Best Travel Pants for Men – 2021

categories: Uncategorized

I did not have as great a need for travel pants in 2020 as I thought I would at the beginning of the year. My hope is that 2021 will be better. When I pack for travel I am typically packing in a carry-on so I have limited space. Pants can be one of the bulkiest things that I pack so it is not uncommon that I can pack for a 4 week trip with only 3 pairs of pants. And some of my trips like a recent one to both Japan and Bostwana have me looking for versatility. Clearly, I have plans to do laundry along my way just as I do at home.

The Problem With Travel Pants

For some time now I have been searching for the best travel pants for men. But before I tell you what I found let me tell you why I was on a hunt in the first place. Best Travel Pants for Men | Men's Travel Pants | PraNa

Jeans Won’t Dry

When I am working at home you will usually find me in an old pair of jeans or shorts on a hot day. I grew up in California where we think jeans are appropriate for all occasions, except maybe your wedding without special dispensation from the bride. The problem is that jeans dry slowly when you are washing out clothes in a hotel sink. It can take about 3 days for a pair of jeans to dry without a dryer. So I only want to pack at most one pair of jeans.

Too much Suitcase Space

Some of the travel pants I have worn before like my old Clothing Arts “Pickpocket Proof” Pants just take up too much space in my suitcase. I am trying to travel with a carry-on suitcase to save money, save time by skipping baggage claim, and save stress by not having to worry about lost luggage. My regular jeans take a fair amount of space but my Clothing Arts pants probably take half again as much space.

Travel Pants that Wrinkle

I have tried men’s lightweight travel pants like I found at my local REI. They take very little space in the suitcase, they can be good for warm climates because they are lightweight but they are not as good for cold climates or for a trip like this where the safari company recommends something substantial like jeans to walk thru the bush. But the worst part is that even in the store, on the hanger they are already wrinkled. They just don’t look that good. Wrinkle-free travel clothes are even more important when I am traveling on a press trip or to a conference and looking presentable is just good business.

Kühl Renegade

Kühl – Silencr

The latest travel pants I am trying is from Kühl which is a new brand for me. They sent me a pair of their Silencr pants in full-fit with the color Raven. These are lighter weight pants, probably half the bulk of a pair of jeans. They kind of look like a fine mesh rip stop nylon, but I like the feel of these pants. The 62% Mechanical Stretch Polyester, 38% Recycled Polyester fabric has some texture to it. I have not worn these on the wroad just yet but thet look fairly durable. 

The pants have your usual two back pockets and two front pockets which are deep enough. They also have a change pocket, which has become more important to me of late as that is where my Apple AirPods go. They also have a side pocket big enough to hold an iPhone 12, although I would not trust it in a side pocket while traveling.

The pants are available in a full-fit or a tapered-fit, but unfotunately I am currently only available in a full-fit version. I did find the sizes on the waste ran a bit small so you might consider adding an extra inch… or maybe I just should have laid off the Christmas cookies this year. They also use a snap to close. I prefer a button as a snap is less secure when you are moving around, but the strech fabric nature of these pants is that they do have good mobility.

pickpocket proof pants from Clothing Arts

Clothing Arts – “Pick-Pocket Proof Pants

I mentioned that the pants by Clothing Arts don’t always make my packing list anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I love these pants and if I am in a busy city being targeted by pickpockets these are definitely the pants I want to be wearing. They look good, they repel Diet Coke when I spill on them. But they take up twice as much space in my suitcase as a pair of typical travel pants. 

PraNa

I met the reps from PraNa at a TBEX conference and told them about my quest for better travel pants and they sent me a selection of 5 of their pants to try out including a pair of jeans, a pair of convertible pants that zip off to form shorts and two classic travel pants.

Manchester Jean - PraNa

Manchester Jean – Dark Indigo

One of the 3 pairs of pants I am taking are jeans, my new Manchester jeans from PraNa. I like how they wear. They are bulkier so these will be the pants that I wear on the plane. They have a bit of stretch in them like a lot of modern jeans. One change I would suggest for the design to make them better travel pants would be adding at least another inch of depth in the front pockets. When I travel my wallet and phone are in my front pocket and I want them a bit more out of reach. My wife literally took out her sewing machine and extended the pockets on these pants. 

Bronson Pant

Bronson Pant –  Charcoal

These are some of my favorite pants. I have been wearing them all week, even when at home. They are comfortable. The pockets are the right depth. They are stylish enough that I wore them to a networking event with the Irish Tourism board. They go great with my Amateur Traveler shirts. I think these will work fine in the bush in Africa and on the streets of Tokyo. These are definitely coming with me.

When I need to be a bit more dressed up I can wear them with a travel blazer.

Stretch Zion Convertible

Stretch Zion Convertible – Cargo Green

The third pair of pants I consider bringing are convertible pants. The packing list I got for my recent safari recommended bringing 2-3 pairs of pants and 2-3 pairs of shorts. I don’t have the packing room for that without cheating so these made my list. They are a bit more lightweight than the Bronson pant but also comfortable and flexible. Flexible is helpful when I am trying to keep the packing list short. They would make great lightweight travel clothing for hot climates especially in countries that are more culturally conservative where shorts are less acceptable.

Bronson-Pant.jpg

Stretch Zion Pant – Grey

I like these pants also but they did not make my list for my most recent trip because of the flexibility I needed. They actually recommend lighter colors when you are on safari so if I was just going to Botswana I would probably opt for these which are also quite comfortable and leave the Bronson pants at home, but I also know myself and know that somehow I will find a way to spill soy sauce on my pants in Japan and am opting for darker colors where diet coke and sauce stains are less obvious.

 

Share this:

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast, and a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast.

3 Responses to “Best Travel Pants for Men – 2021”

Jim Meehan

Says:

Chris
I understand some of the critera for choosing the best, but I got to your review from the Clothing arts review so I was looking at a “secure” pair of pants for when I am in the sketyist situations, like many airports for instance. I see nothing except regular drop in pockets to handle my secure stuff. I had a wallet lifted in Ho Chi Mehn city recently and they opened velcro cargos. It’s nice that they gave you 5 pairs to try out for the review but if the primary focus is security (and thats why I am looking at this) then you can’t dump all the cautions because something feels better and packs lighter. Different sets of critera-Plus the secure pants are the ones you should be wearing on travel day not packing.
Jim

Chris Christensen

Says:

Jim, quite true. I have not found another pair of “pick pocket proof” pants

David Cheung

Says:

Hi Chris,
Thanks for the good read. I will get a pair of “Pickpocket Proof” pants to try out. I also had a pair of Prana Zion convertibles before and they were very comfortable. My favorite pair of travel pants are Kuhl Pants that I got for REI, the style was Avengr. Other pants didn’t fit me as well.

Leave a Reply

Tags: , , ,