Women’s Specific Outdoor Gear

The days of shrink it and pink it are gone. It turns out that women have different needs than men when it comes to outdoor gear. Who knew, right? In the past, outdoor brands didn’t offer much in the way of outdoor gear for women. Today, you can find an array of women’s specific outdoor gear.

Shrink it and pink it

What does “shrink it and pink it” mean? This refers to the approach outdoor brands had towards making outdoor equipment for women.

In the past, women’s outdoor gear was almost an afterthought. Oh, ladies like to hike, camp, and climb too? Well, let’s just take what we did for the fellas, make it a little bit smaller, and color it pink. Purple too, if we want to provide options.

There wasn’t much of a difference between outdoor gear for men and outdoor gear for women. This, of course, led to a finished product, and performance, that certainly felt like an afterthought.

Times have changed

Today, there’s a much better selection of outdoor gear for women. But more importantly, women’s outdoor gear is now specifically designed for women. Boots, apparel, and packs aren’t just a miniaturized version of men’s outdoor equipment in a feminine color any more.

Outdoor brands have done a better job of addressing the specific needs of, and physiological difference between, men and women.

Here are a few examples of the differences between women’s outdoor gear and men’s outdoor gear.

  • Women’s specific sleeping bags are shorter than men’s sleeping bags. They are also wider in the hips and have more padding. Women’s sleeping bags also have more insulation. A women’s 30-degree sleeping bag will be warmer than a men’s 30-degree sleeping bag.
  • Women’s hiking backpacks are shaped differently than men’s packs. They’re not just smaller, but designed to fit a shorter torso length. The shoulder straps also taper to fit a feminine figure, and the sternum strap is usually designed to sit higher than on a men’s hiking pack.
  • Women’s outdoor apparel is designed to accommodate shorter torsos and wider hips.
  • Women’s hiking boots and hiking shoes are typically designed on a smaller last (the mold that shapes the inside of footwear). Women’s feet are typically more narrow and take up less volume than men’s feet.

Do women always need women’s specific outdoor gear?

Women don’t always need women’s specific gear. Sometimes a standard hiking pack will fit a woman better than a women’s specific hiking pack, and sometimes a women’s specific hiking pack will fit a man better than a standard hiking pack would.

Don’t get hung up on whether outdoor gear is for men or women. The most important thing is to choose the gear that is most comfortable! The best way to do this is to visit an outdoor gear store and try the equipment.

We carry outdoor gear and outdoor apparel for men and women including women’s rain jackets, women’s hiking pants, women’s hiking boots, women’s climbing shoes and more! Stop by and see us next time you’re in Northwest Arkansas!

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