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There are pants and then there are travel pants. You may not realize there’s a difference, but there definitely is. Travel pants offer more comfort, flexibility, breathability, and convenience (all the pockets!). They also tend to have a sturdier structure and don’t wrinkle as easily. All of these reason are why I choose to buy and wear travel pants on our trips, and even at home.
Over the dozen years that I’ve been traveling extensively, I’ve testing dozens of pairs of travel pants. Though there have been a few duds, I have found some really great pairs that I firmly believe in.
I want to offer up my recommendations in this guide for the best travel pants and jeans I’ve found. These are my favorites – the tried and true few that have made the cut. You can trust all of these to be high quality and more importantly NOT dad pants.
» Check out our other travel gear reviews for things like the best wrinkle-free travel shirts, my absolute favorite travel blazer, and men’s travel shoes. If you’re looking for women’s travel pants, you’ll find them here.
Best Travel Pants Brands to Look For
The first issue you’ll run into when looking for travel pants is the range of brands available. Who can you trust and who delivers the best product? After many road tests and trials, we’ve come to trust the following travel brands, who offer a reliable product as well as something extra, like security features, extra pockets, and high-quality fabric.
Quick Pick List – Best Men’s Travel Pants
Below you’ll find a chart of the top men’s travel pants for 2021, with price and review info (Note: these are affiliate links.)
You can click on any of them to see more reviews or learn more about them. Below the chart are our personal reviews of each pair of pants. We’ve done extensive research of our own to find the best pants for frequently travelers like ourselves.
*Our Top Picks
Bluffworks Men’s Travel Pants
|Buy Now Read Review|
Aviator Travel Jeans
|Buy Now Read Review|
How to Chose the Best Travel Pants
Comfort, obviously! It’s not quite that easy to find the right pair of travel pants, but comfort is a big part of the equation. Once I found comfort, 50% of the work was done. What are the other criteria to looked for in the perfect travel pants?
- Deep pockets
- Quick Drying
- Flexible Fit
Yes, it’s a long list! Is it possible to find all of these attributes in a single pair of pants? Maybe not, but I got pretty darn close. For most every day travelers — I’m not talking about the high adventure types who regularly hike mountains and stuff — there are a few things you really can’t be without, which you can read below.
Travel Pants For Men – Must Haves
The most important thing in men’s travel pants is breath-ability. Sweating all day in material that doesn’t breath is not a good way to go.
⇒ Deep Pockets
That time when my ID fell out of my pocket in the taxi on the way to the airport immediately comes to mind as the top reason for needing deep pockets. I keep my wallet, keys, change and phone in my pockets, so if the pockets aren’t deep enough to hold those things, the pants don’t make the cut.
Materials that typical pants are made of are usually not water-resistant. A good pair of travel pants have to be water resistant, so you don’t get soaked in a sudden downpour or ruin your pants when you spill wine on them.
⇒ Quick Drying
I often take half the clothes I need on longer trips and wash them in the sink halfway through a trip. They need to dry quickly so they can be worn again the next day. A pair that takes a full day to dry is just not going to work.
Men’s Travel Pants Reviews
★ Our Top Pick – Men’s Travel Pants
I have a few pairs of the Bluffworks pants that I wear while traveling. Aside from the jeans, which are reviewed below, I also wear their Chino pants and Ascender pants in a traditional five pocket pants design.
The three designs together form a pretty great combo. The jeans are very comfortable, but when you want to look a bit nicer and/or not wear denim, the 5-pocket style is perfect. Then to take it another step up, you’ve got the Chinos.
This is perfect for all types of travel, from leisure to formal, and fits an active and varied lifestyle.
All of their pants have 10 pockets, including a zippered one that’s perfect for travel, which is hidden inside the front pocket. My wallet fits in the zippered pocket, eliminating the fear of losing it to pick-pockets.
There’s also a hidden loop on the inside of the front pocket where you can clip a badge or keys. The back pocket is deep and wide enough to fit a Kindle.
Both are made with Bluffworks’ soft, stretchy Ascender fabric. It’s quick-dry polyester material that looks and feels like cotton, but has a bit of stretch and is wrinkle resistant.
