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Best travel pants for women

Sept. 27, 2022
7 min read
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Some of the best pants for travel include comfortable options that don't wrinkle and soft pairs that help you to feel cozy and relaxed, even in the face of flight delays, lost luggage or other unexpected circumstances.

Perhaps versatility is also important to you. In that case, you might consider pants made from durable, lightweight fabrics that are breathable and allow you to move easily or convert into shorts with the pull of a zipper.

Together, three female TPG staffers have curated a list of their favorite travel pants, whether you're exploring a European capital, hiking in a national park or just trying to survive a flight home.

Best hiking pants for women

Eddie Bauer Women's Guide Pro Pants, $79.99 from Amazon

AMAZON

Eddie Bauer’s Guide Pro Pant is the most versatile of its women’s hiking pant options. The lightweight, slim fit doesn’t weigh you down on long hikes and climbs and these pants can easily be rolled up into your backpack or carry on.

Made from smooth and stretchy nylon/spandex, they move with you no matter what the activity — hiking, horseback riding, biking, climbing — and provide enough maneuverability to let you bend, curl or stretch on an overnight flight or long car journey. Zippered pockets can fit a phone, keys and all those small, indispensable items you need easy access to out on the trails.

Available in a variety of colors, they are cozy enough to pair with a sweater by the campfire and can even be dressed up for dinner at the lodge. All Eddie Bauer’s outdoor pants feature UPF 50+ protection and eco-friendly Bluesign certification, meaning its textiles are safe for the environment, workers and customers. Petite and plus sizes are also available.

If you prefer more athletic, legging-style hiking pants, Eddie Bauer's super comfortable Trail Adventure High Rise Pant lend themselves to more intense adventures with moisture-wicking and odor control.

Kuhl Splash Roll-up Pants, $85 from Kuhl

SPLASH™ ROLL-UP PANT/KUHL.COM

When you are hiking in the mountains, dramatic shifts in altitude, terrain and temperature demand durable performance pants.

Kuhl’s Splash Roll-up Pants hold up well when you are scrambling and bushwhacking. They can also be rolled up to provide ventilation as the mercury rises, and they feature UPF 50 sun protection.

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Where these pants really stand out, though, is with the well-designed pockets, lots of them — front, back (rare for women’s pants) and upper thigh. These pockets are big enough to hold your phone and other small items and gadgets (without irritating bulges), which avoids having to constantly stop and rummage through your daypack when you're out on the trail.

If you plan on crossing rivers and ravines, these pants may not be for you — they take longer to dry than more technical hiking pants. With the pants' variety of colors, sizes, inseam lengths and a drawstring cinch waist, you can most likely find a flattering size and fit for your body type.

Cotopaxi's Cerro Travel Tight, $90 from Cotopaxi

COTOPAXI/FACEBOOK

Known for its sustainable ethos, bold designs and affordable price tag, Cotopaxi is a staff favorite at TPG. Whether you are climbing mountains or urban hiking, the Cerro Travel Tight is ideal for travelers who prefer to streamline their packing and silhouette.

Made from a blend of 79% recycled polyester and 21% spandex, the high-rise tight has five pockets that won't warp your shape or hinder movement, as well as comfort-enhancing, anti-chafing seams and a wide waistband.

If traveling light is a priority, these multi-use tights are extremely versatile and can be worn for gym workouts, hiking, biking and climbing. Super comfortable travel pants, they can be rolled into a purse for a quick change after or during a long-haul flight. They come in three colors and sizes, from XS to XL. Cotopaxi offers a lifetime warranty and trade-in policy on all its products.

Best women's leggings

Under Armour Motion Ankle Leggings, $33 from Amazon

AMAZON

Some of the most comfortable travel pants for women are leggings. Say what you want about athleisure, but they're comfortable, offering support in all the right places without restricting you too much. After all, settling into the ideal position on a red-eye is key, and sometimes you just can't do that in jeans.

These leggings come in tons of colors and sizes. Made from double-knit 100% polyester, they're long (so you won't have to worry about your legs touching any part of that funky plane seat) and they come with a built-in pocket to hold your phone, passport and other small items you might need for your adventures.

Alo High-Waist Airlift Legging, $118 from Alo

ALO YOGA/FACEBOOK

As someone who exclusively travels in athleisure, TPG news reporter Caroline Tanner wears the same pair of black leggings every time she flies (and happens to be wearing them as she writes this).

She looks no further than Alo's high-waist airlift leggings, which she wears when traveling but also to work out, walk and lounge around in (don't worry, she has more than one pair). As the name suggests, these leggings quite literally lift and sculpt your butt thanks to the brand's signature, double-knit Airlift fabric. They're also high rise and hit at the ankle, making them full-coverage leggings that you can layer with tall socks.

They're comfortable enough to wear all day, including long-haul flights, and their moisture-wicking, four-way stretch fabric provides adaptability for any environment you may encounter while wearing them. Though they come in multiple colors, their black leggings are easy to dress up or down.

Lululemon Align™ High-Rise Pant 28", $118 from Lululemon

LULULEMON/FACEBOOK

An OG (original) in the athleisure space, Lululemon holds a special place in Caroline Tanner's heart as it was the brand of the first pair of leggings she ever bought in high school. Though you'll find several types of Lulu leggings in her closet, she always reaches for their Align™ High-Rise Pant 28-inch pair — in black of course.

The leggings' in-house Nulu™ Fabric makes thems feel buttery-soft, with an effortless, weightless fit. They feature a hidden waistband pocket, perfect for tucking away your credit card and hotel room key. They're also sweat wicking and breathable, designed to take you off the plane straight to a yoga class.

Best waterproof pants for women

Bass Pro Shops Guidewear Rainy River Pants, $120 from Cabela's

JOHNNY MORRIS BASS PRO SHOPS GUIDEWEAR RAINY RIVER PANT/CABELA'S

Whether your travels take you camping, hiking, to a rainy sporting event or on an expedition trip to the Arctic, the best women's pants for travel to any place where you're likely to get wet are waterproof ones made with Gore-Tex to keep you dry.

Personally tested by one of TPG's editors in the Arctic — twice — these pants hold up to rain and wet landings, even in the chilliest locations. Because they aren't insulated, they can also be used when you need to stay dry in warmer climates. More affordable than some other brand-name Gore-Tex options, these pants are also windproof but breathable, and they fold up so thin they can fold into their own back pocket for easy packing.

Bottom line

Whether you need pants for hiking, camping or something versatile enough for all your travel needs, these pants have proven their worth throughout our travels.

When it comes to clothing, you sometimes get what you pay for. Rest assured, you're paying for comfort with some of our all-time favorite travel pants, based on the experiences of three female travel reporters in their '30s and '40s.

Featured image by MAK CRIST/KUHL
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023