Both Brion and Zion pants are veeeeeeeeery popular among the hiking and climbing communities due to their superior comfort and versatility. I thought it'd be helpful for most of you guys to compare them and give recommendations as to which one would be a better choice.
In summary, unlike Brion, Zion comes with a useful cargo pocket, 6 ventilation holes in the crotch and an adjustable waistband. Extra pocket of Brion is relatively less useful. I'd go after Zion!
If you're unaware, Prana reveals their best selling products. And as you can see here, both Zion and Brion are Prana's top bestsellers.
The entire list of the differences between these models are:
- Zion has a side, dual entry cargo pocket; whereas Brion doesn't
- Zion comes with a streamlined, adjustable waistband; whereas Brion doesn't
- Zion offers ventilation holes in the crotch, whereas Brion doesn't
- Brion comes with a tiny pocket inside left hand pocket (the one that you see in all jeans), whereas Zion doesn't
- Also, Brion offers a slim fit, whereas Zion offers a standard fit
If you're interested, you can see their catalog
As you see, there are TWO models of Zion: Stretch Zion Base Model AND Stretch Zion Straight Model.
Straight model is more stylish looking (this Charcoal color is really liked by many - including me) It doesn't allow more room through the leg, unlike other models.
Except this fact itself, every single fact regarding the Zion pants in this post is applicable to both straight and base models.
Pocket Configuration Differences
As you see, the cargo pocket is of Zion is dual entry.
This pocket comes very handy and easy to reach when you're climbing with a harness.
It's also easily accessible when sitting - especially on a hike since you mostly won't sit on a chair and instead probably on the ground.
Brion, on the other hand, comes with these tiny little pockets inside other main pockets of jeans.
Compared to the cargo pocket of Zion, this pocket of Brion is much less useful especially when you consider these products to be two technical, outdoor pants.
If you're unaware, this tiny little pocket is mostly used and designed either for storing changes or a watch:
This pocket configuration is one of the two biggest differences between these pants.
Which brings me to my second point.
Zion comes with a streamed adjustable waistband (NOT a belt) whereas Brion doesn't.
Both pants come with a low profile fit, so being able to adjust it adds to the versatility of Zion.
Although both products make an above average job in terms of keeping you cool during physically active state, ventilation holes on the Zion make it superior to the Brion in this department.
All these extra features in Zion work as expected without any surprises.
Well, to me and my social circle, either of these pants are "truly" suitable for casual outgoings due to their super baggy cuffs.
I'd only consider keeping them on while rolling a few beers in the town right after a hike or bouldering/climbing.
In this case, Brion would probably more acceptable for most of us as it comes with a more minimalist design (lack of cargo pocket and waistband) unlike Zion.
So, in short, despite all the extra advantages of Zion; if you'd like a minimalist, no-feature product, go for Brion | Price not available. Otherwise, Zion | Price not available would probably be a better choice for you.
Here's a good additional review of Zion:
And here's of Brion:
I hope this review was helpful for you to understand which one of these pants would be the best choice for your needs. Feel free to ask me any questions or provide feedback and I'll be happy to respond in the comment section below if it's within my knowledge.
Thank you for reading.
References & Further reading