prAna Stretch Zion Pants Review (With Video!)
Out of all the products I have reviewed on this website so far, the prAna Stretch Zion Pant is undoubtedly the highest-rated product I’ve ever seen. I looked on prAna’s website at their customer reviews of the product, and, at the time, there were 271 customer reviews that resulted in an average product rating of 4.8 (!!!). It doesn’t get much better than that.
To start, these might be the best climbing pants out there. They have a stretchy, breathable material which stays cool in warmer temperatures but is also thick enough to keep you warm in the cooler months. For this prAna Stretch Zion Pants review, I put the pants through dozens of indoor and outdoor bouldering sessions and they held up beautifully. They are durable given all the straining and beatings you’ll put them through with yoga, climbing, hiking, or any form of outdoor frolicking.
The pants are also highly versatile. I have worn them to the crag, office, and climbing gym. I’ve worn them indoors and outdoors. I’ve worn them in cold and warm weather and all the while my legs felt great.
I wore them while bouldering outdoors in 35 degree weather and they were thick enough that my legs felt warm and comfortable without long underwear underneath. I’ve also worn them while bouldering outdoors in 65 degree weather and they were breathable enough that my legs didn’t get hot.
Bottom line: these pants are amazing. The only cons I could find after wearing them for an entire bouldering season is that the threads fray quickly and the pants are a little baggy around the ankles. Besides that, they are stylish (though they are also obviously outdoor pants so you won’t be able to wear them to a formal event… though some people definitely do) and they fit great. They fit true to size in the length and waist, so buy online with confidence.
Interested? Click here to buy them at Backcountry.com.
I would say these pants are some of the most versatile I’ve ever owned for physical activities. Another pant we reviewed, the Columbia Royce Peak Pant, is more versatile for casual and formal wear, but the Stretch Zion Pant performs well during any outdoor activity as well as indoor ones such as yoga or gym climbing.
GREAT FOR CLIMBING & BOULDERING
If you are looking for a pair of climbing pants, the Stretch Zion Pant is one of the best climbing pants out there. The pants themselves are lightweight, breathable, and stretchy.
The pants stretch in all the right places and I have never felt as if my movement has been restricted while wearing them. And, even though they are lightweight and stretchy, they are surprisingly durable. I have banged and scratched them against the rock and gym wall countless times, and the pants show no signs of wear. There are no tears or scuff marks.
Additionally, the pants simply look like climbing pants. They have buttons about halfway up the calf which are great for holding up your rolled-up pant legs. When wearing these pants and a pair of climbing shoes, you feel like a climber — and a pretty bad*ss one at that.
These pants will be put through some of the most strenuous and demanding circumstances a pair of pants can go through. They will be subjected to plenty of wear and tear. My personal pair have been rubbed against trees and sharp rocks, washed multiple times, scraped on gym walls, taken through mud and dirt and outdoor trails, and subjected to plenty of liquid spills.
Through all those things, my Stretch Zion Pants haven’t accrued a single mark. There are multiple places around the pants where the threads are unraveling slightly, but beyond that I have had no durability issues with these pants. They are still as thick and sturdy as the day I bought them. Some reviewers have commented that the pants will loose their shape slightly as you wear the pants, but I haven’t had any issues with that so far. The adjustable belt still functions fine, and I haven’t noticed any difference in how the pants fit even after an entire bouldering season of owning them.
This might sound like a generic “pro”, but the pants are truly well-designed for outdoor activities. The built-in adjustable belt is so helpful I find myself wishing every pair of pants I owned came with one. It is light but works exactly as you would want it to — it tightens your pants around your waist and keeps them tight for the entire time you’re wearing them — even if you’re highstepping like crazy or hiking a dozen miles.
There is one side pocket on the outside of the left pant with two zippers which lets you access the pocket from the top or side. I, at first, thought two zippers was superfluous until I found myself looking for a way to get my phone out of my pocket while resting thirty feet up a cliff (I was trying to take a cool picture…). My phone went in one way, and had to come out the other way due to the position of my legs.
These pants are stylish in the outdoorsy sense. You wouldn’t wear them on the runway at NYC Fashion Week, but you will like the look of yourself in them. They will immediately make you look more… outdoorsy. They aren’t the best for formal wear or going out (though some people do go out in them — especially if they’re going for the comfortable outfit) but they will look good in any other situation.
