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Hiking gear for women has come a long way in the last decade. Traditionally, most, if not all, outdoor equipment was designed for men and male bodies. While this can work for some gear like tents and trekking poles, items like backpacks, clothing, and even sleeping bags are best designed by women and for women of all ages, sizes, and abilities.

As an average-sized woman, the products below work well for me and my body type. When testing gear, I do my best to be as inclusive to other body types as possible and look for brands with more inclusive offerings. While I find these brands offer exceptional items for women, there may be some items that aren’t quite the right fit for you and your outdoor needs. That said, based on months of testing out in the woods, this list of the best hiking gear for women is a great place to start.

How We Picked the Best Hiking Gear for Women

The best hiking gear for women was difficult to narrow down because even though I am a woman, I am only one woman! It was essential to me when compiling this list that I considered women of different sizes and ability levels during testing. When choosing the brands to test, input and opinions from other women mattered a lot to me. After narrowing down some options, I considered the product’s design and how intentionally it was designed specifically for women participating in outdoor activities, specifically hiking. Other factors were also considered, such as product durability, cost, company transparency, and product materials.

Products featured below are subject to change and have description updates as more testing is completed.

Best Hiking Gear for Women: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Day Pack: Black Diamond Women’s Pursuit Pack

Best Day Pack


  • Weight: 686 g (24.2 oz)
  • Capacity: 15L, 30L
  • Size Range: S-L


  • Breathable back materials
  • Seamless wing construction contours to the body
  • Main zipper is water resistant
  • Can work as a hydration pack
  • Designed to fit women’s shoulders, waist, and hips


  • Not the most inclusive sizing
  • Water bottle pockets are not very secure

The Black Diamond Women’s Pursuit Pack is available in 15L and 30L sizes. I only tested the 15L for this article, so that is the one I am recommending. As far as day packs go, this is one of the most comfortable and form-fitting packs I have tried. It fits more like a hydration pack than a standard backpack, and the wrap-around belt helps keep the dual chest strap in place. It’s easy to adjust thanks to the several straps you can secure on the front, especially around the chest.

There’s plenty of interior storage for a day hike in the 15L pack. However, while I like the simplicity of the mesh pockets, I found them somewhat ineffective. The front mesh pocket I use to store snacks is connected to the side water bottle pockets, which means if there isn’t anything in the side pockets, my snacks slide down and get lost in the pack while hiking. Larger water bottles may not fit as well in the side pockets either due to the shape, but there are a few side straps that could help secure them in place.

Camping photo
Testing Black Diamond Women’s Pursuit Pack while hiking Tuck and Robin’s Lake Trail in Washington – Meg Carney

The front of the shoulder straps feature pockets that fit valuables like keys, a phone, or a GPS quite well, and the elastic top ensures larger items like phones say in place even when bending over or rock scrambling. Overall, this is a practical day pack for the price. The fit alone is hard to beat.

Best Hydration Pack: Nathan Vapor Airess 

Best Hydration Pack


  • Materials: 60% Nylon, 40% Polyester
  • Weight with Bladder: 347 g / 12.2 oz
  • Capacity: 7L
  • Size Range: XXS-M, L-XXL


  • Relatively inclusive sizing
  • Comfortable fit
  • Useful pockets
  • Drinking hose stays in place with a magnet
  • Good adjustability
  • Fits female form really well


  • Drinking hose is long and hard to adjust at times

Hiking and running vests have never been my go-to, largely because of the lack of adequate storage space and the often awkward fit, depending on your body type. The Nathan Vapor Airess remedies many of those issues with this vest design. While it appears similar to their other hydration packs, the features and design of this specific pack are suited to fit a woman’s body, with shoulder, waist, and chest adjustments for different bust sizes.

Although only two vest sizes are available, the adjustability allows for one vest to fit XXS-M and L-XXL. I haven’t seen or used the larger-sized vest, but in receiving the XXS-M size, I was skeptical that it would fit me. Generally, I am a size medium for gear like this due to my broad shoulders, and the vest appears relatively small out of the box. Fortunately, however, the sizing is spot on and the high level of adjustability is excellent for changing bodies with age and life circumstances or varying weather seasons.

Camping photo
Testing the Nathan Vapor Airess on a trail run in Blewett Pass – Meg Carney

The only issue I had with this pack was the hydration hose. It is a bit long for the pack design, and I struggled to get it secured out of the way. I’m sure with more time and use, I can figure it out, and it is still very easy to use and doesn’t get in the way. The magnet holding the hose is also quite strong, but I occasionally bump it out of place while trail running in more wooded areas.

