The 10 Best Breathable Leggings for Travel in 2023

Alo’s High-waist Airbrush Legging is comfy, flexible, and stylish.

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Best Breathable Leggings

Amazon

Many of us wear leggings almost all the time, whether we’re working out or enjoying a leisurely day at home. A great pair of leggings is an essential aspect of the modern wardrobe, and any great pair is going to be stretchy, comfortable, and thick enough to pass the squat test. Another crucial element of a quality pair of leggings is breathability, as you’ll want your pair to wick away sweat and keep you cool while on the move

We’ve rounded up the best breathable leggings for all types of activities. Our favorite is Alo’s High-waist Airbrush Legging, which is available in more than a dozen colors and checks numerous boxes for comfort, flexibility, breathability, versatility, and design. But if you’re in the market for something else or want to keep your closet stocked with a pair for every occasion, head to our list below — it includes everything from cropped leggings and sustainable picks to budget options and more.

Best Overall

Alo High-Waist Airbrush Legging

Alo Yoga High-Waist Airbrush Legging

Alo

Why We Love It: The four-way stretch and numerous colors make these a comfortable and versatile pair of leggings. 

What to Consider: These leggings hit at the navel, so if you’re looking for something higher-waisted, these might not be for you.

Available in 14 colors, we give these leggings a Best Overall rating because they’re highly versatile and so comfortable you won’t want to take them off. Designed to smooth, lift, and sculpt, these leggings look good on any body type. Wear them with an oversized tee and sneakers or pair them with a cute gym tank top. Any way you style them, you’ll love their polished look and multi-functionality. They feature a high waistline, which we appreciate for comfort and practicality, and they’re made without side seams for added mobility while you’re exercising. They have a yogi-tested fit, four-way stretch for flexibility, and they’re moisture-wicking and odor-resistant. 

Price at time of publish: $98

Sizes: XXS to XL  | Material: Nylon, spandex

Best Budget

Colorfulkoala High Waisted Yoga Pants

4.6
Colorfulkoala Women's High Waisted Yoga Pants 7/8 Length Leggings with Pockets

Amazon

Why We Love It: At this price, with 34 colors and patterns to choose from, you may just want to buy in bulk.

What to Consider: These leggings run a bit short, so they may hit at the ankles of taller wearers.

If you’re looking for a pair of leggings without a big investment, these from Colorfulkoala are a great starting point. Users say these are "buttery soft," perfect for any sport, a long travel day, and lounging around your home. The thick waistband is designed to provide a bit of compression without restricting movement or causing discomfort. The two side pockets are also large enough to store your phone, ID, locker keys, or anything else you may need in a pinch. Choose from dozens of colors and patterns to make these athleisure leggings a new staple in your travel and workout wardrobe.

Price at time of publish: $25

Sizes: XS to XL  | Material: Polyester, spandex

Best for Casual Wear

Zella Live In High Waist Leggings

Zella Live In High Waist Leggings

Nordstrom

Why We Love It: The wide waistband offers tummy control, which we love for lounging or working out. 

What to Consider: The material can attract lint.

Made from moisture-wicking fabric that’s fitted, these leggings are a simple, smart choice for casual days. They have a no-slip waistband that has a hidden pocket, and they’re super stretchy, making them great for a workout or cozy days at home. Available in both black and gray, these leggings can be paired with an oversized sweater to have you ready for a casual day of lounging around the house or running errands. 

Price at time of publish: $59

Sizes: XXS-2X  | Material: Polyester, spandex

Best High-waisted

BALEAF Workout Leggings

BALEAF Women’s Workout Leggings

Amazon

Why We Love It: The strong material holds up for the long haul.

What to Consider: The pocket sits right in front of the leggings instead of on the side.

High-waisted leggings are great for extra tummy control and support, and these from Baleaf get the job done well. A wide waistband means full coverage and no muffin top, which is perfect for yoga, running, hiking, cycling, and pretty much any workout. There’s a hidden pocket in the waistband for storing your key or a card while on the move. The nylon/spandex mix here is moisture-wicking and compressive, but it isn’t see-through. Lots of colors are available, including a trendy sage and a rich purple. 

Price at time of publish: $29 in Black, Medium

Sizes: XS-3X  | Material: Nylon, spandex

Best for Yoga

Lululemon High-Rise Align Pant 28"

4.8
lululemon Align™ High-Rise Pant 28"

Lululemon

Why We Love It: Sweat-wicking, ultra-soft fabric is a win for any yogi. 

What to Consider: Take care to machine wash these in cold water.

Featuring an array of colors and three different lengths to choose from, these Align leggings were made specifically for yoga. They’re super lightweight and created from fine fibers that keep the fabric buttery soft, and they’re constructed with as few seams as possible for a comfortable flow. There’s a small hidden pocket in the waistband to store a card or a key, and four-way stretch plus moisture-wicking fabric means you can keep on practicing poses without stopping to dab away sweat. Your next yoga retreat won’t be complete without them.

Price at time of publish: $98

Sizes: 0 to 20 | Material: Nylon, lycra, elastane

Best Cropped

Nike Pro 365 Women's Mid-Rise Cropped Mesh Panel Leggings

Nike Pro 365
Nike Pro 365.

