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Best Men's Travel Pants

If you’re a guy and wear the same pants long enough, it’s not a matter of if they’ll blow out but when. Traveling overseas, the last thing you want is a massive split in the seam of your crotch when replacing those pants isn’t an option. After researching different options, Chipp confirmed that to minimize the likelihood of such an outcome, the best men’s travel pants are Columbia’s Ultimate ROC Flex Pant.


Why Trust Our Recommendation for Men’s Travel Pants?


In Chipp’s prior life in the Marine infantry, he hiked - a lot. Between conditioning hikes on pavement and patrols through the hills, miles added up. And, with these miles, “cammie” pants take a, well, friction beating to certain areas. Fortunately, “government issue” isn’t a slur with these pants, as their tough material helps minimize the likelihood of a mid-patrol crotch blowout. 


During our travels abroad, we walked a lot, too. In cities, we’d spend whole days wandering through new neighborhoods. In outdoor areas, we’d hike through incredibly stunning and diverse landscapes. Anticipating this mileage, Chipp wanted pants that offered the reliability of his old Marine “cammies” without the more-than-a-little ridiculous look of strolling around in hunting gear. 


Enter the Columbia ROC Flex! Spending a year overseas, constantly on the move, validated our initial research - men just can’t beat these pants for travel.  


Why We Love Columbia Men's Ultimate ROC Flex Pant for Travel

Hiking Big Daddy dune in Columbia travel pants

Best Features


  • Resilience and durability: You can’t have a good pair of travel pants that fall apart in a week. The Columbia ones have a toughness and durability that prevents this sort of unfortunate outcome. The rugged material prevents tears in the knees, even when scrambling up steep rocks. And, the tough seams and utility stretch material minimizes the likelihood of a split down the crotch. 


  • Comfort: While you need resilience, travel pants should also have a level of comfort - no one wants to wear an itchy burlap sack on their legs… These pants, despite a real toughness on the outside, feel great against the skin. And, with Columbia’s utility stretch material, they have some give, so you don’t feel like you’re wearing immovable concrete cylinders! 


  • Rear zipper pocket: This provides peace of mind. Would we recommend keeping your wallet in a back pocket, even one with zippers? Nope, that’s what a money pouch is for. But, in terms of keeping small, important items from falling out of your pockets at inopportune times, this rear zipper pocket is perfect. When we had rental cars on different parts of our travels, throwing the keys in this pocket - especially on hikes - ensured we’d still be able to drive when we got back to the parking lot!  


  • Knife pocket: Going back to the Marine thing, Chipp’s a firm believer in always having a pocket knife with you on your travels; it just comes in handy. These pants include a dedicated knife pocket - extremely convenient for A) keeping your knife secure, while B) ensuring it’s readily accessible. 


  • Double as pants for rugged outdoor activities and casual social events: Traveling out of a backpack for a year, pack room is at a premium - can’t have clothes for every occasion. (NOTE: Packing cubes help a ton with optimizing space!). So, even the most comfortable and durable pants need to look somewhat good. These Columbia pants have a “dressy” enough look that, after wearing them walking through the city all day, you can throw on a collared shirt and wear them to dinner. Would they work at the symphony? Probably not… But, they get the job done during the day and night, which saves room in your pack - no need to bring an extra pair of more formal slacks! 


Manufacturer’s Specs


Here’s a full list of the ROC Flex men’s travel pants features published by Columbia:



  • Featuring utility stretch, cotton-blend fabric, these pants are built for performance.

  • Omni-Shade™ UPF 50 sun protection

  • Utility stretch

  • Hand pockets

  • Zip-closed security pocket

  • Knife pocket

  • Imported

Story from the Road


Without exaggeration, climbing the “Big Daddy” dune in the Namib Desert may have been one of the most challenging physical tests either of us ever undertook. Sure, we weren’t exactly in tip-top shape (we did a good job counteracting the health benefits of all our walking with plenty of wine, booze, and food during our travels…). But still, climbing 325 meters of sand is absolutely exhausting, regardless of your fitness. For every step you take, it seems like you sink back two. 


Naturally, this sort of climb resulted in more than a couple falls (though fortunately no tumbles all the way to the bottom!). And, most of these falls included some sort of weird, should-I-be-bending-like-this? sort of leg movements. In other words, Chipp was in a situation ripe for a crotch blowout! 


Fast forward a few hours later, post-ascent and after a skiing-like run down the steep backside of Big Daddy, and Chipp’s pants had survived the adventure. Actually, the ROC Flexs probably held up better than Chipp himself, who was thoroughly exhausted. 


Affiliate Disclosure


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