Let’s face it, the era of cargo pants and polo shirts have faded.
Travel clothing now needs to be urban and sleek while also being practical and functional.
Too much to ask for?
Not in my books.
And the best travel clothing brands agree with me.
I’ve made a list of the best travel clothing brands of 2021 so you know where to look to begin your search.
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TOP 15 Best Travel Clothing Brands 2021
You might think that some of the brands you see below are outdoor brands… and you’d be right. But if they’re on this list, they also make fantastic travel clothing.
In fact, many of the best outdoor brands are increasingly widening their range to include functional but stylish travel clothing so that you can blend a little better with the local crowd.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
The North Face
The North Face is probably one of the most well-known outdoor clothing companies. It started out as a climbing store in California in 1966 but has gradually branched out to incorporate all areas of outdoor and travel life.
Their clothing is excellent quality, functional and just as appropriate for a hike through the hills as the city. Their gear is durable, thoughtfully designed and capable of standing up to all of the elements that you might encounter.
But, you probably know that North Face don’t just make clothing, they have a huge range of outdoor and travel gear including some of the best carry-on bags too. Check them out and you might just find everything you need for your next trip!
Patagonia is another top of the line outdoor brand that also makes excellent travel clothing. The company actually has close ties with The North Face, as the former CEO of Patagonia was married to the late founder of The North Face.
The couple were responsible for protecting the largest area of land for conservation purposes than any other private individuals, protecting more than 2 million acres in Chile and Argentina – very, very cool.
Patagonia also has stringent environmental sustainability practices and strict requirements that extend to all partnering companies.
They have a huge range of travel clothing, with their winter stuff being very warm and very durable (incidentally, their packable down jackets are some of the best), and their summer stuff wouldn’t be out of place on a tropical island holiday.
All in all, you could stock your entire travel wardrobe from Patagonia and be in very safe hands.
Columbia is probably one of the more well-known travel clothing brands out there. Founded in 1938 in the States, it’s been around for a while and now has a really wide range of clothing options to suit different travel requirements and budgets.
You can get your hiking essentials with warm and weather-proof outdoor gear, or you can choose from their impressive range of travel clothes which are designed to be lightweight, easy to wash, durable and most of all, comfortable.
Columbia also have a great range of clothing with hidden pockets which could be an essential part of your kit depending on where you’re traveling.
Even when different tastes are added to the mix, Columbia is definitely one of the best travel clothing brands and a great place to start if you’re not sure what you’re looking for!
Prana is a Californian clothing company (actually owned by Columbia), that specializes in casual travel style. The original owners wanted to make sustainable clothing back in 1992, and sewed the first products themselves in their garage. Prana was also the first North American clothing company to become Fair Trade Certified which is quite an achievement.
They’re now one of the top travel clothing brands for comfortable, stylish travel. Think the quintessential woolen jersey, functional jeans and beanie.
Prana make some of the best hiking pants for women, while still keeping you tidy enough to pop into a restaurant at the end of the day without getting changed first.
You might expect to see Marmot on a list of the best camping tent brands or an article about climbing gear rather than here with the travel clothing. And you’d be right, Marmot make formidable tents and climbing equipment.
But they also make some excellent travel clothing.
For example, their City Tech jackets are clear leaders in warm winter jackets that meld outdoor practicality with urban style.
Winter Jackets aren’t something that you immediately think of when you think ‘travel clothing’. But travel isn’t always restricted to hot summery conditions. If you’re going to be heading somewhere chilly, I have an article for the best winter hiking jackets which is definitely worth a look.
Smartwool is another top North American company that makes high-quality merino socks, base layers and accessories. Founded in the ‘90s by a couple of ski instructors, it’s now owned by Timberland and sources all of its wool from a New Zealand Merino supplier that doesn’t practice the controversial ‘mulesing’.
SmartWool products are super durable and their socks have got to be some of the longest-lasting merino socks on the market. They are really warm, and just don’t seem to get holes no matter how often you wear them!
But SmartWool are no longer just all about socks. They also make outerwear as well, with a range of insulated jackets, vests and merino hoodies and tank tops, all perfect for unlimited travel.
Icebreaker are a top-quality New Zealand merino wool clothing company that make such fine, dense merino clothes that they don’t actually look or feel like merino. You’ll look like you’re wearing cotton or some kind of synthetic mix but you get all the practicalities of merino.
Good quality merino is moisture-wicking and doesn’t harbor bacteria so it takes a lot longer to start smelling and can go a lot longer without being washed.
This makes Icebreaker clothing a great option for all kinds of travelers, from digital nomads who need to make sure each piece of clothing really counts (as they live indefinitely out of their backpacks), to outdoor enthusiasts who need a practical choice for changeable weather conditions.