Amazon

Why We Love It: The mesh calves help with airflow and add an extra stylish element.

What to Consider: Certain colors can become see-through during some exercises.

We love these cropped leggings because they’re made to work for all types of fitness sessions, and they’re still casual enough to wear while running errands or boarding a flight. The material wicks away sweat and dries fast to keep you on the go, and the sculpting fit is an added perk that will have you feeling your best. They're also made with at least 50 percent recycled materials (made from plastic water bottles), so you can feel good about reducing waste when you purchase them.

Price at time of publish: $45

Sizes: XXS to 3XL | Material: Polyester, spandex

Best With Pockets

Wolven Leggings

Fauna Ruched Crossover Legging

Courtesy of Wolven

Why We Love It: Large side pockets and thick, supportive fabric make these perfect for a range of activities. 

What to Consider: They may show sweat during tough workouts.

Wolven takes more than 27 plastic bottles and recycles them into each pair of these comfortable and supportive leggings. The two spacious side pockets can hold a large phone, your keys, credit cards, or anything essential that you’ll need easy access to while on the go, and the crossover waistband creates a silhouette that flatters your figure. With fun patterns and bright colors to choose from, you'll want to wear these while working out, traveling, or just running around town.

Price at time of publish: $88

Sizes: XS to XXL | Material: Recycled polyethylene terephthalate, spandex

Best Sustainable

tentree InMotion High Rise Legging

5
TenTree InMotion High Rise Legging

Dick's Sporting Goods

Why We Love It: An awesome company ethos paired with a super soft and comfy legging is a win-win. 

What to Consider: The pocket is only large enough for a card or key, not a phone.

With every item purchased, TenTree plants 10 trees and helps divert trash from landfills while conserving water. These InMotion leggings are primed for everything from hiking and cycling to a movie night at home. There are two hidden waistband pockets, four-way stretch knit fabric, and a high-rise waistband that sits at or above the navel. Numerous colors are available — we think the twilight mauve and agave green are particularly stylish and unique.

Price at time of publish: $58

Sizes: XS to XXL | Material: Recycled polyester, elastane

Best Size-inclusive

Athleta Salutation Stash Pocket

Athleta Salutation Stash Pocket II 7/8 Tight

Athleta

Why We Love It: These come in sizes for petite, regular, and tall wearers.

What to Consider: The waistband may roll downward.

Elevate your yoga practice with these leggings made from second-skin Powervita fabric for a smooth and flattering fit. Buttery soft, you'll happily wear these when heading to the mat — or grocery store — to maximize comfort. They also feature two side pockets large enough to fit most phones while still binding to your sides to prevent anything from slipping out. With regular, tall, and petite sizes to choose from, you can make sure you get the perfect fit for your body shape.

Price at time of publish: $109

Sizes: XXS petite to 3XL and tall | Material: Nylon, lycra

Best for Workouts

Gymshark Adapt Camo Seamless Leggings

Seamless Leggings

Gymshark

Why We Love It: The smooth, nylon material feels more like tights without sacrificing your coverage during most exercises.

What to Consider: Some colors may become translucent during squats.

High-intensity workouts such as cardio, hot yoga, kickboxing, and pilates oftentimes require a pair of leggings that can keep up with copious amounts of sweating. These leggings from Gymshark are made with sweat-wicking tech to keep you cool and dry during even the most intense workouts. They also feature a ruched-detailing to the backside, a high-waisted fit, and seamless, all over fabric, that prevents uncomfortable clinging while you move. The camo pattern also covers most areas that become translucent during squats, so you can focus during any workout.

Price at time of publish: $60

Sizes: XS to XXL | Material: Nylon, elastane, polyester

Tips for Buying Breathable Leggings

Look for stretch

Having a stretchy pair of leggings is imperative for comfort and performance. You’ll want to look for a pair of leggings that allows you to move and stretch. Stretchy leggings also have a better chance of passing the squat test (meaning see-through spots don’t appear when you’re working on your glutes). Look for products that call out synthetic fabrics like lycra, elastane, or spandex for the most stretch. Minimal seams and flat-stitching also help provide an unconstricted feel. 

Consider compression

Compression is great for keeping your leggings close to the skin, which keeps them from falling down, sagging, or sliding loosely around your legs while moving. Look for a pair with at least some compression, but how much compression is up to you. You don’t want your leggings to be so tight that they’re uncomfortable. 

Utilize size guides

Lots of companies not only have standard sizes for leggings, but also list inseam lengths and full legging lengths. This is important for both tall and short people wanting to find a pair of leggings that fits them perfectly. 

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What type of legging materials are the most breathable?

    A mix of nylon and spandex (i.e. lycra or elastane) leggings are going to be your best bet. Nylon is lightweight, sweat-wicking, stretchy, flattering, and doesn’t wrinkle. Adding spandex into the mix gives you additional stretch and comfort. 

  • Can breathable leggings be worn year-round?

    Yes! If you’re in a colder climate or going to be exposed to cold for long periods of time, you might want to find a pair of leggings that aren’t as breathable and will keep you warmer while outside, but, overall, you can wear breathable leggings all year round for workouts or staying at home. 

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this article, Amanda Ogle and Taylor Fox used research and their personal expertise as travel and commerce writers to craft the perfect list of breathable leggings for your next adventure.

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