Prana Brion pants review - the best budget pants for hikers
We all love jeans because it is a durable and comfortable item of clothing for many different occasions and activities. However, good hiking clothes should be breathable, waterproof, warm, stretchy, and comfortable. Unfortunately Denim are usually heavy, hot, and become uncomfortable when they are wet.
Thanks to the advancement of technology in the textile industry, many high-quality hiking pants are designed for different outdoor activities. While there are many models of hiking pants to choose from, do not underestimate the well-made Prana Brion pants.
The Prana Brion pants review below will go into the details of these budget-friendly, yet versatile pants. I will also include what I like and do not like about these pants. You will also find a buying guide towards the end of this article. Let’s dive right in!
Prana - a reliable clothing brand that always strives to make sustainable outfits
Founded in California, the name Prana in Sanskrit - an ancient Indian language - means breath. Prana also implies the universal energy that connects us with all other living things. The founder chose this name, intending to establish a clothing brand that inspires you to stay active, look good, and feel good.
➜ RELATED: Salomon Quest 4D 3 Gtx Review
Since its first days, Prana has played its part in propelling the sustainable clothing movement forward. The company chooses to grow only organic cotton and consider all of the substances used in the clothing making process. The well-being of the people in their assembly lines is also a high priority. For the founders of this clothing brand, sustainability means respect for the planet and its people.
If you are buying clothes from brands that care about the environment and its people, you can rest assured that its clothing’s quality is reliable. After all, aren’t the best hiking pants the ones of decent quality with a minimized impact on the environment?
Prana Brion pants - product details, pros, and cons
These reliable hiking pants are highly versatile. They can be used as everyday pants, but they are also perfect for hiking or climbing. Made from the original Stretch Zion fabric with a waterproof finish, the Prana Brion pants has unsurpassed quality and an ideal design that cares about even the smallest detail:
- • UPF 50+
- • Slim fit
- • Quick dry
- • Abrasion and wrinkle resistant
- • 5-pocket styling with fixed waist and mesh pockets
- • PFC-free waterproof
- • Reinforced rivet details
- • Available in many colors and sizes
- • Works for both hiking and everyday casual wearing
- • Made of durable Stretch Zion fabric
- • Comfortable and stretchy
- • It comes with a gusseted crotch.
- • Have a wide variety of sizes and colors to choose from
- • Excellent sun protection for its price range
- • Its water resistance is not very good in rainstorms.
- • It is not ideal for hot weather as it retains heat.
- • The DWR coating requires care.
Prana Brion pants review
Prana Brion pant men's Via: Amazon
If you do not hike frequently, it seems silly to buy hiking pants just for occasional use. So maybe you would not start your search with a term like best hiking pants. Instead, you would probably search for something like best pants for hiking and casual wear or best pants to move from the office to the wild.
If you need to address that void in your wardrobe, the Prana Brion pants come into play as a perfect choice. It might not meet the demanding requirements of most professional hikers, but these well-made pants come with a minimalist set of features, making them a good fit for everyday casual wear as well as hiking or camping trips. I will go into their details right below.
Fabric composition, weight, and stretch
The Prana Brion hiking pants are made of 97% nylon and 3% spandex, which are also the materials used in the Stretch Zion line of products. They are lightweight, breathable, and stretchy. So you can instantly feel the slick, synthetic feel of these pants right from the first touch.
One of Stretch Zion's biggest benefits is that it feels incredibly comfortable against your skin. I’m pretty sure Prana has gone through loads of trials and errors to create such a fantastic type of fabric for their product lines.
Light and stretchy fabric Via: Amazon
Even though the fabric weight is not listed on the product site, these hiking pants are super light, making them a perfect clothing choice for tropical weather. Also, when it comes to flexibility, the Prana Brion pants are incredibly stretchy. They can expand 35% beyond the original size, giving you an excellent range of mountain climbing movement.
These pants have a four-way stretch and guessed crotch with ventilation holes, giving it not only the flexibility but also the breathability for whatever athletic pursuit you have in mind, be it rock climbing or hiking.
If you are hikers who usually journey on rugged terrain, including scrambling up rocks, chances are you would love hiking pants that allow you to maneuver easily like these Prana Brion pants.
Both Prana slim fit pants and Prana Brion mens’ pants have a simple design with no drawcords, cargo pockets, or zip-off bottoms. They come with two front and back patch pockets, just like those you will find on jeans. There are also two small coin pockets in the front, giving you some extra space for a few tickets or cards.
It has a minimalist design with simple pockets Via: Amazon
One minor con of these hiking pants is their lack of security pockets, so be aware that your stuff can fall out. Though I understand that the simpler the design, the more budget-friendly it is, but keeping your cards in zippered pockets would be more secure. Still, this is just a minor drawback for me, and I can use a money belt to keep my essential belongings.
