Field Gear for Women


The number of women engaged in field research is continually increasing.  Women face unique challenges when working in the field.  A check of any sporting goods store or catalog will quickly reveal that rugged, high quality field gear is primarily made and marketed for men.  Even finding a pair of heavy denim jeans can be a challenge (and is usually more expensive than comparable men’s clothing). For example, most of the available hiking boots in women’s sizes are more suited to walking the shopping mall and campus rather than meeting the rigorous demands of a long field season.  Given that women are generally smaller and of a different shape than men, other basic equipment such as backpacks, firearms, and sleeping bags are often sub-optimal.  Any woman that has had to carry a large load of Sherman traps with long straps made to fit a man’s body will know this well.  The boxes hang so low that they continually hit your knees and you are slowed while setting transects because you can’t physically reach the traps in the box while it hangs from your shoulder (generally requiring you to stop and set the box down to get a trap out). 

This page provides a list of outdoor gear companies that specifically market to women.


On-line Stores


Alpine Women.—Offers outdoor clothing and gear for women as well as information and advise for women involved in outdoor activities.  Particularly focused on backpacking, climbing and winter needs.


MSOutdoor.--Offer outdoor clothing and gear specifically for women.  Particularly focused on clothing, camping and climbing.  Offer a selection of Sierra Design sleeping bags designed for women.


Tomboy.—Offer outdoor clothing and gear specifically sized for women.  Particularly focused on clothing; includes waders, backpack-style gun strap.


Sierra Designs Women’s Clothing.—Offer outdoor clothing designed for women.


Sierra Designs Sleeping Bags.—Offer specially designed sleeping bags for women.  Web page allows you to search for recommended bags by your gender, height and other factors.


Michigan Snowshoe Center.—Have women’s snowshoe department