Test Drive – Women’s Specific Gear

This past weekend I got the chance to test out some new gear, recreationally of course, from some of my favorite Outdoor brands. An emerging trend that is starting to really gain momentum within the industry is the expansion of Womens-specific items. Brands are not just shrinking down existing product and injecting it with bubble gum pink, they are really starting to do their homework by designing ergonomically correct, color relevant, apparel and gear. Groundbreaking right? Well I think so. Here are a few of top picks for the season, some of this product will be available at retail this Spring, so start getting excited for design-driven satisfaction!

The JanSport Traverse day pack is both comfortable for light hiking and visually pleasing for those concerned maintaining a tight kit. It was actually one of our Editor’s picks at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in August. It boasts a slender silhouette with slim shoulder straps, a hip belt and perforated EVA foam on the back panel for increased ventilation. What really caught my eye is the unique color combo of mint, dove grey and chartreuse. I can’t tell you how many times I have NOT purchased a product because it was magenta.

Another product I am in LOVE with is the Camelbak eddy insulated water bottle. The 100% BPA-free bottle with double-walled insulation, helped to keep my water crisp, but cut down on exterior condensation. This was the perfect accessory for my quick trip to Pt. Mugu State Park just outside of Oxnard in SoCal. A slightly slimmer shape, made it easier for me to grip, and as I mentioned before, color is a main priority for me, so the updated palette of lavender and turquoise met all my aesthetic needs.

For footwear I hiked in some older boots, but when I got back to camp, I quickly changed into my new La Paz sandals from Keen. I pretty much did almost everything off the trail in these babies. “Sport” sandals are like the red-headed step child of the Outdoor industry. They are usually clunky, dated and resemble something that you would see in the orthopedic section of a sad and dismal department store. Well, scratch that idea…these sandals are minimal, modern and functional. I opted for a stark shade of black, and to be honest, I have been wearing them almost everyday since they arrived at my office (don’t tell my fashion friends).

As all women know, one of the most important items you can have when getting your active on is a supportive and comfortable sportsbra. The Jubralee by Moving Comfort hits the mark for me. This is the first bra developed and wear tested in the company’s biomechanics lab from prototype to production — sounds so fancy. With a direct influence from the womens ready-to-wear market, this particular style comes in a stunning sorbet shade that is right on trend. Fun Fact: In one hour of aerobic exercise, an unsupported 34D breast moves about 1,000 vertical feet. Jubralee reduces vertical motion by roughly 450 feet, the height of a 45-story building. No big deal.

All and all, these products go above an beyond to fill the gap for womens-specific items, lets just hope more brands get the hint and step up their power babe-game. After all, this is the year of Active-influenced fashion on the runways, it is time to take advantage of that! – Jeanine Pesce

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