Here’s a review of the best travel pants to tackle any adventure or trip. I’m a firm believer in minimalist travel and that with the right clothes you can handle any trip or change in plans.
After years of travel, I’ve had enough pants rip, buttons pop off, and uncomfortable travel days to last me a lifetime. When you travel what you wear is a big deal.
For a long time, I considered the best pair of travel pants to be the most durable pants imaginable, made for true adventurers. While there was some truth to a durable pair of travel pants we’re not climbing a mountain on every single trip. Sometimes a great pair of pants just need to look and feel good.
The best travel pants should be simple, tough, comfortable, and look good. So, pretty much everything you could ask for when it comes to clothing. The majority of peoples’ choice for pants is to go with hiking pants.
The problem with that? The old style of hiking pants is not great for cities! I can not think of an easier way to pick a tourist out of the crowd by seeing a pair of “travel pants” (fanny packs excluded) with hiking shoes in Paris.
There are a lot of elements to look for in a pair of pants and it all depends on the intended trip of traveler. You can find pants with security pockets, water-resistant properties, comfortable waistbands and even ankle reflectors on this list.
We’ve found a number of our favorite travel pants available and they cover a wide range of styles from dress pants to climbing.
The 10 Best Travel Pants
|1.) prAna Stretch Zion Pant||Nylon/Spandex||Hiking/climb||4.8||$85|
|2.) KUHL Revolvr Pant||Synthetic/Cotton/Spandex||Travel/Hiking||4.8||$79|
|3.) Outdoor Research Ferossi Pant||Nylon/Spandex||Hiking||5||$90|
|4.) Mountain Hardwear AP Pant||Canvas/Nylon/Elastane||Travel/Climbing||4.5||$85|
|5.) prAna Vaha Pant||Hemp/Poly||Yoga||4.5||$79|
|6.) Columbia Silver Ridge||Nylon||Travel/Hiking||4||$60|
|7.) UNIONBAY Men’s Rainier||Nylon/Spandex||Travel||4||$30|
|8.) Saturday Trail/ Royce Peak Pants||Nylon/Elastane||Outdoor/Travel||4.5||$50|
|9.) The North Face Motion Pant||Cotton/Sorona||Outdoor/Travel||4.5||$80|
|10.) REI Sahara/Taereen||Nylon/Spandex||Travel||4.5||$65|
1.) prAna Brion / Halle Pant – Best Travel Pant
If there is one pant I throw in my bag for any trip it’s the prAna Brion. The pant is a blend of nylon and spandex that has great moisture and temperature management. They also look pretty good as everyday pants that can go anywhere in the Mud and Dark Khaki colors.
They’re a functional pant that is designed as a climbing pant so they have superb flexibility. Although, they’re flexible do not mistake them for being loose and sloppy looking.
The paneling in the crotch allows them to have a slim cut while offering a full range of mobility. Pockets are also a huge bonus with the front and back pockets plenty deep enough. If you’re looking for a more outdoor focused pant with a cargo check the similar Stretch Zion Pant.
Not sure as to why, but they sell the men’s and women’s pants as under different names. The men’s pant is the Brion while the women’s is known as the Halle pant. They have slightly different cuts, but similar stylings and the same material qualities.
You really don’t have to take my word on these pants as they’re well reviewed across the internet with hundreds of glowing reviews on prAna, REI, Backcountry, and Amazon. In my opinion, what makes a great travel pant is one that goes anywhere, that could be trekking through the Himalayas, the streets of London, on safari in Africa, or in a business meeting — this pant does all that and more.
2.) KUHL Revolvr / Splash Pant – Best Stylish Travel Pant
It really comes down to style here and since the vast majority of travelers spend their time in cities it’s an easy choice for the number two selection. However, don’t count these pants out as they’re ready for an adventure with a deceptive amount of flexibility and pockets.
We love the Kuhl brand. They make quality products that last years and these pants are no different. These pants are great on a safari or even a day at work back home as these travel pants are both comfortable and professional.
Thanks to a durable cotton blend fabric with just a small hint of nylon these pants will get you through any travel and remain comfortable. They have reinforcements at the cuff and you can wear them with a nice pair of boots or roll up with sandals or sneakers. Most importantly with a slim side pocket and straight leg cut these pants look great.
These men’s version is the Revolvr with a different pocket layout. The women’s is the Splash pant that comes in a wide range of colors and feature cargo pockets for a relaxed look that doesn’t feel too outdoorsy.
3.) Outdoor Research Ferossi Pant – Best Outdoor Pant
This is a close first for best travel pant, but it’s stylings make it much more a hiking/technical pant. When it comes to function in the outdoors it takes top marks and when I’m hiking it’s my go-to pant. However, I find it’s too technical and outdoorsy looking to walk around a European city comfortably.
The pants are really lightweight but similar to a softshell pant with great water resistant and windbreaking capabilities. With that in mind, it keeps you warm in cool weather, but the breathability of the pants keeps you cool in hot weather. With a thin yet tough material, that pack down really small they eat up minimal room in luggage and they are the lightest pants on this list.
Similar to Stretch Zion the Ferossi has five pockets with two back, front, and one side pocket. The pockets are a bit smaller, but I do appreciate the horizontal zipper. Granted it lends more to outdoors style that dings it for a travel pant. These pants are great for the more adventurous traveler or ones who spend a lot of time outside.
4.) Mountain Hardwear AP Pant — Best Tough Travel Pant
These pants combine performance and style. Made from a blended canvas fabric they’re comfortable, durable, and move with your body. AP pants gain their strength from their durable material that makes for a great work pant or tough travel pant.
As with many of the pants on here they have a nice slim cut that blends the line between dress pant and active pant that we love to see in travel pants. They’re also an awesome pant that remains really comfortable to wear any day.
