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Women’s Spring Hiking Guide

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Spring in the mountains means a transition from our beloved winter-time activities and the return of trail based activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, trail running, and climbing. As the snow melts in Colorado, many flock to warmer climates to jump start the summer activities. Here at ActiveGearReview we did just that and headed for some fun in the sun to test out some great new products for Spring 2017.

Mountain Hardwear AP Scrambler Pant $85

The Mountain Hardwear AP Scrambler Pant is aptly named, the fabric is rugged, abrasion resistant and ideal for a variety of spring adventures. The Scrambler AP Pant features a 28″ inseam and fits somewhere between a jogger and capri, depending on your height. I have a 32″ inseam, so these pants hit a few inches above my ankles, making them a bit more breathable than a traditional long pant. The AP Scambler Pant is extremely comfortable thanks to elastic waistband with a Chamois waistband liner and a roomier fit, making these excellent for climbing, scrambling, and hiking.

The Mountain Hardwear AP Scrambler Pant are great for brisk spring days, however they would not be my first choice when temperatures rise above 60F. The fabric stretches some, but is not overly breathable as these pants are designed more for durability with the utilization of stretch cotton-nylon-sanded canvas fabric. The one fabric downfall is that it collects or catches dog fur and fuzz bunnies. I have non-shedding dogs, yet my AP Scrambler Pants make it look like I have 2 or 3 shedding dogs, as lint is easily seen on the Shark pant color. This isn’t a big deal for me when out on the trail, but prohibits me from taking these pants into the office for work (which I’d love to do).

The Mountain Hardwear AP Scrambler Pant is available in size 0 to 14 and runs a tad generous and they do stretch out after a day of wear. The pants are available in 4 different colors: Stone Green, Buck, Deep Lichen, and Shark.

Columbia Titan Ultra Half-Zip Shirt $70

Light, breathable, and quick drying are three important qualities for trail running and hiking tops. Columbia’s Titan Ultra Half Zip is a part of the Montrail Columbia collection, and features all 3 of these qualities and is designed to keep you cool so you can keep going without having to add or remove layers. The Titan Ultra Half Zip features Columbia’s Omni-Freeze Zero and Omni-Wick technologies to keep you cool and dry (as mentioned above), as well as an antimicrobial treatment to help you wear the shirt more days in a row, which is ideal for multi-day camping trips. The one thing this shirt doesn’t have is a UPF rating, otherwise it would be the only shirt I’d wear this spring/summer.

Columbia Montrail Titan Ultra Half Zip on some spring training miles

The Titan Ultra Half Zip, as part of the Columbia Montrail line, features a slim fit when compared to typical Columbia base-layers and tops. The top can be worn over another layer, but I’d recommend you layer with a piece equally up to the challenge of moisture management, such as the Columbia Titan Ultra Short Sleeve. The long sleeve half zip features a center back length of 26.5″ and ample arm length with flat cuffs that feature integrated thumb holes. If you hike or run at night, Columbia has included reflective detailing at the front and rear of the shirt. The Titan Ultra Half Zip is available in two light color shades, Cirrus Gray and Sea Ice (featured above) to help you keep your cool in the sun. If you like brighter hues, then check out in Lychee with yellow accents. Available in size XS to XL, for more information on this top and other new items from Columbia, please visit Columbia.com

Patagonia Everyday Mesh Bra $39

The Patagonia Active Mesh Bra is a sports bra that you can truly wear all day and forget that you have it on. The comfort of the Active Mesh Bra stems from the stretchy blend of fabrics that includes nylon (16-56% recycled, varies on pattern), polyester, and spandex. The fabric is soft, doesn’t bunch, and is breathable. Patagonia included a Polygiene finish, meaning you can wear the sports bra more days in a row without needing to wash it thanks to silver salts (Polygiene) preventing the growth of bacteria and fungi that cause odors in the first place.

The Patagonia Active Mesh Bra has seen multiple versions over the years, the current model goes back to the skinnier straps of old and continues the V-neck style in the back. The straps are stretchy and non-slip, but we found that the bra runs on the larger side in terms of strap length and band width. The Active Mesh Bra is best for low-moderate intensity exercise if you have a cup size B or larger. The bra is available in 2 prints, stripes, and solids.

Patagonia Women's Active Mesh Bra

Toad & Co Summitline Hiking Short $62

Toad & Co Summitline Hiking Short

Toad & Co Summitline Hiking Short in Buckskin

Toad & Co delivers once again this spring with a new hiking short from the “Open Air Collection”, a series of clothing pieces that are trail and town ready. The Toad & Co Summitline Hiking Short features a lightweight organic cotton, nylon, and spandex fabric combination that is not only bluesign® approved, but also carries a UPF rating of 40+. The Summitline Hiking Short feature a 5″ inseam and thin cuffed hem that stays put and doesn’t unrolls as you wear the shorts, to add a bit of style. The shorts feature a button top closure and a medium rise, skimming just above the hips.

Toad & Co Summitline Short in Hydro

The Toad & Co Summitline Hiking Short is easy to care for too, simply wash on cold cycle and tumble or air dry. I’ve been air drying only as I have found the sizing of these shorts are about a 1/2 size smaller than shorts or pants I have tested in the past from Toad & Co. I believe the fit is more slim with the longer inseam accounting for a tighter fit for those with larger quads (myself included). The shorts are flattering with usable front hand pockets, a small snap pocket on the right hip, and what Toad & Co calls drop-in back pockets. The rear pockets can easily accommodate key items, including your phone, which is often hard to come by with women’s shorts.
The Toad & Co Summitline Hiking Shorts are available in Buckskin (light khaki), Hydro, Kale, and my favorite, Sangria!

