For this week's Gear Test
, this intrepid blogger had to call for backup. While I'm not afraid to don a dress on occasion in my personal life, I feel I'm not fully qualified to go hiking in one. (Not so for all our male editors
). So the Daily Dirt decided to call in the big guns: Senior Editor Tracy Ross, Assistant Editor Elisabeth-Kwak Hefferan, and Senior Associate Photo Editor Genny Wright Fullerton donned the Nuu-Muu Exercise Dress
and tested it in rigorous conditions, from dayhikes around Boulder to longer winter hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park
to multi-day ski tours and mountaineering jaunts all throughout the Rockies. After hours of pounding dirt and snow in a stylish skirt, here's what the ladies had to say.
Genny Wright Fullerton
: (I liked the Nuu-Muu) because you feel pretty! It's fun, and with all those winter hiking tights that are way too tight to wear as pants, it's perfect to cover up a bit. When you're out in the winter, I don't like having so much stuff on that I can't move, and it allows me to wear one layer of pants without having to layer with a shell pant when I don't want just skin-tight tights. I feel like anything with tight bottoms, I'd prefer to have (the dress) than a shirt.
: Clearly, the whole point is a fashion thing. But when I'm hiking, I don't want to do my hair, put my makeup on and wear a dress.
: I think a lot of girls do. I think it's pure folly—there's no technical advantage to it—but it's in the spirit of fun. Deviate from your normal outfit. Zero function, all fashion.
: But it's so short—it's hard to hike in without flashing anyone behind me.
: I would definitely wear it in the summer, for when I get far enough away that I don't have to worry about that. It's versatile—I would change into it in camp, wear it going out to breakfast, and I would hike in it with a pair of boy short-style underwear. With people I know, of course.
: I feel like we should mention that it looks ridiculous with hiking boots, and you could never wear a pack with it, because the dress would keep getting pulled up. I would also say it's only for athletic bodies— (it's) unforgiving and short.
: As much as I love it, it doesn't help me do things faster or better, but it's versatile. The dress doesn't replace anything, but it makes me more comfortable in things I already have. I can wear just tights, and have one waistband, rather than deal with the discomfort of multiple waistbands on top of each other.
: Overall, thumbs down. The Nuu Muu is good for wearing to a summer barbecue with spandex under it, or possibly skiing. But I wouldn't wear it hiking or backpacking again. I might change into in a hot night in camp.
: I wore mine in Rocky Mountain National Park, on Boulder's Mt. Sanitas, skiing on James peak, and in Nederland, Colorado with fleece pants. I would wear it with knicker running tights for cool-weather hiking, and also farther back where I'm not going to see many people and have to worry about flashing them. But it's cute whimsical and fun, so thumbs up.
: I still give it a big thumbs-up. I would wear it anywhere that I feel like being pretty. I even wore it on Christmas day.
—as told to Ted Alvarez
So how about it, ladies? Anybody else out there tried a hiking dress? What did you think?
Image Credit: Ben Fullerton, Fullerton Images