Posts Tagged women’s clothing
Hands down, Smartwool’s action bras are the most comfortable I’ve ever worn. They’re designed for action–hiking, running, and other work outs–but I’ve been wearing my Seamless Strappy Bra every day it’s clean. It certainly always makes the traveling team, finding its way into my bag every time I leave town. What makes it great? It’s seamless, which means I skip any pinching or rubbing against my skin. It’s made of Merino wool throughout, which wicks away moisture like a boss and is equally comfortable in cold or hot weather. Pick between the Racerback model or the Strappy; both are comfortable enough to sleep in. They come in sizes S-XL in three colors for $60 at Smartwool or a few bucks less on Amazon. It’s also stocked at Backcountry.com. For a tougher bra with harder core control, upgrade to the PhD Racerback for $70, also at Backcountry.
Photo from left to right: Give and Go lacy bikini underwear, PhD Seamless Strappy bra, Gore Essential brief.
ExOfficio is a known authority on travel-ready clothes, so it only makes sense to trust them with your base layers, too. Let’s get real: underwear and bras need to last the distance while on the road more than any other item of clothing, right? Any frequent traveler would vote them ‘most likely to end up rinsed out and drying on a hotel bathroom sink’. ExOfficio is here to tell you those days are over, however. Their Give and Go underwear line is treated with a microbe shield which helps maintain freshness. In other words, they don’t smell. (Really.) They’re also extremely quick-drying, which means less sink-drying time, and highly breathable. I have it on good authority that river rafting guides the world over swear by Give and Go underwear, because they dry much faster than swim suit bottoms. The best news? They’re not ugly: travelers pick between no fewer than nine colors and nine styles, from boy shorts to lacy bikinis to full coverage. Not to over share, but I have the lacy bikini style and am a very satisfied customer. Pick up a pair for $22 at ExOfficio (I know, but they’ll last you!) or shave a few dollars off the price on Amazon.
If your travels include serious exercise, like all-day hiking or biking, Gore’s Base Layer Briefs will be your new best friend. These briefs are extremely lightweight (they’re described as ‘barely there’ and very breathable (made from polypropylene). Seams are present, but minimized, and the waist sports a soft elastic band. They stay put on your body and take up very little space in your bag. The cut is fairly high, without quite being bikini level. Pick up a pair in black or white for $29.99 or do yourself a favor and get them for as little as $17 on Amazon.
If you’re not familiar with Sherpa Adventure Gear, the brand has a nice story behind it: founded by Tashi Sherpa in Nepal, purchases help support the education of Sherpa children. The company donates $.50 for every product sold to the Paldorje Education Fund, which then grants scholarships to deserving students. Plus, purchases help support the families of Sherpa guides through a royalty on sales.
This is awesome, but you’ll want to buy their products regardless; their clothing includes the features I look for most in travel wear: versatility, comfort, and rugged construction.
The Naulo pant is tough enough to withstand a full day on the trail, hiking or scrambling, but lightweight enough pack down small in your bag and comfortable enough for a long plane or car ride. They’re true four-season pants: they breathe in summer and yet protect enough for winter excursions in mild climates. They’re not waterproof, but very water resistant, which makes them a great pick not only for wet days but for travel use (i.e., spills will wick right off). The waist is fitted with a comfortable snap and zippered fly closure, with a soft fleece panel lining at the waist. The 4% spandex helps with the comfort factor. Four flat zippered pockets are convenient (you get two at the top and two mid-thigh). The pants look much more fitted and sleek than standard trekking pants, with the same wicking and range-of-movement benefits. On a strenuous hike in the Canadian Rockies, my Naulo pants took a beating with mud and snow, then were packed away in dirty laundry for four more days. Upon arrival back home (and into the washing machine), they washed out perfectly. Of course, you can play it safe by treating them with Nikwax, my favorite stain block for outdoorsy travelers.
The inseam for the regular is fairly short, and the pant comes in sizes 2-16. They’re $124 on Sherpa or as low as $89 at Idaho Mountain Touring, and you’ll be able to wear them for every aspect of your trip, from dinner out to the day on the trail. Pick between black and tan.
The Langtang jacket is an indulgence you’re not likely to regret. The softest zip-up, lightweight jacket I’ve ever owned, the Langtang is made of high pile polyester fleece, and so soft you’ll think you’re wearing some sort of fur. For an extra treat, wear in the spring or fall with only a t-shirt underneath to feel the material against your skin all day. The design is simple, with two front zippered pockets and a front full-length zipper closure. You get a nice, subtle Sherpa emblem on the back, and no other exterior design. The Langtang comes in four rich colors, including a gorgeous coral in sizes XS-XL, and can be picked up for $90 at REI or on Sherpa.
See reviews of other travel clothing on Practical Travel Gear.
Aventura clothing is ideal for travel. Why? Their pieces are made to mix-and-match or layer, plus most fabrics are natural and lightweight, making items easy to pack and comfortable to wear in all climates. The Aventura Jasper long-sleeved top is no exception: this stylish top will go with everything from skirts to jeans, and is so light I’ve layered it over camisoles even in tropical climates and felt comfortable. Pack the Jasper for trips where you’ll need to cover up at temples or other religious destinations, for climates with frequent weather changes, and for chilly airplane cabins.
