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Author in prAna Zion stretch pants

A monotone but affable porteno named Ivo (pronounced ee-voh) asks me what my plans are tonight. We are at the Casa de Pueblo hostel in Esquel, a sun-raped nowhere town in between interesting places in Argentina, but not the least interesting in itself.

“I can’t leave this chair,” I point to the chair, “…until I write a review of these pants.” I point to the pants.

“Are they good pants?” he asks.

“Yeah,” but…that’s just it, what I am supposed to say? I have worn them 87% of the time for the last 3 weeks solid. I am living in these pants, they are the one solid garment in my world right now, the axis of my travel wardrobe.

Just say that, then, and hurry, we are getting beers and watching Flamenco in a few hours. Ivo leaves. I crank my iTunes and look at my pants a little shocked. They actually look cleaner than they did when I first received them. I have put in considerable effort to mar these pants to no avail…

Shit I have done to try and break these pants like sadistic captor expelling information on enemy movements.

~ 18 miles on the elliptical at the gym
~ 4 jogging routes that favored mud puddles and mushy trails
~ fireside yoga poses (a flame lit proud warrior makes a man feel limber and primal)
~ rock hopping up Patagonia talus slopes
~ rode horseback up a mountain in Cordoba province
~ bombed my mountain bike down Seattle’s steepest hills
~ sinks full of gnarly dishes
~ mountaintop glacier frolicking
~ hiked 11 miles on the Rio Azul
~ rode 40+ hours on cross country Argentinean buses
~ I have spilled coffee, ice cream, melted mozzarella, empanada filling and beer on these pants
~ I have fallen on my ass, farted loudly, danced, slept and woken up in these pants

And still, after hand washing them in the grubby hostel shower and hanging them out to dry, they look brand new, nary a scuff or stain. They are stretchy and tough and flexy and light.

Ivo, my new friend who studies aeronautical fuel systems in Buenos Aires, pokes his head through the door again and asks if I have started my review. Yeah, I say I am just getting to the part where I talk about how much I like the pockets.

I like the pockets.

I won’t pretend to know what the genius who designed these pants had in mind for their intended use, but the pockets reflect a deep respect for freedom of movement that suggests break dancing and karate jump kicking.

Even with a cell phone and set of keys in the front pockets, I can jog comfortably. While traveling these past few weeks, my pockets have been the happy home of the junk I need close at hand. In my pocket right now: 12 pesos, wallet, set of earplugs, sunglasses, old bus ticket, map of Esquel with directions to a good parrilla scribbled in blue ink.

The fabric is some kind of indestructible substance. I could read the label, but I would rather assume they are made from a blend of NASA space suit material and the finest Imperial silk.

You could take these pants off and throw rocks at them, it would be silly but it could be fun and it certainly wouldn’t hurt them in the least. You could call them names, names you wouldn’t want your mother to hear, and not offend these pants.

Look, I didn’t plan on these pants kicking so much ass. I thought that by now, I would be able to report that they have ripped or blown out at the crotch. I thought I would be standing over them, a tattered heap of charcoal gray. But I am showing far more wear and tear from my 3 weeks on the road than the garment in question.

I am scratched, bruised and have ketchup and dirt under my fingernails. The pants just winked at me and asked if I am ready for more. 

More prAna Gear Reviews

Check out BETA Editor-in-chief David Page field-testing the prAna Tanner LS Shirt for Men.

Read Associate Editor Michelle Schusterman’s prAna Monarch Convertible Pants for Women review.

Community Connection

Want to win some prAna pants? How about $500 worth of prAna gear? Check out the prAna and BETA “Get Some” Sweepstakes for your chance to win!

prAna (which is an ancient Sanskrit word for breath, life and vitality of the spirit) started 17 years ago making clothing for climbing, yoga, and other passions.

From award-winning Matador Network, BETA Magazine is the essential new print magazine for the modern world-savvy explorer

Both companies are inspired by athletes like climber Chris Sharma.

Prize Eligibility - Only persons who are at least 18 years of age can enter.

Sweepstakes Starts
- January 21, 2011 @ 12:00 am (PST)

Sweepstakes Ends
– February 21, 2011 @ 06:00 pm (PST)

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About The Author

Joshywashington

Joshywashington is a Travel Media Ninja from Seattle who enjoys writing, climbing trees and strong coffee.

  • http://michelleschusterman.com Michelle Schusterman

    Best pants review ever.

  • http://www.lolaakinmade.com Lola (Akinmade) Åkerström

    Freaking hilarious! Now I want one of those pants just because!

  • http://sleepinginthemountains.blogspot.com Tim Patterson

    Sold.

  • http://sleepinginthemountains.blogspot.com Tim Patterson

    Seriously, JW, this piece rocked. Well done, sir.

  • http://abbiemood.com Abbie

    My boyfriend and a couple other climbers I know LOVE these pants for hiking & climbing!

  • http://www.travelmedianinja.com joshywashington

    Thanks! Me and the pants just had some one on one bonding time in Los Alerces National Park watching fish jump in Lago Verde.

  • http://andyhayes.com Andy Hayes

    HYSTERICAL.

    Had no idea trousers winked. That is one serious outer garment.

  • http://Www.PrAna.com prAna

    “The pants just winked at me…” Brilliant. Tonight you have a designer proud!

  • Lindi Horton

    Hilarious. I’m soo going to buy these!

  • Morgan

    I agree, best pants review ever!

  • Jim

    I have multiple pairs of Prana shorts & longs. No hi-tech Schoeller fabric (which I also own) or any other natural or synthetic fabric compares.

    This review is funny in that you are amazed the pants have lasted a mere 3 weeks. I have slid on my ass countless times and have thousands of miles on a bike in them. The oldest garment is about 6 years old and the first sign of wear is a little pilling and discoloration.

    That’s it.

    The question isn’t how durable the stuff is, but how long you can last.
    Jim

  • Bill

    Hilarious but true review!
    These pants are the GREATEST!
    I quit wearing Levis, these are much more comfortable. They even feel good if you have to sleep in them. Try that with jeans!

    I have 5 pair I think purchased over several years (all colors). The sizing has varied a bit, some seem longer than others. It does look like Prana is offering the Zion this year in 30″, 32″ and 34′ inseams lengths… yeah!

    And I do wish they had belt loops or would improve the built-in belt. I find it slips and I do have to tighten it up frequently. Small price to pay for such awesome pants!

    I also have some pilling in places, no doubt due to wear.

    Awesome pants!

  • Russ

    I wore these pants for the first time yesterday and they are very comfortable. I plan to see what else prAna makes that I might like. I don’t usually spend much on clothing but I can tell the quality this company puts out will be worth it.

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