12 Best Men’s Sweatpants Review for May. 2021 (That She Will Definitely Steal) – with Buying Guide
Companies around the world spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year on marketing and advertising. Much of that spending is devoted to branding – differentiating their products from similar ones sold by competitors.
Despite all of that work and expense, however, there are many products that consumers still consider generic and interchangeable. For example, when was the last time you put “facial tissues,” “adhesive bandages” and “cotton swabs” on a shopping list? Probably never. We’ll almost guarantee that you wrote “Kleenex,” “Band-Aids” and “Q-Tips” on that list, even if you ended up buying cheaper generic alternatives to those brand-name products.
Here’s the point: there are some products that simply seem generic, even if they’re really not.
Until fairly recently, most people put sweatpants in that category. You may have tried on a few pair, looked to see if they were machine-washable, or compared colors and prices before putting down your credit card. But it’s unlikely that you went to the sporting goods or department store, or shopped online, with your heart set on purchasing a specific brand or style.
After all – they’re just sweatpants. Right?
Not anymore. Sweats are no longer just the comfortable clothing you wear to the gym, throw on for a night lying on the couch watching TV, or dig out of the closet when the temperature drops and the house gets cold.
Men’s sweatpants – believe it or not – have become trendy. They’re still a comfortable alternative to jeans when you’re kicking back on a weekend, but they’ve become acceptable as everyday casual wear as well.
As a result, the number of sweatpants styles and designs has skyrocketed, and that makes the buying decision much more complicated.
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Never fear – the Groom+Style review team is here to guide you through the process. After we rank our choices for the top twelve best men’s sweatpants, we’ll go into more detail on the types of sweats you can choose from, and how to pick the best option for your needs. One note: we are including some expensive designer sweatpants in our list, but they’ll be down toward the bottom of this list because of their prices.
Let’s throw on some sweats and get started.
Best Men’s Sweatpants
1. Under Armour Men’s Sportstyle Jogger Pants
In our Groom+Style Men’s Sweatpants buyer’s guide (which you can read below these reviews), we emphasize that the most important factor in choosing sweatpants is deciding on your preferred style. “Joggers” is usually used as a synonym for “cropped” sweatpants, the tapered style with their legs extending only to the lower thigh.
But we’d actually describe these Under Armours a cross between cropped and more traditional sweats, because their legs extend past the thigh and terminate in cuffs around the top of the ankle.
These UAs sweatpants are made from 100% polyester, which has been treated to wick away moisture pretty well (unlike most polyester sweats) and dries very quickly. They’re also quite a bit softer than most polyester pants the team has worn. There’s a ribbed waist plus an external drawstring so you can pull them tight; crotch room is ample, and the pants have one rear pocket and two more in the front. One front pocket has a smaller internal pocket that will fit a cellphone.
It’s often difficult to find a good selection of sizes when you shop online. That’s not the case with the Sportstyle Jogger Pants, which are available in 16 different sizes (and ten colors) from extra small to 4X, with the large to 4X sizes also available in a “tall” version. Their tapered style with ankle-length cuffs makes them the perfect choice for biking, jogging, or a casual walk around town. These aren’t cheap sweats but they’re definitely reasonably-priced, compared to brand-name designer joggers.
(If you like Under Armour products but prefer traditional cotton sweats, the review team recommends the UA Men’s Rival Cotton Pants, priced around the same level. Both are available at Amazon.)
We don’t know why more companies don’t offer this mix between cropped and traditional tapered sweatpants; to us, the comfortable Sportstyle Jogger Pants are the perfect length – and look great.
Facts and figures for the Under Armour Men’s Sportstyle Jogger Pants:
2. Champion Men’s Closed Bottom Light Weight Jersey Sweatpants
Here’s our top choice for those who prefer traditional sweatpants. These Champions are comfortable, lightweight and inexpensive, and they’ll feel very much like the sweats you’ve worn for years.
