If you’re a frequent traveler, you already know that comfortable travel clothing is essential for any adventure, be it a short trip outside the city or an overseas escapade. As a traveler, you’re always on the move. This means you require a lot from your gear in terms of functionality, practicality, and style.
Finding the right pair of travel pants for your needs (and your taste!) can be a challenge. After years of traveling (and wearing pants), I’ve put together this list of some of my favorite travel pants on the market today. And for the ladies out there, I called on the female contingent of the TravelFreak team to weigh in on their favorites.
Because adventurous travelers like us are always out and about, doing different activities, I’ve focused on the most versatile options for the travel pants below. And at the bottom of this post, you’ll find a detailed buyer’s guide on how to choose the right pair for you.
Let’s dive in!
Best Travel Pants of 2021
- Best Overall Men’s Travel Pants: Bluffworks Ascender Chino Pants
- Best Men’s Lightweight Pants: Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants
- Best Travel Cargo Pants for Men: KÜHL Renegade Kargo Convertible Pants
- Most Comfortable Men’s Travel Pants: Vuori Ponto Performance Pants
- Best Budget Travel Pants for Men: Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants
- Best Overall Women’s Travel Pants: Bluffworks Petaluma Ponte Pants
- Best Women’s Lightweight Pants: North Face Summit Synthetic Climber Pants
- Best Travel Cargo Pants for Women: Mountain Hardwear Cascade Pass Cargo Pants
- Best Quick-Drying Women’s Travel Pants: Marmot Women’s Kodachrome Pants
- Best Budget Travel Pants for Women: AJISAI Women’s Drawstring Sports Pants
Best Men’s Travel Pants
Below are five of the best travel pants for men in different categories. Before you make any decisions, though, make sure you compare your measurements with the measurements in the product description!
Best Overall Men’s Travel Pants
The Bluffworks Ascender Chinos are comfortable, soft, and stretchy, making them an excellent choice for you to wear on a long flight. But that’s not to say that they compromise on style. These men’s lightweight travel pants also look the part and easily transition from comfy flight gear or walking pants to casual wear. The matte finish and wrinkle-resistant fabric will keep you looking fresh.
The fabric is also super breathable, and its moisture-wicking properties will keep you from getting sweaty in warmer climates. Plus, they’re great to pack in your luggage as they’re lightweight, weighing only around 5 oz.
You can happily spend a day out in these Bluffworks pants; they’ve got enough give to be comfortable over several hours. And for all of your valuables, the Ascender Chino pants has ten pockets for everything you need.
Lastly, the fabric is quick-drying and repels water, so you’ll never have to stuff a damp pair into your backpack when you’re on the move.
- Wrinkle-resistant, anti-odor, and quick-drying fabric
- Soft material
- Machine washable
- Lightweight and breathable
- Moisture-wicking to reduce sweat patches
The pants run quite long, so be sure to check the product measurements before purchasing.
Bluffworks Ascender Chino Pants Specs:
|Pockets:||10 pockets, including a hidden inside pocket, two phone pockets, and three zippered pockets|
Best Men’s Lightweight Pants
The versatile Outdoor Research Ferrosi pants can easily transition from hiking and jogging to sightseeing or sitting in a coffee shop. These are primarily rock climbing pants, so they’re lightweight, flexible, quick-drying, and sweat-resistant—all of the things that make great travel pants, no matter how you’re traveling in them.
The ripstop nylon is abrasion-resistant, making the pants durable and suitable for challenging trails. The pants are a little too thin for extreme cold, but they are wind and water-resistant, so you can count on them in damp conditions. You can also close the cuffs to keep any drafts from sneaking in.
These pants were made to wear hiking. The softshell fabric of these pants is soft with plenty of stretch, giving you both mobility and comfort. You can use the Ferrosi pants for a short walk around town as well as for long, strenuous excursions on hiking trails.
Outdoor Research is also a reputable and popular brand for outdoor and travel gear, so you know you’re getting a high-quality pair of pants. They’re durable and functional, breathable, and easy on the wallet, too.
