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Whether we're packing for a weekend cabin getaway, a weeklong safari, or a few weeks wandering around Europe, we need a good pair of leggings in our suitcase. After all, the best leggings are lightweight, hardly take up any room in a carry-on or weekender bag, and can be worn for multiple occasions: on the plane, to sleep, while working out, under a dress on a cold winter day, or for a lazy park day. They also go with nearly any top, and help us feel just a smidge more put-together than sweatpants.
We polled Condé Nast Traveler editors to determine which leggings are part of their travel uniform. Below, 25 of the best leggings for women, whether you're looking for a set for warm weather, a squat-proof pair you can exercise in, or just a super-soft legging for lounging. No matter the situation or weather—you’ll find a perfect fit for you.
This article has been updated with new information since its original publish date. Additional reporting by Kristi Kellogg and Madison Flager.
For every day
Lands' End Serious Sweats fleece-lined pocket leggings
“These leggings from Lands' End are my favorite pair, especially when the temperature drops. They're lined with fleece and are incredibly soft. These are my go-to option when traveling—they keep me warm on the plane and limit the number of layers I pack in my personal item to wear just in case the air conditioning is on full blast. The thick, fleece lining has proven functional for all-day wear and I haven’t endured any chafing, which was a significant concern of mine before purchasing.” —Paris Wilson, commerce producer
Alo Yoga 7/8 High-waist Airbrush Legging
“These leggings are super comfortable and made so well. They come in a range of colors, too” says executive assistant, Jessica Chapel. Alo’s signature Airbrush fabric gives the wearer a seamless look while being moisture- and odor-resistant. The leggings are offered in 12 vibrant colors such as classic red, pink, and green.
Aritizia TNA Super Hi-Rise legging
“These leggings are perfect everyday leggings. They are buttery soft, stay in place, and don’t stretch out. They have a wide, high waistband that doesn't dig in, and you can get them in different styles, lengths, and colors (the pink is my favorite).” —Pallavi Mohan Kumar, senior visuals editor
Spanx faux leather leggings
“These are the best black leggings of all time, in my humble opinion. The full-length leggings are compressive (but not uncomfortable), high-waisted (but not too high-waisted; I'm 5'4 and they hit me right over the navel), and super high-quality—I've had them for months and they still look as fresh as the day they arrived in the mail. They're extremely flattering, and I love that the subtle sheen gives them a little more pizazz than the average pair of black leggings. The price is a little steep, but I would say they are 100 percent worth the investment.” —Kristi Kellogg, former senior SEO content manager
Lululemon 28” Align pant
“I love my Lululemon Align pants—they're incredibly soft and are great for everything from long-haul flights to walking around cities to lounging in hotel rooms. And they come in a bunch of different lengths, which means options for those who are shorter, like me.” —Stephanie Wu, former articles director
Hard Tail high rise ankle legging
“In a real ode to the early 2000s, I still wear Hard Tail leggings—I'm not kidding. The brand's stretchy cotton pants are so much more comfortable than any athletic material, or compression-style leggings. I'm not usually the kind of person to wear leggings out and about—unless I'm headed straight to a workout class—but I make an exception for Hard Tail leggings when I'm staring down an overnight flight or long road trip. I usually wear the standard fitted leggings, but I'm thinking it might be time to bring back the flare-bottom fold-over style as well.” —Megan Spurrell, senior editor
Lululemon Fast and Free high-rise tights
“These feel like a second skin. This is my first pair of Lululemon leggings and the hype is real. I sleep, run errands, and travel in them. They have been my favorite spring closet addition because they’re so breathable and lightweight.” —P.W.
Find a full review here.
Beyond Yoga Spacedye at Your Leisure high-waisted midi legging
“If I'm sick, or tired, or cold, or just simply want to wear the most comfortable outfit I own, I reach for these leggings (and pair them with the matching Beyond Yoga bra and hoodie). Not only are they soft and cute, they offer a less compressive fit than my designated workout leggings. There are two details I also love about them: the crossover waist and the subtle heathering in the black fabric.” —K.K.
