The best travel pants are stretchy, durable, and comfortable enough to wear on long, unpredictable days on the road. They can be dressed up or down, and they are easy to get more use out of than an average pair of trousers. Depending on the type of travel you do, most men are looking for designs that are versatile yet functional options that can adapt to whatever activities you find yourself doing. There is a lot of dispute about which are the perfect pair of travel pants, but the following designs are all considered some of the best options. This is a fairly extensive list, so take a browse through it as there is definitely a style, brand, and price point for everyone.
Outlier Slim Dungarees
Outlier Slim Dungarees are considered by many to be perfect pants that are not only great for travel but to wear pretty much anywhere. These Dungarees are a very classic, basic design, but with very clever features that make them so versatile that you don’t even need to pack another pair when away from home. They are quick-dry (so you can sink wash them and leave them to dry overnight), stain-resistant, and tear-resistant. They look a little bit like a cross between jeans and chinos but are made from lightweight stretch tech fabric that is durable enough for hiking and but look like dress slacks in the office. They are a slim fit, so they aren’t for everyone, but they are stylish enough to suit most men. Since they look just like regular pants, you can wear the Slim Dungarees out in a city as business casual or for outdoor adventures like hiking or biking.
Available from Outlier
Prana Stretch Zion or Brion
Prana Stretch Zion is the go-to adventure design for a lot of men. They are a very comfortable, functional, cargo style that is made from a thick and durable material that is perfect for colder weather. Since The Zion’s fabric is on the thicker side, it doesn’t dry quickly and isn’t super breathable, so they aren’t a good choice for hot weather. They have a slightly baggy fit that helps to give excellent room of movement and adds to the comfort level. These are a little bit too functional and casual looking for work and everyday life but work well for globe-trotting. The Zion’s best features are the stretchy, comfortable fabric that is useful for blocking the wind and keeping you warm, as well as the zippered pockets for security.
Prana also has a style called the Brion that a lot of men find useful when on the road. The material is the same as the Zion, but the design doesn’t have the cargo pockets and is the traditional five style pockets design, so it is more of an everyday type style that can transition well to different social situations when you may need be to be a little bit dressier.
Stretch Zion and Brion
Unionbay Men’s Rainier Lightweight Comfort Travel Tech Chino
An inexpensive alternative to the two brands list above is the Union Bay Rainier Travel Chinos, which are only $20-25 a pair. These are incredibly cheap for travel style but have a lot of essential features that work well for vacation pants. They have a nice look and feel to them that is a little bit more cotton-like, rather than the tech fabric that is so prominent in trekking options (although they are water-repellant and have a UPF50). They provide adequate pockets for most men, including mesh-lined side pockets, one side leg pocket with zip closure, and zip back pockets. Since they are lightweight, they have no trouble drying overnight and are suitable for warmer weather. They are a chinos fit, so they are neither too loose nor too baggy for most men.
Available from Amazon
Western Rise The Evolution
The versatile Evolution Pant from Western Rise is a highly-functional option that is designed to be a kind of everything pant. They are made from a stretch nylon Supplex® fabric that is ultra-comfy and very lightweight. The design is such that you can basically wear them anywhere in mostly warmer climates. They wash and dry easily in a sink and dry quickly overnight. The key features to the Evolution are that they are lightweight, have mild stretch, are versatile enough for work or play, and they pack up into minimal size.
Available from Western Rise
Lululemon Men’s Abc Pant Classic
The popular ABC pants from Lululemon are a staple for a lot of men. They are based on the style of 5-pocket jeans but made with a comfy technical fabric. They feature back security pockets that can fit a passport, and the ABC also has a hidden coin pocket. A handy feature they also have is a reflective strip for increased visibility if you end up out in the dark and want to make sure you are seen by cars or whatnot. The comfort level on the ABC is pretty high, but with a nice polished look to them. They have a good size range and come in inseam lengths of 30. 32, 34, and 37.
Available from Lululemon
The Nomad from Proof is a super comfortable design that is made from a breathable Japanese Toray twill that is very stretchy and smooth but with a bit of texture to it. The material has a slight sheen, as do most technical types of fabric, but it doesn’t make any noise when moving around. They are a slim fit and have very chinos look to them so that they can be worn everywhere, from hiking in the backcountry to working at an office. The waistband and fabric have an excellent amount of stretch to them, so they are comfortable for long plane rides.
