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Posts Tagged travel pants

Sherpa Adventure Gear: Langtang Jacket and Naulo Pant

If you’re not familiar with Sherpa Adventure Gear, the brand has a nice story behind it: founded by Tashi Sherpa in Nepal, purchases help support the education of Sherpa children. The company donates $.50 for every product sold to the Paldorje Education Fund, which then grants scholarships to deserving students. Plus, purchases help support the families of Sherpa guides through a royalty on sales.

This is awesome, but you’ll want to buy their products regardless; their clothing includes the features I look for most in travel wear: versatility, comfort, and rugged construction.

Naulo pantNaulo pant:
The Naulo pant is tough enough to withstand a full day on the trail, hiking or scrambling, but lightweight enough pack down small in your bag and comfortable enough for a long plane or car ride. They’re true four-season pants: they breathe in summer and yet protect enough for winter excursions in mild climates. They’re not waterproof, but very water resistant, which makes them a great pick not only for wet days but for travel use (i.e., spills will wick right off). The waist is fitted with a comfortable snap and zippered fly closure, with a soft fleece panel lining at the waist. The 4% spandex helps with the comfort factor. Four flat zippered pockets are convenient (you get two at the top and two mid-thigh). The pants look much more fitted and sleek than standard trekking pants, with the same wicking and range-of-movement benefits. On a strenuous hike in the Canadian Rockies, my Naulo pants took a beating with mud and snow, then were packed away in dirty laundry for four more days. Upon arrival back home (and into the washing machine), they washed out perfectly. Of course, you can play it safe by treating them with Nikwax, my favorite stain block for outdoorsy travelers.

The inseam for the regular is fairly short, and the pant comes in sizes 2-16. They’re $124 on Sherpa or as low as $89 at Idaho Mountain Touring, and you’ll be able to wear them for every aspect of your trip, from dinner out to the day on the trail. Pick between black and tan.

langtang jacketLangtang jacket:
The Langtang jacket is an indulgence you’re not likely to regret. The softest zip-up, lightweight jacket I’ve ever owned, the Langtang is made of high pile polyester fleece, and so soft you’ll think you’re wearing some sort of fur. For an extra treat, wear in the spring or fall with only a t-shirt underneath to feel the material against your skin all day. The design is simple, with two front zippered pockets and a front full-length zipper closure. You get a nice, subtle Sherpa emblem on the back, and no other exterior design. The Langtang comes in four rich colors, including a gorgeous coral in sizes XS-XL, and can be picked up for $90 at REI or on Sherpa.

See reviews of other travel clothing on Practical Travel Gear.

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Mountain Khakis Granite Creek Pant for men and women

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.)

granite peak pantThe 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.

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Tilley Endurables Venture Trek Pants and AIRFLO Shirt

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.

tilley venture trekVenture 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).

tilley airflo shirtI 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.


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Women’s P-Cubed Pants from Clothing Arts

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.

pick pocket proof pantsFinally, 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.


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ExOfficio BugsAway Ziwa Convertible Pants for Women

Ziwa ExOfficio Pants WomenUntil recently, I’ve had an unofficial rule about travel convertible pants: They never, ever look good on women. I can’t count the amount of brands and styles I’ve viewed and tried, only to believe that the rule will live forever. But with the ExOfficio BugsAway Ziwa Convertible Pants for women, I’m going to have to revise my rule.

The cut of the pants aren’t like many other convertibles, where the bagginess makes it look as if you chose a man’s version by mistake. The cut is slim without being clingy, and the convertibles zip off to 10-inch shorts for when you don’t need full coverage.

The BugsAway Ziwa Convertible Pants include security zip pockets, and a 30+ UPF rating in the fabric—allowing you some protection from the sun. The partial elastic waist moves with you instead of binding, which helps keep your adventures from getting too uncomfortable.

The pants are treated with Permethrin, the active ingredient in ExOfficio’s Insect Shield apparel. It repels mosquitoes, ticks, flies, ants, chiggers and midges. I’ve worn them in New Zealand’s Fiordland region (known for magnificent landscapes and irritating sandflies), Namibia’s northern plains (home to elephants, lions and mosquitoes) and Fiji’s islands (where the occasional mosquito may make you cover up a little). Wearing the pants allowed me to enjoy the fun without much trouble from the bugs. Permethrin binds to the fibers of the pants, and ExOfficio claims that it remains active through 70 washings.

The pants dry quickly—leaving you bug-vulnerable for only a limited time. Make sure you don’t dry clean it, however, as the Permethrin doesn’t stand up as long to that kind of cleaning.

The regular version comes in a 32-inch inseam. If you’re petite, snag the 29-inch inseam pair, for the same price.

Check out Tim’s review of the Ziwa pants for men for some more pointers on the male version, but remember, for women—these actually look good as well as perform.

The ExOfficio BugsAway Ziwa Convertible Pants are available in slate and light khaki. They list for $99 direct from ExOfficio. At Amazon and Moosejaw, they currently list for the same price.

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