The Best Travel Pants for Men
By Tanner Garrity / October 27, 2019 9:06 pm

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. 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 post baggage-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 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.

Uniqlo Dry Stretch Sweatpants

The best deal you’re going to find here, and a long-time favorite of InsideHook editors. True to form for Uniqlo, this is an article of clothing that far outperforms its accessible price-tag. These Dry Stretch sweats are comprised of a polyester-cotton blend, and feature two zippered 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 pairs we don’t know what is.

Public Rec All Day Every Day Pant

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 Ace Sweatpant

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.

Roark Revival Layover Pant

Roark Revival is a nomadic brand; its creatives take long trips to specific locals like Iceland or Jamaica, then put their heads together to draw up a new collection. So they know what they’re doing in the way of travel, and the cotton-nylon Layover Pant is as reliable as it gets on flight-day. These pants are vented to keep you from overheating on the plane, feature a drawstring waist closure so you don’t have to show TSA a belt, and has three back pockets (one large enough to hold a phone). Choose from a few cool colors, including blue and military green.

Rhone Original Commuter Pant

The only pant here that’s over $100, 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.

Vuori Ponto Performance Pant

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 pant, and loose in all the right regions.

Faherty Brand Sweatpant

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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