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Thread: Question for the women on hunt clothing

  1. #1

    Default Question for the women on hunt clothing

    This year my wife accompanied me for three days on a caribou hunt. As soon as we pulled in to set up camp it was damp and rainy as we set off into the hills to start our hunt. As we got further away from camp the wind and rain picked up and turned into a good snow storm as we got higher into the hills. My wife was wearing mostly mountaineering gear as that's what she has to keep warm and dry. We both stayed pretty warm and relatively dry but it was nice to get into the tent and fire up the heater. The weather continued to worsen and after the trip she asked for better hunting gear for christmas. Even though we didn't get our caribou on this trip, she caught the bug as we sat and glassed and kept moving looking for caribou. I have searched for a few days on this site as well as others for reviews on women's hunting clothing but find little reviews on gear designed for women. I did see a thread was started in the women's hunting forum but can't read it. I have seen lots of threads leaning towards women wearing mens gear. My wife isn't picky and will wear mostly whatever as long as it is functional and keeps her warm and dry. I would like to find her some good gear designed for women. I have seen brands like Prois, Banded, Under Armour, Cabela's, Onyx, and Scent Blocker. Any of the women on the forum use any of these brands or others that you love and don't leave home without when heading into the Alaska wilderness? If any of the guys have bought great items for your wives or girlfriends and have reviews, I'll take that too. Thanks for any help on this, I really want to get her some high quality gear.


    Eric Taylor

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    My wife is pretty small (5'0"), and we have been almost entirely unable to find quality hunting-specific gear for her. She ends up using stuff designed for mountaineering/hiking - Arcteryx, Marmot, icebreaker, and the like. She does have one kids camo shirt from Sitka, but no hunting company that makes clothing suitable for Alaska mountain hunting serves the female market.

    As for Prois and the other female-specific brand (can't recall the name right now), we haven't tried them directly, but in looking at their gear it seems much more suited to whitetail hunting than sheep and caribou in the alpine. Not something I would trust my wife's safety to.

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    Prois is marketing pretty heavily to Alaskans over in the Women Hunting and Fishing Alaska Facebook group and a few women there seem to like their stuff, so it might be worth having her check in there and ask around. Personally, I can wear a men's small and so I do (other than in boots) - women's gear just doesn't seem to be as well-made and durable. Even Carhartts women's clothing doesn't really hold up.

    Another possibility is to check in with someone like Apocalypse Design and see if they'll make something to fit in camo.
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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I know a few ladies using Firstlite stuff and have been happy with it.

    http://www.firstlite.com/womens-artemis-hoody.html

    My wife really likes her Sporthill stuff, she is tiny at just over 5 foot and 100 pounds, about the only camo we ever found that fit. Most her other stuff is mountaineering brands.

    http://www.sporthill.com/womens-expedition-jacket/

    http://www.sporthill.com/womens-expedition-pant/

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  5. #5

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    My wife wears a quality boy's size outer shell and just the light Healy's for dry legs.
    She's in big trouble now though because I've spied some of the new light weight freighter frames ;-)

    (Actually, she is real trooper in field, more than helpful.)
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    My wife has some of the Sporthill- very nice stuff.

    Her other gear is a collection mis-matched outdoor stuff. No one really makes good quality women's mountaineering gear like sitka or kuiu in women's sizes. She does have some of the First Lite Base layers- great stuff, but hardly comprehensive. You're just talking a very small segment of an already small market, by contrast- deer hunters outnumber mountain hunters 1000 to 1.

    That said- you can get some great quality stuff in mountaineering brands and if you avoid the Day-Glo colors you won't hamper yourself. Camo is very much overrated.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  7. #7

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    My wife struggles from the same situation, as well as being quite petite (5'/100lbs). She almost exclusively wears mountaineering/skiing gear while hunting. And her pack is also a mountaineering style pack. Most of her gear is Arcteryx and ain't cheap
    http://www.arcteryx.com/product.aspx...Beta-AR-Pant-W .
    It's not too much more than the high end sitka stuff and since it's not camo she'll wear it for snowmachining and other outdoor adventures. The prios, UA, and other female "hunting" gear is pretty much garbage up here if the weather turns bad and seems to be more suited to tree stand midwest type hunting. When we lived in Montana she could get away with some of that stuff during bow season but once rifle season rolled around she was back into the mountaineering stuff.

    I went to the Sitka offices in Bozeman when I lived in Big Sky and suggested to them that they should get on the "huntress" bandwagon and the guy I spoke with said it was in the works but they were doing some more testing etc... That was almost 5 years ago so I'm not sure what happened. Maybe they decided it wouldn't pencil out. [I also suggested they make a jacket with a zip and roll up panel so you don't get a sweaty back while wearing a pack].

    Her gear not being camo doesn't seem to be an impairment. Most of the high end ski mountaineering gear comes in some type of earth tone. I did make some homemade camo using a stencil and spray paint on some of our older gear and it came out pretty good. I'm not convinced that camo really gives that much of an advantage so I haven't gone to town on our good gear. Although I did paint a couple pairs of zip off cargo pants that are my favorite fair weather pants now. http://blackjaxcamostencils.com/stor...=index&cPath=3

    My wife runs the retail department here at Alyeska resort and makes a point of ordering high end women's ski mountaineering gear in earth tones as a result of her struggles to find it elsewhere. If you're ever in Girdwood you might stop by and have a look. Some of the stuff she carries is also available at REI, but they are pretty anti-hunting so try not to give them too much of your $$ The new mountain view sports has a good selection and they are pro hunting.

