When I first opened the box for this hoodie, I was instantly in love.
The color? So beautiful, lush, and deep.
The feel? The softest hoodie I have ever felt.
The quality? Absolutely stunning.
I couldn't wait to put it on and try it out. I happened to have plans to sip Sangria at an outdoor vineyard in my area that evening, so I didn't have to wait long. The forecast was cold and windy, a perfect combo to try this hoodie out. I slipped it on with my favorite pair of jeans (so cute together) and headed out to the vineyard. When we arrived, I got out of my car, and it was cold and windy, but I was warm and cozy in this hoodie. Not only did it feel so good against my skin, but I stayed warm even while drinking cold Sangria in winter weather. I also got a ton of compliments on it. I knew this hoodie would perform well on the trail in even harsher conditions and was even more excited to really put it to the test.
I got that chance just a week later when we had a major winter storm moving into Southern California. Our local mountain, Palomar, was forecasting up to 2' of snow in less than 24 hours, wind, and frigid temperatures. It was exactly the conditions I was looking for, plus I am always up for a snowshoeing trip! We headed up the mountain, and mother nature didn't disappoint- it was near perfect snowshoeing conditions. The hoodie worked well for the strenuous activity. It kept me warm, was breathable, and was super comfortable. I had multiple layers on and adjusted as needed throughout the day. The hoodie performed exceptionally well.
I love how this hoodie is super lightweight, breathable, and packable. It works well both on and off the trail and is unbelievably warm for how light it is. It fits super well, and the cut looks good on, so it is a piece of clothing you can wear anywhere and look good. It is well made- specifically made to be used for backpacking and climbing. According to AGC, "the knit structure and fiber properties allow perspiration to escape while retaining its amazing insulating properties easily. Its exceptional properties allow it to be worn in a wide range of temperatures". Since I have only worn it in cold temperatures so far, I am excited to see how it feels when it isn't so cold.
According to AGC, "All-Paca™ Fleece is designed to wear with one layer or multiple layers under it. Alpaca Fiber doesn't absorb much moisture, and it dries really quickly. Our fleece is not at all thick or bulky and is warmer than other types of fleece that are much bulkier. Most importantly, Alpaca insulates even when it's wet. Down and synthetics will not insulate when wet. Alpaca is truly one of Nature's high-performance fibers, and it is very soft and comfortable to wear."
The Trail Seam™ - The unique 100% Alpaca fiber fabric deserved a seam that would be worthy of Adventure. AGC designed their Trail Seam™ for tremendous toughness and durability, so you can be confident the gear will perform under extreme stress and prolonged usage. The hoodies and shirts have been thousands of miles and experienced millions and millions of rubs under backpack straps - and the Trail Seam™ has consistently met those stringent demands.
Weft Knit - 100% Alpaca fiber is knitted into a unique fabric that provides exceptional performance. Their special knit structure resists “running” - so if you poke a hole in it while you are in the backcountry, the hole may get slightly larger over time, but you don’t have to worry about the hole turning in to a long “run” as experienced in many lightweight knits.
Lightweight - Ensures this is a shirt you'll never hesitate to throw in your pack.
“Regular Fit” Style - Not too snug and not too loose. It looks great and allows for a full range of motion. Natural fibers perform at their optimal level when allowed a little room to breathe.
Longer tail - Provides coverage and allows for free movement.
Women's All-Paca Fleece Hoodie weights (varies from lot to lot):
XS - 8 oz.,
S - 9 oz.
M - 10 oz.
L - 11 oz.
XL - 12 oz.
A little bit about Appalachian Gear Company:
Appalachian Gear Company is an outdoor lifestyle company specializing in performance-based clothing and equipment manufactured in the United States. We're combining 45 years in the textile industry with countless miles logged on trails across the country to introduce innovative products that provide performance and value while minimizing environmental impact. Their lightweight Hoodies, Shirts, Beanies, and Gaiters are all made from 100% Alpaca yarn spun to their specifications. They knit their fabrics in their North Carolina, USA facility utilizing a Patent Pending process. Their garments are constructed in various sewing facilities located in the Southeast USA, supporting other small businesses.