Available from Huckberry
Banana Republic Slim Traveler
The Banana Republic Traveler pant is made with specially engineered Italian cotton that’s super soft, stretchy, comfy, and perfect for globe-trotting. They come in a range of colors and feature a zippered fly and have five-pocket styling, so they look a lot like traditional jeans. These pants are so popular at BR that they now make them in 4 different fits: skinny, slim, athletic, and a traveler chino. The Traveler is so versatile as it can be worn for work or when on the road.
Available from the Banana Republic
Kuhl The Deceptr
KÜHL’s The Deceptr is a stylish performance style that is made from an ultra-lightweight TUFFLITE™ fabric. They are a tapered fit, with six pockets, two front, two back, one coin, one cell phone. They feature articulated knees that help make the pant more comfortable and easier to move in. This is another lightweight style, so they are best for warmer weather.
Available from Kuhl
Men’s Wrangler® Flex Waist Outdoor Cargo Pant
The Wrangler® Flex Waist Outdoor Cargo is an inexpensive option that is a flattering fit for most body types. It has the all-important water repellent nylon fabric to help keep you dry and comfortable. It also features side zip cargo pockets to store items like a passport, a wallet or a phone safely. Along with the cargo pockets, it also has two back pockets with zipper closure. These cargos are known for being comfortable, good quality and great value for the price. They have some stretch, so they adjust well to your body when you are sitting or walking.
Available from Wrangler
DUER Live Free Adventure Pant
If you are looking for a slightly different style, you will want to check out Duer. They have a few popular travel designs that use a fabric blend called T2X™ that men love. They have a lot of excellent regular styles of pants as well as more of a jogger design called the Live Free Adventure. It has a relaxed fit that makes them very much like durable, stretchy sweat pants, but that may be able to pass as modern trouser. One standout feature of this style is the rain shield coating, that stops spills, rain, or dirt.
Available from Duer
Arc’teryx A2B Commuter
The Arc’teryx A2B Commuter is a technical pant you can pretty much wear anywhere since they are perfect for the outdoors or can easily be worn for a night out. They are made of breathable material so you won’t overheat. They have reflective elements that you can show when you are out in the dark or tuck away during the day. They are super comfortable and have enough pockets to carry all of your items comfortably and still fit in in an office setting.
Available from Arc’teryx
Patagonia Men’s Quandary
The Patagonia Quandary are another pair that are famous for their extreme comfort, among other things. The Quandary’s key features are that they are water repellent, have 50+ UPF sun protection, and are a slim-straight fit. This style also has no shortage of pockets including handwarmer pockets, two rear pockets, one right coin pocket and one zippered pocket on the right thigh. It comes in three inseam lengths: 30″, 32″ and 34″ and the weight of the Quandary is only 284 g (10 oz), so they are lightweight and easy to pack.
Available from Backcountry.com
Old Navy Slim Go-Dry Built-In Flex Performance Pants
A great budget option is Old Navy’s Slim Go-Dry Built-In Flex Performance Pants. Not only are they versatile, but they are also super comfy and well priced. They are easy to dress up or down so you can wear them in an office, on a plane and everywhere in between. These performance pants also have a light-reflecting trim inside cuff for extra safety when out in the dark. This design has a fantastic stretch and is light and breathable, so it works best in warmer conditions.
Available from Old Navy
Mountain Hardwear Men’s Hardwear AP™
The Mountain Hardwear Men’s Hardwear AP™ is a reliable, moderately priced technical design that is known for being comfortable and durable. The Hardwear AP is a stylish slim fit that is versatile enough to wear hiking or out and about. The zippered back pockets are big enough to store a passport or wallet securely, and they have a button on each leg to roll up, so they have good features for traveling. They are made from durable blended canvas fabric that is neither too thick or too thin, which has excellent stretch and dries quickly.
