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 Choosing the Very Best Women's Pants for Travel (that are comfortable)

Women on the Road
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The best pants to travel in are ones that are just as comfortable sitting on a long-haul flight as they are spending a day walking around a new city.  Comfy travel pants should also look great, from visiting tourist sites during the day to eating out at night. 

However, choosing the best travel pants for women is easier said than done. 

Some travel trousers make great hiking pants but are uncomfortable as soon as you sit down, or look great in the store window, but terrible once you put them on.

If you’re currently on the hunt for the most comfortable travel pants for women, this guide will bring you much closer to finding the perfect pair. I'll take you through all the things you need to consider when you buy a quality pair of lightweight travel pants, and look at some of the most popular travel pants now on the market.

Best Women’s Pants for Travel Comparison Chart 

Name

Image

Material

Description

86% Nylon/ 14% Spandex Stretch Woven

  • Water-resistant
  • Wind-resistant, breathable, durable
  • Low profile waist band for smooth fit 

96% Nylon / 4% Spandex

  • Button closure
  • Boot cut leg
  • Secure front and back pockets
  • Quick-drying, wrinkle resistant
  • Snap closure

97% Nylon/3% Spandex

  • Machine wash or hand wash
  • Hiking pants with no stretch and 2 front slant pockets, 2 back pockets and 2 knee pockets (well sealed)
  • Surface layer weatherproof, inner layer fleece
  • Great for winter outdoor sports like camping, hiking, travel
  • Slim fit
  • Comfortable to wear

97% Nylon / 3% Spandex

  • Button closure  
  • Roll-up leg
  • Stretch Zion fabric  
  • Snap front closure
  • Durable, moisture managing and reinforced at the knees 
  • Cross-functional pant
  • Trouser styling with snap front
  • Water resistant
  • Quick drying

96% Nylon / 4% Elastane

  • Roll-up legs that convert to capris
  • Water and stain repellent fabric 
  • UPF 50 
  • 2 side pockets with hook and loop closure 
  • Partial elastic waist 
  • Omni-Shield repels moisture and dries quickly

55% Cotton / 42% Polyester / 3% Spandex Stretch Twill

  • May be scrubs but great for travel
  • All around elastic waist with front tie
  • Two front and two back pockets
  • Four side pockets
  • Slim leg
  • Comfortable and stretchy

96% Nylon / 4% Elastane Summiteer Lite

  • Comfortable
  • Multiple sizes and short or regular inseams
  • Resistant to stains, rain, and harmful UV rays
  • Drawstring closure
  • Great for indoor or outdoor wear
  • Stretchy
  • Machine-wash friendly
  • Omni-Shield to repeal moisture

62% Cotton / 36% Polyester / 2% Spandex

  • 11 pockets to carry your belongings
  • Pickpocket-proof, super secure with snaps, zippers and drop-ins sections
  • Flexible stretch fit
  • Fold-over drawstring waistband
  • Convert into capris
  • Great comfort

96% Nature-Like™ Nylon / 4% Spandex

  • 6 hidden, multi-secure pockets
  • Double-secure, hidden passport pocket
  • Double-secure, secret back pocket
  • Capri length adjustable legs
  • Water repellant
  • Adjustable waist
  • Lightweight and comfortable, breatheable
  • UPF 50+

Image

Material

86% Nylon/ 14% Spandex Stretch Woven

Description

  • Water-resistant
  • Wind-resistant, breathable, durable
  • Low profile waist band for smooth fit 

Image

Material

96% Nylon / 4% Spandex

Description

  • Button closure
  • Boot cut leg
  • Secure front and back pockets
  • Quick-drying, wrinkle resistant
  • Snap closure

Image

Material

97% Nylon/3% Spandex

Description

  • Machine wash or hand wash
  • Hiking pants with no stretch and 2 front slant pockets, 2 back pockets and 2 knee pockets (well sealed)
  • Surface layer weatherproof, inner layer fleece
  • Great for winter outdoor sports like camping, hiking, travel
  • Slim fit
  • Comfortable to wear

Image

Material

97% Nylon / 3% Spandex

Description

  • Button closure  
  • Roll-up leg
  • Stretch Zion fabric  
  • Snap front closure
  • Durable, moisture managing and reinforced at the knees 
  • Cross-functional pant
  • Trouser styling with snap front
  • Water resistant
  • Quick drying

Image

Material

96% Nylon / 4% Elastane

Description

  • Roll-up legs that convert to capris
  • Water and stain repellent fabric 
  • UPF 50 
  • 2 side pockets with hook and loop closure 
  • Partial elastic waist 
  • Omni-Shield repels moisture and dries quickly

Image

Material

55% Cotton / 42% Polyester / 3% Spandex Stretch Twill

Description

  • May be scrubs but great for travel
  • All around elastic waist with front tie
  • Two front and two back pockets
  • Four side pockets
  • Slim leg
  • Comfortable and stretchy

Image

Material

96% Nylon / 4% Elastane Summiteer Lite

Description

  • Comfortable
  • Multiple sizes and short or regular inseams
  • Resistant to stains, rain, and harmful UV rays
  • Drawstring closure
  • Great for indoor or outdoor wear
  • Stretchy
  • Machine-wash friendly
  • Omni-Shield to repeal moisture

Image

Material

62% Cotton / 36% Polyester / 2% Spandex

Description

  • 11 pockets to carry your belongings
  • Pickpocket-proof, super secure with snaps, zippers and drop-ins sections
  • Flexible stretch fit
  • Fold-over drawstring waistband
  • Convert into capris
  • Great comfort

Image

Material

96% Nature-Like™ Nylon / 4% Spandex

Description

  • 6 hidden, multi-secure pockets
  • Double-secure, hidden passport pocket
  • Double-secure, secret back pocket
  • Capri length adjustable legs
  • Water repellant
  • Adjustable waist
  • Lightweight and comfortable, breatheable
  • UPF 50+

why buy ladies travel pants?

Yes, why buy a pair of lightweight travel trousers when you can just bring along your jeans?

There are plenty of good reasons to wear jeans when you travel:

  • they fit well
  • they look good
  • you'll fit in with everyone else in town
  • they're comfortable
  • you can easily dress them up for city wear or going out
  • they're durable and last a long time
  • you can get them dirty and no one will notice...

If your travels involve mostly cities and relatively clean public transport, by all means, take your jeans. In fact, you should take your best travel jeans!

Jeans - are these the best pants for travel?Jeans or travel pants?

But if you're planning on exploring the rainforests of Borneo or tramping along the edges of the Sahara or the Gobi, think again or you may be cursing your jeans in no time.

I spent a year traveling across Africa - without jeans. Here's why:

  • they're hot and you sweat in them
  • they retain humidity
  • they take forever to dry (and there are few things more revolting than slipping on a pair of wet denims)
  • they rub against your skin mercilessly if it's hot or humid outside
  • they're bulky to pack
  • they won't wash easily in your hostel's sink...

To me, that's enough to tip the balance. I travel in skirts when it's too hot outside because the air circulates better in a skirt and keeps you cooler. But that's me.

So what will it be then, to jean or not to jean?

tips for choosing the best travel pants for women

If you're taking jeans, go for it. If not, here's what you should look for when it comes to buying comfortable women's pants for travel.

1. Easty to clean and quick drying fabric

Good travel pants are easy to clean. When you're traveling, washing your clothes may be a bit difficult - in fact, your only option may be the sink in your hotel bathroom.

Also, it’s essential to have quick dry pants for travel. If you're moving from place to place often, you may not have much time to dry your clothes between packing and might have to resort to drying them in your room with the help of a hair dryer. Wouldn't it be easier to simply have something you can hang up in the shower, knowing they'll be clean and dry by morning? 

2. pockets

The best travel trousers have pockets. 

Even better, look for women’s travel pants with security pockets, hidden ones sealed with zippers or velcro. I have a great pair of Clothing Arts travel pants with an internal velcro pocket where I can store papers and money, my cellphone and other items.

3. lightweight

Your pants should be lightweight. The best lightweight travel pants not only to keep your luggage weight bearable but are also comfortable to wear. The best clothes are the ones you don't even feel you're wearing.

4. climate

The best ladies travel pants are made of fabric that breathes easily and are moisture wicking, to absorb moisture whenever you do sweat (and if it's hot, you will). This is especially iportant if you’re headed to the tropics, as you don't want your pants to stick to your body the moment the thermometer goes up. 

Many travelers would prefer to stay away from the new synthetic fibers and stick to natural cloth such as lightweight cotton. I'm fine with the new blends, but it's a personal choice.

If you're heading to a cold climate, you don't necessarily need to take warm pants - try a pair of light silk or wool long underwear instead. They bunch up into a tiny ball and will keep you warm if the weather turns. When you get back into the heat, you won't be lumbered with a heavy and useless item of clothing (and you can mail your longjohns home).

