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Shopping Guide for Boys’ Elastic-Waist Pants

Boys love clothes that are comfortable and easy to put on - clothes that let them get down the important business of playing. Parents want clothes that can withstand the rough-and-tumble play of childhood without immediately falling apart. The two often meet in the middle at elastic-waist pants.

Easy to slip on and comfortable to wear, elastic-waist pants form the foundation of many a young boy’s closet. But when it comes time to shop for them, how do you choose? There are more styles and designs than ever, and finding something that is durable and looks nice can be difficult.

That’s when it’s time to come to BestReviews. We do the product research so you don’t have to. And we always decline accept free samples from manufacturers so that we can bring you the honest, unbiased reviews you desire. We’ve put together a quick shopping guide to give you the facts you need to make an informed decision. Be sure to check out our five favorite boy’s elastic-waist pants, above, for a good starting point.

Young boys that are just starting to learn how to dress themselves will find elastic-waist pants much easier to put on than pants with a zipper and button.



Build and Size of Your Child

Some children are tall or husky for their age, which can greatly affect how they fit into clothing. It also affects the style of pants that work for them. Take into account whether the pants you want come in a husky size, which gives more room in the seat and legs but doesn’t add extra length. Slim sizes aren’t usually found in elastic-waist slacks, but for some jogger pants, there might be a slim option.


Age of Your Child

Age affects more than your child’s pant size. It also affects the styles he may find appealing. Older boys may prefer a jogger with an ankle cuff while younger boys may be happier with a wide-leg design. Prints and cuts that make kids look younger, older, taller, or shorter should be taken into consideration to be sure they’re appropriate for the age of the child.



Elastic-waist pants worn in the winter need to be heavier or at least have a liner. In the summer, a shell may be all your boy needs to stay comfortable.


School uniforms can also be found with elastic waists, which can make finding a uniform easier for hard-to-fit kids.

Staff  | BestReviews

Types and Styles of Elastic-Waist Pants


Types of Elastic-Waist Pants

You can find almost any type of pant with an elastic waist, including jeans. But some of the general types you’re likely to find include the following:

  • Cargo Pants

Wide legs with a pocket on each pant leg are the signature marks of cargo pants. They have a loose fit but come in fabrics that work for regular day wear or dressy events.

  • Fleece Pants

Polar fleece is warm and resists water better than cotton.

  • Jogger Pants

A slim cut and cuffed ankles give these pants a streamlined look. They are a sleeker version of sweatpants.

  • Sweat or Active Pants

These are the pants you might remember from when you were a kid. Sweatpants are made of cotton, but active pants may be made of nylon or polyester.


Khaki pants with an elastic waist can be worn with button-down shirts or a sweater for a polished, formal look.



The durability of the pants is directly related to the type of fabric used. Cotton is still one of the best fabrics on the market. It’s natural, durable, and comfortable. Check to see if the garment has been prewashed. If not, it may shrink quite a bit with the first washing.

Cotton blends, nylon, jersey, and polyester are also common fabrics for boys’ elastic waist pants. Cotton is the most breathable fabric but tends to soak up water. Nylon and polyester repel water better if you live in a wet climate.



The cut determines how the pants fit and look. For example, jogger pants have a slim cut that fits close to the body while cargo pants have a loose fit with a wide leg. Finding the right pants means taking your child’s preferences into consideration. You’re looking for something that blends quality with comfort.

Elastic-waist denim is durable and sturdy. It gives you the benefit of denim and the comfort of an elastic waist.


Q. What is the benefit of cuffs or elastic around the ankles?

A. There’s no real benefit; it’s mostly a style choice. Pants with cuffs or elastic in the ankles often get stuck higher on the leg after sitting or running. Some kids aren’t bothered by that and others are.

Q. Can you adjust the waist of elastic-waist pants?

A. Some elastic-waist pants have a drawstring that allows you to adjust the waist size even further. If you have a slim child, look for pants with a drawstring, because it will allow you to customize the fit.

Q. My son rips through his pants at the knees. Is there a style that can help prevent this?

A. This is a classic problem for parents everywhere. Denim can usually withstand a lot of wear and tear, and some jeans come with an elastic waist. Looser styles like cargo pants put less stress on the knee area than, say, jogger pants. Pants with a double-layer of fabric over the knee also tend to last longer.

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