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In the past, the variety of activities you might work into a single trip's itinerary might have meant packing hiking pants, jeans, sweatpants, and maybe something else to go out in. Now, in the age of ever more versatile apparel, a single pair of travel pants can provide all the stretch, comfort, and class one needs on a getaway, saving space in your carry-on for important items like your beloved film camera and the summer reading that you haven't actually read yet.
Though a pair of breezy linen pants may be the cure-all for traveling during warmer months, the following travel pants are more tailored to a range of activities you might pack into a trip, from hiking to hanging around the hotel, offering a wide range of Swiss army knife style options for active lifestyles.
The Best Travel Pants of 2023
Best for Casual Travel: Patagonia Skyline Traveler Pant
The Skyline Traveler Pant is a looser and stretchier travel clothes option for those that will spend a lot of time in transit. The recycled nylon, polyester, and spandex blend moves with you, the adjustable drawcord waistband and elasticized cuffs won’t be restrictive, and there are plenty of pockets, including two zippered pockets for valuables, for your essentials. With its relaxed fit, the Skyline can certainly perform in a pinch as well, though they are designed more for casual exploration.
Best for Adventure Travel: Fjällräven Vidda Pro Ventilated Trousers
Fjällräven's heritage is in backcountry trekking and these pants are a lighter, airier version of one of the brand's most popular bottoms for bushwhacking. The straight leg pants are made with Fjällräven's super durable and wind- and water-resistant G-1000 Eco fabric and feature cinch ankle cuffs and cargo pockets, snap button pockets that make for good security pockets, and even pockets within pockets (there are more pockets than you'll ever need). These trekking trousers work well in cold weather but they also have decent breathability thanks to zippered side vents and are surprisingly stretchy thanks to panels made of lighter fabric. If your itinerary is more about adventuring outside than lounging indoors, these could be the best travel pants for you.
Most Versatile Travel Pants: Topo Designs Global Pant
Comfort meets utility for these all-around go-to travel pants. Part of Topo Designs Global Collection, a line geared specifically towards travelers, these pants feature a straight cut and internal mesh zippered pockets for keeping essentials safe. There are also two back pockets with hidden zippers to maintain the simple and sleek silhouette. Made with a cotton/nylon/spandex blend, they have the perfect amount of sturdiness and stretch for versatility and durability.
Best For Crushing Mountains and Breweries: Myles Apparel Everyday Pant
Cargo pants are having something of a moment, and as great as they are for high-pocket activities, when it is time to head to the brewery I don’t always want to look like I’ve stepped out of a '90s time machine. Luckily, Myles Apparel makes apparel designed for movement that looks just as good when posting up at the bar, and the Everyday Pant is no exception. Featuring an incredible amount of stretch, a drawstring elastic waistband, and durable double-weave nylon, these will tackle any peak while remaining breathable and durable. The front pockets are bounce-proof and you can keep your belongings secure with hidden zipper back pockets. The trim fit allows them to make the proverbial trail-to-tavern transition seamlessly.
Most Professional Travel Pants: Western Rise Evolution 2.0 Pant
Dress pants don't make good travel pants. But some travel pants, like this pair from Western Rise, can work as dress pants in a pinch. So if you're headed out on a work trip but also want to bike around town, go on a hike, and enjoy a dinner out, take a look at the Evolution 2.0. The idea behind the Evolution Pant, which raised over $235k on Kickstarter, is that it can replace three pants in your wardrobe by virtue of having four-way stretch, a touch of professionalism, and packing down smaller than a t-shirt. These chino pants also feature hidden pockets and a zipper pocket for your wallet, and an extendable inseam, making them ideal for the long haul.
Most Comfortable Travel Pants: On Running Active Pant
Swiss brand On is known for their trending running footwear, but don’t sleep on their apparel, which features the same blend of precision and comfort. The Active Pant won’t be the pant you run in, but it will be the pant you do just about everything else in with stretch thanks to a polyamide-elastane construction, UV protection, an elastic waist, ankle zips, and an understated and casual look. The On Active Pant is a pair of comfy, casual pants that will keep you looking and feeling your best on the road.