I have come across a few negative comments about the front mesh pockets of these pants. They feel a bit flimsy and tend to pull inside out when taking stuff out of the bag. This seems to be a drawback for some hikers, but not for me personally. I like them because they are thin, comfortable and do not hold water.
The pants have an adjustable waistband, a built-in belt, so you do not need to wear a separate belt, which is a significant plus. If you are mountain climbers, you would know how uncomfortable it can be to wear both a belt and a harness. This feature is also beneficial for hiking or backpacking as the hip-belt buckle will no longer dig into your skin.
Sun and wind protection
These Prana Brion hiking pants have a UPF 50+ rating, which means their ability to protect hikers from the sun is high, and it has been lab-tested. UPF indicates the Ultraviolet Protection Factor, and the higher this rating is, the better it can shield you from the sun. Clothing rated UPF 50+ allows roughly 2% UV transmission, so you can enjoy basking in the soft and warm glow of the sun, which is one of the greatest joys of any outdoor activities.
Wind protection is also another feature of hiking pants that many hikers insist on having. If you plan to hike in a climate where you are exposed to cold wind, it is essential to wear pants to help prevent heat loss. Even though the Prana Brion men’s pants have outstanding sun protection, it is not a pair of windproof pants. So be prepared that you might feel the chilly wind hit your legs.
The weather can be incredibly unpredictable, so it is always recommended to purchase waterproof hiking pants like the Prana Brion hiking pants. They have a DWR (durable water repellent) coating, which is supposed to help repel water droplets before they soak into the material.
However, this Prana Brion pants' waterproofness, as I have tested, is a bit lower than expected. In a light mist and rainfall, water droplets can quickly run off its surface. Now, if you are outdoors in heavy rain or crossing a stream, these pants become wet almost immediately.
A few months ago, my family and I had a short hike up to the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. This flat sand trail led us through beautiful flowers overlooking stunning views of San Diego’s cliff. We all loved this view so much, but I only wished that it did not rain on the way back. My Prana Brion’s 38 was soaked, and became heavy.
Given this, if you need pants with solid water repellency, this is probably not well-suited pants. It is best to consider other options for adventure lovers that plan on trips that include stream, river, or creek crossings.
Colour and size availability
The Prana Men’s Brion pants are incredibly versatile, making them a perfect fit for many different events and occasions as they come in a wide range of colors.
Black, grey, charcoal, aloe, sepia, dark smokey blue, khaki, or coffee bean could work great for office meetings. Meanwhile, if you need to go to outdoor gatherings or camping and hiking, you could still pick any of these colors. Alternatively, you can go with brighter ones like brick red, sandpiper, dark ginger, or equinox blue. No matter what color you need, there is always a Prana Brion pant for you.
A wide variety of colors Via: Amazon
Finding the right size for you should not be an issue, either. Prana provides its customers with a plethora of sizes in inseam lengths. There is one crucial detail that I should mention here: Prana Brion pants are quite baggy, so even the ones branded as Prana slim fit pants are comfortable to wear for big-sized men. So they are a bit far from actual slim fit pants that you often find on the market.
What type of weather conditions are these Prana Brion pants designed for?
As all hikers will know, different weather conditions and climates require different clothing outfits. The ones for cold and windy weather need to be rugged enough to keep you warm, whereas those for warmer weather should have good UPF ratings to protect your legs.
Now, you are probably asking what type of weather condition Prana design these pants for. As briefly mentioned above, these pants are made from the durable Stretch Zion fabric, which can hold heat very well. This material is a comfortable but unsuitable choice for summer trips.
Also, it does not have adequate wind protection features either. So it is not the best choice for winter days when there are strong winds, either. These pants are best used during spring camping trips when the weather is not too hot or too cold.
Hiking pants buying guide
There are several factors that hikers need to look for when buying hiking pants and I will cover key contributing factors in this Prana Brion pants review
Manufacturers of hiking pants often use nylon and polyester as they are light and stretchable. But, which material is better for outdoor activities? It all comes down to your personal preferences and the weather conditions of your hiking, camping, or biking locations.
Right materials of hiking pants is crucial to an enjoyable outdoor adventure
Both nylon and polyester are lightweight and durable fabrics. They are easy to take care of, wrinkle-resistant, and stretchy. Nylon tends to be softer than polyester, but it is also stronger and more stretchable. Polyester dries faster, is abrasion-resistant, and resists water better than nylon.
Because of these different properties, experienced hikers usually choose polyester pants for winter trips as they dry faster and are warmer. Since nylon is slower in evaporating water, it is more comfortable to wear during hot summer or warm spring days.
