Take a look here at the history of this TOUGH outdoor clothing brand, found in Utah, USA.


With an enviable reputation in the outdoor industry for tough, durable fabrics and its own distinctive style, KÜHL was founded in Utah in 1983. However, KÜHL, as we know it now, is very different from its roots, almost all but the ethos has changed for this outdoor company which at its very beginning was known as Alfwear. Its only product was the Alf Hat, a Peruvian –inspired hat design that many Ski bums popped on their heads in the mid-80s.

John “Alf” Engwall, Conrad Anker (the now legendary mountaineer), and brothers Jay and Kevin Boyle set out to take this hat and then take the skiing and mountaineering world by storm. It was tough. After a tragic car accident resulted in the death of Alf Engwall, the three remaining partners tried their best to nurture the business for a few years but in 1989 went their separate ways. The Company at this point consisted of 8 or 9 plastic bags of the Alfhat.

KÜHL trousers are made of a very tough polycotton blend, making them popular with climbers, walkers, and rough-n’ ready outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Conrad Anker became a world-class rock climber and mountaineer, traveling the world, ascending the major summits, and famously finding the body of Mallory on Mount Everest. His accomplishments speak well of realizing lofty dreams.

Jay Boyle studied Tai Chi, earned his MBA in Arizona, and moved to Shanghai, China. He speaks Chinese and is involved in overseas production for KÜHL. He often has many entrepreneurial projects on the go at once.

Kevin Boyle set out to transform Alfwear into something more than a hat company. With a passion for skiing, living in the mountains, and art, Kevin designed garments made from performance fabrics fit for his outdoor lifestyle. He turned Alfwear into today’s clothing company known as KÜHL.

The Men’s RYDR Pant is one our most popular pair of trousers. Perfect for hiking hills, climbing crags and wondering woods. A real all-rounder! Read our staff review on them HERE

Since the tough days, KÜHL is still independently owned and financed and its ideas are inspired by its founders’ intrepid lifestyle and those with whom shares it. They have produced many iconic products such as rough and tough, top-selling Trousers, Shirts, Outerwear, and more and have a big presence in the outdoor industry worldwide. Their products are popular with climbers, walkers, skiers, and mountaineers alike. KÜHL is a product-driven company that has a passion for the outdoor experience, The KÜHL mountain icon represents this mountain culture.