We’ve always been big fans of KÜHL® gear and the women’s Weekendr Tight Leggings are no exception. We wanted to see if they lived up to the hype of being “high abrasion resistant”, comfortable, and lightweight so we put them through some pretty rigorous testing. From sliding down rough granite boulders in Joshua Tree National Park to hiking in wet weather in Mount Laguna and many places in between, we found these pants definitely live up their hype and then some.
If you are not familiar with KÜHL®, their story is pretty cool (pun intended 😊). KÜHL® was born in the snow-covered peaks of the Wasatch Mountains and is proud to be an independent company with no shareholders or VC investors. They do not pay celebrities or athletes for promotion- they just create great products that speak for themselves. Living in the harsh weather and challenging conditions of the mountains was a learning experience that taught them if you’re courageous, remain humble, stay hungry, are kind to your community, then the independents will thrive. They know their livelihood depends on people like us and our satisfaction with their product and they never forget that.
Their goal is to create gear that works as hard as we do. Some of the features they do well are articulated knees, gussets, stretch panels, reinforced pockets, and cuffs all designed to create a longer life. Their clothing is designed to move with the person wearing it. They also source responsibly, provide a higher quality of living for all involved, and make their products with the least amount of environmental impact.
So when we got the chance to put some of their gear, including the Weekendr Tights to the test we were so excited!
The WEEKENDR™ Tight are women's lightweight hiking pants designed for the outdoors. High abrasion resistant fabric won't snag or pull on any adventure in the wild.
Sizing: XS(2), S(4-6), M(8-10), L(12-14), XL(16)
Fabric 1: TUFFLITE™ 76% Nylon, 9% Polyester, 15% Spandex | 186 GSM
Fabric 2: RIPSTOP AIR™ 96% Polyester, 4% Spandex | 163 GSM
Fabric 3: (Waistband) 89% Polyester, 11% Spandex | 220 GSM
Machine wash cold with like colors, no bleach, tumble dry low
Different by Design
Front conceal zippered pockets and chino back pockets
29" inseam for this pant is Regular length and is meant to hit at the ankle
Bottom leg opening: 8.5
DIFFERENT BY CONSTRUCTION
Technical, lightweight pant with stretch
Durable Water Repellent Finish
High abrasion-resistant body fabric
Martindale abrasion test rating: passes 20k rubs
Stretch woven wicking mesh panels throughout pant
Trail-ready, comfortable and flattering lightweight leggings for women
So how did they do?
They definitely lived up to the claim of being “high abrasion resistant”, comfortable, lightweight, and flattering. After sliding down rough granite boulders in Joshua Tree that would have shredded my normal hiking pants we were definitely impressed. They are super lightweight, move well with you, and are very comfortable. They dry quickly (we submerged them in a river crossing) even though they are water resistant. They look really cute on too! They make excellent technical hiking pants and will be our “go-to” travel pants once we can travel again because of their compactness, durability, and comfort. We loved the back pockets but were disappointed with the size of the front pockets as we would have loved them to be a bit bigger. The fit is true to size with a bit of stretch. The ankles are slim fitting.
All in all, we would recommend these pants for their durability, comfort, and look! If you are looking for a technical pair of hiking tights that will last a long time, look cute, and are very comfortable these are the pants for you. Plus, we love supporting independent hiking companies 100%!
Purchase yours here.
I couldn’t wait to wear my new Ruggette "The Pants" on a hike but with the recent heatwaves and fires that resulted in the closure of California’s National Forests it took me awhile to be able to finally wear them on the trail. That is until last weekend when the smoke cleared, the temperatures dropped, and we got the chance to hike seven miles on our favorite local trail in Palomar Mountain State Park. Before the sun was even shining, I slid into my pair of Ruggette pants, laced up my trail runners, grabbed my pack, and jumped in the car- so excited to finally get to the mountains after what seemed like some very long weeks. Although I had worn the pants around the house a bunch and loved them, I was excited to try them on the trail as I am always looking for new hiking pants.
After parking at the trailhead and heading out on the trail, within the first mile of our hike, I was hooked. These pants are comfortable, yet durable, but what got me are the pockets galore. Pockets are generally a sore subject for us outdoor women with the fact that most major outdoor companies just don’t think we need them, and most of the time if there are pockets they are limited and small and not much use. These pants are designed with multiple large pockets (YES!!!)- I actually had options as to what pockets to use and wasn’t limited to just one that barely worked.
