Jul 21, 2011 at 6:20 am #1277008
Why are outdoor companies sexist towards women? Do we not like cool stuff too, do we not like sales on preferred items too? Clothing in boring colors I don't mind, but pockets so small as to not be functional? Have great brand wide sales sure, put the equivalent women's item on sale too, no. Fail, they all fail.
End rant, JessJul 21, 2011 at 6:23 am #1761551
i have seen plenty of catalogs come to my house (REI,sierra..) that were 75 percent women's items on sale if not all…All my local gear shops have HUGE women's dept's….
you might need to expand…Jul 21, 2011 at 7:51 am #1761571
Sierra trading post always seems to have much more women gear on sale. Think I'm gonna start wearing female clothes…lol. Don't tell nobody k?Jul 21, 2011 at 7:53 am #1761573
Seems like every time I look at something interesting on SAC it is for women. Definitely the Arcteryx stuff.Jul 21, 2011 at 8:01 am #1761576
@detroittigerfanLocale: Ann Arbor
The pocket thing really bugs me. Even for the supposedly same model. For instance, men's R1 has a chest pocket, none on the women's. Why not?? (Must be for carrying the remote…)Jul 21, 2011 at 8:05 am #1761579
spelt with a tParticipant
@speltLocale: SW/C PA
they are sexist just as society is. The patriarchy has long been at war with pockets.Jul 21, 2011 at 9:04 am #1761601
Hmmmmm… where I live and shop, women seem to have twice the number of options that men have in outdoor clothing. Both gear store that are near me have large sections of women's clothing right up front and much (50%) smaller sections with men's cloths. Also, when there are sale, they always seem to be "store wide" or "all rain shells." Finally, I bought my GF and I similar, medium sized rain shells a few weeks ago at EMS – Marmot Mica and the women's version for her. Her jacket weighs 1oz LESS than mine!! Clearly, they're using all the weight saving technology for women, not men. I call BS.Jul 21, 2011 at 11:43 am #1761649
@dipinkLocale: Western Washington
Look more closely at the women's clothing in a big outdoor retailer, and you'll notice that while the area is twice is large, the selection is 1/2 as effective–a good many of the clothes are "yoga" or "athletic" or some other cutesy-wootsey crap that wouldn't be useful backpacking/hiking. Especially to an ultralighter where everything counts.
What drives me nuts is that outdoor manufacturers seem to think that the only women who like to be active are sizes 2-6. What about the rest of us?
It's funny what's being said about the sales—I assure you, from the other side of the gender aisle, to the women it looks like the guys get the better selection on the sale items.Jul 21, 2011 at 11:55 am #1761655
Most of the women's clothing is geared towards fashion instead of function,especially down jackets with all the extra stitching that is supposed to be pretty.Jul 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm #1761657
@dancerLocale: Southeast USA
not to mention all the ugly floral designs all over itJul 21, 2011 at 12:07 pm #1761662
Very true Sunny,I would like to be able to have a choice of more natural colors also instead of pink and baby blue ect.Jul 21, 2011 at 12:14 pm #1761666
I'm sure the companies believe that there are more guys who want technical options on their gear than women. But from what I can tell on straight-up hiking forums (not this one, heh), the split is fairly even, at worst maybe 60/40 in favor of men.Jul 21, 2011 at 12:14 pm #1761667
I don't know if sexism is what's going on here…I think it's more of a supply/demand issue. Why would a company spend and equal amount of time, energy and resources on both men's and women's outdoor goods when ~90% of their sales are men's products?Jul 21, 2011 at 12:19 pm #1761672
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
Not sure what the rant is about… back when I was searching high and low for a Patagonia Houdini wind jacket, the women version was on sale, but not the men's. Looks like equal opportunity unfairness to me. :)Jul 21, 2011 at 12:27 pm #1761675
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
"Why would a company spend and equal amount of time, energy and resources on both men's and women's outdoor goods when ~90% of their sales are men's products?"
Maybe it is 90% because there is nothing of interest to women?
And who is designing and marketing the clothes? Men?
I have bought a lot of clothes for my wife. And there is a huge selection… if you want to keep it in your pack, and take it out to wear to a restaurant on the way home, and the lady has a body like an anoretic model.
Rail Riders has some clothing that is designed similar to mens for functionality, and some of their stuff is slim and trim and a fashion model would look good in it.Jul 21, 2011 at 12:31 pm #1761680
I had this discussion years ago with golite,and they wouldn't believe that a woman would wear anything but the pretty princess stuff.I suggested that since they already had the colors and materials for the mens lines and all the technical feedback on what works and is functionable,why not at least offer a few items in women's sizes and see what happens.Well they gave no answer and nothing changed.
+1 on what Nick said also!And Ben you probably will never understand until you've walked in someoene elses high heels:) but I bet you could find some on sale!Jul 21, 2011 at 12:35 pm #1761683
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
I agree, Diane and Anna! So much women's "outdoor" clothing is unusable in real-life backpacking situations! It's amazing how much of the women's clothing at REI is cotton! (Did you guys ever look at the fabric tags in women's sport clothing?) Plus, as you say, the supposition that all active women have skinny frames. We "hourglass" shaped females with wider frames, especially wider hips, don't stand a chance, and we can't wear men's clothing because of the wide hips.
