5 Best Travel Shorts for Men: Jet-Set in Total Comfort

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by  William Barton | Last Updated: 

Half the fun of travel is in the planning. Don’t get caught in the humid heat with a thick pair of jeans.

If you want to maximize your comfort while staying stylish and keeping your things secure, you’re going to want to see these five amazing travel shorts.

Best Shorts with Zipper Pockets
  • Made with a soft and flexible technical fabric, which is extremely comfortable
  • Two discreet zipper pockets at the thighs and a protected back pocket
  • Drawstring waistband, and a stylish cut
Best with Hidden Pockets
  • Standard look of chino shorts, with nine total pockets (including one on the inside of the shorts big enough for a passport)
  • Wrinkle resistant and quick to dry
  • Adventurous color options
Most Durable
  • Made for more rugged adventures—durable technical fabric
  • Available with 8, 10, and 12” inseams
  • Best if you plan on a lot of hikes or outdoor activities for your trip
Best Quick Dry
  • Street style savvy blend between a workout short and swim trunks
  • Two generous front pockets, and one discreet zipper pocket
  • Water and odor resistant with quick drying fabric makes these excellent to stuff in your travel bag
Best Budget
  • Four way technical stretch fabric is comfortable
  • Typical five pocket design with an added zipper pocket in the thigh
  • 10-inch inseam with a wider leg opening

Just imagine you’re in a crowded market—you’re carrying everything you’ve got on your back, it’s midday and the humidity is high, you’re hungry.

And you’re wearing a pair of jeans.

That’s rough. 

Now imagine the same thing, but you’ve got a cool pair of shorts. They’re light, breazy, comfortable. Oh, what’s that? A coconut with a small umbrella in it? Of course, I’ll have that. 

I never want you to lose your cool. Because when you’re traveling, the situation can get dire. The less you have to worry about your travel gear, the more you can enjoy the scenery. 

These are the five best travel shorts you’re going to want with you on your next adventure. 

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5 Best Men’s Travel Shorts for Easy Sailing

Best Shorts with Zipper Pockets: Public Rec All Day Every Day Shorts

model walking down wooden steps wearing basic man shirt and public rec shorts

I recently flew across the US with my Public Rec All Day Every Day Shorts, and I’ll do it again next time I have the chance. 

You might call me vain, but style is a top priority for me when I’m traveling. And a few years ago, that meant you’d probably need to sacrifice comfort or security. But that’s just not the case anymore. 

I like the Public Rec ADED Shorts because they have a slimmer fit through the thighs and fall an inch or so above my knee. Beyond that, they have two zipper pockets, which is really helpful: I just throw my phone, wallet, or passport in my pockets, zip them up, and I don’t have to worry about it. 

And if my shorts start to get heavy with everything I’m putting in them, I just tighten the drawstring.

The cherry on top is that they’re super comfortable, which is a must for plane flights. They’re also wrinkle-resistant so you can roll them up tightly and you don’t have to worry about looking like a slob when you take them out.

What I Like

  • The two zippered pockets at the side have plenty of room and they’re super secure, so I never have to worry about my phone or wallet falling out. 

  • The fabric is soft and stretchy, which is perfect for long flights or car rides when sitting for hours. 

  • Of all the shorts on this list, the ADED shorts have the best style, in my opinion. 

What I Don’t Like

  • These have a sporty laid back vibe to them, which I think looks really cool, but it might not be for every guy. 

What Other Reviewers Say

Last I checked, over 625 reviewers give the Public Rec All Day Every Day Short a 4.9-star average. 

Many reviewers mention that this is their third or fourth time shopping with Public Rec, too. They’ve built a following, and I understand why. Their clothes all work well together and have a similar chill vibe that no other brand does.

The Verdict

The Public Rec All Day Every Day Short made the top of our list of most comfortable shorts. They’re also at the top of my list for best travel shorts. 

Part of the reason is their comfort. But they’re also stylish, and I love the added security of the zipper pockets. 

I give the ADED Short outstanding marks in the four biggest categories: style, comfort, security, and ease of travel.

Public Rec All Day Every Day Short

It's hard to get more comfortable than Public Rec's All Day Every Day fabric. The drawstring and uber-stretchy fabric make this comfortable enough for a backyard barbecue, but stylish enough for a trip into the city.

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Best with Hidden Pockets: Bluffworks Ascender Shorts

Who says travel gear has to be all ripstop fabrics that immediately single you out as a tourist? 

If you’ve ever been to Europe in the summer, you’ve seen enough Americans wearing those thin technical fabric shirts with the two water drainage holes in the breast pocket (why?) to know it’s easy to spot someone who doesn’t quite fit in. 

Now, I don’t mind standing out, but I like to travel in style. Bluffworks is all about equipping guys with travel clothes that look like what you’d wear in your normal day-to-day. I’ve had their travel suit for almost two years now and I’m a huge fan. 

