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Product Review: Kuhl Engineered Shirts

Kuhl Engineered Shirts

I have worn a lot of shirts out hiking and have had a lot of mixed results. When I first started out it was cotton t-shirts until I realized that hiking in 90 degree Colorado sun in a cotton shirt was a bad idea. I moved on and tried a few different things but nothing was great. Finally, I started trying out KUHL shirts. I tried a few different options until I finally landed on the Kuhl Engineered shirt line. With so many options available I thought I would give you my thoughts on these shirts.

As a disclaimer I would like to mention that I have an affiliate agreement with Kuhl and any purchase you make from this website results in me getting a small commission. All opinions on this page are my own and based on my own experiences with this pair of pants. This review is for general informational purposes. Your experience with the pants may be completely different.

Specs on Kuhl Engineered Shirts

KUHL has four versions in the Engineered Line for men. They have a short sleeve (Engineered Krew), Hoody (Engineered Hoody), Long Sleeve (Engineered), and Polo (Engineered Polo) for the men. Only the Engineered Hoody is available for women currently. The women’s Hoody comes with a kangaroo pocket that the men’s doesn’t. I have versions of the Krew, Hoody, and Polo and that will be what my review is based on. I will also touch on stats for the long-sleeved Engineered. Before I get into my personal review I wanted to give the basics on these shirts.

According to the Kuhl website, the Engineered line is “not designed, it’s Engineered”. While the descriptions differ a bit the key feature for the different styles is “Superior moisture-management and odor resistance combined with strategically placed breathable, open-knit, panels allow you to stay fresh and active all day.” Each shirt also mentions the use of Kuhl’s exclusive KUHLDRY™ or KUHLDRY AKTIV™ technologies.

Here are some more of the specs from the KUHL website.

Specs on Kuhl Engineered Shirts

StyleKrewLong SleeveHoodyPolo
Cost$55.00 usd$70.00 usdM: $79.00 usd
W: $70.00 usd
$70.00 usd
Women: XS, S, M, L, XL
ColorsPirate Blue, Loden
Tuscan Sun, Rusted Sun
Cloud Gray, Black
Black, Loden
Cloud Gray, Pirate Blue
Men: Rusted Sun, Loden
Black, Cloud Gray
Pirate Blue
Women: Barberry, Emberglow,
Cloud Gray, Black
Loden, Pirate Blue,
Cloud Gray, Black
MaterialFabric 1: KÜHLDRY™ knit 100%
poly 140 GSM
Fabric 2: KÜHLDRY™ pique mesh
100% poly 130 GSM
Fabric 1: KÜHLDRY™ knit 100%
poly 140 GSM
Fabric 2: KÜHLDRY™ pique mesh
100% poly 130 GSM
FABRIC 1: KÜHLDRY knit 100% poly 140 GSM
FABRIC 2: KÜHLDRY pique mesh 100% poly 130 GSM
KÜHLDRY AKTIV knit with high-wicking with odor resistance
FABRIC 1: KÜHLDRY knit 100% poly 140 GSM
FABRIC 2: KÜHLDRY pique mesh 100% poly 130 GSM
KÜHLDRY AKTIV knit with high-wicking with odor resistance
Machine Washable/Dryer?Yes to BothBothYes to bothboth

All specs from Subject to change

What I Liked

There is so much to like about the Kuhl Engineered Shirts. They are currently on top of my rotation of hiking shirts because of their durability and comfort. The shirts aren’t only comfortable on the trail but around the house, on the golf course or wherever else you may wear it. They take a beating without showing any signs of wear and have the flexibility and style to go where you go. Here is a bit more about what I liked and what I didn’t like.

Me sitting on top of the 13,000 foot Mount Flora with snow splattered peaks in the distance. The Hoody has become a go to hiking shirt because of its versatility and durability.
Me and my Kuhl Engineered Hoody at 13,000 feet


Ever have a shirt that makes you forget you are wearing a shirt? That is how I feel with the Kuhl Engineered series of shirts. The Hoody, Polo, and Krew are all extremely comfortable against the skin. The also fit really well. As a hefty hiker it is always a challenge to find a shirt that fits consistently in all areas and these shirts do. They don’t do that thing where they are loose in the arms and tight around the belly or too narrow at the waist and too loose in the chest. Overall a really nice design.

Despite having seams that attach the different panels that run across the chest and the back there is no discomfort from these and I don’t really notice them. I really thought this was going to be bothersome but the way the shirt is designed the seams feel flat on the inside of the shirt.

The 100% poly fabrics used in the two panels give the Kuhl Engineered shirts a very soft almost silky feel to it. This varies a bit depending on the shirt with the Polo having more of a silk feel and the Hoody being more on the soft cotton feel to it. It makes for an amazing feel on a hike. Nothing scratches or bunches up, just a soft free flowing, comfortable shirt from the first step to the last.

Moisture Wicking

I am not going to pretend to know the science behind moisture wicking fabrics or what it is that is in the KuhlDry Aktiv line. What I will tell you is that if the sweat is removed from your skin you will feel much more comfortable! There are two goals of moisture wicking clothing and that is to pull the sweat away and then dry quickly so you aren’t stuck with a soggy shirt.

The Engineered shirt line does a great job at this. As a hefty hiker I tend to sweat a bit (or a lot) on a hike and before I moved to these shirts I would get weird chaffing where the damp shirt would start to rub on my skin. It was pretty brutal. Now both me and the shirt are relatively dry at the end of each hike and I haven’t had any chaffing issues when I wear these shirts.

I will say that I haven’t done a scientific test comparing these shirts with other brands but just from hiking in them I feel much better at the end of each hike than I did before. There is nothing worse than having sticky or damp clothing and I have done 10 mile hikes with big elevation gain in the summer in Engineered shirts and felt good enough to go to a restaurant after the hike.

