I’m a Travel Writer, and These Are My Absolute Favorite Sweatpants for Flying

You’ll want to pack a pair of these sweats for your next trip.

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Apres Sweatpant
Photo:

Smith

As a travel writer who is often galavanting about the globe, I've had to learn to trick my body into sleeping on planes. For years I could barely make it work, even with the rare pleasure of a lie-flat seat, but these days I've gotten it down to a science. My secret? Wearing the comfiest possible sweatpants to sleep in. In my search for the perfect travel sweatpant, I have found the most luxurious version that makes me feel like I'm wearing my own bed clothes back home: Smith's Après sweatpants. And if you're a frequent traveler or just someone who appreciates comfort, I have a feeling they'll become your go-to travel pair as they have for me. 

Besides being neutral and stylish enough to wear in the airport, the other thing about these awesome travel sweatpants is they're not only comfortable: they're really warm, but also good at regulating temperature. Sitting on the balcony of a suite on Hurtigruten's M.S. Roald Amundsen in Antarctica, I was shocked at how toasty warm they kept me despite literally sitting in the middle of a frozen ice field. 

Apres Sweatpant Black

Smith

To buy: smithoptics.com, $60

They’re also slightly oversized — but not in a way that makes them look baggy — and they come in a neutral, goes-with-anything black and heather gray. A subtle version of Smith's alpine-influenced logo is stitched into the sweatpants by the left pocket for touch of flair. Inside, the Après sweatpants have a fleece-like quality, but never feel stifling or sweat-inducing. I've personally road-tested the midweight fleece and found them comfortable to wear in all temperatures, from the icy Antarctic to the sweltering heat of an airplane stuck on the tarmac in August. 

Apres Sweatpant Grey

Smith

To buy: smithoptics.com, $60

The pockets are an additional luxury; lined with Jersey cotton, I don't have to worry about my keys or my phone sliding around in them. And when I wore them recently on a lightning-fast Amtrak Acela train from New York to Boston, carrying grub from the cafe car to my seat, I realized they had a handy back pocket, too. 

Smith might not be the first brand you think of when it comes to sweats; they're well established and known for their optical gear, most often seen imprinted on a gnarly pair of sunglasses or the side of a pair of ski goggles. In fact, in 1965 it was actually Smith that invented the first sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam we know in our snow goggles today. But since the early twenty-teens, the brand has launched more and more great men's apparel, always purposeful and tasteful in my opinion. Where the brand scores significant points consistently is in comfort, which I can verify first hand. Most of the clothing items I have from them somehow replicate that lived-in feel of your favorite tee or pair of sweats you've been wearing since college, yet with a far more elevated look. 

Apres Sweatpant

Dan Koday

The Après sweatpants are simple enough that I can wear them with just about any top and make my outfit casual enough for a plane but polished enough that I don't look like a total slob, either. 

At $60, they're admittedly more expensive than an average pair of sweatpants, but also not exorbitantly expensive like some competing designer pairs I've seen and even purchased myself over the years. 

If you're looking for a go-to pair of sweatpants for traveling or just for lounging around the house, don't miss out on this style available from Smith; right now almost all sizes and colors are in stock in the U.S. and if I were you, I'd also invest in the shorts version, which retail for $55, and the sweatshirt, which goes for $65 to complete your athleisure wardrobe.

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