Needless to say (if you’ve glanced at their brand name) these are closed-bottom pants, meaning they have relaxed elastic cuffs as well as an elastic waistband with a drawstring. The inside of the waistband isn’t covered with fabric for some reason, but it doesn’t rub or irritate the skin when you’re wearing the sweatpants. There are two deep front pockets.
The material used to manufacture the Champions varies, depending on the color of pants you purchase. (Don’t ask us why – we have no idea.) The dark grey pants are 60/40 poly-cotton, the light grey are a 90/10 blend, and the blue, black and maroon sweats are 100% cotton. All are comfortable, all can be machine washed, and all will hold up for the long term.
(If you prefer your sweatpants with an open-bottomed leg, the same design from Champion is also available at Amazon with open bottoms, with the same features and for the same price.)
The Champion Closed Bottom sweatpants aren’t anything fancy. They’re just a good pair of traditional sweats, for a good price.
More details on the Champion Men’s Closed Bottom Light Weight Jersey Sweatpants:
3. Pro Club Men’s Heavyweight Fleece Cargo Pants
The Pro Club sweats are made from heavyweight fleece, and they’re also designed for heavyweight guys. Sure, you can buy them in small, medium or large – but they come in bigger sizes all the way up to 7XL, which can be worn by men with waists up to 64” and a 36” inseam. They’re also extremely roomy in the thigh and crotch area, two added pluses for guys on the larger size.
The 60/40 cotton/polyester fleece is very, very comfortable and very, very warm. We might not wear these outside in a snowstorm, but they’ll do just fine in colder temperatures whether you’re running out to your car or chilling on the couch. The Pro Club sweats are well-made, with an elastic waistband and drawstring, open bottom legs and lots of deep pockets; there are two in the rear, two on the side, and two front cargo pockets secured by Velcro flaps.
These aren’t as pricey as the Under Armours or the designer sweatpants we’ll get to later in our rankings, but you’ll pay more for the Pro Club pants than an ordinary pair of sweats. They’re worth it, particularly if you’re a big guy who has trouble finding clothes that fit.
Specs for the Pro Club Men’s Heavyweight Fleece Cargo Pants:
4. Southpole Men’s Basic Fleece Marled Jogger Pants
Our #1 choice, the Under Armour Sportstyles, are labeled “Jogger Pants.” These Southpole sweatpants, though, are more what come to mind when we think “joggers.” They have ribbed cuffs that terminate above the ankle, making them ideal for any type of exercise where you’d want your feet and ankles to be unconstrained.
Southpole makes these pants in 17 different colors (and seven sizes from XS to XXXL), all of them with a good-looking marled fabric look. The thin elastic waist also comes with a drawstring. The manufacturer describes the sweatpants as “fleece” but in reality they’re made from 100% polyester with no cotton in sight. So even though the material is somewhat thick, don’t expect them to be quite as soft on your skin as fleece would be. The review team didn’t mind the feel, though, and found these pants to be quite comfortable.
There are big pockets front and back, the pants can go into the washing machine, and the price for the Southpole joggers is definitely right. However, there’s usually a trade-off for low prices; in this case, it’s the fact that these aren’t the highest-quality sweats we’ve seen. Using the gentle cycle might be the best way to prolong their life.
The review team loved the comfortable feel, cool look and low price of the Southpole joggers. We wish they were made a little better, but buying a “spare pair” at this price isn’t a bad way to go.
Looking closer at the Southpole Men’s Basic Fleece Marled Jogger Pants:
5. Puma Men’s Contrast Pants
These mildly-tapered sweatpants will give you a stylin’ look on the field or on the basketball court – as long as you’re not trying to run or play in them since they run a little tight. (That’s an exaggeration, but you get the point.) The black pants with a wide white stripe down the side and a white Puma logo just behind the right pocket (there are two front pockets, none in the back) look equally good on the street or in the gym.
These Contrast pants are 100% polyester with open cuffs on the legs and a drawstring around the waist. Because of their material they are very lightweight, and wick away moisture fairly well for polyester sweats. They’re softer against your skin than you’d expect, too. They are machine washable and won’t shrink.
