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Prana Clothing: Review of One of My Favorite Travel Gear Brands

There are a few travel and outdoor gear brands out there that skew heavily to women because they make yoga wear, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have plenty to offer both sexes. That’s especially true for Prana (or as they like to spell it, prAna).

prana clothing for men and women including prana leggings

I literally have 18 different pairs of travel pants scattered between addresses in two countries and twice as many travel shirts. Lately though, my packing job has gotten easier because more than half the clothing items I throw in are from prAna. The pants are the most versatile items I have, easily working for a hike, city streets, or a conference floor. Double-duty travel clothing makes it much easier to travel light when needed. 

Until a few years ago, I had only worn a couple of their items, even though my yoga and Pilates class teacher wife kept trying to get me to finagle gear from them when I ran the Practical Travel Gear site. I eventually connected with them at a travel bloggers event and then later became a formal ambassador, which gives me a fat discount. These clothing items have steadily moved up to the top of my favorites list. 

I’m modeling a few new items in that photo above: Sustainer corduroy pants that are good for chilly evenings where that’s applicable, plus a Hampstead long-sleeve shirt made from sustainable hemp. I love the fit of the former and the shirt felt good even before I washed it, not scratchy at all like some hemp shirts can be. That fabric is quick-drying and naturally bacteria-resistant, so it’s great to wear for a few days of travel without getting smelly. Even better, it’s 54% recycled hemp, so doubly eco-friendly. 

My wife is wearing a prAna yoga outfit, a Zawn top and Zawn leggings, but they’re nice enough to wear around at other times. They fit the athleisure trend without being sloppy. She loves that the leggings have a pocket big enough for a smartphone on one side, a passport on the other. That has become her new airport day outfit. 

Prana Pants Are Great for Travel

prAna Zion pants are worth packing for your travelSince I spent more than six years writing travel gear and clothing reviews every week and trying different brands out in the field while on the move, I think it’s fair to say I know which ones are worth buying. These Stretch Zion ones are making it into my bag on every adventure trip because of the cut, the color, and the features. Despite being 97% nylon, they’re not “swishy” like many travel pants, with a softer feel from their Zion fabric. They do have a bit of stretch to them though thanks to a little Spandex, which is great when you’re hiking. Plus they’re DWR treated to repel stains.

They have lots of pockets where you can put what you need to carry, which I always love because I hate carrying a bag or pack during the day if I don’t need to. Some pockets zip closed too, so you can discourage pickpockets in the city. Snaps on the bottom let you roll them up a bit for going across streams or just cooling off. Get the “straight” ones if you don’t have legs like tree trunks and want the slim fit you see in the photo here. 

I liked the Stretch Zion pants so much that I went back for another pair later. Then I discovered the Brion pants that have the same great fit, but are a little less travel-looking. With no cargo pocket, but the same stretchy and water-resistant fabric, they’re nice enough for a business conference but won’t slow you down if you want to do something active. I ended up going back for another pair of these too, so that got me to the point where I didn’t really need to pack any other brands. The Brion ones are nice enough to wear with a sportcoat or dress shirt for a meeting, but are rugged enough for a week of travel before hitting the laundry. 

Get them direct from Prana or at REI.

I almost never travel with blue jeans because they’re heavy and bulky, but I do have a pair of organic cotton prAna jeans that are lighter than the norm and have a bit of stretch. I rarely fly with them, but I do take them when I’m traveling by car and they’re looking great after three years of wear now. Check the Bridger and Hillgard options for men or click the women’s section for their choices. 

Speaking of women’s travel pants, my wife usually hates them. I think it’s safe to say she only wears them when she really has to, like on a trip where there will be a lot of hiking involved. She’s digging these Winter Hallena Pants though because they’re flattering to the figure and allow plenty of movement. They have a thin lining to keep your legs warm, so she’ll be bringing them to Patagonia when we head down there next year. 

The latest prAna pants I got use their recycled nylon ReZion fabric, which takes their sustainability record (see below) up a notch. As soon as I got them, I wore them everywhere: at a conference, at a Vegas nightclub, driving for hours on Route 66, and on two hikes in Arizona. Here the Alameda Pants are in action in the lava fields at Sunset Crater, with a Watchtower Hoody that I’m loving too. 

