woman wearing travel pants on bridge

The Best Women’s Travel Pants of 2022

Active travel demands versatility from your clothing. To help you travel with ease and confidence, we scoured the latest styles to determine the best women’s travel pants for 2022.

Our travel activities are diverse, and we need pants that can cover all the bases. While comfort and mobility are essential for an active traveler, we also looked for versatile styles that transfer easily to a night out on the town or even a work event. We gave bonus points for wrinkle-proof and spill-resistant fabrics, and details like pockets and zippers made the best stand out.

We packed these pants for a British Columbia road trip to explore the cliffs of Squamish and the culinary offerings of Vancouver, wore them hiking in Washington’s Cascades, and donned them for museum trips and brewery hangs in Seattle.

While there is some overlap, the best travel pants are distinct from the highest-rated hiking pants, which we’ve also extensively reviewed.

Check out our comprehensive buyer’s guide and frequently asked questions for helpful tips. And have a look at our comparison chart if you need help in steering your decision-making.

Scroll through to see all of our recommendations, or jump to the category you’re looking for:

The Best Women’s Travel Pants of 2022

Best Overall Women’s Travel Pants: Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Ankle Pants

Mountain Hardwear Dynama2 Ankle Pants

For a pair of pants you can bring anywhere and use for anything, look no further than the Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Ankle pants ($79). The stretch-woven nylon fabric is extremely lightweight and stretchy, which is perfect for an active day of exploration.

The high elastic waistband offers maximum comfort, while the faux zipper gives the pants a sleeker look. The functionality of these pants doesn’t sacrifice style, either. With a tapered leg and low-profile pockets, you’ll transition seamlessly from crushing at the crag to exploring around town.

Our tester brought these on a multi-sport camping trip to Squamish, British Columbia, and didn’t need another pair of pants the entire trip. She climbed classic routes and then went out for gelato in the bustling mountain town.

With sunny weather in the upper 80s on this trip, she appreciated the high UPF rating, which measures how much the fabric protects against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. She stayed cool in the lightweight fabric despite the steamy conditions. These pants are so comfortable she even fell asleep in them!

After checking all of the boxes with style, these top our list as the best travel pants of 2022.

Dynama ankle2 2

Comfortable, attractive, and highly versatile, the Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Ankle pants are a great option for an active traveler who doesn’t want to sacrifice style.

Specs:
  • UPF Treatment: 50
  • DWR Finish: Yes
  • Pockets: 1 zip pocket, 2 hand pockets
  • Fit: Slim, tapered leg
  • Weight: 8.46 oz.
Pros:
  • Lightweight and breathable fabric
  • Versatile style for both active use and casual wear
  • Stretchy fabric offers great mobility
  • Zip pockets
Cons:
  • Waistband sags a bit when a phone is carried in the zip pocket

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Most Versatile Women’s Travel Pants: Patagonia Skyline Traveler Pants

Patagonia Skyline Traveler Pants

Patagonia combines style and mobility with the Skyline Traveler pants ($99). They’re high-waisted and form-fitting with a slim, tapered leg in a cut similar to a skinny jean. Scoring big points in versatility, these pants are easy to dress up or down.

The stretch-woven blend of nylon and spandex is lightweight and breathable and allows good mobility. With a low-profile side zip pocket, these pants check a lot of boxes for us.

During a heatwave in Washington, our tester stayed comfortable wearing these pants while car camping. She said they felt cool and breathable, even in sweltering conditions. Boasting a UPF rating of 40, the Skyline Travelers also provide solid sun protection, and the DWR finish curtails light moisture.

Skyline Travelers3 2

Our lead reviewer passed these on to a taller friend because the regular inseam seemed to run a bit long. Additionally, the ankle zippers make it difficult to adjust the length because it’s awkward to wear them rolled up.

Patagonia does make these in a 28-inch and 30-inch inseam, so we recommend trying them on to increase the odds of finding a good fit.

Specs:
  • UPF Treatment: 40
  • DWR Finish: Yes
  • Fit: Slim, tapered leg
  • Pockets: 5-pocket styling with 1 zip pocket
  • Weight: 10 oz.
Pros:
  • Lightweight, breathable fabric with good stretch
  • Stylish fit
  • Zip pockets
Cons:
  • Ankle zippers make the length less flexible

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Most Stylish Women’s Travel Pants: Athleta Brooklyn Ankle Pants

Athleta Brooklyn Ankle Pants

In a trendy cut, the Athleta Brooklyn Ankle Pants ($89) are our top choice for style, but they win big in the comfort department, too. The silky, ultralight fabric moves easily with you wherever you go, and there are even zip pockets in the back to stash a small key or credit card while out and about.

These would be the perfect choice for a long flight followed immediately by a work meeting or social engagement.

