Posts Tagged quick-dry
You don’t usually see travel underwear reviews in the likes of Outside or Travel + Leisure magazines, but we’ve covered the options multiple times here on Practical Travel Gear because you wear underwear every day. If you’re traveling light for 12 days, you don’t necessarily want to carry 12 sets of undies. Especially in a carry-on.
So for people who are good at packing light, fast-drying underwear is something they toss in the bag every time. The idea is that you take half or less the number of days you need, then do a sink wash along the way when needed. (Hint, shampoo is a detergent if you don’t want to carry laundry detergent specifically.) If you’re carrying the right kind of undies, like this underwear from Tilley, then what you wash before bed will be dry by morning.
I like to give my travel gear a good workout before I write up my review, so two pairs of Tilley underwear have traveled with me to Colombia, Ecuador, Veracruz, the Riviera Maya, and Louisiana. They almost felt like normal cotton when on my body, but when I needed to wash them they easily dried overnight. In the sun, they’ll dry in an hour.
They’re not normal cotton though—they’re 100% polyester. They would fool you though as they definitely don’t feel clingy and slick or make you feel like you went back in time to sing for the Bee Gees. They wick moisture, but they’ve also got some absorbancy, which is important for a lot of reasons…
These Tilley Travel Briefs retail for $20, which is certainly more than you’ll pay for a pair of Hanes at Target. But they’ll last you a lot longer and will help you pack light in your travels over and over again—while still remaining comfortable on the move.
See this older review of the Coolmax underwear versions if you’re headed to a really hot climate.
Mountain Khakis calls their lightweight, packable adventure pant the Granite Creek Pant. I call it the Do All, Go Everywhere, and Look Great Doing It Pant. (Wordy, but accurate. I’m sure Mountain Khakis will be calling me shortly to rename all their other pants, too.)
The Granite Creek pant comes in men’s and women’s styles, and truly will perform for all travel situations and outdoor adventures. (By the way, we’re not Granite Creek newbies. Check out our reviews of other Granite Creek line clothing.) Unlike some trekking pants that get the job done but scream ‘outdoor excursion’, the Granite Creek looks downright casual while still featuring everything you’d need on said excursion. Both the men’s and women’s version offers a relaxed fit (women’s is called a contemporary fit), which gives you some style while still being comfortable. I’ve found all MK women’s wear to be a bit roomy; order a size down if you want a very slim fit. They are constructed of 100% brushed nylon, pack down small without wrinkling, and come to you Scotchgard treated. (Note: my husband and I took ours through the wringer on a multi-day backpack trip, and should have double-treated them with Nikwax stain guard in addition.)
The Granite Creek offers UV protection of 50, and wicks away moisture like a pro. Wear them hiking or in the rain, and keep your skin dry and your core temperature steady. As stated, the Granite Creek isn’t loud and showy with trekking pant features, but they’re there none-the-less: both men’s and women’s version offers five pockets, including a flat front and rear zip pocket, plus a cargo pocket with a hidden security compartment. Seams are triple-stitched to ensure the pants last you for years, and you get MK’s mudflap reinforced heel cuffs.
I took my Granite Creek pants on multiple travels, from an adventurous Alaska vacation to a Canadian Rockies tour via rail. My husband abused his backpacking and fishing. Both pairs enjoy frequent field trips out of the closet for everything from golf to dinner out to average work day use.
Pick up the Mountain Khakis men’s pant for $82 in four colors (see below), or opt for the convertible style with zip-off pants for just a few dollars more. The women’s Granite Creek Pant can be had for the same cost, in ash, birch, pine, or mushroom. Find both on Amazon, Backcountry or Moosejaw for a few bucks less. Need something a little more polished for everyday wear? Opt for the men’s Teton Twill Pant or the women’s Everyday Chino Pant.
Autumn is here, and it will be ski and winter travel season in no time. I’ve already worn my ColdPruf base layers on more than one occasion here in Oregon, and will be packing them when I head north to Alberta, Canada next week.
ColdPruf offers multiple product lines, rating them from cold to extreme cold and low activity to high activity. I appreciate that each line falls somewhere on this scale, so you can easily identify which base layer you’ll need based on what you plan to use it for. I tried out their women’s crew and pant in both their Performance and Eco Pro-Tek lines.
Both are rated for ‘very cold’ (the middle option on the cold scale) and ‘high activity’ (the top option on the activity scale). Both tops are long-sleeved crews, and both pants feature an elastic waist and fitted legs, but the main similarities end there.
