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Kuhl Interceptr 1/4 Zip Review

Billed as casual outdoor wear, this warm fleece can move from out on the town to out at the crags
kuhl interceptr 1/4 zip fleece jacket review
Credit: Kuhl
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $119 List | $109.00 at REI
Pros:  Stylish, warm, simple
Cons:  More style than function, bulky
Manufacturer:   Kuhl
By James Lucas and Buck Yedor  ⋅  Nov 14, 2022
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 10
  • Warmth - 20% 8.0
  • Comfort - 20% 7.0
  • Breathability - 20% 7.0
  • Layering Ability - 15% 7.0
  • Weight - 15% 7.0
  • Weather resistance - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The KUHL Interceptr Quarter Zip blends style and function in a warm streetwear fleece. The articulated arm help with movement and the quarter zip alleviates some overheating. However, this piece functions more in terms of its fashion than its function being a bit heavy and lacking breathability. Our testers liked the coziness of the fleece and the ability to wear a fleece that appeared less technical. If you're looking for a fleece to throw on for around town, the Interceptr is ideal.

Editor's Note: This product was retested and the review was updated on November 14, 2022.

Compare to Similar Products

 
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Price $119 List
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Pros Stylish, warm, simpleComfortable, warm, simple, versatile, breathableAthletic fit and performance, breathable, technically proficientBreathable, lightweight, inexpensive, comfortable for athleticsAffordable, cozy, simple
Cons More style than function, bulkyFew features, less technical, no thumb loopsThin with little warmth, little leisure wear transition,Average weather resistancePoor layering, bulky, lacks breathability
Bottom Line Billed as casual outdoor wear, this warm fleece can move from out on the town to out at the cragsThis lightweight piece has all the warmth of a mid-layer jacket but with a highly breathable design that's ideal for colder, active adventuresThis highly technical fleece works well during high-intensity outdoor activity by offering performance and breathabilityHighly featured and even higher performing, this cost-effective option provides a hard-to-beat valueThis price-point jacket provides ample warmth and a casual feel
Rating Categories Kuhl Interceptr 1/4... Patagonia R1 Air Fu... Mountain Hardwear S... Outdoor Research Vi... REI Co-op Groundbre...
Warmth (20%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Comfort (20%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
Breathability (20%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
Layering Ability (15%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
Weight (15%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
Weather resistance (10%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Specs Kuhl Interceptr 1/4... Patagonia R1 Air Fu... Mountain Hardwear S... Outdoor Research Vi... REI Co-op Groundbre...
Type Midweight Lightweight Lightweight Lightweight Lightweight
Measured Weight 15.1 oz 12.5 oz 13.3 oz 13 oz 11.6 oz
Main Material Body: 78% acrylic, 22% polyester
Side panels: 70% acrylic, 30% polyester
100% Polyester 100% polyester 94% polyester, 6% spandex 100% polyester
# of Pockets 1 3 2 3 2
Unique Features Thump loops, articulated sleeves, low bulk seam stiching Slim-fit hood, quick drying Raglan sleeves, thumb holes, three-piece fitted hood Thumb holes, UPF 30, 3-panel hood with binding Stretch binding at waist and cuffs
Hood Option Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The KUHL Interceptr Quarter Zip takes a fashion approach to fleece. The Alpaca Gold fabric adds significant warmth to this midweight fleece which works to transition from the streets to casual hiking and outdoor adventures. The slim, athletic moves well with the body but the fleece has a general bulky feel making it better suited for evening strolls than for hard hikes or back-country ski missions. Still, the style of this fleece makes it an attractive option.

Performance Comparison


kuhl interceptr 1/4 zip fleece jacket review - the kuhl intercepter worked best as a warm, casual wear piece. our...
The Kuhl Intercepter worked best as a warm, casual wear piece. Our testers loved it for its ability to go from hanging out outside to wearing out to dinner.
Credit: James Lucas

Warmth


The midweight Interceptr uses Alfpaca Gold fabric and Kashmira side panels to create a warm, thicker fleece. The majority of the fleece's bulk comes in the front and back panels where the Alfpaca Gold is. The upper arms also have that material as well. The sides and underarms use the Kashmira. Despite how thick the fleece is, the jacket moves well. It certainly provided our testers with a lot of heat while hanging out around the Flatirons in Colorado during the chilly fall months.

kuhl interceptr 1/4 zip fleece jacket review - our testers really liked the softness of the fleece, which felt...
Our testers really liked the softness of the fleece, which felt incredibly cozy against the skin.
Credit: James Lucas

While many of the fleece's in our review tend towards being strictly performance pieces, this fleece worked well as a stand-alone providing significant warmth. While some of our testers wish they'd had a hood, the jacket provided plenty of heat for fall walks and casual hikes. If the weather comes in heavier, then you'll likely need another layer with this piece.