The price is reasonable for these Puma pants, not bargain-priced but not overly expensive for a good-looking pair of tapered sweatpants that are suitable for mild exercise, but better as comfortable and fashionable athletic wear.
The G+S review team thinks there are better sweats for working out or jogging, but these Pumas will definitely make you look the part of an athlete.
More info on the Puma Men’s Contrast Pants:
6. Adidas Men’s Tiro ’17 Pants
Here’s another good looking set of joggers. The Tiro ’17 sweatpants are available in a whopping 29 different colors, all of them with the trademark Adidas triple stripe halfway down the left leg and the logo on the upper thigh. They’re tapered for a slim look but they don’t squeeze the leg too much, so they’re quite comfortable. Adidas also describes these as “Soccer Training Pants,” but the review team thinks they’re also a very nice pair of jogging sweats.
One reason the Tiro ‘17s are so comfortable is that they’re ventilated well. Adidas calls its system “Climacool,” but it’s really just a combination of breathable polyester and a vent in the rear with a mesh insert below the back section of the waistband.
Another feature of these sweatpants that we liked is the zippers on the ribbed cuffs; you can raise the zippers for a looser fit (or to show off your calves). The waistband is ribbed as well, with a drawstring, and there are two front pockets with zippers.
These moderately-priced joggers look good, feel good and keep you cool. Most of the team doesn’t wear cropped sweats regularly, but the Adidas Tiro ‘17s are awfully tempting.
Specs for the Adidas Men’s Tiro ’17 Pants:
7. Russell Athletic Men’s Dri-Power Closed-Bottom Sweatpants
This is a very well-designed and well-constructed pair of sweats. Companies love to use fancy names for their “technology” without telling you much about it, and Russell Athletic is no different, claiming to use “Dri-Power technology” to wick sweat away from the body. We have no idea what that means, but we’re willing to give Russell the benefit of the doubt since they actually invented the sweatshirt about a hundred years ago. In any event, it works well.
What we were able to tell is that the seams on these sweatpants are reinforced, the hemmed cuffs are durable and don’t fray, and the medium-weight fleece is comfortable. The Russells have a medium-width elastic waistband with an interior drawstring, large side pockets, and are available in six colors. They’re also not baggy, always a plus when wearing traditional sweats.
The Russell Dri-Powers are some of the best-looking traditional sweatpants the review team has found, and they’re very nicely priced.
Digging deeper on the Russell Athletic Men’s Dri-Power Closed-Bottom Sweatpants:
8. 2(x)ist Men’s Terry Ankle Zip Jogger Sweatpants
No, we don’t know what the brand name means, either, but this is an intriguing pair of sweatpants. You’ll pay a little more for the 2(x)ist jogger sweats, but it has some of the design features you’d expect to pay much more for. Chief among them is a hidden zippered fly with a snap closure, something you don’t usually see on less-expensive sweatpants. There are also two front zippered slant pockets, a back zippered welt pocket and zippered jogger cuffs.
What the Groom+Style team liked best, though, was the fact that these pants are quite roomy at the top, yet tapered and slim through the legs. The 60/20/20 cotton/polyester/rayon material isn’t the best at wicking away sweat, but it’s not bad either, and that’s really the only negative we could find on the 2(x)ist pants.
For a cost that’s just a bit more than some of the other sweatpants we’ve reviewed so far, these 2(x)ist pants are comfortable, good looking, full-featured and a great value.
Specs for the 2(x)ist Men’s Terry Ankle Zip Jogger Sweatpants:
9. Amazon Essentials Men’s Fleece Sweatpants
Our budget choice is these traditional open-bottom sweatpants, available in six colors and well-made for their price. The relaxed straight legs aren’t overly baggy so the pants hang quite well, there’s an elastic waistband with an interior drawstring, and there are two (not-to-deep) front pockets.
The pants are made from a 50/50 cotton/poly blend, and they’re lightweight and comfortable. You can wash these Amazon Essentials in the machine and they won’t shrink, although you may find the inside fabric balling up a bit after a few washes. There’s also a very similar closed-bottom version of the Amazon sweatpants, with the only difference (other than the cuff style) being that they’re a 60/40 blend instead of 50/50.
