Kuhl Interceptr 1/4 Zip Review
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Kuhl Interceptr 1/4 Zip
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|Pros||Stylish, warm, simple||Comfortable, warm, simple, versatile, breathable||Athletic fit and performance, breathable, technically proficient||Breathable, lightweight, inexpensive, comfortable for athletics||Affordable, cozy, simple|
|Cons||More style than function, bulky||Few features, less technical, no thumb loops||Thin with little warmth, little leisure wear transition,||Average weather resistance||Poor layering, bulky, lacks breathability|
|Bottom Line||Billed as casual outdoor wear, this warm fleece can move from out on the town to out at the crags||This lightweight piece has all the warmth of a mid-layer jacket but with a highly breathable design that's ideal for colder, active adventures||This highly technical fleece works well during high-intensity outdoor activity by offering performance and breathability||Highly featured and even higher performing, this cost-effective option provides a hard-to-beat value||This price-point jacket provides ample warmth and a casual feel|
|Rating Categories||Kuhl Interceptr 1/4...||Patagonia R1 Air Fu...||Mountain Hardwear S...||Outdoor Research Vi...||REI Co-op Groundbre...|
|Layering Ability (15%)|
|Weather resistance (10%)|
|Specs||Kuhl Interceptr 1/4...||Patagonia R1 Air Fu...||Mountain Hardwear S...||Outdoor Research Vi...||REI Co-op Groundbre...|
|Measured Weight||15.1 oz||12.5 oz||13.3 oz||13 oz||11.6 oz|
|Main Material||Body: 78% acrylic, 22% polyester
Side panels: 70% acrylic, 30% polyester
|100% Polyester||100% polyester||94% polyester, 6% spandex||100% polyester|
|# of Pockets||1||3||2||3||2|
|Unique Features||Thump loops, articulated sleeves, low bulk seam stiching||Slim-fit hood, quick drying||Raglan sleeves, thumb holes, three-piece fitted hood||Thumb holes, UPF 30, 3-panel hood with binding||Stretch binding at waist and cuffs|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The KUHL Interceptr Quarter Zip takes a fashion approach to fleece. The Alpaca Gold fabric adds significant warmth to this midweight fleece which works to transition from the streets to casual hiking and outdoor adventures. The slim, athletic moves well with the body but the fleece has a general bulky feel making it better suited for evening strolls than for hard hikes or back-country ski missions. Still, the style of this fleece makes it an attractive option.
The midweight Interceptr uses Alfpaca Gold fabric and Kashmira side panels to create a warm, thicker fleece. The majority of the fleece's bulk comes in the front and back panels where the Alfpaca Gold is. The upper arms also have that material as well. The sides and underarms use the Kashmira. Despite how thick the fleece is, the jacket moves well. It certainly provided our testers with a lot of heat while hanging out around the Flatirons in Colorado during the chilly fall months.
While many of the fleece's in our review tend towards being strictly performance pieces, this fleece worked well as a stand-alone providing significant warmth. While some of our testers wish they'd had a hood, the jacket provided plenty of heat for fall walks and casual hikes. If the weather comes in heavier, then you'll likely need another layer with this piece.
The Interceptr has an amazing amount of comfort with the Alfpaca Gold fabric and Kashmira side panels feeling soft against the skin and enjoyable to wear. Kuhl placed a zipper carriage at the neckline and lined it with soft fleece to prevent chafing. Our testers enjoyed lounging and hanging out in it after climbing. It made summer campfires pleasant and tailgate beers at the end of a day of sport climbing in Rifle, Colorado, very nice.
This fleece fits has a slim fit with a bit of a flared waist. The articulated arms move well though some of our testers found it to be a bit restrictive for serious overhead movement. Kuhl also added thin elastic thumb straps which help keep the sleeves in place, though the straps chaff a bit if worn for a while.
Our testers liked the thickness of this jacket as it helped the jacket's versatility to some degree. Though it made it a bit heavier and harder to pack it did fight the weather better. It felt more impervious to the wind because of the thicker front and back panels making windy walks easier to handle. The fleece tended to soak a little though with it getting wet when faced with more than a light misting. The thickness of the fleece also made it dry slower when it did soak through.
While this jacket does provide some resistance to light weather if there's more precipitation than just a sprinkling or intermittent rain then it's best to bring something heavier or pack a rain shell as well.
This quarter zip fleece offers plenty of warmth but despite its simplicity and lack of frills, it weighs in on the heavier side at 15 ounces for a medium. For casual, around-town wear when having something heavier and comfortable works well, this jacket does great but for fast and light alpine missions where every ounce counts, it's best to pick one of the higher performance pieces in this review.
This piece's thickness makes it nice for casual around-town wear but it also makes its breathability fairly poor. The side panels help move some heat from the piece while hiking but it's not comparable to the same level of function in one of the performance pieces in this review.
For hiking, skiing, or other back-country endeavors, this fleece doesn't perform that well. The quarter zip allows for some added breathability. However, if you're not planning on a big mission into the mountains or doing any vigorous activity, this fleece is great for lounging and relaxing.
The Interceptr feels a bit thick which makes it a nice piece to layer over with a thin shell. The thumb loops help keep the sleeves in place while wearing another jacket. They're a bit thin though and some of our testers noted they cut into their hands. The general slim fit of the jacket made it slide under other pieces well.
The jacket has a short torso which made it feel like it was riding up when under a second layer. While it adds a stylish feel, the hem made it less than ideal for layering. It works well for throwing a jacket on when it's raining around town but for heavy activities in the mountain, this piece only does an adequate job of layering.
Should You Buy the Kuhl Interceptr?
This fleece offers good warmth in a quality fleece. It's comfortable and has a great style to it that makes it worth wearing around town and then going for occasional low-commitment hikes. The price isn't prohibitively high and overall it's a well-crafted piece. If you're looking for something less technical but with plenty of style, this jacket does the job well.
What Other Fleece Jackets Should You Consider?
The KUHL Interceptr is a midweight fleece designed for fashion. The cut, the thickness, and the lack of a full zip make it less ideal for performance attire but it looks great for the transition from the city to the crag. The Outdoor Research Vigor, however, is a higher scoring fleece that also costs less, though it does offer less weather resistance than the Interceptr. The Mountain Hardwear Stratus Full Zip offers higher overall performance for a similar price.
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