I have yet to find any company marketing lightweight, quick dry, travel friendly clothing for kids. Can I be the only parent who prefers to fly light?
Children’s relatively small clothes do pack up more easily than those of a big and tall man, but choosing wisely makes a noticeable difference in the total volume and weight of luggage for a family of four or more.
In my experience, many kids also get dirtier than adult travelers. The ability to wash a garment in a sink and have it dry overnight is vital for happy travels with my own sons.
Today, I’ll compare three pairs of lightweight trousers marketed for boys in Medium an American child’s size 10-12. My criteria for this search included:
- lightweight fabric suitable for summer travel
- neutral color that can be dressed up or down
- quick dry fiber suitable for hotel sink laundering.
With apparently no one setting out to design “travel clothing” for children, the best approximation I’ve found for the lower body is “hiking pants.” Many options on the market were excluded for my purposes because the outdoor companies really love “convertible” trousers† with zip-off lower legs.
Zippered knees never pass for dressy in my opinion.
I ended up with the following specific styles, ordered from REI and Amazon.com at the prevailing retail prices of mid-May 2019. And all are still being sold as of February 2020.
- KÜHL Renegade Pants – Boys’ , size Medium, color Koal
REI Co-op Mountainmaker Pants – Boys’, size Medium, color Asphalt
- Columbia Boys’ Silver Ridge Pull On Pant, size Medium, color Grill
Links go to the manufacturers’ own listings for the first and third pairs that aren’t store brands regardless of where I purchased my pairs.
First, the good news. If I had been in a hurry and purchased just one pair, any of these dark grey trousers would work for my son as daily wear pants that could pass as “decent” clothing to wear out to dinner on vacation. Note: I wouldn’t have him wear these to a wedding or a truly elegant occasion unless we’d had a drastic wardrobe catastrophe and had no time to shop for proper formal wear.
As one would hope from quality hiking clothing made by well-known brands, all are sturdy, well-sewn, and free of obvious defects.