Women has been an audience for which no outdoors and hiking gear backpacks, boots or sleeping bags were made to meet their need and body particularities. This was the status quo for decades. However, at some point outdoor equipment companies listened to their needs and started thinking about how to please women and their needs for equipment.
The fact is that women are shaped differently from men. Their bodies have areas that are colder or more warm than men. So, companies found out out that just making a backpacking pack pink or “girlish” was not working anymore.
So, a change started. Nowadays, women can really find suitable equipment. This enhances their pleasure while experiencing outdoors. Many changes had to do with comfort and specific tailoring of things.
Let’s see few of the changes that relate to women specific hiking gear.
Changing how bikes are made
We can’t really separate bikes into women bikes and men bikes. For real, if a bike fits a specific body structure then it is good and without gender. Saying that, there are companies that are careful with their bike frames, so to fit women proportions.
Better thinking in sleeping bags
There are areas of their bodies where women feel like they are cold all the time. Warmth is a key factor for outdoors so there are women specific sleeping bags with more insulation at the areas needing such.
Along came the sleeping pads
More cushioning and insulation was necessary under the areas of hips and feet. Such areas are well known cold spots for most women. Of course, there are rules about weight carrying and such, so eventually each decides what to sacrifice and for what.
Speaking about carrying weight…
Nowadays you can indeed find a pack that is suitable for women body types. Such backpacking packs usually come with alterations in the hips and breasts area. So, such packs have a shorter torso, plus curved shoulder straps so to fit around breasts.
Some also come with extra padding, while hip belt is smaller too.
Boots made for women are usually narrower, around the heel area. However, this is not necessarily good as you need to walk safely with sturdy shoes and good ankle support.
Comfort and fashion don’t always walk together. There are many cases where women pants are too tight, and also come without pockets. So, men pants are the preference for many women. Bottom line advice is for women to wear what is more comfortable for them.
Either it is climbing, skiing/snowboarding equipment, there are options for women, which can really help them enjoy while learning, and/or advance on their activity. When it comes to rock climbing, harnesses come with larger thigh loops, smaller waist and higher rise. Yet, again it depends on the body type since some fit to men’s body types better.
The obvious conclusion is to adopt the equipment that fits your body and with which you feel comfortable to perform your outdoor activity. With a small exception backpacking packs, any can fit to all.
Do you have such experiences with women specific equipment & hiking gear? Please share it with our readers.
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