The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear

Kuhl Deceptr Review

A heavily tapered, casual pant with decent mobility, but issues with comfort
Kuhl Deceptr
Photo: REI Co-op
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $89 List | $89.00 at REI
Pros:  Comfortable waist, casual look
Cons:  Abrasive fabric, no pocket closures
Manufacturer:   Kuhl
By Ben Applebaum-Bauch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 29, 2020
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 16
  • Comfort and Mobility - 35% 5
  • Venting and Breathability - 20% 6
  • Versatility and Style - 15% 7
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 7
  • Features - 15% 6

Our Verdict

The KUHL Deceptr is a pair of pants that seem to be intended to go fluidly between backcountry travel and frontcountry style. Their tapered legs offer a slim fit with stretch fabric that still provides for a decent amount of wearer mobility. The objective is noble, but their comfort is lacking. We also think that the feature set moves a little too far in the direction of casual style without enough consideration for the utility that hiking pants require. This model may be best for someone who wants versatility in an everyday pair of frontcountry pants rather than a true technical wilderness trek.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Kuhl Deceptr
This Product
Kuhl Deceptr
Awards  Editors' Choice Award   Top Pick Award 
Price $89.00 at REI$59.96 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$79.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$83.73 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$88.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
60
75
72
71
70
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Comfortable waist, casual lookAiry fabric, very comfortable, maximum mobilitySupple and mobile, DWR coating works great, fair pricecomfortable fabric, belt, zippered pocketsComfortable fit and fabric, very versatile, perfectly functioning features
Cons Abrasive fabric, no pocket closuresWaist fit is loose, not great in cool weatherNot many pockets, slim fit may not be awesome for larger adultsShallow pockets, expensiveNot much ventilation, fabric absorbs water in a heavy downpour
Bottom Line A pant for a pair of skinny legs looking for casual styleFor comfort and breathability, these pants can’t be beatThis stellar pant surprised us with its high performance at an affordable priceThese pants are great for a variety of activities and conditionsThese top-scoring hiking pants are not only comfortable, but also versatile
Rating Categories Kuhl Deceptr Ferrosi Pants Patagonia Quandary Chockstone/2 Prana Stretch Zion
Comfort And Mobility (35%)
5
9
8
8
8
Venting And Breathability (20%)
6
9
7
7
6
Versatility And Style (15%)
7
7
7
7
8
Weather Resistance (15%)
7
6
7
6
5
Features (15%)
6
4
6
6
7
Specs Kuhl Deceptr Ferrosi Pants Patagonia Quandary Chockstone/2 Prana Stretch Zion
Weight (in oz) 10.4 oz 12.2 oz 10.0 oz 11.5 oz 13.6 oz
Material 75% nylon/10% polyester/15% spandex 86% nylon / 14% spandex 90D stretch woven ripstop 94% nylon (62% recycled) / 6% spandex 88% nylon, 12% elastane 97% Nylon / 3% Spandex
Water Resistance DWR finish DWR finish DWR finish DWR finish DWR finish
Sizing (waist, length options) W: 28" - 42" L: 30" - 36" W: 28" - 38" W: 28" - 40"
L: 30", 32", 34"
W: 28" - 42" L: 30" - 34" W: 28" - 42"
L: 28", 30", 32", 34", 36"
Sun Protection UPF 50 not specified UPF 50 UPF 50 UPF 50
Convertible, or option available? No No, but convertible version available No No No, but convertible version available
Pockets 2 front, 2 rear 2 hand, 2 back, 1 thigh zip 2 hand, 2 back, 1 zippered thigh, 1 coin 2 hand, 2 back, 1 thigh 2 hand, 2 back, one left side
Waist Strap/Fasten Button and zip fly Button and zip fly Button and zip fly Button and zip fly Button and zip fly with waist cinch
Other Features Suede lined waistband for comfort Drawcord cuff closures, side zip pocket Front and back knee articulation, gusseted crotch, slim straight fit Cinch cord at cuff, removable belt Ventilated inseam gusset, roll up leg snaps, adjustable waist tightening strap
Warranty Limited lifetime warranty Lifetime Lifetime Limited lifetime warranty Full refund, credit, or exchange if you are dissatisfied

Our Analysis and Test Results

This model has the versatility required for a variety of social settings. They dress up or down and have decent weather resistance. Their biggest issue is in the comfort metric, which is a hard factor to overcome.

