Best Travel Pants
You may be gearing up for that dream trip you’ve been planning for years, or it is just that time of the year where you and your family need to get away and make some memories. You may be headed to ancient ruins, feast on local cuisine, dive into the culture and history of a rich and gorgeous landscape. Or, perhaps, you have an upcoming business trip, and you will be exploring the local trails during your downtime. Whatever your next adventure looks like, you’ll want to be well-clothed for it, and feel comfortable while you travel. Whether you’re on the road or prefer exploring local sights, quality travel pants are a basic necessity for any adventurer.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
They’re both lightweight and durable
The low-key cargo makes these pants easily convertible to an evening out
These pants come with a wallet-friendly price tag
Top Ten Travel Pants
1. Union Bay Rainier Travel Chino
They’re both lightweight and durable
The low-key cargo makes these pants easily convertible to an evening out
These pants come with a wallet-friendly price tag
They may wrinkle up easier than some after washing and use
The Union Bay Men’s Rainier Travel Chinos are an excellent option for the traveler who needs ultimate versatility and comfort without spending a fortune. Throw these into a small travel case and you’ve got pants in which you can spend a day in the elements, a day in the workplace or a nice dinner out with coworkers. They are classy and sophisticated and allow for ease of movement throughout all your trip’s activities.Read more
Made of 94% Nylon and 6% Spandex, these travel chinos are made to be comfortable, stretchy, light and durable. They are stain-resistant and will hold up well for a full day’s work or days on the road. They include an adjustable waistband for maximum controllable comfort.
Shipping at only 3.2-ounces, these pants are super lightweight and fold down to almost nothing for packing.
The breathability of these pants is decent. Some reviewers suggest unzipping all of the pockets for ultimate airflow.
They are both water-resistant and quick-drying. Instead of packing a pile of pants for the journey, you can easily wash these, hang them up and they’ll be ready to go the next day, giving you the advantage of packing ultralight.
UPF 50 is built into the Rainier chinos for extra sun protection, making these a smart option for a long day outdoors.
Made for style and performance, the Rainier Travel Chino has a classic flat front with stylish color options like black, khaki and charcoal. They have a slimmer cut and are nice enough to be business casual, but also hardy enough to spend an afternoon in the woods.
There is plenty of pocket space with two mesh-lined front pockets, one side leg phone-sized cargo with zip closure and two rear mesh-lined, zippered back pockets.
2. PrAna Men’s Stretch Zion
They are functional for all types of activities
They offer both breathable, relaxed comfort and long-lasting durability
Sizing can be inconsistent. You may have to go up one waist size
The prAna Men’s Stretch Zion pants are bestsellers for their reliability, versatility and functional comfort. With plenty of pocket space, lightweight comfort and ultimate durability, they are perfect for any outdoor or travel lifestyle.Read more
The prAna Stretch Zion pants are made of 97% Nylon and 3% Spandex and. Original stretch Zion fabric creates a comfortable pair of pants that are light, breathable, abrasion-resistant, wrinkle-resistant, stretchy and durable all at once.
These pants weigh about 13.6-ounces, taking us less than one pound of your overall luggage allowance.
They have an adjustable waistband and a ventilated inseam gusset with ventilation holes so that your legs stay cool throughout the day.
These pants are woven with a water-repellent finish, DWR (durable water repellent), enabling them to resist the saturation of water and dry quickly. Additionally, they are made with UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) 50 for protection against the sun’s rays.
Three-season, straight-leg, loose fit pants, they include roll-up leg snaps for securing the bottom section up above the shoe should you need to trek through water or the day’s temperatures get too hot. They come in eight different color options and easily transition from the plane to a day on the trail.
The Zion pants include a side-entry cargo pocket that’s well-integrated into the leg with zippered dual-entry, front open pockets with deep mesh for optimum breathability and rear pockets with flap closure.
