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Women’s Fall Gear 2008

Our female testers pick their favorite gear for fall hikes.

Pack | Bra | Rain Shell | Sleeping Bag | Pants | Vest | Midlayer

Mountain Hardwear Women’s Petra

Our first priority in backcountry pants is protection from rock and brush with a fit and fabric that doesn’t restrict hiking or scrambling. The Petra manages all that, and looks good, too. With stylish seaming, an elastic internal pull cord at the waist, and low-profile hand pockets, the Petra flatters a wide range of body shapes. The adjustable cuffs fold up and snap neatly in place to shorten the length by five inches, which provides extra clearance on muddy trails. The stretchy, quick-drying Switchback Plus nylon is impressively durable: After several months of abuse, they showed only one tiny snag. $75; 10 oz.; 2-14; Reader service #121

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