They’re lightweight, comfortable, flexible and, breathable.
These pants fit true to size, so you can order your regular size with no worries about fit. There are two different styles – the Chinos and the 5-pocket style. These are just the kind of pants you want for travel.
If your go-to is jeans, check out our Bluffworks travel jeans review below.
Need a Blazer too?
I can’t write a Bluffworks pants review without also mentioning the mens travel blazer. It’s nicely tailored, with the look and feel of wool, but is made from the same wrinkle-resistant, quick-dry polyester material as the pants. You can actually machine wash this blazer! It looks really nice on – a great complement to the chinos.
⇒ Click to learn more about the Bluffworks Blazer
Pros: Stretchy, breathable material that doesn’t wrinkle. Design and fit that look really nice and specially tailored. Abundant pockets and security features. Do not looks like “travel pants”.
Cons: Difficult to slip things into the front pockets because there are additional pockets inside to get snagged on.
Use this Bluffworks coupon code for 10% off your order (not applicable on sale items).
- Uncompromising comfort and style
- Quick-drying, wrinkle-resistant
- 100% technical, breathable polyester
- 10 pockets
- Handcrafted in the U.S.
Bluffworks Departure Jeans
These are probably the best pair of jeans I’ve had in years. They fit very well – being neither too baggy nor too tight, with just the right amount of stretch and flexibility to be comfortable and stylish at the same time. They look really great on. You wouldn’t be able to tell them apart from a typical pair of jeans.
They’re made with a special cotton polyester blend that looks just like traditional jeans but acts like a great pair of travel pants – lightweight, breathable and fast drying.
Plus, they have hidden pockets! There’s the five “classic” jean pockets, plus two hidden, zippered pockets in the back waistband. One is even big enough to store a phone or passport and it’s water-resistant!
- Soft, but sturdy material that’s flexible
- Hidden pockets are great for travel
- They look great on
(“The best travel jeans in the world” – USAToday)
I have a pair of the summer travel jeans in Cool Faded Blue Indigo. These are definitely some of the best jeans I’ve had in years.
What makes them particularly well fitted for travel are two things. First, they are made to be lightweight, breathable and fast drying. In summer weather, I rarely ever wear jeans because they are too hot and constricting, but I don’t mind wearing Aviator jeans, because of their breath-ability.
The second thing that makes them great for travel is the hidden pockets. There are three pockets that are zipper protected and hidden away inside other pockets. You can easily store your valuables in these pockets. One of them is even large enough for your passport.
The front and back pockets of the jeans both are large enough to fit a Kindle, which is important to me while we’re traveling, so I have somewhere to store my Kindle while getting on and off the plane.
One of the worries we always have about jeans with stretch in them is that they’ll stretch out of shape and start to fit awkwardly while traveling. I tends to re-wear jeans a couple of times at least between washes. I was happy to find that the material recovers well and doesn’t stretch out too much.
If they had to be washed while on a trip, it wouldn’t be too big of a deal because they dry really fast.
Aviator jeans also come in an original fit and nine colors. 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: Lightweight, breathable and fast drying. Fit really nicely and don’t lose their shape quickly. Abundant pockets, with added security.
Cons: These jeans don’t come in differing lengths, so you’ll have to get them hemmed to fit when they arrive, or take advantage of Aviator’s free custom hemming.
- Super comfortable
- Flexible, durable, breathable
- Stylish, modern design
- Hidden security pockets
- Handcrafted in the U.S. (can be shipped worldwide)
- Free custom hemming
Lululemon Men’s Commission pants are great for all around active wear. They’re comfortable, they look great and they have additional features that travelers appreciate, like hidden zippered pockets and a 4-way stretch fabric.
One of the things I like the most about these pants is the amount of stretch and flexibility the fabric has, but they don’t get stretched out and retain their shape well. If you’ve ever worn Lululemon pants before, you migth already be aware of their ABC™ (anti-ball-crushing) fit. That’s a pro, for sure.
As for pockets, there are two front regular pockets that are not incredibly deep, two zippered rear pockets, and a zippered pocket on the thigh, which is deep enough to hold a cellphone.
