Dear Natalie: Try Kühl Apparel

Ask Natalie Banner Dear Natalie: Who else does this?

By Natalie McCarthy

Dear Natalie,

I’ve heard there are people who hike, bike, and otherwise adventure wearing only their birthday suit. I, however, prefer to be clothed. What do you think about trying out the Kühl clothing line?

Signed,

Not Enough Sunscreen

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Dear NES,

For those of us who are a bit too modest to venture outdoors in the buff, Kühl offers a nice alternative: pants, shorts, skirts/skorts, shirts, outerwear, and accessories made for the outdoors.

This Salt Lake City-based company uses state of the art design and innovative fabrics to create comfortable and useful adventure-wear. Kühl – which, by the way, is the German word for “cool” – has won awards for their clothing design. They integrate ergonomic principles into each item to ensure it actually works for outdoor adventuring. It helps, too, that their items don’t just move well; they also look stylish!

Beyond their designs, Kühl partners with a number of inspiring ambassadors. These are athletic rebels whose stories motivated me to trail-run a marathon up a ski slope in January. Just kidding – but I did read their stories and think, “Eh, ya know, I might be able to actually run on my treadmill after work next week. At least once. While watching Netflix.” Kühl also offers yearly donations to organizations that support their views on human rights and environmental protections. Last year’s recipients included the Human Outreach Project, which supports the education and health of orphans; Appalachian Mountain Club, an organization that protects and conserves the trails, waterways, and outdoor areas of the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States; Wasatch Adaptive Sports, which offers affordable recreation to adults with special needs, veterans, and children; and Protect Our Winters, a group working to engage the world in the fight against climate change.

Our friends at Kühl offered to send me some shirts. They even asked about the color scheme I preferred, and given that cool weather has not yet hit Southern Oregon, they kindly sent me summer wear: Two shirts in blue and coral.

 

KUHL 1

 

Coral isn’t really my color. However, it just works for my friend, who gladly accepted the opportunity to help me review the items.

Both shirts were made of a soft fabric, and it was clear from the start they would hold up to some activity. I wore my blue tank on a hike; my friend wore her coral top to the gym.

 

KUHL 2

 

“The top was really cute,” she said. I had initially thought it was a cap-sleeved shirt, but in her photos, it appears more like a thick-strapped tank. She said it held up well to her CrossFit workout, which is intense enough that the one time I joined her, she warned me ahead of time: “If you wear cotton, you’ll be sorry.”

What were the drawbacks, then? “It was a bit sheer,” she said. “I mean, no big deal for the gym, whatever, but in regular life, that could be problematic.” She added that she wasn’t thrilled about the waffle texture of the fabric, but went on to say, “It wasn’t that big a deal.”

 

KUHL 3

 

Final verdict? “I’d probably buy it,” she said. “But I don’t think I’d spend that much.” The see-through bit, she said, made her feel as though the shirt weren’t very expensive; it would be hard to justify a steep price, especially because she’d have to layer underneath it to feel comfortable wearing it anywhere but her gym.

I was a bit happier with my shirt. The blue tank had a heather look to it, and the back was racer-shaped. It fit well with one of the sports bras I wear for hiking, and the length was perfect – not too short but not like wearing a tunic, either.

 

KUHL 4

 

The fabric was lovely and wicking, and super soft – no issues with the texture on this one. It layered well under my jacket, without any of that weird suction action that sometimes happens when you’re wearing tier upon tier of athletic material. It felt well-made and even though the shirt is soft, it also seems well-made. It has become one of my favorite shirts not just for hiking or working out, but also for hanging around at home doing nothing. I’m telling you, it’s really comfortable!

I will definitely purchase a Kühl product in the future. That said, this brand is not cheap; they invest in sustainable, fair manufacturing practices, and that results in a bit higher price on the consumer end. Smaller items, like tanks and tees, are easily replaced and can be found anywhere for just a few dollars, and I tend to blow through them pretty quickly – even the very high-quality ones, like those Kühl makes. With that in mind, I think I will end up buying big ticket items from them: fleeces, jackets, and other “must haves” for my outdoor adventures. I want to know my jacket will hold up on a three-day trip and a bushwhack through some blackberry bushes, and I think Kühl is up to the task!