Comfort


The Interceptr has an amazing amount of comfort with the Alfpaca Gold fabric and Kashmira side panels feeling soft against the skin and enjoyable to wear. Kuhl placed a zipper carriage at the neckline and lined it with soft fleece to prevent chafing. Our testers enjoyed lounging and hanging out in it after climbing. It made summer campfires pleasant and tailgate beers at the end of a day of sport climbing in Rifle, Colorado, very nice.

kuhl interceptr 1/4 zip fleece jacket review - you can see the zipper carriage in this jacket. our testers liked...
You can see the zipper carriage in this jacket. Our testers liked the comfort of the fleece and the way the zipper carriage fit against the skin.
Credit: James Lucas

This fleece fits has a slim fit with a bit of a flared waist. The articulated arms move well though some of our testers found it to be a bit restrictive for serious overhead movement. Kuhl also added thin elastic thumb straps which help keep the sleeves in place, though the straps chaff a bit if worn for a while.

Versatility


Our testers liked the thickness of this jacket as it helped the jacket's versatility to some degree. Though it made it a bit heavier and harder to pack it did fight the weather better. It felt more impervious to the wind because of the thicker front and back panels making windy walks easier to handle. The fleece tended to soak a little though with it getting wet when faced with more than a light misting. The thickness of the fleece also made it dry slower when it did soak through.

kuhl interceptr 1/4 zip fleece jacket review - the fleece zips up well and offers some protection against the wind...
The fleece zips up well and offers some protection against the wind and inclement weather. The jacket will soak up water if it gets heavily wet though and it's best to bring a heavier piece or rain shell if there's inclement weather.
Credit: James Lucas

Weather Resistance


While this jacket does provide some resistance to light weather if there's more precipitation than just a sprinkling or intermittent rain then it's best to bring something heavier or pack a rain shell as well.

Weight


This quarter zip fleece offers plenty of warmth but despite its simplicity and lack of frills, it weighs in on the heavier side at 15 ounces for a medium. For casual, around-town wear when having something heavier and comfortable works well, this jacket does great but for fast and light alpine missions where every ounce counts, it's best to pick one of the higher performance pieces in this review.

kuhl interceptr 1/4 zip fleece jacket review - while it's possible to wear this jacket out at the crag, our testers...
While it's possible to wear this jacket out at the crag, our testers found it better as a casual wear piece out on the town.
Credit: James Lucas

Breathability


This piece's thickness makes it nice for casual around-town wear but it also makes its breathability fairly poor. The side panels help move some heat from the piece while hiking but it's not comparable to the same level of function in one of the performance pieces in this review.

kuhl interceptr 1/4 zip fleece jacket review - the interceptr was less than ideal in terms of breathability. the...
The Interceptr was less than ideal in terms of breathability. The thickness of the fleece made exercising in it difficult but it served well to hang outside at the park.
Credit: James Lucas

For hiking, skiing, or other back-country endeavors, this fleece doesn't perform that well. The quarter zip allows for some added breathability. However, if you're not planning on a big mission into the mountains or doing any vigorous activity, this fleece is great for lounging and relaxing.

Layering Ability


The Interceptr feels a bit thick which makes it a nice piece to layer over with a thin shell. The thumb loops help keep the sleeves in place while wearing another jacket. They're a bit thin though and some of our testers noted they cut into their hands. The general slim fit of the jacket made it slide under other pieces well.

kuhl interceptr 1/4 zip fleece jacket review - the thumbloops help with the layering allowing the sleeves to stay...
The thumbloops help with the layering allowing the sleeves to stay in place while wearing a hard shell over the Interceptr. However, these loops can easily break off.
Credit: James Lucas

The jacket has a short torso which made it feel like it was riding up when under a second layer. While it adds a stylish feel, the hem made it less than ideal for layering. It works well for throwing a jacket on when it's raining around town but for heavy activities in the mountain, this piece only does an adequate job of layering.

Should You Buy the Kuhl Interceptr?


This fleece offers good warmth in a quality fleece. It's comfortable and has a great style to it that makes it worth wearing around town and then going for occasional low-commitment hikes. The price isn't prohibitively high and overall it's a well-crafted piece. If you're looking for something less technical but with plenty of style, this jacket does the job well.

What Other Fleece Jackets Should You Consider?


The KUHL Interceptr is a midweight fleece designed for fashion. The cut, the thickness, and the lack of a full zip make it less ideal for performance attire but it looks great for the transition from the city to the crag. The Outdoor Research Vigor, however, is a higher scoring fleece that also costs less, though it does offer less weather resistance than the Interceptr. The Mountain Hardwear Stratus Full Zip offers higher overall performance for a similar price.

James Lucas and Buck Yedor
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