BIG RE­VIEW

Our 2017 Women’s Gear Guide: 11 pieces of top gear for fe­male crush­ers.

Climbing - - CONTENTS - COMPILED BY JO­HANNA FLASHMAN

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

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