The Best Women’s Travel Clothing of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

While your packing list for every trip will differ depending on your destination and planned activities, there are a few characteristics that all the best travel clothes have in common. Whether you’re shopping for cozy fleece jackets or comfortable pants you can fly in, look for materials that offer just the right blend of lightweight packability and durable quality. Wrinkle-resistant, easy-to-maintain synthetics, such as nylon or polyester, are ideal for travel, while versatile styles that you can dress up or down to suit different occasions will help to save space in your suitcase. 

Our Travel + Leisure editors test different products year-round to help you find the best travel clothing. Some products, like rain jackets, are tested in our custom-built laboratory, while others are tested on our travels across the world. All are reviewed based on different attributes including fit, comfort, design, performance, quality, and value. In this article, we round up the winners of some of our favorite women’s clothing tests. 

Spanx The Perfect Pant, Slim Straight
PHOTO: Spanx

When we tested 49 pairs of women’s travel pants, The Perfect Pant from Spanx lived up to its name to become our overall winner. The pants are designed to fit closely through the hip and thigh, with a straight leg and hidden core-shaping technology. Although our hourglass-shaped team member did have some issues with fit (she sized up to accommodate her hips, which left some gaping at the waist), she loved that the pants come in three inseam lengths. We also like the high-quality fabric — a rayon, nylon, and elastane blend that smooths any imperfections and offers just the right weight for all but the hottest weather.

Four-way stretch affords complete freedom of movement, which meant we were able to perform full squats and kicks with ease. In fact, the pants are so comfortable that even after wearing them all day we wanted to stay in them once we got home. They’re ideal for long-haul flights, and for any travel scenario in which you want the comfort of leggings but the more formal, put-together look of pants. A lack of pockets could be a drawback for some; however, we feel that adding them would detract from the pants’ streamlined shape. The pants are machine washable and come in versatile colors, ranging from classic navy to charcoal heather. 

The Details: XS-3X (regular, petite, and tall) | 68 percent rayon, 28 percent nylon, 4 percent elastane (body); 80 percent polyester, 20 percent elastane (lining)

Everlane The ReTrack Jogger
PHOTO: Everlane

Designed for everyday comfort, The ReTrack Jogger from Everlane was our favorite of 37 pairs tested in our quest to find the best women’s joggers. They feature a classic silhouette and are made from sustainable, partially recycled cotton and polyester. We are obsessed with these and think they’re the most comfortable joggers we’ve ever tried. We love the roomy, relaxed fit, the drop-in pockets, the dreamily soft exterior, and the fleecy interior. Plus, the joggers’ length works particularly well for taller ladies. 

Shorter women need not worry, though: ribbed cuffs make these joggers suitable for a wide range of body types. We love the adjustable, elastic waistband, which fits loosely enough to make the pants comfortable for long-haul flights and lazy days spent lounging at the hotel. We wouldn’t recommend them for high-impact workouts, though, since the fleecy material is unlikely to wick moisture well and may cause overheating. After repeated washing (and not always on the recommended setting), the joggers haven’t shrunk, pilled, or changed appearance in any way.

The Details: XXS-XL | 70 percent cotton (26 percent recycled), 30 percent recycled polyester

Patagonia Women's Chambeau Rock Pants
PHOTO: Patagonia

The Chambeau Rock Pants took first place in our test of 24 different hiking pants. Developed by renowned outdoor brand Patagonia for “long mountain ridge traverses, multipitch rock climbs, or summer cragging,” these pants impressed us with their all-day comfort and technical performance. Finding the right fit was easy thanks to the brand’s helpful size guide. The pants offer a precise, slim fit and tapered lower legs — great for getting a clear view of your foot placement on rocky routes. We particularly like the soft, elastic waistband (designed to fit comfortably under a climbing harness) and the freedom of movement provided by the articulated pattern and four-way stretch. 

The material blends recycled polyester and spandex for silky breathability. We loved that we were able to maintain an ideal temperature — whether actively hiking or stopping to admire the view — and that lake and rainwater beaded right off the durable water-repellent coating. The pants dry quickly, resist abrasions well, and feature harness-compatible front and back pockets. A zippered pocket on the right thigh provides a secure place for your phone. While these are a bit pricier than some of the other hiking pants we’ve tried, we think these are the most versatile, and, despite the pants’ hiking-specific features, would happily wear them for the rest of the day, too.

