ExOfficio Kukura Trek’r Stretchy Travel Pants

ExOfficio Kukura Trek'rWhenever 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.

Get the Kukura stretch pants direct from ExOfficio or buy them from Backcountry or Paragon Sports.

See more reviews of ExOfficio travel clothing

Tim Leffel

Tim Leffel is founder of the Practical Travel Gear blog, as well as the Cheapest Destinations blog and the narrative webzine Perceptive Travel. He is the author of The World's Cheapest Destinations (now in its 4th edition), Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune, and A Better Life for Half the Price.