Had to return the first pair to go a size smaller. I am normally a 35 inch waist so opted for the 36. Wrong choice. I think they tend to run a little big. The 34 is not tight at all. The draw string is a bit odd. One more thing to deal with, but I suppose it works as a back up to a belt? Regardless, you don't see it so kind of a wash. The thigh pocket is understated. Does not scream cargo. One thing I wish more pants had was a built in cell phone pocket. The thigh pocket works OK for that, but is kind of big for a cell phone.