Pros: Flexible, stretchy fabric that doesn’t lose its shape. Good middle of the road look – can be dressed up or down. Tons of colors available.
Cons: Available in slim fit only.
- Hidden zippered and buttoned pockets
- Reflective strip on pant leg when rolled
- Flexible, soft fabric and great fit
- Wrinkle free
- Available in a lot of colors
The PrAna brand has a few different styles for men. The Brion is for every day wear and for when you want something more multi-functional. They are cut slimmer with straight legs and a fixed waistband, so they look decidedly less “adventurey” and more able to blend into any situation.
The Zion style is best for really active adventurers who will be wearing them for hiking and climbing.
The black pair can easily be dressed up and look nice enough for a classy restaurant. The slimmer fit doesn’t make them any less practical as travel pants. They are water-repellent, quick to dry and are very lightweight for packing purposes. The stretch fabric is made specifically to allow maximum comfort when moving around.
The only thing to be aware of is that the pockets in the Brion are not nearly as functional for people who like to keep multiple items in there. The front pockets are pretty deep and can hold a wallet and keys, and the back pocket can hold a wallet. There is no leg cargo pocket.
Pros: Slim fit, perfect for most every day use, can be dressed up easily
Cons: Pockets aren’t ideal
- Straight-leg pant featuring five-pocket styling
- Durable water repellent technology
- UPF 50+
- Wrinkle resistant
- 4-way stretch
These pants are the perfect combination for both active wear and evening wear. Aside from the small logo on the front of the leg, you really can’t tell these are technical pants. They pair well with both active casual shirts and dressier shirts.
The material is very soft to the touch, but it’ s durable. It’s also water and stain resistant, which is always a good thing when traveling. There’s a good stretch to these pants, so they’re comfortable to wear on the airplane, while hiking, or just for casual walking around.
They don’t seem to stretch out with extended wear. For pockets, there are two in front and two in back. I was worried about the zippered thigh pocket, but you really don’t notice it and it provides a great place to store your phone. They come in three colors.
Pros: Exceptionally soft and comfortable material, bonus phone pocket at thigh.
Cons: Slim fitting and tight at the calves – may have to go up a size if you have larger calves.
- Trim fit good for work to weekend
- Durable, water and stain resistant
- Technical outdoor functionality
- Cotton blend twill has stretch to add comfort and hold the fit
- Natural fibres add to next-to-skin comfort.
These pants are 100% nylon with plenty of flexibility of movement. They have an exterior waistband adjuster to easily take them in or out. Columbia is always good at including extra features to combat the elements in their clothing, so it’s no surprise that these pants have moisture wicking and SPF 50 protection built in.
Though they aren’t water-resistant, they are quick to dry due to the moisture-wicking technology. The material is soft and comfortable, and they don’t make much of a swishing sound when you walk. Although the waistband says it’s partially elastic, it’s still pretty unforgiving, so proper sizing is important.
We’ve found that the belt it comes with is pretty useless. It can easily be removed. We’ve also noticed that the inseam doesn’t seem to be correct, so it might take a few tries to find the right fit if ordering online. There are six pockets in these pants. The front two regular pockets and two rear pockets with tab closure and velcro to secure them shut.
There is also one pocket on each leg, one with velcro and one that is zippered. I don’t think anything would fall out of any of those four pockets, but it’s nice to have the zippered one for added security.
Pros: Plenty of pockets, lightweight and good for summer
Cons: Difficult to find the right fit
- Omni-Shade UPF 50 fabric
- Omni-Wick technology pulls moisture away to keep you cool and dry
- Zip-closure security pocket, side pockets with hook and loop closure, and mesh pocket bags
- Partial elastic waist and gusset detail for added comfort
- Classic fit for ultimate versatility
With all of these great choices, you should be able to find the best travel pants for you. I have a pair of each of them and use them in different situations. What I love the most is that I can easily pack a few pairs in my backpack in a fraction of the space it would take to pack regular jeans, so I can have a much greater variety of things to wear, while still packing light.
If there are any pairs of travel pants for men that you love that I left off the list, let me know and I’ll review those as well.
Nick Lynch travels the world in search of great experiences, food and drink. While he primarily provides photography and website support, he occasionally writes about his journeys, too.