Amazon Essentials sets out to produce good-quality products with smaller price tags, and their fleece sweatpants fulfill the mission perfectly. They’re definitely worth their lower cost.
More info on the Amazon Essentials Men’s Fleece Sweatpants:
10. Reigning Champ Men’s Mid-Weight Terry Sweatpants
We now move to the “you paid how much??” portion of the Groom+Style rankings. Our final three reviews look at sweatpants that will cost you more than a hundred bucks – a lot to pay, certainly, but worth their high price if you have the budget for them.
We start with a pair of Reigning Champ terrycloth sweatpants, impeccably manufactured and incredibly comfortable. They’re made from 100% breathable cotton, imported from France, and the material combines a terrific ability to wick away sweat with extreme comfort.
They are tailored with a slim cut, but they’re roomy where it counts; there is a gusseted crotch which provides plenty of space for your “valuables” if you’re biking or jogging, and even the seams are designed so that they don’t rub against your legs.
One final very cool feature: the open cuffs each have drawstrings, so you can adjust them just the way you like.
The Reigning Champs are the Rolls Royce of men’s sweatpants, and if you can afford them, you won’t be disappointed.
More on the Reigning Champ Men’s Mid-Weight Terry Sweatpants:
11. Todd Snyder + Champion Men’s Slim Sweatpant
Todd Snyder is a well-known men’s designer known for the quality of his clothing, and he has teamed with Champion to create these terrific, slimming sweatpants. They’re made from imported, garment-dyed French fleece, to give them a lived-in look and comfort from the first time you put them on. Even the inseams are notable, for their high-end chain stitching.
The medium-width elastic waistband is supplemented with an interior drawstring, and to show the care with which these pants are manufactured, the ends of the drawstring are hand-tied in the factory.
There are durable elastic cuffs, and two slash pockets on the front (with a tasteful Champion logo on one of them). And as you’d expect from a fashion designer charging three figures for a pair of sweats, you won’t feel out of place wearing them just about anywhere. They come in three colors.
Expensive, extremely high-quality, ultra comfortable, and great-looking. That’s what you’d expect for the price of these Todd Snyder/Champion sweats, and it’s exactly what you get.
A deeper dive on the Todd Snyder + Champion Men’s Slim Sweatpant:
12. Arc’teryx Men’s Palisade Pants
The review team wasn’t quite sure whether to include these technical pants for hikers in a list of sweatpants, but the manufacturer considers them sweats as well so we figured we’d go along with them – particularly since this is an amazing pair of pants. It’s the most expensive, and eye-opening, entry in our rankings.
The Arc’teryx pants were designed for trekking and hiking in all weather conditions, made from light but durable TerraTex fabric (94% nylon, 6% elastane) that breathes exceptionally well and has plenty of give for challenging terrain. There’s also plenty of give in the most sensitive area, with a gusseted crotch that lets you climb and hike worry-free.
A webbed belt is integrated into the Palisade pants and there’s a comfortable chamois lining around the waist, there’s a zippered front fly with a snap, and there are ample pockets for a long trek with two zippered front cargo pockets, a zippered rear pocket, and two zippered, mesh-lined hand pockets. The pants are quick-drying, they’re treated for SPF 50 protection in the sun, and they’re an absolute pleasure to wear.
Readers looking for a comfortable pair of sweats for kicking around the house don’t need and won’t want the Arc’teryx pants. Dedicated athletes, however, may find them to be exactly what they’ve always wanted.
Specifications for the Arc’teryx Men’s Palisade Pants:
Best Men’s Sweatpants Buying Guide
Are you familiar with the term “athleisure?” We’re not making it up; it even has its own entry in Wikipedia.
Athleisure is a fashion trend that you’ve most likely seen breaking through all around you, even if you didn’t know there was a name for it. It’s the tendency for people to go to school, work or even social events in athletic wear or workout clothes.
