Kuhl Travrse Pullover - Women's Review
Cons: Hood adjustment is tricky to lock in place, heavy
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Travrse Pullover is comfortable, breathable, and it offers great mobility all while providing light protection from the elements. The hood works well with a helmet, and the durable fabric will endure adventures for years to come.
The Travrse is excellent for a mid-weight pullover. It is warm for its weight and effectively blocks the wind, especially when you use the highly adjustable hood with moldable brim. If you're keeping your heart rate up, you can stay comfortable even in really chilly temps. It also provides an effective barrier against water. While you can feel the temperature of the water through the fabric, it takes quite a lot to soak through and wet out. However, once it does, the Travrse feels soggy and heavy, and it doesn't dry very fast. This is an ideal layer for fall hikes, fair-weather multi-pitch climbing, running in cool weather, and layering beneath a hardshell or puffy. It is also roomy enough to wear over other layers.
Breathability is one of the metrics where the Travrse shined. It was surprisingly breathable, considering that the fabric is heftier than other active softshells in our review. The jersey material in the armpits helps with this, as does the deep 15" zipper in the front. This is a great layer for anyone seeking a layer to protect from the wind while climbing, take the edge off cooler temps during aerobic activities, or someone who wants a competent non-stifling layer for sun and wind protection while climbing or light mountaineering.
The Travrse is a stretchy and comfortable layer that feels like a second skin when moving. There are no constrictions, the hood is ample (though it is a little tight with a helmet depending on the helmet and your anatomy), and the arms are nice and long. Even our longest-armed knuckle-draggers, I mean testers, could comfortably use the thumb loops.
At 14.5 ounces for size medium, the Travrse lands right about in the middle of our tested models. While it is not featherlight like some of the super-thin models in this review, it is one of the lighter active softshells in our review and it weighs less than a liter of water. Further, it is packable enough to stow well in your bag, and could be a great contender for shorter alpine days, mountain hiking, or backpacking. Besides, the added weight translates into greater durability, and weather resistance. This pullover strikes a nice balance and covers a lot of bases.
This is a decently versatile layer, particularly for the price. The material is durable, DWR-treated, and sun-protective (UPF 50+). It features articulated sleeves that end in comfortable thumb loops, and there are two zippered hand pockets and one zippered sleeve pocket. The hemline adjusts easily from the right side, and the roomy hood cinches down in the back with a moldable brim in the front. Style-wise, the Travrse has that sporty vibe, but the cut is flattering and the available colors are attractive. Our main issue is with the hood adjustment system: instead of squeezing a spring-loaded button on a drawstring cinch lock as with many hoods, the Traverse has two tight channels for each side of the drawstring to nest into. It's awkward to do behind the head — you have to press each of the two stretchy drawstring cords down into their respective channel until they snap into place, and it requires a decent bit of force. Once you get the hang of it, it's not too bad, but it requires two hands and a bit more attention than a more traditional setup.
Value is high for this pullover. It moves well, protects decently from the elements, and breathes easily — all for a very approachable price. If you need a good all-around layer for the long haul, this is a safe and easy bet.
The Travrse Pullover is a great layer for a lot of situations. It's thick enough to create an effective barrier to the elements, especially if you will be on the move. Breathability is very good and aided by a long front zip and permeable jersey panels in the armpits. The features are nominal, useful, and compatible with a harness, backpack straps, and smaller helmets. Layering either under or over the top is easy and comfortable. All in all, this is a great piece for a lot of uses, and it won't drain your bank account in the process.
— Mary Witlacil and Penney Garrett
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