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Pants Reviews

Weekly Obsession: These Insulated Pants Are as Tough as They Are Warm

The Kuiu Kenai Pant isn’t your typical featherweight puffy.

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I love puffy pants so much that I would wear them all winter long if I could. But there’s one huge problem: most insulated pants have extremely delicate outer layers; I can’t even count how many patches I’ve put on my puffy pants over the years. The Kenai Pant, however, marries the comfort of insulated pants with the functionality of a shell.  

The 30D denier stretch nylon shell has a reinforced seat and knees that use heavier, 70 denier fabric. I didn’t have to worry about gashing my pants while bushwhacking through alders and willows off the Denali Highway looking for a perfect place to camp.

A body-mapped design uses 60g of synthetic insulation throughout the pant legs and lighter, 40g insulation in the waistband and crotch to avoid bulking up those high movement areas. When water does get through the nylon shell, the water-resistant synthetic insulation resists saturation. Heavier fabric and synthetic insulation does come at a weight penalty: at 12.5 ounces, it’s far from the lightest pair of insulated pants on the market.

Thanks to a full zip on either side, I put them on with ease while wearing boots on a subzero day out on Horseshoe Lake Trail in Denali National Park. Besides the full zippers on each leg, there are no buttons or snaps. A simple Velcro waistband makes for easy adjustment, whether you are wearing it on its own or layered over another pair of pants. The simplicity is appreciated, but we would have liked pockets, a cinch waistband, and leg cuffs to round out the Kenai.

The Kenai Pant offers the warmth and comfort of a favorite down blanket in frigid, wet conditions with a level of durability that few others in the category can match.

$199; Buy now