prAna Monarch Convertible Hiking Pants

The prAna Monarch women’s convertible hiking pants are ideal for hiking through jungles, climbing 14ers, backpacking Europe and even a night on the town.

Below is an interview with Rachel Piontak who has owned the Monarch’s for over 2 years. She’s backpacked throughout Africa with them and loves how they are stylish enough for a night out on the town, but rough enough to meet all her backpacking needs.

Learn more about why she loves these hiking pants in the interview below!

Name:  Rachel Piontak

Pros:  They Stay Clean, Dry Quickly, Fit Well, Look Great

Cons:  Size Changes

Owned For:  2 years

Recommends:  Yes

Hi! My name is Rachel Piontak, I’m from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and today I’m going to talk about my prAna Monarch Convertible Hiking Pants. These are THE hiking pants, as in, they’re the only hiking pants I have. And they’re the only hiking pants I’ll ever need!

I tried on all of the hiking pants in REI because I didn’t know what I was looking for. It was hard to find ones that fit, and weren’t too baggy or too tight. But these ended up being perfect!

I didn’t even know prAna made hiking pants, so that was news to me.

I like them for several reasons. First and foremost, I like that they dry quickly. In terms of the technical goodness of them, drying quickly was most important to me because I wore them in a lot of rainy places, a lot of jungle, humid environments. So for them to be able to get wet and get dry very quickly afterwards, was very important. They dried much, much more quickly than any jeans or jogging pants.

They’re really great!

They also zip off and become Capris. I’m 5’4″ and on me, they are almost mid-calf. Maybe a bit higher. Just below the knee.

And that was really important! Even though this foot and a half doesn’t look like much, it is the difference between very hot and very perfect! I wore these almost exclusively for about 2 months on a recent trip I took. For the sake of packing and space, these were the only pants I took.

I wore them as pants and then as Capris, then as pants and then again as Capris–sometimes several times in the same day!

They’re very quick and easy to pull off and turn into Capris. You just pull up this part and then zip it off.

It did take me a while to realize that you can’t switch the pant legs because of how the zippers are. And it’s nothing too complicated! I just had to figure it out on my own, which was many frustrating moments of trying to zip the pants onto the wrong leg.

But just because of how the zipper comes to this side, connecting with the plastic plate, it has to go on this side. And the other has to go on the other side.

All it takes is simply looking at it. It was just me, trying to do it in the dark one too many times. But now I know and it’s very easy.

These hiking pants have been excellent. They’re actually really dirty right now, but you can’t tell! Which is another good thing about them.

They were this color when I bought them–maybe a bit darker. And I’d go for weeks at a time without washing them, wearing them every day. They would get mud on them. But all it took was a little water and a cloth and I’d just scrub it and it would look perfect again. I’m very grateful for that. I probably looked better dressed than I really was.

I also like how they fit. They fit like regular slacks. They don’t have that hiking pants feel. Some hiking pants I tried on felt like I was wearing two potato sacks. They were very comfortable and probably very technically advanced, but I really like that these fit like everyday pants I would wear. Not just pants I would wear hiking or in the mountains, but in everyday life. And I do wear them in everyday life!

Some things that I don’t like about them though, because I want to be honest, is that they grow! They’re my normal pant size, but after wearing them for a week or two, the waistline got very, very big. One saving grace is that it has this drawstring, which acts as a belt. I don’t like wearing belts, so I use this drawstring.

But that means a lot of times I have to tie it really, really tight. And then it gets bunched up like this, and this part sticks out, and it messes up the nice form. But it’s necessary to hold your pants up.

It’s a shame that they grow, especially when I didn’t have access to a dryer for a while. So I couldn’t switch them back every couple of days. The drawstring came in handy, but I wish they didn’t grow so much.

And how many stars out of 5 would you give them?

I’d probably give them a 4, because I love everything about them except for the fact that they grow–a lot.

Where to Buy

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I’d recommend buying the prAna Monarch Hiking Pants from one of the following merchants:

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