• Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

The Best Travel Clothing Brands of 2024


Feb 24, 2024 #Brands, #Clothing, #Travel

As a full-time traveler who has lived out of a carry-on for 10 months straight, I’ve learned a thing or two about curating an essential travel wardrobe. Knowing which brands to invest in is key, as I count on my clothes to get me through all sorts of situations — from hoeing vineyards in Umbria to chasing waterfalls in Reykjavik — and I need to be able to rely on their sturdiness. Style and sustainability are also a priority: With a limited number of pieces to choose from each day, I want to feel and look good in all of them, and I need them to last. 

Most importantly, the pieces need to mix and match easily, ensuring maximal outfit options while taking up minimal space. Since I’m always on the go, I don’t want any items that I need to fuss over. I prioritize materials that are wrinkle and sweat-resistant (I’ve sworn off 100 percent cotton, which takes ages to dry and wicks heat away from your body when wet), and opt for breezier materials that I don’t feel precious about shoving into a packing cube for days at a time.

Our best overall travel clothing brand, Everlane, earns the top spot on our list thanks to its commitment to sustainability, versatile designs, and size inclusivity. But whether you’re looking for pieces designed for athleisure or adventure, we’ve rounded up more of our favorite brands for every type of trip and traveler.

The Easy Pant


With a focus on breezy, sustainably-made pieces that are affordable and versatile, Everlane stands out among our top travel clothing brands. Its stylish staples — think lightweight cashmere pullovers and cuffed chinos — are designed to stand the test of time, plus they’re made from materials that can withstand a little wrinkling in your suitcase. Everlane also makes it easy to shop for base- and outer-layers all in one place, and who doesn’t love a one-stop shop? The brand prides itself on an ethos of “Radical Transparency,” informing customers about the ethical factories they partner with and the affordable pricing of pieces, allowing you to craft a true capsule wardrobe you can feel good about (and that looks great on you). For women, we love the Easy Pant and The Boxy Oxford, and our top picks for men are the No-Sweat Sweater and Performance Traveler Chino.

Beyond being a go-to for travel basics and durable adventurewear, Patagonia has long been a leader in the sustainability movement, and the brand has a number of programs that support its unwavering dedication to the environment. First off is its Worn Wear program, which encourages customers to trade in their used gear for Patagonia credit, allowing your pieces to be recycled rather than tossed into a landfill. The brand also donates 1 percent of all sales to environmental preservation, and operates Patagonia Action Works, which supports and partners with grassroots organizations that are working to combat climate change. For men, we love the brand’s Nano Puff Jacket and Capilene Cool Daily Hoody, and for women our top picks are the Mainstay Tee and Garden Island Jumpsuit. We love that Patagonia also makes pieces for kids and babies, so your little ones will be equally well-equipped for all of your family adventures.

Best Athleisure

Outdoor Voices

The Exercise Dress


What began as a trendy brand with a catchy motto (#DoingThings) has proved itself to be one of the most comfortable and cool athleisure brands on the block. With cute matching sets for running, biking, hiking, or just about any other activity you’re into, Outdoor Voices is a go-to for performance pieces that still look pretty. The weather-resistant RecTrek collection is a welcome addition to the brand’s range of sports bras, nylon pullovers, workout leggings, and more. The cult-favorite Exercise Dress is one of our all-time favorite travel picks for women, while the RecTrek Men’s Pocket Pants are our go-to for guys.

Best Budget

Pretty Garden


Pretty Garden

While many of the brands on this list offer fairly affordable basics, Pretty Garden is a dedicated fast-fashion brand that is able to provide a wide range of styles and colors when it comes to budget-friendly travel essentials. We particularly love the tracksuits and jumpsuits, like the Summer Casual Deep V Neck Short Sleeve, which are soft and slouchy enough to feel like pajamas but still look pulled together.

