Durable and stylish clothing produced by the Prana brand has become incredibly popular among climbers and hikers around the globe. Our Prana Brion vs Zion pants comparison will take a closer look at two of the brand’s most sought-after models and try to establish which one of them is more versatile.
Either of these models is available in a broad range of colors and all standard sizes so that you can opt for the one that best matches your taste. Although designed for outdoor activities, Prana Brion and Prana Zion are not suited for all types of weather conditions.
Nonetheless, these pants can be worn in different contexts which makes them an intriguing choice if you are looking for a pair of pants that is not designed exclusively for outdoor activities.
Main Differences Between Prana Brion vs Zion pants
The main differences between Prana Brion vs Zion pants are:
- Prana Brion pants weigh 12oz, whereas Prana Zion pants weigh 13.6oz
- Prana Brion pants only have a coin pocket, whereas Prana Zion features a dual-entry cargo pocket
- Prana Brion pants don’t have an adjustable waistband, whereas the Prana Zion pants have a fully adjustable waistband
- Prana Brion comes in only one version, whereas Prana Zion pants are available in stretch base, stretch straight, and convertible versions
- Prana Brion pants can be purchased for approximately $70, whereas the average price of the Prana Zion pants is around $70
|Prana Brion||Prana Zion|
|Material||97% Nylon, 3% Spandex||97% Nylon, 3% Spandex|
|Pockets||2 hand, 2 back, and 1 coin pockets||2 hand, 2 back, and 1 cargo pocket|
|Water resistance||DWR coating||DWR coating|
|Sun protection||UPF 50||UPF 50|
|Closing mechanism||Button and a fly with adjustable waistband||Button and a fly|
|Latest price||Check the latest price here||Check the latest price here|
Prana Brion vs Zion pants feature comparison
You could easily mistake the Prana Brion pants for a regular pair of pants as at least visually there is nothing that indicates these pants were designed for hiking. That’s why you can wear these pants at work or at the local bar without anyone noticing that you’re wearing hiking pants.
The manufacturer also offers shorts from the same collection in case the Prana Brion pants are too warm for your needs. Prana Brion shorts are made from the same materials, and they have identical features as the Prana Brion pants.
Also, there are countless color options to choose from and it shouldn’t be too difficult to find the size that matches you, since all models are true to size. Prana Brion pants are a great choice for anyone in need of a pair of pants that is both practical and lightweight.
- Prana Brion pants weigh just 12oz
- The materials from which the Brion pants are made contain 97% Nylon, 3% Spandex
- DWR coating provides protection against water
- UPF 50 sun protection
- Classic button and zip fly closure
- Belt loops
- 2 hand and 2 back pockets and 1 coin pocket
Design, comfort, and mobility
The Prana Brion pants look like a common, everyday pair of pants, as they have a conventional button and zip fly closure, 2 hand pockets, and two back pockets. The trouser legs have a slim-fit design that doesn’t leave too much room around your legs.
Besides these features, the Prana Brion pants have a tiny coin pocket that is a standard feature on most everyday pants. So, from a visual standpoint, these Prana pants are not different from any other pair of pants.
The material they are made from makes them highly comfortable and suitable for different types of outdoor activities. Also, these pants won’t limit your movements and you can wear them while hiking, climbing, or even running.
Arguably the largest downside of Prana Brion pants is that they don’t have a cargo pocket, so you have to search for alternative storage options that allow you quick access to the items you need while performing an outdoor activity.
Check out our guide to the best cargo pants for hiking, if you find the Prana Brion’s storage options too limiting..
Breathability and ventilation
There are no ventilation options on Prana Brion pants and they are not designed to be used during summer. What’s more, the manufacturer doesn’t offer a convertible version of these pants that would allow you to remove the lower part of their legs.
The fabric from which these pants are made is composed of 97% nylon and 3% Spandex which indicates that it is heavier than the fabric used to produce some of the most breathable hiking pants on the market.
Besides, Prana Brion pants don’t have roll-up leg snaps that would enable you to at least reduce the overheating. That’s why these Prana pants are not a great fit for volatile weather conditions or outdoor activities that take place during the summer months.
So if you are looking for a pair of paints that breathes well and offers a variety of ventilation options we suggest considering alternative options. Read our guide to finding the best outdoor pants for more information about the features an outdoor pair of pants should have.
