I always find that traveling in pants—whether it be in a car, plane, or train—is way more comfortable than wearing anything else. But not all pants are created equal.
Waistbands digging into your skin, fabrics wrinkling, or not being able to wear them with any other outfits are all travel pants problems that can have you wishing you could wear straight-up sweatpants. So I’ve tested and researched dozens of options for men and women to find the ultimate brands and styles for your next trip.
There are four key elements that go into the best travel pants: comfort, fabric, style, and versatility. These options for men and women tick all the boxes, so you know you’re making a good investment. Below you’ll find categories for athleisure, activewear, and business casual, and many styles include plus-size options.
Best Athleisure Travel Pants
ADAY Turn It Up Pant
Comfort: 4/5. These tailored, slim-fit pants are available from size XS to XL and are comfortable for all shapes and sizes. Two side pockets make them ideal for a busy travel day and the elastic waistband adds to a high comfort level.
Fabric: 5/5. These pants are stretchy, pill-resistant, breathable, and thermo-regulating.
Style: 5/5. When paired with a button-down, these pants can be dressed up; when paired with a tee, they can be dressed down. The three-inch cuff at the hem adds a stylish detail, too.
Versatility: 5/5. These go straight from plane to casual dinner or meeting.
Lululemon ABC Pant Classic Warpstreme
Comfort: 4/5. A favorite among male travelers, Lululemon’s ABC line of pants is favored for comfort and stretch.
Fabric: 5/5. A patented fabric, Warpstreme provides a coveted four-way stretch. It is also machine washable and can be dried in the dryer on low.
Style: 5/5. These pants look like a classic work pant and can easily be worn in a casual setting or dressed up with a linen or cotton blazer.
Versatility: 4/5. My boyfriend literally lives in these … at the office, while traveling, on the golf course, or hanging out at a brewery, these are his go-tos. The combo of style and comfort can’t be beaten when looking for a travel pant for men. Running a marathon is just about the only thing he wouldn’t do in them.
Duluth Trading NoGA Namastash Slim Leg Pants
Comfort: 5/5. These ultimate travel pants from Duluth have not one, but six pockets to stow all of your day-of-travel essentials. The three-inch wide waistband (with interior drawstring) is tummy-flattening, and the fit is designed for both curvy and straight body shapes.
Fabric: 5/5. Duluth’s special NoGA fabric is silky and super stretchy. It has more than 850 five-star reviews, meaning that it must be that good. Fans of the fabric rave about its figure-flattering features and support. It also wicks moisture, has UPF 40 sun protection, and is machine-washable.
Style: 3/5. While this pair of women’s travel pants is slightly more like a legging, the back pocket and slightly flared leg details dress ‘em up.
Versatility: 4/5. These pants are slightly more casual and could also be worn as activewear.
Athleta Women’s Chelsea Utility Jogger
Comfort: 5/5. Super soft fabric and a knit waistband give these pants the ultimate stamp of approval when it comes to comfort.
Fabric: 5/5. The featherweight stretch fabric is made from recycled polyester. It’s also quick-drying, breathable, wrinkle-resistant, and rated UPF 50+.
Style: 5/5. This pair of travel pants is semi-fitted with a tapered leg and has a mid-rise, sitting just below the natural waist. Four pockets (two secured front and two back) make accessing your essentials on travel days even easier.
Versatility: 5/5. These travel pants make up the perfect travel day uniform but can also be dressed up with a silk blouse and heels to go out on the town.
Patagonia Women’s Happy Hike Studio Pants
Comfort: 5/5. The pull-on jogger style of these pants couldn’t be more comfortable, especially with the knit waistband and hidden drawstring cord.
Fabric: 4/5. The lightweight fabric is ideal for warmer climates and water repellent with 50+ UPF.
Style: 5/5. These pants have four large pockets, ideal on travel days, and the elasticized cuffs allow you to adjust the length from capris to full length.
Versatility: 4/5. I personally love the jogger style pants for versatility. You can hike, bike, or work out in these and keep them on for dinner or other casual activities.