You can find out more about Kühl and browse all their awesome products at their website.

See you next time,

Natalie

 

 

 

Resident Columnist and Reviewer at | Website

“Ask Natalie” host, Natalie McCarthy was born and raised in the urban American rust belts of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Cleveland, Ohio, in a not-particularly-outdoorsy family. She discovered the outdoors in her early 30s and now seeks out new ways to adventure.

Natalie earned her master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work. She works as a licensed supervisory clinical social worker specializing in the treatment of co-occurring substance use, general mental health, and trauma-related disorders. While her professional practice is where Natalie spends most of her time helping people with their problems, she was an online advice columnist in the past.

In the early 2000s, she was the go-to answer girl on a now-defunct website called New Girl Order. Her column there led her to research a diversity of topics, from May-December romances to why on Earth plucking our eyebrows makes us sneeze.

18 thoughts on “Dear Natalie: Try Kühl Apparel

  • October 25, 2018 at 10:49 pm
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    The material looks extremely comfortable on both of the shirts. When my wife and I ride bikes around town, we usually wear dry-fit material, but these seem like a nice alternative.

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  • October 24, 2018 at 7:17 pm
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    Those do look like some great tops there. And I am sure they would be comfortable while out hiking or biking. They look airy so you wouldn’t die in the heat.

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  • October 23, 2018 at 11:37 pm
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    I may not be very outdoorsy but I can appreciate that functional clothing is SUPER important. This review was really honest and thorough!

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  • October 23, 2018 at 6:50 pm
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    I would absolutely not hike in the buff. I can’t imagine the chaffing that would take place. I like clothes. Lots of clothes.

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  • October 23, 2018 at 1:31 am
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    First time hearing this brand. I like tank tops that soft and comfy to wear so this is right up my street. This blue top is a nice color.

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  • October 22, 2018 at 11:16 pm
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    I wasn’t aware of this brand before. Thanks for the knowledge. I love the coral look, so that would be my choice.

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  • October 22, 2018 at 8:57 pm
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    Thanks for your honest review. I used to be the outdoorsy type of person, that is before motherhood took over. I like the blue top better than the coral colored one. I am going to share this review with my sister who still manages to explore the outdoors even with kids in tow. .

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  • October 22, 2018 at 6:21 pm
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    I haven’t heard of this brand and while I am not that outdoorsy I have a lot of friends who are! I will show them this for sure!

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  • October 22, 2018 at 5:39 pm
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    I LOVE the Kuhl brand. I am actually sitting here reading through your post in a fuzzy Kuhl jacket that I had purchased for my Iceland trip a few years back. In reading through your post, I had never known that they invested in sustainable and fair manufacturing practices. This is good to know, and will definitely influence my purchases in the future.

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  • October 22, 2018 at 4:56 pm
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    I’m always looking for cute outdoor gear. Whether hiking, running or biking, I love having plenty of options. This brand looks stylish too which is always a plus.

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  • October 22, 2018 at 4:28 pm
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    Wow, that tank from Kuhl looks great. I also can’t wear coral, but I would opt for the blue one.

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  • October 22, 2018 at 1:23 pm
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    Thank you for introducing me to this brand as I had not heard of them until now. I liked the blue top as well and the coral is really not my color either but it was still a nice top. Very cool and will check them out for my outdoor and workout gear needs.

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  • October 22, 2018 at 11:26 am
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    These are actually really cute as well as being practical. I love that the brand chooses to produce everything sustainably, I think that sort of thing is super important right now

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  • October 22, 2018 at 6:22 am
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    camping introduces you to new experiences – perhaps an activity you’d always wanted to try but never found time for. Whatever the case, new challenges and experiences keep your brain healthy, as they force you to think for yourself. The tops here are good too.

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  • October 22, 2018 at 3:31 am
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    Hadn’t heard of this brand at all. But our daughter is all about being outdoors, so going to show it to her!

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    • October 22, 2018 at 7:23 pm
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      She will love this brand.

      Reply

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