This post may come off as a little passionate – well, because it is. Having the right gear makes spending more time outdoors a LOT easier – and of course more enjoyable! Companies are continually introducing new women’s outdoor gear – and the market is expanding. It can be tough to know which product to pick in a cinch. Because my soul sisters seeking adventure deserve all the help they can get, this list details my favorite women’s outdoor gear in 2017. I only included items on this list which have performed exceptionally well (and held up to some abuse), and would buy again in a heartbeat.
Just to be clear: No one is paying me to review a single one of the items I’m noting below, and I do not have affiliations with any of the sites I link to. I’m just writing about them because I really believe in the quality of the product!
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent ($400)
All hail the perfect backpacking tent! On top of having a name that makes me laugh every time I say it, the MSR Hubba Hubba is super easy to put up and take down (I put it up for the first time in under 5 minutes, and it’s only gotten quicker from there). It’s super light to minimize the weight in your pack, AND packs down super small so you can take either a smaller pack or fit more stuff. For one person, you’ll be basking in heaps of space, and for two, you’re still comfortable (in fact, my husband, me, AND my dog have ALL slept comfortably in it at the same time!) The only downside of this tent is that it’s a little pricey – but with care, it’s going to last a LOOOONNNGGG time.
MPowerd Luci Lux Inflatable Solar Lantern ($20)
Let’s be honest. It doesn’t happen very much when you’re outdoors that someone asks “Where did you get that”? But I get it all the time with MPowerd’s Luci light, and I’ve been singing this trusty little solar lantern’s praises from our first outing together! The lantern charges in around 7 hours and can run for up to 18 on a single charge. It’s inflatable (so it packs down to nothing, and can easily be strapped on your pack to charge while you’re hiking), AND it’s waterproof. For the icing on the cake – if you buy it in the “frosted” finish, the lighting is super flattering – no horrible fluorescence for you!
REI Trail 25 Pack – Women’s ($70)
Too big, too small, too expensive, not enough pockets, awkward straps… the REI Trail 25 pack fit squarely into the “Goldilocks Zone” for daypacks, and has become a trusted travel partner even for non-outdoors trips. There’s a handy little mesh pocket on the inside to hold keys and valuables; a sleeve for a hydration reservoir, and multiple side pockets for stashing water bottles, sunglasses, and the like. It’s super comfy to wear, with the padding on the straps engineering specifically for the female physique, and comes in significantly cheaper than most other high-quality backpacking brands. Women’s outdoor gear: Winning!
prAna Halle hiking pants ($85)
Now it’s time to get a little superficial. Lots of hiking pants allow you to store your stuff in lots of handy pockets, and allow for ease of movement – but not nearly as many are as stylish while they do it. Technically a climbing pant, the prAna Halle has a slim fit and versatility that translates easily over to the camping and hiking world – and even casual Fridays at the office. Water repellent finish keeps you dry in moderately moist conditions, and reinforcement at the knees allows these pants to take a beating for your adventures. They’ll start competing for the title of your favorite pair of pants, period, very quickly.
REI Joule 21 sleeping bag ($299)
Purchasing a sleeping bag was another decision that required a ton of research (after all, when you do it right, you don’t buy them very often, right?). I wanted a sleeping bag that would keep me warm in the cold (the Joule’s comfort zone is 21 degrees); weigh as little as possible in my backpack, and provide maximum fluffy comfort! Because this bag is so comfy, I actively look FORWARD to sleeping in it, instead of just enduring it – and being REI branded, it is a heck of a good value compared to other companies’ bags.
Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XTherm Sleeping Pad ($200)
How many people can say they sleep like a baby while out camping? In the same vein as the Joule (above), the investment in a sleeping pad required some research. The NeoAir XTherm is super light and small for your pack, designed for winter conditions (with a R-Value of 5.7!) so you stay warm all year round, and, most importantly, is SUPER COMFORTABLE. With this sleeping pad, and a good sleeping bag (Joule or otherwise), you’ll be cheerful as a lark at breakfast in the morning. Please, just try not to make your friends jealous.
Amazon Tap ($130)
All right, a portable speaker probably isn’t the most mandatory of women’s outdoor gear – but it sure can add to the experience when you’re sitting around a campfire with your friends! The Amazon Tap offers great sound and the ability to connect via WiFi or Bluetooth for a very reasonable pricetag. The battery has a pretty long charge – I’ve used it for up to 8 hours at a stretch – and Amazon offers the Sling ($20) to help protect it against bumps and drops when you’re out and about.
Do you have other women’s outdoor gear that you would recommend to a girlfriend in a heartbeat? Let us know in the comments below; we’re always on the lookout for the good stuff!
P.S. Are you headed outdoors? Check out our backpacking tips if you are planning an adventure!