3. White Sierra Trail
UPF Sun Protection
Unzip to become shorts
Pockets could be bigger
These travel pants are the definition of comfort and convenience. With there ability to become shorts is a great feature if you are headed from a colder climate to a warmer climate and do not want to change your pants. These travel pants are also stylish and a great piece of clothing to add to your gear for the price.Read more
Woven with 100% nylon, the White Sierra travel pants are midweight, non-bulky, wrinkle-resistant, and abrasion-resistant. They also have a UPF sun protection fabric to protect you against the sun. They’re comfortable yet durable for whatever the day may entail.
These pants weigh about 13-ounces, depending on the size and gender.
Reviewers say that the breathability of these pants is better than they expected. In high humidity and warm environments, they will heat up but not nearly as much as a pair of jeans.
They have a water repellent finish to repel and shed splashes, spills, and light rain. They’re easy to spot wash and will quickly dry.
These year-round pants are convertible to shorts with zip-off legs. A relaxed fit makes them appropriate for outdoor sports, work, all day travel or hanging out casually. They are available in eight different neutral colors that could be paired with almost any color shirt.
This pair of travel pants have a good amount of pockets but they could be bigger to store more. They are tight so if you are looking to store a lot in your pockets, make sure the items are not too bulky.
4. Royal Robbins Discovery
There are fewer color options than some other pant selections have
The Royal Robbins Women’s Discovery Pant is quick-drying, wrinkle-resistant, lightweight bootcut pants that will be a nice addition to any compact travel bag. They are flattering, practical, and high-performance with plenty of stretch and movement for the journey.Read more
The Discovery Pant is made of lightweight, four-way stretch fabric that’s 96% Nylon and 4% Spandex. They are wrinkle-resistant and durable while being non-restricting.
These lightweight pants will take up only 10-ounces of your luggage allowance and fold down to almost nothing.
Nylon isn’t exactly known for being breathable. Another material added into these pants would have been a nice addition for extra comfort and breathability.
Royal Robbins created the Discovery Pant with travelers in mind. It is quick to wash and dry and wicks moisture away on warm days. It has Dri-Xtreme™ mesh inside the waistband. These pants are made of eco-friendly fabric and have built-in UPF 50 sun protection.
It has a classic, bootcut leg with a pleat down the front. Roll-up legs with securing tabs and good color options provide for versatile wear for almost any occasion and any weather condition.
The Discovery pants have two rear back pockets with zip security and drop-in front pockets with secure closure on one side.
5. Ex Officio Nomad
Incredibly lightweight at an average of 9.9 oz
Variety of colors to choose from
Makes noise when the fabric rubs together
The Ex Officio Men’s Nomad Pant is a great choice for cool to warm weather travel conditions. If you leave cool weather at the airport and arrive at your destination to warm temperatures, this lightweight pant will keep you comfortable.
In fact, it’s so incredibly light that it’s a no-brainer to pack and ideal for backpackers and frequent travelers.Read more
Both functional and durable, the Nomad pants are a relaxed fit and made of light and thin 100% nylon material.
The Nomad pant is extremely lightweight at around 9.9 oz, making it a great option if weight and space are critical.
They include a full inseam gusset and partial elastic waistband for excellent breathability and stretch.
They repel water easily, wick moisture and are easy to clean and will dry quickly.
Their light material, streamlined style, and stealth pockets make them ideal for either urban venues or wilderness environments, or both.
These pants include one zip pocket on the back, a small left leg zip pocket, a large right leg pocket, and two front pockets. An inner pocket loop is also attached for extra security.
6. PrAna Halle
They are an attractive and versatile fit
They are tough enough to tackle the mountains
These pants offer plenty of pocket space
Sizing may be off
The prAna Women’s Halle Pants are ideal for those who like adventure as well as comfort. They’re a solid choice for hiking and rock climbing without restriction as well as traveling for hours in cramped quarters. You may buy these for hiking or traveling and end up wearing them every day for their easy versatility and incredible comfort.Read more
Stretch Zion fabric that’s crafted of 97% stretch Nylon and 3% Spandex makes for a light and comfortable pant. They are a mid-rise fit, drape nicely overshoes and have a four-way stretch design with a knee area that is reinforced for maximum movement.