So when you’re around and about and see women in yoga pants, bodysuits or jogging outfits, or guys wearing tracksuits or hoodies, they’re not defying style guidelines by wearing casual clothing. They’re conforming to the athleisure fashion trend, which has developed into a $100-billion per year industry.
What does all of this have to do with buying the best men’s sweatpants? Read on.
The Development of Modern Men’s Sweatpants
Sweatpants were first introduced to the world in the 1920s by Émile Causet, the founder of the famed French clothing company Le Coq Sportif. For many decades, their design remained essentially unchanged. They were the formless grey pants we all wore to the gym, the track or when hanging out at home. These traditional sweatpants were usually made from polyester, cotton or a poly-cotton blend, with elastic waistbands or white drawstrings.
But in the late 20th century, almost simultaneously, three things happened: the emergence of hip-hop culture, the soaring popularity of participation sports in all age groups, and the development of new textiles and manufacturing technology. That confluence of social and design elements changed the fashion world, leading to the emergence and meteoric rise of athleisure clothing.
Rap artists were the first celebrities to fully popularize sweats and other athletic wear as acceptable public fashion. The growing number of people working out in groups, jogging, biking or participating regularly in yoga and other sports created an enormous market for more comfortable and stylish athletic wear.
The clothing industry responded by developing new fabrics which were breathable and stretchable, suitable for wear almost anywhere. Designers also discovered techniques allowing them to make some parts of an outfit fit snugly over one part of the body, while being loose and comfortable elsewhere.
And that’s how humble sweatpants were transformed from baggy, grey gym wear to stylish, form-fitting fashion statements. Of course, traditional sweats are still very much with us – but they’ve become available in more comfortable styles, while their fashionable cousins are seen everywhere from coffee houses and supermarkets, to parent-teacher meetings and many nightclubs.
The evolution of athleisure clothing has had a greater effect on women’s fashion than on men’s; a quick glance down any city street will make that clear. But even time-honored men’s grey sweatpants have gotten a makeover, with greater comfort and more styles than ever before. Top designers even offer “skinny sweatpants” and “cropped sweatpants” for men. The former are the tapered, form-fitting sweatpants previously considered appropriate only in a women’s yoga class, while the latter are what we’d call “Capri” pants for women.
Types of Men’s Sweatpants
We’re already mentioned the different styles of men’s sweatpants you can buy today, but lists always make things easier to understand and visualize.
The type of sweats you wear make a big difference in how comfortable you’ll be, so it’s crucial to figure out where you’ll be wearing them: to the office or on a date, using them primarily for gym workouts or jogging, or simply throwing them on after work to wear around the house.
Deciding which style of sweatpants you need should be your first step when narrowing down the possibilities. It’s not the only factor to consider, though.
Men’s Sweatpants: Materials
The material that sweatpants are made from is the biggest factor that affects your comfort – unless you’re wearing the wrong size, of course. Here’s a quick guide to help you choose.
Men’s Sweatpants: Other Considerations
We briefly mentioned sizing in the last section, but the subject really deserves a bit more attention than we gave it.
When buying sweatpants, particularly if you’re shopping online, remember that they’ll either have a stretchable waistband or a drawstring for waist adjustments. That means that sweatpants are a bit more forgiving when it comes to buying the “right size.” If your stomach is on the large side, consider styles with a tall waistband which will give you a fighting chance of “controlling” your stomach.
Of greater concern should be whether the pants are tight or loose in the crotch area. We probably don’t have to explain why, other than to emphasize the words “comfort” and “sweat.” Naturally, those are two of the key words when it comes to areas other the groin, as well.
Finally, there are the obvious questions of color and price to consider – but you already knew that, right?
Frequently Asked Questions About Men’s Sweatpants
Q: Are there really men’s sweatpants you can wear to the office or out to dinner?
Q: Are joggers or tailored sweatpants only good for style points?
Q: How often should you wash sweatpants?
Q: Are super-expensive designer sweatpants worth their price?
And of course all of these trendy sweatpants would not look out of place beside that beautifully crafted watch that you have just bought yourself as a treat!