The Best Travel Pants for Women

Athleta’s Brooklyn Ankle Pant took the top spot.

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Best Travel Pants for Women Tout
Photo: Courtesy of Athleta and Eddie Bauer

Whether your next travel adventure involves biking, beaching, forest trekking, or waiting out a five-hour flight delay, comfortable pants are an absolute must-have. And while some ladies may prefer denim for their traveling pants — looking at you, Sisterhood — there are plenty of pant styles and materials that prove to be just as versatile in your wardrobe.

If we had to pick a favorite, it would be Athleta's Brooklyn Ankle Pant. There's just something about a sleek silhouette and a subtly elastic waist that makes travel days as effortlessly stylish as they are comfy — not to mention, the pants are wrinkle-resistant and super soft. But if they're not quite to your taste, keep reading. Our list includes everything from joggers to leggings to true dress pants.

T+L's Top Picks

Best Overall: Athleta Brooklyn Ankle Pant

Brooklyn Ankle Pant
Courtesy of Athleta

Why We Love It: They're wrinkle-resistant, equipped with secure pockets, and available in seven colors.

What to Consider: The elastic waist has little stretch.

These comfy travel pants took the number-one spot on our list because they're stretchy, stylish, and can be worn from the plane straight to lunch, a business meeting, or the nearest shopping district. Because they're so soft and versatile, you can even wear them as ultra-chic workout attire. But these pants are so much more than a fashion statement — they're also super convenient for navigating airports and new cities while staying wrinkle free. Both of the back pockets zip shut for security, while two front slip pockets are large enough to hold everything from your phone to your keys. We especially love that they come in 15 sizes with regular, tall, and petite options.

Sizes: 00 to 26 | Material: Recycled polyester, spandex | Number of Pockets: 4 | Care Instructions: Machine wash and dry

Most Pockets: Anatomie Skyler Five-pocket High-rise Pants

Skyler Travel Pant
Courtesy of Anatomie

Also available at Neiman Marcus

Why We Love It: They have a discreet pocket for everything, but they still look sleek.

What to Consider: They're the most expensive option on our list.

If you're looking for something slightly more polished, consider this slim-leg, wrinkle-resistant pair from Anatomie. They can be easily dressed up or down thanks to their flattering fit and side panels, and they come in three neutral-yet-rich colors. The high-waisted design features a zipper and two-button closure, and they'll feel comfy on long flights and car rides. And they have five subtle pockets — so feel free to skip the handbag.

Sizes: XS to XL | Material: Polyamide, elastane | Number of Pockets: 5 | Care Instructions: Wash cold inside out

Best Terry Cloth: Summersalt The Softest French Terry Pintuck Pants

The Softest French Terry Pintuck Pant
Courtesy of Summer Salt

Why We Love It: They couldn't be softer.

What to Consider: They're not wrinkle-resistant.

The closest style to sweatpants on our list, these sporty lounge pants are the type you'll never want to take off. They're designed with extra-soft, biodegradable material; a drawstring waist; and tapered legs. Plus, the pants' breathable fabric is great for year-round wear. Finish off your look with Summersalt's recently-released line of travelwear. It's the epitome of comfort meets style, and it perfectly complements the Pintuck pants.

Sizes: XS to 2X | Material: Lyocell, cotton, modal, spandex | Number of Pockets: 2 | Care Instructions: Machine wash cold gentle cycle, tumble dry low

Related: Stylish Swim Cover-ups to Live in at the Beach

Best Moisture-wicking: Eddie Bauer Departure Ankle Pants

Departure Ankle Pants
Courtesy of Eddie Bauer

Also available at Amazon

Why We Love It: The secure pockets offer anti-theft protection.

What to Consider: The fabric is very thin.

Designed with both sophistication and comfort in mind, these professional pants from Eddie Bauer will quickly become a business trip must-pack. The stretchy fabric makes sitting for long periods of time comfortable, while moisture-wicking construction keeps you dry and clean through every type of weather or beverage mishap. The lightweight pants are also made with 50+ UPF sun protection, and they even have two secure pockets on the back to store things like cash and cards.

Sizes: XS to XXL | Material: Polyester, spandex | Number of Pockets: 4 | Care Instructions: Machine wash cold delicate, tumble dry low

Best Stretchy: Eileen Fisher Stretch Crepe Slim Ankle Pants

Eileen Fisher Stretch Crepe Slim Ankle Pants
Courtesy of Nordstrom

Also available at Neiman Marcus

Why We Love It: They're comfy enough to exercise and even sleep in.

What to Consider: They don't have pockets.

These Eileen Fisher mainstays are stretchy like your favorite pair of leggings, yet chic like a sophisticated pair of dress pants. The stretch fabric is unlikely to wrinkle and crease on a plane or even in a suitcase, which allows for easy, worry-free travel. And because they're so well-constructed and breathable, you can travel in them every month of the year. Featuring a subtle elastic waistband and slightly cropped design, these simple and sleek pants can be worn everywhere from the airport to the office to the gym. Snag the ultra-comfy style in bone white, graphite gray, or black.