- Great for climbing and hiking
- Wind and water-resistant softshell fabric
- Great range of motion thanks to the articulated patterning
- Harness-compatible pockets
- Adjustable cuffs to keep the draft out
- The fit may be too narrow for some people
- The hips may be too low-rise for some
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants Specs:
|Material:||Ripstop nylon and spandex|
|Pockets:||Two hand pockets, one zippered leg pocket, two zippered rear pockets|
|Waist:||Brushed tricot waistband|
Best Travel Cargo Pants for Men
The KÜHL Renegade pants are a great go-to option if you’re an active traveler. If you plan on hiking on your vacation or even just doing a lot of sightseeing, convertible pants will come in handy. You can unzip the pants’ legs to convert them to shorts, which is perfect if you find yourself out on a hot day in the wrong attire.
The KÜHL Renegade pants also have a gusseted crotch and articulated knees to give you an impressive range of motion. I find this is a massive help when hiking.
The pants’ fabric also has a DWR (durable water-repellent) finish, which will make them more long-lasting and suitable for rainy weather. Another set of features I really like is the ankle zips and snaps. Ankle snaps are essentially straps with button closures to keep any air from getting in or protect your ankles from long grass when you’re out and about in nature.
- Ideal for dynamic climates thanks to the convertible shorts and pants combo
- Durable and water-repellent
- Ankle zips allow you to control airflow and accommodate a range of shoe types
- Great mobility thanks to the gusseted crotch and articulated knees
- Not lightweight
KÜHL Renegade Kargo Convertible Pants Specs:
|Material:||Duralux (95% nylon, 5% spandex)|
|Pockets:||Two front pockets, two back pockets, and two cargo pockets|
Most Comfortable Travel Pants for Men
These Vuori travel pants are good go-to pants if you’re a comfort-loving adventure traveler. Thanks to the moisture-wicking and quick-drying fabric, you’ll have the comfort of sweat pants without having to deal with the sweat. And you’ll be ready for everything from cozy nights at your Airbnb to rainy mountain hikes.
The pockets on these pants are surprisingly long, providing plenty of room for your valuables if you’re out sightseeing. These Performance Pants may look too warm to walk in, but that’s not the case. You can walk, run, and do yoga in these pants. And because they’re so comfortable, they’re also an excellent choice for the airplane.
Overall, the Vuori Ponto Performance Pants are super versatile and comfortable.
- Quick-drying, moisture-wicking fabric to keep you dry when you’re active
- Versatile pants that suit multiple occasions
- Soft and cozy
- Long pockets for storage
- Only three pockets
Vuori Ponto Performance Pants Specs:
|Material:||Polyester and spandex|
|Pockets:||Two front pockets and one zippered back pocket|
Best Budget Travel Pants for Men
The Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants are durable and roomy. You can unzip the legs to convert them to shorts, making them a versatile pair of pants for different weather conditions. They also have more than enough room for your valuables and two zippered pockets for your cellphone or passport.
One great feature is the built-in sun protection in the fabric. It has a UPF 50 protective coating to help keep you safe from the sun. The fabric is also moisture-wicking to keep you comfy and cool on hot days. However, keep in mind that the material may be too thin if you’re traveling in very cold conditions.
The partial elastic waistband and gussets in the design will give you plenty of range of motion on steep climbs. You can also use these pants for more casual walking as they have a relaxed fit that’s comfortable anywhere.
- Versatile option thanks to the convertible pants and shorts combo
- Moisture-wicking to keep you dry
- UPF 50 sun protection against UV rays
- No water-resistant finish
- Thin fabric isn’t suitable for very cold weather
Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants Specs:
|Pockets:||Two front pockets and two zippered-closed pockets|
Best Women’s Travel Pants
For the women out there, keep reading for my list of the best pants for traveling on the market for women. These include a lightweight pair, a pair of cargo pants, a budget-friendly option, and more. So let’s dive in.
