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Effortlessly Chic Travel Pants to Pack for Your Next Trip

By AFAR Editors

Oct 1, 2020

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Travel pants come in all styles and fabrics. Find what works best for you.

Courtesy of Amour Vert; design by Emily Blevins

Travel pants come in all styles and fabrics. Find what works best for you.

Save the yoga leggings for your next wellness retreat and strut the (airport) runway in these travel pants instead—they’re snuggly enough for long days on the road, but stylish enough for the world’s fashion capitals.

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For many, dreaming of an hours-long plane ride or road trip conjures images of comfortable stretchy leggings, and the idea of touring a new destination without a casual pair of joggers is often unimaginable. Even reliable everyday denim can feel heavy and restrictive when you’re on the go. There are, however, fashion-forward alternatives that can take you from the “tourist” look to the “slick local around town” side of style. 

What to look for in a pair of travel pants

Before you invest in a new pair of pants for your upcoming adventures, consider what kind of travel you do most often (business trips to big cities or weekend getaways to the beach?) and the climate you’re heading to (cold and rainy or hot and dry?). While you’re shopping, you’ll also want to keep the following features in mind:

  • Style meets comfort. Business travelers will want something a little more sleek in a basic black or other neutral color, but if you’re heading to a beach vacation or somewhere else on your own time, play around with colorful patterns and more lightweight fabrics that are easier to pack.
  • Material. Cotton and linen are more breathable and better for warm climates, but are prone to wrinkling more than technical fabrics made from nylon and stretchy Lycra. If you’re trying to reduce your ecofootprint, some companies use environmentally friendly fabrics like recycled cottons or Tencel, which is produced using sustainably sourced wood.
  • Cut. Mid- to high-waist pants are still in vogue these days, which generally are cut to be more comfortable and won’t dig into your stomach on long travel days. Also look for pants with forgiving elastic waistbands or adjustable tie-belts at the waist to customize the fit.
  • Price. Pants that are made to last more than one season often won’t fall in the under $100 category. Same goes for shopping small businesses that use sustainable materials and ethical manufacturing processes. While many of the following options are more expensive than you’re used to, these pants are also so versatile, you can often get away with only packing one pair instead of two on your future travels.
  • Pockets. Beyond fun colors and patterns, and durable fabrics, the most important feature a pair of travel pants can have is sufficient pockets, which are crucial for keeping track of your phone or passport or lip balm—you name it—on the go. 

Without further ado, here are the best pairs of travel pants for women that are both stylish, and yes, comfortable:

1. Anissa Pant by Amour Vert

  • Buy Now: $79 (was $138), amourvert.com
  • Sizing: XS-L
  • Features: Machine washable, tie belt, 2 pockets

There’s no arguing the versatile appeal of black clothing when it comes to vacation packing. Sticking to the classic color, Amour Vert, a San Francisco–based environmentally friendly brand, has created the Anissa pant (pictured above)—and it’s anything but basic. Made out of soft and pampering Tencel and featuring a flattering pleated front, the cool, airy pants are particularly suitable for all-day exploring in warmer climates. Lounge comfortably in them on the plane then team with a cropped top and sneakers upon landing, and get ready to collect compliments in foreign languages. —Flora Tsapovsky

2. Great Pant by Ace&Jig

  • Buy Now: $260, aceandjig.com
  • Sizing: XXS-2X
  • Features: Elastic waistband, 2 pockets

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When you need elevated yet comfortable clothing, it doesn’t get better than Ace&Jig, a Brooklyn-based, women-owned mini sartorial empire. The brand makes its own woven textiles, collaborating with Indian artisans to create the softest, most luxurious textures imaginable. Its Great pants are no exception: Cozy enough to sleep in, but striking enough to be worn in the world’s fashion capitals, the straight-leg, elastic-waisted pants (with pockets!) are a travel must. For maximum mixing-and-matching capabilities, opt for a monochrome version. —F.T.

The Striped Sarouel pant comes in sizes XS-L in navy blue.

