1. These all look great! My husband has Bluffworks pants and they’re so perfect for travel (and hiking, work, going out, and everything else), and I’m super jealous they don’t make a women’s version. Will have to look into one of these!

  2. The prAna pair is going on my wishlist!

  3. Not only did your post make me chuckle, these trousers sound amazing! Why is it so hard to find trousers that fit well, look good and are super comfy? Thanks for sharing your finds! Making a note! 🙂

  4. I seriously talk shit about how bad womens outdoor/travel pants are. Why are they so narrow? Does no one else have an ass? I do like the Halle pant from prana but need to check out the jeans you mentioned. I had no idea about these ex officio pants! I’m getting these immediately.

    • RIGHT?! Like, y’all know that not all outdoorsy/travel loving women are tiny, right? Hiking gives you leg muscles for DAYSSSSS, including that poppin’ booty! I mean, that’s not why *I* happen to have such a curvaceous lower half, but whatever. Hope you like the pants as much as I do!

  5. This is great! I’m always looking for new comfy but stylish pants to wear while travelling! I’ll have to check out each of these brands. Thank you for sharing!! 🙂

  6. Great tip on Mens’ Wearhouse – I’m 5’2″ and even petite pants sometimes require hemming! Definitely going to check out the Aviator jeans, already a big fan of Prana and ExOfficio!

  7. I had to laugh all through this post about your pocket obsession. I totally agree- traditional women’s pants are terrible with pockets! I have two small boys and constantly need to hold rocks, pinecones (ouch), matchbox cars and other “essentials” not to mention a phone, Kleenex, etc. I have a 10 year old pair of Eddie Bauer cargo shorts. Absolutely unattractive but oh so functional with yes! a zippered pocket!! They are threadbare but I will keep wearing them until I find a “suitable” replacement….and you may have done that. Love the post— I’ll be a follower now!

    • LOL you totally get me! I definitely have a few pairs of pants that were threadbare … several years ago, but I love them so much that they’re just held together entirely with sewed-on patches and hope at this point. Good pants are hard to find!

  8. Yes, I have ordered the Prana pants, but there are a lot of complaints about the small pockets. What gives?

    • Hmmm that’s a good point – the Prana pant has LOTS of pockets, but they aren’t very BIG (at least not like the Aviator jeans, which are luscious and huge). The front pockets are your typical too-small lady-pocket size, the back pockets are big enough for a phone or wallet, and the hidden zip pocket is just the right size for a credit card. It’s definitely not those cargo-pant style hiking pants that you can put everything in. I still recommend them, though. I typically have a hydration pack or daybag when I hike for snacks etc, but the Prana Halle pant pockets are big enough for pocket things like a point and shoot camera, phone, lip balm, etc.

      Unless of course, they’ve changed the design and made the pockets smaller since I bought these a couple years back – please report back!

  9. I bought the Prana Halle pants in size 10, short. The length was too long (easily fixed) but the rise is miniature. I usually can wear low-rise pants and the waistband is at my waist. It is so short that there’s no way to hold them up, unless with a too-tight drawstring. By the time I realized that was true, I had washed and hemmed them, so they are unreturnable. If you don’t like low-rise, you won’t like these. Also, the buttons (yes, two, arranged vertically) are very hard to both do up and open. If I were to keep them, I’d find another way to fasten them. The fabric seems good: just order them in the right size!

    • Hi Susan, I’m so sorry to hear that! Hmm, my size 12’s aren’t low-rise … they hit me right around my belly button. I do have to use the drawstring to keep them there, though. I reallllly hope they haven’t changed the fit since I bought mine! Think I’ll go to REI and try a few on just to make sure.

  10. Thanks for introducing me to world of “I don’t have to look ugly to love the outdoors”. Hubby and I are planning a combo trip to Europe in August. The first half of the trip is full of hiking adventures in Switzerland while the second half is about exploring Paris/MSM. Needless to say trying to fit the right clothes and not look out place, in a carry-on is a challenge. BUT, you might have saved the day. The Aviator jeans just went to the top of my “must buy” list and I’m officially checking out the ExOfficio pants for flight days and long train ride days. I own the Prana Halle in black and tan from our trip to Alaska! Yay for the budget. Thank you again and I love reading your blog!

