You’re Wearing 100% Cotton? And You Call Yourself a World Traveler?

There are no shortage of discussions amongst travelers around the interwebs about travel clothing options.

Which are the best shoes for walking around Rome? The best hat for Israel? The best jacket to wear for a trip to the Amazon, with a side excursion to Antarctica?

But Cecile74 takes it one step further. She would like to hear other travelers thoughts regarding the fabrics they prefer their clothing to be made of for specific garments. One of her own examples:

thermal underwear: merino wool… no itch, no stain, no smell, it comes in various thicknesses (polyester and other fake fabrics make me very sweaty and don’t keep me warm)

If you are like me, you will be amazed at how many travelers actually have fabric preferences.

Merino – tops, sweatshirts, socks, underwear and even for trousers. And quick drying tough trail trousers of polyester elastine. Zip off trousers are the best so you can wear as shorts or longs. ~poppynz

[Referring to sleeping bag liners] Natural fabrics such as silk and merino wool are great and until a couple of years ago I would have said that they were the best in terms of performance despite the extra costs. However I believe that synthetic fabrics such as polyester are equal if not superior. ~E150A

Normally I avoid polyester but when traveling it is a boon. … Everything has to go together and be quick drying. The exception is that i will not give up my cotton underwear but they are thin anyway. This works for varying climates and often formal social functions. ~keenvisitor

I bought all my traveling pants from the golf shops. … Material varies for Summer or Winter, Coolmax or Thermax … But I especially prefer the Microfibre variety as it looks velvety and suitable to appear in many situations. Yes it dries in half an hour. ~bofoster

What about you? Do you have specific fabrics you like for specific travel clothing apparel? Am I the oddball because I pretty much just wear my normal clothes when traveling?

Read the thread in its entirety: Favorite materials

More colorful clothing” by Connie Ma. CC BY-SA 2.0.


  1. Definitely prefer the “tech” fabrics such as North Face’s Vapormax or Nike’s Dri-Fit if possible. Otherwise, wrinkle resistant 100% cotton clothing.

  2. Hand knit hats, socks, fingerless mitts and shawls for winter. And my favoriite layering pieces of my wardrobe. Plus my small tsa approved size of soak for hand washing my wools.

  3. Good point. Runners and many other athletes know that cotton=rotten. Cotton is Ok but once it gets wet it doesn’t dry out easy. That leads to cold weather issues and also bacteria growth in cold or hot weather. I think one of the best travel clothing options is and no I don’t get money if you click on that link. It’s really that good. I also like smartwool socks.

  4. Love UnderArmour underwear – keeps you cool and dry especially in the hot climates.

    For winter, use silk mock turtlenecks/long underwear as a layering element.

  5. Tiger Hill poly/cotton long sleeved back vented fishing shirts, Cabelas poly/cotton safari shirts, poly or cotton wide brimmed hat, nylon convertible travel pants, poly/cotton twill pants, thin cotton undershirt, all nylon money belt, poly travel back vented jacket/vest, poly/cotton travel vest, nylon walking shoes, orlon socks, poly/nylon microfiber glass cloths, poly overcoat, and cotton handkerchief.

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