|Rating:||9 / 10|
|Value for Money||1.8 / 2|
|Weight||1.8 / 2|
|Durability||1.8 / 2|
|Comfort||1.8 / 2|
|Versatility||1.8 / 2|
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 continue to remain one of my firm favourites for hiking.
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.
One negative for me with these pants is that 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. Price wise these pants are sold through a range of of providers but on average sell for around AUD 139.99RRP which is a typical for a set of outdoor pants of this quality.
Overall these are a great set of pants and the pairs that I own have lasted well for many years and still have plenty of life left in them.
You can purchase the Prana Zion Stretch Convertible Pants online from Amazon Australia
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From AUD $139.99 RRP
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
This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by Australian Hiker