Reviewers Say These Are The Best Pants To Travel In

With a bit of planning, it's actually pretty easy to throw together a travel outfit that looks sophisticated and intentional.
Cotton On cargo pants, Madewell's The Harlow pant and The Carley pant.
Cotton On, Madewell
Cotton On cargo pants, Madewell's The Harlow pant and The Carley pant.

Whether you’re someone who regularly takes long-haul flights for work and to see family or simply loves to jet off whenever you have time, finding the perfect travel outfit can make or break the experience. Personally, I find air travel to be utterly harrowing, and being able to wear a comfy yet tailored and elegant look gives my soul peace amidst the chaos of the TSA line. And as much as I strongly believe that those who prefer to travel in leggings should do so judgment-free, I lean more toward a pant that looks structured but is actually as comfy and soft as sweats.

With a bit of planning and preparation, it’s actually pretty easy to throw together a travel outfit that looks sophisticated and intentional. Nothing feels better than being able to walk off that plane, train or automobile looking and feeling your best and ready to have an adventure — and the right pants are key to making this happen. Below, I’ve rounded up the best travel pants according to seasoned travelers, reviews, editors and yours truly. They come in a wide variety of sizes, colors and silhouettes, so you can find the one that best fits your aesthetic and budget. Not only are they great for the commute portion of your journey, but they’re all chic enough to wear and enjoy while on vacation too.

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1
Époque Évolution
Époque Évolution Jet Set trouser
I wore these pants on an 11-hour train ride from New York City to Montreal and couldn't have been cozier. I was initially worried that they would look a bit mumsy, but after styling them with an oversized button-down they felt decidedly chic and French. They're available in sizes 0–18 in four different colors; I have them in black. They're surprisingly sharp and elegant, soft and stretchy without looking like leggings. They have have back pockets big enough to hold a smartphone and a comfortable waistline that didn't pinch no matter how many train snacks I ate. And as a petite person, I love the bartack hemline; they look great with all shoes and don't get crumpled on the tops of your feet. These pants looked so good during my trip that my partner begged me to let her wear them on the train ride back. (I acquiesced). They're definitely a splurge, but absolutely worth it.

Promising review: "I love these pants and have them in black and stone - they are my go-to pants. Can dress them up or down, comfortable, and always look good even after traveling. I keep checking to see if and when other colors come back in stock - fingers crossed soon!" — Laura
2
Athleta
Athleta Brooklyn Ankle pant
These wildly popular ankle-length pants have a devoted following and it just might be the right time to snag a pair. These pants are breathable, wrinkle-resistant and super lightweight, making them ideal for everything from travel days to running errands and chasing after kids — while remaining structured enough for a day at the office. And since they start at under $50, they’re pretty impossible to refuse. They're available in seven colors in regular, tall and petite lengths in sizes 00–26. My colleague, Kristen Aiken, can vouch for them.“I’m about 5-foot-10, so ‘ankle-length’ pants are unfortunately more like awkward capris on me,” she said. “The tall version of the Brooklyn ankle pant is perfectly proportioned to hit in just the right spot above the anklebone, so I’m not triggered by traumatic memories of middle school girls telling me my pants are too short. Oh, and I also love the slinky fabric.”

Promising review: "All you need on a trip. Love these pants. Cool enough to wear on a summer evening and dressy enough for dinner plans." — anonymous
3
Nordstrom
Treasure & Bond linen blend wide leg pants
When in doubt, wear linen. It looks great slightly rumpled, it's breathable and forgiving and the addition of an elastic waistband makes it a no-brainer. I'm also fond of ankle-length pants on flights, because the last thing I want is any part of my clothing touching that revolting airport or plane floor. They're available in sizes XXS–XL, but hurry, they're selling out fast.

