Paul’s Kuhl Renegade Pants review details a versatile active pants from a long established American company. We really hope you find it useful.
Despite being long established in the States, it was only fairly recently that American brand Kuhl came onto our radar. We might also hazard a guess that the company won’t be too familiar to many Brits.
Infact, they have been producing sportswear since the early 80’s and have grown to be the one of the largest private clothing manufacturers anywhere. The best part, and what we love to hear about in many outdoor brands, is that it all started with one person and an idea.
Kuhl was founded by self proclaimed ski bum Kevin Boyle. He marketed a Peruvian style hit which soon became the headwear to have amongst those in the know. Before long the company was growing and the range expanded. The rest, as they say, is history.
Kuhl contacted us and asked if we’d like to review some items. We checked through their website and, amongst the many styles and models, selected a couple of items of the type we’d regularly use. We have published a review of their superb Engineered Hoody here and please read on for Paul’s Kuhl Renegade Pants Review.
Kuhl say their Renegade Pants are, as the name suggests, designed for renegades. Our take on this was people who would dip into various activities and who would have an active and adventurous lifestyle. Those for whom one garment that could cover a variety of uses would be ideal. Different weathers, varied exertion levels and with different storage requirements and durability needs.
With that in mind, the Renegades are made from a fabric Kuhl called Duraflex. This is a 180 grams per square metre (GSM) fabric made from 95% nylon and 5% Spandex. This makes it a two-way stretch material with a very high 50+ Sun Protection Factor (SPF). Duraflex is also designed to be very abrasion resistant and quick drying, but with reasonable weather resistance and breathability. However, and unusual for a material of this type, it has a very soft feel. It is effectively like a softshell material but with the look and feel of more everyday use fabric.
The Renegades also have a fit and cut designed for active use. Kuhl have added a gusseted crotch and articulated knees. The pants are also cut to their ‘Klassik’ fit which they describe as having a full seat and thigh combined with a slight lower leg taper. The waistband of the Renegades closes with a press stud closure and zipper and the waistband has belt loops. Kuhl have also added a ‘peached’ waistband to aid moisture wicking.
Renegade users are very well provided for with storage as the pants have eight pockets. Yes, eight! There are two front hand and two rear pockets. Then, there are two zipped side pockets, a ‘stealth’ phone pocket and another ‘3D’ phone pocket.
The Renegades are available in seven colours, eleven waist sizes and five inseam lengths. They cost £90. The colour tested is called Teak.
As my main activity is climbing, I chose the Renegades with that in mind. However, I was also trying to select something that could be used for general hill use in moderate weather. I also had in mind whether I could find something smart enough for everyday use or an evening at the local. There were quite a lot of tempting options on the Kuhl website, but these seemed to tick every box.
Appearance & Construction
Whenever a new product arrives, I tend to assess appearance and construction first. Well, straight off, the Renegades look great. I really like the Teak colour and the general styling is great. The Renegades look like a great option for general leisure wear.
The fabric is interesting. It certainly has the look and feel of cotton. You might actually wonder how well suited this is to active use (more on this later). It has a cotton like matt feel that could, infact, easily be mistaken for cotton. It certainly doesn’t seem like it would be a nylon and Spandex mix.
Next, I like to consider build quality. By this I don’t mean a casual glance. I like to look at how seams are stitched and how neat the stitching is. I check whether key stress points are reinforced with additional stitching and how what quality of zips are used. You can certainly tell a lot by how a garment is manufactured.
In the case of the Renegades, they are superbly made. Every stitch is neat and true, key seams are reinforced and it is clear these are built for the hard yards. A huge step towards improved sustainability is to choose products that will last. These will last and look great doing it.
The fit if the Renegades is what I would describe as casual. I ordered a 32” and they are true to size while also being a relaxed fit with plenty of room for movement. This, combined with the two way stretch material, certainly makes them suitable for movement activities like walking and climbing.
Climbing has been the main thing I’ve used the Renegades for. This has actually been a lot of time on Peak District gritstone. For those unfamiliar with this rock type, gritstone is a coarse sandstone that will give any fabric a run for its money. The Renegades haven’t blinked. Five months of quite regular use and they look as good as new. Truly as good as new.
This UK summer has also been exceptionally hot at times. There have been times where even the most breathable fabric would have struggled to regulate temperature, but for a 160gsm fabric the Renegades have certainly done a great job. Similarly, they have kept wind and light rain at bay several times. They really do perform like a softshell material.
I also mentioned above about using them for more leisure based activities tool. I have no hesitation in using these for everyday and social use. If you want a multi-use trouser I would highly recommend them.
The pocket configuration is genius and generous. Eight pockets on a pair of pants certainly gives lots of options, but the great feature is they are unobtrusive. The two hand pockets work exactly as you’d expect. Similarly, having two rear pockets also adds hood storage possibilities. These back pockets also help with durability as you now have another layer of fabric in a high wear area.
It is actually the rest of the pockets that I have used most. The two zipped side pockets are great. Both because of the extra security zips offer and their position. When climbing I might carry a phone and these pockets are perfect. The phone can’t be dropped and stored items sit to the bag. This keeps stored items well out of the way.
For more general use the addition of the stealth phone pocket and 3D phone pocket complete the options. I used the stealth pocket a lot on my recent trip to Morocco and felt comfortable it kept my phone undetected. The 3D pocket is a final useful option.
Most times, though, I don’t carry anything in my pockets when climbing. No problem, despite the broad range of pockets available they are completely unobtrusive when empty. No problem to wear the Renegades, for example, with a climbing harness.
What else? I have been caught a few times in showers over the summer (it has rained occasionally!)? Although I wouldn’t seek to use the Renegades in very challenging weather, they have certainly shrugged off a reasonable amount of rainfall. Windy conditions are no problem. The fabric shrugs off wind effortlessly.
This is another, to use a cliche, cool Kuhl product! I have thoroughly enjoyed completing this Kuhl Renegade Pants Review because they are such a great garment. They have clearly been designed by active folk keen to provide functional and yet stylish garments for active users. Also, like many people, I do a range of activities and having products that work for varied contexts makes a lot of sense.
My dip into Kuhl clothing has certainly made me realise what great options they have in their line up and I will be keen to look out others down the line. Please do check out details on the Renegade pants and the rest of their range on the US Kuhl website here and they also have a UK website here.
I hope you have enjoyed this Kuhl Renegade Pants Review. I recently also reviewed the Kuhl Engineered Hoody and loved it. Please do check out details of this other great product here.