|Rating:||9 / 10|
|Value for Money||2.2 / 2.5|
|Comfort||2.4 / 2.5|
|Weight||2.3 / 2.5|
|Durability||2.1 / 2.5|
A while back I decided to try out some new options for long pants and as there are so many choices on the market these days, this took me a while to narrow down my options. So after much research I purchased two pairs of Kuhl Pants. The first pair I chose to review from this purchase was the Kuhl Renegade Stealth Men’s Pants – the reason for this choice was the fact they were close in features to my existing hiking pants. So after giving that model a good work out it was time test the Kuhl Radikl Men’s Pants and I was glad I left them to last and here’s why….
Let’s start with the naming of this garment ‘Kuhl Radikl’ – this name just screams skater boy or surfer; maybe that’s just me showing my age! If you don’t give these pants more than a passing look you would be forgiven for thinking they are not anything special.
Size wise these pants are a Klassik fit (again another unique term from Kuhl) and a trendy way of saying this model is ‘full’ in the seat and thigh area and has a slight taper through the lower leg. Kuhls’ product information promote the ‘sweat pants comfort’ and they’re not kidding. Without a doubt these pants are the most comfortable long pants I have worn hiking with the comfort coming mainly from the combination of two material types. The hard wearing main material forms the bulk of the pants contains no real stretch. However, there are a number of panels located at the top back of the pants, the crotch area gusset, and down the side of each leg all made from a soft comfortable stretch material. In addition, this stretch material allows these pants to breathe and I found them reasonably cool even on days over 25° Celcius unlike other long pants which just make you suffer through the heat.
The stitching and panel configuration on these pants is typical of other Kuhl pants – its well done, robust and the panel construction has been well thought through which contributes to the comfort of these pants.
While Kuhl in the USA has a huge range of colours and sizings, this range has been reduced to a more concise range for Australia. But colour choices such as Khaki, Breen, Carbon and Black will keep just about everyone happy. One big plus with these pants is the 34″ leg length option. After trying both the 32″ and 34″ options I am happy with either size but prefer the slightly longer leg length. The longer option would be ideal for those who are over the 185cm in height – I know it is a struggle for taller folk to get a good leg length.
The other little feature I like on these pants is an old fashioned feature – a double fly closure system with an internal button closure as well as the press stud at the waist. This double closure reduces the strain of the press stud which can be an issue when the pants are at the ‘maximum stretch’ of a particular size.
The reason I left testing the Radikl until after the Kuhl Renegade Stealth was purely for the pockets on the Renegade. For the past year I have been relying on pant pockets to make up for the lack of hip belt pockets on my pack. The Renegade has two leg pockets. I was pleasantly surprised with the Radikl as the low angle openings on the waist pockets are deep and very usable. I really like the internal pocket constructed of the stretch knit material. It fits my compact camera and a batch of snacks. There is also a little pocket in one of the waist pockets that is deepish so money isn’t likely to fall out.
There are two pockets on the rear of the pants which I just find useless but in fairness to Kuhl this is an issue in any pair of long pants. The only thing I ever use these pockets for is protein bar wrappers. There are also two narrow pockets, one on each leg, that fit my longish cellphone, and my compact camera and – I find them to be really useful and easy to access.
In my original testing of these pants I had two concerns. The first being the durability of the lighter weight stretch material if bush bashing but after using these pants for six months I have managed to put a hole in my older pair but in the heavier grade material which is pretty robust.
I was also worried about how suitable these pants would be in seriously cold conditions but after wearing these through snow and -5° Celcius I was more than happy with the level of comfort and warmth.
Now for the negatives and there really is only one. The press stud waist button tends to pop open when you’re are right at the upper weight limit and since I’m heavier than I would like, this happens occasionally. A belt remedies this issue most of the time.
From my perspective as rough as I am on gear, I can see these pants lasting for a number of years. Price wise these pants aren’t cheap if you pay full price – at just on AUD$140 RRP but you can usually source them cheaper. At the time of my purchase and then at the time of this review, they were just that. I see price and value as related things and the features on these pants definitely provide value for money.
I love these pants and have already purchased a second pair. I can even see myself using these for casual use.
Kuhl Radikl Men’s Pants
Kuhl Radikl Men’s Pants side view
Kuhl Radikl Men’s Pants rear pockets and stretch panel
Kuhl Radikl Men’s Pants inside leg view showing the stretch gusset and the fine detail on the leg stitching. Its the little things that make a difference
Kuhl Radikl pants showing waist pockets. These comfortably fit a compact camera, phone or snacks depending on your needs
Soft stretch material inside the waist pockets
Open phone pocket on the right leg. At no stage did I ever feel like I was going to lose the phone from this pocket
Alternate phone pocket on the left leg with a top closure for security and protection. This could also be a small snack pocket
Excellent double closure system adds to the comfort on these pants
Size 32″ leg length. I don’t mind slightly shorter pant legs when hiking. There is also a size 34″ leg length available
Hikers who like long pants and who want a pair that suits both hotter as well as cooler weather, and hikers who like their comfort. These pants really are comfortable
You can purchase the Kuhl Radikl Men’s Pants from Macpac
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AUD $139.95 RRP
Kuhl also make a range of different pants including the Renegade, Contra and the Revolvr. These pants are available in a female version. There’s a model and style to suit just about everyone.
This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by Australian Hiker