Friday, September 4, 2009

Women's Outdoor Clothing

We've got a great thread about women's clothing design going over on over here at Mountain Hardwear's fun site. But I thought I'd elaborate more on women's clothing design gone really bad...or really well.

The story I was telling on that thread involved a outerwear shell being too short (an unnamed brand). While my torso is pretty normal sized I still find that women's jackets are sometimes too short. Mainly because the trend the past few years has been to show "butt cleavage" and unfortunately many outdoor companies started designing their tops shorter and their pants with a lower rise.

Ugg, I mean really who wants to think about their undies while playing outside?

Anyway, we were doing a winter hike up Mt Lafayette in New Hampshire. Pretty popular, semi tame mountain. Every year people get stuck or lost out there.

Betty Mountain Girl

Winter Hiking not on Lafayette

When we got above treeline the wind was sustained around 40 mph (we checked when we got home) with gusts of over 60 mph. I like to call winds at 25-35 annoying, 35-45 difficult, and above that I have significant trouble standing up right.

Misty on Piper Mountain

Misty having absolutely no trouble given she has four legs

Given those winds and the temp already in the single digits, we were dealing with some significant cold. Wearing full winter gear that I've used successfully in many challenging weather conditions- I was all covered up- except for my new jacket. Face protected, ski goggles, layers of hand protection. The few bits of skin my fellow climbers had exposed turned white instantly.

Piper Mountain

The whole time we were above treeline I was constantly having to pull my jacket down. The short size combined with the wind was making it fly around everywhere. When we got below treeline, I realized how itchy the line was between my jacket and pants. Further investigation led me to realize that I had a nice thin band of frost nip around my stomach from exposure to the temps.

Piper Mountain
I think that sign says something like- bring your mittens

Stinkin jacket. By the way- it wasn't Mt Hardwear. In case you were wondering.

So what about you? Features you like or don't like? I'm afraid I have quite a list. Like elastic around cuffs- yucky. Give me straps that are sturdy any day.

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