Our tester wore these on a visit to the Seattle Aquarium with her highly active 2-year-old niece before heading out for lunch downtown. She loved the freedom of movement they allowed her while chasing after a toddler, and she felt chic exploring downtown.

After packing them haphazardly in her duffel bag for her trip to the city, she also discovered the silky fabric is also surprisingly wrinkle-resistant.

We wouldn’t recommend the Brooklyn Ankle Pants for highly active pursuits like hiking or rock climbing, but they are one of the only women’s travel pants we tested that would transition seamlessly from a plane to the office. Made from recycled polyester sourced from post-consumer plastic bottles, they also score bonus points for sustainability.

Specs:
  • UPF Treatment: 50+
  • DWR Finish: No
  • Fit: Semi-fitted
  • Pockets: 2 zip pockets, 2 hand pockets
  • Weight: Unavailable
Pros:
  • Great style, fun color options
  • Silky, wrinkle-resistant fabric
  • Quick-drying
  • Hidden zip pockets
Cons:
  • Less versatile for highly active use

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Best Weather-Resistant Women’s Travel Pants: Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Pants

Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Pants

If you’re planning a trip with plenty of mountain time, the Eddie Bauer Guide Pro pants ($85) are a great pair to pack. They boast a UPF protection of 50+ and a DWR finish that sheds light rain or spills, making the Guide Pros a great choice for outdoor activities.

The visible logo on the side detracts a bit from aesthetics, but we like the low-profile zip pockets better than the traditional cargo-style look of many women’s travel pants.

Our tester wore these on a hike to the top of the Stawamus Chief in Squamish, British Columbia. She found the fabric a bit heavy for warm, summertime temps but expected they’d be great on a mission higher in the mountains or during cooler weather. The zip pockets on the side were a bit too small to fit her phone, which she likes to keep handy on hikes for navigation purposes.

Guide pro 2

These pants run about a size bigger than the other styles we tested, and the fit is moderately curvy. Our tester needed a belt to keep these from sliding down while hiking, so the belt loops were a plus! Overall, for active pursuits where you may find yourself subjected to the elements, these are a great pair of women’s travel pants to own.

Specs:
  • UPF Treatment: 50+
  • DWR Finish: Yes
  • Fit: Moderately curvy
  • Pockets: 2 zip pockets, 2 hand pockets
  • Weight: 9.9 oz.
Pros:
  • Bluesign-certified fabric ensures safe and sustainable textile production
  • Great water resistance
  • Two-way stretch fabric offers plenty of mobility
Cons:
  • Slightly heavy fabric
  • Visible logo

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Best of the Rest

KUHL Free Flex Roll-Up Pants

KUHL Free Flex Roll-Up Pants

The most similar to a traditional pair of hiking pants we tested, the KUHL Free Flex Roll-Up Pants ($99) have some solid features we have grown to love.

The ankle snaps allow you to convert these into shorter pants, which we prefer over zip-off convertible hiking pants. While we like that the side pockets are just big enough to hold a smartphone, their bulk costs some style points. On the plus side, a hidden drawstring makes for an adjustable waist, which eliminates the need to pack a belt.

Our tester wore the Free Flex Roll-Ups on a hike in the Cascades and while exploring Seattle on a sunny 80-degree day. She pounded over 4 miles of pavement in Seattle and carried her 2-year-old niece up and down a hiking trail to see a waterfall.

She found that they offered good mobility and stretch, though the fabric was a bit heavy. With big enough side pockets to stash her keys and phone, she was able to leave her extra bag at the hotel.

For a trip that’s heavy on outdoor activities and light on fancy dinners, these women’s travel pants are a win. With maximum sun protection at UPF 50+ and a DWR finish, you’ll be comfortable out in the elements on your next adventure.

Specs:
  • UPF treatment: 50+
  • DWR treatment: Yes
  • Fit: Relaxed
  • Pockets: 4 snap pockets, 2 hand pockets
  • Weight: 11 oz. (4 x 32)
Pros:
  • Ankle snaps make these easy to roll up
  • Hidden drawstring waist
Cons:
  • Heavier fabric
  • Cargo pockets

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The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 Pants

The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 Pants

The fabric of The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 Pants ($69) was our favorite feature. Soft to the touch and super lightweight, these pants would be easy to curl up and fall asleep in.

The stretch and elastic waist make them easy to fit, and they come in a short and regular inseam. Of all of the women’s travel pants we tried, these felt the most casual. These are great for camping, hiking, or lounging, but we wouldn’t wear these to work or out to dinner.

During a hot, buggy camping trip in British Columbia, our tester appreciated having a pair of pants that allowed her to stay cool while fending off mosquitos. She found them comfortable for hiking and active use, and she liked the additional zip pocket hidden in the front.

