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When it comes to adventure travel, you need the very best in versatility and performance to enable you to pack light, but still have everything you need. Our best travel trousers are the perfect bits of kit to keep up with you no matter where you go, from humid rainforests to rocky mountainsides, cities, towns, and everywhere in between. 


Best Travel Trousers: TL/DR Summary

The style and fit of travel trousers are very much a personal choice, but when it comes to the top of the tree the Rohan Riviera Stretch Trousers and the no less impressive Fjallraven Vidda Pro Lite Trousers are right up there, offering excellent comfort and practicality with little fuss. The insect-repelling abilities of the Rohans are another key plus, especially if you're unfortunate enough to be considered 'tasty' by mosquitos. 

Best Travel Trousers: How to buy

Whether you're buying travel trousers for men or women, the most obviously important factor is comfort, which is usually down to the cut and fit of the trouser - some are designed for more athletic pursuits, some not, so it's essential to choose travel trousers that suit your plans. Most good travel trousers have zipped pockets by default, which is great news for the careless, as well as good for security, and usually travel trousers will feature cargo-style thigh pockets too, which are perfect for stashing travel documents near to hand.

Quick-drying and lightweight materials are also key to a pleasant experience, and trousers that are adjustable (zip off legs and the like) are often an excellent choice for the lightweight traveller, adding flexibility to your travel wardrobe for very little weight penalty.  

In addition, it's worth keeping an eye out for travel gear that has insect repellent impregnated into the fabric - especially if you're headed off the beaten track or into warmer climates. Wherever you're headed, you'd be wise to consider the best footwear for the job too, so take a glance through our best lightweight walking boots feature for highly-travel friendly foot cladding.

Rohan Stretch Bag Shorts

Sometimes nothing will do but a pair of quality shorts, and these are very much in the top-quality bracket. Deceptively simple, the Stretch Bag Shorts are lightweight (260 grams), very packable, and fast-drying too - all ideal travel factors. You also get four zippered security pockets in addition to the ‘drop in’ hand pockets, and a D ring for keys and similar essentials. 

The MultiFlex stretch fabric (94% polyamide, 6% elastane) is designed for all day comfort and is crease-resistant to boot. Available in three colourways, these are arguably the ideal travel short, wherever your adventures take you. 

Buy Rohan Stretch Bag Shorts: £77 at

Fjallraven Vidda Pro Lite Trousers

The Vidda Pro Lite trousers are optimised for warm weather conditions. Being built out of G-1000 Air Stretch, these trousers are much thinner than their heavier Vidda Pro counterparts, but they still have decent wind resistance and enough material to keep your legs warm in an autumn breeze. They’re still very durable too, thanks to Fjallraven’s commitment to crafting long-lasting kit. Other than the material change the Vidda Pro Lite trousers are the same as their big brother, with articulated stitching to the knees, an adjustable hem, and a very useful range of pockets, especially if you’re into your bushcraft.

Buy Fjallraven Vidda Pro Lite Trousers: £114 at

Rohan Riviera Stretch Trousers

The Riviera Trousers have all the attributes of excellent travel trousers, with a loose cut, quick drying, lightweight material and stretch for improved freedom of movement. The advanced blend of polyamide and elastane is hard wearing as well as comfortable, naturally wicking and protective in most travel conditions. A secret added bonus is the Insect Shield technology, which sees Permethrin baked into the fabric for long-lasting and effective protection from insects including mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers and midges.

A usual complement of pockets rounds matters off, but there’s also a deep zipped pocket to protect valuables for good measure.  

Buy Rohan Riviera Stretch Trousers: £95 at

Prana Halle Pants 

The Prana Halle Pants may well be the ultimate cross-activity pant for climbers, hikers, backpackers and post-activity craft beer sippers.

Soft, extremely comfortable and stretchy, the relaxed style of the Halle Pants will appeal to those who like functional, stylish activewear that looks good both on and off the trail. 

The key to their hybrid casual-slash-performance DNA is the lightweight, wrinkle-resistant Stretch Zion fabric. Stretchy, soft, durable and breathable, the DWR coated Stretch Zion fabric does a great job of moving with you on the trail, wicking moisture away from the skin, and keeping you dry in light showers. 

If things get warm out on the crag or trail and you’re looking for additional ventilation, then the roll-up leg feature will definitely be appreciated. Articulated knees and a hidden zip thigh stash pocket are two more examples of technical features that came in very handy.

In terms of fit, the Halle Pants claim to be ‘mid-rise’ but our US 6/UK 10 test pants sat right on our hips and felt more like a low-rise pant. Length-wise, you have a choice of 3 options – Short (30”), Regular (32”) and Long (36”) – and the regular 32 inch inseam of the test pair was perfect for our 5’6” frame.

Buy Prana Halle Pants: £77


    Patagonia Quandary Convertible.jpgPatagonia Quandary Convertible 

    The Quandary Convertible pants have got their eyes firmly fixed on long hot summers exploring the world. The lightweight material is woven mostly from nylon with a sprinkling of elastane. 

    Elastane adds a small amount of two-way stretch and when combined with the trim, and makes hiking in the Quandary pants is a dream, and has the added bonus of the ability to zip off the legs to reveal a pair of stylish shorts when the occasion calls for it.

