Testing Mens Travel Pants in Columbia

Best Men’s Travel Pants of 2019

We’ve tested the best wrinkle-resistant, quick-drying, and comfortable men’s travel pants of the year. Pack your bags and get ready for adventure.

When hitting the road (or the terminal), travelers need pants that are packable and versatile. Travel clothing needs to be just as capable of tackling a hike while looking sharp enough to stroll a museum or enjoy a fancy restaurant.

From the Andean cloud-forests to deep desert canyons and high mountain peaks, as well as more everyday scenarios (read: punching the keyboard at work), we traveled the world testing pants.

While comfort is key, we also need to be able to happily go out in public. We chose travel pants that look as good as they feel and don’t shout “tourist.” Clean lines, darker colors, and traditional styling help you blend into crowds and stay off the would-be pickpocket’s radar.

Look for deep, horizontal jean-style pockets that prevent keys and change from accidentally rolling out. No joke, one pair of pants we tested (that’s not on this list) spit a wallet out at work without us even knowing it. A hidden zipper pocket can inconspicuously secure a passport or wallet.

And while we love denim, we look for performance fabrics that can withstand repeated washings in a sink, line dry overnight, and stay wrinkle-free after weeks on the go.

Best Overall Travel Pants

Western Rise Evolution Pant ($112)

Functionally stylish but with a little give in the weave, the Evolution is a stylish slim pant launched with the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Note: The Evolution is on sale for $112 (25% off) until May 31. 

At the core of the pant is the nylon-elastane-blend material with a traditional jean-like cut. The nylon fibers are softened by running them through an “air-texturized” process and then woven into a dynamic yarn. The material has a durable weave that mimics denim (and is less like khaki). The DWR coating is outstanding and kept us dry while standing in a downpour, waiting to catch a funicular to the top of Bogotá.

Reach around back and you’ll find a double pocket on the right, with a hidden zipper pocket that’s large enough to swallow your passport. Western Rise expanded the front coin pocket and made it large enough holster an iPhone 8.

We received an early release of the pant. In the short time since the Evolution’s official release, it has received an overwhelmingly positive rating by buyers. We have to agree. It was the envy of a photographer we traveled with through Colombia and became a favorite.

Fabric: Supplex (96 percent nylon, 4 percent elastane), woven in Sweden, cut and sewn in the USA
Fit: True to size
Weight: 13 ounces
DWR: Yes
Bottom line: For travelers who prefer jean styling but don’t want to compromise performance fabric

Best Budget Travel Pants

UNIONBAY Rainier Travel Chinos ($30)

These lightweight pants are a steal at just $30 (or less depending on the size and color combination). These chino pants come in four colors: charcoal, navy, black, and khaki. And for being such a bargain, they work surprisingly well. The nylon-spandex blend offers just enough stretch for a full range of motion, and we like how quick-drying they are.

And with a DWR coating and UPF of 50, you could even wear these hiking. They probably won’t last as long as other higher-quality pants on our list, but if you’re looking for a budget pair of travel pants, these are it.

Fabric: 94 percent nylon, 6 percent spandex
True to size
DWR: Yes
Bottom line: Cheapest pants on this list; a lightly stretchy, quick-drying bargain

Best Adventure Travel Pants

prAna Stretch Zion Pants ($89)

Anyone planning the ultimate adventure travel getaway should check out these pants. They can handle climbing, hiking, biking, camping, and city sightseeing with ease and style. It’s no wonder they’re a perennial favorite. Year after year, review after review, the Stretch Zion — like its canyon namesake — stands the test of time.

The Zion is woven from a nylon-spandex blend that has a forgiving flex and just enough protection to deflect chaparral and granite.

A clever integrated belt buckle sits offset from the fly and out of an overlaying harness belt. And two angled cargo pockets silhouette the legs to holster a map or phone.

At the cuffs, prAna placed a clever set of snaps that allows you to roll and snap the legs up and out of the way for better footwork visibility.

They’re also available in shorts ($69) and convertible pants ($60-95).

Fabric: 97 percent nylon, 3 percent spandex
True to size
DWR: Yes
Bottom line: Styled for climbing but great on the trail and can pass for the city without looking like you walked off the Camel Trophy series. A do-all pair of pants.

Best of the Rest

Rhone Commuter Pant ($128)

Built as the ultimate travel pant, the Commuter Pant does it all. The breathable fabric handles temperature swings like a champ, and you can rest easy knowing you’ll stay wrinkle-free even on the red-eye.

The articulated knee makes sitting on a plane (or in a car) that much more comfortable. There’s a pocket for your phone, and the zippered rear pocket keeps your wallet secure. These wash up great and can be comfortably worn from sunup to sundown through all manner of travel excursions. Rhone even offers free hemming so you can ensure a perfect fit.