I also really love the high waist on the pants because they don’t fall or roll down like many of the yoga pants I wear on the trail. I didn't get distracted once by having to pull up my pants and was able to keep my attention on the beauty around me. The waist band is stretchy in the back and has plenty of give with a double snap closure and zipper fly. They are made from a 53% hemp, 44% PET (recycled polyester), and 3% spandex blend so they’re super comfortable, light, but still have structure and look cute. And if you didn’t know, according to Ruggette, hemp is a super fabric- it has earned the title as one of the most eco friendly fabrics in the world because it requires no pesticides, produces oxygen, can be cultivated in as few as 100 days, controls topsoil erosion, and is hypo allergenic. They also have a drawstring and toggle spring clasp in the bottom pant hem so you can close the pants around your ankles- which I love when I’m wearing them with my Earth Runner sandals. Currently they come in the wine color (which I love) and they plan to make more colors in the future.
As much as I love the pants, it is also equally important to me to support women owned businesses, especially ones who get it. The founders Lily and Isabel definitely get it and make their gear “to smash the gender-specific adventure gap by creating tough, sustainably sourced gear that feels good, looks good, and works for womxn of all identities, shapes, and sizes”. They have designed a technical outdoor pant for hikers and climbers that solve many of the issues we find with other brands.
And even though they are “technical”, I know they will be my go to travel pants as well. I’m seriously hooked. I do recommend ordering based on your measurements and not size as they run very small. I sized up two sizes from my normal size. I also recommend washing before wearing so they are extra soft. If you're looking for a pair of functional pants that are soft, durable, and look cute these are them!
Get your own pair of The Pants here.
Follow Ruggette on Instagram!
Co-Founder & CEO
With an overall rating of 4.5 stars, the Smith Lowdown 2 lives up to Smith Optics’ 55 years of experience producing innovative and authentic sunglasses and goggles. Did you know that Smith sunglasses are the largest eco-friendly sunglass collection in the world? Not only do they use recycled water bottles (5 to be exact) to make 100% of the CORE sunglass frame, the Lowdown 2 features Smith’s proprietary Evolve™ frame, which is made from 53% bio-based material in the injected-polymer sunglasses. To see a huge brand like Smith make these commitments to the environment makes us beyond happy and we are proud to share their products with you.
One of the features the Lowdown 2 offers as an option is the CHROMAPOP™ lenses. We LOVE these lenses. They make everything you’re looking at more crisp and defined. This enhances your outdoor experience that sometimes may feel limited while wearing other sunglasses. The CHROMAPOP™ lenses include a moisture resistant coating that makes them easy to clean and smudgeproof. The coating is anti-reflective and helps to reduce eye strain which is a great asset for those super long day hikes where your eyes feel so tired at the end of the day.
The lightweight Evolve™ frames fit well with a medium sized fit. They are extremely durable, and you barely notice the sunglasses while wearing them, so you are less worried about them getting damaged. The AutoLock hinges work great in holding the arms open which make them easy to pull on and off. Plus, the sunglasses stay put when closed and hanging on your shirt or sunglass loop on your backpack’s shoulder strap.
The Megol nose pads are extremely comfortable and keep the glasses put even when you are sweaty and moving through the wild. We also really like the classic style of the glasses- they will never go out of style. They are offered in multiple colors and lens styles. You can opt for the non CHROMAPOP™ lenses but we would recommend spending the extra money on the CHROMAPOP™ lenses as you will not be disappointed! Plus Smith stands behind their sunglasses and offers a manufacturer’s defect lifetime warranty and they will last you for years to come.
Tony is wearing the matte black with blue mirror Lowdown 2 sunglasses with Chromapop. The blue mirror ChromaPop lenses feature a gray base lens color with a deep blue mirror finish boosted with ChromaPop color enhancement technology to maximize clarity and help you effortlessly see more detail. Best for areas of high sun exposure, this lens is polarized and built on our carbonic lens platform. Provides 100% protection from harmful UVA/B/C rays.
VLT = 14%
Get your Lowdown 2 sunglasses here!
