I recently received an email from Emily, a reader in the planning stages for a very long trip. Like many of us here, she was also trying to find the right clothing for her travels, but also not trying to spend an arm and a leg:
Hi there! I’m looking for clothes for my very long term trip (probably over 3 years). I’ll be in all sorts of climates over those three years so I’m planning on doing lots of layering. However travel specific clothes are pretty darn expensive and not always the most attractive/flattering. Are there certain types of fabrics that are quick drying that I could search for at say Old Navy or other cheaper stores like that? Thanks!
Where can I find affordable quick-drying clothes?
I think the key here is to look at the fabrics in your favorite gear and try to find comparative pieces.
For example, Exofficio underwear are made of 94% nylon and 6% lycra/spandex, which is a quick drying combination. You could probably get some “athletic wear” from Walmart, Old Navy, Target, etc. with that material for cheaper, but the kicker is that it might not be treated with the same anti-microbe shield material. So, it won’t be as good.
Some quick drying pants are made from nylon, which you could find anywhere, but then the travel gear version might also be treated with extra sun protection, for example.
My final verdict: Maybe going for just a few key pieces that are in the higher price range and filling the rest of the wardrobe with bits and bobs that can be replaced on the go would be best.
Have any of you traveling ladies been successful at finding cheaper clothing that can take the place of expensive technical gear?