Ah outdoors gear companies, you are finally taking the leap when it comes to outdoors gear for women. Some of you have been on it for years, of course, but others are only just catching up. Making men’s kit smaller and more pink just isn’t good enough. Some ladies love the pink gear, and that is fine, but I would argue that the majority of us would much rather have something less bright and more, well, natural coloured. We don’t mind the dark grey or the dark green or the dark blue, it doesn’t need to be neon or patterned. While the female section in my local Go Outdoors is still way too bright pink and bright blue for my liking, things are moving on. Outdoors gear for girls is finally becoming something companies are paying attention to.
This is a topic I read a lot about on blogs and social media. Many, many outdoorsy women are putting it a lot more eloquently than I ever could. But it’s basically the apparent belief in the minds of product designers that pink is the only way to get us girls outside in their gear. It’s not just confined to the outdoors world, of course; cycling has a pink problem and motorcycling has even more of a pink problem. Companies don’t seem to realise that we are happy with boring colours and understated design. Well I am anyway.
Hiking at Rogie Falls in Scotland, wearing my new peaked cap.
Anyway, this post wasn’t supposed to be a whinge, it’s supposed to be a thank you to Millets and The North Face for my new cap. I’ve been searching for a new cap for well over a year, and when I mentioned this to Millets they replied with “we’ve got just the thing”. And they did.
The Horizon Logo Cap by The North Face comes in grey or beige (yes, outdoorsy colours!), and in two sizes. Yes friends, that meant I could choose the smaller size and have a hat that fits, and fits well. They describe it as a “no-nonsense, timelessly fashionable choice for casual occasions”, but it is a technical cap in a quick drying material with sun protection (UPF5), and a twill sweatband that is great for any outdoors activity. I normally wear a hat when I’m hiking; when it’s too warm for a beanie hat a peaked cap is my go-to. This one is comfortable, light weight, keeps my hood out of my face, shades my eyes from the sun, and is well-made and rugged enough to last a long time in the great outdoors. It’s fab.
Watching the rushing water. Anyone else find this strangely peaceful?
The North Face are actually pretty good in general when it comes to outdoor gear for girls. A brand I will seek out because I know that a) they have done some research which means I can pretty much buy a medium in anything they make and be comfortable in it, and b) that I can normally choose a shade of colour that I like and suits me rather than having to go for the pink (they do have pink, of course…). I also know when I buy something from the ladies section with this particular label on it that I have not bought something that is less technical than the men’s stuff – my desire to be a bad-ass outdoors lady has very much been at the heart of their development.
And before you take me up on it, I am aware that this cap hasn’t specifically been designed for women, and I don’t know if The North Face thought of us girls when bringing out the smaller size in reality, but it fits and therefore works for me. It has simply inspired my post. And helps make another point; women don’t want to be pigeon holed. We want the best gear we can afford. Don’t assume we are all super girly and therefore are more bothered about our nails than the technical ability of our outdoors gear.
Not the best model, but you get the idea of the cap!
Do you find you struggle to avoid the pink? Or would you hate it if outdoors brands stopped making pink stuff?!
Which brands are your go-to when it comes to finding great technical outdoors gear for girls?
And what are your favourite gender-neutral outdoors accessories?
Tell me in the comments below.
*I received The North Face Horizon Logo Cap from Millets for free but this is not a sponsored post and as always words are my own.