• Colour Various
  •  
  • Cost $139

Prana Zion Stretch Convertible Pants

Mens Pants

Rating

Rating               9.0 / 10

Value for Money    2.2

Comfort                2.3

Weight                  2.2

Durability              2.3

Prana Zion Stretch Convertable Pants Review

After footwear, your pants are probably the one piece of personal equipment that takes the most beating. Sliding down rocks, brushing past sharp vegetation and the constant movement involved with hiking that includes those gazelle like movements when you are occasionally required to cross streams or jump across narrow gaps. The Prana Zion Stretch Convertible Pants remain one of my two ‘go to’ choices for hiking that doesn’t involve wading though deep snow.

Firstly these pants are very comfortable. The material is supple and feels good against the skin, and they fit well where they need to but not so tight to be restrictive.  The leg length has been judged well and isn’t overly short like many other pants. They also look good. The colour range has narrowed over the past few years and the ‘Sahara’ colour shown in the photos is now hard to come by. The horizontal stretch of the fabric means that you don’t end up with any restrictions even when doing a wide stretch crossing streams or maneuvering up rough sections of trail. The material is robust, resisting the sharp leaves of the spinifex unless you happened to sit directly on a plant. They are one of the most comfortable hiking pants that I have ever owned and feel good both while hiking as well as lounging around at the end of the day.

The zip off legs make it easy to convert into shorts if the weather gets too hot. Like any pair of convertible pants you tend to be aware that there is a zip in the legs but this isn’t so noticeable as to be annoying. When wearing these pants as shorts, the leg length sits just above knee level.

Having worked outdoors for most of my life, I have a very high tolerance to cold weather so will only wear long johns when I absolutely needed. I have worn these pants at temperature ranges between -2 to 32°C (28-90°F) and at the colder end of the range I was very comfortable. However at the warmer end of the scale I was wishing for a thinner pair of pants. Having said that, I don’t wear gaters for most of my hiking and found that while I was a bit on the warm side at the high temperatures, the pants are thick enough to protect my legs when brushing past sharp plants such as spinifex and are able to stop our local march flies (Horse Flies) that can, and do, bite through thinner thickness pants.

The Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment on the pants doesn’t provide full waterproofing but it does mean that walking in light rain or through wet grasslands you do stay relatively dry and the pants do dry out more quickly that you would expect.

We Like

  • Zip off legs that allow for versatility of clothing choice. Too hot? Then just zip of the bottom half of the legs to cool down. Too cool? Zip them back on, problem solved
  • Durable Water Repellant Treatment (DWR) on the fabric that helps repel water and allows it to dry faster when wet. This miminises water soaking through to the legs in wet weather
  • Ventilated inseam gusset that provides breathability in the crotch area of the pants helping to reduce sweating and helping to maintain comfort
  • Stretchable material providing an increased range of movement. This creates a high level of comfort for any active sport such as hiking or rock climbing. This stretchable material also means that these pants will last longer than pants that don’t have this built in stretch
  • Abrasion resistant material that ensures that these pants will cope with most abuse that you throw at them and wont need replacing as often. More money to spent on other toys!
  • Adjustable waistband that allows you to adjust the fit with weight gain/loss and allows for the addition of under layers. There’s nothing worse than pants that keep on wanting to slip down at the most inopportune moments!
  • Six pockets: two on the legs, two at the waist and two rear pockets provide ample storage. I use the waist pockets to store my compact camera and it sits very securely providing quick access when the need arises
  • Love the lairy colours when you can find them

We Don't Like

These pants are close to perfect from my perspective but there are a few minor shortcomings that are worth mentioning:

  • The adjustable waist bans loosens throughout the day when wearing a pack and made me wish that I had brought a belt, which would have defeated the purpose. It took me a week to discover a hack for this problem. By looping the tensioning strap back on itself this issue was fixed
  • The double entry leg pockets are designed to provide easy access in any position however I’m not a fan of this system. I usually put valuables such as cash, credit cards, mobile phones or a key in these pockets on short walks, and tend not to use them on long walks instead relying on internal pockets in my pack. Having to check both zips each time you use the pockets in an inconvenience and creates an additional opportunity for losing things. The first time I wore these pants I did a 50 minute walk with my house key in one of the leg pockets and the ‘side’ zip was left fully undone. My mistake but it was just sheer luck that I didn’t loose my key
  • The leg zips are the same colour as the pants, which means you have to consciously think about which is you’re left leg and which is your right leg. Other convertible pants that I have owned have had colour coded zips; something that is hard to find these days
  • In the past  year Prana has changed their sizing and you will find that trying on two supposedly identical sized pairs of pants will be different

Best Uses

  • Three seasons hiking where snow is not involved
  • Temperatures under 25°C (77°F)
  • On hikes where you would prefer not to use gaiters
  • Hikes that require a lot of dynamic movements that may split other pants

Buy One

You can purchase the Prana Zion Stretch Convertible pants online from Amazon as well as a number of independent stores located through Australia such as Bogong, K2 Base Camp

Please note that our affiliations do not influence, in any way, the independence of our gear reviews

If you have used the Prana Zion Stretch Convertible pants or if you have questions, we’d like to hear from you. Post your comment or question below

Investment

From $139.00 AUD

Other Versions

The Zion is also available in a standard non convertible pant as well as shorts

Trans Zion Stretch Convertible Pants – Colour Sahara

Prana Zion Stretch Convertible Pants – Colour Mud

Synch loop as it is designed to be used

Synch loop in ‘lock’ mode

Picture showing full leg and short leg options

The fabric stretches well allowing for a comfortable fit as well as allowing you to stretch on the trail when you need to

Crotch venting

Disclaimer

This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by the reviewer

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