On average, these pants weigh only about 12.2-ounces.
They stretch when you move, breathe in humidity and rising temperatures and allow wrinkles to fall right out when unpacked and after use.
These pants include a DWR finish so that water beads up and slides right off as soon as it hits, instead of saturating your clothing. It’s quick-drying so that if you do need to wash them out, they’ll be ready to wear again in time for your next venture.
The Halle Pant is a trouser style with button closure, zipper, and built-in belt loops. They are available in a wide variety of colors. The attractive fit allows you to effortlessly move from a professional workday to an after-work climb to an evening out. They also have a roll-up pant leg with a button for securing for extra comfort in outdoor conditions.
There are two typical front pockets, as well as two good-sized back pockets with flap and button-front closures for security. In addition, there is a subtle, extra upper leg pocket that provides extra space but doesn’t create any unwanted bulk.
7. PrAna Meme
Plenty of pockets
Will shrink if put if in the dryer
Only available in 3 colors
For the traveler that is looking for a stylish pant that they could wear in everyday life, this is it. The Meme pant is constructed from prAna's own signature fabric, Stretch Zion. The pants are comfortable, breathable, and stretchy with a skinny leg and mid-rise. We would have liked to see a few more color options but they got the basics covered.Read more
These pants are made from prAna’s own Stretch Zion fabric, which is made from 97% Nylon and 3% Spandex. They provide you with ultimate comfort and four-way stretch. Additionally, they have a UPF rating of 50+. They are a top choice for traveling because of their resistance to wrinkles, water, and over-stretching.
Like almost all travel pants, and as a travel pant should be, these pants are lightweight. On average, each pair weighs about 11.7-ounces. They will not be the item that puts your luggage weight over the limit and they are small and easy to pack.
Customers have been thoroughly impressed with the breathability of these pants. If the weather gets too hot, you won’t find yourself sitting in a pile of sweat.
The Stretch Zion fabric is interwoven with a Durable Water Repellent finish, allowing water droplets to simply roll right off these pants. Also, in the event of a rain shower or after washing the pants, they dry very quickly.
The Meme pant has the style of skinny leg pant and a mid-rise fit. They could easily pass as an everyday pant and could be styled to be worn casually or even to a nice dinner. They have a very versatile look and are available in three different neutral colors, including cargo green, black, and quartz.
These pants feature plenty of pockets, including a traditional five-pocket design, as well as two side cargo pockets.
8. Outdoor Research Ferrosi
They are made of high-quality material that offers wind and water protection
Infinite guarantee that claims your Outdoor Research products are guaranteed forever
They are ultra-lightweight, making them compact, easy to pack up, comfortable and great for distance hikers
Fabric makes noise when rubbing together
The Women’s Ferrosi Pant by Outdoor Research is a nice-looking pant made of sturdy fabric that will withstand just about any adventure sport you tackle. They are light in weight, which will save you valuable backpack space and keep you comfortable on long trips. Their ruggedness and versatility will take you from the mountaintop to the campsite to the café and back again, day after day.Read more
The Ferrosi pant is of a high-quality 90D stretch women material made of 86% ripstop and 14% Spandex and hardy stitching. It is made with a snap and zipper closure with a drawstring for quick tightening. It’s a lightweight pant that’s tough, wind-resistant and abrasion-resistant, but also comfortable enough for any adventure.
They come with a lifetime guarantee and are super lightweight at an average of 10.3 oz.
These lightweight pants provide great breathability. The manner in which the material is woven allows the fabric to quickly absorb wetness and bring it to the surface to evaporate.
These pants nicely repel rain, spills, and splashes. Should they become saturated or need a wash, they dry quickly and free of wrinkles.
Outdoor Research has made these pants to be the perfect staple for camping, backpacking, and casual wear. They include an ankle drawstring so they can be secured up above the shoe optimum function when out in the elements.
They include two good-sized front pockets as well as two back pockets and a thigh pocket that are zippered for extra security.
