Best Travel Pants: Oliver Passage Pants Review

Best Travel Pants

Oliver Passage Pants

$148

Buy Oliver Passage Pants

Effortless freedom of movement with featherweight, breathable cordura fabric for a stylish pair of travel pants you can wear for hours on long flights, without looking like you just stepped off a red eye.

Oliver Passage Pants Details

  • Price: $148
  • Materials: 91% cordura nylon / 9% lycra | YKK zippers | Italian hardware
  • Features: 4-way stretch, gusseted crotch, fifth inner front “security” pocket 
  • Sizes: 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 36, 38
  • Colors: 9 options—Black, Dark Navy, Carbon (Grey), Dark Olive, Moss (Brown), Blue Steel, Dark Indigo, Olive, Khaki 
  • Warranty: 365 day guarantee to “repair or replace any product with a fault outside of normal wear and tear for up to 12 months after purchase”

Who are these pants are for? Minimalists, One Bag Travelers, and Frequent Fliers

What We Love:

Stylish, Lightweight, Tough, One Bag Travel Pants

  • Bonus Style Points: Slim, stylish silhouette and cut
  • Stretch that Lasts: Subtle 4-way stretch really exceeded my expectations. It doesn’t sag after a few wears (you know what I’m talking about)
  • Carry on Friendly: Featherweight design for easy packing
  • Rugged construction: The durable cordura and nylon weave (and gusseted crotch) provide almost denim-like toughness that’s still perfect for cycling and even light hiking
  • Multi-day wear: You can wear them for days between washes. Seriously.

What We Don’t Like:

No Zipper Pockets

  • Security: The inner fifth “security” pocket is the right size for a front pocket wallet or small key ring, but that’s about it; no zippered pockets here
  • Price: While less than several other travel pants, these are still premium pants (although well worth the investment)
  • They Run Big: It’s not a bad thing, but these pants run a bit big. I’m 6’1” 165 and the 31 fit perfectly (normally I’m a 32 or even a 33)

The Passage Pants from Olivers were a late addition to my extensive men’s travel pants review at the end of 2019, but I’m so glad I received a pair in time to test them on my most recent trip to Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Australia, and New Zealand. 

I think a good pair of travel pants need to perform in multiple climates and conditions, and these pants have definitely risen to the challenge of both tropical and chilly weather (and everything in between) over the past two months. I swapped out the Bluffworks Ascender Chinos for the Olivers Passage Pants as the only pair of pants in my backpack, and I have no regrets.

If you’re looking for a lightweight, stylish, yet oddly rugged pair of travel pants that you can wear to the office or a long, long travel day with ease, the Passage Pants might just be your new favorite travel pants—if you’re willing to pony up a little extra cash.

Here’s a deep dive into why these unassuming travel pants are quickly becoming a staple in my minimalist travel packing list no matter where I’m headed. 

Stylish Design in a Travel-Friendly Package

Honestly, I just like how these look. Call me shallow, but it’s important to actually like the pants you pack for your trip— especially if (like me) you only pack one pair of pants for your trip.

If you want a pair of pants that look good day in and day out. You can stop reading right here. These pants are flattering as heck and require zero maintenance to stay that way. 

They’re slim without being “skinny” and thanks to the gusseted crotch they don’t ride up or bunch in weird places; even if you’re crammed into a tiny middle seat. But most importantly, the Passage Pants don’t look like “travel pants.” They’re just a good looking pair of pants, and if you buy them for the office, no one will ever know. Heck, they come in nine different color options including my favorites, Moss and Olive. 

It sounds petty but a stylish pair of travel pants you can wear all day every day means you don’t have to pack multiple pairs of “nice” pants for going out or work events. And that means you can pack less, which is the whole point of investing in a premium pair of pants, which these definitely are.

You don’t have to cuff these pants to wear them comfortably, that’s a perk I appreciate. I’m 6’1” and wear a size 31, and the inseam still hits right at the ankle. Personally, I like to cuff my travel pants for that hip “rolled up” look—especially in warmer weather—but unlike other travel pants you don’t have to roll up the hem of these pants to wear them.

No matter your tastes, you won’t feel like a schlubby backpacker in these pants. Great for literally any occasion from a work meeting to happy hour at the beach.

Long-Lasting Wear

I’m hard on my travel pants, and I expect them to hold up to multiple wears between washes. At least up to a week. I’ve worn the Passage Pants for up to 10 continuous days between washes and they’ve held up beautifully. Absolutely no sag in the crotch or seat. What’s more important, there’s no significant stretch, sag, or smell that you’d expect from over a week of constant wear.

And those 10 days included a rainy motorbike ride in Sapa, an early morning flight to the Philippines, and several days of exploring Hanoi. So that’s saying something.

I’ve also been super impressed with the quick dry ability of these pants. When you do machine wash these pants, they dry in just a few hours if you just lay them flat on a hanger, chair, or even your bed. I’ve also found that they usually dry with an hour or so if they get wet during the day (light rain or spills). My body heat is usually enough to dry these pants, which is great for quick turnaround days after doing laundry on the road.

