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Kuhl Interceptr 1/4 Zip Review

This midweight fleece looks good enough to wear for apre ski drinks while offering enough performance to make it a worthy cool weather hiker
Kuhl Interceptr 1/4 Zip
Photo: Backcountry
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Price:  $109 List
Pros:  Less "teched out" aesthetic, thumbloops, large chest pocket
Cons:  Heavy, poor breathability
Manufacturer:   Kuhl
By Buck Yedor ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 20, 2020
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 10
  • Warmth - 20% 8
  • Comfort - 20% 7
  • Breathability - 20% 7
  • Layering Ability - 15% 7
  • Weather resistance - 10% 8
  • Weight - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The KUHL Interceptr Quarter Zip is a midweight fleece that blends style and function. Our reviewers found that it landed more on the streetwear side of things than anything else. It was a little too heavy and not breathable enough to be a true performance piece. It does come equipped with a large chest pocket that has more than enough room for a smartphone or wallet. Despite minimal stretch and a rather slim fit, the articulated arm seams keep you from feeling restricted while performing overhead tasks. If you are looking for a fleece that you'll mostly be wearing around town and will take on the occasional hike, this might be the perfect option for you.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $109 List$99.00 at Backcountry$69.26 at BackcountryCheck Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
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79
Star Rating
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Pros Less "teched out" aesthetic, thumbloops, large chest pocketCozy, athletic fit, breathable, lightweightBreathable, lightweight, inexpensive, comfortable for athleticsPerfect fit for most active uses, ideal weight for many conditions, great hood designIncredibly soft brushed fleece interior, athletic fit
Cons Heavy, poor breathabilityPoor weather resistance, no thumb loopsNot incredibly warm, poor weather resistanceNot as warm for its weight as some high-loft modelsExpensive, no thumb loops
Bottom Line Offering a decent combination of performance and style, this fleece is a versatile optionA warmer and more comfortable version of the classic R1It is hard to beat the value of this high performing and cost effective fleeceAn ideal fleece for almost anything you can think of, you'll never want to take it offA fleece built to withstand the serious demands of adventuring in the mountains
Rating Categories Kuhl Interceptr 1/4 Zip Patagonia R1 Air Vigor Full Zip Patagonia R1 Hoody Arc'teryx Kyanite Hoody
Warmth (20%)
8
8
7
7
7
Comfort (20%)
7
9
8
7
9
Breathability (20%)
7
9
9
9
7
Layering Ability (15%)
7
9
9
9
9
Weather Resistance (10%)
8
7
6
6
7
Weight (15%)
7
9
9
9
8
Specs Kuhl Interceptr... Patagonia R1 Air Vigor Full Zip Patagonia R1 Hoody Arc'teryx Kyanite...
Type Midweight Lightweight Lightweight Lightweight Midweight
Weight 14.6 oz 9.7 oz 12 oz 11.1 oz 13.97 oz
Main Material ALFPACA GOLD performance fleece and KASHMIRA side panels 100% recycled polyester Grid-back fleece: 94% polyester, 6% spandex 6.9-oz polartec power grid 93% recycled polyester 7% spandex with Polygiene permanent odor control Polartec Power Stretch Pro - 53% polyester, 38% nylon, 9% elastane
# of Pockets 1 1 3 1 3
Unique Features Articulated sleeves, low bulk seem stiching Hollow-core fabric is highly breathable for high-output activities
offset shoulder seams
Balaclava style hood, thumb loops Balaclava style hood, thumb loops, Polygiene permanent odor control, longer length to stay tucked under a harness Scuba hood, stretchy fabric
Hood Option Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

While most fleeces in this review follow the adage that form should follow function, the KUHL Interceptr flips the script a little and prioritizes a clean silhouette while still offering decent performance. This fleece is ideal for winter evenings out on the town or an apres-ski drink. The tight fit and low breathability don't make it a high performer for athletic pursuits, but it is a worthy mid-layer for casual exploits.

Performance Comparison


The Interceptr blends mountain functionality with modern styling.
The Interceptr blends mountain functionality with modern styling.
Photo: Buck Yedor

Warmth


This midweight fleece offers a decent amount of warmth. The jacket is composed of two different styles of fleece. A thicker fleece makes up the bulk of the piece, covering the front and back panels, as well the top portion of the arm sleeves, while a thinner fleece is used on the side panels and underarms. KUHL's goal appeared to be creating a piece that kept your core warm without feeling too bulky or restrictive. This piece will work as a standalone jacket in moderately cold conditions, but when darkness falls, or real winter hits, you'll undoubtedly need another insulating layer to throw on top.

The Interceptr is perfect for staying warm while doing cold weather...
The Interceptr is perfect for staying warm while doing cold weather chores.
Photo: Buck Yedor

Comfort


One of our favorite features of this fleece was that the zipper carriage around the neckline is finished with an incredibly smooth and comfortable fleece that protects your chin from any undue chaffing. The interior itself is quite soft and enjoyable to wear.

The Interceptr's comfy material is perfect for at home lounging.
The Interceptr's comfy material is perfect for at home lounging.
Photo: Buck Yedor

The overall fit of the fleece is on the slimmer side, and despite the articulated arm seams, our review team found it to be restrictive and too tight for easy overhead movement. This fleece has the surprising addition of elastic thumb straps hidden in the wrist cuffs. While it's a nice addition, the elastic straps are not the most comfortable.

Breathability


While the thinner side panels attempt to make this a more breathable piece, when comparing it to other fleeces on the market, it just doesn't stack up. This fleece doesn't shed moisture incredibly well, and this is the primary reason our testers found this to fall more into the casual around town category.

The Interceptr uses two different weaves of fleece. The front and...
The Interceptr uses two different weaves of fleece. The front and back panels (left side) use a thicker fleece to keep your core warm, while the side panels (right side) use a thinner fleece to increase breathability and range of motion.
Photo: Buck Yedor

Layering Ability


The slim fit makes layering over this fleece a nonissue even with low volume or slimmer fitting puffys. The addition of the thumb loops makes sliding your arms in and out of layers tangle and bunch-free. The short cut of the torso gives limited coverage and was difficult to get to stay tucked underneath a climbing harness. Again, the short cut makes for a stylish look but not ideal for layering underneath equipment.

The Interceptr's articulated arms keep you from feeling restricted...
The Interceptr's articulated arms keep you from feeling restricted despite the slim fit.
Photo: Buck Yedor

Weather Resistance


The thick front and back panels were actually pretty wind resistant as far as fleece goes but readily soaked up water when exposed. The thick fleece, once soaked, is slow to dry.

Weight


For being a quarter zip with only one pocket, this fleece is on the heavier side of things. Weighing in at 14.6 ounces, this isn't the fleece you'll be wanting to bring on your fast and light missions into the mountains. As casual wear, it's lighter than the three other more casual fleeces we tested, making it a good choice for throwing it in your work bag or gym bag and having a stylish option for when the temps drop.

Value


While this fleece isn't a bargain, it is in the midrange to the low end of prices for premium branded fleece. It's well made, comfortable, and has more street style than many of the other more "teched out" fleeces. If you're looking for a city fleece that will make an occasional appearance on the trails, this is worth buying. If you are looking for a purely technical piece built for running around the mountains, you will want to look elsewhere.

Conclusion


The KUHL Interceptr is a midweight fleece designed to be mountain sheek. It is too heavy and not breathable enough to be a true performance piece, but its ergonomic stitching and decent warmth make it a great mountain/city hybrid.

Buck Yedor