Hands-on Gear Review

Prana Halle - Women's Review

Top Pick Award
Price:  $85 List | $63.71 at MooseJaw
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Feminine fit, many adjustment options, mobile, comfortable, articulated knees.
Cons:  Some pilling, weak buttons, small pockets.
Bottom line:  Great pair for colder hiking days, rock climbing or bouldering.
Editors' Rating:   
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Measured Weight:  12 oz
Inseam (from crotch to cuff):  32" (pant), 24" (crop)
Fabric:  97% Nylon, 3% Spandex (shell); 100% Polyester (trim)
Manufacturer:   Prana

Our Verdict

The Prana Halle is a relaxed fit mid-rise pant that is flattering enough to wear around town without screaming "hiking pants!" yet comfortable and functional for climbing, biking, and traveling. While you can (and we did) wear these pants solely for hiking, we liked to wear them while bouldering and rock climbing, and have given them our Top Pick award for Mobility. The stretchy Nylon/Spandex material allows for a wide range of leg movements, they fit well under a harness, and they resist tears and scratches from sharp rocks and plants. They are not very water resistant, even though they have a DWR coating on them, which makes them even more suited to climbing rather than hiking, as it's not advised to do the former in the rain. If you are looking for a true and thru-hiking pant, our Editors' Choice award winner, the Marmot Lobo's Convertible Pant, is a much better option for your next backpacking adventure.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Hiking Pants for Women


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Cam McKenzie Ring

Last Updated:
Wednesday
June 15, 2016

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The Prana Halle won our Top Pick award for Mobility thanks to their ease of movement and flattering style. They are made with a 97% Nylon/3% Spandex blend and have a straight leg fit. They come in sizes 0-16 and three inseam options (Short 30", Regular 32" and Tall 36"). Prana recently released the Halle Plus which comes in size 18, 20 and 22.

Performance Comparison


Our Top Pick for Mobility is a great choice for sports that require a great deal of movement  like scrambling  bouldering or hiking.
Our Top Pick for Mobility is a great choice for sports that require a great deal of movement, like scrambling, bouldering or hiking.

Comfort & Mobility


This pant was one of the highest rated models for Comfort and Mobility in our review - only our Top Pick for Comfort, the Mountain Hardwear Dynama, scored higher. The material is soft and comfortable to wear all day, and the pants sit at mid-waist for a comfortable fit. At 12 ounces in the tested size, they are a little heavier than the Marmot Lobo's (9 ounces), but don't feel nearly as heavy on as the beefier Kuhl Splash Roll Up Pant (13 ounces).


The material stretches out a bit over the course of a day, but the internal drawstring lets you adjust the waist without having to wear a belt (which is key if you are wearing a backpack hip belt or climbing harness, and you don't want an additional piece of material in that area).

An inner drawstring helps with fit adjustments and means you don't have to wear a belt  which is much preferred when also wearing a harness or hipbelt.
An inner drawstring helps with fit adjustments and means you don't have to wear a belt, which is much preferred when also wearing a harness or hipbelt.

As for mobility, these pants are not at all restrictive and move in stride while hiking, climbing, or just walking out to check the mail. They don't have a gusseted groin, but the design of the pants is such that we've never thrown a heel hook up or a high step and felt like we couldn't do the move because of the pant — we have plenty of other excuses for that! The straight leg design and articulated knees keep the pants comfortably flexible around the entire knee. While some pants may build up tightness behind the knee, the Halles allow for full joint motion without any tightness.

High-stepping is easy in the Halles thanks to the stretchy fabric and articulated knees.
High-stepping is easy in the Halles thanks to the stretchy fabric and articulated knees.

Versatility


These are not the most versatile pants of the different models that we tested (the convertible zip-off pants all took top marks for this category), but they can be used for a variety of applications.


They are durable enough for scrambling and climbing, fashionable enough to wear around town, and warm enough for even chilly climbing days. If you are looking for something that is a little more lightweight and breathable for use in the hotter months, then the Columbia Saturday Trail Stretch are a better option.

These pants roll up to a crop  but are not convertible into shorts.
These pants roll up to a crop, but are not convertible into shorts.

Breathability


When active in temperate and cool weather, these pants offer excellent breathability. But, once the temps warm up, they are just a little too thick to feel comfortable, and they only convert into a 24" crop, which provides some ventilation but not the same as zip-off leg pair.


The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible were one of the most breathable pairs that we tested, in part thanks to the zip-off feature. The lightweight Columbia Saturday Trail Stretch were also highly breathable, though without the ability to remove the legs. The Halle is just a little too thick for warm summer conditions, but are a great pant for spring and fall, and higher elevation summer wear.

On a nice spring day  these pants feel just right - but for warmer summer hikes they are a little too heavy and not as breathable.
On a nice spring day, these pants feel just right - but for warmer summer hikes they are a little too heavy and not as breathable.

