Lightweight Hiking and Travel Pants for Any Destination

best travel pants

The Best Travel Pants for Traveling Abroad

When traveling you’ll likely spend most of your time in a pair of pants. Having a few pair of stylish and durable travel pants are important for countries Thailand, Japan, Europe, South America, or the USA. Most “travel pants” are dorky zip-off pants that have too many cargo pockets.  These are not cool and reek of tourist. When traveling, always ask this question, “What can I pack to look like a traveler instead of a tourist?” The answer generally comes down to wear what the locals wear, with a bit more travel function. Stick with clothing pieces that are timeless, low key, and functional.

When it comes to traveling light, you’ll need one to two pair of quality pants that don’t suck. So what are the best travel pants? Jeans and Chinos! The fact is, what jeans lack in quick drying ability, they more than make up for in style, durability (pending you purchase something that is high quality), and functionality. Chinos are equally great because they are lightweight and are perfect for tropical destinations and warmer climates. 

What Makes a Good Travel Trouser?

A good travel pant should be durable, stretchy, lightweight, packable, and stylish. Generally a trusted pair of jeans work fine but there are companies that specialize in hiking and traveling pants that are stylish. For the most part they are a bit overkill if you are going to be casually traveling around Europe, but if you plan to go more rugged they are absolutely worth the price. Below are the mot common pants for traveling.

Lightweight Travel Pants for Men and Women

Denim

hiking pants womens

If you read our section on Jackets you’ll know that we are a big fan of denim. It’s durable, strong, stylish, and holds up over time. It also tells a story as it distresses. Invented with Cowboys, miners, and frontiersmen in mind, denim easily withstands even the harshest travel conditions. It also pairs well with other clothes, can be worn casually for day sightseeing, and dressed up at night for fancier times. The downside to denim is that it doesn’t dry quick and cheap denim won’t hold up in your travels. When buying denim for travel, there are a few things you should consider:

  1. Get the universal cuts, and make sure they fit right. There are multiple cuts when it comes to jeans. In most parts of the world the tapered style is the most popular, however boot cut jeans work fine. Try to avoid anything too baggy as it is considered sloppy looking.
  2. Darker colors work best. Grey, indigo, and black are best for pairing with other clothes and won’t show stains.
  3. Buy good denim. All denim is not created equally. quality denim that can stretch is more comfortable and will also stand up to traveling. Raw denim is great for the homeland, but it’s to restrictive and too heavy for serious travel.
  4. Avoid flair. Any rhinestones or weird stitching on the pockets isn’t timeless, it’s tacky. 

The hardest part about buying a pair of travel jeans is finding something that is functional and will be comfortable on long flights. A combination of stretch and durability can be hard to find in a pair of jeans, however a fear years ago the miracles of jeggings were invented. Jeggings are basically jeans that feel like sweatpants, making them the best of both worlds for travel. Take whatever jeans you want, but we highly recommend investing in at least one pair of high quality jeans.

  • Diesel Jogg Jeans
    Unfortunately men haven’t had many options when it comes to jegging style pants that are stylish and functional until recently. Diesel Jeans are Italian pants that run slim and fit great. One pair can easily last you 5+ years of heavy travel if properly cared for. The Jogg Jeans are Diesel’s jeggings. They might seem expensive at around $150-$250, but if you calculate how much you will spend on cheap crappy jeans, over five years, they are actually a steal. Two pair of these can easily replace 10 pair of regular jeans. They also look amazing and feel like sweatpants. If you want high quality travel gear, these are simply the best. They are for men and women.
  • Jeggings
    Unlike men, women have a huge array styles, colors, and fits to pick when it comes to jeans. They cost anywhere from $10-$150 and all look great. If you are looking for something functional for travel, comfortable, and also shows off your assets, a good pair of jeggings will take you far.

Travel Khakis and Chinos mens hiking pants

Chinos are great when denim isn’t appropriate, such as in the Caribbean and other tropical countries. They are also a lot more formal and pair well with t-shirts and collared shirts. Chino’s are lightweight pants that breathe well and can be worn casually or for fancier travel settings. A lot of them are also treated with stain protection so they can dodge bad situations. The downside with chinos is that cheap ones don’t hold their color with multiple washes, so it’s important you take care of them and don’t get them too dirty. A few things to remember when buying chinos:

  1. Light colors are great for tropical environments. Color is great in tropical regions, but ensure they will match other pieces of clothing.
  2. They are resistant to stains. When buying them, consider ones that are water resistant and designed for travel.
  3. Too many pockets is lame. Avoid anything with cargo pockets.
  4. Find the right fit. They should be tapered or boot cut.
  5. Get something that will keep you dry. Nylon is the best fabric to go with because it dries quicker.
  • Men’s Chino Travel Pant
    These pants are 94% nylon, water resistant, made of stretch fabric, and have that classic chino look. It’s hard to find any other pair of chinos that are as good for travel as these, since these were made with travel in mind. Great for hiking, backpacking, or a business meeting; they will serve you well in future adventures.
  • Women’s Chino Pant
    These are stretchy with a relaxed baggy style. They are super comfortable for long flights, hiking, or lounging around at a cafe. They might not be as formfitting as some people would like, but when you are spending your days trekking and sightseeing, you’ll want something comfortable and functional. Let’s be real, you have a killer pair of pants already packed for going out, so why not get some that are comfortable and functional.

Summary

When it comes to selecting what kind of pants to pack, consider stretchy comfortable fabrics that are stylish, durable, and can be easily paired with other clothes. Stretch denim and stretch chinos will always be timeless and conform with styles in many parts of the world. Ensure you have a good belt to go along with them. Stay comfortable out there!