The 12 Most Comfortable Jeans for Travel of 2022

We like the Agolde Riley for women and the Buck Mason Ford Standard for men.

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Most Comfortable Jeans for Travel of 2022

Amazon / Abercrombie / Nordstrom

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or just dabble in the airline points game, there’s one universal truth all globetrotters can agree on: When it comes to preparing for the next flight, train journey, or road trip, dressing comfortably is as integral to the experience as the trek itself. So, for those moments when leggings and sweatpants aren’t in the cards, jeans step up as wardrobe heroes.

There are a plethora of denim options to choose from, including skinny, straight-leg, and even baggy, all with different inseams and rises. Our top picks? The everyday Agolde Riley is routinely a fan favorite from women looking for easy-to-wear jeans that look just as good with sneakers as they do with strappy heels. For men, we like what Buck Mason did with the Ford Standard Jean, adding enough stretch for in-flight comfort and a versatile straight-leg cut.

To help you navigate the overwhelming world of shopping for a good pair of jeans, we rounded up the 12 best options. There’s something about looking buttoned up when you travel that just elevates the journey, and these denim pieces help you dress like a 10 in the terminal — and beyond.

Here are the most comfortable jeans for men and women.

Best Overall

Agolde Riley High-rise Straight Crop Stretch

Agolde Riley High-Rise Straight Crop Stretch

Agolde

Why We Love It: Available in 16 washes, this effortlessly cool style has a flattering high rise and just enough stretch to make it an easy wear.

What to Consider: The brand tends to run a size small, so consider that before ordering.

Our top pick for women is the Riley High-rise Straight Crop Stretch, a button-fly, easy-to-wear jean made from 99 percent organic cotton and 1 percent recycled lycra. There’s just enough stretch to feel like they move with you, and like you don’t need to rearrange the crotch when you go from sitting to standing. (Expect high-rise jeans like these to hit anywhere from 10-12 inches above the waist.)

These make for a great travel pick because they easily transition from day to night. For no-fuss styling while you’re on vacation, tuck a crewneck sweatshirt into the waistband to show off the pant’s slightly distressed pockets. 

Additionally, the vintage wash gives them that lived-in look, and the 26-inch inseam hits just above the ankle to help show off boots or sneakers. Available in nearly 16 washes, these will immediately become a travel staple and get softer with each wear. They are machine washable in cold water.

According to the brand, Agolde is focused on reducing its environmental impact and maintains as many sustainable practices as possible.

Price at time of publish: $188

Available Sizes: 23-34

Best Overall for Men

Buck Mason Ford Standard Jean

Buck Mason Ford Standard Jean

Buck Mason

Why We Love It: This mid-rise style has extra stretch and roominess for in-air comfort, and a choice of five washes.

What to Consider: They're made with a heavyweight 14-ounce denim — a thicker fabric than traditional jeans — and only come with a standard 33.5-inch inseam.

Our top pick for men is the Ford Standard Jean from Buck Mason. It’s a five-pocket, button-fly jean in yarn-dyed denim that, though it’s on the heavy side, gets softer with each wear (and wash). It’s made of 98 percent cotton and 2 percent spandex, so it has a nice stretch to it as well, providing lots of added comfort as you move about the cabin. 

The jean itself is mid-rise and hits just below the waist. (Mid-rise jeans in general should typically hit just below the belly button, and measure roughly 8 to 10 inches in length.)

The Ford Standard offers a travel-friendly roomy fit, and tapers at the bottom of the leg to create a flattering silhouette. Buck Mason uses enzyme washing to give these that soft, lived-in feel that’ll make you think you’ve had these in your closet for decades.

The cherry on top is the brand’s customer service — you have 365 days to return an item if you decide it’s not working out.

Price at time of publish: $148

Available Sizes: 28-40

Best Straight-leg

Abercrombie & Fitch ’90s Ultra High-rise Straight Jeans

Abercrombie & Fitch ’90s Ultra High-Rise Straight Jeans

Abercrombie & Fitch

Why We Love It: This throwback-inspired denim from Abercrombie & Fitch ticks all the boxes: It comes in 19 washes and five lengths, and features trendy details like a high rise and split-seam.

What to Consider: The rise isn’t as high as the product title suggests as it’s created to sit at the natural waist.

The ‘90s Ultra High-rise Straight Jeans are definitely earmarked for the fashion-forward set. They have a longer inseam and of-the-moment split-seam hem, which creates a major opportunity for showing off sneakers or heels. 

They are made of 99 percent cotton and 1 percent elastane, so there’s just enough stretch to make them feel comfortable. Available in 19 washes and five lengths, these will quickly become your trusty jeans when you want to make a sartorial splash while on the go. 

Price at time of publish: $99

Available Sizes: 23-37

Best Straight-leg for Men

Levi’s Men’s 501 Original Fit Jeans

Levi’s Men’s 501 Original Fit Jeans

Macy's

Why We Love It: These tried-and-true 501s have earned their spot as a closet staple because of the trusty fit, straight leg, and heritage appeal.

What to Consider: This jean is made with 100 percent cotton and, though they break in over time, don’t expect any stretch.

This wardrobe OG button-fly feels incredibly soft from the first second you put them on. It’s a regular fitting jean through the seat, with a straight leg and universal appeal. They’re made with 100 percent cotton, and get softer over time (the brand suggests waiting until 10 wears before washing them to preserve the fabric and reduce your environmental impact).

Rich in history, shopping for this wardrobe mainstay is almost a customizable experience. Sift through 46 washes, and regular or big and tall sizing that runs 28-66.

Price at time of publish: $80

Available Sizes: 28-66

Best Skinny for Women

Old Navy 3-Sizes-in-1 Extra High-waisted Rockstar Super Skinny Jeans

Old Navy 3-Sizes-in-1 Extra High-Waisted Rockstar Super Skinny Jeans

Old Navy

What We Love It: Bodies fluctuate, especially while traveling, and each pair of these jeans encompass three sizes.

What to consider: The sizing—00-0, 2-6, 8-12, 14-18, 20-24, and 26-30—can be tricky if you fall between the ranges.

Jeans have a bad reputation for being unforgiving—if we’ve eaten a lot or are bloated, they can be difficult to wiggle into. Old Navy’s innovative 3-Sizes-in-1 jeans don’t have this problem. They have a flattering curve-hugging fit, and thanks to the brand’s fit technology, maintain that shape even if your size fluctuates. Using a novel yarn technology and fabric construction that accommodates stretch and movement, these skinnies essentially grow with you. Think of them as traveling magic pants.

Old Navy had comfort in mind when they created these jeans and created a tag-free label inside the waistband, too. There are many styles to consider as well. The Fits You 3 also comes in Extra High-waisted Rockstar Super Skinny Jeans, Extra High-waisted Black Flare Jeans, Extra High-waisted Rockstar Super Skinny Ripped Cut-off, and Maternity.

There’s a ton of behind-the-scenes work that goes into producing this miraculous pair of skinnies. They’re made of 72 percent cotton, 11 percent polyester, 6 percent spandex, 6 percent other fibers, and 5 percent recycled cotton. When your travel day is done, you can toss directly into the washing machine. 

Price at time of publish: $60

Available Sizes: 00-30

Best Stretchy for Men

Bonobos Stretch Travel Jean

Bonobos Stretch Travel Jean

Bonobos

Why We Love It: They’re available in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and fits.

What to Consider: Hold off on wearing these with white shirts immediately—color transfer might happen.

We’ve sung our praises about this travel pant before, and it remains a top pick for slim leg silhouettes (and hey—it was made with traveling in mind). Made of 94 percent cotton, 4 percent polyester, and 2 percent elastane, they feel like true stretch denim cotton and put up a good fight against wrinkles, which is ideal if you’re on the road and don’t want to have to iron clothing

They’re offered in 13 earthy shades, like Montclair Cinnamon and Calexico Lizard, and a wide range of sizes, from 28-46. They’re also available with different fits: slim taper, tailored, slim, athletic, and straight. 

When you're done traveling and need to give these a clean, toss them right into the washing machine (in cold water).

Price at time of publish: $119

Available Sizes: 28-46

Best Relaxed Fit

Cupshe Wilshire Acid Wash High Waisted Jeans

Cupshe Wilshire Acid Wash High Waisted Jeans

Cupshe

Why We Love It: They feature a throwback acid rinse, and a soft high waist that doesn’t dig into the skin.

What to Consider: Though the leg is straight and tapered, they can run long and you might need to roll up the bottoms or get them hemmed.

These oh-so-easy mom jeans from Cupshe are 90 percent cotton, 7 percent rayon, and 3 percent polyester, and they truly feel like you’re wearing lightweight sweatpants. The rise is high, with a zip-fly, button closure, and baggy fit. Seemingly wrinkle-free, you can spend all day traveling in these without having to worry about any creases forming at the hips or knees.

They come in five sizes, XS through XL, and are the type of jeans you’ll keep on all day. Wear them with sneakers and your favorite white T-shirt for a flight or road trip, and swap the shoes for black Chelsea boots and a going-out top for dinner.

Price at time of publish: $40

Available Sizes: XS-XL

Best Relaxed Fit for Men

Everlane The Relaxed 4-way Stretch Organic Jean

The Relaxed 4-Way Stretch Organic Jean

Everlane

Why We Love It: These jeans are made of 4-way stretch denim, which means they’re created to move with you in four directions (up, down, left, and right).

What to Consider: They’re only offered in sizes 28-40.

These relaxed jeans from Everlane maintain an effortless look while traveling. Made with four-way stretch organic denim, you can bend down to pick up luggage, then reach for the overhead bin—these jeans are moving with you.

They’re available in sizes 28-40, and come in three lengths: 30, 32, and 34. The brand is committed to sustainability and farms its cotton organically using an Indigo Flow dyeing method that helps reduce water consumption. Additionally, Everlane partners with a denim factory that uses reverse osmosis to filter and keep byproducts from spilling into the environment.

Price at time of publish: $88

Available Sizes: 28-40

Best Wide-leg

Zara The Marine Straight Jeans

Zara The Marine Straight Jeans

Zara

Why We Love It: The relaxed leg and the brand’s power stretch fabric make for an unstoppable denim duo.

What to Consider: They tend to run small and can start off feeling stiff (but loosen up after some wear).

The Marine Straight Jeans are great travel jeans because the cropped hem looks equally appropriate with white sneakers as it does with short ankle boots and clogs. The oversized top button requires some elbow grease to push through the buttonhole but, like the pants, loosens up over time and evolves into an easy pair that’s ideal for day-to-night transitions. They feature a relaxed leg fit and thick power stretch denim that never feels too tight.

Just a heads up, after sitting in these you might find the denim creases at the hip.

The brand’s Join Life label indicates that these jeans have been made using at least 20 percent recycled cotton, and were produced using less water than traditional jeans.

Price at time of publish: $50

Available Sizes: 25-32

Best Wide-leg for Men

American Eagle AirFlex+ Baggy Jean

AE AirFlex+ Baggy Jean

American Eagle

Why We Love It: They’re soft, they’re baggy, and they’re ready for all-day/everyday adventures.

What to Consider: These jeans have tons of stretch and may be too lightweight for colder climates.

American Eagle positions these as loose and “ultra-chill with major skater vibes,” and that’s a combo we can get behind. They’re made with the brand’s AirFlex+ fabric, which uses a special spinning technology to produce a thick yarn. Wear these on those long travel days when you’ll be out all day and want to prioritize breathability as these jeans are made to handle movement.

They’re made with 74 percent cotton, 24 percent polyester, and 2 percent elastane, and are offered in sizes 28-38.

The brand’s focused on sustainability and estimates that they’re able to reduce water usage by 21 percent with every pair of jeans they produce.

Price at time of publish: $50

Available Sizes: 26-38

Best Boot-cut

Frame Le Crop Mini Bootcut Jeans

Frame Le Crop Mini Bootcut Jeans

Nordstrom

Why We Love It: They have just enough stretch to them to offer comfort, without losing their polished appeal.

