Ever since I discovered a few of the best travel pants we’ve included on this list, they are almost all I ever wear. They are just so comfortable and versatile; why would I choose to wear anything else?
One of the biggest travel challenges we all face is staying comfortable. When you’re stuck on a plane for 10+ hours, what you’re wearing suddenly becomes an issue. If you’re a day hiker, you want pants that don’t limit your range of motion.
If you’re on a city break, you want stylish travel clothes. This is why we went on a mission to find the most comfortable and versatile travel pants for both men and women.
The good news is that, after testing dozens of pairs, we found some really great choices! To help you avoid all the necessary researching and testing involved in finding the best travel pants (or the best travel trousers, as they call them in the UK!), I’ve put together a guide to the best travel pants and jeans to make the search easy for you!
Quick Pick List – Best Women’s Travel Pants 2019
Below are six of our favorite women’s travel pants. I own a pair of each of these pants. My favorite two are listed below, with four more under that. If you don’t have time to read the full reviews, you can click directly to purchase through the links below (they are affiliate links – meaning we’ll receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.)
*My Top Picks
Aviator Travel Jeans
|Buy Now Read Review|
prAna Living Women’s Halle Pant
What to Look For in the Best Women’s Pants for Travel
My main reason for wanting to find the best travel pants was for comfort on airplanes. I need to sit for long periods of time in these pants without them digging into my skin. I want pants that don’t restrict my movement or pull down in the back when I bend over. I am also looking for a pair that doesn’t stretch out after prolonged wear.
⇒ Lightweight Material
We pack really light using just a carry-on backpack, so lightweight and compact are top on my list. Even when I use packing cubes, I still can’t fit in multiple pairs of regular pants or jeans. A good pair of travel pants will be lightweight, yet durable.
I really hate it when we arrive at our destination and all of our clothes are wrinkled. I don’t want my travel pants to wrinkle during travel. If I forget to fold my pants before bed, I’d love for them to not be wrinkled in the morning. Wishful thinking? I actually found a few pairs of travel pants that don’t wrinkle.
One very important thing for me is versatility. Being a light packer, I don’t pack multiple pairs of pants. I need one pair to do double duty, so it can be worn during casual and dressy situations. I want to wear a pair of travel pants during the day for tours and then wear them to a fancy dinner without anyone noticing.
Multi-Functional Travel Pants for Women
I like to think in terms of how I can pack the right clothing options for every situation without packing my entire wardrobe. This is where a good pair of travel pants comes in. I highly recommend having at least one pair of black or dark grey travel pants. Why? Because black goes with everything, and because black pants can always be made to appear dressy.
If you buy the right pair of travel pants, they will be multi-functional enough to be worn in all of these situations without anyone wondering what you were thinking.
- Dining out at a nice restaurant
- Walking around museums
- Airplane travel
- During hot summer days
- On an impromptu run in the park
The Best Travel Pants Reviews for Women
★ Our Favorite Women’s Jeans: Aviator Women’s Travel Jeans
If I could wear stretch leggings all day every day on a trip, I would; but they just aren’t stylish enough and the lack of pockets would drive me crazy. It doesn’t matter, though, because I found Aviator travel jeans and they are even better than wearing leggings. These are one of the most comfortable pairs of jeans I’ve ever had.
When it comes to jeans, I typically prefer straight leg, but I branched out this time and got the Performance Skinny jeans in dark indigo from Aviator. They fit like skinny jeans, but they feel like leggings.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never been able to pull off skinny jeans with my curvy body frame, but I have no problems fitting into these jeans. In fact, all I had to do to find the right fit was order my regular size. I didn’t try them on before ordering. And they fit perfectly. I’ve avoided skinny jeans for so long and now I don’t have to anymore.
The features of these jeans are what led them to be called the “best travel jeans in the world” by USAToday. They have six internal pockets – one pocket in the back is zippered for added protection, and one pocket is large enough to fit a cell phone.
They are made from a material that is breathable and cool. I was recommended not to put them in the dryer to extend their life, but it’s not a problem because they dry very quickly. Shape recovery is great – I’ve worn them for three full days in a row and haven’t had an issue with them stretching out. The only thing I’ve noticed is a bit of bunching around the knee, but I appreciate the extra stretch there so kneeling down doesn’t cause them to come down.
The color I have is dark indigo (which is great for dressing up), but they also come in medium dark indigo, black, and silver. Performance skinny is also just one fit – they also have original and comfort skinny fits. They are made in a family-run factory in Los Angeles. If you order the wrong size, it’s not a problem. You can return them for a new size. Worldwide shipping is available.
Pros: Very soft, comfortable, stretchy material. They look great on.
Cons: These jeans come in only one length, so you’ll have to hem them.
These are one of the most comfortable pairs of pants to wear, they are very lightweight and easy to take care of, and they are versatile enough to wear in multiple situations.
I am very picky when it comes to comfort. I don’t want pants to be tight around the waist so that they are restricting when sitting for long hours on a plane. I want them to feel like I’m wearing yoga pants instead. These are fantastic.
There is a double snap button closure at the waist that lays flat and doesn’t dig in. They stay in place without having to pull them up all the time and they don’t really stretch over time, so if you wear them for 4+ days without washing, they don’t start to fall down and become uncomfortable after getting stretched out.
The material is soft and lightweight. They take up practically no space. I could fit 3 pairs of these in the same amount of space as one pair of jeans. The material has Omni-Shade included, which offers UPF 50 sun protection and water repellency. I also like the feature that allows you to roll the pant leg and secure it at just below knee length with the snap tie.