Best Outdoor Adventure


Halle E-Waist Jogger II


Originally a yoga clothing line, all of prAna’s pieces are designed with movement and travel in mind. Whatever adventure you’ve got lined up — be it hiking the Rockies, bouldering in Utah, or camping out in a national park — this clothing is a great fit since it’s mostly water-resistant, stretchy, and easy to pack. When it comes to packaging, prAna has also committed to a zero-plastic policy, opting to roll pieces up instead and tie them with recyclable raffia to reduce waste. Many of the pieces also boast built-in SPF and sweat-wicking material, plus sleek and secure pockets to keep your essentials within reach at all times. For women, we love the Halle E-waist Jogger II and the easily packable Whistler Anorak, and for men we’re fans of the Lost Sol Short Sleeve Shirt.

Best for Base Layers


Women's Intraknit Thermal Merino Base Layer Pattern Crew


SmartWool is one of the top purveyors of 100 percent responsibly sourced merino wool, which is one of the best materials for travel thanks to its odor-resistance and moisture-wicking properties. It’s lightweight enough to take up minimal suitcase space but hefty enough to offer heat retention while you’re on the move. A good base layer is crucial for any traveler, but the specifics of what you’re looking for will depend largely on climate. Luckily, SmartWool offers pieces designed for all seasons as well as for high-intensity activities in colder climates, like skiing or ice climbing. The brand’s Intraknit layers include a new technology that uses mesh ventilation in gender-specific zones to wick away moisture and retain heat. If you’re frequently in colder weather, we love the Women’s Intraknit Thermal Merino Base Layer Pattern Crew, while for men we love the Men’s Classic Thermal Merino Base Layer Crew.

Linen-Blend Gathered Camisole Dress


If you’re looking to round out your travel wardrobe with a few more minimalist essentials, look no further than Uniqlo. The Japanese brand has everything you need, from breezy, wrinkle-resistant dresses to padded coats that pack down into next-to-nothing, making them easy to tote around as an extra layer. For women, we love the breezy Linen-Blend Gathered Camisole Dress, and for men we love the Premium Linen Long-Sleeve Shirt, which is available in 12 pastel colors.

Why We Love It

  • Whether you’re looking to fight off the wind, rain, cold, or sun, Athleta’s targeted outerwear is designed to help.

Beloved for its stretchy and soft athleisure line and ultra-cozy leggings, Athleta is full of pieces that can take you from the tennis court to lunch at the clubhouse without looking out of place. Its range of underlayers and outerwear makes it easy to pull together an outfit that feels temperature- and activity-appropriate without sacrificing style. The brand is also size inclusive and offers a “Preloved” section on its website, where you can shop recycled pieces. The Advantage Jacket is our fun and flouncy favorite piece for women, while the Glacier Softshell Jacket is a worthwhile splurge if you’ll be getting active outside in cooler climates.

Sexy and sophisticated, Boden’s one-piece swimsuits and bikini sets are the perfect accessory for any beach day — and they’re made from recycled materials! The playful patterns — think bright florals, sweet scalloping, seaside scenes, and more — make for eye-catching layers under sheer tops as well, and any piece that has a double function is a great travel investment. We love that you can mix and match the bikinis as well, creating your own one-of-a-kind set when it comes to both pattern and size, because is there anything worse than a bikini set that fits you perfectly on top and sags on the bottom? Those who don’t mind a little color will be head over heels for the Cover U – Bar Swimsuit, while minimalists will be drawn to the sleek Arezzo V-neck Panel Swimsuit. There’s only a small handful of options for men, but the Fixed Waist Swim Short comes in a psychedelic Multi Utopia Swirl pattern that’s quite the trip.

Best for Business Travel

Ministry of Supply

“Workleisure” is the term Ministry of Supply uses to describe its business casual clothing, which is comfortable and pulled-together enough to head straight from the plane to the boardroom. The proprietary Kinetic fabric is designed to stretch without sagging over time, and smooths out wrinkles by absorbing your own body heat. For those looking to revamp their business travel look, check out the brand’s Systems, offered as a bundle of best-sellers (i.e. in activewear or workleisure) at a discounted price. The Kinetic Pull-on Pant is a game changer for anyone dashing from red eyes to day-long panels.