If your weather is in-between - basically cool - and you're planning on roughing it a bit, give some thought to a pair of teflon-coated pants (no, they're not as stiff as they sound). They're stain resistant, a big plus when you're not carrying your entire wardrobe, and don't wrinkle easily. They're also sturdy, so a good alternative for temperate climes.

5. color

Look for a pair of light travel pants in a color that doesn’t show up the dirt easily.  Both white and black pants are terrible at hiding dirty patches, so aim for natural colors.

6. wrinkle free fabric

Ideally, you want wrinkle free travel pants. Unless you're staying in a decent hotel, you won't necessarily find an iron lying around and let's face it, why would you want to spend your travel time behind an ironing board?

7. Water repellent

If you’re heading to the snow, or somewhere you may likely encounter a rain shower or two, you'll want pants that will keep you dry underneath, so do check the weather before you pack.

8. durable materials

Travel pants tend to be worn over and over again, on some trips perhaps daily, so you want a pair that are made from quality fabric and that won't tear after a few wears.  Look for pants with good seams and possible reinforcements where needed.

9. convertible travel pants

Personally I’m not a fan of convertible travel pants – the kind of pants that zip into shorts – they're ugly (personal opinion only!) and soon they'll look like they don't match anymore. And of course they instantly single you out as a tourist.

However, some travel pants allow you to roll up the bottoms and have snaps to secure them in place – this is a great alternative to traditional zip off pants if you want this level of flexibility.

10. comfort and fit

Pants should fit. Seems obvious, right? If they're too long you'll get them caught in your sandals or trip over them with your hiking boots. You can also catch them on things and rip them or worse, fall. So a nice trim fit, no excess.

Also check the waistband. If it doesn't have a bit of elastic in it, it should at least be wide and comfortable.

11. look great

Of course, even the best lightweight women’s travel pants should look good! Not only do they have to be multi-functional and versatile, but you'll want them to be fashionable if you can - which means you'll be able to use them on many more occasions. 

This is especially true if you're backpacking or traveling particularly light – you won't have a dozen outfits for every occasion. Even if you're traveling with a suitcase, you won't want to lug extra-heavy luggage up and down the world's hills and stairways. Just make sure they're not too fashionably tight or they'll be uncomfortable, especially in the heat.

Most Comfortable Travel Pants for Women Reviews 

Below I'll look more closely at some of the more popular travel pants now on the market.

Outdoor Research Women’s Ferrosi Long Pants

The Ferrosi pants from Outdoor Research are a soft, lightweight trouser made from 86% nylon and 14% spandex, so they have a great stretch. 

Made from durable 90D ripstop fabric, these women’s stretch travel pants are wind resistant, water resistant and are highly breathable, making them perfect for warmer climates. These travel slacks for women also feature a drawstring ankle adjustments and zippered thigh pocket.

Available in a range of great colors, these pants are perfect whether you’re searching for the best hiking pants for women or the best casual travel pants for city sightseeing

Click here to read more reviews or to check prices

Best Hiking Pants for Women: Royal Robbins Women’s Discovery Pants 

Another great option for the best women’s trousers for travelling are these Discovery Pants from Royal Robbins. They feature a wide boot cut leg, making them perfect for women searching for the best hiking trousers.

Made mostly from nylon and 4% spandex, these pants are not as stretchy as the Ferrosi pants above, but these women’s nylon travel pants are abrasion resistant as well as moisture wicking,  great for a day of hiking. The fabric also features UPF 50+ sun protection.

These light travel trousers have a contemporary low-rise design, sitting just below the belly button. They feature a button closure with one front pocket and two rear zippered pockets.

The Discovery women’s travel pants with pockets are quick drying and wrinkle free and come in a range of colors.

Click here to read more reviews or to check prices

Camii Mia Women’s Windproof and Waterproof Outdoor Hiking Fleece Pants

If you’re after a pair of travel pants to keep you warm, consider the Camii Mia fleece pants. These fleece pants are ideal for winter travel, particularly for hiking or even activities in the snow.

These are nylon pants without any stretch. The outer layer is both windproof and waterproof, while the inner layer keeps you warm with the fleece lining. The pants also feature multiple zippered pockets, including two front side pockets, two back pockets as well as two knee pockets.

The range of colors includes black, army green, navy and grey, so if you're planning to travel to a cold climate, consider the Camii Mia ladies lightweight travel trousers pants.

Click here to read more reviews or to check prices

prAna Women’s Halle Pants

These travel pants from well-known brand prAna are highly popular and one of the most highly rated travel pants among women traveleers. Whether you’re after the best pants for flying or some ladies' hiking trousers, prAna’s Halle pants are worth checking out.