9. Columbia Saturday Trail
They are cool and lightweight
The pants are made of high-quality materials from a reliable company
They easily convert from outdoor adventures to casual office and evening settings
You may need to order up a size from what you would normally wear
The Saturday Trail Stretch Pant from Columbia is a great travel pant for women. It won’t take up much space or weight when packed, it has lots of stretch and give for activities that require a good amount of movement, it’s made of comfortable material and it has a classy design that’s versatile for all your traveling needs.Read more
The comfort stretch fabric of the Saturday Trail pant is Omni-Shield Summiteer Lite 96% nylon and 4% elastane. They are mid-rise with a double-snap closure, articulated knees, and gusset detail for excellent breathability and ease-of-movement.
These are very lightweight. Depending on the size that you order, the weight slightly varies. As a reference, a size 4 pants weighs just under seven ounces.
There is no doubt about it, this a breathable pair of pants! Their construction paired with the materials, technologies, and style will keep you comfortable in warm and humid conditions. They can also be rolled up into capris if you really find yourself overheating.
Built-in Omni-Shield repellency works to move water away from the body and make for an easy-dry pair of pants.
The Saturday Trail pants are made with Omni-Shade UPF 50 for the most sun protection while out of doors.
They are made with a straight-leg design that’s convertible to a cool Capri pant. Both stylish and functional, they easily move from camping in the backcountry to everyday lounging to evenings out on the town.
They include side-entry front pockets and low-key back zip closure security pockets.
10. Columbia Silver Ridge
There are plenty of good-sized pockets for optimum travel storage
These pants have been positively reviewed by thousands of happy customers
The price is kept low for a high-quality product
Sizing can be off
The Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Pant is one travel pant you can’t go wrong with. It’s tough for withstanding the outdoors, it has plenty of pocket space for traveling and work purposes, it’s convertible for cool to hot weather conditions, and it’s lightweight for compact and simple packing.Read more
The main body is crafted with 100% nylon ripstop and mesh panels that are 57% recycled polyester and 43% polyester mesh. The soft material, gusset detail, and a partially elastic waistband make for optimum comfort. It wears well at the knee for a hardy and non-restricting choice of pants.
Very lightweight, these pants weigh only about ten ounces. This makes them comfortable to wear and very easy to pack.
The blend of fabrics creates a fabric that breathes well in all environments and keeps you comfortable all day.
Omni-Wick moisture-wicking high-performance technology creates a pair of pants that work to keep unwanted moisture off the body and speeds up the drying process from what you’d experience in a thicker, more typical pair of pants.
The Silver Ridge pants are optimized for outdoor performance. They are warm enough for a cool morning, but if it gets hot on the trail or warm in the plane, there are zip-off legs for quick comfort. The excess pieces can be rolled compactly and stored in the cargo pockets.
There are six mesh-lined pockets built-in to the men’s Silver Ridge pants. There is one side zipper pocket, one side Velcro and flap pocket, two back pockets with a flap and hook and loop closure and two front pockets. There is also an easily removable, integrated belt, Omni-Shade built-in sun protection and a good variety of color options to choose from.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
After you’ve spent a good amount of time traveling, you know that it can get uncomfortable if you’re not wearing the clothes for it. Buttons can dig into your skin, pants can get tight in the middle when seated for long periods of time, certain areas can become noticeably stretched out by the time you’ve finally reached your destination. You may be ready to change entirely once your plane has landed. Look for pants and other clothing options that are soft, gentle on the skin for hours on end and that you can move and flow and live in comfortably.
If you can find pants that will resist wrinkling, you’re way ahead of the game! Spending a good portion of your day traveling by car, plane, train, or wherever can absolutely leave your clothing all wrinkled and crinkled. Furthermore, depending on the type of travel you’ll be doing, irons and outlets aren’t always available, nor is the time to spend ironing the wrinkles out. Look for clothing that will allow wrinkles to fall right out after traveling, washing and unpacking.
Look for pants that are light for both comfort and ease of wear, but also for packing purposes. Bulky items will take up space quickly. If you hope to travel with only a carry-on, small bag or a light backpack, choose pants that can fit in compactly and that won’t weigh you down on the road, in the air or on the trail.