The Jasper is 60% cotton and 40% polyester with an elegant burnout pattern in five colors. (I’d suggest buying at least a few.) It’s definitely cut to flatter: the Jasper is not tunic length, but extends past the waist. It it fitted, but doesn’t cling. You can machine wash it of course, and because it’s quite thin, it dries quickly if you need to spot-wash it in the hotel sink. The Jasper packs down very small, too: it will easily fit in a hydration pack pocket or even a large cargo pocket. Pack it during a day traveling, then slip it over a cami or tank top in the evening for an instant dinner-out change of clothes.
The Jasper is not completely see-through, but when worn solo, hints of skin will show in certain light. Paired with a camisole or action bra, it covers completely, or wear with a lightweight coat or jacket open at the front. The burnout pattern calls to mind intricate lace for a very classic look that stands out from most patterns seen today.
Mountain Khakis calls their lightweight, packable adventure pant the Granite Creek Pant. I call it the Do All, Go Everywhere, and Look Great Doing It Pant. (Wordy, but accurate. I’m sure Mountain Khakis will be calling me shortly to rename all their other pants, too.)
The Granite Creek pant comes in men’s and women’s styles, and truly will perform for all travel situations and outdoor adventures. (By the way, we’re not Granite Creek newbies. Check out our reviews of other Granite Creek line clothing.) Unlike some trekking pants that get the job done but scream ‘outdoor excursion’, the Granite Creek looks downright casual while still featuring everything you’d need on said excursion. Both the men’s and women’s version offers a relaxed fit (women’s is called a contemporary fit), which gives you some style while still being comfortable. I’ve found all MK women’s wear to be a bit roomy; order a size down if you want a very slim fit. They are constructed of 100% brushed nylon, pack down small without wrinkling, and come to you Scotchgard treated. (Note: my husband and I took ours through the wringer on a multi-day backpack trip, and should have double-treated them with Nikwax stain guard in addition.)
The Granite Creek offers UV protection of 50, and wicks away moisture like a pro. Wear them hiking or in the rain, and keep your skin dry and your core temperature steady. As stated, the Granite Creek isn’t loud and showy with trekking pant features, but they’re there none-the-less: both men’s and women’s version offers five pockets, including a flat front and rear zip pocket, plus a cargo pocket with a hidden security compartment. Seams are triple-stitched to ensure the pants last you for years, and you get MK’s mudflap reinforced heel cuffs.
I took my Granite Creek pants on multiple travels, from an adventurous Alaska vacation to a Canadian Rockies tour via rail. My husband abused his backpacking and fishing. Both pairs enjoy frequent field trips out of the closet for everything from golf to dinner out to average work day use.
Pick up the Mountain Khakis men’s pant for $82 in four colors (see below), or opt for the convertible style with zip-off pants for just a few dollars more. The women’s Granite Creek Pant can be had for the same cost, in ash, birch, pine, or mushroom. Find both on Amazon, Backcountry or Moosejaw for a few bucks less. Need something a little more polished for everyday wear? Opt for the men’s Teton Twill Pant or the women’s Everyday Chino Pant.
Autumn is here, and it will be ski and winter travel season in no time. I’ve already worn my ColdPruf base layers on more than one occasion here in Oregon, and will be packing them when I head north to Alberta, Canada next week.
ColdPruf offers multiple product lines, rating them from cold to extreme cold and low activity to high activity. I appreciate that each line falls somewhere on this scale, so you can easily identify which base layer you’ll need based on what you plan to use it for. I tried out their women’s crew and pant in both their Performance and Eco Pro-Tek lines.
Both are rated for ‘very cold’ (the middle option on the cold scale) and ‘high activity’ (the top option on the activity scale). Both tops are long-sleeved crews, and both pants feature an elastic waist and fitted legs, but the main similarities end there.
Performance women’s crew and pant:
The women’s crew features flat seams, a tag-less back, and hemmed cuffs, all great for high activity. Both the crew and the pant are made of 96% performance polyester and 4% spandex, for a nice stretch when exercising, skiing, hiking, or sitting. You get antimicrobial odor-control and great moisture management and evaporation (in plain language, this means you won’t feel chilled or wet when you sweat). The crew is lightweight and thin, making it an ideal layering piece that won’t add bulk. The performance pant offers the same single-layer engineering and flat seams, and adds a comfort waistband that really is just that. Both are a close fit with plenty of give.
Eco Pro-Tek women’s crew and pant:
The Eco crew offers a more flattering cut, with a lower neckline and nice accents to add some color. Both the crew and pant in this line are made of 100% Repreve recycled performance polyester with a mini waffle weave, and are extremely soft. After wearing a lot of synthetic base layer materials, this one is surprisingly comfortable. However, due to the lack of spandex, there is very little give in the Eco line, especially in the pant. I found that while I prefer them for casual wear or travel, I need a base layer with more flexibility while hiking, snowshoeing, or skiing.
The Eco offerings feature the flat seams that are attractive in the performance line, and are also tag- less. You get the same antimicrobial odor-blocking technology. Also like its Performance cousin, the Pro-Tek is single layer. (By the way, this seems to be the main difference between the performance/casual lines and the extreme performance lines at ColdPruf: single vs double layer.)
Pick up either the Eco Pro-Tek or Performance in both men’s and women’s versions, or outfit youth in ColdPruf’s Base or Enthusiast line. I wish they made the Eco line in youth sizes, because my tween son has taken to wearing my Eco Pro-Tek pants, simply due to their softness. For kids who don’t like ‘scratchy’ base layers, this is the solution.
The price is right: ColdPruf’s Performance crew is only $19.99 on Amazon and the Eco Pro-Tek is only $18.36. Pants are approximately the same cost. ColdPruf layers can also be found on Backcountry and Sunny Sports.