Here at Hike It Off our intention has always been to build a community that aligns with our core values and our audience and their needs. We work with brands that not only we think are awesome and unique, but are a brand we can really rally for- whether that’s because of their innovative products, their commitment to the environment, or being a brand founded/run by a woman or BIPOC. So when we were offered to do a review for HydraPak’s new Flux™ 1 liter Ultra-light reusable bottle we were in!
Founded in 2001, Hydrapak’s mission is to “relentlessly create better hydration solutions for performance-driven people”. Inspired by their Northern California home, and the trails in their backyard- the Sierra Crest, Yosemite, the Redwoods, Hydrapak is constantly being driven to do more and to go beyond. They believe in performance driven design and spend thousands of hours on each detail to ensure their products are the last of your worries on any of your adventures. Their reputation and collaboration has earned them partnerships with brands like Salomon and Osprey, and this performance-driven attitude defines who they are.
Obviously we are all for reusable water bottles, especially ones that are ultra-light! One of the biggest impacts we can have on our planet is refusing to use single use bottles. Here are a few facts regarding single use plastic bottles and single use plastic products from Earthday.org:
The facts are harrowing, and we want to do everything we can to increase the use of reusable water bottles, including HydraPak’s new Flux™ 1 liter reusable bottle. We love The Flux because it is unique- it is shaped like a hard bottle but can compress down like a soft flask once it is empty saving pack space. It cuts weight by 60% and is designed with a bail handle that you can hold in your hand or secure to your pack.
Top features include:
I was so excited to do this review of Purple Rain Adventure Skirts! Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love this brand (so my review may be a little biased 😊). These skirts are just so comfortable, well thought out, and functional it would be hard to find anything you don’t like about them. Plus they are handmade by Mandy Bland in Oregon so there is an added bonus of supporting a woman owned small business when you purchase one. Literally these skirts are a win/win!
For me, I love how they are designed. The waistband is similar to the top of most yoga pants- stretchy, soft, and super comfortable. It is woven with moisture wicking yarn to keep you dry and cool. It does have UV Protection of 40+ and is 90% Poly 10% Spandex. The skirts have functional pockets on each side that are large and sturdy enough to really hold stuff (my iPhone fits perfect in them). The skirt itself is super lightweight and durable. The first one I purchased years ago still looks brand new. It is made from 88% Polyester and 12% Spandex blend with a DWR finish. The skirts come in sizes XS-XXL and Mandy can also create a custom skirt via the custom order option if you would like a hiking skirt made to your specific measurements. This includes extended sizing and shorter/longer skirt length. There is also a kilt version designed for men as well.
I love how they feel when you wear them- completely unrestricted with good air flow. There are no sewn in undershorts so you have the freedom to wear whatever is most comfortable to you under them. They are perfect for a warm summer hike as they do not make you hot. When it is cooler outside, they fit perfectly with your favorite pair of leggings underneath. These skirts are also a great option for travel as they fold down to almost nothing so they are super easy to pack. They are cute enough to wear on or off the trail so they are multi-functional in where you can wear them.
Mandy wants to do her part in lessening the chemicals in many synthetic materials, especially when we are most active. She is currently working on finding more sustainable fabrics and is testing a new fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. She is hoping to move this material into the standard black skirt within a year. The current purple skirt is OEKO-TEX (worldwide recognized testing certification to prove it is made without harmful chemical) certified fabric.
You can get your own skirt here: http://www.purplerainskirts.com/
Follow Purple Rain Adventures on Facebook & Instagram
We seriously LOVE Cairn’s monthly subscription boxes! I surprised Tony with a subscription for Valentine’s Day over four years ago and we look forward to them every month. We actually have an agreement that we have to wait to open it when we’re together because we have so much fun seeing what comes wrapped up in that little brown box. A huge amount of the gear we’ve received has been highly useful, and we use many pieces of it on every day hike, backpacking trip, or both.
So, what is a Cairn subscription box? Basically, it’s a monthly subscription that we pay $29.99 a month for and receive a box with hiking related gear worth up to $50 in each box. Every month it is a surprise as to what the gear will be. The products in each box are always full-size (no samples), expertly curated and tested, and never an overstock or last season item. It’s always full of super legit stuff! We’ve found so many new products and companies that we may have never found without the subscription.