The Details: Sizes 00-22 | 86 percent recycled polyester, 14 percent spandex

REI Kari Traa Ane Hiking Tights

Kari Traa’s Ane Hiking Tights were the best hiking leggings to emerge from our 84-pairs-strong testing pool. After wearing them for two years, T+L associate editor Anna Popp confirms that they still look and feel brand new and are her go-to adventure pants. The polyamide and elastane blend is lightweight, breathable, and surprisingly soft for a pair of purpose-built performance leggings. Popp loves the enhanced freedom of movement offered by a gusseted crotch and four-way stretch, while the adjustable drawstring waistband offers just the right amount of compression.

The fabric is quick to dry (great if you get caught out in inclement weather) and UPF 40+ rated for sun protection on hot days. The hems feature a silicone grip to stop the leggings riding up and zippered openings for ventilation. The ability to widen the otherwise fitted hem also makes it possible to pull the pants on or off over your hiking boots when you want to swap layers midhike. The leggings’ zippered thigh pockets are another highlight. This way, you can rest easy knowing your valuables are secure no matter how much you stretch or scramble. Machine wash and line dry yours for maximum longevity. 

The Details: XS-XL | 71 percent polyamide, 29 percent elastane (main); 95 percent polyamide, 5 percent elastane (contrast panels)

Eddie Bauer Women's Crossover Winter Trail Adventure High-rise Leggings
PHOTO: Eddie Bauer

We performed real-world tests on 20 pairs of fleece-lined leggings to find our favorite: the Crossover Winter Trail Adventure leggings from Eddie Bauer. They’re made from a quality blend of polyester and spandex that we expect to last for years and have no signs of wear and tear post-testing. From the outside, they look like regular high-end leggings. They’re smooth, soft, and thick enough not to worry about snagging or opacity issues. On the inside, a thin layer of cozy brushed fleece kept us surprisingly warm, even in 45-degree weather. 

They’re perfect for cold-weather wear, either on their own or as a layer under ski pants. And if the temperature rises or you end up being a little more active than expected, moisture-wicking and odor-control capabilities prevent you from feeling uncomfortable. Finally, we love how well these leggings fit. The high-rise power mesh waistband features a drawcord adjustment to stop it from slipping down, while the gusseted crotch ensures mobility. Available in versatile colors ranging from black to dark berry, the leggings include three pockets, one of which is zippered. 

The Details: XS-XXL (regular), M-XXL (tall), 2X-3X (plus) | 88 percent polyester, 12 percent spandex

Andie The Amalfi
PHOTO: Andie
Why We Love It

  • An impressive choice of fabrics, colors, sizes, and cuts means there’s a version of this suit for all body types and tastes.

Out of the 18 one-piece swimsuits we tested, The Amalfi from Andie took our top spot. That’s partly because of its universal appeal with options to suit a wide range of preferences. Choose a classic or long torso fit, then decide whether you want medium, full, or cheeky rear coverage. There are three fabrics to choose from (we tested the ribbed version, but there are smooth and novelty knits as well) and several gorgeous colors ranging from cherry red to navy to white. Whatever iteration you go for, expect impressive comfort both in and out of the water. 

We also found that the lightly compressive fabric offered a sense of support. Whether we were swimming laps or riding slides at the water park, everything stayed reliably in place, and we had full freedom of movement. The fabric looks good, too — helping to smooth and streamline in all the right places — while the deep scoop neck and spaghetti straps add a touch of style to an otherwise practical aesthetic. Finally, we liked that the suit can be customized using the adjustable straps and removable bra cups, and that it dries quickly for same-day packing. The price point is a bit higher than other one-pieces we’ve tested, but we still think it’s worth it to have such a flattering swimsuit in our arsenal.

The Details: XS-3XL | 82 percent nylon, 18 percent spandex (flat); 90 percent nylon, 10 percent spandex (ribbed)

Travel + Leisure / Frances Crouter

Adore Me Bobbie Lined Swimsuit
PHOTO: Adore Me

We tested no fewer than 44 bikinis and of them all, the Adore Me Bobbie Lined Swimsuit was our favorite. In fact, it’s one of the most comfortable two-pieces we’ve ever worn. Available in blue or black, the set includes an underwired halter-neck bra with a flattering, contoured demi cup and ruched detailing. We loved the top’s unique look, the bra cup sizing, and the adjustable straps that tie securely to offer just the right level of chest support. The fit also remained consistent when the bikini got wet. 