These pants are made from a light, breathable Zion stretch fabric (97% Nylon / 3% Spandex) and are super comfortable to wear. They feature UPF 50+ protection, a water-repellent coating which turns them into fast drying pants for travel and are they are abrasion resistant.

The Halle pants are a relaxed fit, with a slight boot let and midrise. They have multiple pockets including two rear pockets, two side pockets and a hidden zip stash pocket on the upper right leg. They also have a handy roll-up leg feature which is great for days in the sun or at the beach, in effect turning them into women’s travel capri pants.

You’ll be just as comfortable in them during a day of hiking as you would be dressing them up for a night out with friends. Plus, the fit will work because they come in short, regular and tall (as well as a huge range of great colors).

Click here to read more reviews or to check prices

Columbia Women’s Saturday Trail Pants

Columbia is another well-known and popular brand when it comes to travel gear, so it’s no surprise that their Saturday trail pants are highly popular among women travelers. 

These pants are quite similar to the prAna Halle pants above. They are nylon pants with 3% elastane for a bit of stretch. They also feature a UPF 50 protection, stain and water-repellent coating to ensure the pants stay as clean as possible and are quick drying.

These women's quick-dry travel pants have a nice classic fit, with a partial elastic waist band and articulated knees. The Saturday Trail pants feature multiple pockets, including two side pockets and two back pockets. They also have the roll-up leg feature that converts the pants to capris. 

The Columbia Women’s Saturday Trail pants come in plenty of great colors including black, tan, green, grey and even a camo print. Plus, like the PrAnas above, they also come in short, regular or tall lengths.

Click here to read more reviews or to check prices

KOI Stretch Travel Cargo Pants - Womens

These KOI stretch pants are great for anyone in search of an inexpensive pair of travel cargo pants. Technically, these are nurses' scrub pants – but you’d never know it and with their multiple large pockets, they are great for days of travel.

Being actual nurses’ scrubs mean you know you’ll be comfortable in these pants all day. They are also are wrinkle-free and easy to wash and wear. Made with a fabric which is 55% cotton, 42% polyester and a touch of spandex, these pants have an all-around elastic waist with a front tie. 

They have a slim fit with a midrise waist, and feature two front and two back pockets as well as four side pockets. They also have an adjustable toggle at the ankle. 

These cargo pants from KOI are stretchy and comfortable, so they're great if you're looking for the airplane pants. They come in every color under the sun, and given how cheap they are, you could be forgiven for getting a few pairs.

Click here to read more reviews or to check prices

Columbia Women’s Anytime Outdoor Pants

If you like the look of the Columbia Saturday Trail pants above but want something even more comfortable, consider the Columbia Anytime Outdoor pants.  These have all the same great features of the Saturday Trail pants but with a much more relaxed fit.

The Anytime Outdoor pant is like wearing a “nice” pair of sweatpants.  They have a two-way comfort stretch that provides great mobility.   

Unlike the Saturday Trail pants, these are pull-on pants and have a drawstring closure.  They do feature a few pockets, including two side pockets and two rear pockets.

The Anytime pants come in two lengths – short and regular, and multiple colours including green, grey and black travel pants.  With their relaxed, comfy fit, these could well be the best pants for air travel.

Click here to read more reviews or to check prices

SCOTTeVEST Margaux Cargaux Travel Pants    

If you’re the sort of traveler who likes pants with plenty of pockets, then you are going to love the SCOTTeVEST travel pants. With a total of 11 pockets, you might as well leave your day bag in the hotel!

These comfortable travel pants are lightweight and made with 62% cotton, 36% polyester and a smidge of spandex for stretch. They have an elastic fold-over waistband which can be worn low or high. These pants even have adjustable ankle ties so you can hitch them up and change them into capris – my idea of the best women’s convertible pants!

And then, the pockets - nine in front! There are four at the waist – two open and two zippered. Then at thigh height there is a zippered pocket on each side as well as another larger pocket on each side. One of these last pockets hides a smaller pocket within the pocket. Finally, there are two rear pockets. The pockets are sizeable, perfect for your smartphone, passport, sunglasses and more. (Remember, this is the maker of the fabulous SCOTTEeVEST travel jacket!)

These best travel cargo pants for travel are also easy to wash and wear and are wrinkle free. They come in gray, olive and black – the perfect ladies’ travel pants.  

Click here to read more reviews or to check prices

In addition to these, I would absolutely take a look at the quick-drying series of trousers from Ex Officio, as well as visit the REI shop for their own branded travel pants.

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