My one complaint related to style is that the pants get a little baggy towards your feet. They don’t slim much as they run down your leg, so while they fit great in the thighs, they are a little loose around the ankles.
For all the good things to say about these pants, they do have a couple cons which I would like to point out. The first is that, even though they are durable when banged and rubbed raw against rock and earth and the elements, after a mere week of owning them some of the threads started to unravel. Now, I must add the caveat that they didn’t unravel much, and after many months of ownership there haven’t been any threads to unravel fully or in such a way as to make the pants defective, but it is something that happens quickly.
BAGGY AROUND ANKLES
Also, like I said above, the pants are a little baggy around the ankles which makes them slightly less stylish than they could be. However, from a functionality standpoint they probably need to be a little baggier in order to be loose enough so as to not restrict movement when you’re climbing or doing yoga in them. Another minor con related to style is that the side pocket is quite conspicuous which gives the pants a cargo-like look and makes them hard to wear on more formal occasions.
Finally, while I have not experienced this personally, some other reviewers have mentioned that the pants lose some of their stretch and shape over the course of their life. After our prAna Stretch Zion Pants review, we ultimately gave the product a perfect 5/5 rating because none of the cons we encountered detracted from the pants’ functionality or performance.
DETAILS & MATERIALS
- The original Stretch ‘Zion’ fabric with durable water repellent
- Quick dry stretch nylon performance fabric
- All-weather finish
- Abrasion resistant
- Streamlined adjustable waistband
- Ventilated inseam gusset
- 12 in (30.5 cm) inseam medium at short length
- Standard fit
- 97% Nylon / 3% Spandex
Sizing & Fit
The prAna Stretch Zion Pants fit true to size in the waist and in the legs. I got my normal pant size and they fit fine, so get your regulat pant size when buying online. If you’re worried about the pants being a little loose in the waist, don’t be. The built-in adjustable belt will make it easy to tighten the pants to your desired level.
As for fit, the pants are a nice medium between loose and slim. In the thighs, they are comfortably loose without being baggy. The pants don’t rub against your thighs or constrict your movement. The groin area fits great, too.
Again, the pants don’t slim as they move down your leg, so although they aren’t baggy in the thighs they can look a little baggy around the calves and ankles. However, that bagginess won’t be visible if you roll the pant legs up, which is what I am personally super fond of doing — I think it looks cooler and works better for climbing.
The button is a loop button which means it won’t unsnap when high stepping during a climb or stretching during a yoga session.
Functionally speaking, the prAna Stretch Zion Pant is one of the best out there for climbing or any other activity (e.g. yoga) where you’re contorting your body. The buttons at the bottom of the pants make rolling up your pants easy and secure, the loop button is in no danger of coming undone, the adjustable belt works exactly as it should, and the side pocket is great for safely carrying something while hiking or climbing outdoors.
Aesthetically speaking, the pants look pretty cool. Putting them on will immediately make you look and feel more outdoorsy, and rolling up the pant legs while wearing climbing shoes will immediately make you feel more like a climber. They aren’t so stylish that they can be worn to formal events, but they’ll work in every other kind of occasion.
Overall, the design of these pants is exactly what you would want from an outdoor pair of pants — both functional and attractive.
These are some of the best climbing pants out there — possibly the best. They also work well for yoga, travel, and any outdoor activity that would test the durability of regular pants. I found myself a little hesitant to spend so much on a pair of climbing pants, but am now glad I did. The pants look brand new after an entire bouldering season (except for some slightly frayed threads), and I expect them to last much longer.
After my review of the prAna Stretch Zion Pants, I highly recommend them to any climber, boulderer, yogi, hiker, or backpacker. You will not regret purchasing these pants.
Vs. Other Climbing Pants
The Stretch Zion Pants are definitely designed with climbing and outdoor functionality in mind. They have an adjustable belt, a side pocket, and buttons for rolling up the legs.
If you aren’t looking for such a high level of functionality and would prefer a more stylish pair of outdoor/climbing pants that could double as a regular pair of casual (or even formal pants), we recommend you take a look at the Columbia Royce Peak Pant. To give you an idea of what it’s all about, it’s a pair of pants that I have successfully worn to the crag and bar in the same day.