The top pairs with your choice of bikini or high-waisted bottoms. We chose the high-waisted bottoms and loved that they offered well-tailored coverage without being frumpy or adding too much bulk in the water. Both pieces are made from a blend of recycled nylon and spandex with a polyester lining that felt both soft and reassuringly secure. At no point did we worry about see-through fabric or ties coming undone — we loved that we were able to swim properly without risk of exposure. Perhaps best of all, this bikini is amazingly affordable and the perfect suit to pack for your next beach vacation.  

The Details: A-DDD (cup size), 30-38 (band size), XS-XL (bottoms) | 80 percent recycled nylon, 20 percent spandex (body); polyester (lining)

Skims Fits Everybody Square Neck Bodysuit
PHOTO: Skims
Why We Love It

  • The bodysuit’s stretchy, supportive fabric feels amazing and cinches at the waist for a flattering, streamlined look.

The Skims Fits Everybody Square Neck Bodysuit is our winning pick for those in search of the perfect travel base layer. It’s crafted from the brand’s signature Fits Everybody fabric for exceptional stretch, support, and breathability. We were impressed with the high-quality feel despite the fact that the material is relatively thin. During testing, we thought the fabric was insanely comfortable and loved how it cinched at the waist for a gorgeous, sculpted effect. Despite not having adjustable straps, the suit fit perfectly.

The high-cut leg openings and thong back make the bodysuit invisible when worn under tight-fitting pants and skirts. If you’re headed somewhere warm you can confidently wear it without an extra shirt layer, too, thanks to the stylish, modern vibes created by the square neckline and low scoop back. Choose classic shades ranging from sand to bronze to cocoa to blend with your skin tone, or opt for brighter limited-edition shades if you want a pop of color. The button closures were met with mixed feelings; however, the bodysuit successfully retained its shape even after multiple washes.

The Details: XXS-4X | 76 percent polyamide, 24 percent elastane

Outdoor Research Women's Aspire Super Stretch Jacket
PHOTO: Amazon
Why We Love It

  • This is a highly technical jacket that provides full waterproofing, ample breathability, and stylish good looks.

We tested 23 women’s rain jackets and named the Aspire Super Stretch Jacket from Outdoor Research as our overall winner. Made from highly technical Gore-tex Paclite with seam-taped construction and a front storm flap, it offers complete protection from the wind and rain. During testing, we wore the jacket under a portable shower and sprayed the exterior with watering cans, and the water beads remained unchanged as they hit the fabric, rolling off without any absorption. One shake was all that was needed to dry the jacket. The jacket also features four-way stretch panels to eliminate the restriction associated with other raincoats. 

An investment piece in any wardrobe, this waterproof rain jacket is worth it. From the moment we put it on we could feel that it was light and breathable enough for any athletic use — an impression we put to the test when we wore it to perform a series of jumping jacks. TorsoFlo vents (two-way zips running from pit to hem on both sides) are a particular highlight. Other features include an adjustable wire-brimmed hood, an elastic drawcord hem, and zippered hand and chest pockets with an integrated key clip. Finally, the jacket’s lightness makes it ideal for packing, although you’ll need to size up to fit layers underneath if you need warmth.

The Details: XS-XXL | Gore-tex with Paclite Titanium Technology (shell); recycled polyester (lining); 37 percent nylon, 44 percent polyester, 19 percent elastane (stretch panels)

Columbia Women's Switchback III Jacket
PHOTO: Amazon
Why We Love It

  • With its slim fit, stowaway hood, and wide range of colors, this is a versatile jacket that looks good in between showers, too.

The Columbia Women’s Switchback III was our favorite packable jacket of the 19 we tested. We love the lightness of its nylon shell and the fact that it packs away into its own pocket for easy portability. It’s the ideal choice for keeping in a purse or backpack pocket, just in case. We noticed that it can get a little wrinkled after being compressed for a while, but the wrinkles seem to naturally release with wear. Bear in mind that the jacket is water resistant rather than fully waterproof — it’s meant for sprinkles, not heavy rain storms. 