The hidden drawcords near the ankles also make the lengths of the legs adjustable, but they don’t stay cinched as well as we’d like.

Aphrodite2 2

Our tester didn’t love the baggy, straight-leg cut and felt that the drawcord waist makes them appear more like a pair of sweatpants than ones she would wear around town. The fabric also was a bit less wrinkle-resistant than some of the other styles we tried. Still, for long drives or flights, these would make comfortable travel pants.

Specs:
  • UPF Treatment: 50
  • DWR Finish: Yes
  • Fit: Relaxed, straight-leg
  • Pockets: 1 hidden zip pocket, 2 hand pockets
  • Weight: 7.5 oz.
Pros:
  • Comfortable, stretchy fabric
  • Stay cool in hot weather
Cons:
  • Less versatile
  • More casual

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Toad&Co Earthworks Ankle Pants

Toad&Co Earthworks Ankle Pants

Manufactured with 88% less water and 62% less energy than conventional cotton, the organic cotton of the Toad&Co Earthworks Ankle Pants ($88) does well in the sustainability department. Though less mobile than some of the other styles we tried, the fabric blend does offer decent stretch with 2% elastane.

Our tester liked the skinny leg and high-waisted cut of the Earthworks Ankle Pants. She felt stylish while exploring the culinary options at an open-air market in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The deep hand pockets hold a phone pretty well, which is typically hard to find in women’s pants. On a relatively hot day, these pants felt a bit heavy and didn’t breathe as well as the other styles we tried. She would not have taken these hiking or used them for other active pursuits.

Earthworks ankle 2

If you’re looking for a cute and comfortable pair of pants to pack for an urban-based adventure, the Earthworks Ankle Pants are a solid choice.

Specs:
  • UPF Treatment: No
  • DWR Finish: No
  • Fit: Skinny, tapered leg
  • Pockets: 5-pocket styling, no zip pockets
  • Weight: Unavailable

Pros:

Cons:

  • Less comfort and mobility
  • Heavier fabric

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Women’s Travel Pants Comparison Chart

Travel Pants Price UPF DWR Finish Fit Pockets Weight
Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Ankle Pants $79 50 Yes Slim, tapered leg 1 zip pocket, 2 hand pockets 8.46 oz.
Patagonia Skyline Traveler Pants $99 40 Yes Slim, tapered leg 5 pockets, 1 zip pocket 10 oz.
Athleta Brooklyn Ankle Pants $89 50+ No Semi-fitted 2 zip pockets, 2 hand pockets N/A
Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Pants $85 50+ Yes Moderately curvy 2 zip pockets, 2 hand pockets 9.9 oz.
KUHL Free Flex Roll-Up Pants $99 50+ Yes Relaxed 4 snap pockets, 2 hand pockets 11 oz.
The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 Pants $69 50 Yes Relaxed, straight leg 1 hidden zip pocket, 2 hand pockets 7.5 oz.
Toad&Co Earthworks Ankle Pants $88 No No Skinny, tapered leg 5 pockets N/A

Why You Should Trust Us

The author of this guide, Katie Griffith, works as a seasonal guide and spends much of the year traveling for work in her cargo van. Frequently limited to whatever she can fit in a duffel bag, she knows well the value of multifunctional, wrinkle-proof clothing.

Don’t let the van fool you; she’s not a dirtbag. Katie hosts camping-based climbing and yoga retreats, where she needs to present a trustworthy, professional appearance to her clients. If she can hike or climb in the same pair of pants, that’s a definite win.

We recruited several other avid travelers to put these women’s travel pants through the wringer. Whether you’re hopping on a flight overseas or planning a cross-country road trip, we know these styles will serve you well.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Travel Pants for Women

Finding the best pair of travel pants depends on the type of trip you’re planning. We tested a variety of styles, some of which would fare better on a trip that’s heavy on outdoor activities, while others looked sharper for a fancy dinner or work event.

All must be comfortable while in transit, whether you’re road tripping or traveling by air. Read through the categories below and consider the most important elements for your adventure.

Dynama_2 Ankle 2

Versatility

A pair of travel pants need to do more than just go for a hike. They should be in line with current styles, be appropriate to wear to a work function or dinner if needed, and include special features that make the travel experience a breeze.

The Patagonia Skyline Traveler pants excel in several of the categories below, making them our top choice for versatility.

Comfort & Mobility

An overseas flight or cross-country road trip always brings a certain level of discomfort. You might spend hours jammed in the middle seat of an airplane, or perhaps you’ll end up sleeping in your car at a rest stop. Exploring a new destination often means hours of walking through museums, riding bikes around town, or venturing into the mountains.