Best Overall Travel Pants for Women
The Bluffworks Petaluma Ponte Pants have a clever design that disguises good ‘ol yoga pants as dress pants. You can wear these sleek, black, tapered pants on a yoga retreat, on the airplane, on a hike, or even in the office. If you need a go-to pair of pants that works for everything, then the Ponte pants are your best bet.
These pants are possibly too warm for very hot conditions, but you can certainly work out in them. The fabric has been given an antimicrobial treatment, so you won’t have to worry about odor or funk.
Despite their sleek design, there’s plenty of room for your valuables in the five pockets on these pants. There are two zippered pockets in the back and front, as well as a hidden pocket in the waistband where you can stash your cash and passport.
- Versatile dress pants and activewear pants
- Hidden waistband pocket for cash and cards
- Not lightweight
- Might be too thick for extremely hot weather
Bluffworks Petaluma Ponte Pants Specs:
|Material:||Nylon, rayon, and spandex|
|Pockets:||Four zippered pockets and one unzippered pocket|
Best Women’s Lightweight Pants
Though they’re built for climbing, you can comfortably wear the North Face Summit Synthetic Climbers while walking, hiking, or on the plane. It turns out that everything necessary for climbing pants makes for a great pair of travel pants, too.
The soft, stretch nylon fabric is warm and water repellent to keep you dry in the rain. The material is also durable and stretchy, making these a comfy pair of pants that won’t be too heavy in your luggage.
They have articulated knees and a gusseted crotch so you can move freely wherever you are, and you’ll be more than comfortable cooped up in a plane on a long-haul flight.
These are a good choice if you need warm pants that don’t take up too much room in your backpack. Keep in mind they are slim-fit pants, however, which may not work on every body type.
The adjustable belt is an added bonus, and, naturally, they’re also harness-compatible if you’re looking to go rock-climbing while on vacation.
- Articulated knees and gusseted crotch for added mobility
- Comfortable and lightweight enough to go in your luggage
- Durable and water-resistant fabric
- Adjustable waist belt
- Good for cold weather and rain
- Slim fit may not suit everyone’s body type
North Face Summit Synthetic Climber Pants Specs:
|Material:||Nylon and stretch-woven fabric|
|Pockets:||Secure-zip back pocket and two open hand pockets|
|Waist:||Integrated belt with built-in elastic|
Best Travel Cargo Pants for Women
Unlike many travel pants for women, the Mountain Hardwear Cascade Pass Cargo pants have a flattering design with a modern style. That said, they have all the functionality of a great pair of climbers. The articulated knees and gusseted crotch give you plenty of range of motion. Wear these pants to be comfy on a long flight, go sightseeing, or even work out.
These are a great choice if you like drawcord waistbands, which are comfortable and easy to adjust. There’s room for some of your valuables in the back pockets, front pockets, and zippered cargo pockets. The cargo pockets are also more than roomy enough for your passport, wallet, or oversized smartphone.
Keep in mind that the pants are tapered and narrow around the calf. Some people may find this design unflattering.
- Articulated knees and gusseted crotch for mobility
- Harness-compatible if you’re planning on going rock climbing
- Modern and flattering style
- Soft and comfortable
- Not lightweight
- Drawstring waistband and tapered design isn’t for everyone
Mountain Hardwear Cascade Pass Cargo Specs:
|Material:||Cotton and elastane|
|Pockets:||Two cargo pockets and two back pockets|
|Waist:||Elastic drawstring waistband|
Best Quick-Dry Pants for Women
The Marmot Women’s Kodachrome Pants are comfortable and functional, with built-in UPF 50 sun protection from UV rays. The fabric is also abrasion-resistant, making these pants a good fit for you if you’re a hiker or climber looking for long-lasting, durable travel pants. These are also super affordable, considering all the additional features.
The pants have gussets and articulated knees to give you increased mobility for workouts or climbing or just for extra comfort when traveling. They are quite a loose fit, so check out the measurements before you make a purchase. You may prefer to take one size down from your usual pants size.
