Posts Tagged travel pants
Whenever and wherever I’m going in my travels, at least one pair of travel pants is going in the bag, often two or more of them. These Kukura Trek’r ones from ExOfficio are now on top of the stack, a grab and go pair of pants that works in multiple situations and climates.
While I love the typical thin, quick-dry travel pants that will dry overnight (or an hour in the sun), they’re not ideal for cooler climates and can be kind of baggy on your body. These Kukura ones from travel pants champ ExOfficio are a little thicker and have a key attribute for active pursuits: they stretch. Whether crammed in on a plane or hiking the Andes, that extra bit of give makes these comfortable enough to wear all day every day.
I wore these pants on a trip to Turkey recently, one that involved flying Tampa-NYC-Istanbul and then hitting the ground running when I arrived to research an article. Usually I’m ready to shed what I’m wearing at that point, but I kept these pants on the whole time and wore them much of the following week as well. They looked brand new no matter what and were super-comfortable. I especially appreciated the expanding waistline feature when I was enjoying all that good Turkish food.
These are marketed as technical pants, good for hiking, rock climbing, or other active pursuits. I’m taking them with me on a biking tour trip this coming week and if the weather is too cold for shorts, I could bike in these as well.
Being travel pants though, they’ve got lots of thoughtful features built in for travelers. I like that both of the back pockets are secured: one with Velcro, one with a zipper. The pattern is repeated on the side, with a zipper pocket and a Velcro pocket on the leg. That doesn’t make them pick-pocket-proof I know, but it helps. Then there are two regular pockets you can stick your hands in, one with a loop for keys or whatever. All the pockets have mesh liners to cut down on weight and allow air to circulate.
Like most ExOfficio products, these pants are built to last and will still look great after 20 trips. They’ve got a DWR treatment that repels stains and water—a feature I got to try out when someone spilled coffee on my leg and it wiped right off. The “Indestructible Button System” uses fabric loops instead of bound-to-unravel thread.
While you could argue the Craghoppers stretch pants I tried and reviewed recently are more stylish, with no side pockets on the legs, these are nice enough to wear in most non-business situation where you want to look presentable. When you don’t, they’re ready to take on any challenge.
You can toss these Kukura Trek’r pants in the washing machine no problem and if you do sink wash them, they should be dry by morning. They come in black or gray and list for $110, which is certainly not cheap, but it’s not an exaggeration to say they could last you a decade or two and you could easily wear these and nothing else for a week straight if you’re trying to pack light.
See more reviews of ExOfficio travel clothing.
Listen up men with a physique worth showing off; these stretchy Craghoppers travel trousers are a great alternative to the usual thin nylon ones and they’re priced right as well.
I’m out on the road a lot internationally, mixing it up with other travelers, and when the conversation turns to travel pants I often hear a litany of reasons why some people don’t wear them often. Complaints have nothing to do with durability, lightness, quick-drying, or the wrinkle-free positives. All work as advertised. But some travelers can’t get past one “too” item: too loose, too thin, too noisy, too shapeless.
A few years back the travel clothing companies heard those complaints a few many times from women and started making travel pants that were thicker, more form-fitting, and stretchier. When you see a fit woman in a pair of these, it’s like the difference between superstore sweatpants and some from Juicy Couture.
“Wow, those are nice,” my wife said when I put these Craghoppers Kiwi Pro pants on. Translation: “Those don’t look anything like the other three pairs of baggy pants you usually put into your bag.” I like those other travel pants just fine of course, which is why I always pack them without thinking, but I do have to admit my biking-toned, hiking-toned legs are much more defined in these.
The trade-off if these were, say, a pair of jeans, would be that they were heavier and not flexible enough for hiking or adventure activities. That’s not the case with these Craghoppers stretch pants though because they have a lot of give to them—plenty for scampering across rocks or taking on a steep trail. You could do pre-workout stretches in these and not strain the seams.
Two other things I like about these travel pants: the elastic in the waistband and the zippers on every pocket. The former helps out when dinner was far too large. The latter when you want an extra layer of protection for your valuables.
Two things that keep them from being perfect for me: they’re at least two inches too long for my 5’11″ frame in the regular size and they don’t dry as quickly as my other (thinner) travel pants. The second is kind of understandable since they’re thicker and work in colder climates. The first is done to keep guys three inches taller than me from having high water pants. Can’t please everyone.
