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Kuhl Spire Roll-Up - Women's Review

A pant well-suited for a casual hiker looking to explore not only the trail, but nearby towns
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Price:  $85 List | $59.73 at REI
Pros:  Trail-to-town fit, great for travel, zippered pockets that fit a phone, many color options
Cons:  Cotton pant, takes a while to dry, heavy
Manufacturer:   Kuhl
By Meg Atteberry ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 9, 2019
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 14
  • Comfort and Mobility - 35% 7
  • Venting And Breathability - 20% 6
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 5
  • Features - 15% 8
  • Versatility - 15% 8

Our Verdict

We were intrigued by the Kuhl Spire Roll-Up since they look more like everyday pants than performance hikers. These pants transition well into town, without giving the impression that you just dragged yourself out of the wilderness. The Roll-Up gets high marks for comfort and mobility, thanks to its cotton blend, but backpackers and advanced hikers won't like this material and should look for something better suited for their craft. If you're looking for a pant that can hit the trails and the brewery or wear on a long-haul flight, this might just be the pant for you. Ideal for the casual hiker who wants something functional, yet not too technical.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

We like the unique nature of the Kuhl Spire Roll-Up. They offer a great way to hit the trail on a casual or travel day and then head to town. Although there are far better options for the serious hiker or backpacker, the Roll-Up stands on their own as an excellent option for hiking with a touch of style.

Performance Comparison


We took the Spire Roll-Up out on a sunrise hike in the chilly desert and they felt plenty warm and kept the cool breeze at bay  but didn't get too hot.
We took the Spire Roll-Up out on a sunrise hike in the chilly desert and they felt plenty warm and kept the cool breeze at bay, but didn't get too hot.

Comfort and Mobility


The Spire Roll-Up is made of 68% cotton, 29% nylon, and 3% spandex. The cotton construction raised an eyebrow or two since cotton isn't the best material for hikes. But, that depends on what type of hiking you do and where you do it. We don't recommend cotton in the high alpine or for long days or multi-day trips. Its insulating and drying capabilities are severely limited, leaving you susceptible to hypothermia if you get wet. However, for fair weather days and short hikes, these pants are perfectly suitable and plenty comfortable.

The cotton blend did hinder our mobility, though. We were able to scramble around with ease and especially like the stylish, streamlined look of the Roll-Up. The pants also have articulated knees that give them ample mobility, which helps combat the inflexible nature of the cotton. Overall, the movement isn't as impressive as any of the hiker tights we have tested, but for a beginner or casual hiker, you'll have everything you need.

The Spire Roll-Up looks and feels great  making them an excellent choice for a town-to-trail hiking pant on mellow days.
The Spire Roll-Up looks and feels great, making them an excellent choice for a town-to-trail hiking pant on mellow days.

Venting and Breathability


These pants don't breathe as well as some of the more high-tech materials we tested. However, on a windy day, you can still feel a breeze, and these pants feel surprisingly thinner than they look. However, you can roll these pants up for added breathability. The easy-to-snap roll-up option helps provide more airflow and keeps your pant legs dry in shallow water crossings.

The Spire Roll-Up cotton blend material absorbs water and isn't the ideal pant for wet climates.
The Spire Roll-Up cotton blend material absorbs water and isn't the ideal pant for wet climates.

Weather Resistance


We weren't surprised to see that the Roll-Up absorbs water like a sponge. They were one of the worst performers in our lineup when it comes to weather resistance, in line with most of the hiking tights we tested. We do not recommend these for areas prone to wet weather. However, they do a decent job of keeping slight breezes out and are perfectly suitable for drier climates.

The Spire Roll-Up is one of the few pants in our test that has ample pocket room for a phone  and this one even zips shut.
The Spire Roll-Up is one of the few pants in our test that has ample pocket room for a phone, and this one even zips shut.

Features


We enjoy the simple, no fuss roll-up option on these namesake pants. The snap closure on the front feels robust and secure. We also appreciate the drawstring at their waist. If the pants lose their shape, you don't need a belt (although the pants do have belt loops).

The Spire Roll-Up convert to capris quickly and easily with their unique hook-and-snap system.
The Spire Roll-Up convert to capris quickly and easily with their unique hook-and-snap system.

The Spire Roll-Ups also have some of our favorite pockets. Two zippered pockets on each side allow you to easily carry a phone, although the main body of the pocket is on the rear side of your leg. This doesn't bother us, but it does take a second to get used to. Even the hand pockets are zippered, which gives you confidence that things won't fall out while you're moving. All pockets on these pants provide ample room and dependable function.

We loved the look and feel of the Spire Roll-Up for a casual hiking pant  but their material doesn't make them an ideal choice for all-day epics.
We loved the look and feel of the Spire Roll-Up for a casual hiking pant, but their material doesn't make them an ideal choice for all-day epics.

Versatility


The Roll-Up may not have the versatility of convertible pants or hiking tights, but they hold heir own in a new and growing category — town to trail appeal. These pants offer a more fashion-forward option that appeals to the hiker that wants to catch a quick sunrise on a straightforward trail, then head to brunch. Although we didn't get the opportunity to wear them on an airplane, we would feel confident that these pants would also offer something for the intrepid traveler. The Spires don't look like hiking pants, which makes going from the trail to your favorite watering hole a breeze.

The sloppy stitching on the Spire Roll-Up might not hold up over time.
The sloppy stitching on the Spire Roll-Up might not hold up over time.

Value


These aren't the most cost-effective pair of hiking pants, but their unique functionality means you're essentially getting two pairs for the price of one. It isn't quite a technical hiking pant, and it's not extremely durable, so expect to make some sacrifices. Out of the bag, the stitching on the pants already looked suspect, and we aren't sure that these pants can handle rough terrain.

Heading out for a chill and chilly morning desert hike in the Kuhl Spire pants.
Heading out for a chill and chilly morning desert hike in the Kuhl Spire pants.

Conclusion


The Spire Roll-Up fits a specific purpose for a particular hiker. If you're interested in casual hikes, but want to be able to hit the town afterward or wear them for travel, then these are certainly worth a look.

Meg Atteberry