Tested: Kuiu’s New Women’s Hunting Clothing Line
We tested the new Kuiu women's clothing line in the Bighorn mountains of Wyoming to see if this premium gear is worth the money
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After years in the making, Kuiu has delivered on its mission to create a women’s line of premium hunting clothing. This new ultralight layering system includes everything from base layers to insulated jackets. I had the opportunity to test out some of this new gear in the Bighorn mountains of Wyoming last June. It technically wasn’t hunting season, but you wouldn’t have known from the rapidly changing winter-like weather conditions. I hiked through a snowstorm, rode miles on horseback, and explored alpine lakes. I faced almost every condition you will encounter during hunting season and it allowed me to put the new Kuiu women’s line through the wringer. Here are the results.
Kuiu Women’s Clothing Line
- Ultra Merino 145 Zip Off Bottom: This soft and warm base layer allows users to remove when warm without taking their boots off.
- Ultra Merino 145 Racerback Tank: This lightweight, breathable merino tank is comfortable in warm weather.
- Ultra Merino 145 LS Crew: This lightweight, merino long-sleeve shirt helps with thermoregulation and moisture control.
- Ultra Merino Headband: Useful in both cold and warm weather, this merino headband keeps sweat out of the face in the heat, and ears warm in the cold.
- Gila LS Hoodie: This quick-drying sun hoodie protects against the sun with a UPF 50+ rating.
- Attack Pant: This durable pant includes cooling hip vents, pockets, a primeflex fabric, and DWR treatment for water resistance.
- Kenai Hooded Jacket: This hooded puffer is soft, quiet, stretchy, and water-resistant.
- Divide 1200 Hunting Day Pack: This 1200 cubic inch pack is durable and versatile with 2 zippered compartments.
- Pro Hat: Made from rip-stop Codura, this adjustable brimmed is very comfortable in the field.
How I Tested Kuiu Women’s Gear
I was able to test the full system listed above in snow, rain, sleet, and sun—all while participating in rugged activities. A team of female hunters and backcountry experts wore the new Kuiu women’s apparel hiking, paddling, bushwacking, and on horseback in the Bighorn National Forest this past June. Though technically summer, I wore the gear through extreme weather fluctuations that highlighted the full scope of the apparel’s performance. Testing conditions also included river crossing, rock scrambling, and bushwhacking in temperatures ranging from 30℉ to 70℉. The varying conditions and temperatures served as the perfect testing grounds for this apparel and replicated the fast-changing weather conditions that hunters experience in the backcountry.
How the Gear Performed
The women’s Kuiu line excelled in the tough conditions of the Bighorn mountains. It is a high-performance system that will support the female hunter in the backcountry. While some outdoor brands create a women’s version by simply administering the “shrink and pink” conversion of men’s clothing, this line is specifically designed for women. From the newly constructed fabrics to the detailed female-friendly features like the fit and shape—this apparel is the real deal. While the entire line performed admirably, there were a few standouts.
Women’s Kenail Hooded Jacket
I’m not lying when I say I didn’t take this jacket off for three days. It kept me warm and dry in freezing temperatures and served as a comfy indoor hoodie at room temperature. At 13 ounces, this jacket is extremely light which makes it perfect for limiting weight in the backcountry. As a tall individual, I was impressed with the long sleeves and appropriate torso length. The hood was crucial for protecting me against snow and retaining heat. While built as a mid-layer, the new, quilt-free design results in even insulation and no seam holes. The jacket also has a stretchy design which gives freedom to move, ride, hike, and shoot.
Women’s Attack Pant
The women’s attack pant has a thoughtful design that was well received by all women testers. We put these pants through a lot—hours on horseback, wading through rivers, bushwalking through sticks, and climbing over rocks. The pants held up through everything. The primeflex fabric is soft and stretchy. What’s more, over multiple days of use, they didn’t stretch out. The attack pant stayed true to size and allowed me to move easily while protecting my legs against the elements. On an all-day hike in the mountains, the cold morning led to a warm and sunny afternoon. No problem. The zip-open hip vents allowed me to continue to be comfortable in the pants. In addition, I soaked the bottom section of the pants crossing a river and they were completely dry in a half hour. The DWR treatment acts as a water barrier as well as a quick-drying garment. My only complaint is that Kuiu offers a very limited size range. Size 2 through 14 means there is no option for plus-size women or tall/petite length. At 6’1”, I loved the pants, but the length stopped above my boot top.
What I Didn’t Like About the New Kuiu Women’s Line
While the Kuiu women’s line is an overall home run, there are some limitations. Currently, Kuiu is offering this collection in three camo patterns: Valo, Verde, and Vias. I’d love to see them offer these pieces in the same solid colors we see in the men’s line. In addition, as mentioned above, I’d like to see a size range to accommodate a larger size range of women. This is Kuiu’s premium line of women’s hunting gear and access to a wider range of huntresses would be advantageous.
Is It Worth The Money?
Field & Stream has explored this question before. Is premium hunting gear really worth the money? The Kuiu women’s hunting collection isn’t cheap, but in my opinion, the price matches the quality of the gear. So, if you are looking for top-of-the-line women’s hunting apparel, this is it. This layering system will outfit you from base to outer with protection and comfort. Similar to the men’s line, the price is worth it for the hardcore hunter. For beginners and casual hunters, a budget option might be a better starting point.
As a female backcountry adventurer, I spend most of my time hiking, backpacking, and paddling. While meant for the hunter, these items easily convert to any outdoor recreation space and hold up head-to-head with some of the top hiking apparel brands. If on the fence, I recommend women invest in a couple of core pieces of this system and build their system out over time.
Since my early summer testing, Kuiu has added to its women’s line. They rolled out the women’s chugach rain jacket, the warm weather tiburon hunting pant, as well as women-specific hunting packs. Kuiu also released the women’s super down ultra hooded jacket and women’s super down ultra jacket. The attention to function, fit, and detail ensures quality for the dedicated female hunter who wants top-end hunting clothing. After days of putting this apparel through its paces in all the Bighorn wilderness could offer, the new Kuiu women’s line passed the test.