    • YES I’m so glad I helped, Deb! The Aviator jeans are AMAZINGGGGG and I love the ExOfficio pants for travel days. Love that you’ve already got a pair of Halle pants 😛 you’re gonna have the trifecta!

  11. I’ve just discovered your blog and I LOVE it. Your writing style and content really appeal to me and you are honest and hilarious! Enough gushing…

    …apart from this post deserves so much more gushing!! Yes yes and yes! Ugly bastard travel pants are an irritance at best.

    I found some random berghouse ones once which just looked like normal slightly bootlegged trousers with one relatively inconspicuous zip mid thigh. They were indestructable on hikes/ in caves despite being pretty lightweight. Unfortunately I’m now too big for them..

    I’ve also had some success with a company called Rohan in the UK who make a jeans ish product with a genuinely hidden pocket and really big other pockets. I took one to South America and lived in it. My whole passport and my phone disappear easily in the front pockets… it was the dream!

    I must have these Aviator jeans ASAP. I feel like they will make my life!!

    Thanks for writing – Am excited to have a new blog to follow!

    • Hey Michelle! I’m so flattered, you’re the sweetest!! I totally tried on some Rohan pants before we left but they did NOT fit me at all … they fit like men’s pants labelled as women’s. IDK what was going on there. But the jeans you’re describing sound just like the Aviator jeans that I’m totally obsessed with so YES! You’re gonna love them! 🙂

  12. I really really appreciate you guys!! Your sincerity & honesty shine through, and for those of us planning our own multi-month adventures, this blog is a very valuable resource!!!
    That being said, I’d love some more help. I couldn’t find any post on which bags/packs you guys used, and I’d love to know what did & didn’t work for you!!!
    Keep being awesome, we’ll be following along!

  13. Thanks for this round-up! I’m a short (5’3″), curvy-ish woman who’s had real difficulty finding hiking/active/travel pants that fit me properly, and your article gave me hope that manufacturers are finally paying attention.

    I headed to my local REI earlier today and was surprised to find that I now have real options. Unfortunately, the prAna Halle pants are too low-rise to fit me comfortably, but I found a very similar style in the Kuhl Spire Roll-up pants which offer a mid-rise as well as the added drawstring (with the button and zipper closure) for a more secure fit around my waist. I was also happy to find a decent fit in the Columbia Saturday Trail pants; they’re a little loose in the waist but can still be comfortably worn without a belt.

    I nearly ended up with a pair of REI Taereen pants, too, if not for color considerations.

    Note: I normally wear a 6 but came away with size 8s—8 short in Columbia and 8 regular in Kuhl. I could’ve used a short in the Kuhls, but those won’t be available until August 2018 (according to the Kuhl website).

    • This is such great information, thank you! I’ll have to head to REI and do a little research (aka trying on pants and dancing around in the mirror. For “research.”) I did pick up a pair of the prAna Meme pants recently and they’re pleasantly high-waisted and very cute, although a big snug compared to the Halle pants, so I think they’re going to be better for city travel than hiking and outdoorsy adventures.

  14. I am totally with you on the patriarchy of the pockets! I usually wear men’s pants because, you know, pockets, and I can’t be arsed to be fashionable. So, aviator jeans sounded like they might be worth a try but their pants sizes don’t exactly get large, a 32 inch waist/14 being the max.

    • I hear you, Sara! I actually have some *~*~*~insider knowledge*~*~* that Aviator is planning to release a few larger sizes for women soon, thanks to demand coming from my readers, like you! Which I’m SO thrilled about, because like, how often does a pant company actually make an effort to meet the needs of fat, adventurous, awesome women like us?! So stay tuned – I’m not sure when the release is of the bigger sizes but I know they’re working on it now, and I will be shouting from the rooftops the minute they’re in stock!

  15. Hi! I did a search for best travel pants and landed here. I cannot thank you enough for pointing me to these jeans and hiking pants! I ordered both and prepared for disappointment but they both fit perfectly! The sizing tips at the Aviator and Prana sites were spot on too.

