There are quite a few reasons to pack travel pants that can be worn in multiple situations and perform multiple functions. Even if you’re not backpacking around the world, these Sentinel travel pants from Outdoor Research are great for any vacation where space or weight is an issue. Since they’re also treated to repel mosquitoes, they’re ideal for an African safari or a trip through the tropics. Or even a summer picnic or camping trip near home.
Quick-drying nylon travel pants have been out for a while, but the designs and features keep getting better. One major development has been a recognition that not every woman wants to look like a blocky tomboy just because she’s in travel mode. These Outdoor Research ones are cut to be shapely. If you’ve worked hard indoors and out to keep in shape, these pants won’t hide it. (This means you may have to go up a size though, see the end of this post for the result of that…)
These pants have all the features that are now expected: UPF50 sun protection, wicking properties, quick drying after a sink washing, and lots of secure pockets. Three are protected by straps to keep grubby fingers from getting in and swiping your cash. And of course the fabric is super-strong: you’re not likely to rip these on a broken bus handrail.
The Insect Shield treatment is a big bonus worth paying for though. I’ve tried lots of products treated with this stuff and they’ve done a good job of keeping away mozzies, gnats, and no-see-ums. I can’t vouch for the chiggers as they seem to crawl up shoes, but if you spray there the pants should keep those at bay also. I’ve only managed to hit the 70 washes this stuff is rated to stay effective for and that was with a t-shirt I traveled with for a long time. It was looking pretty sad by then anyway, so 70 washings for most people really will be the life of the product.
My travel tester partner liked the look of these, but also the features. She really appreciated the roll-up cuffs that turn these into capri pants when it’s hot out—handy in the 100-degree heat we were hitting in Cambodia and Vietnam. She also liked the built-in lightweight belt that is partially covered and the crossed belt loops on two sides.
Overall, these OR Sentinel pants are on par with those from other brands and are flattering as well. They list for $85, but are discounted at some online retailers. See the details here and shop for them at Backcountry.
There’s also a men’s version available that’s obviously not as curvy.
Are you a size 6 woman? Want these pants? OR sent me a size 6 sample that didn’t fit my wife and she went to an 8. If you’re thin enough to fit into a size 6 with ease, 1) like us on Facebook and then 2) leave a comment here of where you’re traveling next. At the end of August I’ll pick a winner at random and ship them a free $85 pair of pants!
* Update – We have a winner! Congratulations to size 6 Anna, whose name came out of the randomizer to score this pair of OR Sentinel pants with Insect Shield. We’ll be in touch to get your address.