Follow Oli as he takes on a pair of Kühl ‘s toughest trousers and tries his best to break them in.
Kühl, an outdoor gear company founded in Utah with just one man and a bag full of interesting hats, has rightly grown an excellent reputation with outdoor enthusiasts for producing some of the hardest wearing and most comfortable clothing in the outdoor market, the trousers and jackets we stock from Kühl are some of our very favourite products within the range. I’ve had the lucky opportunity to test out a pair of their Rydr pants, a durable and very comfortable pair of trousers. Having worked with Taunton Leisure for three years, to my shame I’d never tried some on before recently, I’d seen countless climbers, walkers, and bushcrafty sorts walk into our stores and purchase them, most of them already have several pairs. I was curious to try some.
Kühl prides itself on its very distinct approach to design. Most of their products have specialised features that you simply don’t find on other products, the Rydr Pant is no exception to this rule. The trousers utilize what Kühl calls the Free Ryde Waist, a uniquely shaped waist that somewhat lightly resembles the sort of waistband you’d find on the back of some cowboy jeans used for horse riding (if you can imagine that, the brand carries a uniquely American mountain aesthetic), though minimal, this really comfortably holds itself around your waist and doesn’t slip during big movements when climbing or scrambling up a scree slope, it’s quite wide and easily accommodates most belt sizes. Like most trousers in Kühl’s range, they use a popper closing, it’s been very sturdy. All pockets on the Rydr pants are reinforced with additional fabric along each hem, Kühl has certainly taken the time to make sure these trousers don’t have a weak spot, they’re actually also quite comfy when reaching into and providing a bit of shape to the pocket. These trousers hide a pocket just above the knee on the right leg, perfect for a phone, GPS device, rope knife for climbing, you name it, it’s good for quick access. The knees like many other products in Kühl’s range are articulated and shaped by clever stitching above and below the knee, it’s comfortable and they certainly aid in free movement. Speaking of which, the gusseted crotch design is great for crux moves while climbing. You can also find Reinforced, double-stitched scuff guards on the back of the ankle which are great for rocky terrain. The trousers themselves are made up almost entirely of a heavyweight, combed cotton with 2% spandex for small added stretch, they are incredibly soft and feel great on, after several washes, the trousers have not shrunk and Kühl assures us that they won’t. These make excellent trousers in dry, cool, or windy conditions or for when you need something tough such as when you’re bouldering. In hot weather, I would recommend trousers with a lighter fabric such as Kühl’s Renegade or Konfidant Air Pants.
I am tall, 6 ft 5 and pretty skinny, 30” around the waist, it is hard to find a pair of jeans at the best of times that I’m happy with, let alone walking trousers. For me in a size 30W and long length, these trousers fit! Kühl has really nailed the sizing on these trousers, they’re very comfortable and stay up around my waist nicely. The trousers are full fit, meaning they are quite generously spaced throughout. Despite my skinny legs, I was pretty happy with how these trousers looked on me. I have been hiking, bouldering, and scrambling in these trousers and they’ve performed very well. The tough fabric has no problem dealing with abrasion from granite and scree, to think that they’re also reinforced in places is very reassuring. I’ve also used them nearly every day for several months now walking two large, playful, and mischievous dogs (pictured), these trousers have had to crawl through countless thickets and thorn bushes whilst having to retrieve a dog after it has gone off after a deer (they’re yet to succeed in catching one, thankfully) and have come out without a scratch. Often becoming muddy, these trousers are very easy to care for, I’ve seen that the darker colours will fade after several washes but as I tried a lighter colour, Dark Khaki, I haven’t noticed this so much.
For the rugged outdoor enthusiast that spends their time pulling themselves up walls of rock and rough slopes and for those who spend time sitting in the woods rigging up tarps, carving spoons and working hard, these make excellent trousers. As well as all this, they are wonderfully functional and comfortable everyday trousers, they actually look really good in my mind and the finish on the stitching and fabric surface is excellent, in a time of throw-away clothing, you can really rely on the Rydr Pant and Kühl’s other products to last, as somebody who tends to really shred through clothing, it’s a rare thing.
This very KÜHL post was written by Oli, who is the caretaker for the Taunton Leisure Blog. Oli is a big fan of Unspoilt wilderness and roaring campfires. He is happiest out on the hill or in the woods, wild camping with his two very large dogs. Find more of his posts all over the blog.