Promising review: "So comfortable and cute. Love these pants. I have them in white and olive. I am 5.5 and 135 and the medium fits me well. I just spent a few days traveling and they were perfect. I paired the white with a short sleeve cashmere sweater and a chunky gold chain necklace for a dinner on the water. I paired the olive with an orange t-shirt for sight seeing. Both were perfect." — Erin
4
Eloquii
Eloquii pleated palazzo pants
These pleated pants are equal parts glamorous and comfortable, making them perfect for a flight, train travel and while on a trip. They're made with a sophisticated soft woven chiffon fabric that allows for total freedom of movement with an elastic waistband that won't cut into your skin or feel oppressive on even the longest journeys. They're available in sizes 14–28. But what pushed us over the edge with this editors' pick is that these pants are fully lined, so you don't have to worry about flashing anyone or having skin-tone undies readily available.

5
Nordstrom
Zella Getaway ankle pants
It's right there in the name, isn't it? A perfect blend of style and comfort, these elastic-wasitband pants have a slim silhouette and tapered leg that elongates the body and looks effortlessly refined without skimping on coziness. You can get them in sizes XXS–XL in four colors.

Promising review: These pants are very lightweight so great for travel, they are comfortable and can be washed in a sink and hung up to dry quickly. I bought size Med and Lg because my weight varies especially when I am traveling for several weeks." — Linda V
6
Cotton On
Cotton On woven cargo pant
If I'm getting on a plane, 9 times out of 10 I'm wearing these cargo pants. I've worn them on multiple long-haul flights from New York City to Australia and can speak to how ultra-comfortable, light and silky smooth the fabric is. My partner and I are constantly fighting over who gets to wear them. They have a perfectly oversized silhouette that looks cool and modern, and I love that the leg openings have an adjustable drawstring cord. I usually leave it untied for a wide-leg look, but when I'm on a plane I tie them up so that the pants don't drag and touch the nasty airplane floor. A year in and they've more than stood the test of time. They're available in three colors in sizes 2XS–5XL.

Promising review: "Excellent choice for your money. Very comfortable, material is good. I got all the colours." — Nonic
7
Madewell
Madewell The Harlow linen wide-leg pants
If you are anti-elastic waistband, you probably want to seek comfort via soft, airy fabrics like linen. These pants are the best of both worlds, making them a can't-miss editors' pick — they're made of breezy 100% linen fabric that will keep you fresh and cool but have an extended sailor-inspired button closure at the waist. You can get them in one of four different colors in petite, standard and tall lengths in sizes 00–16.

Promising review: "I couldn't love these trousers more. I originally ordered the black and brown, and then ended up purchasing all of the available color-ways. They are effortlessly chic and really nice quality. I did size up to be safe. I am 5'6" and usually wear a 26 in madewell jeans- I got these in a 4 and they're perfect for me." — Floralfemmekels
8
Madewell
Madewell The Carley wide-leg pant
These elegant and fresh wide-leg pants are made with soft Tencel poly-blend fabric that moves with you. They have a minimalist silhouette that can be dressed up or down and will keep you comfortable on even the longest flights. They're available in petite, standard, tall and plus sizes from XXS–XXL and four colors.

Promising review: "I have the black in PS. I originally purchased the PM but it was too loose in the hips. I'm 5' 2" and the bottom skims the floor without shoes. Nice soft and flowy material so pants can be worn for work or vacation." —CIAO28
9
J.Crew
J.Crew Sailor heritage chino pant
I have a near-identical pair of mid-rise chinos from J.Crew and can personally attest to their perfection. I love wearing them on flights or long train rides because the material is as soft as can be — it's almost like the pants have been pre-broken in — but they still look and feel like real pants. They sit just below the waist, which gives them a cool and effortless silhouette and can be rolled up for a cropped or ankle-length situation. They've taken me straight from the flight to dinner and look as cool as can be. They're available in seven colors in classic, tall and petite lengths in sizes 23–37.

Promising review: "I love the fit and color (sweet violet) of these heritage chinos. I got the size 34 and they fit me perfectly. I’m curvy with 34” waist, 44” high hip but I have fuller hips and thighs, and a substantial bum. These chinos are so flattering. I got a lot of compliments on them already. I’m taking them on a trip." — Leah
10
Banana Republic Factory
Banana Republic Factory Airstretch taper pant
Made with recycled polyester blend fabric, these lightweight pants are available in six colors in sizes XXS–XXL. They feature darts, a trouser pleat and pockets like traditional pants, but have an elastic waistband and a flexible, stretchy feel that is essential for movement-filled travel days.

