The Best Athleisure Items Every Traveler Needs

We’re all about Libin’s Cargo Joggers.

In This Article

Jump to a Section

In This Article

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

 Best Athleisure Items Every Traveler Needs

Amazon / Allbirds

Travel often involves grueling layovers, all-day transit, walking, sitting, biking, and more. You never really know how long you might be stuck in an airport, or how far you’ll be trekking as you tour a new city. Athleisure clothing is a great option for travel, as it’s comfortable, supportive, and easy to dress up or down no matter what the day brings. It’s also very lightweight and generally doesn’t take up much suitcase space.

We’ve rounded up the best athleisure pieces for travel and have considered activities, climates, comfort, and support. Our favorite athleisure item is the Libin Women’s Cargo Joggers because of their versatility, pocket space, and comfort. You can wear them on a plane, on a bike tour, or even to a casual dinner. But if joggers aren’t your style, no worries—there are plenty more athleisure items on our list we think you’ll love.

Read on for the best athleisure for travel.:

Best Overall: Libin Lightweight Cargo Joggers

Libin Women’s Cargo Joggers Lightweight Quick Dry Hiking Pants

Amazon

Why We Love It: Five pockets and lightweight material are a win-win for those on the go. 

What to Consider: These only work for light rain because they're not fully water-resistant.

A good pair of joggers is crucial for travel. They’re comfortable and highly utilizable for lengthy plane rides, hikes, or casual sightseeing adventures. This pair from Amazon comes in numerous colors, and the drawstring closure keeps comfort top of mind. They have UPF 50+ protection for full-sun days, are water-resistant to wick away light moisture, and include a cuffed ankle for a more sophisticated look. The fabric is lightweight, which we love for baggage restrictions, and five spacious pockets with zippers mean you can tuck away your passport, keys, cards, and important flight info safely. 

Sizes: XS-3XL | Material: Polyester, spandex

Best Windbreaker: Patagonia Houdini Air Jacket

4.8
Patagonia Houdini Air Jacket

Back Country

Why We Love It: Lightweight and breathable, this jacket is a packable option you’ll be glad to have when the weather takes a turn.

What to Consider: It doesn’t offer full weather resistance. 

Having a lightweight windbreaker on hand when traveling isn’t a bad idea, as you never know when you might run into a storm or some high winds. The Houdini Air from Patagonia is a great option because it’s lightweight (just 4.1 ounces) and breathable with some weather resistance built in. It also folds down to a super packable size. The zippered chest pocket turns into a stuff sack with a clip-in loop, and the jacket is thin enough to layer over T-shirts and base layers. It's also fair trade-certified sewn, meaning the workers who made it earned a fair wage for their labor. 

Sizes: XS-XL | Material: Nylon, polyester

Best Hoodie: Quickflip 2-in-1 Reversible Backpack Hoodie

Quickflip 2-in-1 Reversible Backpack Hoodie

Amazon

Why We Love It: We love a combo backpack/hoodie for versatility and saving space. 

What to Consider: The backpack is pretty small.

You’ll never regret throwing a hoodie in your bag for chilly nights or cold plane rides, and this hoodie wins our vote because it also doubles as a backpack. Simply flip the hoodie upside down, reach through the hidden pouch, and pull the hoodie through the opening and you’ll have extra luggage space or a daypack. Once converted into a backpack, there’s a large storage compartment — a great perk for tossing your phone, passport, or souvenirs in. Numerous colors are available, and unisex sizing means you can find a cozy fit that works for you. 

Sizes: Unisex XS-3XL | Material: Fleece

Best Jacket: Anatomie Kenya Safari Jacket

Anatomie Kenya Safari Jacket

Anatomie

Why We Love It: The feminine cut paired with ample pockets is a stylish choice for travelers. 

What to Consider: The price here is super steep, meaning this piece is an investment.

For this selection, we went with a jacket that not only has function, but style, too. Available in four colors, this jacket from Anatomie is a lightweight choice that works for breezy days and mild temperatures. It has UPF 50+ sun protection and is wrinkle-resistant, which is perfect for all the sitting that can come with traveling. The jacket is fitted at the waist for a flattering shape and has top slash pockets and bottom zip pockets for storing all of your things. It’s also moisture-wicking and quick-drying, and it’s understated enough to pair well with every outfit you pack. 

Sizes: Unisex XS-XL | Material: Polyamide, elastane

Best Bike Shorts: Baleaf High-waist Biker Shorts

BALEAF Women's High Waist Biker Shorts

Amazon

Why We Love It: Two large side pockets are an awesome feature for busy days. 

What to Consider: The top tends to roll down, while the legs tend to ride up on some people.

Biker shorts are a great addition to any carry-on, as they’re versatile enough to be worn for working out, casual sightseeing, or outdoor ventures. Pair them with a fitness top for a sporty look, or throw on a graphic tee or a jacket for a simple outfit. This pair from Baleaf stands out from the pack because it comes in so many different colors, plus there are two large side pockets for storing your phone, keys, hotel room card, and more. They’re also lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking. They’re a high-rise fit and hit around your navel, and the hem falls about mid-thigh, a great length to help avoid chafing while out and about for long periods of time. 

Sizes: XS-3XL | Material: Polyester, spandex

Best Sneakers: Allbirds Tree Runners

4.6
Allbirds Tree Runners

Allbrids

Why We Love It: Sustainability meets comfort and breathability for a superb travel shoe. 

What to Consider: The name is a bit misleading — these shoes are best for activities that don’t involve running.