Best Travel Jeans: DUER Performance Denim Jeans
While they are hardwearing and styled for many occasions, jeans don't make the best travel pants. Except for DUER's, which, thanks to a denim recipe that includes lycra for stretch and Coolmax polyester for breathability, plus a gusseted construction, are ideal for everything from work trips to road trips. They come in three fits—slim, regular, straight leg—and loads of different color washes (just like regular jeans).
Best Travel Pants for Work and Play: Vuori Meta Pant
The Meta is California brand Vuori’s take on the classic five-pocket pant. Given that Vuori makes uber-comfortable performance apparel, that means you’re getting jeans with extra functionality like four-way stretch that are quick drying, moisture wicking, anti-odor, feature UPF 30+ sun protection, and have a wife-approved tailored slim fit. The Meta is robust enough for the rigors of the road while remaining plenty flexible.
Best Cargo Pants for Travel: Foehn Brise Schoeller Cargo Pant
If you are looking to explore terrain that is equally rugged and refined, the Brise Schoeller Cargo Pant is the real deal. The Swiss-engineered Schoeller fabric is super tough and stretchy, and with a water-repellent DWR finish, crotch gusset, knee articulation, and copious pockets that are the perfect fit for valuables like a phone or passport, these baggy-fit pants are more than capable of city or mountain adventures. The more belted waistband allows them to fit your liking whether you prefer a slouchy joggers fit or cinch them for a more tailored tech pant look, helping to make the Brise the ultimate pant for versatile one-bag travel. If cargo isn't your style you can check out the classic Brise Schoeller Pant($160) for a slimmer, sportier version for hiking or climbing.
Best for Wide-Ranging Activities: Coalatree Trailhead Pants
The Trailhead Pants are among the most versatile pants I’ve ever worn. Supremely comfortable and stretchy (thanks to a blend of nylon and spandex) and convertible to ankle pants with cuff ties, they've accompanied me biking, hiking, climbing, running, squatting, and chasing around my toddler on the weekends. (They also work well as yoga pants if need be.) The water-repellent finish will repel most anything you encounter on extended travel days, and when you're living out of a backpack the simplicity and ease of a pant that can comfortably take whatever you throw at it can’t be overstated. The Trailhead Pants dare you to find the travel scenario—outside of a black tie event—that they couldn’t handle with gusto.
Best for Bikes and Beyond: Rapha Explore Pants
Recently, one Field Mag contributor argued that bike pants are the best travel pants. After rocking Rapha's Explore Pants on trips to Tokyo and the Rocky Mountains, we tend to agree. Rapha's Explore line is made for bikepacking and gravel riding, but the Explore Pants are even more versatile than that. They're lightweight, packable, made with an abrasion-resistant fabric that's treated with DWR for water repellency and they have an integrated belt to cinch up on your waist. Pockets placed strategically for comfort while pedaling happen to be excellent places to stash a passport, and cuffs that cinch up so they don't get caught in a chain are also great for climbing and hiking. All of these features, plus durability and clean looks, are precisely why they double as excellent travel pants.
Best Convertible Pants for Travel: Nike ACG Smith Summit Cargo Pant
We know zip-off pants can be polarizing, but if you like to keep your travel plans loose and find yourself in a situation where pants are overkill, they can really come in handy. Luckily, Nike has integrated a solid amount of style into the Smith Summit Cargo Pant, which draws its name from Oregon's Smith Rock. They're made with 75% recycled nylon fabric with Spandex for added stretch and have a relaxed fit with a slightly tapered leg. Other features include drawcord hems, an integrated webbing belt, and of course, pockets. Lots of 'em.
Best Joggers for Travel: Reigning Champ Coach's Jogger
Reigning Champ has taken their beloved Coach’s Pant and turned it into a jogger, creating a near perfect travel pant in the process, so long as formal attire isn’t necessary. Sure the Coach’s Jogger is suitable for pacing the sideline, but the Primeflex four-way stretch fabric, which is also water-resistant, odor-resistant, and wrinkle-resistant, is suitable for pacing foreign cities and peaks as well. Other features include a rear zip pocket, drawcord waist, and a mesh sleeve for your phone.
More Great Travel Pants
They didn't quite make our tip-top list, but we're also fans of Lululemon's ABC Classic-Fit Pant ($128), which is made with wrinkle-free, quick-drying, four-way stretch fabric and include a hidden zip pocket and Prana's Stretch Zion Pant II ($95), which feature UPF 50+ sun protection.