Public Rec All Day Every Day Pant
Comfort: 4/5. As Public Rec itself says of these pants, “More stylish than sweatpants. More comfortable than jeans.” With an elastic waistband and interior drawstring, you have all the comfort elements of the perfect travel pant for men.
Fabric: 4/5. This pair of travel pants has a spandex-nylon blend that is breathable and moisture-wicking.
Style: 4/5. Elements like a faux front fly and tapered bottoms give this pair of travel pants a smart finish.
Versatility: 5/5. Reviewers comment that they have ordered these pants in every color because they can’t wear them enough.
Best Activewear Travel Pants
Coalatree Unisex Slim Fit Trail Head Pants
Comfort: 4/5. The elastic waistband and drawstring are super comfortable and the fabric is thicker than that of most hiking pants, but still stretches. These pants have a five-star rating based on 1420 reviews.
Fabric: 4/5. These pants are waterproof, quick-drying, antimicrobial, and tear-resistant, and they have a four-way stretch.
Style: 4/5. The unisex style is flattering on most figures and has four handy-yet-stylish pockets.
Versatility: 4/5. While these pants don’t do double duty for something like a business dinner, they could pass for sit-down meals at a casual restaurant or nature lodge. Plus, you can wash them easily and will get multiple re-wears.
Columbia Women’s Saturday Trail Pants
Comfort: 5/5. Amazon reviewers rave about the soft and stretchy fabric of these pants. With a snap closure waistband, they don’t gape. They also feature two side-zip security pockets.
Fabric: 5/5. The nylon-elastane blend is soft and stretchy. Other fabric features include UPF 50 sun protection and water and stain repellency.
Style: 4/5. Featuring a mid-rise and straight leg, these pants have a feminine and flattering fit.
Versatility: 4/5. These convertible pants come in tons of neutral-colored options to go with any outdoorsy vacation. While these travel pants do have a sportier look, they can be dressed up.
prAna Women’s Halle Pants
Comfort: 5/5. prAna’s Halle pants are a bestseller on Amazon for a reason. The fabric is stretchy, comfortable, and soft, and the pants have a relaxed fit.
Fabric: 5/5. prAna’s “Stretch Zion” fabric has wrinkle, water, and stain repellency, and is lightweight, UPF 50, and quick-drying.
Style: 5/5. These well-rated prAna pants fit most body shapes. There are plenty of pockets and the pant leg can be rolled up.
Versatility: 4/5. These pants are comfortable on travel days, hold up on the trail, and can be dressed up for a casual dinner.
Patagonia Men’s Quandary Pants
Comfort: 5/5. These pants have a curved waistband to reduce gapping and help them stay in place during activities.
Fabric: 5/5. They’re water repellent, lightweight, quick-drying, stretch-woven, sun protective with 50+ UPF—can the fabric be any better?
Style: 4/5. The slim-straight fit is designed to be stylish and comfortable, but reviewers note that the pants are best for lean to medium builds. Six pockets make this pair of pants even better on travel days for easy access to essentials.
Versatility: 5/5. Great in all seasons, the Quandary Pants go from trail to town.
Eddie Bauer Men’s Horizon Guide Chino Pants
Comfort: 4/5. For hikers or frequent travelers, these pants are light and stretchy. The waist has a button closure and belt loops.
Fabric: 5/5. The fabric is waterproof and UPF 50+, making these a great pair of travel pants for the outdoors. They are also machine-washable and hold their shape.
Style: 4/5. These pants have a sportier look, with two secure zip pockets that are great for travel essentials.
Versatility: 4/5. Many reviewers note wearing these to work, out with friends, hiking, and traveling.
Best Business Casual Travel Pants
Eddie Bauer Women’s Travel Pants – Curvy
Comfort: 4/5. The curvy style of these pants sits below your natural waist with a mid-rise and has a fuller fit through the hip and thigh. A button closure and stretch blend fabric add to the comfort level.
Fabric: 5/5. These pants don’t wrinkle and are both machine-washable and water-resistant. The dark neutral colors also hide any stains.
Style: 5/5. These look like traditional dress pants but aren’t nearly as fussy. The straight leg is flattering on almost any figure.
