Review: Banana Republic’s Famous Traveler Pant
Bonobos is not the only one with a super stretchy, super comfortable, jean-like pant. In fact, Banana Republic’s is even named similarly. To be honest, I am not quite sure who was first to market here, but both brands’ traveler pants are beloved by many guys. BR actually has quite an extensive line now of stretch denim and pants (like their Rapid Movement chinos), though seemingly the most famous and most well-liked blend — striking that perfect balance between a full stretch and a standard feel — is their “Traveler” line. They have both Traveler Jeans as well as the Traveler Pant ($98.50), which is what we’re taking a look at in this review.
Packaging & Experience
Banana Republic is a big-box retailer. So, they’re not known for they nice packaging. Expect a standard cardboard box or those famous blue plastic bags. Shipping is somewhat slow, but returns are free despite you needing to go online and print out the label yourself through a somewhat annoying system. B
Style & Design
Unlike their Traveler Jeans, these Traveler Pants are available in a whole slew of colors. Anything you can think of, just about, they got. It’s the standard 5-pocket construction, so these do look like jeans, and are thus a bit more casual as far as when you can wear them. We went with a khaki color for this review, and love the look of it. From afar, it looks like any old pair of chinos. From up close, it has a lot more texture going on, and wears a bit more like a pair of colored denim. Still, this is not a denim pant, and so looks (and feels) more like just a super, super soft and luxurious chino pant, despite the 5 pockets. For the most part, then, these pants will go with anything, and can be a true go-to for anything but more formal occasions to which a full suit would be too much, but something more jeans-like akin to these pants would be too little. Part of me, then, wishes they would just make these pants as normal chinos as opposed to only the 5 pocket design, but, as far as these are styled, they are available in a ton of colors and well designed. A
Quality & Construction
These pants are very well made, and feel like they will last a great many wears. This is despite the fact that they feel almost uncannily comfortable and stretchy. These are seriously super, super comfortable pants, and only get more comfortable with wear and washes, as they are broken in and get even softer. Again, you should be warned that you might feel these are almost too soft feeling, and that they will somehow lose their shape or become loose. They won’t, trust me. I’ve had a pair for over a year that I wear close to once a week. These things are magic and super well done. They shrink the tiniest bit in the wash over time, and while a fabric like this might be more prone to it, what doesn’t? The craziest thing is that the fabric makeup of these guys is 99% cotton and 1% spandex, making the final magical-feeling result, well, magical. A+
(Note: I am 6'1 and 165 lbs. and usually wear a size 30x32 pant in a slim or skinny fit.)
These pants are offered in both a Slim and Skinny fit, and so, for the purpose of this review, we tried both in my typical 30x32. On my tall and slim body, the Skinny was a bit too tight while the Slim was a touch too lose (at least by the leg opening) for my taste. And, annoyingly, though not at all surprisingly from the increasingly inconsistent BR recently, the Slim fit longer than the Skinny did by a significant margin. In the end, if I had to choose, I would go with the Slim and allow it to shrink the tiny bit it surely would in the wash. Interestingly, though, the pair I have from last year’s offering did fit a bit slimmer despite being called the same Slim fit. In sum, then, know that the Skinny fit is really, truly, quite skinny, while the slim might be a touch too room-y in the leg opening for guys that, say, like J Crew’s 484 fit. For less slim, more middle of the road guys, the Slim fit should be perfect. B+
See here for full and exact measurements as well as comparisons.
Value & Conclusion
Banana Republic’s Traveler Pant — $98.50: These pants come in a ton of colors, are super comfortable to the point of being a bit unbelievable, and are well-made and last a long time to boot. At full retail, considering what some other places charge for stretch pants like this, these are worth it. Considering that these will often go on sale for up to 40% or 50% off, these are an absolute must-have addition to your closet and pants repertoire if one of their fits does indeed fit you well. When you compare these to the Bonobos Travel Jeans we review a short while ago on the site, the Bonobos $30 higher price tag becomes unjustifiable. While we know it’s not a perfectly fair comparison, as the Bonobos pants are denim while these BR ones are not, still, anything else similar from Bonobos is even more expensive. Thus, we have to recommend these BR Traveler Pants for anyone looking for an excellent, comfort, tech, stretch pant at a very reasonable price. Final Grade: A-