Prana Revenna Review
Cons: Stretches out, wrinkles easily
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Revenna is made mostly out of nylon with a touch of spandex, labeled as ripstop by the manufacturer. They have four standard but deep pockets, all mesh-lined. The front, right pocket has a zipper for added security. In addition to the two metal snaps and zipper combination for waist closure, they also have an internal drawstring (which we found ourselves never using, actually). They are mid-rise and have a 7-inch inseam, providing excellent comfort and utility.
Comfort and Mobility
The highest score this competitor earned is for this metric, as the fabric and overall design are incredibly comfortable, soft, and flexible. The length does not restrict our movement whatsoever, and we appreciate how large the four pockets are - and how one of them has a concealed zipper (a highlight in the features category). Weighing in at 5.2 ounces for the size 2 we reviewed, this model is lightweight and easily worn all day without gripe. General comfort and the ability to high-step fluidly is of the best.
The main setback is in the overall fit. While true to size after a fresh wash, the material stretches and wrinkles much more readily than the others in the group. Stretching out over time, we are left with a baggier feeling and fit, which for us detracts from the comfort as we find ourselves adjusting the shorts more and more. This is possibly why there exists an internal drawstring.
Venting and Breathability
Scoring well above average in this metric, the soft fabric breathes well. While the length does add a tad more warmth as compared to those with shorter inseams, they vent adequately and do not feel too hot for us. We find the moisture-wicking nylon to be effective even on the hottest days here in Colorado.
Since the waistband is just as thin as the rest of the shorts, there is no extra heat retention taking place at the abdomen, which often happens when waistbands are thicker or are lined with fancier materials (i.e., tricot). We appreciate this streamlined construction. For venting, there isn't anything extra, save for the mesh-lined pockets. Having a longer inseam will also hinder venting, but the circumference of the leg openings are plenty wide and not too fitted around the leg.
Another high mark for the Prana, the ability to use these shorts for activities other than hiking is a no-brainer. It's easy and comfortable to wear a harness for climbing due to the flexibility and is also great for bike commuting or for doing whatever sport you're inspired to use them for. Since they are more on the modest side of things, we can also see them as useful for people working outside (i.e. summer camps, gardening, light farm work, etc). Being highly versatile is something we love to reward, but this metric also considers the fashion-sense of the design.
With simple, subtle styling, they aren't necessarily something we'd consider as trendy, especially when they wrinkle and stay wrinkled (which is easily done from merely sitting in them). Even though they are transferable from one sport to the next, we feel that they, unfortunately, don't transfer well from the trail to the urban landscape as much as many of the other shorts do. Thankfully, this metric doesn't hold as much weight as the previous ones do, but the style is nonetheless something most shoppers consider heavily. Too, we acknowledge that preferences might shift between generations, which is why we feel shorts with middle-of-the-road inseam lengths are far more well-rounded and inclusive.
According to the manufacturer's description, the fabric also has a DWR (durable water repellant) treatment. During our testing, however, we were unable to determine exactly how the DWR treatment plays a role in water resistance. The pair absorbs water instantly and does not classically bead as the other repellant shorts do. Keep in mind, however, that the more water-resistant a piece of fabric is, the less breathable it is likely to be — so there is a tradeoff.
Having little resistance inevitably lands them right along with any other average pair in this sense. We like to highlight this added feature due to the unpredictable nature of being out on the trails, from summer thunderstorms to silly spills at camp. It is very fortunate that the material isn't cotton, however, as being able to dry fairly quickly can make up for lacking water resistance. We score drying time under the Features category, though, so read on to see how they fared.
Having deep pockets lined with mesh, belt loops, and added sun protection (UPF 50) warrants an above-average score in Features. This model sure doesn't look super technical, but we appreciate these added perks, especially the UPF protection. The nylon dries fast enough for our expectations, but not as impressively as some of the others that are thinner and made up of more synthetic blends.
Regardless, we still consider them to be technical and more than sufficient for summer day-hiking and even backpacking, even if they are on the near-minimal side of the spectrum when it comes to added design features and fabric technology. Sometimes brands spend too much time thinking about add-ons and fabric treatments in a way that severely detracts from the practical comfort, which is why this metric doesn't outweigh what we hold as the most important aspect of hiking shorts: how they feel and move when we wear them.
Retailing at what is standard for the brand, a tad on the higher end, we do think they are of considerable quality and, thus, offer great value. The Revenna is made in Vietnam and comes with a one-year warranty. We definitely recommend owning a pair of these.
With only a few minor drawbacks, the Prana Revenna is otherwise one of the most outstanding pairs of shorts we've recently tested. We applaud their comfort and versatility. If only they didn't wrinkle so much and if only they were a tad more technical when it comes to water-resistance, they'd be perfect. But they are casual, practical, and feel amazing. The inseam length is modest but short enough for that youthful touch. Overall, they outshine the rest of our testing pool and truly deserve the Editors Choice Award.
— Sara Aranda