Thanks to many outstanding achievements in the textile industry, the new generations of hiking pants are made of a combination of nylon, polyester, spandex, or elastane to offer the most comfortable pants to hikers.
The Prana men's Brion pants that I review in this article is a typical example. Prana engineered these pants by combining nylon with spandex, which is made of a synthetic polymer with extraordinary stretchability. The result is a light and stretchable pair of Prana Brion hiking pants at a reasonable price.
There are two styles of hiking pants: convertible pants and standard pants. Each has its specific benefits and uses.
As the name suggests, the convertible hiking pants can be converted to hiking shorts. There is a zipper that allows you to lower two-thirds of the leg quickly. The standard hiking pants, by contrast, can’t convert to shorts.
Now, which style a hiker should choose depends on how and when they will wear these pants. If you need versatile pants for both hiking and daily casual wear, classic pants would be a better choice as it just looks like regular pants.
However, if you are a frequent hiker, the convertible style would be a much better choice. It gives you flexibility and practicality to conquer many types of trails in different weather conditions. You can start a hike in long pants in the early morning, then change over to shorts when it gets warmer, then change back into long pants at dusk.
Pockets of hiking pants are indispensable. They help hikers conveniently store small digital cameras, maps, phones, flashlights, and other items that should be kept in pockets instead of in a backpack.
Hiking pants usually have many pockets, but it is best to consider whether these pockets are the right size for what you need to carry along. The last thing you want is a pair of hiking pants with many pockets, but none of them big enough to keep your phone or flashlight.
Hikers also need to check if these pockets are in the correct position. Some hikers prefer to use the front pockets instead of those in the back. Additionally, the pockets need to close the way you want them to. For example, if you usually keep your phone in your pocket, you should have pockets with zippers or buttons.
The Prana Brion pant men’s has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, which means it is a reliable and trusted product by most Amazon shoppers. Many customers love these pants as they are light, stretchy, comfortable, and versatile. Many travelers picked this pant as a must-have clothing item for their long business trips and hiking trips.
All features of the Prana slim fit pants seem to be what you are looking for in hiking pants. However, you are a bit reluctant to click the purchase button because you do not like its baggy look. Now, if this sounds like your situation, a pair of Columbia Ridge Silver Ridge Convertible pants is a great alternative.
Columbia Men's Silver Ridge Cargo Pants Via: Amazon
These pants are exceptionally lightweight and breathable but significantly less baggy than other hiking pants. It is made from 100% nylon with a true slim cut. However, it is not as stretchable as the Prana men's Brion pants, so you might feel a bit restricted when climbing over rocks or taking large steps.
Its Omni-wick technology allows ultimate moisture management for your outdoor adventures. Omni-wick is an innovative technology that moves moisture from the skin into the fabric, keeping your cloth dry and cool. This pair of pants has two front and rear mesh pockets and conversion zips, which means it dries out quickly.
Stretchability is one of the essential criteria of a pair of hiking pants. The easier it can stretch, the better mobility it can offer hikers in outdoor recreation like hiking, biking, or rock mountain climbing.
So if you are looking for a slim fit, stretchable and waterproof pair of hiking pants that does not cost you more than $40, the TBMPOY Men’s hiking mountain pants is a perfect choice. It is made from 85% polyamide and 15% spandex, which are water-repellent quick-dry fabrics. These materials keep you warm and dry in cold and windy weather, but also make you feel cool during warm summer days.
TBMPOY Men's Outdoor hiking pants Via: Amazon
It also comes with zipping pockets at the sides and back for convenient and secure storage of your personal belongings. Besides, there is an adjustable stretchy waist for maximum comfort.
3. Outdoor Ventures Men's Lite Waterproof Windproof Fleece Lined Warm Hiking Ski Snow Pants Expandable-Waist
The Prana stretch zion pants review above has mentioned that the Prana Brion pants are suitable for spring. What if you need a pair of pants for casual wear during winter outdoor activities like skiing, hiking, camping or snowboarding? The Outdoor Ventures hiking pants can be the right choice.
Outdoor Ventures Men's snow skiing pant Via: Amazon
It is made from 94% Polyester and 6% Spandex, giving you comfort and stretchability for all kinds of outdoor activities. Even though these pants are only available in two colors, it is a pair of high-waisted pants, allowing you to move freely in your adventure in the wild.
The fleece-lined design of these breathable pants offers hikers warmth during cold days of the winter. I also noticed that the two zippered pockets of these pants have reflective elements for low-light visibility. A nice added-on feature of winter hiking pants!
I hope this Prana Brion pants review has provided you with ample information to make a well-informed decision. The Prana classic hiking pant is affordable, yet well-made and versatile, making it a great choice for both daily casual wear and outdoor activities. If you're looking for other hiking pants, there are three alternative options above, which are all carefully chosen to give you more choices to consider.