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 charg
|Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants||86% Nylon/ 14% Spandex Stretch Woven||Water-Resistant | Wind-Resistant | Breathable | Durable | Low Profile Waist Band For Smooth Fit||Buy Now!|
|Royal Robbins Women's Discovery Iii Pants||96% Nylon / 4% Spandex||Button Closure | Boot Cut Leg | Secure Front & Back Pockets | Thigh Zipper | Pocket Snap Closure||Buy Now!|
|Camii Mia Womens Hiking Pants||97% Nylon/3% Spandex||Extremely Windproof | Hiking Pants With Some Stretch & 2 Slanted Hand Pockets, 2 Back Pockets(Well Sealed) | Surface Layer Weatherproof, Inner Layer Fleece | Great For Winter Outdoor Sports Like Camping, Hiking, Travel | Slim Fit | Comfortable To Wear||Buy Now!|
|prAna Women's Halle Pant||97% Nylon / 3% Spandex||Button Closure | Roll-Up Leg | Stretch Zion Fabric | Snap Front Closure | Durable, Moisture Managing & Reinforced At The Knees | Cross-Functional Pant | Trouser Styling With Snap Front | Water Resistant | Quick Drying||Buy Now!|
|Columbia Women's Saturday Trail II Convertible Pant||96% Nylon / 4% Elastane||Roll-Up Legs That Convert To Shorts | Water & Stain Repellent Fabric | UPF 50 | 2 Side Pockets | Partial Elastic Waist With Adjustable Comfort | Omni-Shield Repels Moisture & Dries Quickly||Buy Now!|
|KOI Lite Stretch Multi-Pocket Scrub Pant||95% Polyester / 5% Spandex||May Be Scrubs But Great For Travel | Drawstring & Full Elastic Closure | Thigh Zipper Pocket | Two Front & Two Back Pockets | Slim Fit | Comfortable & Stretchy||Buy Now!|
|Columbia Women's Anytime Outdoor Boot Cut Casual Pant||96% Nylon / 4% Elastane||Comfortable | Multiple Sizes & Short Or Regular Inseams | Resistant To Stains, Rain, & Harmful UV Rays | Drawstring Closure | Great For Indoor Or Outdoor Wear | Stretchy | Machine-Wash Friendly | Omni-Shield To Repeal Moisture||Buy Now!|
|SCOTTeVEST Women's Margaux Cargaux Everyday Cargo Pants||Cotton / Spandex||11 Pockets To Carry Your Belongings | Pickpocket-Proof, Super Secure With Snaps, Zippers & Drop-Ins Sections | Flexible Stretch Fit | Fold-Over Drawstring Waistband | Convert Into Capris | Great Comfort||Buy Now!|
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!
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. Easy 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?
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.
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.
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.
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.