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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Gear Review: Women's Active Bottoms

For those times on the trail when serious hiking pants are overkill.

by: Katie Herrell

Patgonia Solimar Shorts (Courtesy Photo)
Patgonia Solimar Shorts (Courtesy Photo)
Horny Toad Chilena Skirt (Courtesy Photo)
Horny Toad Chilena Skirt (Courtesy Photo)
Prana Bliss Carpri (Courtesy Photo)
Prana Bliss Carpri (Courtesy Photo)
Patgonia Multi-use Skirt (Courtesy Photo)
Patgonia Multi-use Skirt (Courtesy Photo)

[performance skirt]
Patgonia Multi-use Skirt

There are people who work out in skirts. And people who avoid people who work out in skirts. Our testers belonged to the latter camp (with an exception made for playing tennis) … and had to admit post-test that their hatred may have been unjustified. “I have to say, it might be better then pants,” said one tester who was impressed by this skirt’s flattering cut, the breezy, mesh boy shorts sewed inside, and the speedy wicking capabilities, whether running or getting a lake shower at the dog park. Patagonia claims that the liner shorts are “compression shorts”, but neither tester found them super tight except around the thigh where a tacky elastic binding holds them in place (one tester did experience some mild thigh creepage). The skirt fabric is made of 75-denier 91% all-recycled polyester with a bit of spandex for great movement. And although they look super short right out of the bag, the flat, thicker waistband and slight a-line shape makes for a flattering 14” of fabric. While skirts on the trail always raises a few eyebrows (check out our hiking dress review from last year), just tell the naysayers that trail runner Krissy Moehl won the 103-mile Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc race (and set the course record) in this very skirt. $55; 4.9 oz. (M); sizes XS-XL; black; patagonia.com



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READERS COMMENTS

LA
Sep 07, 2010

Joining the rant--are you listening, ANY Company That Makes Outdoor Wear?!?!

TOTALLY agreeing with the others, regarding price, size (or lack thereof, over "small-average"), availability....

I have hips, folks. And I LOVE the outdoors. I do. 'Nuff said. What's so horrible about making clothing for me? I'd give you my money, if only you'd make something that fit me. Lower rise than men's pants, but fuller butt--is it so hard? Is it YOUR vanity--would it be too humiliating to have something THAT BIG (read: anything over size 14-16) in your company's closet? Because I truly do feel the message being sent is--"If you're bigger than what WE say is acceptable, stay out of our winderness."

Regarding price--explain to me why women have to pay more for the same performance as men? Again, the message is subtly--"C'mon, guys! Let's go play!....Gals, if you can afford to join us...."

Getting off soapbox....Sorry. But thanks, that was therapudic.

MrRedwood
Sep 07, 2010

Love that title.

jessie's girl
Sep 06, 2010

i so totally agree with the other comments--women's outdoor-wear NEEDS to be practical first! and wanna tell me why i have to buy men's pants to find zip-offs? either the women's don't have any OR they are 3x the cost--so not fair!

imo, 'performance' skirts (or any other clothing for that matter) are not really 'performance' if they contain ANY cotton--duh! that is the first thing i look for when shopping for hiking gear.

Kathy Handyside
Sep 04, 2010

And while they're at it, it would be nice if clothes manufacturers would make clothes that fit AMERICANS!! We are NOT little tiny petite ASIANS.

Kathy Handyside
Sep 04, 2010

I wish these clothes manufacturers would get back to PRACTICAL OUTDOOR CLOTHING FOR WOMEN!!instead of all this prissy "lets all look cute for the boys" cr@p! I want clothes that fit and make sense for on the trail. I don't go into the wilderness to make a fashion statement and I'm sick and tired of clothes manufacturers only catering to those who do!

Kathryn
Sep 02, 2010

I LOVE hiking in performance skirts! They are comfortable, fast drying and offer a LOT of airflow, which came in handy while hiking the PCT through the Mojave - kept me nice and cool.

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