    You are so right about the general hideousness of hiking pants. My old ones are going in the give away bag. Because they are hideous.

    Thanks again!

  16. I was excited to try the Aviator jeans but they don’t carry plus sizes – that I could find. Maybe they’ll add them eventually. Thanks for all the great travel tips, though!

    • Hey, Lori! We’ve actually been informed that Aviator is working on adding extended sizes (thanks in no small part to my incredible readers!). They’ll be rolling out a few additional sizes later this year. So please check back!

  17. Hi Lia: Thanks for all the useful info on women’s travel pants! I completely agree with you that the pockets are so important (and of course fit/style, as well as quality) but yet most clothing brands ignore women customers! I’ll have to wait and see if Aviator gets the size 16 back in stock. Or maybe I should lose weight…

    Anyways, my favorite travel pants to wear are the Royal Robbins Cardiff or Cardigan pants for a more dressier look; the fit and waist is comfortable (stretch/adjustable) and it does have a lower thigh zipper pocket that is large enough for a US passport or most smartphones and it’s easy wash and fast drying.

    My other travel pants with the front thigh pockets are: EX Officio Nomads, Royal Robbins Discovery, REI Sahara rollups, Columbia Cascades, Columbia Aruba (runs waay small/tight!), Kuhl Durango, and the Costco/Kirkland Ladies travel pants. I still have but haven’t worn for several years, some older cargo style hiking pants with the zip legs because they just look, ugh! I’ll probably donate them this year.

    And now that we’re older, we don’t do major hiking excursions but do the day outings and come back to the nice hotels, so we prefer to wear the nicer looking pants! We’ll usually travel for at least 3-4 weeks and each bring one personal backpack/purse and pack one carry on each. Used to pack 4 pairs of pants but now we usually travel with only two pairs of long pants, so they have to be easy wash, fast drying, not bulky and look decent. And of course good, functional pockets overall and the zippered thigh cell phone/passport pocket!

    But the Costco ones, while comfortable have useless shallow pockets for stuff to fall out and their zip thigh pocket is kind of a joke – it isn’t even large enough for a passport! But I guess the Costco buyers and designers didn’t read my and some other customer’s comments to design the next ones to make the thigh/cell front pocket bigger/usable and the other pockets to be deeper and also secure to really call them travel pants and to also make them regular length and not the choppy ankle length since they have them again this year with the same shortcomings!

    I read Sara’s comments above that she likes the men’s pants because they are designed better (more secure & functional pockets!) and agree that men have better choices in travel pants! Costco (and Amazon) carry the UB (Unionbay) Tech Rainier men’s travel pants so my husband likes those for travel and regular wear because it has the nice cell phone zip pocket on the front thigh and it doesn’t have the large cargo flaps or zip legs, so these UB tech pants look dressier and don’t scream hiking pants!

    I actually emailed Union Bay and Costco asking them to make a women’s version, but no response. Even Sam’s Club carries several decent men’s travel shirts, pants and shorts of course, with great/functional zipper secured pockets, wicking and quick dry. The brand is ZeroExposur. But nothing for women. There’s some other brands of shorts or capri length pants that would probably take the whole day to dry!

    Another company that Costco carries and that makes decent outdoor clothes is 32 Degrees. Once in a closeout outlet store, I saw a pair of women’s pants that I never saw at Costco and it actually looked pretty decent for travel pants. Fabric looked like it would dry quickly too Of course, they didn’t have my size and of course picky me still saw some things that could be improved, like making the zip pocket larger/functional. Costco sells this pants version as shorts and I have and like the shorts but of course, the current pocket design isn’t functional-too shallow and small. Of course I emailed 32 Degrees with the compliments on the current design and suggestions to make their travel pants and shorts better, but never heard back.

    I think these clothing companies are missing out on a big market! Of course my other pet peeve is trying to find the best personal sized carry on purse/backpack. I have a collection of Pacsafe totes, Travelon tote/backpack, Sherpani tote/backpack and several others! Need it to be large enough to carry my personal stuff, but not overwhelming and heavy. Enough room to put anything we might buy or if hubby’s pack is too heavy (always!), I’ll transfer some of his electronics into mine.

