Paddy Pallin is proud to to be your exclusive one stop shop for the highly regarded American clothing brand KÜHL this summer.

KÜHL began as Alfwear in 1983 with the Alf hat, a Peruvian-inspired design that many ski bums equipped themselves with in the mid-80s. Updating it with polar fleece, John “Alf” Engwall designed the pattern for the hat that would become the choice for serious Rocky Mountain powder skiers. Engwall, Conrad Anker (the now legendary mountaineer), and brothers Jay and Kevin Boyle (read Kevin’s Q&A here) set out to introduce this effective design to the skiing and mountaineering world. The four co-founders consisted of three skiers and a rock climber, all of whom aspired to build a business and lifestyle around their respective beloved sport.


Alf hat a ski bum classic

After a tragic car accident resulted in the death of Alf Engwall, the three remaining partners nurtured the Alfwear business for several years until they set out to pursue individual passions in 1989: Conrad Anker received sponsorship for his climbing endeavours; Jay Boyle moved to Phoenix, Arizona to attend graduate school; and Kevin Boyle, with his dream still intact to live in the mountains and work for himself, took over the company, began to pay off his former partners, and conceived the Jacquard Jacket, which would become the first Malden Mills Apex Award for Design Excellence winner. At the time the trio dispersed, Alfwear consisted of eight or nine plastic bags of the Alf hat.

Conrad Anker became a world-class rock climber and mountaineer, travelling the world, ascending the major summits, and famously finding the body of Mallory on Mount Everest. His accomplishments speak well of realising lofty dreams.

Spyfire Skiing

Jay Boyle studied Tai Chi, earned his MBA in Arizona, and moved to Shanghai, China. He speaks Chinese and is involved in overseas production for KÜHL. His company EXPAT-CFO does consultancy for companies seeking to do business in China.

Kevin Boyle set out to transform Alfwear into something more than a hat company. With a passion for skiing, living in the mountains, and art, Kevin designed garments made from performance fabrics fit for his outdoor lifestyle. He turned Alfwear into today’s clothing company known as KÜHL.

In 1990, KÜHL introduced the Jacquard jacket, our signature Euro-styled Polartec® fleece top that featured the first – the original – innovative thumb-loop cuff system and lightweight underarm gussets for comfort and optimal climate control. This top gained cult status in the outdoor community and went on to win the Polartec® Apex Award. More awards and devotees would follow as KÜHL continued to pioneer and produce. KÜHL is independently owned and financed and its ideas are inspired by the founders’ intrepid lifestyle and those with whom they share it. KÜHL currently designs and manufactures top-selling pants, shirts, outerwear and more and can be found in the best outdoor retailers worldwide.

Every contributor to KÜHL comes to the company with an outdoor lifestyle. KÜHL people ski, mountain and road bike, backpack, camp, mountaineer, and travel worldwide. Kevin Boyle began skiing hundred-days-a-year during the epic snow year of 1982. Evan Shapiro, the company’s first full-time employee, moved to Utah in 1984 to chase the same champagne powder dreams. After many seasons of deep-powder skiing in one of the world’s greatest ski areas, they now ski the deepest days of the year and apply the experience at KÜHL; they answer to the needs of those who find freedom living and playing in the great outdoors. KÜHL aspires to contribute to mountain culture in its efforts to provide these like-minded enthusiasts with the finest quality outdoor clothing available.

At KÜHL, the passion remains to get outdoors and have fun. KÜHL is what it means to be comfortable and relaxed in the challenging environment of life and sport. KÜHL means creating the best environment for you and knowing the importance of following your own beliefs and desires. For KÜHL, this dedication to original thinking translates into excellence in design and exceptional construction.


What makes KÜHL designs so unique? KÜHL does things the old-fashioned way, and that makes all the difference. Every good card player knows to keep their hand close, and that’s how KÜHL approaches building product. Pattern, design, and sample sewing teams remain in-house, where the creative process is nurtured and protected. When you buy KÜHL, you know you’re getting the real deal, an original design you won’t find anywhere else.

KÜHL not only delivers innovative style and features, such as the thumb-loop cuff, but also uses exclusive fabrics with unique weaves and vintage washes to create authentic character. Our articulated, gusseted, precise designs, combined with the utmost craftsmanship, provide a fit that is pure comfort. Wearing KÜHL not only represents the freedom of movement but also free will.



About The Author


Some 80 years ago, a young bushwalker's dissatisfaction with the limited and heavy bushwalking equipment available prompted him to design and make his own. Before long, word spread, and Paddy Pallin's lightweight, functional designs were soon in demand among fellow bushwalkers. From its early days the company has concentrated on supplying bushwalkers, travellers and adventurers with the highest quality and most advanced products and knowledge. Since 1930 the company has grown to become Australia's leading supplier of specialist outdoor and travel gear. The company, still owned by the Pallin family, now has thirteen stores throughout Australia as well as online, mail order and corporate sales divisions. We are using our vast wealth of knowledge, and experience, to build an online community where we can share our stories, reviews and tech tips to help you research and plan your next adventure.

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