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Prana Halle - Women's Review

Great pair for colder hiking days, rock climbing, or bouldering.
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $85 List | $44.98 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Feminine fit, many adjustment options, mobile, comfortable, articulated knees
Cons:  Some pilling, weak buttons, small pockets
Manufacturer:   Prana
By Cam McKenzie Ring ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 9, 2019
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 11
  • Comfort and Mobility - 30% 9
  • Versatility - 15% 6
  • Durability - 15% 6
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 5
  • Features - 15% 7
  • Breathability - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The Prana Halle is a relaxed fit mid-rise pair of pants that are 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 for hiking, we also liked wearing them while bouldering and rock climbing, and have awarded them our Top Pick 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. These pants are 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.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

The Prana Halle wins 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


These pants are one of the highest-rated models for comfort and mobility in our review. The Halle's material is soft and a little stretchy, and the pants sit at the mid-waist for a comfortable fit. At 12 ounces in the tested size, they are heavier than nearly all pants we tested.


The material stretches out a little throughout the day, but the internal drawstring lets you adjust the waist without having to wear a belt (which is crucial 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 their design is such that we never threw a heel hook up or took a high step and felt like we couldn't make the move because of the pants - 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 feel tight behind the knee, the Halle allows for full motion without any restriction.

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 are good 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.

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.

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 they're not. The DWR (durable water repellent) coating makes water bead up and roll off the pants a little, but it 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 became soaked. Once wet, they take a long time to dry — over an hour in the full sun. As such, we can't recommend these pants as a good option for the deep backcountry, where getting and staying wet can have serious consequences. However, for day use when bouldering, climbing, and day hiking, where you're done anyway once the storms roll in, this is not such a big concern.

Just because a manufacturer states that something has a DWR and is water-resistant does not mean it will last forever. This finish wears off quickly from flexible fabrics and garments that go through the washing machine frequently. Fortunately, you can renew it with a special wash formula like Nikwax.

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

Features


These pants are not the most feature-filled model in this review, mainly due to the lack of a convertible option, though there are a few functional features that we do like.


The drawstring cinch at the waist is a significant 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 you put in there 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 easy to damage by bending, abrasion, or machine dry heat. 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.

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 Halles are just a little too thick to be considered breathable for warm summer conditions but they are an excellent option 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.

Value


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.

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!

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 versatile, backcountry use but are a great choice for cooler weather adventures where you don't plan on getting wet.


Cam McKenzie Ring