What Features Do Women Want in Hunting Clothing and Gear?
What do women want when it comes to hunting gear and apparel? The answer is quite simple. We want what men want ‚ apparel that fits and keeps us warm in cold weather, cool in warm weather and dry when it's wet outdoors. We want gear that is reliable, durable and easy to use.
Of course, there are some obvious physical differences between men and women, so women's gear and clothing need to take those differences into account. We don't want our clothing and gear to simply be scaled-down versions of men's. We want items designed especially for us!
I interviewed several female hunters about what they look for in specific apparel and gear. Read their responses and see if you agree. Also, check out some of the newest Realtree offerings for women.
Nikita Dalke, an avid hunter from Canada: "I look at the fabric right away. Is it light? Is it dense? How will it do in rain and snow? I like the sleeves and length more on the long side. And I want it fitted."
Gretchen Steele, an outdoor communicator: "I want a top that allows room for a thicker less-hourglass waist and is long enough to stay tucked in. I'd like for it to cover my waist if left out. I also want thumb holes and a zippered pocket or two."
Shannon Schwenke, a pro staffer at Gander Valley Custom Calls: "I like tops that are long enough to tuck in and not pull out while moving in all sorts of weird positions. I want material that holds up to briars. Something a bit looser in the sleeves is best for upland hunting. Nothing overly baggy, though."
Shannon Palmer Bost, a pro staffer for several outdoor companies: "Is the top long enough? It's a tall girl problem. I don't want a material that will snag or pull."
Dalke: "I don't like it when pants sit above my bellybutton. I like mine long so they don't lift while I'm climbing. And they have to fit right in the crotch."
Steele: "I prefer a wide waistband, preferably with elastic in the sides. I want belt loops big enough for a sturdy belt. I wear a lot of things hanging off a belt. Gusseted, reinforced knees are a must. I also like zippers or snaps on legs for ease of removing shoes. I want pocket openings big enough to get your hand in and deep enough to keep things from falling out. I like as many zippered or magnetic snap pockets as you can put on them."
Schwenke: "I want pants my thunder thighs will fit in. I love the idea of an adjustable waist band. I have big hips and thighs and a smaller waist, so I often deal with a big gap in the waistband of my pants. I want lots of pockets that are actually functional. Again the material needs to hold up to snagging on things like briars."
Bost: "Again, I need length. I like something with an adjustable waist so I can wear it with base layers or without."
Steele: "My base layers must wick well, and also feel soft and/or slick on skin. I want as little bulk as possible."
Schwenke: "I'll be honest. I've cheaped out on base layers, but Merino is on my wish list. I love wool."
Steele: "I want cinches for sleeve cuffs and adequate-size sleeves to accommodate a layer without being binding. I want inside pockets and as many pockets as you can put on the outside. I'd like handwarmer pockets on the front placed at a level not directly over the breasts. The jacket should have a detachable hood and slick inner liner, tricot. etc. A couple of D rings for hanging stuff on the coat for easy access would be great too."
Schwenke: "My jacket should be waterproof or at least water-resistant. Something that fits well without bulk that I can layer under waders, but still allows room for layers underneath. I also want an interior zippered or Velcro pocket I can secure my license and keys in."
Bost: "I also like pockets and good zippers. The material needs to be quiet, heavy enough to not rip or tear easily, but not so thick that it's bulky. It also needs to be water-resistant. I like a detachable hood, but that is not a must. I like to have a slot for a safety harness and a cuffed sleeve to keep cold air out."
Steele: "Raingear should be breatheable, lightweight, packable."
Bost: "I want something lightweight, breathable and easy to get in or out of."
Steele: "Boots should be warm, waterproof and light in total weight. They should offer good ankle support, flexible soles and padded insoles."
Bost: "I like boots to be waterproof and have a comfortable footbed. They also need to have excellent traction on the soles."
Dalkel: "Boots should offer good ankle support and be stiff. I like a full shank in the sole for climbing."
Steele: "The most important thing for me is fit. If it doesn't fit - nothing else matters."
Jamie Caudell Dailey, Prois state coordinator for Georgia: "Is it the right length for me? Can I comfortably hold the gun and it not fly off my shoulder when I shoot?"
Schwenke: "I want a shotgun with a high comb and shorter stock than standard. Both of my shotguns have been customized to fit me."
Steele: "I need a bow that is lightweight and short, making it easier for spot and stalk and lugging through the woods."
Bost: "With a bow I want something smaller for ease of movement in a stand. I want an adjustable draw weight and I want the bow to be quiet."
What do you want?
ArcticShield¬Æ Women's Heat Echo Light Jacketavailable in Realtree Xtra, is designed with a specific fit for women. This water-resistant, windproof, breathable Heat Echo Light jacket is constructed of a stretchable bonded fabric using a nylon shell. The fleece interior contains bamboo charcoal fibers, which offer natural scent minimization and heat-reflective qualities. The jacket features patent-pending ArcticShield¬Æ Retain(TM) Active technology utilizing nano-sized metallic particles formulated into the laminate, which efficiently retains body heat by providing thermal insulation. MSRP: $129.99
ArcticShield¬Æ Women's Heat Echo Light Pantavailable in Realtree Xtra, is designed with a specific fit for women. This water-resistant, windproof, breathable Heat Echo Light pant is constructed of a stretchable bonded fabric using a nylon shell with fleece interior. This fleece interior contains bamboo charcoal fibers, which offer natural scent-minimization and heat-reflective qualities. The pant has an elastic waistband with adjustable belt, and large cargo thigh pockets and side slash pockets. MSRP: $119.99
Women's Alphaburly Pro Rubber Boots by LaCrosse combine high-quality, scent-free rubber with naturally insulating neoprene. This boot stands up to the cold, harsh terrain and the challenges of a grueling hunt. It features a thick, cushioning EVA midsole for added comfort, an embossed liner for better air circulation and an adjustable rear gusset for the perfect fit. MSRP: $170
Women Huntshield Hunting Parka and Insulated Hunting Pants features waterproof and breathable fabric ideal for any hunting enthusiast. The jacket features underarm ventilation, critically taped seams and comes in variety of sizes. MSRP: $139.99
With its waterproof and breathable fabric, the Huntshield Insulated Hunting Pants are ideal for any hunting enthusiast. The pants feature inner leg ventilation, critically taped seams and leg zippers. Available in a variety of sizes. MSRP: $109.99
Prois Gallean Rain Jacket and Pantsavailable in Realtree Xtra, features waterproof/breathable 20,000mm/10,000mm WP. The jacket and pants are designed with taped seams, waterproof zippers and are ultra lightweight. The jacket's storm hood allows for two-way adjustment and packs tightly into its own pocket for ease of packing and transport. The fabric features a touch of stretch for ease of layering. This jacket is perfect for those that want the lightest-weight gear possible without sacrificing function.
These lightweight pants are constructed with the most technical waterproof fabric available. Weight was cut without sacrificing waterproofing and they are rated to handle torrential downpour and all-day, sustained rain. These pants are ideal for backcountry adventures where cutting weight is essential. MSRP: $120
The Bear Prowess delivers premium performance with a design tailored specifically for the female shooter. No other bow offers the ultra-smooth draw in a single-cam system combined with the power of the EnduraFiber Limbs‚Ñ¢ for such an undeniable value. The Prowess comes in a ready-to-hunt design so you are ready to dominate ‚ right out of the box. This bow is lightweight and fast with a silent release ‚ a weapon that is all-business, especially when it counts. MSRP: $399.99