When you live the mountain lifestyle, you don’t just grab any pair of pants. Several brands stand out and Kuhl is always one of them. For this year, their Outsider pants were updated and I’ve been beating them up for good measure.

Kuhl Outsider Pants Features:

  • 3-piece front pant panels add extra articulation
  • 3D cell phone pocket
  • Gusseted crotch for freedom of movement
  • Fabric: main body: 65% Cotton 32% Nylon, 3% Spandex|5.3 oz/sq. yd; 180 GSM
  • Smooth fabric is coated with synthetic wax for water resistance
  • Added stretch for added comfort and flexibility
  • Klassik fit
  • MSRP: $89
Kuhl Outsider Pants Review

Cool details with rivets and the Kuhl badge on the front coin pocket.

Nice pants go a long way

I’m not a fan of heavy fabrics when it comes to pants. There’s always something cumbersome to me about working against a pair of pants with every step. Sometimes, that is due to restricted movements and other times the fabric is just too bulky.

With smart construction details and a waxed, lightweight fabric, the Outsider pants hit the mark right off the rack. I have been testing the “carbon” blue/grey color and quite like it. However, watch that first washing as they will bleed something fierce. A couple of items in the wash ended up with blue spots on them. I’d suggest washing them separately or with something else that’s as dark or darker than the pants.

Kuhl Outsider Pants Review

The Outsiders were always game for a good scramble.

Over the course of the past several months, I’ve taken the Outsiders into the Southern Utah desert for some scrambling, around town and into the mountains along the Wasatch Front. No matter where I’ve taken them, I’ve always been pleased with the fit and performance.

They do feature a slim (“Klassik”) fit which is just about right for today’s pants. You don’t have any excess to catch on tree branches or add unnecessary bulk or weight. Initially I was skeptical — thinking they would be restrictive — but the fit really is fantastic with a gusseted crotch and articulated knees that move naturally with you. Even aggressive scrambling moves are uninhibited should you wish to climb that pitch you’ve been eyeing.

In cold temps, they don’t offer a ton of warmth, but that’s to be expected here. On the other end of the spectrum, they can get toasty on hikes in 80-degree temps.

Kuhl Outsider Pants Review

On a warm hike, they did get a little toasty.

The fabric has a bit of a leather-like pattern to it. It’s not completely smooth so it does attract and hold onto lint a little more than I’d like.

As far as day-to-day wearability, the waistline is comfortable and the snap closure works great. The extra button snap on the inside of the fly seems overkill to me and I never used it, but should you wish to keep your pants on no matter what, Kuhl has a solution for you.

I really love the soft, stretchy pocket liners and the 3D cell phone pocket is masterful.

The Good

  • Classic fit with mountain styling
  • Great freedom-of-movement
  • Pockets! (cell phone and hand pockets are both great)
  • Durable so far

The Bad

  • Carbon color bleeds on first wash — wash separately
  • Seem to lose length over time
  • A little toasty in hot temps

The Bottom Line: Kuhl Outsider Pants

Lightweight, comfortable, versatile… the Outsider pants check all those boxes. They are equally adept at office duty as they are hiking or climbing in the mountains.

Buy Now: Available at Kuhl.com

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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