Other noteworthy features
Despite being too warm for summer, Prana Brion pants have UPF50 sun protection that blocks up to 98% of UV rays. This feature can be useful if you are frequently exposed to the sun as it will ensure that the minimum amount of UV rays can reach your skin.
Prana Brion pants have DWR coating that should prevent them from soaking during heavy rainfall, but they won’t stay dry for long if they are exposed directly to large amounts of water. These pants can only handle moderate water exposure and they won’t get wet quickly if they’re only dealing with drizzle.
The Prana Brion will dry quickly once they get wet, but their wet weather performance depends on the amount the water they’re exposed to.
It’s worth noting that Prana Brion pants lack many of the features that are standard for most outdoor pants. Go through our guide to the best pants for climbing if you are searching for a pair of pants that is equipped with features you may need while climbing a rock or a mountain.
Prana Brion pants won’t wear out quickly and you’ll be able to wear them for at least one season before you notice the first signs of deterioration.
You can purchase a pair of Prana Brion pants for less than $80, and although they are not the least expensive hiking pants you can get, their durability makes them a good investment.
Besides, the manufacturer lets you choose if you want a full refund, credit, or an exchange in case you’re not pleased with their performance.
Prana Brion pants are a versatile and reliable pair of pants you can wear to a local bar or on a hiking trail, but their water protection or storage capabilities leave much to be desired.
Currently, the manufacturer offers several versions of Zion pants, and you can choose between the Zion Stretch Convertible, Stretch Zion Straight, and Stretch Zion Base models. However, other than Zip-Off legs and varying leg room these Prana pants are identical.
Consequently, these pants are made from the same materials, and they come with the same set of features. The convertible version of these pants is better suited for warm weather conditions, while the Base and Straight models are ideal for the spring and autumn months.
Even though they are designed primarily as hiking pants, all Prama Zion models can double as yoga pants or you can even wear them in casual settings. All Zion pants have a standard-fit design which means that they are neither too loose nor too tight.
This enables you to maintain the full motion range required for running, walking, or climbing activities.
- Prana Zion pants weigh 13.6oz
- Available in convertible, Straight, and Base variants
- Adjustable waistband
- 2 hand pocket, 2 back pockets, and 1 cargo pocket
- Made from fabric that contains 97% nylon and 3% spandex
- Roll-up leg snaps
- Ventilation holes
Design, comfort, and mobility
The Prana Zion pants seem a bit baggier than the Brion models as they are only available in the standard-fit options. The side dual-entry cargo pocket is another aspect where these two models differ from each other so Prana Zion is clearly the better option if you need more storage space than offered by the Brion’s regular mesh pockets.
Both of these Prana’s models are made from the same fabric that contains an identical proportion of nylon and spandex materials.
The Prana Zion pants are comfortable to wear while sitting down or walking and they allow you to maintain the mobility you need while performing different outdoor activities. The fly zipper on these pants can be too short for some users, but the cut of the crotch doesn’t create discomfort.
Also, all versions of Zion pants come with an adjustable waist tightening strap that enables you to loosen them up if they are too tight in the hip and waist area.
Breathability and ventilation
The breathability of the material from which the Prana Brion and Zion pants are made is not admirable, but unlike the Brion models, the Straight and Base versions of Zion pants are equipped with ventilation holes in the crotch area.
However, these ventilation holes don’t provide sufficient airflow to keep you cool on a warm summer day. The Prana Zion pants also have roll-up leg snaps that improve their ventilation capabilities, although not enough to make them suitable for hikes at high temperatures.
Opting for the convertible version of the Prana Zion pants may be a good idea if you need a pair of warm pants that can be converted into shorts by removing the lower part of the legs.
However, these pants are primarily designed for relatively cold weather conditions and you should consider alternative solutions if you would like to get a highly breathable pair of hiking pants.
Other noteworthy features
The Prana Brion and Zion pants have DWR coating that should, at least in theory, make them waterproof. This specification can be misguiding as neither of these Prana’s models is actually waterproof, and the DWR coating wears out after just a few months of regular use.
They won’t get soaked in mist, but they will get wet quickly if exposed to rain for more than ten minutes. Hence, Zion pants offer only basic protection against water and they dry quickly, but they are not an ideal option if you’re planning to hike in wet weather conditions.
The manufacturer has also equipped the Zion pants with UPF 50 sun protection that should keep you safe from UV radiation, and this feature can come in handy if you’re often hiking at high altitudes.