Their Ascender Shorts look just like standard chino shorts, but they’re decked out with nine different pockets—yes, nine pockets. One of the pockets is actually on the inside of the short and you can only access it if you take your pants all the way down. That’s where you want to store your passport for safekeeping. 

What I Like

  • These shorts look just like classic chino shorts, but they have plenty of pockets ideal for keeping your travel items safe. 

  • Bluffworks has the standard neutral colors, but they also have some brighter colors if you’re more adventurous with your style. 

  • The internal passport pocket is awesome if you’re traveling abroad. 

What I Don’t Like

  • They only come with a 9” inseam, and I prefer a shorter 7” inseam.

What Other Reviewers Say

Comfort comes up over and over again throughout the reviews. But I didn’t expect one repeated comment that came up multiple times: the front pockets are super deep. Guys love this aspect because they’re able to carry maps and random odds and ends in their front pockets while keeping the precious goods like passports and wallets tucked away in zippered pockets.

The Verdict

If you want a pair of regular looking shorts, but need some sneaky pockets and travel-friendly fabric (i.e. non-wrinkle), the Bluffworks Ascender Short is the way to go. 

Compared to the Public Rec ADED Short, it’s not as comfortable, so I would choose the ADED over the Ascender for any long travel periods. But if you’re going into a super crowded area—particularly a place that might have pickpockets roaming about—the secretive pockets on the Ascender are a safe choice.

Bluffworks Ascender Chino Shorts

They look like standard chino shorts. But they have---wait for it---nine different pockets. Only four are showing. Can you guess where the other five are?

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Most Durable: Kuhl Free Radikl

Man in Kuhl shorts

Kuhl isn’t really a hiking brand. And they’re not really a travel brand. Consider them an adventure brand. 

The Free Radikl short is an excellent option if you’re doing some more local travel and cruising from National Park to National Park. 

If you plan on putting in miles and miles on foot in more remote areas, durability is going to play a huge factor, and the Free Radikl crushes it in this department. 

Made with Kuhl’s proprietary ENDURO fabric, these shorts have an incredible amount of abrasion resistance. Maybe that’s not the kind of thing you need if you’re strolling through a museum, but it’s definitely what you want if you’re scrambling up a boulder so you can get a better vantage point of the most beautiful mountain range you’ve ever seen. 

What I Like

  • The fabric and construction is all geared toward durability—the crotch is gusseted which helps a lot with long stretches.

  • These have seven pockets, and a few good places to store multitools and any hiking gadgets.

  • You have three length options: 8, 10, and 12” inseams.

What I Don’t Like

  • These look like hiking shorts. While they’re awesome for adventures, I personally wouldn’t wear them to a wine bar abroad. But for a local beer on top of a big rock in the wilderness? Heck yes. 

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers for the Free Radikl seem to really like the cut of the shorts. They’re slim through the thigh—a departure from many other hiking brands that make their shorts baggier. 

This gives the Free Radikl a unique look that’s still rugged, but much more flattering than those dumpy old shorts you’re used to wearing on hikes.

The Verdict

A lot of times when we think of travel, we imagine ourselves on a boat in a distant land. Or maybe that’s just me. 

But if I’m honest, most of the travel I do is close to home. And it usually involves climbing up a big rock. More often than I’d like to admit, it also involves slipping and falling down a muddy hill. 

If those are the sort of adventures you’re into also, you’re going to love the Free Radikl from Kuhl

To me, they’re not the most stylish from a classic perspective. But for rugged, durable hiking shorts, they’re surprisingly sophisticated.

Kühl Free Radikl Short

The Free Radikl Short is a capable option for anything from a day hike to a casual lunch downtown to an extreme, all-day trek.

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Best Quick Dry: Public Rec Flex Short

Public Rec knows how to make a comfortable short, and if you need something that’s easy to wash on the go, doubles as swimming trunks, and still looks great out on the town, the Flex Short is the way to go. 

Travel clothes need to be versatile, and there’s hardly a better option for summer travel shorts than the Flex. The two front pockets are deep, and there’s even a discreet zipper pocket in the front left panel so you can stash your wallet there. Just don’t forget it when you dive into the pool. 

What I Like

  • The Flex is super versatile: they work as gym shorts, swim trunks, and the zipper pocket makes them suitable for everyday wear, too. 

  • There’s a huge variety of sizes in six neutral colors.

  • Polyester technical fabric is easy to clean, doesn’t wrinkle, and doesn’t pick up odors. 

What I Don’t Like

  • There aren’t any back pockets if you regularly use those. 

What Other Reviewers Say

With over 200 reviews averaging out to 4.5 stars on the Public Rec site, there’s a lot of data to pull from. A lot of people were surprised to see how well these fit into their casual daily wardrobe.

While Public Rec markets them as an option for gym and waterwear, they’re by no means limited to those niche activities. Many reviewers just wear them casually like they would any other pair of shorts and love them for it.

The Verdict

Hopefully your travels include a little relaxation. And I can’t think of anything more relaxing than taking a dip in the water. 

But if you’re traveling light, carrying an extra pair of swim trunks is a hassle, and I really only like to bring items that can do double or triple duty. 

The Public Rec Flex Short is the master of triple-duty: swim trunks, gym shorts, and everyday casual style.

Public Rec Flex Short

A little bit of swim shorts, a little bit of workout shorts. A whole lot of comfort.

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Best Budget: ZeroXposur Stretch Travel Shorts

Woops, you spent all your cash on the plane ticket. No worries, you can still find a great pair of travel shorts for under $30. 

ZeroXposur Stretch Travel Shorts aren’t the fanciest or most stylish, but the fabric is super comfortable and durable, and is perfect for the demands of a long itinerary. 

These shorts are great all-rounders, meaning they perform well on more adventurous vacations like hiking through national parks, and they do well in the city, too. 

But most importantly, they won’t break the bank.

What I Like

  • The value is solid on these shorts. They don’t cost much, but they’re still very comfortable and quite durable for travel. 

  • They provide a lot of coverage and the fabric has a 50+ UPF rating.

  • They’re wrinkle resistant and dry out fairly quickly. 

What I Don’t Like

  • Of all the options on our list, they’re the least stylish. 

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers love how “pick up and go” these shorts are. Even after stepping off the tarmac from a long plane flight, they remain wrinkle free like you’d just pressed them an hour ago. 

Many reviewers say these are ideal for golf vacations as the front zip pocket is ideal for holding extra balls and tees, plus the 4-way stretch fabric makes them super comfortable and cool.

The Verdict

Sometimes you just need a decent pair of shorts on the cheap. For the best blend of comfort and flexibility, with a dash of security from the front zipper pocket, all at a sub $30 price, check out ZeroXposur.

They’re not the most stylish shorts—the leg opening is a bit too wide and baggy. That can be a good thing if you like a roomier fit in your thighs, but from a classic style perspective, they’re not doing you too many favors. 

Still, it’s hard to beat how flexible and breathable they are, so if value and comfort are your priorities, these are your travel shorts.

ZeroXposur Stretch Travel Shorts

ZeroXposur Stretch Travel Shorts aren’t the fanciest or most stylish, but the fabric is super comfortable and durable, and is perfect for the demands of a long itinerary.

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How to Roll Shorts for Travel

Maybe you fold your clothes for vacation, but if you’ve never tried rolling them up, you’re not making the most of the space you have in your luggage. 

Rolling your shorts is the way to go, especially if you’re using anything like the Public Rec ADED Short as the non-wrinkle fabric will keep you looking fresh, even if your clothes have been packed away for weeks. 

Step 1: Fold your shorts in half vertically

To start, hold your shorts out in front of you and fold in half vertically. You should only be seeing one leg of your shorts now. 

Step 2: Fold vertically again

Lay your shorts on the ground and fold vertically again. We’re talking double hot-dog style for those who forgot what vertical meant when they were in the 7th grade. 

Step 3: Start at the waist and roll to the leg opening

Firmly grab the waistband with both hands. Start rolling toward the bottom of your shorts. 

Keep both hands tight on the band so you keep the form contained. You don’t want fabric hanging out as it can unravel all the hard work you’ve done to this point. 

Once you’ve rolled them to the bottom, you’re done. Toss them in your bag and hurry to the car. You’re late for your flight. 

Let’s Get Out of Here

There’s a lot of fun to be had out there. I’m itching to get out just talking about it. 

The best all-round travel short in my opinion is the Public Rec ADED Short. It has safety features like zippered pockets, it’s versatile, and looks cool.

Public Rec All Day Every Day Short

It's hard to get more comfortable than Public Rec's All Day Every Day fabric. The drawstring and uber-stretchy fabric make this comfortable enough for a backyard barbecue, but stylish enough for a trip into the city.

Check Best Price
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

But if you want a more traditional looking short with tons of hidden pockets, check out the Bluffworks Ascender Shorts. If you’re going on a national park tour, you need the Kuhl Free Radikl.

If you’re headed somewhere remotely beachy but you’re not sure if you need trunks, the Public Rec Flex is the way to go. One short, multiple uses.

And if you’re on a strict budget, check out the ZeroXposur Travel Short

Let’s pack our bags and hit the road.  

FAQs

What are the best travel clothes?

The best travel clothes should be stylish, comfortable, flexible, and have at least one zipper pocket for the items you absolutely can’t lose. My favorite travel brands are Public Rec and Bluffworks.

What should I wear on a plane?

Long gone are the days of wearing a suit on the plane. You need something comfortable for the small seat, but you also need something that’s easy to get through security in. I like Public Rec ADED Shorts because they have zippered pockets, a drawstring (no belt to take off in security), and they’re super soft and flexible.

What are the most comfortable shorts?

There are plenty of shorts that are super comfortable, but the best mix of style, comfort, and practicality are the Public Rec ADED Shorts.

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Public Rec Flex Short
Quick drying and comfortable
Public Rec Flex Short
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