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Looking for Great Lightweight Travel Pants
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Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Looking for Great Lightweight Travel Pants on 10/17/2013 18:00:00 MDT Print View

I'm finding myself traveling about 100% of the time right now. I'm in NYC as we speak. Last week I was hiking in NH, the week before that I was on the Atlantic Ocean north of the Cape in MA. I think Maine's next. I can work from anywhere, so I'm working from everywhere.

So, I find myself biking most of it with some trains and traveling light. I need a pair of pants I can use for going out to bars, hanging out with locals, sitting in camp, etc. It's cold now so my go-to of running shorts and my Smartwool shirt isn't cutting it.

I'm looking for a really lightweight/ultralight pair of khaki pants, and NOT baggy. I don't want two wind socks on my legs, I'm too skinny for that. I don't particularly mind if they look technical, and I'd love some low-key but useful pockets. I don't need an integrated belt.

Any suggestions? The smaller they pack up, the better.


Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Looking for Great Lightweight Travel Pants on 10/17/2013 18:31:23 MDT Print View


Edited by rmjapan on 06/19/2015 17:08:54 MDT.

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Re: "Looking for Great Lightweight Travel Pants" on 10/17/2013 18:41:47 MDT Print View

For travel, I like to look decently hip, so I usually go for Kuhl brand stuff. They have a variety of styles that use technical fabrics, but look fairly "trendy".

Gotta look good when you're in the local watering hole drinking craft beer! ;~)

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Too baggy. on 10/17/2013 19:18:55 MDT Print View

I had a pair of Kuhl Liberator convertible pants, but found them very baggy. I may just have really lanky legs. My Prana pants seem to have the best balance between relaxed fit without being baggy (though, all have cotton in them, which won't work).

I've tried Ex-Officio pants and found them VERY loose, which is exactly the problem I'm trying to avoid. Otherwise, I'd definitely go with them.

While posting this, I've also been window-shopping extensively. Right now, my front-runner is actually Prana's Men's Zion Stretch Convertible pants. Anyone have experience with these? They look like they'll work, but 13oz is about 4-5oz more than I wanted. I guess with zips and a belt, it won't necessarily translate to bulk.

This might be heresy on BPL, but bulk > weight for me in this case.


If you don't look good while drinking Switchback in Burlington, go home....

Edited by mdilthey on 10/17/2013 19:19:55 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Looking for Great Lightweight Travel Pants on 10/17/2013 19:23:53 MDT Print View

Neon purple leopard print lycra tights.
Totally hip.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Sarcasm, or Advice? on 10/17/2013 19:25:52 MDT Print View

You say that like I wouldn't...

I have the legs to pull it off.

(Joomy) - M
Gamma LT on 10/17/2013 19:30:53 MDT Print View

Well, I wear my Arc'teryx Gamma LT pants everywhere and all the time -- hiking, travelling and around town. In fact I'm wearing them right now at work. They don't quite look like regular straight leg pants but they are close (they have articulated knees which are good for walking but look a bit funny, IMO). Very comfortable in a range of temps, slim but not tight in the leg and perfectly constructed.

Richard Fischel
worn by a couple of guys i know that need a true go anywhere do anything pair of pants on 10/17/2013 20:01:19 MDT Print View

outlier's new og's. they are just what you are looking for. if they have a fault it's that they are (relatively) expensive, but you get what you pay for and you won't need a second pair of pants. if you are in nyc, i'm not 100% sure, but they may still have their brooklyn retail shop that's open friday afternoon.

Mark Cashmere
(tinkrtoy) - M

Locale: NEOH
Re: Looking for Great Lightweight Travel Pants on 10/17/2013 20:23:34 MDT Print View

If you are traveling that much then this is worth a read/watch --

and yes, there are pants in there....

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
lightweight travel pants on 10/17/2013 20:30:42 MDT Print View

I am really liking the pair of Outdoor Research Ferrosi pants I bought recently. Light weight soft shell material that has a bit of stretch and is very comfortable. Clean lines, Hidden ankle cinch. One vertical thigh pocket that doesn't stick out like typical cargo pants.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Looking for Great Lightweight Travel Pants on 10/17/2013 20:51:25 MDT Print View

Yeah, yeah, you can go Patagucci with serious reduction of the wallet, but why? All you are doing is paying for the label, not the clothing. If that suits, fair enough.

Otherwise, can I suggest you go to the nearest discount store and buy some synthetic track pants? Not the fleecy ones, just the plain ordinary nylon ones. They may have a lining of open mesh knit which can be kept or cut out. I would expect you would find a fair range of colours and styles, all for less than $10.


Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Looking for Great Lightweight Travel Pants on 10/17/2013 20:58:36 MDT Print View


"Otherwise, can I suggest you go to the nearest discount store and buy some synthetic track pants?"

We're married. We can roll like that. Max is a bachelor. I'll go out on a limb and presume he doesn't want clothing that will double as birth control :)

Edit to explain that Roger and I aren't married to each other..... just sayin'

Edited by IDBLOOM on 10/17/2013 21:15:56 MDT.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: Re: Looking for Great Lightweight Travel Pants on 10/17/2013 21:02:06 MDT Print View

Haha, good point Ian. But may i humbly suggest, that for Max's long term good, he doesn't want a Lass so shallow as to judge him on the quality of his pants. Besides, most likely, what she will be looking at, is the bulge anyways. Wow, two pee pee jokes in one day, what's up... with that?

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
travel pants on 10/17/2013 21:21:27 MDT Print View

Looking at Roger's avatar may lead you to take his fashion advice with a bit of caution.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Wicked on 10/17/2013 21:55:55 MDT Print View


Thanks for that link. I read his site for an hour, then bought his book.

hwc 1954
Peached nylon on 10/17/2013 22:49:33 MDT Print View

Just about every brand makes something like this:

Very lightweight, soft "peached" nylon fabric. I bought a pair of these for fall hiking, but have ended up getting several pair and they are my regular kick around long pants -- replacing cotton khakis. Not very dressy, but dressy enough to wear out to dinner. Pack down to nothing. My only complaint is that they tend to wrinkle a bit.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Looking for Great Lightweight Travel Pants on 10/17/2013 23:42:41 MDT Print View

My current favorite are the pricy arcteryx rampart pants. the fabric is a very light nylon with a bit of stretch which is very cool wearing dries very quickly, and fit is perfect (for me). They do have thigh pockets, but they are very discrete. Rail Rider's Back country Khakis might be a good option. Historically there were a lot of good options, but most now have thight pockets which are fairly noticeable which I think disqualifies them for business casual. You notice indicates that this isn't a deal breaker, so I would also suggest Royal Robbins Global Traveler Pants and ex officio Nomad Pants. I generally can find something decent at sierra trading post. I wait until I can find something that's at least 40% off retail. The other thing work a look is campmor's house brand nylon pants tends to be decent and very reasonably priced, especially when they go one sale which is fairly frequently.


Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Looking for Great Lightweight Travel Pants on 10/17/2013 23:58:24 MDT Print View

Check out whatever Outdoor Research has at the moment. They stray from big cargo pockets and tend to have less baggy cuts.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

These Work on 10/18/2013 00:25:54 MDT Print View

Done. Thanks Dale. Can't beat the OR Treadway Convert pants for $60 and 8.3oz. Fit looks great.

Thanks! I'll let everyone know how they work.

Marc Kokosky
(mak52580) - F

Locale: Washington, DC Area
REI Pants on 10/18/2013 03:18:13 MDT Print View

I travel overseas for work about 50% of the time and I use these and really like them.