Travel Clothes Perfected With Aviator Jeans

Travel Clothes Perfected With Aviator Jeans

By |2019-09-16T04:44:48-04:00September 16th, 2019|Personal Stuff, Travel Gear|17 Comments

Aviator Travel Clothes

It’s not a secret. I’m just not a fan of ‘travel clothes’.

After 19 years of traveling the world, I don’t understand the concept.

Fast-drying clothes? That sounds good but I don’t need clothes that dry in 27 seconds. Regular drying time works for me.

Convertible pants/shorts? Wonderful! However, I don’t think I’ve ever felt a need to switch between the two in the middle of a day, ever. Am I weird?

Super special material? I get it. Different materials have different benefits. Sure, some materials keep you cooler, some keep you warmer. Some are known for their otherworldly softness or their ability to stay ‘clean’, or at least hide the smell. But good old regular cotton does the trick, too. It works for millions of non-traveling people so why can’t it work for travelers as well?

429 pockets? Again, on paper it sounds useful to have so many pockets on a pair of pants or on one shirt. But I barely carry enough stuff to fill up one pocket. What do travelers carry in their pants and shirts that I’m missing?


Travel Clothes vs Normal Clothes

What I don’t understand is this – when I’m traveling, there really isn’t much difference than if I wasn’t traveling when it comes to clothes.

In both cases, I walk. I sit. I stand. Sometimes it’s warm out. Other times it’s cool. My money and credit cards go in one pocket. I’m good to go.

So why do I need super special clothes just because I’m crossing a border into a foreign land?

Luckily, I don’t think I’m the only one who’s made this realization. I currently see a trend taking place where overly functional and specialized ‘travel clothes’ are being replaced by normal looking clothes that offer a couple of simple benefits for those who travel.

That’s something I can handle.


The Answer – Aviator Jeans

Travel Clothes Aviator Jeans pocket

Where am I going with this?

If I was living in Chattanooga, Tennessee, hitchhiking in the Karaokaram Mountains of Pakistan, visiting Chernobyl or taking a road trip around the Maramures region of Romania, I’d be wearing normal-looking jeans and a normal-looking shirt. So, I like to have normal-looking jeans and normal-looking shirts in my suitcase.

Aviator jeans. That’s what I’ve settled on.

I now have two pairs of these jeans – blue and black – and I wear them almost every day. It doesn’t get any simpler.

Aviator jeans are good looking, comfortable, high-quality jeans. No high-tech ventilation system, no fur from the underbelly of a yak and they don’t turn into a raincoat if I tap my knees three times.

Travel Clothes Aviator Jeans

The passport above fits perfectly into the zipper pocket.

The Travel Benefits of Aviator Travel Jeans?

1. Benefit #1 – They don’t get too wrinkled when folded up in a suitcase for a while. Cool, I can dig it.

2. Benefit #2 – They have a zipper pocket inside of one of the side pockets and inside both of the back pockets too. This provides a simple, yet effective, extra layer of protection for my money, credit cards and even my passport.

3. Benefit #3 –  I could get away with wearing these jeans in almost any situation, from the most casual to a more formal gathering. Ideal for a traveler.


Three simple, excellent benefits without sacrificing look or comfort (in fact, these jeans are super comfortable).

Aviator jeans.  Normal jeans for travelers. I finally found them.

Thoughts? Are you a travel clothes kind of traveler?

(The post is meant to be sarcastic. Travel clothes clearly offer benefits for many travelers!)

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  1. Amy Dugan September 30, 2019 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Hahah this is honestly so true, a couple of basic clothing pieces that you could wear in everyday life is the perfect clothing for travel. But I do love these jeans for keeping things a little extra safe when in your pocket! Recently discovered your blog from reading Nomadic Matt and really happy I found it 🙂 love your story Derek / Earl / Dearl!!

    – Amy Dugan @

  2. Craig September 23, 2019 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    The only problem I found traveling with jeans, especially in colder environments, is the added weight in the backpack. Plus washing and drying in the sink/tub of our hotel took two days since the jeans were so heavy. I recently found the lightweight Trek pants that I can pick up in Costco for less than $20/pair. They look good, have stretch fabric which makes movement much easier if climbing or hiking. Planning on bringing two pair on our upcoming trip to Bhutan and Nepal. Just my 2 cents

  3. Simon September 19, 2019 at 1:34 am - Reply

    Absolutely loved it. People generally tend to overlook the idea of travel clothes…but it’s damn comfortable to have a perfect jeans like the one you’ve mentioned.