Despite its lightness, the high-quality material feels durable. We found the fit slimmer than expected, which we liked from a style perspective although it did make the jacket a little tight in the back during more energetic movements. This would be easily remedied by sizing up. The jacket also features zippered pockets, adjustable cuffs and hems, and a hood that you can stow away for a more neutral, versatile look when it’s not raining. Colors range from standard neutrals (black, stone green) to more unique hues (fuschia, turquoise).

The Details: XS-XXL (standard), 1X to 3X (plus) | Nylon (shell); polyester (lining)

REI Patagonia Women's Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover

Of the 30 fleece jackets we tested, the Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover took first place. Made in a Fair Trade Certified factory from recycled polyester fleece, it scores high on the sustainability scale. Its regular hip-length fit and classic pullover style is made for everyday comfort (although we recommend sizing up if you want space for layers underneath). The double-sided fleece wicks moisture, dries quickly, and features an anti-pill finish. We loved that it feels supercozy, even on bare arms, with no irritation of any kind. 

We also really liked the spandex trim on the cuffs and hem, which feels soft against the skin and effectively seals out cold air — so much so that we were actually a little too warm when testing this fleece in 50-degree weather. It’s definitely a winter wardrobe staple and a stylish option to bring with you to chillier destinations. Other features include a four-snap front placket for ventilation and easy on and off; and a snap-closure chest pocket for your essentials. For those who love side pockets, you are out of luck with this option, though that makes it more streamlined for layering. The jacket showed zero signs of wear and tear postwashing.

The Details: XXS-XXL | Recycled polyester (body); recycled nylon with a DWR finish (placket and pocket)

L.L.Bean Women's Classic Lambswool Peacoat

We put 17 peacoats to the test and settled on the L.L.Bean Women’s Classic Lambswool Peacoat as our overall favorite. From the luxurious packaging to the wonderfully soft, premium Italian lambswool construction, the quality of this coat is exceptional. It offers a timeless look that will stay in style for years to come. In particular, we love the anchor-emblazoned buttons and the gorgeous color choices ranging from camel to rusty hickory heather. Single-needle topstitching and roomy welt pockets complete the naval effect. 

We tested the coat in unseasonably warm weather and found that it offered sufficient breathability for comfort in 65 degrees. And yet, Thinsulate insulation suggests it will cope well with much colder weather, too, making it the ideal choice for shoulder season travels in temperate climates. The relaxed, below-the-hip fit also leaves plenty of space underneath for layers. We found it a little boxy but feel this could have been remedied by opting for a smaller size — something to bear in mind if you prefer a more tailored look. 

The Details: Sizes 4-20 (regular and petite), 1X-3X (plus) | Lambswool, Thinsulate, polyester

Lolë Emeline Down Jacket
PHOTO: Nordstrom

The Lolë Emeline Down Jacket was our favorite ladies’ pick out of 25 down jackets we tested. Although the jacket we tried was a little big, we love the flattering cut with its ruched panel at the back for figure-hugging slimness and the hi-low hem for extra rear coverage. It goes well with just about anything and comes in a rainbow of colors to suit all tastes, whether you prefer practical black or an eye-catching shade such as rhubarb, fig, or beryl blue. The fact that you can remove the hood adds to the jacket’s travel-ready versatility. 

During testing, we found the cloud-like jacket was so light and unrestrictive, we often forgot we had it on. Despite this unexpected (and ultrapackable) lightness, the responsibly sourced down interior provides warmth in temperatures ranging from 32 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, the nylon shell is treated with a water-repellent coating for protection against wind and light rain. There’s space underneath for extra layers, too, and a choice of four interior and exterior pockets in which to store your things.  

The Details: XXS-XXL | 100 percent nylon (shell and lining), 70 percent duck down, 30 percent feathers (insulation)

Alo Yoga Aspen Love Puffer Jacket
PHOTO: Alo Yoga

We tested 26 women’s puffer jackets and ranked the Alo Aspen Love Puffer Jacket as our overall winner. Practicalities first: the high-tech, ripstop shell is treated with a water-repellent coating while the down-alternative fill kept us warm in near-freezing temperatures. The hip-length fit is deliberately oversized — leaving plenty of space underneath for layering with a long-sleeve shirt and sweater — with elastic cuffs and hems to help lock in body heat. A breathable, lightweight build and unrestricted mobility ensure all-day comfort. 