Even though these are active wear pants with lots of “on-the-go” features – like 2-way stretch material, zippered pockets, and articulating knees – the black ones can be dressed up to wear out to a nice dinner, if paired with the right top. There are no visible logos or cargo-style pockets to give them away.
Overall, these are a great pair of travel pants for women. I would recommend them over all of the others on this list. It’s all about the little details.
Pros: Lightweight, versatile, very comfortable
Cons: Don’t fit as true to size as expected. Can wrinkle easily.
There are quite a few differences between the PrAna pants and the Columbia pants. The PrAna Halle pants are made with 97% Nylon and 3% Spandex, and they have a thicker, slicker look and feel. The four-way stretch design with reinforced knees makes them really comfortable to move around in, so they’re great for all types of travel situations, even in more adventurous situations. I find them to be fairly wrinkle-free and quick to dry.
This pair of pants has two pockets in the back with flaps sealed with silver buttons, plus a secret hidden pocket on the top right leg, which you can see fairly well, making this pair of pants not quite as easy to dress up. The front closure consists of a zipper and two silver buttons. They are not as relaxed in the front as I would hope and the buttons do have a tendency to dig in after a few hours.
Aside from being really durable, breathable and water resistant, the Halle travel pants also have a roll-up feature, so you can easily turn them into shorts. They come in three different lengths and it’s important to get the one that fits you right, or you may find the fit doesn’t feel right and it’s hard to keep them up.
Pros: Great for adventure travel
Cons: Side pocket makes them less multi-functional, hard to find the right size
One of the best pairs of women’s travel pants I own are the Columbia Anytime Outdoor Bootcut pair.
The thing I like most about this pair of pants is that they are incredibly lightweight and don’t wrinkle. I can roll them up in a ball for two days and 5 minutes after I’ve put them on, they’re smooth again. Because they don’t have any extra pockets, zippers or tags on the legs, you can wear them almost anywhere. I even wore them to a Michelin-star restaurant when my dress pants were too wrinkled to wear.
They can be dressed up with a nice blouse and shoes. The two front pockets lay flat and there is only a small back pocket with a velcro seal.
If you were to stack three pairs of these pants together, they would take up the space of one pair of jeans. They are made from 96% Nylon and 4% Elastane, so they have a good amount of stretch to them. The zipper, snap and drawstring are not tight-fitting, so you can sit on a plane in these for 12 hours and not feel the closure digging into your skin.
The only things I don’t really like is that the drawstring is thin and doesn’t do a great job of tightening them, so they sometimes feel too loose.
While these pants are really thin and breathable, I expected them to dry a little quicker than they did. It took most of a day for them to dry. They are quite flexible and stretchy, but they don’t really stretch out with prolonged use. I’ve had one pair for 2 years now with almost daily wear and they still look great. The only thing I don’t like is how pilly the crotch has become.
Pros: Sheds wrinkles fast, soft, comfortable material, no large waistband to dig in
Cons: Drawstring is too thin and long, and doesn’t hold them up well; material gets pilly in the crotch
These were the first pair of travel pants I tried, so I didn’t have as many comparisons to draw from. They are more water-resistant than any of the other pairs reviewed here, but that also makes them a little less soft and comfortable. The material swishes together a little more than I’d like, making some noise as I walk.
I was originally a little afraid that the snap closure would be uncomfortable for longer sitting, but the band of the pants is wide enough and also protected by a band of softer material, so it lays flat and doesn’t dig in.
They have drawstrings at the ankles so you can pull them up to any length and secure them there with the pull string, but of the few times I’ve tried to use the pull string, I’ve not had luck getting them to actually stay up.
I would say these are the least versatile of the pants listed here. You can’t really get away with wearing them to a nice restaurant. They have zipper pockets in the back that lay flat, but they also have a plastic “Outdoor Research” label sewn into the lower leg, and a silver OR logo sewn into the ankle, not to mention the slighly bulky drawstring in the pant leg.
While these pants are fairly breathable and lightweight, they don’t air dry as quickly as they should and the crotch area can become a little too warm when in active situations or hot environments. They could vent a little better. They are very comfortable to wear in regular conditions, however.
Pros: Very comfortable waistband, can be secured higher on the leg as capris or shorts, lots of pockets
Cons: Can’t be easily dressed up, wrinkle easier, not as breathable in the crotch
Probably the most versatile of all the pants we’ve reviewed, the Royal Robbins Discovery pants can be worn in almost any situation. If anything, they almost look too nice to wear in outdoor adventure settings, probably because of their matte appearance. But they are great for wearing out to a nice dinner.
The material is a little stiffer than others, so they aren’t as comfortable for everyday wear, and they do make a slight swishing sound as you walk.
My biggest pet peeve about these pants is the front closure. There is a zipper and button on the inside, and a snap flap that snaps about and inch past the button. This makes them a very unforgiving size. You wouldn’t want to gain any weight and try to fit into these, and that means eating a large lunch or dinner! The waist does tend to dig into the skin when sitting for longer periods.
These pants dry the quickest of the four options. They generally stay wrinkle free as long as you aren’t balling them up for days before wear. There are pockets in front and one zippered pocket in back that all lay very flat, so you don’t really notice they’re there. There are no other branded markings on the legs.
Pros: Can be worn anywhere, easy to dress up
Cons: Not as soft or comfortable as others, button and snap closure tends to dig in
Now that we’ve found these great women’s travel pants, there’s no need to go back to traditional pants. These have a lot of great features that are great for travel, but also fantastic for every day wear. I think you’ll love them as much as I do.
If there are any pairs of travel pants that you love that I left off the list, let me know and I’ll review those as well.
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Laura Lynch, creator and writer of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, certified wine expert, and international food specialist. She has written about travel and food for over 20 years and has visited 70+ countries.