Gear Review: Kühl Raptr Pants

Trek everywhere with assurance with the durable and stylish Kühl Raptr Pants.

[editors ’ choice update]

The new and improved version of Kühl’s Liberator Pants, which won our 2012 Editors’ Choice Award for being the first cool-looking convertible, is just as stylish, but is even more technical than its predecessor. The Raptr features new Kontour fabric with a lighter 95-percent nylon/5-percent spandex blend for much-improved stretch and dry time. “The boosted two-way stretch is killer,” says one tester who also wore the older version. “That, combined with a gusseted crotch and articulated knees, meant I could comfortably high-step while scrambling.”

Despite the lighter-weight material, the Raptrs don’t lose a lick of durability. “I pounded these pants during several days of bushwhacking through Tasmanian underbrush and knee-high mud, and they didn’t show any signs of wear,” says one tester. The DWR coating didn’t wet out after intermittent rain storms, and breathability also received high marks after our tester wore them in full-pants mode to avoid leeches in a humid rainforest. Nice: The 10-inch inseam on the shorts is long enough to avoid the hiking-dork factor when stepping out for a post-trip brew. $99; 15.5 oz.; m’s 30”-40” waist; 30”-34” inseam;