We also love the jacket’s on-trend look. Initially, we worried the puffer would be bulky, but the fit is very flattering. Webbing details on the sleeve and back add an element of athletic-chic, while the cinched hem makes for a slightly cropped effect, despite the regular length. Best of all, the hood is removable making this a versatile addition to your packing list. Plus, we’re pleased to report the jacket is still as soft and voluminous after testing as it was on the day we unpackaged it. 

The Details: XS-L | Ripstop fabric (shell), down-alternative fill (insulation)

Our Testing Process

Each of the products included in this article was subjected to a set of special tests. Some of these were carried out by our team of travel experts in our dedicated testing laboratory, while others were conducted out in the real world. Tests ranged from wearing raincoats in the shower to simulate rainfall to laying swimsuits out in the sun and timing how long it took them to dry. We tested rain jacket mobility by performing jumping jacks; legging opacity by squatting in front of the mirror; and bikini coverage by sitting, walking, and swimming. 

During testing, our team members took notes on attributes ranging from comfort, fit, design, and performance to quality and value. We combed through testing insights to choose our category winners and rounded them up in this article. Testing is ongoing for six months to test long-term durability, so look for updates to this article with results for these and other clothing items.

Tips for Buying Travel Clothing

Make sure it’s packable and not bulky

Packability is key when choosing travel clothing, especially if you’re traveling by plane and have to adhere to strict luggage restrictions. Look for lightweight materials that roll or fold compactly while still providing the durability and performance you need. For example, a high-quality jacket should keep you warm without being particularly thick or heavy, and it would be even better for travel if you can compress it down into a much smaller carry pouch or even its own pocket. There are exceptions to this rule for winter travel, of course, such as a heavy-duty peacoat — but these are usually outerwear items that you can exclude from your packing by wearing them on the plane. 

Look for wrinkle-free fabrics

The absolute last thing you want to be doing on vacation is tracking down an iron and then wasting precious pool or sightseeing time using it to get creases out of your clothes. You can avoid this by intentionally choosing a travel wardrobe made from wrinkle-resistant fabrics that will emerge from your suitcase looking as fresh as they did when you packed them. Some of the best wrinkle-free fabrics include wool, polyester, nylon, spandex, denim, and modal; while fabrics to avoid, if you’re prioritizing easy maintenance, include linen and 100 percent cotton. Rolling your clothes instead of folding them can also help to significantly reduce wrinkles. 

Check your measurements for accurate sizing

Choosing the right size can be tricky when shopping online. Some items are labeled according to dress size while others use designations like XS or XL. And just because you’re a medium in one brand’s clothing doesn’t mean you’re the same size in another. Sizing can differ significantly across brands, which is why it’s always best to consult the size guide and choose a size according to your actual measurements. Reading user reviews will also give you an idea of whether the item runs true to size — sometimes you’ll need to size up or down to get a more relaxed or tailored fit, depending on your preference. Finally, check the return policy in case the fit isn’t what you expected.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you fold clothes for travel?

    While there are different optimum packing techniques for different clothing types, styles, and fabrics, one of the best ways to pack your clothes to prevent wrinkles and save space is to roll them. To do this, lay the item flat and fold it strategically until it resembles a long rectangle. For jackets, for example, you would fold each side vertically towards the middle and then fold the sleeves and hood backwards to lie on top. When you have a neat rectangle, you can roll the item tightly into a compact cylinder. Then, place the rolled clothing directly into your suitcase or use packing cubes for further organization. Another option is to use compression cubes, which eliminate air and flatten bulky fabrics to save extra space.

  • What do you do with dirty clothes while traveling?

    Although most hotels offer a laundry service and many vacation rentals come with their own washing and drying facilities, you may not have the time (or inclination) to make sure all of your clothes are clean before packing to go home. If you have dirty or damp clothes, keep them separate from the rest of your packing to avoid contaminating fresh items. Some checked suitcases make this easy with an integrated laundry compartment or divider section — the best ones have a water- and odor-resistant lining. If yours lacks this feature, consider investing in a water-resistant packing cube or a travel laundry bag, or, in a pinch, seal your clothes into a large Ziploc or plastic shopping bag.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Jessica Macdonald has been writing about travel gear and clothing for 10 years. After visiting more than 50 countries — often with just a backpack — she’s become a master at choosing durable, well-made clothes that keep her packing list to a minimum by offering maximum versatility. Products listed in this article were chosen according to the results of many different tests carried out by T+L’s team of travel experts.

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