Review: prAna Zion Stretch Pants 2.0 Make Me Want to Skip Work and Hike

prAna Stretch Zion Pants Slim II
Anthony Mastracci | SPY

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Living in Southern California means getting to play outside 12 months out of the year, so a-hiking we will go, any time we want. But hiking is no walk in the park — it requires more technical gear, like hiking boots, a hydration pack and, believe it or not, a quality pair of hiking pants. 

Having hiked and bouldered through the various scapes of Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Parks, as well as tougher trails on both coasts, I can tell you that not all hiking pants are created equal, which is why I stepped into prAna Stretch Zion pants. 

The line of prAna Stretch Zion pants is not new. In fact, as of now, the brand just launched a 2.0 version of the beloved pant after listening to years of customer reviews. They considered both positive and negative reviews when conceptualizing the new line, which is why I was so excited to put them to the test. 

To best review these hiking pants, specifically the prAna Stretch Zion Slim Pants II style, I ventured to Santa Clarita, California, to hike Vasquez Rocks with my two best friends, also wearing the same pants. One of my favorite places to visit, Vasquez Rocks is filled with rock formations low and high to jump on, scramble and hike through. It’s also been seen in movies like Blazing Saddles, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and Star Trek, among countless others. For our purposes, it served as a test course for the new prAna stretch Zion pants.

Did these pants have a leg to stand on? Keep reading to find out. But first, let’s cover what’s new in the redesign. 

prAna Stretch Zion Pants Slim II Courtesy of prAna
Pros:
  • Earth-conscious focus
  • Ample stretch
  • UPF protection
  • Ventilation where it matters
  • Listening to customers
Cons: 
  • Bad taper for casual style

 

  

prAna Stretch Zion Pants: New Features

prAna’s original Stretch Zion pants offered two fits: regular and straight. The regular was more of a relaxed fit, while the straight was closer to a slim fit if we’re talking the average pair of pants. This line gave us features like roll-up leg snaps, gusseted inseams, quick-drying fabric, UV protection, the adjustable waistband, a multi-entry cargo pocket and more; already impressive.

In the “ReZion” collection, what they’re calling their 2.0 line, we now have improved tech and better materials for the above features. There have been specific notes for updated, non-intrusive flat button closures and a noticeable sheen on the fabric that wasn’t there before. PrAna notes that, in their testing, this sheen side of the fabric is paramount in abrasion-proofing the pants.

This collection also focuses on four earth-friendly practices:

  • They’re now using recycled nylon fabric to craft these garments, which retains the trusted performance while reducing environmental impact. 
  • The durable water repellent (DWR) fabric is now PFAS-free, which is a known harmful chemical.
  • New materials are bluesign®-approved, as experts track every manufacturing aspect for the use of harmful substances.
  • Their focus on durability and longevity was a high priority to reduce the number of garments ending up in landfills.
prAna Zion Stretch Pants Slim II Anthony Mastracc | SPY

  

prAna Stretch Zion Pants: Enter the Slim Fit

We also have updated fits. The biggest news here is that prAna dropped their straight fit and introduced the prAna Stretch Zion Slim Pants II. I have now worn both the straight and slim stretch Zion pants and did note some differences. 

Available in waist sizes ranging from 28-42 and inseams from 28-36, I’m thrilled to say that my size in each is relatively the same. It may be a hair larger, but the adjustable waistband solves that in a cinch (haha). This style is available in seven colors, including sepia, black and gray-blue, all pictured in this story.

Oddly, the one new detail I found going from the old straight to the new slim was that the taper is just a smidge wider at the ankle. The hiker in me fell on the good side of this update, as the hemline now drapes nicely over a bulky hiking boot, perfect for keeping sand out. However, the casual style guy in me does not like the extended width over a pair of Vans slip-ons. It makes ankles look skinny. 

prAna Zion Stretch Pants Slim II Anthony Mastracc | SPY
  

How Does the prAna Stretch Zion Slim II Perform?

Performance-wise, this updated pair of hiking pants met every expectation I’ve had about prAna products. Up against jagged rocks, abrasion tech fabric is paramount. I’ve had $90 “rip-stop” hiking pants from another men’s outdoor brand literally rip 15 minutes into my first hike in Joshua Tree. In the 100+ miles, including the latest four I put into the new prAna Zion stretch pant, I have ripped them exactly zero times. And this includes crawling on sand and scrambling and scooching down rocks on all fives (hands, feet, bum).

The three other key performance factors are the trusted UPF 50+ sun protection, garment ventilation and stretch. Hiking in the desert calls on each of these to play a significant role. It was 99 degrees and humid on my testing day, as a very rare rainfall was expected that night. I was completely cool throughout the hours of using these hiking pants, with no feeling of sun peeking through the fabric. There was minimal sweating, other than expected in such harsh conditions. And through the whole trek, I had complete flexibility to flank my legs out for any foothold. 

prAna Zion Stretch Pants Slim II Anthony Mastracc | SPY
  

The Verdict: Should You Buy prAna Stretch Zion Slim Pants?

I could list over 20 brands that make hiking pants off the top of my head. And with fashion trending outdoors, we’re only going to see more. But for those who need performance, I urge you to choose any of the prAna stretch Zion pants as one of your main pairs for fair to hot weather hiking.

For me, it’s prAna’s Stretch Zion Slim Pant II as the winner. For those who prefer a little more freedom, the classic would be best. Either way, top marks for quality and comfort within the market and for maintaining the expectations of existing customers. 

However, it must be noted that if hiking in a colder or snowy environment, I think there are better options. But that’s another review for another day.

  

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