These 7 Pants Are Perfect for Long Travel Days
No more flying in pajamas
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Unless your flight is under two hours, you shouldn’t be flying in jeans. Or chinos. Or khakis. Pack all the stiff, scratchy, belt-requiring pair of pants you want, but don’t wear them to the airport. You need a pair of travel pants. Flights are uncomfortable enough (and getting more uncomfortable — less legroom is the new normal) without you needing to fidget and readjust after every hint of turbulence.
No matter what’s waiting at your destination, whether it’s a meeting, a honeymoon, or just home, it is always worth taking two minutes postbaggage-check and pre-Uber to commandeer an airport bathroom stall and change into something more presentable, than to sacrifice comfort for a formal aesthetic.
That said, these days you might not even need to change. A troupe of young, plucky brands have taken it upon themselves to create travel pants in recent years that retain (or even trump) the comfort of a pajama pant or sweatpant, in colors and cuts that look appropriate in a variety of situations. It’s a fortunate offshoot of the clothing revolution pioneered by activewear, and perfectly applicable to a day spent at the airport and in the sky.
Below, we’ve rounded up seven superior examples from labels in the menswear space. These pants often have stretch capabilities (with cotton-synthetic blends), come packed with zippered pockets, and will not require you to take off a belt in the security line. They’re all comfy as hell, too, and easy to fall asleep in when it matters most. From Mack Weldon to Faherty, here are our favorites.
The best joggers you’re going to find here, and a long-time favorite of InsideHook editors. True to form for Lulu, this is an article of clothing that far outperforms its price tag. These four-way stretch sweats are comprised of a polyester-nylon blend and feature two deep hand pockets, so you don’t lose your passport back at baggage check. One of our editors once said he wants to be buried in them, so if that’s not enough to pick up a couple of pairs we don’t know what is.
Chicago-based Public Rec was a Kickstarter darling back in 2015 when they sold 2,000 pairs of sweatpants. They’ve since branched out to all manner of versatile activewear, but the original All Day Every Pant is still their crown jewel, and now available in nine different colors. What makes it so special? Four zippered pockets, tapered legs, elastic waistband, and creatively — a faux front fly, so you’ll look reasonably formal. Joke’s on them.
Mack Weldon’s Silver Trunk won best overall for our underwear round-up earlier this year. The in-house comfiness gold standard applies to its sweats, too, which are made with a micro-sanded French Terry cotton. Probably not a bad idea for any flight out of your time zone to just wear Mack Weldon briefs and a pair of Ace Sweatpants. That combo could even make the middle seat bearable. It’s got function, too — we’re fans of the zippered pocket on the right thigh.
Coalatree is probably Mother Nature’s favorite brand; its Evolution line is made from recycled coffee grounds with a waterless dye technique to minimize waste, and the fabric remains insanely comfortable through washes for all-day wear. Equipped with zippered pockets to keep your essentials safely within reach, these travel pants also pack into their own pocket, making them easy to stash and carry. When you’re traveling to and from your destination, the quick-drying material promotes breathability to maintain comfort.
The only pant here that’s priced the same as Lululemon, but you know what you’re getting with Rhone. They’ve double down on their “transit” offerings in recent years, often with surprisingly formal-seeming looks. For those extremely busy, completely-unwilling-to-get-changed folk, you can reasonably wear these to a meeting for dinner. They’re made from a Japanese stretch fabric that’s got a bit of polyester, so they’ll come in handy, too, if you’ve gotta make a run for the gate. Choose from a ton of colors, and pick your exact size.
We wear these pants to the gym over a pair of shorts, usually with keys and assorted cards tucked into the zippered back pocket. They are unconscionably soft and made by Vuori, a San Diego County-based activewear brand that’s been around since 2013. This is a great option for people who don’t vibe with the tailored look of a jogger or ribbed sweatpants; it’s a straight travel pant, and loose in all the right regions.
Another brand that obliterated a previous round-up, Faherty scored two entries in our “shackets” round-up. Those superlatives were “Softest” and “Coziest,” so you can trust their sweatpants to keep your lower half happy on an unhappy day. They’re probably the most pajama-y pick here, so reserve these for any flight you expect to sleep for an extended period of time on.
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