The rigors of international travel involve extreme temperatures, occasional unrelenting rainfall, unpredictable sprints to catch the train, and the unapologetic social demands of stylish presentation throughout such conditions.
The best travel clothing will welcome and thrive under such pressure, wicking sweat from the body, drying quickly, warming in winter, cooling in summer, and you'll be able to hand wash them in a sink and hang them up to dry by morning. Ever wonder why all clothing isn't this way?
The problem is cotton, which backpackers of all sorts know is only suitable for casual apparel. It can't regulate temperature nearly as well as other fabrics, and it soaks up moisture and stays wet all day, taking far too long to dry than is required by ultralight backpackers. It works only under moderate conditions, and if you don't plan on washing often.
This is why jeans are so useless for travel. They're twice the weight of travel pants, can't easily be hand washed, and get too hot in the summer, when most people travel. It's hard to justify such a heavy piece of clothing that isn't suitable for a wide variety of weather and temperature conditions.
So why not make it out of quick-drying fabric? The design itself is perfectly acceptable for international travel, for practical as well as fashionable reasons, and if the cotton is replaced with performance fabric, it'll turn into the perfect travel pant. Right? RIGHT?
Yes. Yes it will. Sadly, very few people have arrived at this conclusion, and finding the perfect travel jeans is a task that often ends in enormous disappointment.
Luckily for you, I have done the legwork for you. Here are the best jeans for travel currently available from the slow-moving world that is the fashion industry: