Outlier Slim Dungarees are hands down the best one-bag, minimalist travel pants you can buy.
|Spill/weather/odor resistant||Fabric is on the thin side, so not very suitable for extremely cold weather|
|Extremely comfortable||They are pretty expensive|
|Look nice, can pair with most styles|
|Can take a beating|
I’m pretty obsessed with travel gear. How can I fit everything that I need into one bag? Recently I was in search of pants. Specifically, travel pants that were comfortable, looked nice, and, most of all, as a minimalist packer, and needed to perform. Ideally, I take one pair of pants with me on most trips after all, so it better hold up to whatever I can through at it.
After a few hours of research, I came across an obscure-looking clothing company, Outlier. Their website (at the time) was pretty minimalist, with a fashion-forward yet oddly tactical-looking aesthetic? I was intrigued. The company is based in Brooklyn, NY, to create “Simple shapes radically reconstructed to create garments that let you do more while owning less.” Minimalist AF. You kind of get the feeling that these guys like Yoko Ono to be ironic…I digress.
Outlier is a pretty small shop; they only produce limited runs of each product, so their inventory is often pretty slim in some items. Their selection is pretty small, a few types of pants and shirts, but that’s about it. One item I had read about was the Slim Dungarees, a pant that should be able to take on most of anything, including travel.
The Slim Dungaree
An odd name, but relatively normal-looking pants. Which is actually a good thing. I can’t tell you the number of times I found travel pants that look, well, like a travel pants. That stretchy, At first glance, they come across as a jean/chino hybrid. The Slim Dungarees are five-pocket pants, so you get the jean vibes from that, but the fabric is clearly not denim.
In fact, if you look a bit closer at the fabric, it’s pretty fascinating. Outlier uses their “Workcloth Doubleweave Canvas” fabric, supposedly from Switzerland on the outside, that gives an interesting textured canvas-like feel to it. On the inside, it’s actually a cotton/poly blend that’s quite soft.
For reference, I’m 6’3″ & 190 lbs, and I went with a size 32 in their standard inseam length is about 32.5 inches. They have a long inseam as well, which measures 36 inches. The standard fits me just fine (I only like one break or so in my pants), so I think you’d have to be pretty damn tall to warrant the long inseam. Currently, there are only a couple of colors in their standard rotation: Charcoal, Bluetint Gray, and Black. They used to have a few more color options, though, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they added more colors to the roster soon.
One of the first things you’ll notice, these things are incredibly comfortable. Just enough two-way stretch to be mobile but not enough stretch to make them look and feel like joggers. The slim is pretty slim, so if you have bigger thighs and legs, I’d definitely recommend sizing up a bit or at least ordering a few sizes to try out. The Slim Dungarees also have a gusseted crotch, which every pant needs to avoid crotch blowout and increase mobility.
As I touched on above, this is technically a five-pocket pant, jean-chino hybrid. Because of this, the Slim Dungarees can pretty much be paired with any style. Dress them up with a nice oxford and some boots, or dress them down with a t-shirt and some trainers. Hell, I’ve even gone hiking with them and worn more technical apparel, and they don’t look too out of place.
And this is another critical part of the one-bag travel pant. The ability to dress up or down, and the versatility to be paired with almost any clothing combination is absolutely crucial. Sometimes you never know what situation you’ll be in (one of my favorite aspects of traveling), and the ability to not look like a backpacker is something I really value.
As a minimalist travel pant, one of the most essential qualities is maintaining the look after multiple wears. These are pretty much wrinkle-resistant, so even if they are rolled or crumpled up in a bag, you can shake out the minor wrinkles quickly enough. The Slim Dungarees are also spill-proof; water (or cocktails?) just beads right off of them. And to top it off, they are odor resistant, so even after multiple wears, you won’t notice funky smells.
They work in almost all conditions too. In warmer weather, the moisture-wicking qualities are fantastic, and they are thin enough not to make you sweat buckets. In the shoulder seasons, they’re thick enough to provide some warmth and weather resistance. One thing to note is that although these pants are decently warm, if you're in really cold temperatures, you might struggle a bit.
As I said, I was looking for one-bag travel pants, so these had to hold up. The Slim Dungarees have exceeded expectations. Even a few years in, these pants have taken everything thrown at them from a 3-month solo trip, hiking, business meetings, and fancy dinners, and they barely look almost new.
The last thing to note is the price. At $198, they aren’t cheap; there’s no way around that. But again, I’ve had these for three years, and so far, they are as good as new. So if you can shell out a few extra $, you won’t regret it. Plus, it’s always a bonus to support indie manufacturers as much as possible.
Out of the box, Outlier Slim Dungarees are some of the best travel pants out there.