Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gear Review - prAna Zion Shorts

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prAna - Stretch Zion Short (men's)
Cargo short / climbing short / stretchy synthetic
Size reviewed: XL

the prAna Stretch Zion Short

Rarely is a piece of outdoor clothing, that you buy for a specific purpose, so well suited to everything else that you do that it ends up being the go-to item in your arsenal on any given weekend. The prAna Stretch Zion Short has turned out to be one of those surprising garments, one that doesn't seem to ever quit or let you down.

Half the surprise is that I would probably have never bought these if they hadn't been on clearance at the time. I had wanted something better than gym shorts for climbing outdoors, but hadn't been looking real seriously. My criteria were pretty simple: stretchy, tough, and not made from cotton. Boy, did these shorts ever fit the bill! They are mostly nylon, like most good hiking and outdoor pants, but with a touch of Spandex to make them completely climber-friendly.

See? Very stretchy!

They are laid out much like any other cargo short, and the bottom pockets zip for extra security (think car keys, ID, etc.). Also, they've done something in the weave that makes them tough-as-nails, even compared to a lot of other nylon pants. They are, top-to-bottom, almost everything you could ask for in a climbing short.

These shorts don't bat an eye at apparel-shredding quartz monzonite

And then some, since I've become accustomed to their giving and stretchy nature, they have now become my favorite shorts for hiking as well. My only complaint is that occasionally they feel a little warm, and could possible breathe better, and I do think that regular belt loops would be an improvement.

A technical fit that is still comfortable and relaxed at the end of the day

So, while I initially though prAna was just trendy gym-wear for boulderers and yogaholics, I stand corrected and impressed at the quality outdoor garment they've produced. I would gladly pay full price for another pair, and if anyone wants to cough up a donation, I'd love to review the ful-length Zion Pant as well (hint-hint, prAna).

  • Tough
  • Stretchy
  • Pockets
  • No belt loops
  • Gets dirty quicker than some other pants

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