    It'd be great if one of the hunting specific brands would figure it out and make some high end women specific stuff. Seems like Eva Shockey is getting close with her Under Armor gear but it still needs some more work in order to make the cut here in AK i think. Cabela's women's gear is really bulky and my wife is swimming in a size small from them so they've got a long way to go before they appeal to the female mountain hunter in my opinion. But they got the market covered if your gal needs a camo bikini. A point of contention with my wife.....

    Good luck on your hunt and make sure to keep the tags and receipts

  8. #8

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    This stuff isn't women specific but it does come in a men's XS so depending on what size your gal is it might be an option. I wear the day-glow version of this for work on the mountain and it works great (especially for the price). If it can hold up to snowmaking, tree cutting, working on heavy equipment, and Girdwet in September I think it'll hold up fine for a caribou hunt.
    http://shop.grundens.com/shop/new/ga.../#.Vltd4narTbg

  9. #9

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    Thanks for all the replies and advice everyone. My wife is tall at 5'10" and she even has some trouble finding some of the mountaineering stuff that fits her. I think I will start to focus on building up her base and mid layer gear with high quality items and take a look at stuff like the Grundens to pack for the really wet stuff. It just so happens, I wear Grundens on my hunts for the wet weather and she was wearing a pair of my rain bottoms on this last hunt. Thanks again for taking the time to help a relatively new Alaskan couple on our journey to hunt and enjoy our beautiful state. Keep the posts coming, I truly enjoy reading each post and learning from folks that have been out there and know what works and what doesn't.

    Eric

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    This what my wife wears and love it cut for a women.
    http://www.bow-chic.com/phone/index.html


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    Quote Originally Posted by H8MONDAY View Post
    Thanks for all the replies and advice everyone. My wife is tall at 5'10" and she even has some trouble finding some of the mountaineering stuff that fits her. I think I will start to focus on building up her base and mid layer gear with high quality items and take a look at stuff like the Grundens to pack for the really wet stuff. It just so happens, I wear Grundens on my hunts for the wet weather and she was wearing a pair of my rain bottoms on this last hunt. Thanks again for taking the time to help a relatively new Alaskan couple on our journey to hunt and enjoy our beautiful state. Keep the posts coming, I truly enjoy reading each post and learning from folks that have been out there and know what works and what doesn't.

    Eric
    Sounds like your on the right track with the buy once cry once mentality. As for hunting specific clothing designed for woman... well I have yet to find any that outperforms any of the womans mountaineering options that are currently on the market,so I wouldn't get wrapped up into it unless you really feel the need to have camo. Something else folks giving recommendations need to consider is the type of hunting your doing, are you backpacking totally self supported, car camping or hunting from wheelers?

  12. #12

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    This year was mostly hunting with a wheeler but next year will be mostly from a boat and setting up base camp and walking in from that point as well as some drifting.

  13. #13
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Another thing to keep in mind is where and how you're hunting. If you're up in high country wind may be your biggest concern, whereas if you're in timber or heavy brush not so much. Most modern fabrics that are awesome at keeping the wind and rain out are terrible at allowing a silent stalk. Wool outerwear is great in that regard though, so you or she might want to keep wool pants and jacket in your hunting kit.

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    My daughter is an outfitter out to Cabela's and can help out with this question. Kelsie went on her first Caribou hunt with me this fall and has it all diled in on how to stay warm and dry.

    Walt

  15. #15

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    Thanks Walt. I will keep that in mind when I head down there in a couple of weeks. Does she work during the week. I will be down on a Wednesday and Thursday.

    Eric

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    I bought my wife kuiu for Christmas men's small Teton collection I was able to speak to a female representative gave her my wife clothes size that she wears and they wAs able to accomadate me with that said she hasn't tried them on yet not till Santa comes I wear kuiu and love it

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRC Alaska View Post
    I bought my wife kuiu for Christmas men's small Teton collection I was able to speak to a female representative gave her my wife clothes size that she wears and they wAs able to accomadate me with that said she hasn't tried them on yet not till Santa comes I wear kuiu and love it
    Kuiu makes a small? Never seen that in the Chugach line. Interesting.

  18. #18

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    I think the mountaineering gear is better than any of the hunt specific clothing you can buy....

    I wear Mountain Hardware, Outdoor Research, Arc-tryx, etc....

    I do not wear Kuiu, Sitka, and any of that other camo, funny looking garbage.

  19. #19
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    My wife does not like anything synthetic against her skin. Merino base layer is essential. After that, down for outer layers is her friend. With some of the new waterproofed downs getting wet doesn't seem to be a problem. To me, camouflage is third on the list to Quiet, and Still. If you are comfortable, you can be still. If the material is quiet, game doesn't hear you as well. Find outer clothing that is first, comfortable (warm, dry), second, quiet, and third, camo. Movement and sound are the killer when you are hunting; pretty much all game with the exception of sheep rely primarily on hearing and scent, lastly on sight. Keep your lady warm and dry, you will have the best hunt.

  20. #20
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    Keep your lady warm and dry, you will have the best hunt.
    Words to live by!

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