While we subscribe to the monthly collection, Cairn does offer a “premium” box, their Obsidian Collection. The Obsidian Collection is $249.95 every quarter and has up to 10 curated items in each box valuing up to $300. We cannot vouch for what comes in this box, but maybe someday we will upgrade to it and see.
Another thing we love about Cairn is that they donate to the Conservation Alliance with their Gear Up and Give Back ™program. They will mail you a bag free of charge to send any of your unwanted used gear and/or clothing from high quality outdoor brands to The Gear Fix who will repair your equipment, sell it in their shop, and the net proceeds will be matched by Cairn and Gear Fix, and donated to The Conservation Alliance.
We love that this little gift we give ourselves every month inspires us to get outside and try out the new stuff we received. The Cairn box subscription also makes an amazing gift for the hiker in your life and can be easily gifted for 1-12 months. So to show you what an average box looks like, we went live and opened our July shipment while hiking. We were actually able to use the items that came in the box on our hike!
To sign up for the monthly subscription box or the Obsidian Collection click here:
July Shipment- Eco Conscious Theme
Nomandix Eco Friendly Pack Towel
I actually was planning on buying a larger pack towel for my upcoming Sierra backpacking trip and then this amazing towel came in the box! It’s a bit heavy for backpacking, but our route is moderate so I am going to consider it a “luxury item” so it’s coming with me. This towel is made using certified post-consumer plastic bottles. Nomandix National Park Smokey Mountain pack towel is a top of the line yoga towel, beach towel, pool towel, and pack towel when you go camping or travel. They designed it to be versatile without sacrificing performance, so you can own less and do more.
Product specs are:
You can purchase the towel on its own for $39.95 here:
Ecovessel Stainless Steel Set of 4 Reusable Straws with Silicone Tips and Cleaning Brush
According to Ecovessel, did you know that Americans use 500 million drinking straws every day? To understand just how many straws 500 million really is, this would fill over 125 school buses with straws every day. We know the small size of the straws makes them harmful to the environment – they’re too small to go through most recycling equipment, so most end up in the oceans which can poison or injure fish and marine animals. Tiny pieces, called microplastics, become food for fish which end up on our dinner plates. The EcoVessel stainless steel 4 pack reusable straw set with soft silicone tips are a great alternative to wasteful single-use plastic straws. The straws are wide enough for smoothies and thicker beverages while being narrow enough to fit all of their tumbler lids. The included straw cleaner will ensure your straws stay clean and the silicone tips are soft and colorful. Product Specs are:
You can purchase the straw set on its own for $9.95 here:
All Good SPF 50+ Tinted Zinc Sunscreen Butter
I was so excited when I pulled this tin out of the box! All Good is one of my all-time favorite brands ever! They’re products are organic, high quality, smell delicious, and this sunscreen is reef friendly (oxybenzone free) so it won’t damage reefs when you wear it in the water like most sunscreens. I also adore that this company is woman founded (Caroline started it in her kitchen) and mostly women run. They care deeply about the environment, and run their production facility on solar power, use organic, high quality, cruelty free and reef friendly ingredients, oppose the use of GMO’s, use recycled and recyclable packaging, shipping and printed material, and give back 1% of sales to the planet. Plus they are super high vibe and you can tell they love what they do.
The Tinted Sunscreen Butter SPF 50 formula is a compact, reef friendly sunscreen tin that provides maximum UVA/UVB protection and it’s smooth, creamy texture applies effortlessly on the skin with a neutral tint coverage for most skin tones. Product specs are:
You can purchase your tin on its own for $10.99 here:
As you can see this shipment had some amazing products worth $60.89 and we will use very single one of them!
To sign up for the monthly subscription box or the Obsidian Collection click here: https://www.getcairn.com/collections/subscribe
Follow Cairn on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/getcairn
& IG https://www.instagram.com/getcairn/
A seed was planted in 1986 while paddling the Boundary Waters between Minnesota and Ontario in founders Jeff Knight and Dan Cruikshank minds. They realized there was a need for better outdoor gear. After that trip, Jeff and Dan set out to make the best gear possible. For the past 30 years, Granite Gear’s team of product designers and engineers have done just that, built gear that has gained a following of dedicated fans and proven their product’s durability in some of the toughest environments, including Mount Everest, the North and South Poles, and thousands of miles of everyday wear and tear. Today, Granite Gear is going strong and expanding their products from stuff sacks, to ultralight packs, to ultra-durable packs that meet the demands of soldiers. Just like their name, Granite Gear is truly tougher than granite.