Then you have some different features here that will surely be appreciated such as hidden reflective elements that are exposed when the cuffs are rolled and safety zip pockets to secure your valuables.
All of this makes for a great travel pant. I also love that this pant uses different materials as many of these pants are nylon/spandex blend on this list of best travel pants.
5.) prAna Vaha Pant — Most Comfortable Travel Pant
I spend so much time traveling in these pants, and they’ve become one of my favorite pairs of pants ever. It’s gotten to the point where I now have three different pairs. The prAna Vaha Pant is designed for Yoga and climbing, but I use them for anything these days.
We’re also massive on reducing our eco-footprint so when our package from prAna arrived with no in a paper envelope with no plastic packaging we were impressed.
Hemp and recycled polyester give the breathability to the pants with quick dry, and odor-fighting qualities along with being a heck of an eco-friendly product. We’re pretty big fans of prAna so we highly recommend checking out some of their products. The women’s pant is the Summit pant and the men’s is the Vaha pant.
6.) Columbia Silver Ridge — Best Convertible Pants
Whatever these pants lack in style they make up for in practicality. Made from a synthetic material they offer UV protection, good moisture management, and ventilation. Oh, and they convert from pants to shorts with hidden zippers.
We’re not huge fans of convertible pants as they can look a little goofy. However, the zips on these pants do a good job at remaining comfortable and remaining hidden. When it comes down to luggage space they pack down small and save you room packing a pair of shorts, a big bonus.
I find the full nylon blend to be a tad bit obnoxious with the classics swishy sound made by older outdoor pants. Never the less if you need a technical pant that can handle a multitude of temperatures these are tremendous and the best convertible pants on the market.
7.) UNIONBAY Men’s Rainier — Cheap Travel Pant
It’s pretty tough to beat this pant if you’re on a budget as you can find them on sale for around $30. It’s actually the cheapest pair of pants I’ve bought in the last five years.
They’re a nylon/spandex blend that is stain resistant and quick drying. It’s a great travel pant and they look pretty good for any setting. The front pockets are deep and could hold comfortably a wallet, passport, or phone and the rear pockets have zippers for added security.
I found them to be a little baggier than most pants, but nothing extreme. The cut was just a little off, but for the price, it’s tough to complain and everyone is different!
8.) Columbia Saturday Trail / Royce Peak Pants — Best Travel Pant
Columbia makes some great pants that are very cost effective with high value. Unlike the more expensive Outdoor Research or prAna pants above you can typically find a pair of these for less than $60. (They go on sale often)
Color options are of greater variety with the Saturday Trail Pant. However, you should expect all the same features such as roll up capri, security pocket, and a button fly. These pants are great for traveling since they’re lightweight, look good, and versatile.
9.) The North Face Motion Pant — Best Travel Pant
There are so many great travel pants out there that it’s tough to even put these this far down the list. However, the other pants above fit specific needs while these are great all-rounders like the prAna at number one.
These are the perfect pair of pants for travel. The pants have a nice look to them with straight legs that feel at home exploring a city. A fabric blend of cotton and Sorona® is (a technical fabric) gives the pants water-resistant and durable qualities. I like that the synthetic material as it holds up well on outdoor activities and will keeps you cool in the heat.
They’re well cut and avoid the traditional trappings of hiking pants being bulky and stiff. The cut is made to move with you as it features articulated knees and a crotch gusset. So that when climbing up a hill to get a better view of the city or climbing a mountain you have full mobility.
10.) REI Co-op Sahara/Taereen — Best Travel Pant
REI is easily one of our favorite companies when it comes to outdoor and travel gear. They also make a large number of products that are of great value. For example, their Sahara Roll-Up Pants designed for adventure travel. While the women’s Taereen Pant is a more general travel pant with a slim cut and nylon blend.
The Sahar is definitely for a more active traveler on a trip to Africa or South America, but we love the Nylon blend with dual cargo pockets. The fit is still great as they’ve taken note from many of the manufacturers above and general trend.
You can even save weight in hot weather and avoid a belt as these pants have an adjustable waistband that can perfect their fit to your waist. Really we just love REI and they make some great clothes that they stand behind with a guarantee.
What makes the best travel pants?
There are several key elements that any pair of travel pants should check off. We need travel pants that can check off just about every box which is why the majority of the pants on this list are technical pants designed for the outdoors but are stylish enough to handle more formal/casual affairs.
Say whatever you want about pants, but if they’re not comfortable then they are not great for travel. A pair of travel pants is something that will be lived out of. They could be the most durable pants in the world, but if they feel like an art canvas I’m probably not going to want to sit in transit for eight hours in them.
This is super important to minimalist and really anyone who has the intention of getting on a plane with a suitcase. Airlines have gotten pretty stingy with baggage allowance and large clothes need a large suitcase that adds up to more weight.
This what keeps pants fresh for multiple wears in warm weather. Cotton is terrible at holding up long term for multiple days without a wash. Since you aren’t guaranteed to be washing your clothes every day, nor should you, we look for pants that have good antimicrobial properties.
These pants are meant for everyday travel so they should act accordingly. By the time I’m done with a pair of pants, they will have seen everything that can be thrown at them. Our latest adventure involved driving across Africa. My pants had to stand up against, movement, dirt, sand, mud, and still keep me cool.
The material should be durable, wrinkle resistant, and breathable. Jeans are great, but they tend to overheat when you’re active and they also don’t move well. Most companies seem to opt for nylon or weird fabric blends. I like to opt for organic cotton that has a blend of stretch material.
This should go without saying, but if you can’t wear the pants out in public it hardly constitutes being the best travel pants. The style is important, especially in some of the hip capital cities around the world.
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