Being that we brand ourselves as ‘A Pair of Travel Pants’ it seems infinitely fitting that KÜHL reached out to see if we’d be interested in reviewing one of their women’s travel pants: the KÜHL women’s Splash Roll-Up.
I am always on the lookout for great women’s travel pants and I’ve always been jealous that Jackson found such an awesome pair of pants to travel and beat up and use in his Bluffworks Travel Pants. So, KÜHL made an offer I couldn’t refuse, I had to know: could these Splash Roll-Ups be the answer to my lack of great outdoor pants?
I’ll start by introducing you all, in case you haven’t met already. KÜHL: meet the internet. Internet: meet KÜHL. There. You’re welcome. Ok, now for some backstory.
The company KÜHL (pronounced: “cool”) is an independently owned, Salt Lake City based, outdoor clothing company originally founded in 1983 as a brand selling ski hats (Alfwear Hats). According to HistroricparkcityUtah.com, KÜHL is the second largest independently owned outdoor lifestyle brand in America, which is pretty cool if I do say so myself. (OK, that’s the last time I’ll use ‘cool’ like that again, promise!).
So, here’s little ol’ me: a momma now. I’m now based in Beacon, NY, which is snug in the Hudson Valley amongst hills and parks and outdoor spaces (I love it, by the way, come up and see the place, it’s awesome!). I’ve swung the toddler up on my back and gone out for adventure on a couple of trails at this point and was relying on not-quite-right yoga pants or that old pair of NorthFace hiking pants (ones I bought for my honeymoon many moons ago).
These were the problems I faced as a female hiker with a 25lb kid on my back and my current not-so-great women’s hiking pants:
- Access to pockets
- Not enough stretch in the pant material
So, I’m looking for a women’s travel pant that is durable, dries quickly, is lightweight, has stretch, and gives me access to pockets. Is that too much to ask!?
When the KÜHL women’s Splash Roll-Up showed up I was very excited. Could this be the answer?
My KÜHL Women’s Splash Roll-Up review:
The Fit and Look:
The pants were true to size.
Halleluiah! I looked up their sizing chart and made a choice based on what was recommended and the pants fit beautifully. I’m 5’8″ (173cm) and have an – ahem – rather large booty and was very pleased to feel that pants fit my butt without billowing out at my lower back as some pants are wont to do. In fact, my behind looked rather good.
(Just for reference: my normal women’s hiking pants size runs around a US size 8 or 10 – KÜHL put me as a size 12, which was a little bit of a blow to my “French Vanilla Fantasy” of being as slim and skinny as I was in college, but the pants fit, so….)
I was also pleased with the length of the inseam, which also fit very well (I ordered the 32″ inseam). After rolling up the bottom (the Splash Roll-Up pant rolls up, you know) the pant came to my mid calf, allowing a nice breeze access to my ankles and lower legs.
The fit of the KÜHL women’s Splash Roll-Up is a relaxed leg, so there’s lots of airflow. This is not a legging. I like the added air and space when hiking because I don’t feel as hot as when my yoga pants are clinging to my damp, sweaty skin.
The relaxed fit definitely lends itself to the look of an outdoor pant, however, and these pants will not translate to many other uses as a result (they look like hiking pants, so don’t wear them to your cousin’s wedding). I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad thing, especially if you only want to hike and walk in them! But, if travelling ultra-lite and want a pant that can act as a more universal pant, maybe consider KÜHL’s legging options.
Pro: Pants true to size, some stretch in the material. Pretty comfy.
Con: If you are travelling ultra-lite these pants will be a good hiking, walking pant – but don’t translate to other uses like going out to dinner or a special event.
The Special Features:
The pockets! I mentioned before that I need access to pockets, especially when wearing a large kid in a backpack that covers my front and back pockets. The Splash Roll-Up side pockets are great!
My last pair of travel/hiking pants had no pockets on my thighs and nowhere to put my smartphone without the phone digging into me uncomfortably anytime I moved. These Splash Roll-Ups offer a great solution to that. The phone fits nicely in the thigh pockets, which snap close, and I’m very happy with that.
The Roll-Up itself is pretty neat. I like having the option to cool myself off or keep my legs safe from ticks in the thickets of the NorthEastern woods. Rolling up the pant is a no-brainer, and the snap button is simple and easy to use and access. My last pair of travel pants has an old-fashioned button to hold the pants in place and, let me tell you: trying to put a button through a hole with wet fingers sucks. Snap for the win.
I haven’t had much use for the internal pull cord as the waist fits with little wiggle room – as a result, the pull cord is a bit redundant and can get in the way of the zipper.
That said, if you’re travelling in a place that could give you food poisoning (like when I got SERIOUSLY ill in Vietnam) a pull cord could be your friend after you’ve lost some water weight….
Pro: Snap buttons are great, as are the side pockets!
Con: Internal pull cord is a little redundant – if the pants fit nicely – and can get in the way of the zipper.
The Splash Roll-Up is made of a cotton/nylon blend and features some stretch to the material. I like the stretch, it’s very nice, but as a mom who does not have rock-hard abs anymore, here’s my suggestion: it would be nice to have a little more give in the waist band.
Basically, as I lift my legs up high to take that next big step onto a large rock, the waist will dig into my belly uncomfortably. That isn’t a plus. A little bit of a stretch there would go a long way, especially since the Splash Roll-Up has that internal draw cord built in to adjust the fit if need be.
When I pour some water on the material of the KÜHL women’s Splash Roll-Up it will roll off for the most part, if it pools at all in a fold of the fabric it’ll get wet, but I found the pants will dry pretty quickly. Definitely a plus. So, they’re not waterproof, but the water resistance is a nice touch.
I did go for a walk in the rain and got splattered with wet, however, so I wouldn’t go walking a ways in these pants and think your phone won’t get damp. That said, they dried pretty quickly.
Pro: Somewhat water resistant material that dries quickly.
Con: Waist could use some more stretch, as it can dig in when lifting the leg up high while hiking.
Would I recommend the KÜHL women’s Splash Roll-Up? Yes.
As a bang-around, hiking, outdoor pant it is quite comfortable. I even found myself wearing these around the house after I got back from a big park day with the toddler.
I’m a fan of the way the pants cup my butt, give me versatility with the rolling up or down, and provide those nice pockets on the thigh.
Hopefully, we’ll get back to hiking in New Zealand or tramping in Scotland again and I can really put these pants through their paces. Until then, I’ll enjoy wearing these through the New England fall and taking them out for the hikes I intend to do throughout the season.