Stay Comfy & Look Good: The Best Travel Leggings

Published January 2, 2020

Written by:

Megan Lee

Megan Lee likes to joke that she majored in study abroad in college. Living in the Bay Area, she earned...

Edited by:

Jenn Sutherland-Miller

Jenn raised 4 children while traveling full-time for more than a decade– it’s called worldschooling and it’s awesome. Jenn has...

The Tortuga Promise

At Tortuga, our mission is to make travel easier. Our advice and recommendations are based on years of travel experience. We only recommend products that we use on our own travels.

Your closet space is precious, and your backpack’s even more so. Invest in high quality travel-friendly leggings to maximize style without sacrificing comfort.

“Pack light,” they said. “Carry on only,” they said. Easier said than done, right? Wrong. With travel leggings, you can pack bottoms that are multi-functional, comfortable, and ready to go as far as you are. Streamline day to night looks, sign up for that yoga class, take a client out for a cocktail—the best travel leggings will be there for you every step of the way (and won’t take up a ton of space in your travel backpack!). 

Master carry on only travel and look good while doing it: travel leggings are your secret weapon. Below are our top picks for travel leggings, and a list of features to consider before you invest in a pair.

Best women's leggings for travel

The Best Women‘s Leggings for Travel

Who makes the best leggings for travelers? Read on and find out!

Best Travel Leggings for Long Haul Flights: Athleta’s Salutation Stash Pocket Leggings($89)

It’s hard to compete with Athleta’s quality leggings. These are made for indoor or outdoor yoga and for life off the mat. Leggings made for real life? Yes please. 

These leggings are sweat-wicking, rated UPF 50+, made of a signature Nylon/Lycra® Spandex blend, and feel lightweight. The high waist is comfortable well into hour 12 of your trans-Pacific flight and their compact nature makes them a breeze to roll up and add to your backpack once you land. 

These come in several patterns and have a more athletic look, but can be dressed up into stylish and comfortable travel outfits for the airport and beyond. Add an oversized cardigan or sweater to dress up these travel leggings.

Alo yoga leggings review

Best Leggings for Cute Outfits: Alo Yoga’s High Waist Airbrush Legging ($82)

Alo Yoga’s wide waistband on these leggings allow an easy transition from functional exercise piece to cute coffee shop look. It’s the ideal pair for cute leggings outfits.

I love this pair’s glossy finish but know that others might be more excited by their various colors, patterns, and cuts—it’s really hard to go wrong with a brand as high quality as Alo Yoga’s. 

Even the company ethos is one to get behind, championing mindful movement and environmental awareness. At 81% Polyester and 19% Spandex, this travel leggings purchase is not one you will come to regret.

Best Compression Leggings: Outdoor Voices Hi-Rise Warmup Leggings ($75)

Outdoor Voices generally comes through with high-quality, ain’t-seeing through these babies, leggings in fun colors and comfortable fabrics. For anyone looking for a pair of leggings to promote better circulation on long flights or full days outside, look no further than their Hi-Rise Warmup Leggings.

Made from a durable, textured compression fabric, these leggings are designed to keep your blood flow going. They’re also rated midweight, which makes them good for most climates, and made from a comfortable polyester-spandex blend.

The only downside is that they only have one small pocket, good for a credit card or key but not our now-giant cellphones.

ADAY leggings review

Best Travel Leggings with Pockets: ADAY’s Throw it Higher Leggings ($135)

ADAY’s Throw it Higher Leggings are Tortuganaut Angela’s travel legging of choice—at 59% nylon, 41% elastane, these leggings are comfy, fit true to size, and have a stretch that hugs you in all the right places. Not to mention, they have two small front pockets and a generous side pocket. Angela shares: “I can put my passport, phone, and wallet in the side pocket, making them super functional.  

They’re also impossible to wrinkle, pill-resistant, quick drying, sweat-wicking, breathable, and offer UV protection, all while being made from recycled water bottles. Yup, these are the travel leggings any lady strutting in a foreign city can feel good about. Pair ’em with a bomber jacket and your favorite ankle boots for a night out, or a cozy sweater for flights.

Eileen Fisher leggings review

Best Leggings for Work and Travel: Eileen Fisher’s Stretch Ankle Leggings ($98)

Eileen Fisher knows how to take care of ladies on the move who refuse to sacrifice comfort. Step into your favorite pumps and nail your pitch for potential clients, then slip back into your sneakers and hit some local watering holes for the night. 

What’s more, you can keep the unwanted attention to a reasonable level because these are the best matte black leggings that are not see-through. Fabric made from 92% viscose and 8% spandex makes these leggings extra comfy, and they and maintain their shape nicely after multiple washes.

For this reason alone, if work and travel are on your itinerary, pack a pair of Eileen Fisher’s in your carry on.

Best Leggings for Your Travel Outfit: Lululemon Fast and Free Tight II ($138)

Whatever you have to say about Lululemon, they make amazing leggings. And, even though these leggings come at a higher price point than others, they’re some of the most durable you’ll own and can last through years of regular, rough-and-tumble wear.

From their extensive line of leggings, the Fast and Free Tight II stands out as a great pair for airport outfits and every day wear. It has a generous pocket on the side, big enough to fit your phone, and is made from a comfortable, quick-dry, and breathable fabric that can hang with you even as the in-cabin temperature rises and falls. And no, these are not see-through.

Best travel leggings

What Makes the Best Travel Leggings?

The best travel leggings might be different than your favorite workout leggings. You’ll want something versatile that you can wear as part of a casual outfit or for a workout, is durable, quick-dry, and has pockets. If none of our top picks work for you, below are things you should look out for in a pair of travel leggings:

Easy to Mix and Match Style and Color

Leggings in neutral colors will pair well with multiple outfits, but patterns can make your leggings a fun statement piece. For warmer weather destinations, look for ankle-length leggings. For long flights, a pair of compression leggings can promote blood flow in your legs.

When looking at styles, avoid anything that looks too much like workout gear. While you might be running to your gate for last call boarding, you’re probably not running marathons. Travel leggings should be more sleek and stylish than a typical exercise pant. Ideally, travel leggings blend with everyday clothes.

Fabric That’s Opaque, Quick Dry, and Pill-Resistant

When traveling, you don’t have time to worry about leggings that stretch out, pill, or become sheer. Invest in high quality brands now to avoid the troubles later. With leggings, you do tend to get what you pay for.

Also consider the climate and temperatures of your trip. Fleece lined leggings are great for winter, but mesh accents, while fun, aren’t ideal in cold weather. Play with different thickness and fabric weights to find leggings that highlight all of your best features. Most leggings will be a spandex-nylon blend.

Finally, choose travel leggings will dry quickly after laundry days so you don’t have to wait around too long to put your beloveds back on again.


It might seem silly, but travel leggings with pockets just might be the secret to successful modern exploration. Keep your Airbnb key handy, your cell phone ready to snap your next great profile picture, or your wallet carefully zipped.

For travel, leggings with pockets are a must. Most leggings designed for athletics will have a small pocket just big enough for a key or credit card, but look for one with a generous side pocket so you can fit your phone, passport, or anything else you might need to reach for quickly.

Megan Lee

Megan Lee likes to joke that she majored in study abroad in college. Living in the Bay Area, she earned her chops as a writer, digital marketer, and urban traveler.

She’s visited 40+ countries, and also writes for numerous travel publications.

Read more from Megan