Versatility is key when assembling a great travel wardrobe. You want pieces that can adapt, while staying comfortable, offering up useful travel features such as stain resistance, packability and odor resistance. And a finely honed wardrobe will keep your packing weight down, so you can travel more freely. Our Best Travel Clothing finalists of 2020 offer all of these, but which piece is your ultimate travel companion? Pick your top contender below.
Denim isn’t known for its breathability. But DUER wants to change that. The brand’s founders have expertise in jeans and performance fabric and have spent years developing innovative fabrics for fashionable yet functional clothing. Their L2X Weightless Denim is DUER’s lightest blend of performance denim, designed to offer breathability and flexibility while wicking moisture. The fabric is available in the Weightless Denim Straight for men and Weightless Denim Jogger for women, which are made from a blend of cotton, TENCEL™ Lyocell, polyester, and LYCRA® Spandex. Lightweight, antibacterial, moisture-wicking, and stretchy, these are comfy and cool enough for summer while delivering travel-ready style.
The North Face FUTURELIGHT™ fabric is TNF’s own spin on GORE-TEX’s breathable membrane technology, but thinner and more breathable. So when the Dryzzle FUTURELIGHT™ Jacket (with a women’s alternative in the City FUTURELIGHT™ Parka) hit shelves there was a swell of excitement. The Dryzzle is a high-performing outer shell that’s lightweight, waterproof, ultra-breathable, windproof and packable, making it perfect to stash in luggage or a day bag when exploring. Added features like an adjustable hood, a cinchable hem, and adjustable cuffs help keep the elements out, while its understated styling moves smoothly between urban and outdoor settings, so you can wear it wherever travel takes you.
The ultimate everyday pant? A bold claim, but last year’s champions, Western Rise are more than ready to back it up with the Diversion Pant. The brand firmly believes in quality gear that lets you do more with less, so they created the Diversion Pant to offer maximum versatility for work, play and travel. It’s made with a bluesign® approved custom Diversion double weave canvas fabric that offers a great mix of durability, comfort, and stretch, with a DWR treatment for water and stain resistance. The pant features a gusseted, four-way stretch design for freedom of movement, with a slim cut for adaptable style that can be dressed up or down. You’ll also find a selection of pockets to store essentials close at hand. Technical, stylish and adaptable, the Diversion Pant is a travel wardrobe staple that lets you pack less while still staying prepared for a variety of settings and activities.
Super-packable and lightweight, there’s no reason you can’t take the Mountain Hardwear Exposure/2™ Gore-Tex Paclite® Plus Jacket on any trip. Available in men’s and women’s options, the jacket weighs just 8.34 oz (236.5g) for the women’s medium and 9.05 oz (256.5 g) for the men’s medium. The jacket is made with a waterproof and breathable 2.5-layer GORE-TEX PACLITE® Plus fabric. Comfortable enough to wear against the skin yet durable enough for active use, it’s built for many years of use. Features such as articulated shoulder seams, chest and hand pockets for securing small items, and an adjustable hood, hem and cuffs round out the quality design.
Travel pursuits can lead to quickly changing environments and needs. But Boundary have designed a travel pant more than able to keep up. The Chase Chino Pant comes in men’s and women’s versions, both of which come in slim and straight styles. It’s made with a proprietary bluesign® approved TT-1 Nylon Merino fabric incorporating Combat Wool, T-400 Lycra, and Nylon 6,6. The fabric offers a host of travel-friendly features including moisture wicking, odor resistance, water and stain resistance, and four-way stretch. The pant provides a range of slip and zippered pockets to store small valuables and is versatile enough to move between active and casual use in urban and outdoor settings.
The style of a smart chino, the comfort and functionality of technical travel clothing, and the organization of an EDC enthusiast, all in a single pant? Done, done and done courtesy of the Bluffworks Ascender Chino. Available in a regular or tailored fit, the Ascender Chino is lightweight, stretchy, wrinkle resistant, moisture-wicking, and antimicrobial, keeping you comfortable whether you’re on the plane or exploring your destination. The sleek style suits formal and informal settings alike, allowing you to dress it up for work meetings or a night on the town, or opt for a more casual-chic look during relaxed sightseeing. And you don’t have to worry about securing your essentials and valuables, as the chino features an impressive ten pockets (including three anti-theft pockets) to keep small essentials safe and secure while you’re on the move.
Paskho was founded to create travel clothing that was sustainable, versatile and stylish. Pieces that merged technical features with fashion-savvy styling, enabling them to look good and function well across a variety of travel needs and settings. The Paskho Men’s Untethered Multi-Pocket Global Explorer Pants offer all of this in a casually stylish silhouette that transitions from urban streets to outdoor trails and back again. The pants are made with a bluesign® approved fabric that’s water and stain repellent and moisture-wicking. Designed for comfort and freedom of movement, the pants have articulated knees and ergonomic seams. And for enhanced travel functionality, they incorporate six hidden zippered pockets, designed to securely store items without drawing attention.
Ready for adventure but smart enough for exploring about town, the Olivers Compass Pant is a versatile wardrobe staple that works equally well in everyday and travel settings. It’s made with a durable ripstop nylon blend that’s water repellent, wind resistant, and quick drying for travel convenience. In addition to slip pockets, you’ll find secure zippered storage for valuables. All in a pant that looks stylish in the city but isn’t afraid to tackle the outdoors either.