Prana Zion pants are among the best hiking pants on the market because they are incredibly comfortable and durable. They are also versatile as you can wear them for nearly all types of outdoor activities.
Although they are more expensive than Prana Brion pants, the price difference is reasonable especially when all the extra features the Prana Zion pants offer are considered. A pair of Zion pants can cost anywhere between $60 and $170 so that you can choose the option that best fits your budget.
You should also check out our Prana Bridger Jeans review if you’re interested in other pants models produced by the Prana brand.
Prana Brion vs Zion Pants – Pros and Cons
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Functional slim-fit design
- Suitable for a broad spectrum of context
- No ventilation features
- Limited storage options
- Adjustable waist strap
- Equipped with a side cargo pocket
- Warm and durable
- Excellent abrasion resistance
- DWR coating wears out quickly
- Low breathability
The best alternatives to Prana Brion and Zion hiking pants
The mixture of versatility and durability makes the Prana pants an excellent option for anyone who likes to spend a lot of time outdoors. However, both Zion and Brion models have a number of drawbacks that can prompt you to consider alternative options.
We’ve selected a few hiking pants models produced by competing brands so let’s take a look at what they have to offer.
Arc’teryx Gamma LT Pants
Made from 88% nylon and 12% elastane, the Arc’teryx Gamma LT pants weigh just 11oz. They are also stretchy, breathable, and abrasion-resistant. These softshell pants are equipped with an integrated belt and a metal fastener that allow you to adjust them to your needs.
These pants provide enough layering room so that you can wear them over thermal pants, while they are warm enough for use in low-temperature conditions. Also, the Arc’teryx Gamma LT pants are waterproof so you don’t have to worry about staying dry if you get caught up in the rain.
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants
If you need a pair of breathable softshell pants that can protect you against the strong wind, you should consider getting a pair of Outdoor Research Ferossi Pants. These pants are made of a fabric that contains 86% of nylon and 14% spandex, which suggests that they are both warm and elastic.
In addition, their design makes them suitable for climbing as their low-profile waist fits under a harness, while the drawcord allows you to loosen or tighten the legs around the waist. Read our full review of the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants for more detailed information about this OR’s model.
Columbia Silver Ridge Pants
Like all convertible pants, Columbia Silver Ridge pants enable you to enjoy outdoor activities regardless of the weather conditions. However, you should keep in mind that Columbia’s model is not designed for extremely low temperatures, but rather for mild and warm weather.
These pants are made from lightweight and breathable materials that keep you comfortable and protect you from UV rays. Also, their excellent abrasion resistance makes it nearly impossible to rip them accidentally.
Check out our Columbia Silver Ridge Pants review to learn more about these convertible pants.
Answer: The manufacturer doesn’t provide the temperature rating for their models, so it is hard to know the temperature limitations of a particular model. Even so Prana Brion pants are warm enough to be worn at temperatures higher than 32F.
Answer: The front pockets on the Prana Brion pants are very short, and it may be difficult to fit a smartphone into them. Back pockets are longer but they don’t offer a lot of storage capacity.
Answer: Although they are not designed as softshell pants, the Prana Zion pants are wide enough to enable you to wear them over thermal base layer pants.
Answer: Prana Zion pants are machine washable, and you can wash them with other clothes. There are no special maintenance requirements you need to follow.
Prana Brion vs Prana Zion Pants Final Thoughts
However, the design of both of these Prana’s models enables you to wear them in different contexts. They are equally suitable for rock climbing and a night out with your friends at a local bar, but you should bear in mind that neither Brion nor Zion pants are designed for winter or summer conditions.
Prana Zion pants have a cargo pocket, and an adjustable waist strap which makes them a better choice for outdoor activities. The Prana Brion pants look like a regular pair of slim-fit pants rather than a piece of outdoor gear and you can wear them in almost all casual settings.
Was this Prana Brion vs Zion Pants comparison useful? Let us know in the comments or read our guide to the best rain pants of camping if you think that the water protection features of these Prana’s models are underwhelming.
David is a strong advocate of outdoor-related activities and has many years experience backpacking and hiking around the world, including the Italian and Austrian Alps in Europe as well as central and southern Asia. Locally, he has also led many groups cycling through Vermont, Nova Scotia and Wisconsin. David constantly uses and tests the latest gear for the outdoors, which in turn allows him to help others make more informed buying decisions.