The last few weeks I've been looking out for good hiking pants for men and for women. Today I want to add another pair of great hiking pants to the men's list, the prAna Stretch Zion Convertible Pants for men.
These came to my attention after seeing lots of great user feedback across the web so I thought a closer look was in order. Another thing that really jumped out at me about the brand is that they seem to be very socially conscious and environmentally aware which is pretty cool.
prAna Stretch Zion Mens Convertible Hiking Pants
The prAna Stretch Zion convertible hiking pants are an excellent option for a hiker. They are comfortable, functional and practical.
Brand and Model
prAna Stretch Zion Hiking Pants for Men
$89.95 (Guide retail price, subject to change)
Average User Rating
Easily turn the pants into shorts while keeping hiking boots on, quick drying, versatile and lightweight
The cargo pockets are a bit narrow, pants can run long so be careful with sizing
Day hiking, general outdoor use, day-to-day casual use
I'm going to start with the visuals on these pants. In my opinion, they look like hiking pants should but they're also smart enough that they wouldn't look out of place on a city street.
Now, I don't wear my hiking pants doing day-to-day things but it could well be a requirement for many, especially if you're backpacking moving from town to town via the hills.
It's interesting, as recently I bought I nice pair of nylon hiking pants, similar to these, from Berghaus and I have to admit that the thought has occurred to me, that I would actually enjoy wearing them out for normal day-to-day use which is not something I normally do. They're more comfortable than jeans for sure!
The pants are mostly made from 97% nylon with 3% spandex. The nylon mixed with spandex gives some pretty darn good stretching capability which, by all accounts is very functional. Why is that important?
Well, when you're out on the trail, at some point you will need to negotiate trickier terrain. Be that some rocky areas you need to scramble over or some marshy lowlands you need flexibility for, as your feet sink into the ground with each step, you need the ability to move freely and easily, otherwise you will be chaffing and stumbling and no-one wants that now do they 😉
The material make-up in these pants give you the freedom to handle exactly those types of situations. The nylon is also quick drying so even if you get caught in a deluge, you will dry off quickly. A must for the trail in temperamental conditions!
As any regular hiker will tell you, you need breathability in a good pair of hiking pants. You need to be able to let air get in around your legs to let your legs stay dry and cool should you be pushing it hard on a steep incline or challenging peak. Need to let sweat wick away from your skin.
To that end, the Stretch Zion pants have a ventilated, gusseted inseam, as in the picture to the right, which gives you good air conditioning when conditions are warmer. Note, you won't lose any heat should it be a cooler time of year.
The pants have detachable bottoms so they can quickly and easily be turned into shorts, see the picture to the left.
I have this option in a pair of Columbia pants I have and it is great. They're made in such a way that you don't need to take your boots off, just open the zips, take the bottoms off and you're good to go. Really handy to have this option when out hiking up peaks on a hot day. Simply turn your pants into shorts as it get's warmer as you descend. Perfect!
The prAna Stretch Zion pants are suitable for multiple outdoor activities so if you like to do a bit of rock climbing as well as hiking, they will fit the bill just fine. (Think about the Versatility and Flexibilty as mentioned above)
Finally, they will be suitable most of the year round as a good all round pair of hiking pants, I'd say you're good with these as 3 season pants and possibly part of season number 4 too depending where you're doing your hiking of course.
Pockets and Storage
Any good pair of pants needs to have decent sized and functional pockets. The pockets on these are standard enough for hiking pants, two cargo and two hand pockets. For me personally this would work fine but a zipped secure key type pocket might also be nice to have.
I should mention here that I did read some comments from a few reviewers that the cargo pockets are a bit small but that's probably more a personal taste thing that any fault in the pants as such.
The prAna Stretch Zion pants are great for any type of hiking in most conditions. As you can see from the photo;s they're also very easy on the eye so they will look great walking about town or touring around a city on a day exploring.
They're comfortable and easy to maintain and care for so they are truly versatile when it comes to what they're best used for. They'll work great for most outdoor activities e.g. climbing, backpacking, hiking, etc.
As of the date of posting, the prAna Stretch Zion pants are scoring a nice 4.7 out of 5 from 9 user reviews on backcountry.com and from 60+ Amazon reviewers, 81% gave the pants 5 stars out of 5. That's good scoring!
I have been a fan of Prana for several years, especially the stretch Zion pants. I own several non-convertibles as well as another pair of convertibles n another color, and they are always the first ones I reach for whether I'm hiking, backpacking or climbing. They are the most comfortable pants, they move and stretch well, the DWR works great, and they wear well over time. the zippers are well-made and they let you "vent" your legs as well as removing them. Can't say enough good things about these pants....Read More Here.
I was already in love with the Prana Zion when I started looking for a convertible for a long trek. This one was a no-brainer. Once I found out I could get a zip version of my favorite pant I was stoked. I also really like that the zip is a little further down the leg than others I've tried. Very comfortable....Read More Here.
Average User Rating: 4.7 (Out of 5)
Pros and Cons
- Easily turn the pants into shorts while keeping hiking boots on
- Plenty of cushioning for comfort and miniQuick drying, versatile and lightweight
- The cargo pockets are a bit narrow
- Pants can run long so be careful with sizing
prAna Stretch Zion Hiking Pants for Men Features Summary
- 97% Stretch Nylon, 3% Spandex
- Waterproof, windproof and breathable
- All Weather finish
- Ventilated free range gusset
- DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating
- 12" (30.5 cm) inseam medium at short length
- Warranty: 1 year
In conclusion, I think these pants are a really good pair of hiking pants suitable for most of the year round use. They look the part and they're not overly priced in comparison to other similar hiking pants, so I think you could do a lot worse than go with these pants.
They have everything I would look for in a pair of good hiking pants, versatility, flexibility and functionality. They even look pretty stylish too so you won't go amiss wearing them as casual pants.
A big thumbs up from Cool Hiking Gear on the prAna Stretch Zion convertible Pants for men!
If you are just starting on the road to buying a good pair of hiking pants, check out the hiking pants buying guide, that will walk you through all the things you need to think about before buying a pair of hiking pants to meet your needs. Also, you can check out some top hiking pants recommendations here.
Have you used these pants on the trail? I’d love to hear about your experience with them in the comments below.