Alchemy Equipment blend technical and tailored with their AEM164 Lightweight City Rainshell. An outer layer created with refined style, it offers a premium take on weather protection. It’s made with a lightweight Japanese three-layer stretch ripstop incorporating a waterproof yet breathable membrane. Fully taped seams and YKK AquaGuard zippers enhance the waterproof protection, along with a removable and packable hood, allowing you to alternate between a sleek blazer jacket style and trusty rainshell when duty calls.
A trusty t-shirt should be a staple in any travel wardrobe. And Proof’s 72-Hour Merino Tencel Tee does a darn fine job of convincing you it’s worthy of a spot on your packing list. It’s made with a blend of 16.5 micron merino wool and sustainably made Tencel™ fabric, creating a t-shirt that wicks moisture, resists odors, regulates temperature, and is lightweight and breathable. All in a stylish cut that easily adapts to outdoor and urban settings.
Co-founded by husband and wife team Jeff and Susan Russell, Ridge Merino is a brand committed to maximizing the value of merino wool in simple, comfortable and versatile apparel that can straddle the urban/outdoor divide. The Ridge Convict Merino Wool Hoodie embodies this versatile functionality in a design created with backcountry use in mind but easily flexible enough to keep you comfortable in transit and in urban settings. The hoodie comes in men’s and women’s versions and is made with Polartec® Power Wool™, a blend of merino wool, polyester and spandex that offers a traveler’s dream of lightweight durability, breathability, warmth, odor resistance and moisture wicking. The hoodie is made with gusseted sleeves and no shoulder seams for improved freedom of movement and comfort. A high collar and form-fitting hood protect you from the elements, while discreet thumb holes keep the sleeves in place during active use.
Shoes are some of the bulkiest items on your packing list. So why not pick a pair that can adapt to multiple environments, helping you do more while keeping travel bulk down. The Lems Chukka steps forward as a worthy travel companion that can be dressed up or down, suiting work and leisure travel alike and providing a go-to option that can stride from day-time adventure to night-time dining. The shoe comes in men’s and women’s options in a choice of suede, corduroy and canvas to suit personal preferences. It features a wide toe box and zero-drop platform, with a flexible and durable IBR outsole. And since they’re exceptionally lightweight (the men’s size 10 weighs a mere 10.2oz (289g)), they’ll help keep that all-important packing weight down.
A lot of travel success comes down to the ability to shift on the fly, whether you’re embracing an unplanned morning hike or looking to blend seamlessly into bustling urban streets. So Proof created the Shift Packable Shell to help you stay agile and adaptable throughout your travels, while protecting you from the elements. It’s made from a durable nylon blend that’s abrasion resistant, wind resistant, and water resistant, yet remains lightweight and breathable. And as the name suggests, it’s exceptionally packable, stowing down in its own chest pocket to store easily in luggage or a daypack. The shell has a stowable hood that can tuck away in the collar for a cleaner, urban-friendly look, as well as three zippered pockets to store small essentials.
When it comes to sleek performance, you can trust Arc’teryx to deliver impressive offerings. Just like their Delta LT Jacket, a versatile microfleece jacket that can be worn as a midlayer or standalone piece. The jacket comes in men’s and women’s options and is made with Polartec® Classic 100 micro velour small grid material that offers an enticing warmth-to-weight ratio ideal for travel use. Warm and comfortable yet lightweight, the jacket is breathable and moisture-wicking and compact enough for easy packing. Gusseted underarms and a selection of zippered pockets enhance its comfortable design that easily transitions from the outdoors to trips about town.
While they may be stylish, traditional button-downs don’t offer technical performance for travel life on the go. Unbound Merino change this with their Classic Button-Down. Made from a blend of merino wool and organic cotton, the shirt is odor resistant, wrinkle resistant, quick-drying, breathable and lightweight. All the features and comfort you want in a travel item, while maintaining a smart aesthetic for business trips or a night out on the town.
Bluffworks deliver a modern, technical take on the classic field jacket. The Bluffworks Field Jacket is made with a nylon ripstop shell and includes a DWR finish and a breathable lamination for protection from wind and water. Adding to the weather protection are bonded seams, a stowable hood that stores inside the collar, and adjustable cuffs. Storage for your travel essentials is well covered with ten pockets on hand to keep items secure yet accessible when needed. Burly enough for outdoor adventures and stylish enough for urban travel, it’s a dependable grab-and-go piece for travel and day-to-day use alike.
Triple Aught Design builds gear to pursue adventure at every turn. Gear that blends durability and performance for following the paths less traveled. Gear like their Overland Shirt, revamped through customer feedback for an even more dialed-in offering. The shirt features a cleaner aesthetic while still allowing freedom of movement. A new two-piece collar gives it a smart appearance to move between casual and more formal settings, while the central front buttons travel the length of the shirt for improved fit and secure closure in windy conditions. Made in the USA with 100% Cotton French Twill, it’s tough enough for outdoor wear but looks smart enough for more formal urban environments too. Add in discreet hidden pockets for storing valuables, and you’ve got a versatile shirt for a variety of travel needs.