What female hikers, bikers and other active outdoorswomen need is gear that fits their bodies comfortably so they can move with endurance and speed without feeling constricted or bulky. Women of all shapes and sizes need versatile active gear for their bodies, not the same hiking shorts and shoes that are made for men.

The Outdoor Industry Association reports that over 20 million women across the country currently participate in outdoor recreational spending and that number is expected to increase. This presents an opportunity for companies to expand their market share and even reach new customers through creating new products that meet the needs of female customers.

In order to do this, companies of all sizes must take a step back and ask themselves a crucial question – What kind of women am I designing my product for? It’s only fair to ask this question before you make your first design decision. To give you an idea of how important this is, just ask yourself the following questions:

Are the products I design ergonomically friendly for women? The best women’s active gear is designed with the female body in mind. Women are shaped differently than men and women want to move with agility, not bulkiness.

What is the material used in my product? Is the material of a good quality? Do I give women a choice of colors? Women do not want to buy gear that is pink just because it is made for them. When designing a product, companies should take care to provide choices of colors and textures that they think most women want in their gear – but also allow them to be creative.

How is my product designed – with attention to detail or as an afterthought? This should not be left up to chance. Women want products that are well-designed and attractive. It’s important that companies make a point of designing products with this goal in mind.

Exposure to women’s active gear is becoming more widespread with increased media coverage and an increase in the number and scope of women’s sports that have been introduced since the ’60s. The amount of behavior, beliefs and ideas concerning women are evolving to a place where women are constantly exposed to new aspects, ideas, attitudes and values from a variety of different sources.

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