Best Hiking Shirt: Burgeon Outdoor Flume Crewneck

Best Hiking Shirt

Key Features

  • Fabric Materials: 91% Tencel, 9% Lycra 
  • Style: Long sleeve
  • Antimicrobial: Yes
  • Size Range: XS – XXL


  • Optimal movement and no chafing 
  • Natural materials don’t hold onto moisture or odors
  • Great for hiking in any season
  • Available in multiple designs


  • Care instructions require to lay flat or hang to dry

I’ve worn Burgeon Outdoor shirts for a few years, and the Flume is one of my favorites. It has continually been ranked among our best hiking shirts due to the high quality and functionality it provides in the mountains for year-round adventure. While the Flume is available for both men and women, I love the fit and feel of the women’s shirt for all different outdoor activities. Made from a mix of predominantly plant-based Tencel and Lycra materials, it’s incredibly soft and breathable and pulls moisture away from your skin. The fabric’s antimicrobial properties also reduce odor, making this an excellent choice for extended hiking trips.

The flatlock stitch of the shirt prevents chafing, while the placement of the seams allows for a more comfortable fit while wearing a backpack. The back of the shirt is slightly extended to prevent it from riding up while hiking or running, and the thumb loops can keep the sleeves in place or increase hand coverage when using it as a sun shirt. Burgeon also offers lifetime repairs on their clothing.

Best Hiking Pants: Free Fly Women’s Breeze Pull-On Jogger

Best Hiking Pants


  • Materials: 86% Polyester / 14% Spandex
  • Size Range: XS – XL
  • UPF: 50+
  • Inseam: 28″


  • Fast drying
  • Breathable materials
  • Large pockets
  • Excellent mobility
  • Lightweight and packable
  • Versatile style


  • Would be nice to see more inclusive sizing
  • Synthetic materials shed microplastics and are more prone to holding onto odors

The Free Fly Women’s Breeze Pants are the all-around outdoor girlie’s dream pants. Not only are they extremely comfortable and functional outdoors, but they have suitable pockets (including hidden zipper pockets for valuables) and a stylish silhouette. The elastic waistband and ankle cuff make for a snug yet flexible fit, and the mix of spandex in the materials optimizes mobility.

Camping photo
I’ve worn these pants on too many hikes to count. They’re also my go-to for paddle trips because they’re fast drying, breathable, and comfortable. – Meg Carney

While that alone is enough for me to want to try the pants, my most significant selling point for these hiking pants is how fast they dry. During testing, I wore these pants for white water paddling, stand-up paddle boarding, hiking in the rain, and even wading into a lake. The pants inevitably got wet in all of these environments, but they dried surprisingly quickly. Since I wear the black pair most often, when exposed to the sun, these pants dry even quicker.

Best Hiking Boots

Key Features

  • Weight: 11.3 oz
  • Shoe Type: Lightweight hiking boot
  • Best Use: Hiking, backpacking


  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Excellent traction
  • Stylish design
  • Durable


  • Not very breathable 

Ranked as one of the top hiking boots for women and our top reviewed hiking boots, it was impossible not to include the Tecnica Magma S Mid GTX on this list. Of all the hiking boots I’ve ever worn, these are the least clunky and least likely to give me hot spots or blisters. The lightweight design doesn’t compromise the stability or water resistance of the boot. In fact, the waterproofing is so good I’ve waded directly into water while portaging canoes and crossing creeks without getting my feet wet. Note, however, that the excellent waterproofing makes them less breathable, so they’re not great when hiking in hot, humid climates.

In rain, puddles, snow, mud, and more, these boots can do it. The lugs on the traction of these boots are small, but the rubber chosen for the sole provides a stable and sturdy grip, even when hiking on wet rocky surfaces. The lightweight feel of the boots makes it seem like you are wearing trail runners with the bonus of providing the ankle support of a hiking boot. The only thing I’d like to see improved with these boots is the quality of the laces. With such a high-quality boot build, the laces seem cheap and aren’t very durable. 

Best Hiking Underwear: Branwyn Performance Innerwear Essential Collection

Best Hiking Underwear


  • Materials: 81% extra fine Merino wool, 12% nylon, and 7% Spandex
  • Size Range: XS – XXL
  • Bra Size: C or smaller cup sizes, C cup or larger


  • So comfortable you forget you’re wearing underwear
  • Temperature regulation
  • Odor neutralizing
  • Breathable
  • Female-friendly underwear materials


  • Price

Wool underwear for hiking? Hear me out. The ultra-fine merino wool provides a soft and comfortable feel desired in underwear with the additional benefits wool offers. Wool is naturally odor-neutralizing, temperature-regulating, moisture-wicking, and safe for women to wear as underwear. Branwyn offers a range of underwear options, but the Essentials line is my favorite for hiking because of the comfortable fit. The underwear, bras, and bralettes are made from the same materials.

