Gear Review: A Skiing Essential—KÜHL TEAM 1/4 ZIP (Merino Sweater)

Gear Review: A Skiing Essential—KÜHL TEAM 1/4 ZIP (Merino Sweater)

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I’m always on the lookout for gear that improves my experiences in the outdoors, especially hiking or skiing. My wife bought me a Black Diamond Approach Down vest for the ski season, and I got a KÜHL TEAM™ 1/4 ZIP merino wool sweater. It’s capitalized on their website, but for this review I’m only going to capitalize it here so that my typing job on out is easier. My mom had been raving about Kühl since 2017 when she got a pair of hiking pants from them—and which she still uses in the year of our Lord 2023—and I found myself excited to try out the sweater. I was very happy when it arrived in the mail.

As a side note, I also got a pair of Kühl pants and ended up liking them so much that I went a little wild buying more Kühl gear for my family at The Great Outdoor Shop in Pinedale, WY. Kühl themselves recently opened a store in the town of Jackson, WY, so purchasing presents for my active friends just got a lot easier. Anyway, as you can see below, I ended up spending a few hundred dollars getting clothes for my wife and kid. My wife loved the words on the hat which you’ll see pictured below. We’re both probably considered dissidents and rebels in some circles, so it fits us. It also is reminiscent of the Tetons. (Photo taken at my work.)

Hiking Application

I am not likely to take this garment hiking during the summer season or early shoulder season due to its weight. In the deep fall it might become more viable due to how well it retains warmth, even when damp or wet. That said, I don’t believe that the Kühl Team 1/4 Zip is aimed primarily at the hiking crowd, so I don’t dock it at all for that. Once I get a chance to test it hiking, I’ll be able to report back and see if I’m correct. So far hiking opportunities have not presented themselves due to the massive snowpack we received during the 2022-2023 winter.

Skiing Application and Features

The Kühl Team 1/4 Zip absolutely shines when skiing, a fact which took me by surprise. We live in the actual town of Jackson, WY (the valley of which is often called Jackson Hole) and naturally hold season passes so that we can get in tons of skiing. Last winter we held passes for Targhee, over Teton Pass, as it’s a little bit friendlier for budding skiers, and our child was only 7. This coming season we’ll be at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Snow King (season passes for both) as my wife is pregnant and due in December.

Over the winter I used the Kuhl Team 1/4 Zip sweater for hundreds and hundreds of miles of skiing and found it to be absolutely stellar, especially given the harsh (AKA perfect) winter that we had in 22-23. As I mentioned above, I was surprised by this, mainly because I thought that it would probably leave me too hot. I ended up deciding that it’s my new go-to winter midlayer.

Skiing at Targhee this winter, the temperature got down to -18F without the inclusion of windchill (and -27F at White Pine Ski Resort in Pinedale one morning there), yet Kühl’s sweater kept me completely warm throughout. The first time I skied at -18F and found myself completely comfortable (with perhaps the exception of my nose, though it was bundled and I don’t precisely recall being cold) I was rather surprised. Two weeks later, with the temperatures approaching 30F, I found myself still quite comfortable in the sweater.

Sidebar: My wife and I really love the Kühl logo, and given that we got some stickers with our purchases, we added them to our helmets. Also, since I’m from remote Montana, where I was raised without telephone or electricity, the “Born in the Mountains” slogan appeals to me.

Below are some videos from various times that I found myself using the sweater. Note that all temperatures were what was recorded at the base or on the app. I don’t know what the immediate temperature would have been.

Kühl Team 1/4 Zip At Grand Targhee:

Temperature: 4F.
Temperature: -10F.
Temperature: 8F and windy. Got an ouchie in this one. Skied across the mountain to some softer snow so give my knee a break.
Temperature: 10F. The air was completely still.
Temperature: 20F.
Temperature: mid-teens.
Temperature: 28F.
Temperature: -10F.

Kühl Team 1/4 Zip at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort:

Temperature: 16F.

Kühl Team 1/4 Zip at Big Sky Resort:

Temperature: 24F. The following days got into the 40s which was too warm for the sweater.

If you do end up sweating, the merino wool really keeps your heat locked in. Luckily, I didn’t find myself sweating in it until it was over 30F, and generally at that temperature I don’t care to have an underlayer anyway, given that I wear warm bibs.

Although a simple sweater, I love the design. It looks good and I’m a huge fan of Kühl’s logo, as mentioned previously. (So is my wife, so we both ended up putting the Kühl stickers on our helmets—we sometimes wear cameras, mostly so that we can watch out techniques and use Deb Armstrong’s youtube tutorials to find out where we are erring.) More than being a fan of the logo, I appreciate the thumb-hooks. If you’re feeling to lazy to tuck your gloves or mittens under your jacket cuffs, the sweater will nicely tuck in thanks to the thumb loops. Numerous times I found this arrangement simpler and quicker than tucking my gloves in and doing the cinch-down process. This was doubly effective with my Stio shirt, which has the same feature.

Below: The thumb loops, wearing it with my wife, and enjoying being able to open my jacket in cold temperatures without freezing. As a bonus, wearing the sweater at JHMR with my kid, and displaying it in my office on a rare break. You’ll also notice that many times it was warm enough with the sweater that I could unzip on the lifts and relax a bit!

The 1/4 zip on the Kühl Team sweater is also a true boon when the wind is awful. Although I wear neck gaiters and sometimes a neoprene mask for my mouth, the sweater’s zip goes very high and provides a great deal of extra warmth and protection from the wind. I found myself zipping it typically around the neck gaiters so that I could unzip it quickly when I got warm or was inside. Still, it felt just as comfortable snuggled against my skin, and the zipper never bothered me.

On an unrelated note, we were happy to watch a Kühl-sponsored freestyle event at Targhee one day. Glad they helped with that.

Daily Application

Kühl’s Team sweater is quite sporty looking, in my opinion. I love the blue bars on the arms as well as KühI’s shield badge. I’ve worn it at work a few times, but mostly reserve it for when I’m running around town with my wife and kid, as at work I usually wear what you might call “cowboy clothes,” and it clashes with that aesthetic. As you can tell by the fact that I had it at my office, I still did wear it plenty of times, but usually only when I was dressed in khakis. One day I was especially glad to have it, as you’ll see from the weather in the video below:


I’ve put hundreds of miles on this thing, washed it many times, and worn it for months. The fabric has some very minor pilling with I could easily buzz off with a pilling remover (good investment, FYI), but not enough to be perceptible in everyday situations. I purposefully didn’t treat this item delicately either in wear or wash, so it’s pretty bombproof.

Below: You can see the before-and-after. I suppose that it’s really not noticeable unless you’re obsessive, which I can be at times.


Kühl’s Team 1/4 Zip sweater is a sturdy, stylish sweater that is now my go-to mid-layer when skiing. It doesn’t overheat, protects one’s neck and hands well, and provides fantastic warmth. It’s also comfortable and represents a far better value than Black Diamond’s Approach Down vest, which I compared it to this winter.

Final Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I’m giving Kühl 5 stars for this sweater, as it’s the only sweater I’ve ever liked and is now my primary mid-layer in ski season. It has zero downsides, and if I didn’t have it, I’d have to buy it. Oh, and I love my kid, so watch some videos of her, and maybe a Kühl logo somewhere:

Share your comments, critiques, or criticisms here. [Please note that I alter most the hate comments to make them funnier for the other readers.]