Note: I’m re-posting this Kuhl Hot Rydr Pants review from early spring, since we’re getting into autumn and they’ll once again be one of my go-to pants for chillier mornings.
I’ve encountered two main issues trying to keep warm outdoors. The first issue is simply finding (and then embracing) clothing and gear that can help hip-check my Raynauds. The second issue is not looking like the Michelin Man while doing so. Warm clothes so often have a reputation for being bulky that it’s easy to feel a bit self conscious out there among people who don’t require the same amount or type of gear. Lined pants? Yeah, right! Those things are huuuuge. Or so I thought. Then I tried the Kuhl Hot Rydr pants.
I’ve been a fan of Kuhl for several years now, for their clothes’ functionality as well as their fashion sense. They just seem to “get me” as an outdoors-y Northwest consumer. Still, I was skeptical when I heard about their fleece-lined Hot Rydr pants. There was no way they’d look as svelte and stylish as their “normal” gear, right? Wrong. Very, very wrong. Not only is there no visual bulk to be found, but they keep me warmer than even some sweatpants I’ve worn in the past.
Don’t misunderstand: the Kuhl Hot Rydr pants aren’t anything near skinny jeans. But there’s absolutely nothing about them that looks bulky or lined. In fact, neither my coworkers nor my family knew I was wearing lined pants until I flipped-up the reinforced cuff at the bottom and showed them the multicolored flannel inside. For all intents and purposes, the Hot Rydrs look like stylish cargo pants, which makes them easy to wear in social situations where you don’t want to let-on that you’re prone to getting cold.
Aside from eliminating bulk, the Hot Rydr pants follow Kuhl’s design philosophy of not being straight-legged. The curve near the knee makes for a slight challenge when folding them, but it makes the pants feel less “there” when you’re wearing them. Unless you’re a Beefeater, how often do you actually stand still with your legs straight? This is especially true for on-the-go hikers who want to get out in the early spring and fall. If you’ve got to stay moving and got to stay warm, the fit and lining of Kuhl’s Hot Rydr pants is a great combination.
I can’t stress enough how comfortable the Hot Rydr pants are. The outside is super soft with a brushed cotton “Euro Twill,” and the flannel lining inside is equally soft and incredibly good at retaining body heat. The fit is just right through the knees and crotch, and selecting both a waist and an inseam is a “grown-up” feature many other clothiers could learn from. And, as mentioned earlier, the insulation doesn’t come with a cost of looking bulky, which adds a funny level of psychological comfort.
If you’ve ever wondered about lined pants but feared that they’d either look too bulky or be stiff as a board, you owe it to yourself to check out the Kuhl Hot Rydr pants. They’re hands-down the best lined pants I’ve ever worn, and if I lived in a climate that never got warm, I’d be tempted to wear them every day.
Kuhl Hot Rydr Pants
- Super warm, but without the bulk
- Surprisingly breathable for something this insulated
- They wash very well
- The cut/style actually mimics the human form
- Reinforced cuffs add shoe- and boot-level durability
- Unclear how the lining will wear long-term