Last Updated on 27/02/2022


In this KÜHL FREE RYDR PANTS Review, we take a look at the lean-fitting trousers you didn’t know you needed.



The KÜHL FREE RYDR PANTS are an alternate option to the famous RYDR PANTS which are renowned for being one of the toughest outdoor trousers on the market. Made from KÜHL’s exclusive combed Cotton Euro Twill which is slightly brushed for extra comfort, but still highly durable for the toughest jobs. With a gusseted crotch, articulated knees, and a small percentage of spandex, you are free to hike, climb, crouch down, jump, and stretch without feeling restricted in your movements.

So what makes the FREE RYDR’s different from the original RYDR PANTS?

The difference between these two titans is that the FREE RYDR PANTS are tapered from the knee down to give a more modern and fitted look whereas the RYDR PANTS have a full fit throughout. Other than the slightly slimmer fitting, the performance is almost identical and they both have all the same features such as pockets and reinforcement.



The KÜHL FREE RYDR PANTS are amongst the comfiest heavyweight trousers I have ever owned. The combed cotton is super soft and flexible which makes putting them on a pleasure. Next to the skin, these pants don’t feel like jeans or your average workwear, they feel tougher but softer at the same time. With 2% spandex in the cotton blend, you get a little bit of stretch which only adds to the comfort.

But the comfort isn’t just down to the unique fabric, the fit and cut also have a very large role to play in providing you with the best comfort. If you have ever tried to wear jeans for outdoor activities you quickly learn that while they offer good protection, they are ultimately not suited for active pursuits. The FREE RYDR PANTS, on the other hand, are designed to offer comfortable protection that allows you to move naturally and without hindrance – making them ideal for using outdoors.



As mentioned earlier, the fit is what separates these pants from the original RYDR’s and is something you should pay attention to. The gusseted crotch allows you to take long strides, lift your knees up when climbing, and maneuver awkward positions without the crotch riding up and digging in. Tapered from the knee down, the legs are more articulated than with most other KÜHL pants. This gives a slightly slimmer fit throughout but is in no way tight or uncomfortable.

Worth noting though is that the waistband is a slightly snug fit and uses a metal pop stud button to fasten them up above the zip fly. I would normally wear a 33″ waist, however, I found the 34″ waist to be a better fit which also reduced the risk of popping the button open when I crouch down or after a big meal. For this reason, I would suggest ordering 1″ larger than you normally would and expect a very good fit. That being said, the slight stretchiness of the fabric does mean that they can become less tight over time.



As an outdoor person who rates performance over style any day of the week, I am not ashamed to say that I absolutely love the way these trousers look. You can wear the FREE RYDR’s with trainers, shoes, or boots without worrying about what they look like because they just look good all the time.

The tapered fit gives you a more modern appearance that doesn’t feel or look too tight, which is apparently more desirable to the younger generations. I must admit that I am really not a fan of tight-fitting jeans on men, but the tapered look is something different entirely. I feel comfortable wearing these pants in almost any situation and with any combination of other clothing and have even received compliments on how they look.



If there is one thing that KÜHL pants are known for it is their durability. Their focus on using high-quality fabrics and engineered design ensures that their clothing can stand up to any challenge. With reinforced pockets and heal cuffs, the areas that usually wear out first on other trousers are the areas that wear out last on these.

I occasionally do some landscaping for my family and friends and so for this KÜHL FREE RYDR PANTS Review, I have been testing them around a building site for a couple of days now. I was constantly using my thighs to support big rocks, bricks, and breeze blocks as I shifted them from A to B and found that the only sign I had been doing this was the dust and dirt that covered me. I also tested and reviewed the KÜHL TEAM 1/4 ZIP Merino Wool Top if you are interested.

Another thing worth mentioning is that walking through nettles, brambles and thick brush is like taking a walk in the park with these pants which keep you totally protected from scratches, stings, and other inconveniences.



If you have read this KÜHL FREE RYDR PANTS Review up to this point then you can probably gather that these are some high-performance pants. The heavyweight fabric can withstand more wear and tear than your average trousers making them great for wearing outdoors or for hard manual labor.

While they are ok for hiking, they are a little bit too thick to wear for long-distance hikes where lightweight pants are the preferred choice. The fabric is designed to stretch and adapt to your movements and so gives you the freedom to lift your legs as high as you like or crouch right down when you need to.



The KÜHL FREE RYDR PANTS are for anyone who spends their time outdoors working hard come rain or shine. They reflect the true essence of what outdoor gear is all about – well made, hard-wearing, long-lasting, well fitted, comfortable, and designed to be used again and again. While they may be a little heavy for things like lightweight backpacking, you would only ever need one pair and wouldn’t have to worry about damaging them.

If I had to choose one pair of pants to wear all Autumn without changing them, the KÜHL FREE RYDR PANTS would be my first choice.

Where to Buy?

The best place to buy the FREE RYDR PANTS is from their website here or from REI here.

If you are looking for a pair of outdoor trousers that will stand the test of time then you should give these some serious consideration


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9.2 Total Score

In this KÜHL FREE RYDR™ PANTS Review, we take a look at the lean fitting trousers you didn't know you needed.

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Gear Assistant

This article has been written and/or edited by Andrew N. 20+ years of hiking, mountaineering, and camping experience, with access to all the latest outdoor gear.

  1. […] its competition while keeping you looking good at the same time. We love KÜHL gear and have also reviewed the KÜHL Free Rydr Pants which are ideal for outdoor […]

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