|– Spill/weather resistant|
– Look nice, can pair with most styles
– Odor resistant
|– Fabric is on the thin side, so not very suitable for frigid weather|
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, a travel pant that was comfortable, looked nice, and most of all, as a minimalist packer, it needed to perform. Ideally, I take one pair of pants with me on most trips after all, so it sure as hell hold up to whatever I could 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 vibe? 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 pant. That stretchy, At first glance, they come across as a jean/chino hybrid. The Slim Dungarees are a five-pocket pant, 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 with 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. At the moment, there are only a couple 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 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.
Like 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, 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 moister wicking qualities are fantastic, and they are thin enough to not make you sweat buckets. In the shoulder seasons, they’re thick enough to provide some warmth and weather resistance. One thing to note that although these pants decently warm, if you are in real cold temperatures, you might struggle a bit.
As I said, I was looking for a one-bag travel pant, 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, 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 you can.
Out of the box, Outlier Slim Dungarees are some of the best travel pants out there.