Headsweats Trucker Hats $25

 

The best way to describe the Headsweats 5 Panel Trucker Hat is that its’ a technical, moisture-wicking hat combined with a trucker hat style. Basically, it looks like a regular trucker hat, but performs like the Headsweats running hats of old. The 5-Panel Trucker Style features Headsweats’ very own Eventure woven fabric in the shell, sweatband liner, and in the mesh back of the hat. The Eventure fabric is soft and stretchy, unlike the plastic woven mesh of a traditional trucker hat. The fabric is also very mold-able and soft on the first wear and doesn’t require a break in period to get the right shape for your head. The sandwich mesh layer in the back is thicker than a standard mesh for a trucker hat, but that has not caused our head to get warmer than usual or interfere with the dissipation of heat. The hat also dries quickly in between uses.

For the complete ins and outs of the Headsweats Performance Trucker Hat line, including the classic and 5-panel design, check out the full review available here.

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Windshirt $95

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Windshirt

 

Outdoor Research states that the Ferrosi Windshirt “wears like a shirt, protects like a jacket”. The Ferrosi fabric is water and wind resistant like a jacket, but fits and moves like a mid-layer. Another major bonus, the Ferrosi fabric features a UPF 50+ rating to also offer protection from harmful sun-rays. The Ferrosi Winsdshirt does take on odors after a few days of heavy use, aka the pits begin to stink. I simply washed on the cold cycle and hung the jacket to dry and the stink is gone. This isn’t a big issue for me, but I try to be conscientious to my adventure partners.

The pullover design of the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Windshirt makes it easy to layer over a baselayer and under insulating layers, such as a vest or down/synthetic jacket. The fabric is smooth and slides easily with other layers, unlike fleece materials. The Ferrosi Windshirt features one simple pocket at the left chest that also doubles as a stash pocket for the jacket when not in use. The zippers are treated with DWR to continue the water resistance of the top. The pullover is easy to slide on and off over a hat or helmet, thanks to a generous half zip. The half zip also allows you to manage your temperature and cool down quickly.

For more information and specs, please visit the check out the full review available here.

Swiftwick Vibe One Ankle Socks $12

Swiftwick Vibe One Ankle Socks

In order to hike happy, you need to start with happy feet. Fortunately, Swiftwick socks has you covered with their versatile Vibe No Show and Vibe One Ankle Socks. For trail running and hiking, I choose to go a bit higher in socks and opted for the Vibe Ankle to review. The slightly higher sock-line prevents rubbing with trail shoes and low hikers.

Th Swfitwick Vibe One socks feature medium cushion and compression. These socks don’t slip in your shoe, bunch up, and go un-noticeable all full day adventures. Socks pass the test if you never think about your feet on a hike or run, meaning there isn’t anything to stop and adjust or mentally complain about. The Swiftwick Vibe Ankle Socks do just that in a no frills, high quality seam free design.

Patagonia Nano Air Light Hybrid Jacket $199

Patagonia Nano Air Light Hybrid Jacket

If you loved the Patagonia Nano Air Jacket or Hoody, you will fall in love with Patagonia’s newest piece for Spring 2017, the Nano Air Light Hybrid Jacket (The name is quite a mouthful, so I’ll stick with Light Hybrid for the purpose of brevity in this run-down). The Light Hybrid is a great in between piece for just about every season, including spring. The jacket is extremely light weight, weighing in at 8.9 ounces but provides weather protection and warmth and breathability in the light package. The outer shell is made of 100% ripstop nylon that is also stretchy and treated with a DWR finish. Sandwiched between the lining and shell is a 40g FullRange 100% polyester stretch insulation, similar to the Nano-Air insulation that also comes with a DWR finish. In the rear of the jacket and along the back of the arms and underarms is a polyester stretch waffle. The waffle allows you to dissipate heat and keeps you cool when wearing a pack or doing high intensity exercise. I wore this jacket in temps in the 0-25F range while running and kept my back nice and dry. On spring ski tour days of 40F, I kept my jacket on with a t-shirt underneath while everyone else in the group was adding and then shedding layers.

The Light Hybrid Jacket features a low-bulk design and is meant to be worn over and under a variety of pieces and easily stash into your pack when not in use. Patagonia limited some of the bells of whistles to keep the jacket sleek, such as a elastic along the hem in place of an adjustable drawstring and stretchy low bulk cuffs. The cuff also includes a well hidden thumb loop that helps to keep the backs of your hands and palms covered when the weather changes. The jacket also features two zippered hip pockets that are easy to get key items in and out of with a harness or pack in place. The Light Hybrid Jacket is available in size XXS to XL; Patagonia states that it has a slim fit, however we found that it ran a bit larger than Nano Puff and Nano Air Jackets that we have previously reviewed. The slightly larger size does allow us to expand the uses and layer in even colder temperatures. For more information on this jacket and the full review follow the link here. 

 

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About Shannon

Shannon, our fabulous female tester, takes gear testing to a new level for women. When not at work or school, she is most likely training for a marathon, climbing one of Colorado’s tallest peaks, riding her road bike, or skiing down a mountain slope. Like many women, Shannon gets cold easily, therefore, we try to test the best all weather gear to help her stay warm and dry during all day outdoor pursuits. In the warmer months, Shannon enjoys exploring the Colorado backcountry with her friends and dogs and attempts to escape for as many trail runs as her schedule allows. Shannon is a great women’s tester because she gives readers true insight into how a product may perform for an active woman.

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