A very popular article of clothing is the prAna Stretch Zion pants. A mixture of 97% nylon and 3% spandex for an efficient mix of durability, abrasion resistance, breathability, comfort range, light moisture repellency, and reasonably quick-drying properties. And aesthetically pleasing to many people. The pants can be used on the trail and look presentable enough for traveling into town after.
The alchemy of nylon and spandex that is both utilitarian and work well in the non-outdoor world is nothing too grand. But prAna has a name and people will purchase clothing based on that branding.
Imagine a budget alternative of a similar mixture of fabrics, styling, utility, and usefulness outside of an outdoor setting? Well, your imagination may direct you to UB Tech Travel Pants by Union Bay. Originally for sale at Costco, I wore three different colors of these pants for over a year on the road, The khaki pants ended up being my “go-to” pants for backpacking over that year and included a thru-hike of Canada’s Great Divide Trail.
Currently available on Amazon for about $25 in various sizes, lengths, and color choices I can quite honestly say they are perhaps my favorite pair of outdoor pants I’ve owned.
These pants are a 96% nylon and 4% spandex mix. They are not as tailored as dress pants nor as baggy as cargo pants. In other words, classic outdoor pants styling. The zippered back pockets are convenient for keeping my “wallet” handy and not losing it, and the side pocket works well for holding my folded map along with a compass and not bulging out like a cargo pocket.
Are they as good as the praAna pants? Couldn’t tell you. I’m not going to spend $85 on pants that will end up looking like a thrift-store special anyway. 🙂
What I can tell you is that after a year of constant use of the gray and sage colored pants, they are still good enough to wear for non-outdoor activities. And the khaki pants ended up getting snagged on a blowdown in Canada and ripped on the cuff. But otherwise looked serviceable (if perma-stained!). A bargain at $25 for their performance, price, and usefulness over the long haul.
If you want a pair of pants that will work well for the outdoors at a good price, and they meet your criteria of options, the UB Tech Travel Pants are an excellent choice.
Disclosure: I purchased these pants with my funds.