Sizes: XXS to XL | Material: Viscose, nylon, lycra | Number of Pockets: 0 | Care Instructions: Machine wash

Best Elastic Waist: Everlane The Easy Pant

The Easy Pant
Courtesy of Everlane

Why We Love It: They look like dress pants but feel like scrubs or pajama pants.

What to Consider: The actual colors vary slightly from how they appear online.

It's all in the name with these easy, breezy, elastic-waisted pants. Available in 10 sizes, they'll quickly become a travel favorite and possibly even an everyday favorite. The thick and comfy elastic waist allows you to quickly pull them on or off, and a not-too-loose, not-too-tight fit means they work for virtually every situation. Four roomy pockets hold an impressive amount of essentials, and a slightly cropped hemline hits just above the ankle. The pants come in five colors, but we're smitten with the fern green.

Sizes: 00 to 16 | Material: Cotton, elastane | Number of Pockets: 4 | Care Instructions: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low

Related: The Best Travel Accessories to Solve All Your Problems on the Go

Most Size-inclusive: Athleta Farallon Jogger

Farallon Jogger
Courtesy of Athleta

Why We Love It: They're basically fancy sweatpants.

What to Consider: They tend to stretch out.

These casual joggers are ideal for a warm-weather trip. The lightweight cotton is breathable and stretchy, and the style allows you to go straight from a morning hike to brunch just by swapping out your hiking boots for a pair of easy sandals and tossing on a relaxed-fit tank. We love the four comfy pockets, including two secure ones on the back, as well as a waist tie, elastic waistband, and elastic ankles. Our favorite thing about them, though? They come in 19 sizes with regular, tall, petite, and plus options.

Sizes: XXS to 3X | Material: Cotton, spandex | Number of Pockets: 4 | Care Instructions: Machine wash

Most Stylish: Banana Republic High-Rise Wide-Leg Performance Pant

Wide-Leg Pant
Courtesy of Banana Republic

Why We Love It: They're so lightweight, flattering, and comfy, we look for excuses to wear them.

What to Consider: They aren't good for colder weather.

These trendy wide-leg pants from Banana Republic may look like the type of dressy pants you'd wear to work or a holiday party, and they are — but their lightweight, breathable and wrinkle-resistant fabric also makes them a wise choice for travel. The linen in them makes them breezy and comfortable, especially for such a fashionable pair. They're equipped with four spacious pockets, an elastic waistband, and a full-length hemline that hits just above your feet. Snag them in three gorgeous colors and choose between regular, tall, and petite lengths.

Sizes: XXS to XXL | Material: Lyocell, linen, cotton | Number of Pockets: 4 | Care Instructions: Machine wash

Best Cropped: Outdoor Voices RecTrek Pant

Rectrek Pant
Courtesy of Outdoor Voices

Why We Love It: They're made to stand up to the elements, so they're the perfect outdoor pants.

What to Consider: They pill a bit, particularly in the thigh area.

These elevated athletic pants have a relaxed and cropped fit, making them a comfortable, versatile pant that you can just as easily wear on the plane as you can on a hike once you've reached your destination. They're especially great for outdoor wear since their stretchy, mobile material is "elements-resistant" — that means the pants can stand up to water, wind, and mud. The RecTreks are equipped with an elastic waist and four pockets, so they've got both storage and comfort for your travels.

Sizes: XS to XL | Material: Nylon, elastane | Number of Pockets: 4 | Care Instructions: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low

Tips for Buying Travel Pants

Put comfort first

Any clothing you plan to travel in should be comfy enough to sit in all day. When it comes to pants, you can't go wrong with stretchy material (like nylon, spandex, and elastane) and an elastic waist. These elements make for superior comfort both when walking around a new city and also when sitting for long periods of time in your plane, train, or car. You can, of course, find comfort in pants that have a zippered or buttoned waist, but make sure the pants fit you properly ahead of time. The last thing you want is to wear a pair of pants for the first time onto a plane, only to discover they're too tight or hit an uncomfortable spot on your torso.

Think about pockets

If you'll be changing out of your travel pants shortly after your flight ends, pockets aren't a major must-have. But if you have some time to kill before checking into your hotel or want to walk around your destination, opt for a pair of pants that include a few pockets. That way, you can sightsee or head to a business meeting with all of your essentials (cash, cards, your phone, etc.) in tow without having to carry a bag around.

Look for wrinkle-resistant options

Long flights, drives, and train rides tend to make for some wrinkly clothing — but not if you choose the right pieces. Go for pants made of fabrics like nylon and polyester, as they're resistant to wrinkles. Steer clear of cellulose-based materials like cotton and linen, which are some of the most easily-wrinkled fabrics.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure writers are travel experts who use personal experience as well as customer recommendations to choose the most stylish, reliable, and all-around best products for travelers. For this article, Hillary Maglin and the T+L staff researched countless pairs of travel pants and used their own expertise to put together the ideal list of pants to wear or pack for your next flight.

Up Next: The Best Crossbody Bags for Travelers

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