What to Consider: These are made with a midweight denim that may feel too structured mid-air.

This midweight crop bootcut jean from Frame is your chic go-to option for soft and structured jeans. They have a kick flare style, which means the jeans are tighter throughout the leg before flaring out, making them great for drawing attention to footwear. Toss them in your suitcase and you’ll reach for them over and over during a trip.

They feature a contoured high waist, which creates balance with the bootcut. They’re made of 92 percent cotton, 6 percent polyester, and 2 percent elastane, and have a zip-fly and button closure. 

Price at time of publish: $219

Available Sizes: 24-32

Best Boot-cut for Men

Madewell Vintage Bootcut Jeans

Madewell Vintage Bootcut Jeans

Madewell

Why We Love It: These 100-percent cotton jeans feel lived-in, with a roomy fit through the hip and a flared leg.

What to Consider: They are finished with a raw hem.

These machine-washable, button-fly jeans are made with midweight denim, which is typically somewhere around 12 to 16 ounces in weight. The pants have a relaxed fit, slight flare, and stylized raw hem. They also have a longer 12 ¾ inch rise and are made with 100 percent cotton. Wear these with your favorite sneakers for a classic travel look.

According to Madewell, the purchase of this product helps support the brand’s investment in its partner Better Cotton, which helps “cotton communities survive and thrive while protecting and restoring the environment.”

Price at time of publish: $148

Available Sizes: 28-40

Tips for Buying Comfortable Jeans for Travel

Consider both the weave and the fabric

Not all denim is cut from the same cloth. Some jeans are 100 percent cotton, which means there’s no give, others are mixed with stretchy materials like elastane (also known as spandex). For maximum all-day comfort, look for denim that offers some elastane. 

Pay attention to denim weight if that information is available. Heavyweight denim is more durable and typically lasts longer, but may not necessarily offer much comfort. If you’re traveling, you may want to shop for heavier denim that still offers stretch.

Don’t overlook zippers, button-flys, and tags. These are all details that matter when you think about everyday wear. It’s all a matter of preference. Button-flys are known for being durable but take longer to fasten than zippers, and the buttons can occasionally cause fabric to bunch, too. The zipper is fast and more commonly found on skinny jean styles because it offers a flat finish.

Do a stretch test

You’re usually in good hands with jeans made with elastane, but it doesn’t hurt to give them all a good stretch test before ripping off tags (many brands won’t return items after you’ve removed the tags). If you plan to wear your jeans traveling, see how they feel sitting down for long periods of time. Can you move around in them? Can you do a single-leg lunge in them? Can you bend down to pick up your luggage without feeling like they’re slipping down, or restricting you? Mimic all of these movements to make sure they hug you the way you want them to.

Choose the rise carefully

Just as important as the stretch test is the rise test. Have you ever had to pull your pants up because they started sagging? Nothing’s more annoying than jeans that don’t stay put. Pay attention to the rise and see where they hit you. If you find that jeans slip down and show too much when you squat down or bend over, you’ll want to buy a pair with a higher rise (higher waist). 

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How should I pack jeans?

    The decision comes down to rolling or folding jeans, and if you’re out to save space, experts will tell you rolling jeans is the way to go

  • How should I wash my jeans?

    Always refer to the clothing care label inside of the jeans for specifics, but a general rule of thumb is to turn them inside out to avoid any fading, and to wash them in cool or cold water to preserve the color (and cut down on electricity costs while you’re at it). If the jeans are a dark wash, you’ll want to wash them with like colors to avoid staining. Air-dry when finished to avoid shrinkage. 

  • How often should I wash my jeans?

    The frequency with which you wash your jeans will depend on how you use them, but a good rule of thumb is to think about washing them every 5-10 wears. Some brands will actually make specific recommendations, but limiting the amount of washes can help maintain your jeans. 

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure freelance writer Rebecca Brown used her extensive fashion knowledge — and past travel experience — to research the best denim options for men and women.

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