  4. Heidi Smith September 18, 2019 at 10:30 am - Reply

    Now you have to review pants for women. Are you up to the challenge lol?

  5. Keith @nobullshittravel September 17, 2019 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    I agree with everything you wrote. Except that I don’t think the 3 extra zippers are worth the extra 80-100$ more than a pair of Levi’s 511 or 514. Same thought process though. 6 years nonstop around the world, 1 black pair of 514’s, 1 blue pair of 511’s. The 514 were 40 of the best dollars I’ve ever spent, worn at least 500 times and still going. The 511’s I won on The Price is Right haha. Neither wrinkles much when rolled up. The 514 is a lil looser for a hike. The 511’s are a little slimmer for a date. When I see “travel clothing” I think it’s just an excuse to charge triple the price to a different marketing segment. I’m sure Aviator jeans are nice, but I don’t see any reason why they are $125 instead of $60 except for marketing and because apparently people will pay it.

    • Derek September 18, 2019 at 3:10 am - Reply

      Hey Keith – It’s also comfort and look. I’ve never found Levi’s to be too comfortable on me or found a pair that really fit me well. And the Aviator jeans just look better. They give me an even wider range (from very casual to much more formal) based on their look and quality, something that is very useful for travelers as you pointed out. Seems like you’ve done well with your Levi’s though, which is definitely a sweet deal!

  6. Jeremy September 17, 2019 at 1:58 am - Reply

    Great write up on what sounds like your ideal jean for travel. We too have arrived at the same place, all the typical travel wear just isn’t needed in most cases.

    The only exception I can think of is outdoors wear, say we were going hiking out in the rain, we would then put on all the waterproof gear to keep us as dry as we could be.

    Other than that we like to look less like we are on vacation and blend in some, especially when we are in foreign cities with the potential for pickpockets and scams.

  7. Melanie September 16, 2019 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    I don’t really “do” travel clothes either, but synthetic fibers are my thing. I get less blisters from wool or polyester socks than cotton, my clothes dry faster (like when I need something same day) and it feels cooler. My travels are usually in very humid areas and I live in the desert so that’s why I have a few special things when I travel. I’ll definitely look into these jeans, though. However, as a woman I doubt the pockets will wow me. Thanks for the article!

  8. Jennie September 16, 2019 at 11:06 am - Reply

    Interesting post – I actually really enjoy having specific ‘travel’ clothes, but I think it’s more to do with adding to the excitement when you get them out of the wardrobe to pack! Can you tell me if an iphoneX would fit inside the zipped pocket?

    • Derek September 16, 2019 at 12:10 pm - Reply

      That makes sense too! And I think that an iPhone X would fit in the zip pocket in the back of the jeans.

      • Colby September 17, 2019 at 3:18 pm - Reply

        Yes, fits in the back zippered pockets but also fits inside the front zipper pocket of the mens jeans.

    • Colby Kane September 17, 2019 at 3:17 pm - Reply

      Hi Jennie,
      Great question… YES the iphone X fits in the zipper pockets.

  9. Scott September 16, 2019 at 10:59 am - Reply

    gotta disagree on the fast-drying part. I can bring 2 or max three pair of socks/underwear for a two week trip, as while one is drying overnight, I have one ready for the next day. The rest I agree with, and will look into those jeans

    • Derek September 16, 2019 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      I understand that but I guess my regular underwear dries overnight too so that’s why I don’t see much difference.

  10. Andy Bridges September 16, 2019 at 10:51 am - Reply

    Derek – absolutely agree. Along similar lines have you encountered Bluffworks jeans? And the rest of their gear I think they’re more like clothes that work for travel rather than being ‘travel clothes’

    • Derek September 16, 2019 at 12:12 pm - Reply

      Thanks for reading Andy and I’ll check those out, thanks!

    • John September 18, 2019 at 1:21 pm - Reply

      I will plug Bluffworks as well, although I didn’t know they had jeans. I have struggled for years with finding decent looking pants to use when traveling, and I think I’ve finally found them with Bluffworks. I actually wear them at home, work and traveling and they function well across all three. I have a pair of nice Prana pants too and love them for the different look and feel. I don’t typically wear jeans if I’m on a longer trip because they’re bulky and can be hard to dry if they get wet, but I’ll have to check out the Aviator. At least these days they’re coming out with better looking stuff that can be used everywhere. I no longer buy stuff I wouldn’t wear at home too, which was not the case 10 years ago. Thanks for sharing!

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