The Kodachrome pants are stylish and versatile. You can quickly go from hiking in them to sitting in a coffee shop without feeling underdressed. They’re also casual and comfy enough to wear to the airport.
For sweaty workouts and long days of sightseeing, the fabric is water-resistant, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying. So, you can rest assured you’ll feel more than comfortable in this breathable pair of travel pants.
- UPF 50 sun protection for hot conditions
- Abrasion-resistant fabric makes the pants durable
- Quick-drying and water-resistant for damp conditions
- Gussets and articulated knees give added mobility
Marmot Women’s Kodachrome Pants Specs:
|Pockets:||Two front hand pockets and two back pockets|
|Waist:||Interior waistband with belt loops|
Best Budget Travel Pants for Women
The AJISAI Drawstring Sports Pants are comfortable and stretchy, with plenty of mobility for hiking, climbing, yoga, or jogging. They are also well-suited to a long flight if you need a comfy pair of pants to sleep in. The quick-drying fabric is cool and repels residual sweat on the material.
For such an affordable price, these pants are versatile and functional. Unfortunately, however, there are only two pockets for your valuables. That said, the pockets are quite large and deep, which is hard to find with this style of jogging pants.
The ribbed cuffs help keep the draft from coming up the pant legs, but they can be too narrow for some. If you’re looking for pants that work for activities like yoga and climbing, these are a good option as the cuffs will stay in place as you move. Another plus is that these pants come in a range of fun and stylish colors.
- Comfortable and breathable
- Suitable for running and relaxing
- Quick-drying to avoid sweat patches
- Stretchy fabric with plenty of mobility
- Drawstring cord waistband isn’t for everyone’s taste
- Ribbed cuff isn’t for everyone
- Only two pockets for storage
AJISAI Women’s Drawstring Sports Pants Specs:
|Material:||Nylon and elastane|
|Fit:||Tapered cuff relaxed fit|
|Pockets:||Two large side pockets|
|Waist:||Drawstring elasticated waistband|
Travel Pants Buyers Guide: How to Choose the Right Pair
Travel pants need to fulfill many expectations and pretty high standards, as they’re something you’ll want to wear for years to come. You’ll want a pair of pants that are not only functional but stylish, comfortable, and practical. Some of us have budgets to consider, too. So, how do you weigh the pros and cons?
By using the buying points below, you can navigate the buying process a little more easily and find the perfect pair of travel pants to meet your set of buying criteria. The next time you’re browsing for pants, simply return to this buying guide for guidance on the most important feature in travel pants to look out for while you comparison shop.
Travel pants can come with potentially limitless features to consider. However, it’s important that you don’t get swept away by a long list of seemingly useful features that you actually do not need. A good idea is to make a list of what you want your travel pants to achieve and keep comparison shopping until you find a pair that comes closest to what you want.
A core consideration is to look out for features in the fabric that could be of use to you. For example, quick-drying materials are great for hot weather or intense exercise. You can also look for moisture-wicking fabrics that help deal with sweat. Some fabrics even come with an antimicrobial treatment to prevent your pants from getting smelly. After hours of sightseeing in a new place, that treatment will undoubtedly come in handy for you.
Another set of valuable features is ankle zips and straps. Ankle zips open up to give you some more ventilation when needed, or they can be zipped close to protect you from mosquito bites or long grass on a hike. You can also use ankle straps to keep your cash. In which case, having an ankle zip will give you easy access.
Ankle snaps are used to secure or button-close your cuffs. These are pretty helpful if you want to keep the draft out or just to keep your pants legs in place while you walk around.
Lastly, if you’re planning on rock climbing in your travel pants, look out for harness-compatible pockets.
If you’re completely stuck between two pairs of amazing travel pants, style can be a useful dealbreaker. Once you’ve gotten past the basic functionality of a pair of pants, it would be nice if they also suit your personal style.
