Mountain Born – Kuhl Aktiv Pant Review

Kuhl_VerticalYou know I love athletic apparel, right? I live/breathe/work in it, hence my blog name. So, imagine my excitement when I was given the opportunity to review the Aktiv Pant by Kühl!

As much as I adore running apparel, I’m downright infatuated with outdoor apparel. So stalker crazy I could have a restraining order slapped on my water-resistant and performance-clad tooshie.

J’adore outdoor apparel so much because you can wear it anywhere. You might argue the same for your favorite running attire, but I find that adventure apparel is more socially acceptable and often more comfy.

Maybe the social acceptance has something to do with the stink factor. Even after spending days backpacking in convertible hiking pants, they don’t even come close to reeking the way my running shorts do after one run.

Carbon_AktivSo, when Kühl offered to send me a pair of their Aktiv pants because they’re perfect for my live-in-sweats lifestyle, I almost peed my proverbial sweat pants.

Not only was I excited to try the pants, but I was ecstatic to write my first review. I don’t know about you, but nothing screams ‘real blogger’ to me like a product review.

These threads did not disappoint! After living in the Aktiv pants for days on end, they earned a permanent spot in my work rotation. Plus, they’re perfect for travel.

Aktiv Pant Review

Kühl’s description of the Aktiv pant is spot on:

The KUHL Aktiv Pant, with the comfort of a sweatpant, the style of a structured woven, and performance of a softshell. You will be looking for an excuse to wear these pants to the gym, hiking, shopping, dancing, relaxing… It’s your everywhere pant!

I’ve been wearing these pants EVERYWHERE! In my office. To the pool. Running errands. Playing with my girls. Climbing hay bales.

Say what? It’s that time in Tennessee, so this is the typical bucolic scene around every bend. Challenge accepted!


What I Love

KühlKurve & Slim Fit

With HeartKuhlPantsKühlKurve, the Aktiv pant hugs higher in the back and sits midrise in the front. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to see/show plumber crack. Ever. Problem solved.

My other hiking pants were clearly not designed by women, or even with women in mind. They’re bulky and not the least bit flattering.

At only 5’5 with a long torso, I’m always looking for pants that elongate my bottom half. The Aktiv pants feature centered, vertical leg seams, which have a slimming effect.

I’m wearing size 2, regular, and they fit perfectly. They even passed my highly scientific flip-flop test and don’t drag on the ground.

Silky Soft

Featuring Kühl’s Kinetik fabric, the pants are soft and stretchy. They’re also extremely light, and I never felt hot & bothered wearing them.

While being incredibly light, the fabric is made to resist abrasions – perfect for trails or little, sticky fingers! They’re water resistant and quick dry – equally important around wee ones!

No buttons, zippers, or back pockets

WaistbandThe Aktiv pants feature a three-tiered waistband with elastic draw cord. This means no button digging into your tummy when you’re sitting or moving!

When I travel, especially on overnight flights, I want to be as comfortable as possible. Move over yoga pants – there’s a new travel pant in town! With a comfortable waist band and no back pockets to dig into my derriere, the Aktiv pant is perfect for long flights.

Plus, I love the two front pockets. When I’m dashing through the airport, I often wish my yoga pants had front pockets for easy access to boarding pass, phone, etc. They’re perfect for running errands too. When I don’t have my girls with me, I like to carry as little as possible. The pockets are perfect for keys, phone, and my little zip wallet.

The elastic waist band also makes the pants ideal for cool weather backpacking. On long days, the combination of pack weight and hip belt can make a single snap button a major pain. For warmer hiking and lengthy backpacking trips, I’d opt for convertible pants or shorts.

Did I mention they’re perfect for conquering hay bales?


What I Didn’t Love

I couldn’t find much fault with these pants, but I gotta keep it real. Here are a few things I wasn’t crazy about:

  • The pants have an adjustable bottom hem. Some might like this feature in the backcountry, but I prefer my hiking pants uncinched.
  • The Aktiva pant comes in two colors. I received Raven, and Carbon is pictured above. Khaki or espresso would be a nice addition.
  • The Kühl advertisements show a trail runner wearing these pants. As light as they are, I wouldn’t consider these for running.

Making the Grade

Overall, I’d give these pants a solid A for casual & travel wear.

They retail at $69, which is more than I like to spend, but they’re in line with similar products from other top brands.

Remember, with performance apparel, you often get what you pay for. I’m impressed with the longevity of my favorite hiking pants and jackets, even after multiple years of wear, lots of washes, and exposure to the elements. If you’re willing to invest in quality gear, it will pay off in the long run.