When you’re away from the comforts of home, your wardrobe makes a big difference. Knit waistbands, fabric blends that include elastane (spandex), and lightweight materials all increase comfort and mobility factors. The comfort of the Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Ankle pants doesn’t sacrifice style and function, making them an excellent pair of women’s travel pants to consider.

freeflex rollup4 2

Fit & Style

While the ideal fit varies depending on body type and preference, the best travel pants keep you looking sharp, no matter the activity. Baggy lounge pants or cargo styles lost points with us, and we didn’t include any leggings or sweatpants on this list.

The best pairs of women’s travel pants include aesthetic details and a flattering fit while retaining mobility and comfort. We like the faux zipper and side panels of the ultra-comfortable Athleta Brooklyn Ankle Pants, and the skinny-leg Toad&Co Earthworks Ankle pants are cute and comfortable.

Pockets

We love a pair of travel pants that keeps our credit card, keys, and phone safe with functional, zip pockets. Since we’re also keeping style in mind, a low-profile zip pocket is preferred over bulky cargo pockets. Almost all of the women’s travel pants we tested have at least one zip pocket, and we especially like the hidden zips of the Athleta Brooklyn Ankle Pants and The North Face Aphrodite pants.

Guide pro3 2

UPF Treatment

Whether you love walking around cities or exploring the mountains, traveling typically means more time spent outside. Clothing treated with UPF, which stands for ultraviolet protection factor, makes it easier to keep your skin protected during long days in the sun.

When a fabric boasts of UPF treatment of 50+, it offers your skin the maximum possible protection. The minimum rating you’ll see is UPF 15 — anything lower doesn’t provide much protection from UV rays. A pair of pants with a high UPF rating and fabric light enough to wear on a hot day is a win — yet another reason why we love Mountain Hardwear’s Dynama/2 Ankle pants so much!

Fabric Weight & Breathability

Unless you’re headed for a winter destination, lightweight, breathable fabric is key to a good pair of travel pants. Remember, you’re going to be hauling your luggage through airports, back and forth from hotels, or possibly hiking into the mountains, so weight matters for all of the products you pack. Lighter fabric also packs down to a smaller size, reducing bulk in your luggage.

If you’ll be traveling in warmer weather, a breathable fabric will promote better moisture transfer as you work up a sweat. This will keep you more comfortable if you want to wear longer pants or sleeves to protect against the sun’s UV rays. Our testers were impressed with the breathability of the Patagonia Skyline Traveler pants and the Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Ankle pants while wearing them during hot summer camping trips.

Water-Resistant & Wrinkle-Proof Fabric

When access to laundry is limited, spill-resistant fabric is a big benefit. Several of the styles we tested, including the Eddie Bauer Guide Pro pants, are treated with a light DWR finish that causes liquids to bead and run off without leaving a stain. This also makes them more water-resistant if you find yourself out and about when a storm rolls through.

On most adventures, your life is packed into a backpack or suitcase. Even the most meticulous clothing folders benefit from wrinkle-resistant fabric. If a pair of pants look fresh a week into a Europe trip, we’re stoked. We were surprised with how sleek the Athleta Brooklyn Ankle pants looked after weeks of being stuffed in a duffel bag.

FAQ

What Are Travel Pants Made Of?

Travel pants are made with a variety of fabrics, but most include some elastane (spandex) for stretch and mobility. The higher the percentage of elastane in the fabric, the stretchier the pants.

Nylon and polyester are other commonly used fabrics, due to their quick-drying and moisture-wicking capabilities. The Toad&Co Earthworks Ankle pants were the only pair we tested made with cotton, but they still included 2% elastane for added stretch.

Are Cargo Pants Good for Travel?

Pants with big cargo pockets are common in the hiking and travel pant line-up, but they’re not the only options around. The deep side pockets do provide some convenience when you want to stash a phone, wallet, or keys while exploring.

For added style, we like low-profile side zip pockets, like those on the Patagonia Skyline Traveler Pants or the hidden zip pockets on the Athleta Brooklyn Ankle Pants.

What Are the Best Travel Pants to Wear on an Airplane?

When you’re crunched in a middle seat, your clothing should be as comfortable as possible. Soft fabric with elastane blends add stretch when you’re in a contorted position.

Wrinkle-resistant fabric with a stylish fit allows you to deplane and go straight out to dinner without needing a wardrobe change. Several of the styles we tested blend all three of these factors, including the Athleta Brooklyn Ankle Pants, the Patagonia Skyline Travelers, and the Toad&Co Earthworks Ankle Pants.

How Many Pants Should I Bring on a Vacation?

The best travel pants allow you to only pack one or two pairs for your entire trip. That’s why we looked for versatile styles that you can either take hiking or out to dinner.

Quick-drying fabrics make it easier to clean your pants in a sink while en route, and DWR finishes prevent spills from soaking into the fabric in the first place. The Kuhl Freeflex Roll-Up Pants and the Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Pants had the best DWR finish of the styles we tested.


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