Hands-on Gear Review

Compare hiking pant ratings side-by-side >

Prana Stretch Zion Convertible Pants Review

Editors' Choice Award

Hiking Pants

  • Currently 5.0/5
Overall avg rating 5.0 of 5 based on 2 reviews. Most recent review: January 13, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $59 - $85 | Compare prices at 8 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, versatile for sports or casual wear, great pocket options, great fit.
Cons:  Stitching gives way over time, slightly baggy on some.
Best Uses:  Everything outdoors from yoga to climbing to hiking and travel (except extreme weather).
User Rating:     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (5.0 of 5) based on 1 reviews
Manufacturer:   Prana
Review by: Brian Blum ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ September 5, 2013  
The Prana Stretch Zion Convertible Pants win the Editors' Choice award as the go-to pair of pants for just about every sport, activity or social affair while traveling or adventuring outdoors. These pants offer an extremely comfortable fit with a stretchy material (nylon with a touch of spandex) allowing one to practice yoga or rock climb in them with no noticeable resistance. They keep you warm during cold fronts (long underwear fits comfortably underneath) and can be turned into shorts when the temperature bubbles up. They endure wear and tear in the roughest of conditions. These pants are practical and offer multi-access zipper security pockets as well as well sized and positioned front and rear pockets. The waist tightens up with a simple tug on the adjustable waistband. These pants breathe, resist water and in general meet an outdoor enthusiast's every need. They are by no means waterproof, but fit well enough so that a waterproof shell will easily fit over them.