Fabric: Japanese stretch fabric
True to size
Bottom line: Look like slacks, feels like sweats; comfortable, stylish, and durable

Price: $128
See the Commuter Pant

Outlier Futureworks Pants ($148)

NYC brand Outlier scours the market in search of new and innovative fabrics to separate themselves from the crush of athleisure glutting today’s market.

The Future Works pant is sewn from high-tenacity nylon — similar as found in the Western Rise Evolution — that has been softened through an air-texturized process. The yarns are woven into a durable khaki that looks sharp, remains durable, and is extremely breathable.

The yarns have a little give that, when sewn with a gusseted construction and a looser fit, provide wide freedom of motion and plenty of breathing room for the legs while exploring ruins in hot, humid climes.

Sporting five pockets, we wished the Futureworks had at least one that zipped shut. But the pockets are deep, and it’s the material and breathability that put the Futureworks pant on our list. It’s our favorite pant for traveling light near the equator.

Fabric: 97 percent nylon, 3 percent elastane, woven in Sweden
Fit: True to size
Weight: 13 ounces
DWR: Yes
Bottom line: For equatorial travelers looking for a breathable, khaki-style pant

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Rohan Escapers ($100)

Britain-based Rohan has quickly become a GearJunkie favorite and shines on journeys that require light, packable gear but still holds its own while out on the town.

The Escapers are an athletic-fit tech khaki with deep pockets and two zippers. The right back pocket zips shut and a second, sorta hidden zippered pocket rides up front, inside the front left pocket. Both are deep enough to stow cash and a passport safely away from sticky fingers.

We stuffed a pair in our bikepacking kit to wear out of the saddle in Colombia and found the material stood up to the stiff South American humidity. More impressively, it bounced back from repeated crushing in our bag between hotel stays.

Perhaps best of all, the pants dry exceptionally fast. Wash ’em, wring ’em, hang ’em, and they are dry by morning.

The material stretches a bit but without feeling like you’re wearing much Lycra. The knees are sewn with a stitch to help increase articulation. Though we wouldn’t call the Escapers a hiking pant, the fit and material allow the trouser to cross over into more athletic adventures and with better styling than your dad’s closet ever saw.

Fabric: 94 percent polyamide, 6 percent elastane
Fit: True to size
Weight: 10 ounces
DWR: Yes
Bottom line: Best travel khaki in the lineup

Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Pants ($80)

Our friend Tyler Benedict at Bikerumor spends nearly 50 percent of his time traveling. He’s been wearing Eddie Bauer’s Guide Pro Pants for years, estimating they’ve logged more than four trips around the sun and have become his go-to travel pants.

Tyler shared, “They’re lightweight, breathable, comfortable, have well-placed pockets, and they stretch with my movement. Their two-way-stretch Flexion material has just enough movement to take on everything from parkour over ruins to strenuous hiking.”

The two zippered cargo pockets are flush with the pants, avoiding the militarized look of gusseted external pockets. They’re angled for easy access and fit the largest iPhone with a case, which is a nice bonus (not all cargo pants and shorts can claim this anymore).

They have a DWR treatment that holds up over time, and there are 10 colors to choose from, all running $80. But like they say about the weather, if you don’t like the price, just wait 5 minutes. Eddie Bauer runs its entire site at 40-50 percent off just about every other month. And the brand has a lifetime guarantee, which makes these pants an incredibly good value.

Fabric: 94 percent nylon, 6 percent spandex
Fit: Athletic; true to size
DWR: Yes
Bottom line: Durable travel pant for adventure-seeking travelers

Aviator Concorde Travel Jeans ($125)

We love denim, but cotton wefts are heavy, lack stretch, and don’t pack down well. And, most importantly, the traditional shallow jean pocket is too easy to pull a wallet out of.

Aviator was born out of the soul for denim with a passion for travel. The brand’s Concorde has seven pockets, including three that zip. Each back pocket has a hidden hanging pocket, large enough to fit a passport. The front left pocket has a third hidden zipper pocket. All pocket zippers use a nylon YKK zipper, so you don’t have to worry about inviting a TSA patdown.

The Concorde comprises a summer-weight cotton blend that is soft to the touch and has a little give. It won’t dry as fast as the other synthetic pants on the list, but it’s supremely comfortable and can walk out of coach into your port of entry in style.

Fabric: 45 percent lyocell, 27 percent cotton, 15 percent rayon, 12 percent poly, and 1 percent spandex
Fit: True to size, offered in slim and straight.
Weight: 20 ounces
DWR: Yes
Bottom line: For those who can’t leave home without a pair of jeans

Have a favorite pair of travel pants? Let us know in the comments for future updates to this article.

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Steve Graepel

Contributing Editor (and Gear Junkie Idaho Bureau Chief) Steve Graepel is allegedly a crook and a thief, conning his friends to steal away time from their families in pursuit of premeditated leisure, which typically involves a bike, a pack-raft, skis, running shoes, climbing rack, or all of the above.

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