Performance Comparison


These pants are a casual contender for frontcountry fun.
These pants are a casual contender for frontcountry fun.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Comfort & Mobility


These pants offer decent mobility but are lacking in comfort. The legs are very tapered, which makes them a better fit for hikers with skinnier legs. Typically, this would limit mobility, but the 76% nylon, 9% polyester, 15% spandex fabric blend is stretchy enough to overcome the tighter fit. In addition, the crotch is gusseted, so there is plenty of room at the top as well. The waist is lined with a different, softer fabric that reduces abrasion, especially with a backpack hip belt.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

The primary drawback of this model is that the interior face of the fabric is quite abrasive. It seems to have a somewhat raised thread pattern, which feels rough and becomes fairly uncomfortable fairly quickly. During testing, we noticed it immediately and the feeling became increasingly annoying as the days went on.

Venting & Breathability


These pants offer a midweight fabric with a small amount of polyester. What this means in practice is that they are more breathable than they initially appear.

These pants are tight enough at the ankle that they can be rolled up...
These pants are tight enough at the ankle that they can be rolled up and used for jogging.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Though they don't have any notable ventilation points, the stretch of the fabric actually facilitates heat dispersion. During testing, we got hot rather quickly but cooled down equally fast.

Versatility & Style


These pants have an admirable versatility. We like them best for short day hikes, and could easily see them as frontcountry athletic pants for activities like golfing. They also make for a decent pair of travel pants.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

They have the mobility of jersey knit lounge pants with a style at the intersection of athletic and dressy casual. They can just as easily go with a collared shirt as they can with a hiking tee.

Weather Resistance


The tradeoff with breathability and stretch is that these pants don't hold up in the rain as well as some others. They soak through with about 20 minutes of hiking in moderate rain. They do dry quickly, but we'd rather stay dryer longer on the front end.

The water resistance of these pants is pretty solid -- water beads...
The water resistance of these pants is pretty solid -- water beads well -- but the pockets have no zippers so rain will drip down pretty quickly.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Just like many other models, they have a UPF 50 rating for sun protection. Their wind resistance is above average, especially given their breathability, though they don't offer much in the way of insulation on cooler days.

Features


These pants go for a robust minimalism with their feature set. There are six pockets including two front handwarmers with one coin pocket on the right side; two rear pockets; and a deep, narrow pocket on the right quad. They are all comparatively deep, but importantly, none of them have any zip or snap closures, leaving items susceptible to falling out.

The uniquely placed pocket at the back of the right leg allows you...
The uniquely placed pocket at the back of the right leg allows you to carry valuable items without sitting on them when you take a break.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

This model also comes with standard belt loops (belt is not included), and a "donut" snap closure. They do not have any sort of ankle cinch cord like many other models in this review, however, the legs are tapered enough that they roll up and stay up without them.

Value


The bottom line for value is that there are better options out there. While they have some versatility, we don't think that they are crafted particularly well for the long haul. Unless you can find them for a real steal, the short and long terms values just aren't quite there.

The Deceptr pants look better than they perform.
The Deceptr pants look better than they perform.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Conclusion


The KUHL Deceptr has a few things going for it. Namely, the pants can flex between front and backcountry utility decently well. They have a tapered, slim fit, which means they stay out of your way on trail, and they maintain solid wearer mobility. However, the comfort issue is enough to keep us somewhat cool on these pants.

Ben Applebaum-Bauch