I needed new hiking shorts. After some research, I settled on the Kühl Silencr Shorts, and I will share why I chose them, how they’ve felt after several months of use, and why I’d recommend them to anyone interested in a new, rugged pair of hiking cargo shorts.
I rarely find a pair of pants I truly want to wear daily. But that’s exactly how I felt when I got two pairs of Kühl Resistor Chino pants a few years back. With how durable and comfortable they’ve remained, it was a no-brainer for me to return to Kühl when I needed a new pair of shorts.
Why I Chose the Kühl Silencr Shorts
I have hiking shorts and I have running shorts. That’s all you’ll find in my closet. But not all hiking shorts are created equal. I’ve sampled from brands like Outdoor Research, REI, and Magellan Outdoors. So, part of my choice was a simple curiosity to see how these Kühl cargo shorts compared to others.
The other part was the knowledge that I love my Kühl hiking pants. It was hard to fathom that “taking a chance” on testing these Silencr shorts would leave me disappointed.
The final factor was comfort. I like hiking shorts that can stretch with my movements and keep my knees free when ascending steep inclines. I like hiking shorts with several pockets for snacks and essentials when I’m on the trail. These Kühl Silencr shorts match all of my prerequisite criteria.
The Kühl Silencer Shorts…in Brief
All jesting aside, here are the most technical specs you’ll find for these Kühl shorts:
Waist Sizes: 28-42 inches (depending on what’s in stock)
Inseam Sizes: 10 or 12 inches
Colors: Raven, Carbon, Khaki, Storm Khaki, Gun Metal, Green Camo, and Grey Camo
Material: Mechanical Stretch Polyester
Sun Protection: UPF 50
What size/color selections did I make?
In hindsight, I might opt for the 32” waist if I ordered these again. They are a tad tight in the hips and legs, but the four-way stretch fabric atones for my sizing gaffe. It’s one example of how choosing shorts without trying them on first can be difficult. Use Kühl’s sizing and fit guides to aid your selection.
How Have The Kühl Silencr Shorts Performed?
My Kühl Silencr shorts immediately turned heads the first time I wore them. Ok, that’s a major exaggeration. But my partner did say my backside looks really good in them. So that has to count for something. Am I right?
Now, I’m not out to impress with looks. So let’s talk about function. Despite my trepidations that they’d be a little tight when I first put them on, the four-way stretch fabric allows them to stretch so they don’t impede my movement, even when running or boulder hopping.
Clever and Abundant Pocket Storage
Kühl is also one of the only companies I’ve found that provides a sleek, secure pocket for your wallet or phone, without you having to sit on it in the car on the way to the trailhead. I love that little pocket located on the backside of the right short leg. It’s a huge reason why those Resistor Chino pants I mentioned above have become my go-to choice for airline travel, as well as for hiking in cooler weather.
On both legs, the Silencr cargo shorts have vertical zippered pockets for additional storage. Those are what make these classified as “cargo shorts”….or “kargo shorts” in this Kühl case. I like to use those pockets for Clif bars, paper maps, a small bag of trail mix, and other trail snacks. They’re quite large, so you’ll be free to fill them at your leisure.
Plus, there are two standard hip pockets and two stretchy back pockets for additional storage. Count them up. That makes seven pockets in total: two front hip pockets, two back pockets, two mesh front zippered pockets, and that stealthy phone/wallet back pocket. Think of everything you can carry on your next adventure…just in your shorts!
But how about comfort? There’s not a negative thing I can say about how the articulated design of these shorts allows you to move comfortably and without restriction. And that’s saying something to me because, as I mentioned, I actually think I chose one size too small on the waist dimension.
That articulated short design is paired with two additional comfort factors worth mentioning – a gusseted crotch and a lined waistband. Let’s start with the latter, as it’s easier to explain. Kühl’s Free Ryde waistband is lined with a soft micro chamois fabric.
Chamois is a cloth fabric that’s similar to flannel. But it’s known for being softer, more durable, and more substantial (i.e., thicker).
Let’s circle back to the gusseted crotch. Sounds nice, right? But what does it really mean?
A gusseted crotch is made by inserting a panel – typically in the shape of a triangle or diamond – into the crotch to alter the shape and provide strategic reinforcement.
In this case, this design choice alters the shape to provide more room for your package. In other words, you won’t feel constricted down there. Additionally, strategic reinforcement provides enhanced durability in an area of men’s clothing that sees the most stress when we step, lean, bend, squat, or do any other movement we require from our chosen activity.
Would I Recommend the Kühl Silencr Shorts?
I would absolutely recommend the Kühl Silencr cargo shorts to anyone in need of a fresh pair of hiking shorts. I’d recommend them because they’re comfortable and durable (sometimes, it really is that simple!).
But I’d also recommend them because they offer plenty of pocket storage without being bulky. They aren’t your typical 90s cargo shorts! You’ll have the ability to store what you want in them, but anything you store won’t be swinging around and knocking into your legs as you move.
They also provide reasonable water resistance and sun protection for long days outdoors. They’re not just for hiking either. I’d say you could use these cargo shorts for fishing, paddling, biking, and just about any outdoor pursuit!