Friday, September 9, 2016

Durable Goods: Prana climbing knicker

The Durable Goods series features that killer piece of kit, that failsafe bit of gear, that's been with you for years, and goes with you every time you head out. You can neglect or abuse it, and it's always ready for more. All hail!

I know, I know. Knickers went out in, like, 2007.

Well, that's about when I bought these; I've been pounding on them for nine years, and they barely show a day's wear.

They've accompanied me up countless New England mountains. They've awoken with me at chilly boereal camp sites. They've even poached a few bouldering problems here and there (I try use them for their intended purpose at least once in a while.)

However. Because Prana doesn't make this model anymore, I'll keep this love song short. If you need a pair, you might find Prana's later version of this pant (first called "Passage" and then "Menace") in closeouts around the Web, including on Prana's site, and, currently, on eBay. It's a pity Prana got out of the knicker business, but honestly, it'll probably be another nine years before I need to replace these bomb-proof things.

At which point, they'll be back in fasion—problem solved.

These guys are just the right weight for those chilly fall and spring days when full-length is too much, but shorts would expose the middle-aged knees to the cold. The material is stretchy, durable, and water-resistant. They've never soaked through, and they're just thick enough to repel wind when damp. Pockets are mesh, offering a bit of ventilation. The crotch has a wide gusset on it, making it perfect for long days in the saddle. Too warm later in the day? Peel 'em off and just wear the bike shorts underneath.

By far most impressive is their durability: after nine years of abuse, every single visible stitch is strong and clean. Even along the inner thigh, where—after literally thousands of pedal strokes per ride—every other cycling pant I have wears out. That is some serious construction. The kind that gets pulled out of the closet over and over... and over.

For years on end, I haven't had to put one thought into these other than to wash them once in a while. Here's to thee, oh, cycling-climbing-yoga-running-whatever-you-are pant! Long may you wave!

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