Best Plus-size

Columbia Sportswear

Known for its rugged sportswear, Columbia offers one of the most comfortable and performance-based lines of plus-size travel clothes for men and women. Boasting everything from toasty base layers to lightweight outer layers, the brand offers up to size 3X. The Women’s PFG Freezer™ III Dress is flowy and offers great sun protection, making it a perfect companion to take you from sightseeing to a night on the town. For men, the Ascender Softshell Jacket is a sleek and weather-resistant layer that’s great to have on trips where the weather can be iffy.

Best Luxury

Eileen Fisher

Relaxed and flowy, Eileen Fisher pieces are always on trend yet timeless. The clean lines and minimalist patterns are a traveler’s best friend, making sure all the pieces are versatile and easy to dress up or down. We love that they’re crafted from eco-friendly materials, too. If you’re in the market for a wow-worthy dress that will hide the fact that you’ve had it shoved into a compression pouch for four days, look no further than the Crushed Silk Tiered Dress, which comes in five chic shades and a wide size range.

Tips for Buying Travel Clothing

Layering is key

When looking to expand your travel wardrobe, you’ll want to select brands that offer a full range of products, from basics and underlayers to outerwear, so you’ll be prepared no matter the weather or conditions. Unless you plan to be in a colder climate the majority of the time, the best use of your suitcase space is to opt for lightweight layers, which offer more versatility than bulkier pieces you might not need or which might be too warm.

The more versatile the better

Every item you hit the road with should pull some sort of double duty: workout leggings layer under dresses in colder climates, while one-piece swimsuits double as tops in sunnier spots. Looking for pieces that can be worn in multiple ways or can be dressed up or down will go a long way in maximizing your outfit options. To that end, it’s a good idea to purchase versatile pieces from a handful of brands in order to create a personalized and well-rounded travel wardrobe for your specific needs.

Opt for wrinkle-resistant fabrics

Whether you’re packing for a weekend getaway or long summer trip, you’ll want to make sure to bring clothing that won’t require a lot of maintenance as you unpack. There’s nothing quite as frustrating as pulling your favorite shirt out of your suitcase only to realize it’s a crinkled mess. Even if you bring a travel iron or steamer on every vacation, you should pack clothing made of wrinkle-resistant fabric to save you time and energy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What should you not wear when traveling?

    It’s always a good idea to research local customs before heading to a new destination so you’re aware of any sartorial specifics. For instance, in some countries, it’s recommended or required to dress more modestly; women may need to cover their shoulders, while men and women both may need to cover their knees. Beyond respecting the local culture, it’s generally a good idea to avoid clothing that is 100 percent cotton, since it takes a long time to dry and can start to smell. Bulky layers are also unadvisable, as they’ll weigh you down and take up precious space in your suitcase.

  • Which travel clothing brand is the most durable?

    Patagonia offers clothing designed with rugged, rip-resistant, and waterproof material that is meant to take you trekking, climbing, and more, all while keeping you warm and dry. Its ​​H₂No® Performance Standard has been tested for longevity and extreme durability, and is backed by the Ironclad Guarantee.

  • How should I dress to travel on a plane?

    For plane rides, loose, stretchy clothing is ideal, but first and foremost, you should always dress however you feel most comfortable. Layers are key to easily combat fluctuating temperatures throughout the journey and still be prepared to hit the ground in whatever new climate you’re touching down in. Comfortable slippers or sneakers are essential as well — your feet may swell in flight, so you never want to pick tight shoes that will constrict you. Accessories like a neck pillow and an eye mask are also a good idea if you’re hoping to sleep in-flight.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this story, T+L contributor Sophie Dodd researched which qualities make a clothing brand a go-to for travelers, from the ruggedness of their pieces to the size inclusivity available. She used her expertise as a travel writer and full-time traveler to pull together a curated list of the best options for every need and budget.

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