Another complaint: low-waist pants, which I can't wear thanks to my ample derriere and which also put my pants waistband right under the pack hipbelt.
Yet another gripe: bright (!) pastel colors in all women's clothing which are, IMHO, visual pollution and which show the dirt. The only other choice is black which shows off my perpetually-shedding blond dog's hair. At least the bright colors become somewhat muted after a few days on a dusty trail. Too much use of my least favorite colors, what I call "bink and burple," in women's stuff. One of the worst is that horrible vomit green ("gecko green") that Patagucci has been using for both sexes.
Pockets in women's pants are so shallow that I don't dare carry anything in them (like a knife) without fear of losing it!
That women's rain jacket of course is lighter! For one thing, it's a lot shorter, so it hangs to just barely below the waist!Jul 21, 2011 at 12:43 pm #1761686
"Maybe it is 90% because there is nothing of interest to women?"
Is that what's keeping more women from backpacking?
Possibly, but I doubt it. I just don't think many women have discovered they were into backpacking, but decided not to partake in it because of a poor color selection.
Please understand I'm just playing devil's advocate and I would love to see more options available for women, especially if it meant more of them would be able to enjoy the outdoors.Jul 21, 2011 at 12:43 pm #1761687
Honestly, I think there needs to be more non-gender stuff in the backpacking space. There have been a few items that I have looked at a piece of gear and thought that the look/color/weight were interesting enough only to find out that they were labeled as a woman's product (all joking aside, please, as the products I refer to looked as if they could be worn by either). Besides backpacks being tailored differently for women (straps, hips), most technical gear doesn't have to be completely different for both sexes. I know that some manufacturers do list right on their products both sizes on the same garment (M9/W7). If you really aren't interested in the cutesy colors, why not just picked up an appropriately sized men's version if it is a better price (i.e. on sale)?Jul 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm #1761689
Mark,I am 5' tall and 107lbs if you know of any mens clothing line that comes in that size let me know I would love it.Jul 21, 2011 at 1:04 pm #1761699
@aaronmbLocale: Central Valley California
This is an interesting thread.
My Lady has a "womens" PataG' Nano Puff and a "womens" GL Jam2. Though she often says "Yeah, that's cute," everything else she wears on the trail is found in the Men's/Boy's (size XL) section.Jul 21, 2011 at 1:05 pm #1761700
@kat_pLocale: Pacific Coast
I think partly it is a result of what the majority of women buyers want. Cute over functional. Ridiculous pockets are part of that. I have been trying to point this out to my daughter with very little results.
Separate issue is gear that is not clothing , but I wish was available in much smaller sizes. Small sleeping bags, tarptents ( my sublite could be a foot shorter), poles etc. I know there are small, children versions at REI, but I would like the real quality stuff. Same with work clothes and tools. Not much luck there either.Jul 21, 2011 at 1:09 pm #1761703
@rcowmanLocale: Canadian Rockies
My friend is 5' and 104lbs and he fits the Mens XS Arc'teryx, and the Patagonia XS mens.
Function before fashion stuff I've seen at the places I've worked…(IMO don't flame me please…)
Mountain Equipment Co-op
Cloudveil(all the shirts are white for some reason)
Arc'teryx (my very curvy friend loves the rampart pants)
Montbell(from what I've seen online)
Royal Robins (expedition line, expensive here in Canada)
some of the Exofficio stuff.
Working in the outdoor retail industry, the Womens clothing department is heavily centered on travel fashion. most of the time the Womens clothing sales come from women shopping while their husbands/boyfriends/brothers shop.
Being of the younger generation (under 25) all my female friends who do climb and backpack still want it to be fashionable. It seems as you gain more experience(or age I tried to say it politely) You don't care as much about the "fashion" and want something that works, and will keep working.
Sorry color wise though they pick some gross colors and prints, can't help you there…Jul 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm #1761708
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
I'll fess up that as I get older I want cuter clothing. I don't want to dress in non-gender specific pants. Yes, I started buying "lifestyle clothing" that I could wear to the gym, out walking, out on rail to trails pushing the baby in his jogger and even on the trail. Even my shoes have gone this way.
I have countless pairs of hiking pants I ignore now. Give me soft yoga pants any day!
There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good while being outside. Yeah, I used to make fun of it….but I came around.Jul 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm #1761714
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
Well first of all, I would highly advise people against wearing bright colors in the outdoors. I remember climbing to the top of a mountain in Denali National Park and I was enjoying the amazing, breathtaking view until some yuppie wearing the most bright, retina melting red jacket caught my eye about 4 miles down in the narrow valley. It kinda ruined it for me.
It's also a good way to get your stuff stolen if you set up a base camp.
So if you are talking about fashion, I don't know what you are getting at. But I do agree there needs to be more womens clothing where it matters, as far as fit and comfort. There seem to be more and more women backpackers on the trails these days.
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