Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Women's Gear

  • Winter Wanderings
    Best Women's Insulated Hiking Boots
    Best Women's Insulated Hiking Boots
  • Carve the Mountain
    The Best Women's Alpine Ski Boots for 2015!
    Best womens alpine ski boots 2015
  • Ready for the Slopes
    The Best Women's Ski Pants of 2015!
    Best Women's Ski Pants 2015
  • Pack Like a Pro
    Guidebook Author Lisa Densmore Ballard
    Pack Like a Pro: Hiking with guidebook author Lisa Densmore Ballard
  • WINTER STYLE GUIDE
    FOR WOMEN
    2014 Winter Style Guide for Women
DPS Yvette 112RP2 Women's Skis - 2014/2015

84

2014

DPS Yvette 112RP2 Women's Skis - 2014/2015

Our testers say the DPS Yvette 112 RP2 is "fun, fun, fun" in fresh snow and in the steeps.

Black Diamond Element Women's Skis - 2014/2015

74

2014

Black Diamond Element Women's Skis - 2014/2015

BD's Element loves to get deep.

Rossignol Star 7 Women's Skis - 2014/2015

83

2014

Rossignol Star 7 Women's Skis - 2014/2015

Queen of the float, Rossignol's Star 7 surfs the soft stuff.

Armada VJJ 2.0 Women's Skis - 2014/2015

91

2014

Armada VJJ 2.0 Women's Skis - 2014/2015

There's a new standard in women's powder skis. Meet Armada's VJJ 2.0.

Line Pandora Women's Skis - 2014/2015

80

2014

Line Pandora Women's Skis - 2014/2015

Line's Pandora opens the world of powder to converts and newcomers as well.

Salomon Quartz XT12 Ti Women's Skis - 2014/2015

93

2014

Salomon Quartz XT12 Ti Women's Skis - 2014/2015

Salomon's Quartz XT12 Ti is like an energy drink just for your legs, jampacked with response and agility.

Blizzard Viva 810 TI IQ Women's Skis - 2014/2015

89

2014

Blizzard Viva 810 TI IQ Women's Skis - 2014/2015

Blizzard's Viva 810 Ti is made for skiing the good life.

Kastle MX 70 Women's Skis - 2014/2015

76

2014

Kastle MX 70 Women's Skis - 2014/2015

Kastle's MX 70 is for women who never take their foot off the gas.

White Doctor LT8 Women's Skis - 2014/2015

56

2014

White Doctor LT8 Women's Skis - 2014/2015

White Doctor makes a slope call.

Nordica Nemesis Women's Skis - 2014/2015

83

2014

Nordica Nemesis Women's Skis - 2014/2015

Nordica's Nemesis is a big mountain ski with some serious hard snow skills.

Volkl Aura Women's Skis - 2014/2015

88

2014

Volkl Aura Women's Skis - 2014/2015

Finally, a big mountain ski that treats the terrain as seriously as you do!

Atomic Century 102 Women's Skis - 2014/2015

86

2014

Atomic Century 102 Women's Skis - 2014/2015

Atomic's Century floats like a butterfly, and stings like a queen bee.

Dynastar Cham W107 Women's Skis - 2014/2015

85

2014

Dynastar Cham W107 Women's Skis - 2014/2015

Dynastar's Cham W107 is ready to devour the powder buffet.

Faction Agent 90W Women's Skis - 2014/2015

71

2014

Faction Agent 90W Women's Skis - 2014/2015

Personals: Agent 90W in search of loose, fearless Western skier.

K2 Potion 98Ti Women's Skis - 2014/2015

81

2014

K2 Potion 98Ti Women's Skis - 2014/2015

K2's 98 Potion Ti is made to slash the trees and blast the bumps.

Dynastar Cham W97 Women's Skis - 2014/2015

84

2014

Dynastar Cham W97 Women's Skis - 2014/2015

The Cham W 97 is custom built for Snowbird's soft snow and big terrain.

Mizuno Sayonara 2 (Women's)

86

2014

Mizuno Sayonara 2 (Women's)

While is a lot to like about the Mizuno Sayonara 2–such as its nimbleness and comfort–it also gives runners a stiffer, "slappier" ride than the bouncy Hitogami.

Women's Brooks Ghost 7

85

2014

Women's Brooks Ghost 7

The Brooks Ghost offers a no-fuss, no-frills ride for all but the lightest and speediest runners who might find the Ghost chassis just too much shoe—too much ramp, too much cushion, too much heel. 

Therm-a-Rest Mira 15

91

2014

Therm-a-Rest Mira 15

The Therm-a-Rest Mira takes advantage of the fact that virtually every backpacker carries a sleeping pad as well as a bag. By relying on the pad’s insulation, Therm-a-Rest designers cut weight by eliminating most of the insulation in the bottom panel of the Mira. 

Tecnica Cochise W105

83

2014

Tecnica Cochise W105

The Tecnica Cochise W105 is an excellent boot for a very specific audience. The ideal customer spends 85 percent of her time skiing at the resort, and 15 percent doing short hikes and tours from the resort.

Scott Celeste

85

2014

Scott Celeste

The Scott Celeste is a great pick for those who struggle with fit and comfort issues in AT boots.

Scarpa Gea RS

86

2014

Scarpa Gea RS

In terms of thoroughbred AT boots, the Gea Rs is at the top of the class. However, it is out of place anywhere near the resort. Look here if you spend 90 percent of your time in the backcountry.

Scarpa Women's Freedom SL

94

2014

Scarpa Women's Freedom SL

The Freedom SL represents an evolutionary leap forward in the hybridization of downhill and alpine touring ski boots.

Dynafit Mercury TF

92

2014

Dynafit Mercury TF

This AT boot means business—of the hut trip, mountaineering ascent, and multi-day backcountry tour variety. Stay far away from the resort.

Black Diamond Shiva MX 110

89

2014

Black Diamond Shiva MX 110

A beefy, take-no-prisoners boot substantially increases the comfort margin when touring for big mountain terrain.

Simms Women’s G3 Guide Stockingfoot

89

2014

Simms Women’s G3 Guide Stockingfoot

Using top-shelf materials and bulletproof construction, the G3 Guide is as good as you can get with waders—but at a price that is more than double that of most other brands.

Cabela’s Women’s Dry-Plus Premium Stockingfoot Waders

78

2014

Cabela’s Women’s Dry-Plus Premium Stockingfoot Waders

These are serviceable waders at an extremely low price: they give beginners and occasional anglers a viable way to get on the water in comfort.

L.L. Bean Women’s Kennebec Waders

81

2014

L.L. Bean Women’s Kennebec Waders

Best for bigger-bodied anglers, these waders use a roomy cut for full freedom of movement. There’s lots of room for thick fleece pants, puffy coats, multiple socks and anything else you might want to don while you fish.

Patagonia Women’s Spring River Waders

94

2014

Patagonia Women’s Spring River Waders

The fit is dialed and the features are smart on Patagonia’s first-ever pair of women’s waders, which strike the ideal balance between performance and practicality.

Orvis Women’s Silver Sonic Convertible-Top Waders

92

2014

Orvis Women’s Silver Sonic Convertible-Top Waders

An outstanding value, the Silver Sonic fits great and feels rugged.

Columbia Powerfly (Women's)

87

2013

Columbia Powerfly (Women's)

If you get cold easy and could use extra body-heat retaining technology then the Columbia Powerfly is for you.

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer (Women's)

90

2013

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer (Women's)

If you are looking for a highly compressible down jacket with incredible warmth-to-weight ratio, then the Ghost Whisperer is for you.

Montbell Frost Smoke Parka (Women's)

89

2013

Montbell Frost Smoke Parka (Women's)

The Montbell Frost Smoke Parka feels like a mountaineering jacket in a small, light package and could save your ass in extreme alpine conditions.