While the bralette is what I tested, those are only suitable for women with a C cup or smaller. Luckily, they also make an Essential Busty Bra that works for women who are C-cup or larger. Either option offers a snug yet comfortable feel that isn’t as restricting as a standard sports bra. If you’re looking to strike a balance between a tight sports bra feel and no bra at all, the Essentials collection offers that. I’ve found it provides enough support for hiking and backpacking, and even after wearing it in the heat of summer hiking all day, it has no odor. These are an excellent investment for women who enjoy overnight and long-distance hikes and are looking for comfortable underwear all day and bras that can be worn for multiple days without building up an odor.

What to Consider When Choosing Hiking Gear for Women

Intended Use

Whenever I’m looking for hiking gear, I evaluate how that gear enhances and improves my hiking experience. Looking for equipment and clothing with several applications is also a plus, but sometimes you want a designated outdoor wardrobe or a specific trail running pack. Knowing the time of year, type of activity, and your budget before shopping makes it easier to narrow things down and ensure you’re buying the right gear for your needs. 

Product Design 

Women’s bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and because of this, it can be hard to provide blanket statements about what the best of the best products are for all women. Certain companies are better than others, but across the board, when it comes to women’s products, they should be designed by women. 

For instance, Free Fly’s women’s apparel is designed by a women’s only team. That alone tells me that the design is intentional and functional for women who enjoy outdoor activities, and it’s more likely the design fits my body and has thoughtful features. 

Body Shape and Size

I could go on and on about the women’s hiking gear that works best for me, but if your body build is smaller, stronger, curvier, or larger than mine, my recommendations may not be the perfect fit. I did my best to include inclusive products that should fit most women’s bodies. But I recommend always consulting sizing charts, inquiring about sizing options if it isn’t clear on the website, and trying items on in person when possible. 

For plus-size women who enjoy hiking, reputable brands like Alder Apparel and Conscious Gear offer inclusive sizes.


Q: Should I wear a bra while hiking?

Wearing a bra while hiking is a personal choice. Many female hikers, especially long-distance hikers, avoid wearing a bra to prevent potential issues, but the right bra can add a higher level of comfort, support, and anti-chafing properties.

Q: Can you hike in leggings?

Yes, you can hike in leggings. Leggings are often a comfortable choice for shorter day hikes or as a layering option. For longer treks and long-distance hikes, a pair of pants that are more comfortable and looser fitting may be beneficial.

Q: What color clothing is best for hiking?

Light-colored clothing (tan, white, etc.) can be excellent for summer hiking since darker colors absorb more heat. When hiking in remote areas and the mountains, wearing high-visibility colors is helpful if a rescue is necessary. Bright colors help to distinguish you from the natural surroundings, so having at least one item, like a hat, bandana, or vest, is advised for safety reasons. Be aware of hunting seasons in your hiking area, and wear blaze orange when entering areas where hunting is possible.

Q: What hairstyle is best for hiking?

The best hairstyle for hiking depends on what’s comfortable for you and your hairstyle. Many women with long hair prefer hairstyles like a ponytail, messy bun, or braids of some variety. Any of these styles can be paired with headbands or hats easily. I choose to braid my hair while hiking because it doesn’t get tangled as fast as a ponytail or bun.

Q: What clothing material is best for hiking in hot weather?

Lightweight, breathable materials are best when hiking in hot weather. Anything that wicks moisture away from your skin and dries quickly is ideal, and opting for a sun hoodie or clothing with some UPF protection can help protect you from the sun better than sunscreen alone.

Best Hiking Gear for Women: Final Thoughts

When it comes to the best hiking gear for women, plenty of options are available to female hikers regarding outdoor gear and clothing. Choosing the right equipment and apparel for your outdoor adventure needs comes down to personal preference, budget, and what fits you best. While most of the products covered should suit a range of women, you may need something else. Most of the brands featured offer several other women’s specific products, so looking beyond our top picks, we have faith that there is something for everyone on our list.

Why Trust Us

For more than 125 years, Field & Stream has been providing readers with honest and authentic coverage of outdoor gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outdoors, and that passion comes through in our product reviews. You can count on F&S to keep you up to date on the best new gear. And when we write about a product—whether it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cover the good and the bad, so you know exactly what to expect before you decide to make a purchase.