Versatility: 5/5. Reviewers love the dressier look of these pants, even though they feel like leggings. The dressier style is great for when you need to go straight from the plane to dinner or a meeting.
Betabrand Dress Pant Yoga Pants
Comfort: 5/5. These pants were made famous by a crowdfunded campaign and are known for their comfort. With a thicker waistband and super stretch material, reviewers—all 1,490 of them—rave about the comfort.
Fabric: 5/5. The rayon-blend fabric is machine-washable, wrinkle-resistant, and stretchy.
Style: 4/5. The Dress Pant Yoga Pants come in a variety of cuts: boot-cut, straight-leg, skinny-leg, and cropped-leg to fit almost any body type.
Versatility: 4/5. These are the ultimate comfort dress pant. They look better dressed up but are comfortable enough to be a staple in your travel day uniform.
Cotidie Harriet Trousers
Comfort: 4/5. With faux back pockets, front pockets, and a tailored leg, these trousers don’t look like leggings, but they sure are as comfortable as leggings are, thanks to the stretchy waistband and elastane-blend material.
Fabric: 4/5. These pants are made with StellaForm, a nylon and elastane blend that’s machine washable, stretchy, wrinkle-resisting, and moisture-wicking.
Style: 4/5. With a slim leg and fitted look, these chino-style work pants are stylish and practical for business travelers.
Versatility: 4/5. These are one of the dressier-looking pairs of travel pants on the list, so if you need to look like you’re at the top of your game while traveling, choose these.
Bluffworks Ascender Chino Pants
Comfort: 4/5. While the waistband looks like a chino, it’s actually stretchy for a more comfortable fit. These pants are also designed to hold everything you would need in a travel day, including an anti-theft hidden money pocket and two designated phone pockets for the things that matter most.
Fabric: 4/5. Wrinkle-resistant, machine-washable, soft, and lightweight, these pants check all the boxes.
Style: 5/5. This pair of travel pants for men is the classic chino style, so if that’s the style of travel pants you’re looking for, these are it.
Versatility: 3/5. These are definitely more for dinners and the office, but equally comfortable as activewear.
Linksoul 5-Pocket Boardwalker Pant
Comfort: 4/5. These pants have five pockets, so you’ll have no shortage of options for stowing your travel day essentials. Reviewers love the stretchy fabric for comfort and a modern fit without being too tight.
Fabric: 4/5. Designed for golfers, these travel pants are breathable, lightweight, and quick-drying, made from a soft cotton-poly-spandex blend.
Style: 5/5. These pants are styled like a more traditional pant.
Versatility: 4/5. Go from the plane straight to the green in these versatile travel pants.
Bluffworks Trevi Pant
Comfort: 5/5. These business casual pants are made from a polyester and spandex blend with some stretch. When paired with the wide waistband and side closure, they couldn’t be more comfortable if they tried.
Fabric: 5/5. The fabric is machine washable and provides odor and moisture-wicking control, and it doesn’t wrinkle.
Style: 5/5. The polished pants are designed to look like business casual chinos.
Versatility: 4/5. Whether you are traveling for business or just want a refined look, these pants are stylish, comfortable, and provide travelers with an extra perk: eight pockets (and three of them even have a zipper closure).
prAna Men’s Brion Pants
Comfort: 5/5. Stretchy and breathable, these pants are made with a spandex blend. Reviewers call them “outrageously comfortable.”
Fabric: 5/5. prAna’s “Stretch Zion” fabric is wrinkle-, water-, and stain-repellent, and is lightweight, quick-drying, and UV-protective.
Style: 5/5. The slim-fit-style pant is available with multiple inseam options, making them flattering on most body types. Plus, the five pockets keep all of your travel day essentials secure.
Versatility: 5/5. Whether you’re traveling, doing indoor climbing, or going out to dinner, these pants work.
Looking for Our Favorite Footwear for the Season? Check Out Allbirds
More from SmarterTravel:
- The Best Travel Leggings
- A Traveler’s Guide to Minimalist Packing
- 12 Stylish Jeans So Comfortable You Can Sleep in Them
Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2018. It has been updated to reflect the most current information. Tyler Schoeber contributed to this story.