A couple of months ago, Business Traveller tested a range of shirts designed to help you stay looking smart on your travels. Now it’s the turn of the suit. The five travel suits reviewed here make a number of promises which can be distilled into one: compared with your regular suit, they are more suited (sorry) for travel. Since we are all travelling more than ever before, it ought to make them a sure bet, yet our recent survey at businesstraveller.com showed that only 39 per cent of you own a business suit designed for travel. We tested these five, not quite to destruction, but at a variety of engagements all around the world.

Farah Travel Suit

In many ways the most extraordinary of the five, this Teflon-coated suit is excellent for wet climates. Water-resistant, and to a certain extent stain-resistant, the jacket, which comes in either a two- or three-buttoned version, proved able to resist a glass of water poured over it (the liquid just beads off the shiny surface) – although admittedly what you gain in practicality you do lose somewhat in style. Whether it would stand up to a bowl of spaghetti bolognese is another matter, but there is no doubt that small stains can be wiped off with a damp cloth. The Lycra gives the suit extra stretch and crease resistance, and it held up well against a short flight and a day folded up in a travel bag – all in all, a useful everyday suit for the frequent traveller.

What’s it made of? 54 per cent polyester, 44 per cent wool, 2 per cent Lycra Elastane, with a Teflon coating.
Colours Navy, navy pinstripe, black, black pinstripe, charcoal, brown, light taupe pinstripe, taupe pinstripe.
Price Jacket £98, trousers £49.
Contact farah.co.uk.

Rohan Globetrotter II

This is a suit for the man who loves pockets – the jacket and trousers have a total of 17 of varying shapes, sizes and uses. But before you imagine yourself in a pair of combat trousers, don’t worry. From the outside the suit looks pretty much like any other – it is inside that the security travel features reveal themselves. The jacket has one velcro and three zipped pockets, including one along the seam of the lining which is virtually invisible to the casual observer. Meanwhile, the trousers have a hidden pocket in the waistband, and another zipped pocket-within-a-pocket, so by the time any would-be pickpocket has taken the time to find all these nooks and crannies even the least observant traveller will have cottoned on. The machine washable suit also offers total sunguard protection (SPF 40+), comes in a 37-inch unfinished leg, and contains Lycra to help reduce creases, but it’s the pockets (did I mention these?) that sets the suit apart.

What’s it made of? 44 per cent virgin wool, 52 per cent polyester, 4 per cent Lycra Elastane.
Colours Stone, charcoal, ink.
Price Jacket £179, trousers £75.
Contact rohan.co.uk.

Marks and Spencer Travel Suit

Available in two- or three-buttoned versions, single or double-breasted and in a range of colours and pinstripes, Marks and Spencer offers one of the widest choice of travel suits that we tested (see picture overleaf). There is nothing particularly revolutionary about the suits, but they look smart and the wool and Lycra mix means they travel well – after a number of train and tube journeys my suit didn’t look like it needed a dry clean. This range has been chosen by the England Rugby team as its official formalwear, so if it can stand up to wear and tear from fullbacks and scrum halves then it must be doing something right – and in case you weren’t sure if you were wearing a travel suit, the lining depicts a map of the world.

What’s it made of? 96 per cent wool, 3 per cent polyamide, 1 per cent Lycra Elastane.
Colours Black, navy, navy stripe, charcoal, charcoal stripe.
Price Jacket £90, trousers £59.
Contact marksand spencer.com.

Brooks Brothers Brooks Cool Suit

The beauty of the Brooks Cool suit is that it weighs just 900 grams – it has an extremely thin lining meaning it is suitable for hot climates, and the cloth is both wrinkle-resistant and rain-repellent. It is by far the most expensive suit of the ones we tested, but the price includes any necessary alterations to both the jacket and trousers – mine, for instance, had around £120 worth of changes done to it, so you know you are getting a suit that will fit well. Brooks Brothers will even alter suits bought in one of its US branches on a short trip and then brought back to the UK. The finished result held up well after a few days of wear and tear and, not surprisingly, was the most comfortable suit. The chain currently has just one branch in the UK, on Threadneedle Street, but in September this year it will be opening a flagship store on Regents Street, with two floors of men’s, women’s and boys’ wear, along with a bespoke tailoring service.

What’s it made of? 75 per cent wool, 23 per cent polyester, 2 per cent Lycra Elastane.
Colours Charcoal, navy.
Price £499 (sold as a complete suit only).
Contact brooksbrothers.com.

Boden Travel Suit

No Lycra or Teflon in sight: this suit, pictured below, relies on the natural stretching properties of wool to make it crease-resistant for travel. Boden uses traditional suit features such as a button fly, French Bearer, deep trouser pockets and functioning cuff buttons on the jacket, and the back rise seam is double stitched for extra strength. The trousers come with a 39-inch unfinished leg, although Boden will hem these to your requirements for an additional £6. The suit was one of the most comfortable I tried, and does not feel too thick or heavy, considering it’s made from wool. It performed fairly well under travel strain, although there were a few creases behind the knee area of the trousers after a return flight to Europe – one for the traditionalists.

What’s it made of? 100 per cent wool.
Colours Navy pinstripe, dark grey, dark navy, charcoal birdseye.
Price Jacket £199, trousers £99.
Contact boden.co.uk

All made-of details refer to outer materials only.