Promising review: "You will live in these amazing versatile pants. Light as a feather, you can wear to work in the morning, work out in them at lunch and dress them up for drinks and dinner that night. Pack 5 in your carry-on, they don't wrinkle and dry in hours so perfect for travel. A little big but buy true to size and enjoy their comfort." — Anne W.
11
Quince
Quince European linen tapered ankle pants
I can't resist a linen pant with an elastic waist; it's the height of comfort and luxury. These Quince pants have an elegant and timeless silhouette that works with just about every aesthetic and can be paired with everything from a T-shirt to a blouse. They've got plenty of freedom of movement while still looking intentional, making them a perfect travel pant. Can't you just picture yourself strolling in these at a tropical location? They're available in three colors in sizes XS–XL. Reviewers say that they're like the sisterhood of the traveling pants!

Promising review: "The best travel pant! Exactly as pictured, excellent quality, love them! Wore for travel, very lightweight easy, adorable pants." — Heather S.
12
Everlane
Everlane The Easy Pant
Love a chino but want an elastic waistband? Say no more. These Everlane pants are as comfy and cool as it gets. They're made with lightweight cotton twill and have a breezy, relaxed straight leg that won't stifle your range of motion. They're available in five colors in sizes XXS–XL.

Promising review: "Great pants, stylish and pack well. We just spent 10 days traveling with just carryons and these were the perfect pants to bring. Super versatile and packed well. Probably will buy in another color" — MK83
13
Spanx
Spanx AirEssentials wide leg pant
If you skew toward sweats but don't want to look sloppy, then these Spanx pants are for you. The look and fit of these are more classically aligned with athleisure, but the silky fabric is more substantial and drapey, upping the elegance factor. They're available in three colors in regular, petite and tall lengths in sizes XS–3X.

Promising reviews: "Perfect for long plane rides. Soft and comfortable, petite M fit just right. Will wear this on long plane trips and in cool weather." — Melissa F.

"Jogger with style. Love the wide legs, the fabric. A perfect piece for a comfy flight to Europe." — McKinney

"Great for travel. Wore these from Texas to Ireland. Looked stylish from beginning to end of trip and also was so comfy to sleep on a transatlantic flight. Matching jacket Pockets are deep and placed perfectly for my phone. Love the high neck in back. No scratchy tags or seams. Worth the money and I will use these on all flights, even shorter." — Kristen A.
14
Good American
Good American Jeanius wide-leg sweatpant
Lean into the athleisure vibe with these wide-leg sweats from Good American. The silhouette gives these cool pants streetwear vibe, while the elastic waistband and wide leg couldn't be comfier — which is why this editors' pick is a great option for anyone who has ever been curious about giving the brand a try. Don't sleep on this inclusive, super stylish retailer. These are available in two colors in sizes XS–5XL.

Promising review: "I had been looking for a wide leg swear type pant that I could dress up or down and these were exactly what I had been searching for. They have a great relaxed fit, are long enough for and look great dressed up with a white button down or just as good with a tee. Great quality and good, heavy fabric. Highly recommend!" — Gabrielle A.
15
Nordstrom
Free People Nothin' to Say elastic waist pants
These pants are a traveler's dream: They look like structured, pleated pants but are soft, breathable and have an elastic waistband with plenty of give. You can get them in one of two colors in sizes XS–XL. Reviewers at Nordstrom noted that they're a great summer pant, highly versatile and can be easily dressed up with a button-down or blazer and worn to the office as well. They're on my list of must-haves before my next flight.

Promising review: "The black is a soft black, not a black black. I bought them in 3 colors I loved the first pair so much. They almost feel like a heavy silk. I'm a size 6 and ordered a medium because I wanted them more on my hips. I think I could have gotten them in a small for the same effect but I'm happy with how baggy they are. I wore them with a long-sleeved bodysuit and Dr. Martens. So cute! LOVE LOVE LOVE. You could throw a blazer over the bodysuit for a more professional look. These pants can be worn SOOOO many ways. :)" — Rebdem

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