You can see more details at the Craghoppers site and order a pair for $65 or so from Amazon or for the moment anyway at Altrec—they seem to be running out of stock. You’ll have better luck at stores in the UK, where the brand is based.
These Kiwi Pro Stretch Trousers come in gray or black depending on where you buy them. For women there are shorts, capris, and yes, pants.
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.
I’ve already reviewed Aventura (eco-clothing for women’s) awesome 2-in-1 dress and bra top, and am now happy to be back with their Arden Organic Cotton Capris. There’s something about organic cotton that’s just so soft and comfortable. The organic cotton Aventura uses for the Arden is made with brushed cotton grown without pesticides or genetic engineering, and it’s supple and breathable, making the capris a great choice for active spring and summer travel.
The first question I always ask abour organic clothing is something along the lines of, ‘they feel good, but do they look good?’ The answer is a resounding yes. All of Aventura’s offerings are stylish, and the Arden’s no exception. The fit is ’relaxed’, but still cut just enough to look tailored to your shape without being restrictive (you won’t have to suck anything in). They look great on. You get decorative stitching for a finished look, and plenty of pockets with some embroidered details. The two front pockets are nice and deep, and the two back pockets are button-closed with cute flaps. The waist is not elastic, and you get belt loops for if you need them.
One of the best features of the Arden is the roll-up button-tabs that allow you to adjust the length. The pant can be pedal-pusher length or capri length. The difference in length is between mid-calf and just below the knee (a matter of inches), so it doesn’t make a huge difference in terms of seasonal adjustments. However, it’s quite nifty to be able to roll up the hems and secure them for wading in water (crossing streams, looking at tide pools) and riding a bike (the hems won’t get caught in the gears).
The nuts and bolts: the Arden inseam is 24″, and it fits true to size. The relaxed fit is defined as relaxed through the hip and thigh with straight legs. You can machine wash it of course (I don’t have much use for dry-clean only while traveling) and it doesn’t wrinkle. The Arden comes in six really gorgeous colors. Shown here is Laurel, but I tried Wren, which is a versatile chococlate brown. If you’re looking for lighter brown, go with Taupe. (For a very spring-like color, try Eggshell Blue.) Pick up the Arden for $72 on the Aventura site or find then at Amazon for $68.
Go from double-duty travel pants to triple duty with these Insect Shield treated convertible pants from ExOfficio that keep the bugs away.
For the last couple weeks I’ve been traveling around the tropics in Southeast Asia, a place where mosquitoes are rife and you don’t just get itchy bites out of the deal. There’s a chance you can get something really nasty like Malaria, Dengue Fever, or Japanese Encephalitis. You can get shots and take some really powerful medicine for two of these. But none are 100% effective or even close to 100% safe—the side effects can be nasty. So the best way to avoid any kind of disease that comes from mosquitoes, especially for long-term travelers, is to limit the number of bites you get in the first place.
These Ziwa Bugsaway pants aren’t the answer by themselves, but every layer of protection helps your odds of staying healthy a little bit more.
I’ve used quite a few items treated with Insect Shield and they’ve worked well. It’s got the chemical you can spray on your clothing already baked in and it won’t wash out. As in it’s promised to be effective for 75 washings or so. Not many people even wear their travel clothes enough times to get up to that number, so figure you’re set for a very, very long time.
Besides that main feature, these have all the qualities you’d expect from a good ExOfficio pair of travel pants. They’re super-lightweight and compact small in your bag. They’re wrinkle-resistant, quick-drying for washing on the go, and will protect you from the sun. They’ve got plenty of handy pockets where you need them, some secured with Velcro. There’s a zipper on the bottom that enables you to zip off the pants legs (or put them on) without taking off your shoes. Handy.
One extra thing I like is that you can buy these with a shorter inseam: 30 inches. That’s great since these don’t roll up well and nylon pants tend to drag on the ground if they’re too long.
The Bugaway Ziwa convertible pants come in two colors and retail for around a hundred bucks direct from ExOfficio. Yes, that’s a serious chunk of change, but if it were between that and missing work/vacation for three weeks while you sweated in bed and felt like your whole body was wracked with pain (the dengue fever experience, for what I’ve been told), would it be worth it? I’m wearing them at dusk each day back at in the hotel courtyard just in case…
I’ve been wearing these in Thailand and Cambodia and haven’t gotten one bite below the waist yet, so far so good. With their light weight and packability, they’ve been a breeze to carry along in the backpack.