Photo from Oliver Passage

Reliable Stretch That Doesn’t Sag

The Passage Pants took the title for “Best Pants to Wear on a Long Flight” in my men’s travel pants review largely thanks to the comfort and reliability of the “Passage Stretch Weave”—which is apparently a fancy way to say these pants won’t stretch out and sag.

Pants with 4-way stretch tend to fit great right out of the wash but then feel like old sweatpants after just a few days. Heck, I’ve seen pants with two-way stretch turn to string cheese after just two days of wear. Not these.

The Passage Pants are still nice and fitted—especially around the waist—after multiple wears. I don’t even have to wear a belt.

That being said, the Passage Pants tend to run a little big. I’m 6’1” and 165 pounds and the 31 fits me well (I normally wear a 32 or even a 33). Bump a size down, for a better fit, especially if you’re in between sizes.

I haven’t seen another pair of travel pants with this much stretch and yet this much consistent structure. If they fit well when you try them on, they’ll fit the same after a week of wear.

Featherweight Packing

These pants fold down to the size of a t-shirt, and weigh about as much, which means I don’t have to stress about packing them in a carry on travel backpack when I’m not wearing them. There’s nothing worse that heavy, bulky travel pants that you have to wear on long travel days because they don’t fit in your bag.

A lot of *cough* budget *cough* airlines, have switched to stricter 7kg (15 pound) carry on limits, so it’s nice that you can pack these pants without stressing about your weight limit (unlike other heavy “travel” jeans).

Needs Improvement: Security

I love the Olivers Passage Pants and wholeheartedly recommend them for minimalist travelers or someone who takes the occasional weekend getaway. They’re truly a do-everything go-anywhere kind of travel pant.

But if I had to change one thing I’d add an interior zipper security pocket to one of the front pockets instead of the interior fifth pocket.

The horizontal cut of the front pockets and snug fit mean that I’ve never actually had anything fall out of my pockets, and the rear pockets are deep enough for a passport or phone when I’m on the move. Lastly, the internal “fifth” front pocket is also a nice feature—but only if you have a front pocket wallet.

If a zippered security pocket is a deal breaker for you, or you’re a rear wallet kinda guy, check out the Bluffworks Ascender Chinos. If you don’t need Fort Knox in your pocket, the Passage Pants are easily one of the most stylish, comfortable, versatile travel pants you can buy.

Final Verdict: Olivers Passage Pants are Seamless Travel Pants

The nearest competitor to the Passage Pants are the Outlier Slim Dungarees, and while those are excellent pants, I have to give the edge to the Passage pants in literally every category:

  1. They cost $50 less
  2. They’re lighter
  3. You never need to wear a belt
  4. They feel great on both air-conditioned flights and steamy bus rides

The Passage Pants were clearly designed with travel in mind, but I’m continually impressed with how they just look and feel like a great pair of pants when I land. The stretch fabric is discreet, breathable, and wrinkle-resistant, and the cut is thoughtful and stylish, which means I always arrive looking fresh, rested, and ready to hit the ground running right away.

People forget that great travel clothing isn’t just about getting you through your next big hike or long travel day. You also have to wear that stuff when you land. And I love wearing these on and off the plane.

How Were These Pants Tested?

I’ve been a travel writer with Tortuga (and a few other travel brands) for the past six years, and before that I was a bartender, surf instructor, copywriter, and long-haul travel specialist with nearly 20 years (yikes!) of travel experience in over 40 countries.

I’m currently on my second around-the-world trip, and I’ve had a blast testing all this clothing for you guys. I’m honestly obsessed with discovering and testing quality gear and clothing to find a packing list that’s lean enough yet tough enough to keep up with my active traveling lifestyle. I surf, climb, bike, and hike all the dang time.

I’ve worn the Passage Pants as my sole pair of travel pants for the past two months in a number of everyday travel conditions. The Passage Pants have been the only pants in my bag while traveling in:

Trust me when I say they’ve all been battle-tested in real-world travel environments including flights, motorbikes, all-night bus rides, muggy days, chilly nights, morning hikes, beach bike rides, heavy rain, and overly air-conditioned rooms.

Key Concerns While Testing

  • Comfort & Fit: How do the pants fit and feel, especially after a few days of wear?
  • Durability: How do the pants handle dirt, water, sweat, stains, weather, and wear and tear on the road (including day hikes and biking)
  • Features & Performance: Are there any specific travel-friendly features including: zippered pockets (size, security, reliability), 2 or 4-way stretch, quick dry fabric, and any  wrinkle and odor-resistance? Also, how long can you wear these pants between washes?
  • Style: Do I actually want to wear these pants, and how fashionable are they in urban or professional settings?
  • Value: Are these pants worth the price, and would I pack them for a certain type of trip?

That’s basically how I evaluate travel clothing. Because at the end of the day, the fit and feel of the pants you pack are all that matters—especially if you only pack one pair of pants!

Features are nice, and it’s important for travel pants to perform in demanding environments, but honestly, the only features that matter are the ones that you actually use. So I try not to get bogged down in tech specs like other reviewers. 

If a pair of pants are comfortable, durable, stylish, and affordable, I’ll let you know.

 

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