Weight is also an important factor while wearing these pants. You do not want to feel weighed down while wearing them and let them have an impact on the activity you are doing. Look for lightweight pants and you will be happy you did.
Weather conditions and temperatures can change rather quickly when you’re traveling. One minute you’re covered up with an airplane blanket and the next the body heat of your small aircraft is overwhelming. You leave the cool mountains and arrive in the tropics. You start your hike in an early morning’s chilly mist and by mid-day it’s sweltering. Be on the lookout for pants made of breathable fabrics that can easily be worn all day long, no matter the temperature changes.
You’re likely to run into some rain, wet conditions, streams or other small bodies of water (if not large ones) when moving across the earth’s terrain. Be prepared with pants and other clothing that will work to keep water from saturating through to the skin. You definitely don’t want to show up to the business event with wet pants if you can help it. Many options available will repel water and allow small amounts of it to glide right off.
Should you get stuck in a downpour, fall in a river or need to wash out your pants, choose ones that will be quick to dry. Typically, water-resistance and fast-drying qualities go hand-in-hand. You will usually find them in thin materials that won’t absorb and hold water well.
DWR is a coating that is added to fabrics to make them hydrophobic, or water-resistant. DWR can wear off over time and after much use, but there are wash-in and spray-on products that you can buy separately in order to make your gear and clothing water-resistant once again.
When traveling, you’ll want to keep your bag light and avoid packing your entire wardrobe. This can be challenging but having clothing in your closet that can be versatile enough to be worn in most situations will make it much simpler. Black and khaki are always good choices if you plan to be in business or casual dinner situations.
Pants with pockets that aren’t bulky and distracting are more versatile, as well as those with no large logos on the legs or pockets. Choose pants that can just as easily be worn during travel, for the events taking place once you’ve arrived and during your downtime, whether it’s spent out in the wild or just lounging around.
Be on the lookout for pants that will move with you all day long, whether you choose to attend a social gathering, take a scenic train ride, or climb a mountain. You’ll want materials that will stretch, bend and reach when you do and return to neutral when you do as well.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Remember, great pants for those on the go, like the ones selected here, will be light, soft, three-season, built to take some beating, resistant to unwanted damage and elements, and well-pocketed so that all of your gear stays right where you want it. They’ll even fold or roll up compact enough so that you can fit several pairs into your bag, increasing your travel wardrobe. With the wardrobe selection and packing out of the way, you are free to simply enjoy the journey!
When going for style, convertible pants may not be the first article of clothing that comes to mind. However, convertible pants are great for travel. If you start exploring in the early morning when it is still cold outside, you'll want pants, right? Once midday hits and the sun is blaring down on you, you'll be more keen on shorts. Carrying an extra outfit in your daypack isn't always an option. Convertible pants feature one to two zippers that allow you to zip off the excess fabric, depending on the weather. Additionally, with only packing one pair, you'll have both pants and shorts in one, saving room for other necessities in your luggage.
Other Factors to Consider
You don’t want to sacrifice durability when you opt for lightweight options. A good pair of travel pants will hold up well in all types of elements, outdoor environments, and after hours and hours of time on the road. Look for pants that are stain-resistant as well as abrasion-resistant. It’s the life we’re in after all; you’re bound to hit a snag or two somewhere along the way. Choose wisely and pants will be one less thing you have to worry about.
When you’re on the go, pockets are a useful part of your attire. If you want to travel light, pockets can give you easy access to important small items such as a cell phone, wallet, keys, passport, cash, and extra change, a small camera, and/or a knife. Deep pockets are best for keeping all those items inside and safe. For extra security, look for pants that come with Velcro, button, and zippered pockets. Some pants even have dual-entry pockets for easiest access and hidden pockets for small valuables.