Similar to Icebreaker but with a more formal edge, Unbound Merino prides itself on making top quality merino clothing that allows you to travel as light as possible and find “freedom through simplicity”.
Each piece of clothing is multi-functional that you can wear it in a variety of situations and not have to launder it every day.
But the awesome thing about Unbound Merino clothing is how stylish it is at the same time. The founders wanted to provide merino clothing that would look good in a museum or restaurant. Their merino t-shirts have “sophisticated European elegance” so you won’t feel as though you’re dressed for the outdoors even though you’re wearing wool.
Outlier began in answer to the need for clothes that could perform for a cycle commute to work and then perform in the office too.
Their ethos surrounds the need for clothing that is versatile and hardwearing so that one item can do the job of many. They pride themselves on thoughtful, dynamic design and durability.
The company started out as a men’s clothing brand but has grown to include a women’s line and is now a popular choice for urban travel clothing. From merino hoodies to ultrafine merino dress shirts and comfortable but bulletproof dress pants, they really have thought of everything.
L.L. Bean has been around for a while. Started in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean in Maine, the brand comes into the game when you want the perfect balance between outdoor practicality and comfortable everyday wear. Their style definitely leans more towards the casual end of the spectrum but there are some dressier pieces too.
You’ll can blend in with the urban crowd and then continue on out into the mountains and be comfortable and prepared.
Uniqlo is a Japanese brand that includes a line of lightweight, affordable clothing. In particular, their Heattech line has all the base layers, leggings and jerseys you could need to kit out your travel capsule wardrobe.
Their travel pant-leggings (look like pants but feel like leggings) are the perfect pants for long plane flights and traveling in general, being stretchy, soft and really affordable.
They also have lines for kid’s and baby clothes so if you’re traveling with a family, Uniqlo could be the way to go for everyone.
Vancouver-based Lululemon started out making yoga attire but quickly became super successful and now have a wide range of clothing that is perfect for travel.
I think it’d be fair to say that they’re are most known for their yoga leggings, but they make excellent functional and good looking athletic clothing that makes travel simple, comfortable and practical. Their clothing is especially good for lightweight travel with just one or two spare outfits. And they have social impact and sustainability programs in place.
Grab yourself a pair of Lululemon leggings and match them with a pair of the best women’s hiking sandals and you will have minimalist travel down to a ‘t’.
Anatomie make some of the most popular women’s travel clothes (their Men’s stuff is great too but the women’s stuff is excellent).
Designed for flying with only carry-on luggage in mind, Anatomie clothing is stretchy, wrinkle-free and available in a range of styles and designs so you can wear exactly what you’re most comfortable wearing and not be limited to someone else’s taste.
You can be as formal or casual as you want while also being comfortable and practical. In particular, they make amazing travel pants that can literally be the only pair of pants you take with on your travels.
Check out my article on the best carry-on luggage for women if you think you’re in the same boat as the Anatomie folk.
Ministry of Supply
Boston-based Ministry of Supply have mastered the art of creating formal dress that doesn’t come with the dry-cleaning bill attached.
Their clothing is very sleek and cut to impress even the most picky of fashionistas, but you can be comfortable and move freely at the same time. Long story short, it’s stretchy, breathable and doesn’t need ironing, so you can roll it into your suitcase and then be good to go on arrival.
And last but not least, they have great sustainability practices in place, so you can be sure that your purchases aren’t contributing to the environmental disaster that is fast fashion.
Pair one of Ministry of Supply’s winning outfits with a wheeled carry-on backpack and you will be all set for the practicalities of travel with about as much style as you can fit in your suitcase.
Bluffworks’ travel clothes are another great option if there’s business involved in your travel, or you just appreciate classy urban style, or you’ll be hitting the cities and don’t want your attire to scream ‘tourist’.
Bluffworks was born out of one man’s desire to leave behind the 9-5 grind and live his travel dreams, a concept that is close to my heart! They arguably offer the best travel pants for men; their chinos are pretty hard to beat.
Using only innovative materials and classy cuts, Bluffworks clothes are moisture-wicking, wrinkle-resistant and machine (or hotel sink) washable, making them another classy but practical option.
And if that’s not enough, Bluffworks have also thought about your valuables and offer strategically placed pockets that are semi-hidden for the security-conscious.
That rounds out the list of the best travel clothing brands of 2021.
I’ve included brands to cover every style, whether you’re more functional, athletic, urban or traveling for business and needing to blend in.
Do you agree with everything on this list?
Feel free to share your favorites in the comments below and I might just add them in!
Oh, and before you leave for your trip, make sure you’ve downloaded and read my solo travel ebook so you can completely prepared!
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