    The contoured waistband not only helps the trousers sit on the hips better but also makes for a flattering fit that accentuates the rear. The front is complimented by a simple drawstring on the inside of the waistband which we value, as we prefer not to wear belts.

    The two classic shaped hand pockets have part mesh inners which can help your legs breathe, and there’s a subtle zipped cargo pocket on the thigh, as well as two rear pockets, one zipped, one open.

    Detailing on the Quandary pants is superb and absolutely what you would want to see in a travel pant. Despite being a crossover hiking/travel pant the Quandary manages to cut a dash, giving you that confident feeling when you’re out and about wearing them.

    Buy Patagonia Quandary Convertible travel trousers: £76 on

    Alpkit Chilkoot_crop.jpgAlpkit Chilkoot  

    Right out of the gate the Chilkoot trousers impress with a look that straddles the line between outdoors and ‘smart outdoors’ making them a viable travel trouser. 

    We found the cut quite loose compared to some of the other trousers we’ve been testing lately but this adds to the freedom of movement for your multi-activity jaunts and they aren’t so baggy that they flap around in the wind.

    The nylon/spandex mix has a lovely 4-way stretch further enhancing the versatility of the trousers into the realms of cycling and climbing. The softshell fabric is breathable enough for summer use, but the tight weave is also windproof making it a go to trouser into the spring and summer as well.

    The material actively wicks moisture away from the skin and when you do you get wet, whether by rain or perspiration it dries out quickly. This adds even more viability to the Chilkoots as a travel option where you might need to do a quick hand wash.

    This softshell material is also surprisingly durable, lasting many poundings by bike, hike and travel. You’ll eventually get problems at the knees, bum and instep if you’re a serious mountain user but that’s to be expected.

    Salomon Outspeed Hiking Pants.jpgSalomon Outspeed 

    These light hiker pants from Salomon feature a softshell fabric that has a double weave for durability on the trail. The inner has a soft microgrid pattern, and although these trousers are made of a lightweight material they block out light gusts of wind and keep your legs reasonably warm in chilly weather. Warm weather breathability is great, making these an ideal 3-season hiking pant.

    The waistband is one of the most comfortable we've worn in walking trousers, with stretch webbing right across the back as well as a drawstring adjuster at the front to tweak the fit. 

    There’s a small amount of stretch and the cut promotes articulation and great freedom of movement around the bum and knees despite the trim cut.

    The two horizontally zipped pockets are mesh lined so can be used as additional venting. They're just deep enough for a phone and we find the position higher up the leg more comfortable than the normal spot lower down on the thigh. 

    The lightweight material and streamlined construction results in a very small package that takes up a tiny amount of space in your suitcase, and at a shade under 250g they won’t take up much of your luggage allowance either.

    The Outspeed hiking Pants are simple but effective, and £70 is well worth it for a versatile multi-activity pant.

    Fjallraven Greenland Lite.jpgFjallraven Greenland Lite Jeans 

    The Greenland Lite Jeans are basically jeans with hidden superpowers. They may look like a regular pair of lightweight jeans that you’d wear to the pub on a warm evening but they are capable of so much more.

    The key to this is the G-1000 fabric – Fjallraven’s much lauded cotton/polyester blend that offers seriously impressive protection from wind and rain. Whilst not 100% waterproof, the Greenland Lite Jeans are able to withstand the elements to the point of total and relentless downpour. 

    The version of G-1000 used in the Greenland Lite Jeans is a lightweight, breathable yet durable blend that’s suitable for summer mountain missions where you don’t want to overheat but still need fit for purpose kit. It also dries out super quickly meaning you’ll be quite comfortable coming straight off the hill and into the pub.

    The Greenland Lite Jeans come in two lengths – Regular and Short – with the former available in a choice of four low key, trendy colours. We tested the Regular version and found the leg length to be ideal. At 5’6”, we often find ourselves on the cusp when it comes to leg lengths and the Greenland Lite Jeans gave exactly the kind of coverage we seek.

    Paramo Maui.jpgParamo Maui

    The first thing you notice about the Mauis is the cut; a slimmer profile right through the leg, and slightly tapered towards the ankle makes these pants much more flattering than some Paramo products of days gone by. 

    It also gives that all-important versatility for travellers who don’t want to pack a different pair of trousers for every scenario; the understated cargo style and the muted colours add up to a high level of wearability.

    There is also a reassuring ruggedness to the tight-weave fabric which gives them burliness usually reserved for heavier products. The tight weave is also what prevents UV rays and biting insects from getting to your skin.

    Parameta A fabric is very effective at wicking moisture evenly across its surface; this creates a uniform cooling effect and also allows fast drying. But the fabric doesn’t repel any moisture from outside, as we found out after inadvertently kneeling in a peat bog.

    The lack of stretch in the fabric is more than made up for by clever articulation and there is no restriction of movement, despite the slightly closer cut. And it’s the fit that really makes these pants stand out; they’re simply a joy to wear.

    The Maui manages to be both rugged and lightweight. Our go-to pant for travel in hot climates. 

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