Two-way stretch and four-way stretch are terms used when describing some fabrics. (Note, some may term it a bit differently but the descriptions and meanings are the same despite what it’s called.) Some have no stretch at all, of course, but materials used in travel and outdoor pants usually do. Two-way stretch describes that the fabric stretches in one direction, either width-wise or length-wise. Four-way stretch describes that the fabric stretches both width-wise and length-wise. In other words, it stretches left and right as well as up and down. Furthermore, two-way stretch and four-way stretch also means that it stretches and also recovers from the stretch. (Some use one-way stretch to describe that it stretches one way but does not recover.) Nylon, for instance, is a four-way stretch fabric.
Nylon is a synthetic material that’s manufactured with repeating fibers which make it tough and elastic. It’s lightweight but also very strong and durable. It resists sun damage, fading, and weathering. It’s mold-resistant, water-resistant and fast-drying, which all work together to make it a good fabric for outdoor gear and clothing.
Polyester is also a synthetic material and has many of the same benefits that nylon does for the purposes of outdoor wear. It is strong and durable, resistant to stretching and retains its shape well. It resists shrinking, wrinkles, mildew, abrasion, and water. It is easy to wash and quick to dry. It’s lightweight and sometimes paired with nylon or other materials.
Spandex and elastane are essentially the same material but can be called different names depending on the region in which it’s made and used. There can be other, specific brand names for this material as well. Spandex (or elastane) is elastic and stretchy in nature. It is also lightweight, durable and strong. It maintains its shape, is soft, easy to care for and allows for comfort and freedom of movement. It is usually mixed with another fabric, such as polyester.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Are they appropriate to wear in the snow, at high altitude or where temperatures are cold?
This selection of travel pants is more suited for summer, fall and spring weather conditions. They are made for easy travel and light packing, therefore they are lightweight themselves. A thicker and heavier weighted pant would be more ideal for extremely cold temperatures. However, should you find yourself in a low-temperature situation, these pants will break some wind and resist some moisture from snow and ice? Layering with thermal underwear underneath will keep you warmer and may suffice in mild low temperatures.
q: Are they lightweight enough for backpacking?
They are lightweight enough for backpacking. The total weight of a pack is going to be dependent on the shape and condition of the backpacker. A stronger, more fit individual will likely be able to carry a heavier load. However, a more conditioned hiker may be going for a great distance over a longer period of time (like a 2000-mile trail thru-hike) and want the lightest load absolutely possible for the long haul. Carry only what you’ll need for the length of time you’ll be on the trail. Pants are pretty much a necessity, obviously. Opting for lightweight ones will save space in your pack and keep the weight low. A good rule of thumb is to carry no more than a third of your body weight. This would give each hiker a unique pack weight goal. Or, you could simply aim for your pack to be under 30 pounds (that includes food and water), but many backpackers drop far below this. Learn your body and what’s comfortable for you, and also what’s absolutely necessary for the trail. All of these pants options are lightweight enough to be ideal picks for distance backpacking.
q: Will they hang dry overnight?
Most of the pants included are made entirely of nylon or mostly of nylon. Nylon is a fabric that will roll water from its surface easily. It will also wash easily. Then, because of its fabric structure, it won’t absorb and hold the water well, even when saturated during washing. Instead, water evaporates off quickly. You should be able to hang these and other nylon-based pants in the evening and return in the morning to pants that are dry and ready to be worn again. Make sure that, like any clothing, they have air and space in which to dry.
q: How water-resistant are they? Can they be worn in the rain?
As previously stated, the best travel pants are nylon-based. Some are also made with a Spandex or polyester blend. All of these materials will hold up in water well. They will repel water and resist saturation. Many of them will remain dry in light rain, however, heavy rains may break through the surface. Even then, drying them out will be quicker and easier than thicker, more absorbent materials like denim or cotton.
q: How much stretch do they give? Can I climb in them?
You can absolutely climb in them! Nylon, polyester, and Spandex are also very stretchy, elastic materials that will move with you. Furthermore, some of these options are manufactured with articulated knees (check for those that are), giving you much more range of motion and freedom in the legs. The pants are purposely made for you to climb and stretch in them with their elastane material giving you loads of space to maneuver or climb in.