Aerie The Hugger high-waisted legging
“These Aerie leggings have replaced every other pair in my drawer. The fabric is supportive, warm, and so comfortable, plus I never have to worry about my leggings being see-through during a workout and the high-waisted fit never slides down. The pockets are great for a hands-free neighborhood walk and make them my go-to pair whether I'm working at home or taking a day trip. Plus, they're available in short, regular, and long lengths to fit everyone just right.” —Meaghan Kenny, associate commerce editor
Zella Studio Lite high-waisted pocket leggings
“These leggings always catch my attention during Nordstrom sales, and last year, I finally gave in to the hype—and I have to say, they're great leggings! They're on the thicker side, so I usually wear them when it's colder out or when I know I'll be somewhere chilly, like on a plane. And they stay in place, making them a good yoga pant, though I don't wear them to run or to HIIT classes. The pocket is a nice bonus for holding my phone or keys during walks.” —Madison Flager, senior commerce editor
Target Assets by Spanx faux leather leggings
“This is another one of my favorites, but admittedly, these black leggings are not for everyday wear. They are a bold pair of leggings that look just like leather, and are more suited for a night on the town than a trip to Soulcycle. (However, most importantly, they still pass the comfort test.) Considering that most Spanx leggings are around $100, this Target exclusive is way more budget-friendly. Fun fact: Every single time I wear these leggings, someone asks wear I bought them. They're that cute.” —K.K.
Aerie Offline high-waisted crossover leggings
“Aerie's crossover leggings are a fresh take on the pair of classic black leggings I always wear. The criss cross style on the waist make them flattering on every body type. The fabric is buttery soft and supportive without feeling too restrictive. I love wearing these while running errands, on day trips, or for a light workout.” —M.K.
For active days
Savage X Fenty Hotline High-Waist Legging
“These are such a show-stopping pair of leggings. Whenever I wear them, I always get so many compliments on the pattern. It’s a part of a set I own and I pair it with the Hotline Medium-Impact Sports Bra. High-waist almost feels like an understatement, the leggings stretch a little over my belly button. I wear these on HIIT and boxing days where I’m moving nonstop and I need something lightweight but compressive.” —P.W.
Girlfriend Collective compressive high-rise legging
Far and away, Girlfriend leggings are the favorite among Traveler editors. Former editor Stephanie Wu calls them her “sturdiest, last-forever pair of leggings,” noting that she's had them for years and they never pill, and that they have the perfect amount of high-rise. Senior editor Megan Spurrell works out in hers, wearing them in yoga classes and on day hikes. She loves the brand's ethos, too. “Activewear has a long way to go in terms of inclusivity, especially when it comes to different ages and body types, but Girlfriend is a major exception in the space: Their sizing ranges from XXS to 6XL, and their models really reflect the many types of us just looking for a perfect pair of leggings.” (Another plus: Each pair is made from 25 recycled plastic bottles.) Global associate director of social Mercedes Bleth says they're “the perfect amount of stretchy and structured,” while former travel bookings editor Meredith Carey says “they're incredibly soft and mold to your body seamlessly so you're almost in a second skin.” Carey, who owns Girlfriend leggings in multiple colors, also appreciates the 28.5" inseam option, which hits her mid-ankle, something she says isn't always the case at 5'9". (You can also choose a 23.75" or 19.5" inseam.) While the compressive high-rise legging is the crowd favorite, Wu is eyeing the pair with a pocket next.
Pop Flex Crisscross Hourglass Legging with pockets
“I originally just thought the crisscross waistband was a cute touch. After working out in them, the crisscross design is a complete game changer. The way it hugs my frame limits the number of times I find myself adjusting my waistband like I do with other leggings.” —P.W.
Janji Winter Groundwork tight
“I'm pretty particular when it comes to workout leggings—they need to be moisture-wicking, of course, and stay in place while I'm moving, without being too compressive to the point of discomfort. I also prefer a slightly thinner material, but one that's opaque, too. Janji's Winter Groundwork tights are the Goldilocks I've been searching for. Along with checking all my boxes, they have multiple pockets, including side ones big enough to securely hold my phone, and reflective details for added safety on early morning or evening runs.” —M.F.