Durability


While these pants hold up well against rough and sharp rocks, the material itself does tend to pill in high wear areas, like the insides of the legs and knees.


The front buttons are not sewn on that tightly, and you might lose one along the way, but there are two, and an extra one on the inside of the pants, and they can always be sewn back on, unlike a snap closure.

The Stretch Zion material resists abrasions pretty well  but is more prone to pilling in high wear areas that some of the other pants in this review.
The Stretch Zion material resists abrasions pretty well, but is more prone to pilling in high wear areas that some of the other pants in this review.

Weather Resistance


These pants try to be water resistant, but compared to the Marmot Lobo's or The North Face Paramount 2.0 Convertible, they're not. The DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating makes water bead up and roll off the pants a little, but the water quickly saturates the material.


We experienced this both during our water tests, where we sprayed each pair with a water bottle to simulate a light rain and in real time when we got caught out in a storm where the rain was coming in sideways. In both situations, the DWR worked for about a minute, and then the pants quickly became soaked. Once wet, they take a long time to dry — over an hour in the full sun, compared to only twenty minutes for the Marmot Lobo's and The North Face Paramount 2.0s. As such, we can't recommend these pants as a good option for the backcountry, where getting and staying wet can have serious consequences. However, for day use when bouldering and climbing, where you're done anyways once the storms roll in, this is not such a big concern. If you are planning some Alpine climbs or ridge traverses where you may get wet but need to keep on going, the softshell Arc'teryx Gamma LT will keep you much drier than the Halle's and still have great mobility.

Just because a manufacturer states that something has a DWR and is water resistant does not always make it so. It's always best to read customer reviews and/or do your own quick water resistance testing before taking a new pair into the backcountry.

Water beads up for a barely a minute on the Halles  then soaks right through  even though they have a DWR coating. These are definitely not meant for wet weather use.
Water beads up for a barely a minute on the Halles, then soaks right through, even though they have a DWR coating. These are definitely not meant for wet weather use.

Features


These pants are not the most featured model this review, mainly due to the lack of a convertible option, though there are a few functional features that we did like.


The drawstring cinch at the waist is a great upgrade (earlier versions of this pant did not have this, making it a less desirable model to wear under a climbing harness or backpack). Our favorite feature is the zippered thigh pocket that is big enough to hold a phone or camera (again, earlier versions had this pocket, but it was much smaller and somewhat useless).

The large zippered thigh pocket is the perfect size for a phone or camera  though it does feel a tad weird to hike with it there.
The large zippered thigh pocket is the perfect size for a phone or camera, though it does feel a tad weird to hike with it there.

The front hand pockets are not quite as successful though — they are not very deep, and anything your put in the might pop out as soon as you squat down. The roll-up convertible option is simple to secure, with a tab on either side that wraps around the rolled up section and snaps into place. The material has a bit of stiffness to it and tends to stay in place if you choose to roll it higher or lower and not use the tabs. Although the securing system is easy to use, the plastic buttons are easily damaged through bending, abrasion, or machine dry heat. We preferred the bungee cord loop and button system of the Marmot Lobo's Pants. Despite this minor detail, the roll-up option adds versatility and ventilation to these pants.

Unfortunately the hand pockets are a bit of a fail - not deep enough to actually put your hands in  and whatever you do put in there tends to pop out as soon as you squat down.
Unfortunately the hand pockets are a bit of a fail - not deep enough to actually put your hands in, and whatever you do put in there tends to pop out as soon as you squat down.

Best Applications


The Prana Halle is best suited to dry day hiking in spring and fall, or for scrambling, climbing, or bouldering. They are the most stylish pant in our review and cross-over into non-technical, around-town use the best. They have a relaxed fit that can be layered with a base layer and have the bonus of being a roll-up pant for ventilation, style, or water encounters. They are also comfortable for traveling.

When it comes to climbing  bouldering  scrambling  or other rock shenanigans - we love these pants!
When it comes to climbing, bouldering, scrambling, or other rock shenanigans - we love these pants!

Value


With an MSRP of $85, this model is more expensive than the top convertible pants in our review without the same versatility. While we won't go so far as to say they are overpriced, they are barely water resistant and not that versatile; however, if you are looking for a pair of climbing pants that can take a lot of wear and tear, then these are a great value. We have older versions of this pant in our closet that are still looking great even after years of use.

Conclusion


The Prana Halle is a well-designed pant with a feminine fit and flattering design details that function in the wilderness as well as in town. We love the ability to roll up these pants, and their comfort and mobility are hard to beat. We've given them our Top Pick award for Mobility, and you can count on them for unimpeded movement on the rock and trail. They are not the best option for backcountry use but are a great choice for cooler weather adventures where you don't plan on getting wet.
Cam McKenzie Ring

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Most recent review: June 15, 2016
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