Available from Mountain Hardwear
Eddie Bauer Horizon Guide Chino
A great all-around functional travel choice is the Eddie Bauer Horizon Guide Chino. It has everything you need in a travel garment: it repels water, is super durable, and is comfy. They are also a chino style, so they look appropriate for almost any type of situation you can find yourself on when vacationing. Some men wear these as everyday work chino, but you can also wear them for hiking. The material is lightweight, stretchy, and water-repellent. They are easy to pack as they don’t wrinkle much and are great for warmer destinations as they have UPF 50+ sun protection. They are a classic fit, so the leg is straight with room for movement. You can look casual or slightly dressy in these. There is a reasonably prominent Eddie Bauer logo above the right back pocket to be aware of.
Available from Eddie Bauer
A fantastic place to find tough, technical designs is from the brand Goruck. They have a few adventure options, but probably their best one for travel is the Simple Pant. It comes in lightweight or midweight in four excellent for traveling colors. They use a fabric called toughDry® that is fast drying, abrasion-resistant with 2-way stretch. They have the traditional five pockets jeans-like design with belt loops and back pockets. They are made in the USA
and come with a lifetime guarantee
Available from Goruck
Olivers Apparel Passage
The Olivers Apparel Passage Pant is another style that has excellent stretch to make them super comfy for travel. Like many styles on this list, they have a five-pocket design. They are made with a stretch weave that is known for being durable, flexible, soft, and light. It is a slim fit, and the material is stretchy and ultra-comfy. These can easily pass as a work pant with a dress shirt, or as an outdoor activity style.
Available from Olivers Apparel
The Trailhead Adventure Pant is another excellent travel style that is worth a look. The Trailhead is a comfy, functional design that looks great. They pack down small, you can wear them full length or as a capris by adjusting the drawstring ankle ties if you find yourself in hot weather. The noteworthy feature is the tear-resistant and antimicrobial, water-and stain-resistant breathable fabric that is known for being easy to move in and very comfy. They aren’t designed for the cold but are great for warmer weather.
Available from Coalatree
L.L Bean Cresta Hiking Pants
The L.L Bean Cresta is an excellent option in the technical pant field. They have all the features you need in a travel option. They breathe well, dry quickly, protect you from the sun, and allow you to move freely. The fabric is 96% nylon/4% spandex that can be machine washed and dried. This is a very durable style that is made with a super tough abrasion-resistant material, but it also has a two-way vertical stretch to make it easy to move around. Most men love the fit of the Cresta and find that they wear well, do not wrinkle, and can be casual or slightly dressy
Available from L.L Bean
What to look for:
Stretch– If you are looking for comfort, you are going to want to get a style that has some stretch to the fabric that makes the design more comfortable to move in.
Versatile– If you are only taking only one or two pairs of pants on a trip, you want the design to be adaptable enough to do a hike in the morning and to wear out to dinner in the evening. A lot of the most popular choices these days are designs that you can wear for everything, including not looking out of place in a business environment.
Pockets-Pockets are a pretty important feature in any travel outfit. If you like a lot of pockets, you may want to consider cargo styles. If you use your pockets a lot, you will want to ensure you get styles with deep pockets. You may also want zippers on your pockets to store your phone or passport securely.
Dries fast/Water repellent– A quick-dry fabric is great to help you adapt to different weather conditions, but it is also useful to let you wash your clothes in the sink at night and then leave them to dry overnight, so you have something clean to wear in the morning
Breathable -Many of the travel choices are pretty high tech materials- a lot of which are synthetic. Often synthetic material can be quite stifling and uncomfortable if you are in hot conditions or you are physically exerting yourself. If you are vacationing in tropical climates, ensure you look for styles that have breathable, lightweight fabrics.
Easily packable– A key feature on any item that is made specifically for travel is that it is easy to pack and doesn’t take up much room. Apart from taking up only a small amount of space in luggage, good pants should not be wrinkled when you unpack, or if they are wrinkled, then they should release the wrinkles quickly.
Convertible – Some of the designs come in convertible or non-convertible styles. That means that you can remove part of the leg to turn the pant into shorts. A few styles that have convertible options are Prana’s Zion, Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pant, and Carhartt Men’s Force Extremes Convertible Pant.
Reflective Elements -Depending on the type of activities you do when you are away from home, a nice to have feature is integrated reflective elements that tuck away when not needed, but offer a reflective strip for increased visibility if you are out at night.