Every pro traveler has their go-to pair of comfortable sneakers. We swear by the Tree Runners from Allbirds, which are exceptionally lightweight and versatile. They come in both men’s and women’s sizes and a parade of colors. Made from lightweight eucalyptus fibers, which provides breathability these sneakers keep things light in case you want to pack them in your suitcase. They’re also machine-washable, so if you catch yourself in an unexpected rainstorm, just toss them in the wash and they’re good to go. Allbirds uses lots of sustainable materials in these shoes, including the eucalyptus tree fiber, a sugarcane-based midsole, castor bean oil-based insole foam, shoelaces made from recycled plastic bottles, and a merino wool heel lining. In fact, the Tree Runner shoe is carbon neutral. 

Sizes: 5-11 | Material: Eucalyptus tree fiber, merino wool

Best Leggings: Alo High-Waist Airbrush Legging

Alo High-waist Airbrush Legging

Amazon

Why We Love It: Softness, comfort, and a good stretch make these leggings the perfect addition to any suitcase.  

What to Consider: They pick up dirt, lint, and pet hair easily.

Leggings are always a must-have athleisure item when you’re traveling. They’re super versatile and can be worn not only for workouts but for casual days as well with an oversized tee or even paired with a long top for a nice dinner. This pair from Alo is super soft and comfortable, and they come in lots of different colors. The high waistline is great for tummy control, and four-way stretch means you’ll be able to move without feeling like the leggings are about to rip. We also like this pair because they’re moisture-wicking and odor-resistant, a plus for those long days on your feet while exploring a new city

Sizes: XXS-XL | Material: Nylon, spandex

Best Socks: Away Compression Socks

Away Compression Socks

Away

Why We Love It: Compression plus anti-odor technology pair for an essential travel sock. 

What to Consider: Sizes are not specific to shoe sizes, so you’ll have to refer to the size chart.

Compression socks are great for plane rides or any other occasion when you may be sitting for a long time. They help maintain blood flow, which in turn prevents foot-swelling and discomfort. No matter what mode of transportation you’re using, compression socks are helpful to have on hand for long periods of time in transit. These compression socks from Away come with anti-odor technology, and they’re quick-drying. Three simple colors are available.

Sizes: S-XL | Material: Organic cotton, polyester, lycra, nylon

Best Sports Bra: Lemedy Padded Sports Bra

Lemedy Padded Sports Bra

Amazon

Why We Love It: A comfy sports bra that doubles as a tank top is a smart way to save suitcase space. 

What to Consider: This sports bra is not ideal for those who need high-impact support.

Sports bras are obviously essential for workouts, but they’re also great for traveling, especially if you’re doing something active like hiking or biking. Lots of sports bras are also comfortable, so bringing one along for a casual, comfy outfit is a wise idea. This one from Lemedy doubles as a tank top, so you’re able to wear it by itself or paired with another shirt on top if you wish. It’s padded with removable pads, plus made with lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric for long days in the sun. Numerous colors are available. 

Sizes: S-2X | Material: Nylon, spandex

Best Tank Top: Royal Robbins Tech Travel Tank

Royal Robbins Tech Travel Tank

Moosejaw

Why We Love It: The criss-cross back is a nice touch that elevates the tank and adds versatility.

What to Consider: Only four colors are available.

A great tank top goes a long way while traveling. Pair it with an overshirt, wear it as is, or bring it along for a quick change of clothes after the beach. It’s always a great, versatile piece to have on hand. This tank from Royal Robbins is quick-drying, moisture-wicking, and even helps regulate body temperature. It’s made from Bluesign-approved material and has a cute criss-cross back and a scalloped hem. This essential is a great size for layering with a cardigan or a button-down top. 

Sizes: XS-XL | Material: Polyester, spandex

Tips for Buying Athleisure for Travel

Put comfort first

Travel often includes seemingly endless days, active nights, and lots of time in transit. Consider how much you’ll be moving and sitting, and be sure to pack clothing that will keep you comfortable all day long. Lightweight, stretchy fabrics like nylon and elastane are usually safe bets.

Choose the right size

Again, consider comfort here and buy things that will work with your body for extended periods of time. Don’t buy pieces that are too small and therefore constricting and uncomfortable, and don’t buy something too large that’s going to sag and make you spend an entire day adjusting.  

Consider compression 

Compression items work to maintain blood flow and reduce swelling and discomfort. Compression socks are a great item to take along on long flights and road trips, as are compression leggings. 

Dress for the weather

Prepare for any and all weather shifts that might happen throughout your trip. For example, pack a light hoodie for chilly mornings and a moisture-wicking tank top for warm afternoons. A windbreaker or raincoat is also always a good idea. 

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is the difference between athleisure and gym clothes?

    Gym clothes are mainly used for workouts, sports, and general exercise, whereas athleisure is more of a crossover type of clothing that can be worn for working out or casual, everyday wear. True workout clothes usually offer much more support, while athleisure won’t. 

  • How should I pack athleisure?

    Athleisure is generally made from thinner fabrics and lots of wrinkle-free materials. You can simply fold them as you would other items of clothing, or do the roll-up method for tighter packing. Packing cubes also work great. 

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure writers are experts when it comes to traveling, packing, and adventuring. They’re well-versed in travel products that actually work and make your time on the road or in the sky easier. For this article, Amanda Ogle used research and her personal expertise as a travel writer to craft the perfect list of athleisure for your next adventure.

Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we’ll send you our favorite travel products each week. 

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles