Women's Camping Equipment: Best Gear For Women
Looking for the best women's camping gear? We tested out some of the best brands on the market
In the past, companies had a tendency to 'dumb down' women's outdoor technical gear. Nowadays plenty of companies are stepping up to the mark - making high quality, technical women's camp equipment.
We tried and tested this gear in wild windy autumnal Cornwall last weekend - and here's what we thought...
Thermarest Women's Neoair XLite Mattress
My partner has raved about Thermarest mattresses for years.
Thermarests are lightweight inflatable camp mattresses. Everyone knows that feeling of sleeping badly in a tent because there's a big rock digging into your back.
With a Thermarest, you won't even feel it through the air-filled softness of the mattress.
Compared to a roll mat, the Women's Neoair XLite is very light and compact. It rolls up into a tiny pouch that's not much bigger than a bottle of beer.
Women have a tendency to get colder than men at night - so the women's Thermarest has extra reflective layers inside the mattress to trap and recirculate the heat. I can vouch for the fact that it kept me warm and comfortable all night.
After years of battling with bulky, uncomfortable roll mats, I am a total convert.
Buy the Thermarest Women's Neoair XLite here
Rab Women's Microlight Alpine Jacket
The reason we love Rab is because they don't compromise when it comes to making technical outdoor clothing for women.
The Rab Microlight Alpine jacket is pretty much perfect when it comes to women's camping gear.
It is so light, it practically feels weightless when you wear it. It kept me warm after a cold autumn surf in the Atlantic and during the chilly October nights camping in Cornwall.
If you're backpacking through the wilderness or skinning up a mountain side, this is jacket is also ideal, because it's super lightweight (just 135g) and packs away neatly into a tiny little sack to stash in your backpack.
You can even wear it in the city and look like a total don.
Buy the Rab Women's Microlight Alpine Jacket here
Osprey Women's Aura AG 50 Backpack
Osprey are one of the best brands when it comes to finding the right women's backpack for camping.
It's always a good idea to choose a women's specific pack, because men and women's bodies have different proportions.
Women's specific models are often designed for shorter torsos, narrower shoulder widths and have waist belts designed for women's hips. The straps won't dig into your neck and it should sit on your hips comfortably.
Osprey have a special PackSizer app which helps choose the right backpack. You upload your measurements and a photo of yourself - and it comes back with your perfect pack size. Clever, right?
The Aura AG was perfectly fitted to my 5'2" frame. It hugged my hips without causing friction when I was lugging my heavy camping gear around and the Anti-Gravity frame kept the pack away from my body, meaning my back stayed nice and cool.
This 50L pack is perfect for a two to three night camping trip. I particularly like the waist belt pockets (perfect for stashing energy bars) and the easy-to-access sleeping bag compartment.
Buy the Osprey Women's Aura AG 50 Backpack here
North Ridge Merino Wool Base Layer Top
You won't know how much you love merino until you buy a merino top.
Merino wool comes from one of the world's most ancient sheep breeds. These sheep lived in very harsh conditions, which meant their wool coat has evolved to protect itself from the elements.
Merino is a very lightweight insulating wool. It even stays warm when wet. Unlike cotton, its natural breathability means it draws sweat away from the body in hot weather without leaving you feel damp.
This makes it great for outdoor base layers, like this North Ridge one from Go Outdoors. I like the fact that it smells fresh even after a couple of days camping, thanks to its natural anti-bacterial properties. It's a women's camping essential.
Buy a North Ridge Merino Wool Base Layer Top here
Marmot Women's Trestles 15 Sleeping Bag
There's nothing better than a good quality sleeping bag. After a long day hiking, canoeing or mountain biking, you want to be able to crawl into a sleeping bag and know it will keep you warm all night long.
The Trestles 15 sleeping bag from Marmot is a classic design that's been honed after 40 years of practice.
It rolls down nicely into a small pack, so you can easily store it in your camping backpack. It's high quality and durable so it should last you many adventures to come.
Marmot have different length sleeping bags - for 5'6" or under and 5'10" - which is ideal for those looking to find the perfect bag.
Buy the Marmot Trestles 15 Sleeping Bag here
Merrell Eventyr Bluff Boots
You want to pull on some boots in the evening when you're camping that aren't the hiking boots or trainers you've been wearing all day.
These boots from Merrell are the perfect balance of a good looking boot with great technical properties.
The suede is covered in a waterproof layer, so you don't have to worry about ruining them in the rain.
These boots will take you from the trail to the pub.
Buy the Merrell Eventyr Bluff Boots here