When packing for our trip, I was as picky with shorts as I was with my footwear. I only wanted to pack two actual pairs of shorts: the first pair casual and comfortable, the second would be light running shorts. I would also have a third pair in the form of convertible trousers and board shorts would be bought much later in SE Asia when needed.

Thankfully, my search for the ideal pair of shorts — casual and comfortable — was far quicker than that for footwear. In a single REI shopping trip I found and purchased the PrAna Stretch Zion Shorts that were, on first try, a perfect fit. Made from a stretch nylon fabric, which is far more durable and abrasion resistant than that sounds, the shorts are still providing me gym-short like comfort without sacrificing any style points.

PrAna Stretch Zion Short, gear review, travel, packing list, best shorts for travel, Made with a 97% nylon/3% spandex blend, the shorts have what I’ve termed “pajama comfort” when lounging around, but also allow easy movement when hiking, rock climbing, doing yoga, cycling or even doing lunges and squats in the gym — as I did in Patong Beach. And with a ventilated gusset, these shorts keep things cool when the temperatures rise or activity increases.

Best perk of all for these as travel shorts? They come with a streamlined synch belt system that stays snug and allows me to walk right through airport security without worrying about exposing my lower half. I wear a size medium and the belt has provided plenty versatility even as I’ve lost considerable weight and inches from my waist line over nine months.

PrAna Stretch Zion Short, gear review, travel, packing list, best shorts for travel,

The PrAna Stretch Zion Shorts are listed as quick drying and have lived up to that through all climates. Plus, after washing them countless times now — both with machines but mostly by hand washing — they have not overstretched or lost shape after I’ve wrung them out again and again. On top of your standard two front and two back pockets, there is a secure zippered cargo pocket on the left leg that my passport has lived in for the majority of this trip.

We were told by some traveling acquaintances before we left that we would probably fall in love with one set of clothes and live in them most of our year abroad. Well, that has proved to be true and the PrAna Stretch Zion Shorts are part of my well-lived-in outfit.

Probably one of my all-time favorite pieces of clothing. Great comfort in all shorts-wearing conditions. Durable yet stretchy for great range of motion.
  • Incredible comfort with stretch fabric
  • Durable yet light and breathable
  • Quick drying
  • None. (Knock on wood).
5.0Overall Score

About The Author


Mark quit everything to travel the world for a year with his wife, Britnee. Along the way, he picked up a love for many other things, including illy coffee, Nepal, Bolivianos bills, and Thai beaches. Now happily home in Utah, Mark is a balding marketing professional with a mountain biking addiction.

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