Our 2017 Women’s Gear Guide: 11 pieces of top gear for female crushers.
CLIMBING BRANDS have been coming out with more and more women’s-specific gear to fit the growing female market. For our 2017 Women’s Issue, we tested a little bit of everything to get you geared up to climb. (For more reviews, visit climbing.com/womensgear2017.)
EXPEDITION GEM DEUTER GUIDE 40 SL
The Guide 40 SL pack is specially designed to fit women, thanks to subtle tweaks like taking an inch off height and diameter, adding an angled, more conical hip belt to accommodate a woman’s pelvis, and bolstering the padding on the shoulder straps. Raved our tester, “The slim, women’s- specific frame fit my back like a glove, and the cushioned VariFlex waistband comfortably transferred weight to my hips.” She wore her pack up and down scrambly approaches in Boulder Canyon without a problem thanks to the pack’s narrow profile and body- hugging back pads. The pack has dual compartments: The top held “all my climbing gear, a rope, helmet, and water bladder ( with hydration compatibility),” while the bottom stored her rock shoes separately. Overall, our tester was “super satisfied with this gem, even down to the little flower hair tie that comes with it.” $179, deuter.com
TOUGH FABRIC, BELTED FIT BLACK DIAMOND WOMEN’S ALPINE LIGHT PANTS
“Tough yet breathable” is how our tester described the Black Diamond Women’s Alpine Light Pants. The pants use a four-way stretch material woven with a DWR finish, for a light yet durable feel while also protecting from precip. Weighing 9 ounces, the pants “move like they aren’t there.” They also have two back pockets, two front pockets, a zipper thigh pocket, and adjustable cuffs. After wearing them in Icicle Canyon, Washington, our tester noted, “My fave feature was the integrated belt that secures at the top to prevent crack attack.” $99, blackdiamondequipment.com
EVER DRY THE NORTH FACE SUMMIT SERIES L5 RAIN JACKET
This stylish, impermeable rain jacket both looks and feels good— light on the body but tough on the elements thanks to its two- ply polyester GORE-TEX 3L shell with GORE C- Knit technology. Our tester wore the L5 on a rainy approach in Boulder Canyon, where it kept her “completely dry,” with remarkable wind blocking; plus, with its low profile, it was easy to stuff in her pack once the rain stopped. The jacket was roomy around the arms and shoulders, making it easy to add extra layers underneath. Our tester also appreciated the plus- sized, laminated wire- brim hood, which lets you easily form the hood over your helmet. $450, thenorthface.com