Patagonia Hi-loft Down Sweater Hoody (Women's)

88

2013

Patagonia Hi-loft Down Sweater Hoody (Women's)

The 800-fill Patagonia Hi-loft Down Sweater Hoody works really well as a multi-use winter jacket for moderately cold and relatively dry climates or as a layering piece.

Marmot Jena Jacket (Women's)

87

2013

Marmot Jena Jacket (Women's)

If you are looking for a straight-forward down jacket to keep in your avy pack as your main insulation layer under a storm shell or as a stand alone down jacket, this is your pick.

Black Diamond Shiva MX 110

71

2013

Black Diamond Shiva MX 110

Black Diamond’s new Shiva MX 110 offers a resistance-free walk mode with 40 degrees of range of motion for the easiest uphill movement we’ve found.

Scarpa Freedom SL Women’s

77

2013

Scarpa Freedom SL Women’s

Female backcountry skiers who are tired of flimsy AT boots will appreciate the power of the 120-flex Freedom SL Women’s.

Dalbello Mantis 95

74

2013

Dalbello Mantis 95

Dalbello's Mantis handles all terrain with a high degree of comfort.

Lange RX 100 W

76

2013

Lange RX 100 W

Get Lange’s RX model if you love ripping around the resort or you’re an ex-racer who now appreciates comfort.

Tecnica Inferno Fling

77

2013

Tecnica Inferno Fling

Tecnica's Inferno Fling is an all-mountain machine with fuzzy fur lining for comfort.

Atomic Waymaker Tour 100 W

81

2013

Atomic Waymaker Tour 100 W

Atomic’s Waymaker Tour 100 W was designed with strong backcountry female skiers in mind and it delivers.

Salomon X Max 90 W

71

2013

Salomon X Max 90 W

Salomon's X Max 90 W is a forgiving, easy ride, suited for all types of frontside terrain.

Nemo Nocturne 15  (Rhapsody for women)

78

2013

Nemo Nocturne 15 (Rhapsody for women)

The unique “spoon shape” shape of the Nemo Nocturne 15 allows for a comfortable night’s sleep in any position.

CW-X VersatX Bra

94

2013

CW-X VersatX Bra

Out of twenty bras in the test, I thought this was easily the best running bra out there. CW-X scraps the old one-size-fits-all scheme and trades it out for a fully customizable, functional, supportive and comfortable high impact running bra.

Champion The Smoothie High Support Sports Bra

92

2013

Champion The Smoothie High Support Sports Bra

The Smoothie is surprisingly supportive, despite its deceivingly thin straps and luxurious fabric; our C cup tester reported it as one of her top picks. We felt it's best for medium to high impact activities.

Patagonia Switchback Bra

91

2013

Patagonia Switchback Bra

My C cup tester and I (34B) both thought the Switchback was the most versatile bra out of the 20 we tested. It can effortlessly take A to D cups from hot yoga to running and anywhere in between, though larger breasted runners may find it a bit lacking in support.

Moving Comfort Juno

91

2013

Moving Comfort Juno

This is one of my top picks for larger busted women and high impact activities. From covered seams, to full customizability and superior support, this is one of the most impressive running bras I’ve encountered, though it may be a bit much for smaller users.

The North Face High Impact Sports Bra

89

2013

The North Face High Impact Sports Bra

This was our favorite traditional over-the-head compression bra in the lineup. No fancy features – the Stow-n-Go is a simple, comfortable, affordable, and supportive high impact running bra with the added convenience of a stash pocket.

Under Armour Protegee

88

2013

Under Armour Protegee

The lightweight, comfortable Protegee is a fantastic high impact running bra for larger cup sizes with a front zip that allows for added compression and super easy on and off.

Lululemon All Sports Bra

78

2013

Lululemon All Sports Bra

The name “All Sports Bra” might be somewhat misleading for women with a bust larger than an A cup. This luxuriously comfortable bra is best for high mobility, low impact activities like yoga or weightlifting.

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