Granite Gear’s Unisex Crown2 38 Liter pack is the skinnier version of their thru hiker favorite, the Crown2 60. The pack is ultra light, and as we found out after many trail miles, ultra comfortable.
V.C. (Vapor Current) Mark 2 Frame with 35 lb (15 kg) load rating
Dual density shoulder harness with load-lifter straps and removable sternum strap
Re-Fit fully adjustable dual density hip belt (from 26" - 42")
Dual large hip belt pockets with DWR treated zippers
Roll-top main compartment opening with centered dual strap and singular buckle for quick access and easy compression.
Removable lid has a compartment with DWR treated zipper
Hydration port & internal hydration sleeve
Large size stretch woven pockets
Stretch mesh front pocket
Side and front compression straps
Robic High-tenacity nylon (100D and 210D)
Torso Size = Regular 18" - 21" / 46 cm - 54 cm
Volume = 38 liters / 2320 cu in
The pack weighs in at just around 3lbs with the removable pack lid and removable frame sheet. It weighs 2.1 lbs without the lid, and 1.6 without the lid and frame sheet. The pack has a maximum comfort load of 35lbs, making it a great option for long day hikes, winter hikes when you need to carry extra gear, and multi day hikes.
The comfort comes from the patent-pending fully adjustable Re-Fit hip belt, Vapor Current Mark 2 compression molded PP frame sheet with molded foam back panel, and dual density shoulder harness with load-lifter straps and removable sternum strap. The pack is designed to be unisex, and fit both both of us just as well as any of our other packs specifically designed just for men or women.
Granite Gear is known for the durability of their packs and the Crown2 38 lives up to that reputation. Although it is rated as an UL pack, the sturdy construction and design of the pack will ensure a long lifetime of use. Granite Gear’s packs include a limited lifetime warranty where packs are warranted to the original owner for the lifetime of the product against defects in materials or workmanship under normal recreational use. If your granite gear product fails due to material or manufacturing defect, they will repair or replace it at their option.
Get your Crown2 38 here:
A company that cares.
After being inspired by the Packing it out Team, they met at the Appalachian Trail Days in 2015, Granite Gear founded the Grounds Keepers Program. Through the program, Granite Gear and other sponsors are able to support hikers who want to “Leave it Better” and pack out trash as they hike long trails and parks and paddle waterways and lakes around the country.
The Grounds Keepers are individuals who previously completed or are currently completing a thru-hike or various section hikes, (such as the PCT, AT, AZT, PNT, SHT) and have a passion for Leave No Trace ethics, are strong in mind and body, and are committed to doing their very best to pick up as much trash as possible while outdoors. Since the first team in 2017, Grounds Keepers have picked up more than 6,630lbs of trash, mostly micro trash, like bar wrappers, bottle lids and toilet paper.
Grounds Keepers are fitted with the following gear for their hike:
1 multi-day backpack or 1 portage pack, 1 Dump Trunk (Tactical Line), 1 Stuffsack of their choice, 1 Toughsack, 1 pair of gloves and 1 scale
Each Grounds Keeper is given two pairs of Altra Running shoes of their choice, plus gaiters if needed
Five meal packets from Backpacker's Bistro
1 reusable water bottle from Klean Kanteen
T-shirts from Recover Brands
1 Kula Cloth
The goal of Grounds Keepers is to inspire as many hikers to value our outdoors areas and pack out trash. They believe, and we support them, that trash in our outdoor spaces is everyone’s responsibility. You can follow along to also be inspired by the pounds of trash picked up on Instagram.
Join in and use #TheGroundsKeepers for a chance to be featured for doing your part of keeping our outdoor spaces litter free.
Meet the 2019 team here:
Overall, we loved this pack and would recommend it for many uses. A huge thank you to Granite Gear for making a wonderful pack and caring about our outdoor spaces.
Cheers to the Gear!
As a 5'9" tall woman with a super long torso and "junk in the trunk" finding hiking clothing that fits well has always been a challenge. Pants are usually too short and bottoms are too tight in the rear and saggy at the waist. So I can empathize with all the women who just can't seem to find anything that fits, especially if the brand doesn't even carry your size.
