I need pants
October 31, 2008 10:41 AM   Subscribe

Help me find the best pair of pants to fit my needs!

I need help finding a solid pair of pants for long-term travel. Here are some key characteristics that these pants should have:

-High degree of durability
-(Mostly) wrinkle free
-Converts to shorts
-Somewhat water-repellent
-Warm in the cold, cool in the heat
-Resistant to odors
-Quick drying
-Dark in color

Is there a particular fabric I should be aiming for? Wool? Is there a pair of pants out there that can meet my all of my expectations, or should I pick a few of the components that are most important to me and go from there? Any particular brands you can recommend?
posted by wordsmith to Shopping (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I am going to assume you're a dude, and suggest these or these.

Both are lightweight, convertible, and made of nylon so quick drying without many wrinkles.
I am not sure how warm they would be, though. I think that is going to be your toughest criterion. (A chance to use the singular!)
posted by rmless at 11:12 AM on October 31, 2008

Why does it need to be wrinkle-free? Ar you looking for them to dress up a bit?

Most convertible pants made by outdoorsy companies like The North Face or Columbia will fit all/most of your specifications, but the very essence of *being* convertible means that the pants are going to appear pretty casual, because they'll have that big chunky part where the legs zip off. They will, by the nature of the fabric, probably be pretty wrinkle-resistant, but they won't make you look sharp for a nice restaurant.

So as long as you're not looking to wear them for dressy occasions, try
Sierra Trading Post
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 11:16 AM on October 31, 2008

nau.com is back in business and they meet all those requirements (although maybe not the converts to shorts requirement). They are expensive, but very much worth it. I get all my skiing clothes and all my casual work clothes from Nau, and the stuff is top-notch.
posted by crush-onastick at 11:47 AM on October 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm not a fan of 100% nylon dark pants. They get really hot when you're traveling, I had heat rashes on my legs. Of course, if you're going to convert to shorts that's no problem unless you're in a place where shorts are frowned upon (like most non-US countries). I also don't like convertible pants because when the zipper can hit weird when you kneel or sit on it for a long time and is really uncomfortable, but I'm super picky about travel clothes.

My suggestion is cotton + a bit of lycra in a neutral color. These won't work for dress pants, but if you're getting zip-offs I imagine you're not looking to go to the opera in them. If you do go with something with more synthetic in it I suggest not 100% synthetic.
posted by Bunglegirl at 1:54 PM on October 31, 2008

Have you considered Patagonia clothes? They don't make 'convertible to shorts' pants (at least I don't think they do), but their clothes really last and are high quality. The downside is that you should be ready for sticker shock, they are a pricey company.
posted by RobGF at 7:38 PM on October 31, 2008

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