Clothing review time!
Lightheart gear has come out with some women specific clothing that I’ve been happy to try out. I received a skirt and shirt for testing and feedback and when the first dress came out I purchased it. I also tested the pack cover hoodie.
What I liked about the shirt:
-The material feels like butter when you wear it. It’s soft and stretchy, and has some merino wool in it so it retains warmth well and smells less.
-The sleeves and torso are long and roomy. The shirt almost covered my entire butt so it didn’t ride up and leave my back exposed. The sleeves have thumb holes. The thickness of the material is great for shoulder season, warmth wise in between a thin base layer and a thin fleece. These pictures are from late January at Blood mtn and the Smokies. I used it as my base layer and would layer a fleece and a down jacket over it when it got really cold.
What I didn’t like:
-Only downside I can think of would be the price, at $65 it’s not cheap. But it is made in the US by a small business catering to women of all sizes (it goes up to 3X). And I’ve worn it several 100 miles without noticing any wear or tear so in my opinion it’s worth it.
What I liked about the skirt:
-It’s made out of light quick drying material.
-It has lots of pockets! I was able to stash my hat and gloves in the large cargo pockets which was great for winter when I would heat up or cool down. You could also put snacks in them or maps! It has six pockets total, the smaller ones can still fit loads of stuff like your cell phone or wallet.
-It’s flared so you can hike and scramble without a problem.
What I didn’t like:
-The snap/zip closure. This is a personal preference. I never wear anything that’s tight in my waist and my backpack hipbelt pushes up my belly fat (oh yay!) so the snap was a little uncomfortable. I should have probably gone up a size but in general I prefer elastic waistbands.
-The price is high. I understand why, especially with all the details and how functional it is but it’s up there.
Now on to my favorite, the dress!
What I like about the dress:
-I seriously love everything about it. It’s made out of lightweight stretch material so it dries quickly and is comfortable to wear. The only downside to this material/cut is that it will show your belly fat if you have any. I have plenty at the moment so when I tighten my hipbelt it shows. I don’t really care but some people are self conscious about it. The material is slightly heavier than some of the rayon dresses I’ve worn before but it holds up much better. After 350 miles I have only a little rough spot on the side from where my pack straps rub near my hip. No holes yet even though I got it caught on branches several times. I managed to undo some of the bottom seam by hiking some extremely overgrown trails but that’s it.
-The skirt is flared and provides plenty of room for hiking and scrambling. The shoulder straps are wide to accommodate the backpack straps.
What I don’t like about the dress:
-Nothing. And at $35 it’s totally affordable.
Last but not least, the pack cover hoodie:
What I like about it:
-It keeps my head and shoulders dry in light rain when it’s just too hot to wear a rain jacket. I imagine it will also be great to layer over a rain jacket for serious winter hiking. It would cover that gap in your neck where the snow always dumps from the trees and keep the jacket from saturating. I chose the orange on purpose for possible hunting season hiking but there are many more colors to choose from.
What I didn’t like:
-When my pack was full the snap closure at my neck was a little tight but I believe that’s been redesigned to allow more room.
-It is heavier than just a pack cover but I like the versatility it offers especially combined with an umbrella.
PS: There is now also a dress with pockets. It’s made out of a slightly thicker material so the pockets won’t sag but otherwise fits about the same as mine. It’s on my wish list.
Their website is http://www.lightheartgear.com