One of our criteria for our gear reviews includes whether or not that brand carries plus sized gear and clothing. It is so important for women of all shapes to be included in the outdoors and good gear and clothing for us is a must. So I put a list of my top 5 favorite brands that also carry plus sized clothing and/or gear that is legit.
PrAna makes my favorite hiking pants ever, the Halle Pant. They are durable, super comfortable, water resistant, breathable, have a 50 UPF sun protection and plenty of give. They just fit super well and look cute too. They offer them in sizes 00-22W and have short, regular, and tall inseams. The Halle Pant comes in multiple colors and has pockets! They are cross functional and can be used as climbing, hiking, office, travel, and hang out pants. Here's a video of me wearing them in action on a 4-day backpacking trip through Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite NP.
P.S. Ignore the terrified look on my face ( I hate log crossings).
2. Purple Rain Adventure Skirts
We love Purple Rain skirts and their Founder Mandy Bland. She is such an inspiration as an entrepreneur and Mom. Her innovative design for the skirts make them practical for the trail and so comfortable. They are lightweight, durable and dry in a flash with 88% Polyester/12% Spandex blend and DWR finish. They are super cute with leggings for added warmth and modesty. Waistbands are woven with moisture wicking yarn to keep you dry and cool and they have UV Protection 40+. They are sized XS-XXL and she also can custom make any size needed with a special order.
3. REI Co-Op
REI is doing an awesome job of adding more and more plus sized clothing and gear in their own brand and carrying more from other brands as well. I adore the Sahara shirt and literally live in them (hiking or not). It fits me way better than Columbia's version of a hiking shirt in the chest and is longer in the torso. They also have a more modern cut to them and work off trail too. The Sahara shirt has:
I love hiking in yoga/tights especially ones with side pockets for my phone. Athleta makes an awesome pair of 7/8 tights that have a side pocket hat my phone fits perfectly in. They are high quality and mid-waisted and come in sizes XS-2X with regular, tall, and petite inseams.
Pant details are:
Although I am not a fan of their sun shirts, Columbia makes some great jackets for the cost that come in sizes 00-3X. I have used my Columbia rain jacket for three seasons and it is still holding up and waterproof and I got it for less than $60 on sale!
Over Labor Day weekend we headed up to the Sierra for a 4 day/3 night backpacking trip hiking the Thousand Islands Lake Loop in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. I was lucky enough to receive a prototype Kula Cloth™ from Kula Cloth Founder and Musical Mountaineer, Anastasia Allison, to try out on this trip. Considering how much I practice Leave No Trace Principles (click here to if you don’t know what they are) and believe they are vital to keeping our trails and back country clean, I was super excited to try out the Kula Cloth™ and hopefully use much less toilet paper and have a safe antimicrobial p-cloth option. Plus I love supporting small women owned hiking businesses so the whole concept was a win/win for me.
If you haven’t noticed, toilet paper litter on trails is a major issue. On every hike I go, whether it’s just a day hike or multi-day backpacking trip, there is toilet paper all over the trail. It is so frustrating to see, especially because it’s so simple to dispose of properly. But there is a side of it I get, it’s gross to pack it out and not everyone carries a shovel to bury it properly- hence the TP strewn trails. Anastasia has created a re-useable and affordable product that addresses this and is a simple and easy way not to contribute litter the trail.
So how did it work?
Amazing! I give the Kula Cloth™ 10 bright and shiny stars. It is a great product and will become a staple piece of gear for my backpack. I can say I saved a bunch of TP and my trash bag was much lighter hiking out on day four. I highly recommend one for all women hikers, whether you’re a day hiker or backpacker. It really is an innovative and useful product that is easy to use. Anastasia hopes to see a Kula Cloth™ on every backpack and dreams of a day it will be used for more than just backpacking and outdoor related activities. She hopes it will become a piece of gear for all women military personal while in the field and an option for women in underdeveloped countries with lack of feminine hygiene resources.
So what are the benefits of using one besides using less TP on a hike?
Visit https://kulacloth.com/ to get more information or purchase yours. You can also follow on Facebook here and Instagram here. While you’re at it, check out https://www.facebook.com/themusicalmountaineers/ too!