Me standing with my back to the camera looking at a mountain bowl in the distance that surrounds on three sides. I am wearing my Kuhl Engineered Hiking shirt that has become a go to on hot days.
Me in my Kuhl Engineered Krew enjoying a mountain view

Sun Protection

Sun protection is often overlooked with clothing. People often think that all clothes will provide total sun protection but that is not true. Clothes are rated on UPF system which differs from SPF that you will see in sunscreens. There is a bit more explanation in my sun protection basics blog. Overall, UPF is a rating system that tells how much of the Sun’s UV rays reach the skin.

The Kuhl Engineered Shirt line does a very good job of providing UV protection. This is so important to anyone who spends time outdoors and often can go unappreciated. The shirts provide an UPF 25+ in the area’s that receive the most sun and an UPF of 20+ where the breathable panels are in areas with more sweat. The UPF of 25+ means that on 1/25, or 4%, of UV rays can make it through the shirt which is a very good rating.


If you follow my blog at all you know that I am not gentle to my gear or clothes. I often find myself rubbing up against boulders or walking through the woods. I put my stuff through the ringer and the Engineered shirt line holds up exceptionally well. It doesn’t show marks from being rubbed against boulders. I haven’t seen a single blemish from walking through the branches either. I will occasionally get caught up by one of those really small thorns with the Hoody though.

When clothes combine different panels like the Kuhl Engineered Shirts do it makes me worry about seam integrity. I have seen no issues with the seams at all. One of these seams runs horizontally across the chest of the shirt and this is the one that concerned me. I figured with the constant rubbing of backpack shoulder and chest straps the seam would get damaged under that abuse. However, the seam don’t show a single issue after dozens of hikes. The seams also must be double stitched or something because they are very comfortable and while wearing them you won’t really even feel them.

Me sitting on a lakeside boulder in my Kuhl Engineered Hiking Shirt. The shirt still looks great despite several hikes on all sorts of terrain.
Me sitting on another boulder in my Kuhl Engineered Hoody

Another concern I had on the Hoody was that it has thumb holes stitched in. I use the thumb holes all the time in the winter and on cold mornings and have even got them caught on small branches and haven’t seen any loss of integrity.

So the major portions that I thought could be a problem have held up exceptionally well and the rest of the shirts have been made just as well. Try as I might, and I really try, no damage to report!

Temperature Management

One of my favorite parts of the Engineered Hoody is how well it does with temperature management. Most of my hiking is done in the mountains or the foothills where temperatures can range greatly from hour to hour. I have taken to starting my hikes out with an Engineered Krew as my base layer and the Hoody on top. The remarkable thing is that even though the temps are getting to the mid 80’s I haven’t needed to take off the Hoody as I am staying cool and comfortable.

In the fall and spring I will also wear the Hoody with the temperatures in the 40’s and stay nice and warm. Despite being a very thin and lightweight layer, the Hoody is usually enough in the fall and spring and on those chilly mountain mornings. I will say though, if there is some wind you will want to add a wind layer as the Engineered line doesn’t stop the wind.

Being able to keep the Hoody on even as it warms up a bit is also a bonus because of the sun protection factors in the shirt. I will say that I usually run hot and have plenty of insulation so it might not keep everyone as warm as it does me, but I was very surprised by how well this really thin Hoody worked out.

Me walking through a path of trees that have dropped their leaves on a fall day wearing my Kuhl Engineered Hoody. The Kuhl Engineered Hiking Shirts do a good job of regulating temperature in the spring and fall.
Me on a brisk fall day in my Kuhl Engineered Hoody

What I Didn’t Like

I really like the Kuhl Engineered line of shirts but that doesn’t mean they are completely perfect. Plus, someone will take my blogger card away if I don’t find something wrong with them! One complaint about these shirts, especially with the Hoody, is that the stitching can get caught in thorns on occasion. Large branches don’t seem to have an effect but those little sticker bushes that are thorny can get caught up a little bit. Hopefully you don’t walk in as many bushes as I do and this won’t be a problem!

A second issue is more of a me specific issue. I have a big head. I’m not saying I am cocky, I just have a large head! The hood style of the Engineered Hoody is to fit tighter than your normal Hoody. This causes the head hole to be a little bit smaller. My head fits in it so I am going to assume that yours will too, but its tighter than the classic big bulky hoodies you might be accustomed to. It also keeps the sides of the Hoody tighter to your face which actually helps to keep you a bit warmer in the winter and blocks the sun a bit more so there are pros and cons to the design.

Me standing in a snow field in front of mountains at Rocky Mountain National Park wearing my Kuhl Engineered Hoody. The Hood is up and the sides are tight against my face.
The smaller Hood on the Kuhl Engineered Hoody fits tight on the head, even a head as big as mine!

Otherwise there isn’t much not to like about the Engineered line.

Final Thoughts on the Kuhl Engineered Shirt Review

The Kuhl Engineered Line of shirts has quickly become my favorite hiking shirts to wear. I have several of them and love my hikes in these shirts. There are so many shirts to choose from out there and I’m sure everyone has their favorites but I encourage you to give these shirts a try. I think you will like them as much as me.

The biggest compliment I can pay these shirts is that when I put them on, no matter which style, I feel more confident. The fit well, they feel well, and as soon as they are on I forget about them. I don’t have to adjust or bring another shirt to change into because I’m worried the first will get soaked through. It simplifies one aspect of the day so I can focus on enjoying my hike and spending some great times in nature!

If you like this review, you can see other products I have reviewed on my Product Review Page. If you have any items you would like me to review or any comments feel free to email me at or you can follow me on any of the below social media platforms. Happy Hiking!

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