. The skinny jeans: GINGTTO Skinny Stretch Jeans


The fan-favorite pair

With more than 3,500 reviews and a 4.6-star rating, these Levi's 511 jeans are some of the most popular on Amazon. Buyers love their slim fit, wide range of sizes, and color options — but they're especially thrilled with the lightweight, breathable fabric. Still, despite the softness and comfort, these jeans manage to retain their durability.

One reviewer says: “Love these pants. Breathable and flexible. I could wear them on at work or at home. I would highly recommend.”

Available sizes: 27W by 30L — 66W x 34L | Color options: 45


The affordable pair

It's often hard to find a quality pair of jeans for under $40, which is why Wrangler Authentics Comfort jean has a 4.6-star rating. This pair utilizes 88% cotton and 2% spandex to offer breathability alongside stretch. The flexible, regular-fit design also gives you ease of movement throughout your day. You can get this one in nine colors ranging from slate to black.

One reviewer says: “They fit like a glove. I'm right now in that zone between 38 and forty; neither one nor the other. I put them on. They look great! They feel great! Wrangler, you outdid yourself. It looks like a tailor made a pair just for me.”

Available sizes: 29W by 30L — 60W x 32L | Color options: 9


The pair with the most stretch

Hot-weather jeans are about so much more than the weight of the fabric. A stretchier jean like these LEE’s Modern Series Extreme Motion jeans allows for a greater range of motion and will be infinitely more comfortable than a stiff, confining material. Made with a blend of cotton and spandex, these jeans will hold their shape and retain their breathability — plus they’re designed to move along with you.

One reviewer says: “The fit is just right and they are just as durable as they are comfortable. I work in a hot climate and they are both breathable and tough.”

Available sizes: 28W by 30L — 42W x 34L | Color options: 18


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: “Overall best pants ever. I live on a small 4 acre farm and wear these all the time while doing yard work, tending to the chickens and ducks, etc. Pants are thick but feel great, they stay cool and help me stay comfortable while working outside, I now have 3 pairs of these, love them.”

Available sizes: 29W by 32L — 46W x 34L | Color options: 2


The linen pants that look like denim

Thanks to these summer pants, it's possible to get the look of denim without the added weight. This pair is made from 45% linen and 55% 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: “I was looking for an alternative to the high priced fancy fishing clothes when I found these. I live in FL and wanted something to keep the sun and bugs off my legs when fishing. These allow the breeze through but not the critters, bonus is how comfortable they are.”

Available sizes: Small — 3X-Large | Color options: 8


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: “Once I slipped these bad boys on, I felt like I could do a split in these without worry of ripping the crotch. Also haven't had a case of plumber's crack. Bought four in total after how good the first felt.”

Available sizes: 28W x 30L — 60W x 32L | Color options: 11


The pair for work

Dickies are widely considered some of the best men's work jeans available — but this pair of carpenter jeans 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 seven neutral colors.

One reviewer says: “The style is a bit reminiscent of '90s jeans - baggy all the way down but not so much that they look weird. Much comfier than skinny fit jeans and despite the thick material they're actually pretty cool on hot days.”

Available sizes: 30W x 30L — 44W x 34L | Color options: 7


The best jeans for travel

A $62 price tag might seem a little steep for jeans, but buyers say prAna's Bridger jean 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 18 fashionable color options.

One reviewer says: “The bridger jeans are the perfect fit. Not skinny but trim enough to look good and the stretch makes them super comfortable. Equally comfortable in town and out in the woods. Actually have worn them backpacking in cooler weather and they were amazing. Liked them so much I bought a second pair.”

Available sizes: 28W x 30L — 44W x 34L | Color options: 18


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: “This is the right amount of spandex to give a look I was expecting without being too tight. I wore these out before the quarantine, and I was able to sit and socialize comfortably.”

Available sizes: 28 — 36 | Color options: 13