Fabletics Define ultra high-waisted 7/8 legging
“These leggings have the distinction of being the ones I wear most often, namely because I have four pairs. They are the most compressive offering in Fabletics' lineup of compression leggings, built with the brand's signature PowerHold fabric. But, to be clear, they aren't restrictive at all—they're so comfortable, I have worn them to sleep on an occasion or two. Wash after wash, the quality holds up; they never fade or pill.” —K.K.
Quince Ultra-Soft Performance legging
“When I'm looking for something comfortable that still accentuates my shape, I always turn to my pair of Ultra-Soft Performance leggings by Quince. The quick-drying, anti-microbial fabric makes the leggings a perfect option for an outdoor run or Pilates class, while the incredible stretch and midsection comfort make it one of my favorites for curling up on the couch for movie nights. Plus, you can pat yourself on the back for a good deed as each legging is made from approximately seven recycled water bottles, and Quince's use of Global Recycle Standard-certified yarn dramatically lowers environmental impact by diverting landfill and ocean-bound plastic.” —Lara Kramer, global associate director of audience development
Fabletics On-the-Go high-waisted capri leggings
“I typically like my workout leggings to be basic with no bells and whistles—but I'll make an exception for this capri with subtle, streamlined mesh panels on the side. The mesh is super durable, and has remained perfectly intact throughout countless workouts and washes. And, if you want to move beyond black, this pair also comes in a variety of colors, including blush, white, camo, and aqua.” —K.K.
Bandier Center Stage high-waisted legging
“I'm a new fan of these high-waisted leggings from Bandier. They don't slide down, thanks to the double layer elastic waistband, and they feel buttery soft on your body. These seamless leggings are made of quick-drying nylon and spandex material, making them an ideal pair for high-intense workouts when I sweat a ton.” —M.K.
For cozy days
Everlane Seamless Legging
“I’ve been tempted to buy these in more than one color. Everlane's Seamless leggings all come in beautiful neutral shades, and right now I only have the burnt sugar leggings and the matching seamless bra. I love matching sets because even when I’m at home just hanging out, I feel put together and don’t have to rush to look presentable if there's a delivery at the door or surprise guests.” —P.W.
“I was skeptical about buying a random pair of leggings off of Amazon, but nearly four years later, they’re still one of my favorite pairs, and by far the least expensive. They have just the right amount of stretch for comfy leggings (they're the ones I wear on airplanes, road trips, or work-from-home days), and are opaque enough to wear without a long shirt or sweater. And shockingly, after plenty of cycles through the wash, they haven’t started pilling and have kept their stretch.” —M.F.
Skims Cotton Rib thermal leggings
“These leggings have been my go-to pair while I'm at home. They have a high waist and ribbed detailing, so I still manage to feel a bit stylish while I'm just hanging out on the couch. They've been through a ton of washes and they still are as soft as the first day I wore them, and the knit work hasn't come undone either. The only downside is that there aren't any pockets, which really sells them as a pair of lounging leggings.” —P.W.
Summersalt The Brushed High Rise full length leggings
“Last winter, I was on the hunt for a good pair of fleece-lined leggings, which were surprisingly difficult to find—they were either all sold out, or not made by my go-to brands. Then, Summersalt came out with a pair of brushed leggings: Soft and warm on the inside, they're a little heavier than a standard legging, but aren't super thick like pairs I've tried before, so they're a nice middle ground that I'll keep wearing after winter. They’re also made with recycled plastic bottles, and have a high waist that actually stays in place. These are a no-brainer for long flights where I'm trying to be as cozy as possible.” —M.F.
Athleta Salutation Stash pocket tight
“These Athleta leggings are my go-to at home pair. They are buttery soft, come up just below my waist, and are the kind of cooling fabric (a mix of nylon and lycra) that lends well to both hot or cold climates. They’re also soft and stretchy enough to wear to sleep, and are solid yoga leggings in that they're breathable, so you won't feel as wildly hot or sweaty as you would with a cotton pair. I don't use the pockets very much, but they are nice to have when you want to slip in a card, keys, or other small item. The only downside: The waist is definitely prone to slippage.” —M.F.