Kühl Resistor Rock Pant
I’ll be honest—I picked up these pants on a whim; an unsolicited offer from a gear outreach company. I’d heard of Kühl’s good reputation so I accepted the opportunity.
Overall, I have LOVED these pants. I have had my favorites over the years, but let me explain a few features that have made these my go-to travel, business! and hiking pants over the past few months I’ve been testing them.
The Resistor Rock pant is a full-length, tapered fit that has multiple pockets and a cinch cord at the cuff. You can read the full description on Kühl’s website, but here are my favorite features:
- Twill weave
- Water repellent
- Angled front hand pockets
- Stealth, side entry cargo pockets
- Double welt cell phone pocket on both sides
The twill weave of the fabric (a blend of 65% cotton, 26% nylon, and 9% spandex) offers a tough yet comfortable feel. The spandex adds a measure of flexibility when bending and moving that I really liked. Most of the outdoor style pants I have look like outdoor pants, and I am limited in how I can use them. I selected the Pirate Blue color (nice and dark) and the look is so sharp, I was able to use them on my business trips, paired with some nice Oxford shoes and a button-up shirt.
Compared to the other outdoor pants I own, the Resistor pants have TONS of pockets. At first I was dismissive and felt it was overkill because the extra side pockets are mirrored on both sides. In practice, however, I came to love the fact that I had a cell phone pocket on either side, and I found I used them both depending on the circumstance. The hidden side zipper pocket is where I kept my wallet. I usually keep my wallet in a front pocket, but the side pocket was so much more useful.
On a camping trip to the Grand Tetons, I used the pants for all our outdoor adventures, including kayaking. The variable temperatures and conditions we were in really gave the pants a run. The water repellant fabric worked great in the water, but I really liked the cinched cuffs while hiking because I could shorten the pants a little for more ventilation.
Flying economy with these pants proved to be a good decision. Squeezed between other travelers, the side pockets proved the most useful to keep small items handy without bothering anyone or resorting to contorted movements. I love these pants for travel!
The only downside I had was the fit. This was my own fault, and one of the challenges of online shopping. I picked the pants based on my waist and inseam measurements. The inseam was spot on, but the waist ran a little large. Kühl has a great return policy, but I didn’t read it first. One of the first things I love to do with new gear is take off all the tags, and that was my mistake. Returns are possible within 30 days if the pants are unworn, unwashed, and tags still on. The size wasn’t too bad that a belt couldn’t fix, so I didn’t bother with customer service.
Disclosure of material connection: The author (Derek Hansen) was provided with a free sample from the manufacturer for testing and evaluation purposes. The comments in this post (written & spoken) are of my own opinion, which I formed after personally handling the gear. I was under no obligation to publish a review of this item.
It has been said, “cotton kills”.
Well, that’s generally good advice, but there are caveats that need to be considered. First — and related to this review — these pants are not 100% cotton, and that makes a big difference. Blends are often a good compromise to maximize the benefits of cotton while minimizing the side effects. These pants don’t soak up moisture and dry quickly, so they worked really well in the water sports I participated in during my test. So, to answer your question, these pants shouldn’t be dismissed off-hand because cotton is one of the ingredients. You need to take in the whole picture.
Now, second: why does “cotton kill”? It’s a bad insulator, takes a long time to dry, doesn’t wick well, and absorbs moisture like a sponge. For cold and/or wet climates, that is a combination marked for disaster (say, hypothermia? Yes.). However, think about that combination in dry, arid climates? Cotton is actually a _really_ good choice. In the arid southwest United States where I most often camp (and in many areas on the world), cotton is a lifesaver.
To your point, I probably should have written a little more about the impact the fabric blend has on these pants, but your comment provided a good opportunity to add this addendum. I hope this helps! As always, make good choices for your climate, pack style, and skill level.
I know the comment is almost a year old, but I live in South America. It’s HOT, and sometimes it is hot and dry. Cotton won’t kill you here even if you got shot with cotton bullets. I camp wearing cotton shirts, pants, jackets, all the time. So, yes: cold places, freezing temps, sure, cotton kills. Here? No way, I love it and won’t wear synthetic stuff that’s not as confortable.
You’re absolutely correct.