Compare top rated competitors side-by-side >

  • Photos
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Prana has many amazing products, and many different types and styles of pants to choose from, but when looking for a general purpose outdoor/travel pant, the Stretch Zion Convertible Pants offer a uniquely versatile, general purpose solution to all of your outdoor needs that not only outperform other Prana products, but blow competitor products out of the water.
Performance Comparison
Click to enlarge
Still a long way to go up river to get to camp
Credit: Brian Blum
Comfort / Fit
From the standpoint of comfort, there's simply nothing bad that can be said about these pants. The material is soft and comfortable, they fit your body well; not too tight, not too loose (except for the very skinny frame) to accommodate all body types and situations. They stretch for yoga, climbing, or other more intense activities, and they simply look and feel great. The convertible pant legs make it an easy conversion to shorts if you'd like to go for a swim, and not the short shorts of the 80s but an actual full-length pair of shorts. We don't feel claustrophobic or constrained when sitting for long periods of time. In hotter and colder climates these pants do a great job with temperature acclimation allowing us to focus our energy on our surroundings rather than our clothing.
If we absolutely have to make a complaint about these pants we can say that they are a little bit baggy for climbing, especially for thinner individuals, and when you tighten up the adjustable waistband they develop awkward creases in the front and often become loose again soon. Note that they also run a little bit short in the legs, which actually works well for climbing but may be undesirable for some in general. However, the six different waist sizes and three lengths available should render this point moot if you purchase the right pair in the right fit.
Hands down these are the top pants from the perspective of versatility. They perform while hiking to the top of snow covered peaks, becoming saturated in white water, stretching to the limit in some uncomfortable yoga poses, scraping against sharp granite on the boulders of Joshua Tree, and looking like "normal" pants when grabbing a drink in town. There is rarely a situation where throwing these on and heading out the door is a bad idea (the one exception being a recent job interview where I don't think the cargo pants look impressed the interviewer). There are of course many better solutions for specific activities. We prefer to climb in a tighter fitting pant. We prefer to do yoga in stretchy yoga pants or shorts. We prefer to swim in a bathing suit. And of course we prefer to go out dancing in something a bit more stylish. But for a general purpose solution, especially when looking for an all purpose pair of versatile pants to take with you into the jungles of Asia or the far reaches of the world, we honestly can't recommend a better pair.
Sitting in my Zion's as I write this, I must say I am quite impressed with how well these pants stand up to wear and tear. After six months of bushwacking through jungle, farming in the heat of the tropics and adventuring through caves and across mountain peaks, the pants that I wore the most, the Zion Convertibles, can take a beating and, as they say, keep on ticking. Aside from a stain or two that won't come out and some stitching that has come undone (which hasn't caused any real problems yet), these pants are in great shape and likely to last at least another six months to a year of intense general use. They don't exactly look new any more, but we can't honestly expect any pair of pants to hold up against six months in the tropics living in the elements. And while not a direct test of weatherproofing, we were happy to see that the weatherproof coating also served to resist the absorption of some spilled red wine, keeping these pants clean from stains in many cases.
Weather Resistance
In general the Zion Convertible Pants held up across a range of weather conditions. In light rain they did a great job of keeping us dry, although in the tropics we also got to experience saturating rain where nothing but full waterproofing would have sufficed. Unless saturated they also dried relatively quickly both on and off the body, a nice feature when you get pretty tired of being wet all of the time.
At high elevations at near freezing temperatures they functioned pretty well to keep us warm, although long underwear is a must have for those not acclimated to very cold climates. For the most part they were effective as well against cold winds, although some holes in the crotch which serve well to ventilate hot air also become a spot for cold frigid air to enter, sometimes quite uncomfortably. In hotter climates they offered some breathability through these ventilation holes, but still became quite warm, pushing us to take advantage of the zip-off legs at the risk of high sun exposure.
The Zion Convertible Pants offer four front and two rear pockets, a tightening waist strap, zip-off pant legs (convertible), and functional ventilation holes. The open front and rear pockets are well designed to be easily accessible, deep enough to hold ample material without risk of falling out, and offer mesh netting increasing the overall breathability of the pants. The two lower front zipper pockets are extremely useful for securing valuables and important items when on the move, and offer two zippers for top or side access, something we felt at first was overkill but later came to appreciate when accessing these pockets sitting down or while in a harness. The waist tightening system was functional, although often loosened up during activity and hangs awkwardly down the front of the pants as there is no place to tuck the fabric away.
The stretch Zion Convertible Pants are offered in six waist sizes and three lengths, and come in three different color options, providing enough variety to meet your style preference (note: we do wish a few more color options were available).
Best Applications
The Stretch Zion Convertible Pants are absolutely perfect for hiking, general outdoor activities and especially multi-faceted travel. They are uniquely suitable for higher intensity activities like yoga, rock climbing, slacklining, dancing and general play. They are sufficient for both warmer and cooler climates, although specialized excursions call for specialized equipment.
The Stretch Zion Convertible Pants provide excellent value. These pants are priced in the middle range of those we tested and provide an all-purpose multi-faceted solution to looking and feeling good at home or on whatever adventure you undertake. In general they are not cheap pants, but they are also not cheaply made. We did have some frustration with the stitching coming loose, which directly degrades their overall value and longevity. However, we love Prana as a company and we especially love their policy of providing a full refund at any time if you are unhappy with their product.
The Prana Stretch Zion Convertible Pants win Editors' Choice award because they provide everything we want, and more, in a general purpose hiking/outdoor pant. Having travelled for six months with these and four other pairs of top hiking pants, we found that no matter what we were doing, regardless of the conditions, we were well served by these pants.

Brian Blum

Compare this product side-by-side to top competitors >

Where to Buy?

Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: January 13, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Average Customer Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (2)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 1 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
Write a Review on this Gear

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Jan 13, 2014 - 11:02am
Michael67 · Backpacker · Chico, CA
These are the best for hiking and backpacking. The material is very breathable and stretchy. Lots of pockets. I love the adjustable belt, so that as you lose weight on a backpacking trip, you can cinch up the waist.

They are fairly warm, which I consider a plus when I zip on the legs at night or at the summit.

The material does snag a little and show a little wear, but the material is very tough.

They are very comfortable and functional. The fit is slightly baggy, I also have the shorts version which fits a little slimmer.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 

Have you used the Prana Stretch Zion Convertible Pants?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
Click to enlarge
Prana Stretch Zion Convertable pants shown in Khaki. Also available in brown and charcoal.
Credit: Prana
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
Amazon $59.46  -  30% off!
Backcountry $59.46  -  30% off!
MooseJaw $62.99  -  26% off!
Compare prices at 8 sellers >

*Help support OutdoorGearLab. If you click on one of the seller links and make a purchase, a portion of the sale helps support this site
Related Best-in-Class Review
The Best Hiking Pants Review For Men

The Best Hiking Pants Review For Men

We put the top men's hiking pants to the test through six months in the jungles of Central America.
Video video review
Helpful Buying Tips
Get More OutdoorGearLab
Follow us on Twitter, be a fan on Facebook!
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Other Gear by Prana