Think about the type of fit you prefer and what you think is the most flattering on your body type. There are many different styles you can choose from, including tapered pants, straight-cut pants, ones with a loose fit, and regular fit. Naturally, the kinds of activities you’re planning will dictate what’s appropriate as well. You wouldn’t normally go for slim-fit, sleek pants if you’re planning on a steep hike in the forest.
You can also look out for colors you like, as many of the pants in this list come in a range of colors and shades. If you can’t choose between two options, go with the one that has a color you like.
Mobility and Comfort
Travel pants have to be comfortable, which is why mobility should play an important role in your decision-making process. Choose an uncomfortable pair, and you’re stuck with terrible pants all vacation. Keep in mind that you want as much room as possible in the knees and the crotch area, as this will reduce the change of the pants ripping over the years.
Look out for little sewing tricks like gusseted crotches and articulated knees. In sewing, a gusset is a piece of fabric added to the crotch area of a pair of pants to give tight-fitting pants more room. Articulated knees use the same principle; extra fabric is added around the knee area to give you an increased range of motion.
Consider the waist belt of your prospective pair of travel pants. Everyone is different, so you want to make sure you find a pair of pants that is flattering and comfortable, too. Some waistbands are elasticated, which can be comfortable but can also cut into your belly if the fit isn’t right. It’s always best to check the measurements around the waist just to be safe.
Take a look at the design of the waist, too. You might prefer drawstring cords on an elasticated waistband, while others prefer traditional belt loops with a zip and button.
Nothing is more frustrating than not having enough pockets. With travel pants in particular, you’ll want to ensure you have enough space for all your valuables, but also that the pockets are deep and can zip closed. There’s a good chance you’re purchasing travel pants to use in foreign countries and new places. For that reason, you want the peace of mind of a fanny pack incorporated into your travel pants. If that sounds like you, look out for hidden pockets where you can store your valuables.
Often the most critical factor when choosing your travel gear is how protective the gear is going to be against any given weather conditions. The perfect pair of travel pants would, ideally, protect you from the rain and wind, as well as from harmful UV rays from the sun.
If your prospective travel pants have something called “UPF coating,” that means the fabric they’re made with helps obstruct UV rays from the skin. Outdoorsy folk will know how important this is, which is why many travel pants come with UPF coatings. Sunscreen isn’t always enough to do the job.
Another feature to look out for is a durable water-repellant or DWR coating on the fabric. This is essentially a chemical coating on the material that helps keep you dry and protects you against wind and rain. However, keep in mind that DWR coatings can wash off over time, especially if you wash them frequently. With that in mind, the coating shouldn’t be your number one priority, unless you have many different travel pants on rotation.
You probably have limited space in your luggage for your trip, which is why versatility is an important factor to consider when choosing the right pair of pants to travel in or travel with. You’ll likely be busy with lots of activities to get through, so you may want to focus on pants that can easily transition from activewear to casual wear and so on. Look for pants you would be comfortable wearing in a museum, on a hike, or at a coffee shop.
Another thing to consider is versatility in terms of weather protection. If you’re headed to a tropical climate, you’ll probably want a light, breathable fabric that’s moisture-wicking, water-resistant, and quick-drying.
On the other hand, if you’re traveling in cold conditions you should focus on thick, durable fabrics that are wind-resistant. The key is to research the kind of weather you’re likely to experience and then plan accordingly.
A good go-to option if you want a versatile pair of pants is to go with convertible pants. These can be long pants or short pants if you unzip the pants legs, which is a big help if you happen to misjudge the weather one day.
Final Thoughts on Buying the Best Travel Pants
Every pair of travel pants is different. The most important thing is to be thorough in your comparison shopping and determine how well the travel pants in question meet your standards and if they’re providing great bang for your buck.
Hopefully, you’ve found the ideal pair of travel pants on this list to take you all over the world or simply on a quick trip outside your city. If you’re looking for more inspiration on travel gear, you can read the TravelFreak gear round-ups and articles in the links below.