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Re: [BackpackGearTest] News & Women's Gear

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  • Christine Kudija
    ... build anything to accomodate me. At 6 1 , I m just too far outside the norm. But, if Jerry would let them know that there are people out there like
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 19, 2001
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      Re: Gear made for women & Mara's input:
      >Sounds like a great idea to me but I doubt any of the manufacturers will
      build anything to accomodate me.  At 6'1", I'm just too far outside the
      norm.  But, if Jerry would let them know that there are people out there
      like myself, I would really appreciate it.  Although we are fit, trim, and
      very active, we still need larger sizes, longer inseams and sleeves, and
      equipment built to accomodate narrow waists and larger hips.  Not all
      "outdoorsy" women are small, short, twigs with no hips.<

      Hey, Mara, I knew you were tall (from the pct-l and a response to a similar comment I made...) but golly, you make me count my blessings.  I'm barely 5'-6" (but not twiggy, narrow waist & shoulders, short torso, wide hips...yep, I've been called a pear before by someone who shall remain nameless)  and I usually have no trouble with sleeve length ;-) or shorts/pants inseams.  I've actually opted out of all the conventional "hiking shorts" and stuck to a 1/2 - split microfiber running short for hiking and climbing - thus no seam chafing & no ride-up.   Most of the "hiking" shorts in women's sizes I've experienced have been (1) too narrow in the thighs (especially Sportif); (2) bad waist-hip ratio (too narrow in the waist & too big in the hip or the reverse); (3) pockets in locations where they conflict with hipbelt; (4) inseams sewn with nylon filament thread which chafes by its very nature.  
      I'd love to see a pair of convertible nylon pants with zip-off legs that are made with a soft tape or other liner material to shield the zipper placement from the inner thigh.  I've never been able to wear this style of pant - husband does & carries the pant legs rolled up in his socks.  His ankles look a little strange, but when the wind comes up he can convert to long pants in moments, while I have to remove my pack to retrieve my wind gear. 
      Trail shoes, boots, etc: These items are so individual that I don't have great expectations for manufacturer support, but here's my .02: I'm always on a quest to find trail shoes & mountaineering boots to fit my dainty size 7, low-volume, bony feet, with narrow heels & wide toes.  (quack...)  I use orthotics to support my arches.  Most boots & shoes I've tried are either uniformly narrow or uniformly wide - I've worn New Balance shoes but it took me a while to get the toe box to feel comfortable.  Brooks tend to fit better than any other but I still have to shop within the brand to find a toe box that doesn't aggravate my hammer-pinkies.   What I want to see in a boot and trail shoe is: wide, high toe box without exterior stitching/applicques  in the lateral toe region (applique stitching seems to make the toe box "pull in," narrowing the space available for the "pinkie" toe (there HAS to be a better label, I'm just not aware of one....).  In addition to a wide toe box, the shoe should have a narrow heel and an ability to hold the foot in place so that it doesn't slip forward on downhills. 
      My current boots (for general Sierra mountaineering) are Zamberlan Civetta GT "Lady"  (size 7, even!!!), gore-tex, ~ 3lb -2oz for the pair; I also have a pair of Koflach Lady Viva Soft plastic mountaineering boots for winter/glacier use.   Boots that don't fit ME are typically those made by Merrill, Raichle, Technica, Lowe, Vasque, and probably some others I'm forgetting.  But that seems to cover several of the major manufacturers...
      Socks: Unisex socks are always TOO BIG AROUND for my low-volume feet.  The concept of sizing socks by length alone, not by gender structural differences, doesn't work for me.  I always have too much sock and have to adjust them to make sure there are no creases anywhere before lacing my boots.  The more sock, the more chance for creasing....
      Shell pants: A lightweight goretex shell pant  in a women's fit for mountaineering use, similar to Patagonia's "super pluma" line would be much appreciated for use where something like Froggtogs are too fragile.  I've used the Patagonia super-pluma pants for about 8 years but it would be nice if the crotch length was longer, the waist narrower, the hips wider and the thighs wider.
      Mitts/gloves, especially wind/overmitts, scaled down for a woman's smaller bone structure.  Wild Roses seems to offer such product but I haven't gotten around to ordering from them yet.
      This is probably enough already!
      FWIW, Christine (who started out mountaineering in 1977 wearing Air Force surplus wool paratroopers pants...)
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