Check with your local retailer for promotional events or end-of-season sales. I often buy at the end of a season and save for the next year. This is a great way to stock up on quality gear.

Born in the Mountains

Kühl is an outdoor clothing company born in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. They specialize in casual and performance clothing for active lifestyles and strive to reduce their carbon footprint by incorporating organic, sustainable materials and natural vegetable dyes in their clothing. They even created a performance fabric made from coffee! Hmmm, would I absorb some of those energizing properties by wearing a Coffeenna dress?

Wasatch Mountains. Yes, please!
Photo By: utahwildflowers

Kühl is a German word meaning cool. In Scandinavia, Kühl is slang for fun. Both terms accurately describe their collection of outdoor apparel ranging from hiking & trail running to alpine adventure & comfy travel threads.

kuhl_mountaingrownBe sure to check out their drool-worthy online catalog. Seriously, I could order everything in their women’s collection. While my AmEx would love the workout, I’m sure my hubby would be less enthusiastic!

For beautiful pictures and inspiring quotes, follow their Facebook fan page.

I was given a pair of the Aktiv Pants at no cost. No other compensation was provided for this post. All opinions are my own. Thanks to Kühl for the opportunity to review!

Does anyone else dream of becoming a gear & apparel tester? Do you live in casual dresses in summer and performance fleece in winter?

27 thoughts on “Mountain Born – Kuhl Aktiv Pant Review

    • Did I mention I love outdoor apparel? I was excited to find Kuhl and was so impressed with the quality and style. I firmly believe you can NEVER have enough great outdoor gear!

  1. Thanks for the shout out to a great Utah company!

    You are more than welcome to join us in the Wasatch any day. The flowers, indeed, are in full bloom. Most of the mountains up close look blue or yellow, and they smell heavenly!

    I personally live mostly in my running or yoga clothes.
    Wendy @ New Moms Talk recently posted…Cirque du SusannaMy Profile

    • I bet the wildflowers are amazing right now! I hope I get the chance to visit the Wasatch soon! Sounds like a perfect spot for a blogging convention!

  2. Congrats on your first product review!! That’s awesome and well done- you’re a natural athletic apparel model! You’ve sold me, I want those!! And i actually love the cinched ankle- at 5’0, I like any pant leg that is cropped, cinched or capri style- it means i don’t have to do the hemming myself :) and i would wear those all around everywhere!
    Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness recently posted…“Illusions, Michael.”My Profile

    • Yes, it’s nice when you can find clothes that don’t require hemming/tailoring. It can get very expensive to constantly alter clothes! While I’m not a big fan of cinched ankles, I do LOVE cropped pants and capris. I have this pair of Lole bermuda shorts that I’m living in right now. A few years ago you wouldn’t catch me in bermuda shorts or capris to save my life. I was afraid they would make me look short & frumpy. But they are a necessity now, especially when it’s impossible to find shorts that aren’t way too short or way too ‘mom!’

    • Cotton is the fabric of our lives, isn’t it? I do like it when companies come up with innovative ways to recycle & reuse old products or find other sustainable sources to make fabulous clothes!

  3. Great review. Wish I had a pair while I am recovering from back surgery. They look like the pants would be comfortable over an 8 inch incision and 40 staples!

  4. Those active pants sound exactly like something I would wear everywhere as all. $69 is a bit steep, especially as I couldn’t stop at one pair. You did a great review. You have me sold on them. Wish I had some for the trip I’m taking in 2 weeks. Followed you from SITS. Have a blessed day!
    Vicki M. Taylor recently posted…Five Minute Friday – ImagineMy Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by Vicki! The prices on outdoor apparel can be a bit steep, but when it comes to performance wear, you get what you pay for! I’ve been amazed at the longevity of some of my outdoor pants, fleeces, and jackets, despite constant wear, lots of washes, and exposure to the elements.

    • Thanks Carrie! When it comes to running pants or workout capris, I definitely want a tight fit. But for hiking, travel, and casual wear, these are great! They’re still slim fit, so they’re super comfy without looking frumpy.

    • I haven’t had much luck with Athleta, and I’ve had to send back several items, especially dresses, because the fit wasn’t quite right. I do have one long-sleeve Athleta top that I wear all the time. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE Prana too. The top in these photos is the Prana Quinn Top, and it’s one of my summer favorites.

    • Great news Stephanie! They do have the pants in a Tall/Long length! I love it when companies realize that not all women are built the same and offer different lengths.

    • And there are so many AWESOME places to hike in Canada! When we went to Glacier National Park in Montana, we crossed the border and spent a few days on the Waterton side. Beautiful! And Jasper and Banff are on our travel to-do list!

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