Kuhl Interceptr 1/4 Zip Review
Cons: Heavy, poor breathability
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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.
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.
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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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