    Have you heard of the “Clothing Arts” company that markets as “pick pocket proof”clothing? On their website, it shows that they use a series of pockets, zippers, hidden zippers to make it more difficult for a pickpocket but it seems to work. Slows them down enough, so you “feel” them trying to open the zippers and realize what’s happening so they give up. They have men’s “dressier” pants but of course only the casual style with the cargo flaps for women! I’m tempted to try it though, as the pockets do seem practical and functional and their pants seem to hit all the checkboxes for travel pants.

    But meanwhile, I’ll wait for the Aviator jeans to come back in stock!

    Thanks again for all the great travel info and entertaining stories!

    • Thanks for all this insanely useful information, Cay! I’m so glad I’m not the only one with A LOT OF FEELINGS about women’s pants. Why, why, WHY is it so hard to find decent travel pants for women? Especially plus sized women!? Especially women who want pockets?!!?!?!?! WHY!?! It is absolutely a gaping hole in the market, you’re 100% right, and how frustrating that these companies aren’t listening to their consumers – like you! I’m beyond thrilled that Aviator is extending their sizes thanks to input from my readers and from women like you – we need to keep asking for what we need. Like, HELLO, there is money to be made here! Don’t you people like money?!

      It’s something I spend a lot of time being frustrated about and I’d really like to get involved in changing this. I’d love to have like, a line of awesome travel clothing that runs in extended sizes and actually looks as amazing as it is functional. Now THAT would be a great melding of my 2 passions, fashion design and travel. Hmmm ….

    • Thank you for this article and for being a REAL HUMAN BEING! I swear, I can’t find a freaking guide for good pants because instagram has told all women they have to wear a red dress to hike machu picchu!

      • Hey, I mean, I’m def not gonna judge you if you want to bring a dress along on your hike and throw it on for your photos 😉 but no, I wouldn’t recommend hiking in it 😛

  18. I just found your site while searching for the best travel pants, and I’m delighted that not only did I find some excellent trouser recommendations (for REAL women who do REAL things! Imagine that?!), but discovered an awesome and hilarious blog and IG account to follow!

  19. Hi — do you have any suggestions for an alternative to the quietude lounge pants? They no longer seem to be available. 🙁

    • Ahhhhhh I’m so glad you told me this, THANK YOU! I’ve begun my hunt for the perfect replacement pair and I WILL find something that’s as good as the quietude pants (RIP). I’ve added a couple of links for alternatives that I’m currently exploring and I’ll keep this post updated with my findings and research! (I mean, I say research but let’s be honest, all I need to know is how hard can I flomp in these pants and also where do I put my snacks.)

  20. I was excited about your post, like everyone else. I chose the Royal Robbins leggings, because POCKETS, and I like buying on Amazon where I know the return policy. I do love the leggings feel, fit, look, but really, the pockets??? Your Samsung must be smaller than my old iPhone, because it won’t zip shut. I’m still searching for the perfect pants. These aren’t – – – –

    • I’m so sorry to hear that they didn’t work for you, Linda! For anyone else wondering, I have a Samsung Galaxy S7 which is pretty big, and it fits into the pockets and zips shut thanks to the stretch in the pants. Sure, you can pretty clearly see there’s something in there (and you can even tell in the photo above) but it definitely fits!

  21. Your website is the most delightful thing I’ve found on the internet all week and this incredibly thoughtful and thorough review has helped solidify my decision to splurge on a pair of Halle pants for my birthday! Yay, and thank you!

  22. This is great! I’m always looking for new comfy but stylish pants to wear while traveling! I’ll have to check out each of these brands. Thank you for sharing!!

  23. Hi, can you tell me where the vest/scarf are from in the Boston bakery photo? I really love that combo!

    • I wish I had a helpful answer for you but I picked them up in random places! The vest was from some boutique in the Finger Lakes region of NY and I don’t have a clue where the scarf is from, I sort of collect scarves 😛

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