When you spend a lot of time outdoors, your choice of clothing makes a big difference. Can you get by with regular old denim jeans? Of course – I did it for years. But since I tried some good performance clothing, I haven’t gone back to the old blue jeans.
In this case, I had the opportunity to try some performance outdoor pants by Kühl. I already had a fleece sweater from Kühl, which I’ve used outdoors annually for well over the last decade. So I was excited to try the Renegade™ pants. Here’s what I think of them.
Outdoor Pants Background
The Renegade Cargo Convertible pants by Kühl are truly performance pants in all senses of the word. They are constructed from a DURALUX™ fabric, which is 95% Nylon and 5% Spandex. In short, it’s designed to be quick-drying and lightweight. It also has a water resistant finish, which is great for unexpected wet weather. Both of these are great features for outdoor pants.
The fabric isn’t very loud while walking (rubbing legs together), but in colder weather, it’s not super stealthy either. They may not be the best stalking pants, but they are wonderful for hikes or other events where you don’t need to be quiet.
Field Test and Results
I have had a long time to try these Renegade pants out in all kinds of different weather and conditions (thanks to Kühl for being so patient and allowing me such an extended review period). They have easily become my most used pants and shorts for well over two years now, whether for outdoor pursuits or everyday situations.
Summer – Hot Weather
I’ve used these pants on several outdoor adventures over the summer or in hot weather. From fishing and camping trips, numerous hikes, vacations in Florida, and fieldwork in the tropics, they haven’t disappointed.
One of the best features I like about them for hot summertime weather is the ability to quickly convert my pants into shorts. The STEALTH™ zip-off system is different from other convertible pants I’ve tried in that you can’t see the zipper – they look great as pants or shorts. I also like that you can unzip the leg cuffs so you don’t even need to take your shoes off when converting to shorts. I routinely start wearing the pants, and if it gets too hot, I can easily unzip the legs and switch to shorts in a matter of seconds. And after 2 years, the zipper system on these pants has held up very well.
I’ve also treated the Renegade pants with permethrin to improve their insect repellency. With some other garments, this has affected how the clothes feel, but there have been no issues with these pants.
Winter – Cold Weather
While the Kühl tagline is Born in the Mountains®, I didn’t think these pants would work for snow and cold at all. The Renegade pants are not specifically made for cold weather (they are lightweight and have no insulation, after all), but they can work surprisingly well as part of a layering system. I’ve tried them while snowshoeing or hunting in the cold in Minnesota many times. I wear a warm thermal base layer underneath them to stay warm. But the snow I kick up onto my legs and the sweat I generate dries very quickly with this fabric. They are very durable pants too, which helps when busting through the brush or brambles.
The Renegade pants have great pockets for storing all kinds of items. The primary side pockets are mesh-lined, which helps again for the quick-drying nature, though some items can get snagged on it occasionally. The cargo pockets and rear wallet pocket have a velcro closure, which I was nervous about, but they actually keep things stowed surprisingly well.
In the two years I’ve tried the Renegade pants, I’ve only noticed one potential issue. The fastener button on the waistband simply snaps into place. When you bend over, it can pop loose occasionally. It’s probably a good reminder that I should go on a diet, but I have found you can partially avoid this by wearing a belt (which I always do anyway). Other than that, I love the way these pants are designed, the fabric its made from, and how they perform in the field.
Great outdoor pants need to be durable, adaptable, and quick-drying. The Kühl Renegade Cargo Convertible pants easily tick all those boxes. They may be my most worn pair of pants ever, and I intend to keep using them until they can’t function any longer.