Performance women’s crew and pant:
The women’s crew features flat seams, a tag-less back, and hemmed cuffs, all great for high activity. Both the crew and the pant are made of 96% performance polyester and 4% spandex, for a nice stretch when exercising, skiing, hiking, or sitting. You get antimicrobial odor-control and great moisture management and evaporation (in plain language, this means you won’t feel chilled or wet when you sweat). The crew is lightweight and thin, making it an ideal layering piece that won’t add bulk. The performance pant offers the same single-layer engineering and flat seams, and adds a comfort waistband that really is just that. Both are a close fit with plenty of give.
Eco Pro-Tek women’s crew and pant:
The Eco crew offers a more flattering cut, with a lower neckline and nice accents to add some color. Both the crew and pant in this line are made of 100% Repreve recycled performance polyester with a mini waffle weave, and are extremely soft. After wearing a lot of synthetic base layer materials, this one is surprisingly comfortable. However, due to the lack of spandex, there is very little give in the Eco line, especially in the pant. I found that while I prefer them for casual wear or travel, I need a base layer with more flexibility while hiking, snowshoeing, or skiing.
The Eco offerings feature the flat seams that are attractive in the performance line, and are also tag- less. You get the same antimicrobial odor-blocking technology. Also like its Performance cousin, the Pro-Tek is single layer. (By the way, this seems to be the main difference between the performance/casual lines and the extreme performance lines at ColdPruf: single vs double layer.)
Pick up either the Eco Pro-Tek or Performance in both men’s and women’s versions, or outfit youth in ColdPruf’s Base or Enthusiast line. I wish they made the Eco line in youth sizes, because my tween son has taken to wearing my Eco Pro-Tek pants, simply due to their softness. For kids who don’t like ‘scratchy’ base layers, this is the solution.
The price is right: ColdPruf’s Performance crew is only $19.99 on Amazon and the Eco Pro-Tek is only $18.36. Pants are approximately the same cost. ColdPruf layers can also be found on Backcountry and Sunny Sports.
Did know know Tilley Endurables makes more than just hats? Their line of women’s hiking, travel, and outdoor wear is comprehensive and high-functioning. I spent the better part of my summer in a pair of their pants and one of their shirts, engaged in activities ranging from river rafting to backpacking to international traveling.
Venture Trek 4-in-1 zip-off pants:
Since I received the Venture Trek Tech 4-in-1 pants, they’ve been my go-to pant for all things outdoor and adventure related. Why? They’re water-resistant, dirt and stain resistant, adjustable, and so very comfortable. Plus, with four length configurations, they’re pretty much the only pants you need. The waist is higher than most women’s pants these days (called a contemporary fit), and while I think the popular low-cut style is flattering, having a waist that sits at your hips isn’t very comfortable when I’m hiking or sitting. The trek tech pants manage to be flattering and slimming while still feeling roomy enough to actually take a full stride in.
The stretch ripstop nylon material dries overnight and moves with your body, plus rappels everything from water to wine. You get UPF 50 with these pants, making them a great choice for outdoor activity, and they adjust between four lengths: zip-off shorts, two length of capris, and full-length pants. I like the second of the capri lengths, as they fall just short of my ankles…not much of a fashion statement but perfect for camping or backpacking when you’d rather not drag your pant hem in the dirt. The trek techs feature five outside pockets, including a hidden security pocket. The side cargo pockets are extremely roomy, and button closed.
The Venture Trek 4-in-1 pants retail for–brace yourself–$175. Ouch, I know. But add up the cost of a pair of quality travel pants, two pairs of capris, and one pair of shorts. See what I mean? Plus you save all kinds of room in your carry-on. Are they the only pants you’ll need on your next adventure? Pretty much. Just bring one back up in case you spill something you can’t wipe off. They come in black, khaki, and olive and can be found directly at Tilley or from local brick and mortar stores everywhere.
AIRFLO long-sleeved shirt:
Tilley’s AIRFLO long-sleeved shirt spent a five-day, four night river rafting trip with me, where its UV protection and quick-dry material performed on the water and off. I wore it under a life preserver, over a bathing suit, and as a cover up. A few weeks later, it came with me to Mexico where it kept the sun off my back while helping my body manage coastal humidity. The shirt is made from 100% ripstop nylon, is quick-dry, and wrinkle resistant. It features mesh airflo ventilation, two buttoned-down front chest pockets, and adjustable sleeves (roll them up or down with velcro straps).