3. Striped Sarouel by Anissa Aida… 

  • Buy Now: $240, anissaaida.com
  • Sizing: XS-L
  • Features: Elastic waistband, 2 pockets

What’s a sarouel, you may ask? Only the most comfortable drop-crotch pant, and one that is traditionally worn in North Africa and the Saharan regions. Anissa Aida… designer Anissa Meddeb, who grew up between Tunis and France and is now based in New York, gives the garment a tailored twist by making it out of high-quality Tencel and adding pleats and pockets for a sophisticated fusion feel. The result: the sharp-looking Striped Sarouel. The roomy and flowing pants look equally good with heels or high-tops and will feel right at home whether you’re at a resort or on a mountain top. —F.T.

The Epoque Evolution Jet Set Trouser comes in sizes 0-16 in four colors.

4. Jet Set Trouser by Epoque Evolution

If you need to head to a business meeting straight from a long plane, train, or car ride, the Jet Set Trouser from women-owned clothing brand Epoque Evolution will do the trick. Made with a machine washable material that won’t wrinkle and is quick to dry, these pants will leave you looking polished no matter how long you’ve been sitting in the same position (or biking around the city).

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If front pockets tend to bulge around your hips, these pants are pocketless in the front and feature pull-on styling making them feel like a fitted pair of high-waisted leggings (there are two pockets in the back that are large enough to hold an iPhone Plus or your passport). Designed for travelers of all heights, you’ll find a bartack at the hem so you can customize the fit. —Lyndsey Matthews

The Aday Easy Days Pant comes in sizes XS-L in six colors.

5. Easy Days Pant by Aday

  • Buy now: $155, thisisaday.com
  • Sizing: XS-L
  • Features: Tie belt, machine washable, 2 pockets

If you’ve ever wished you owned a pair of pants that combined the technical features of your best performing yoga leggings with the style of your cutest culottes, then meet the Easy Day Pants by Aday. Like all of the pants by this sustainable, technical clothing brand for women, the Easy Day Pants are made for active, jet-setting women who don’t want to sacrifice performance or style.

Modern and versatile in design, these pants are also incredibly comfortable, breathable, pill-resistant, and virtually impossible to wrinkle. Aday’s clothes are also durable. These pants can last years of frequent use without looking rough or faded. —Jessie Beck

The Trevi Pant comes in sizes 0-16 in two colors (and is also available in petite sizes).

6. Trevi Pant by Bluffworks

  • Buy now: $60 (was $150), bluffworks.com
  • Sizing: 0-16 (available in petite fit)
  • Features: Machine washable, 8 pockets, adjustable hem

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The Trevi Pants, as well as everything in the Bluffworks line, are designed with active people in mind—whether that means biking to work or sightseeing for a full day. I’ve biked miles in these pants and they’ve never become rumpled or sweaty thanks to a lightweight, technical fabric that’s moisture wicking and wrinkle and pill resistant; it also has built-in odor control. There’s also just enough stretch in the fabric to make them almost as comfortable as my favorite yoga pants while still looking like a pair of modern trousers.

Available in either solid blue or black, they are a versatile staple that can be dressed up for business events, or down for casual days exploring a new city. Most importantly, the Trevi Pants have eight pockets, including front and back pockets that are spacious and blend in seamlessly. They also have an inner mesh pocket designed to hold a phone in place (even a large iPhone 11) plus a hidden, zippered pocket for any valuables you don’t want to lose, like your passport. —J.B.

7. Eshe Classic Pant by Lemlem

  • Buy now: $295, lemlem.com
  • Sizing: XS-L
  • Features: Tie belt, 2 pockets

Following a trip to her native Ethiopia, model Liya Kebede launched Lemlem, an artisan-driven clothing line made entirely in Africa. The striped Eshe Classic Pant is an airy option ideal for casual days exploring the shores of the Caribbean or the Mediterranean. Made in Ethiopia with a lightweight blend of cotton and acrylic, these pants come with a tie belt at the waist and two pockets at the side; they are available in a saturated blue and deep olive green. Five percent of the sales of these pants are donated to the Lemlem Foundation, which supports women artisans in Africa by connecting them to healthcare, education, and pathways to jobs. —L.M.

This article was originally published on November 6, 2018; it was updated on October 1, 2020, to include current information.

>>Next: 11 Comfy Pants That Are Perfect for Both WFH and Long Flights

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