Prana Alameda ReZion travel pants

Many of the pants styles also come in prAna shorts versions, so if you like the pants, check the shorts section and you might find something similar for hot weather. I’ve got a pair of Alameda shorts that I’m taking on a trip to hot Merida next week.

Prana Shirts for Travelers

As with any clothing company, specific styles come and go. The organic cotton Broderick short sleeve shirt I’m wearing in that earlier photo by the waterfall isn’t available anymore, but it’s one of my favorites to wear around town. It’s soft, comfortable, and doesn’t come down too far when it’s untucked. 

Same goes for a cotton long-sleeve shirt of theirs I have that’s been replaced by others. Most of us don’t have a dryer on the road though, so I generally just pack one or two cotton shirts when I know I’m going to have to look respectable at some point and I’ll be in a nice hotel with an iron if needed. At least the cotton prAna shirts will transition to travel shirts fine for the rest of the time, unlike a regular dress shirt. 

Prana does make some quick-dry, low-wrinkle travel shirts though. They tend to have more of those featured in the warm months, but check out the Garvan or polo shirts now. This one below is the Sutherlin, which is a mix of organic cotton and recycled synthetics. It has venting in the back and two chest pockets big enough for a pair of sunglasses.

Prana shirt - Sutherlin

See all the options here and get 10% off your first order if you go direct.

So yes, you can find plenty of nice-looking men’s items made by prAna and you get the advantage of wearing a brand that women like, if you’re trying to score on that measure. As for my wife, she’s also now going to be packing a very stylish Bryce Bluff Dress that easily transitions across multiple situations. Prana dresses are great for having that one nice outfit you need on a trip without being bulky to pack or too fancy for going out with friends. 

Find these items or more at the well-designed Prana website and you can also find a good selection online at REI, Zappos, or Moosejaw.

Or follow this link to go direct to their sale page on the website.

A Final Note: Prana Sustainability Practices

If you click through any of those links above, you’ll find that these items from prAna generally retail for between $45 and $120 when they’re not marked down. They do sell a few gift items under $50, but those tend to be accessories like scarves and hats, or t-shirts. You definitely get what you pay for in terms of fit and durability, plus they have a very simple return policy: “If you don’t love your purchase, we will gladly offer you a refund or exchange.”

But that’s only half the story. 

Doing the right thing for our planet is not as cost-effective as just manufacturing things as cheaply as possible. It’s a seldom-revealed secret of the apparel industry that their industry is downright dirty. Besides using an excessive amount of chemicals, water, and (usually) fossil-fueled energy for the fabric production, the raw materials themselves can carry a lot of toxic baggage as well, from pesticides for cotton or microplastics from fleece. Not to mention the labor issues in some Asian sweatshops. 

Some companies have stepped up and taken a stand, however, rising above the crowd to produce their wares in the most sustainable way they can manage. This makes me feel much better about spending money with them and wearing what they produce. It starts from the beginning, with their all-natural packaging, no plastic in sight. Here’s how my last order arrived: 

There’s no greenwashing b.s. with prAna’s sustainability practices in the clothing either. These include using organic cotton, recycled synthetic materials, recycled hemp, animal welfare, transparent labor practices, and bluesign production. Their slogan is “Clothing for a positive change” and you can tell they’ve got that tacked up all over the office, guiding their decisions. Think about this line on all their tags when you balk at the price: 

“Start asking questions about your clothes in the same way you ask about the food you eat and you can fundamentally change the way that clothing is made.”

They frequently put items on sale though, so you get the best of both worlds if you don’t mind picking up last year’s style to save a few bucks. After clicking on any of the site links above, just go to the Sale link for the latest deals. 

Photo credit: first and fourth photo by Jorge Rangel, a guide for my Guanajuato tours and someone who runs Airbnb Experiences tours for people who want someone else to shoot photos of them while in my picturesque city. 

If you want to get an alert four or five times a year when travel gear discounts are the deepest, get on my long-running Gear Sales Insiders list.

Disclosure: this prAna clothing review contains affiliate links, as noted in the header, plus I’m an ambassador for the company, so at times I receive complimentary or discounted clothing. For more on our business practices, please go to this link.

 

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