I have other quick-dry sun shirts, and the AIRFLO is lighter, thinner, and cooler than any other. It’s feather-light, really, and looks almost dressy if needed. My only disappointment: after a day hiking with a pack with chest/sternum straps, I found some pilling on the shirt where the straps rubbed. Hopefully this was an isolated incident, because a high quality tech shirt should not pill when used with a backpack.
The AIRFLO will set you back, but not quite as much as the pants: pick one up in white or butter yellow at Tilley’s for $120. Is it worth the price? Here’s my take: every serious traveler should have at least one quick-dry, sun-protectant travel shirt in their closet, and Tilley’s AIRFLO is the most comfortable one I’ve found.
If you haven’t heard of P^Cubed Pick-Pocket Proof Pants, take a second to click on the ad to the right of this page and check out the company behind them, Clothing Arts. Editor and reviewer Tim tried these pants out first, back when they were only available in one men’s style, and created this great video on P^Cubed pant features and how they look after a week of straight wear. (I promise it’s not gross.) In the time since this video, you can read more Practical Travel Gear reviews on P^Cubed clothing, including men’s shorts and a men’s shirt. Obviously, this is a brand we stand behind.
Finally, it’s the women’s turn. At the request of a female Practical Travel Gear reader, I reached out to Clothing Arts to review the new women’s P^Cubed pant now available. Out of the box, I enjoyed playing with all the cool anti-pick-pocket features. Like the men’s pant, the women’s version is made of soft nylon that repels stains and is water resistant. You get multiple secure pockets, all with theft-deterring zippers or flaps. The women’s pant is a bit more streamlined than the men’s: the two front pockets lie completely flat when zippered, and the two side cargo pockets are relatively small as well.
The pant comes in three inseam lengths, which ensures that they will fit almost anyone right out of the box. As a shorter person, I appreciated the 28″ length, and 30″ and 32″ are also available. The women’s cut is flattering over the hips and down the thighs, and the waist is adjustable with the two-button belt-less system. The only style feature I found fault with out of the box: the waist is a bit too roomy in relation to the leg cut, even with the belt-less buttons pressed into service. The roominess is fine for general travel, but for any serious trekking, I’d still need a belt. (And trust me, it’s not like my waist is Scarlett O’Hara tiny or anything.)
Let’s talk about the security pockets. On the women’s model, you get two front pockets that zip closed upward instead of downward (a small, simple measure that deters pick pockets) each with a smaller hidden pocket inside. These pockets are ideally sized for credit cards or spare change. Because these pockets feature zippers and not flaps with buttons, they’re your go-to place for items you need secure but also need to get at often, like cash, a credit card, or a phone.
Below these pockets you get two streamlined cargo pockets, each with flaps that button. The left cargo pocket includes a secret, zippered pocket on the inside (in addition to the cargo pocket) that fits a passport, small wallet, or ID. On the back, you get two more buttoned, flap pocket on the rear, one of which again features a double-secure zippered pocket. No pick pocket is going to manage to unbutton your pocket, find the zipper, unzip it, and steal your stuff. Oh, and did I mention the pant folds up to be a capri? That’s a nice extra feature.
I took my P^Cubed pants on a week-long trip to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico to try them out. I don’t necessarily feel unsafe in Mexico…actually, the two times I’ve had items stolen from me–a wallet and a phone–the crimes occurred in my own driveway of my suburban American home. I guess I need Clothing Arts to make me a pick-pocket proof Toyota. Maybe some flaps over the windows. But I took the pants with me, filled the pockets with my cash and my wallet and phone, and headed out to tour Mayan ruins and the busy pedestrian streets of Playa del Carmen. If anyone targeted me for theft I didn’t know it, but I do know that the pants were comfortable even in heat and humidity (in capri mode) and spills, dirt, and sweat wicked off the nylon. The pants didn’t wrinkle easily, and they packed down small. They’ll be coming with me to tour Alberta, Canada national parks next month, more for their travel-compatability than for their anti-theft features.
At $99.95, P^Cubed pants are an investment, but I consider them gear rather than clothing. They’ll perform for you time and again as go-to pants for travel all over the globe. Pick them up directly from Clothing Arts in khaki, olive, or gray in sizes 4-20, but be advised: they’re already popular! At the time of this post, sizes under 10 had temporarily sold out.