Tested: Kuiu’s new line of women’s hunting clothing

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After years of development, Kuiu has accomplished its mission to create a women’s line of premium hunting apparel. This new ultralight layering system includes everything from base layers to insulated jackets. I had the opportunity to test some of these new devices in Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains last June. It wasn’t technically a hunting season, but you wouldn’t have known it from the rapidly changing wintry weather conditions. I hiked through a blizzard, rode horses for miles, and explored alpine lakes. I have faced almost every condition you will encounter during the hunting season and it has allowed me to put the new Kuiu women’s line to the test. Here are the results.

The author and a group of authors put the new Kuiu women’s line through its paces in Wyoming. Kuiu

Kuiu women’s clothing line

  • Ultra Merino 145 Zip Off Bottom: This soft and warm base layer allows users to take them off when warm without removing their boots.
  • Ultra Merino 145 Racerback Tank: This lightweight, breathable merino wool tank top is comfortable in warm weather.
  • Ultra Merino 145 LS Crew: This lightweight merino long sleeve shirt helps with thermoregulation and moisture control.
  • Ultra Merino Headband: Useful in both cold and warm weather, this merino headband keeps sweat off your face when it’s hot and ears warm when it’s cold.
  • Gila LS Hoodie: This quick-drying sun hoodie protects against the sun with UPF 50+.
  • Attack Pant: These durable pants feature cooling hip vents, pockets, a Primeflex fabric and a water-repellent DWR treatment.
  • Kenai Hooded Jacket: This hooded jacket is soft, quiet, stretchy and water-resistant.
  • Divide 1200 Hunting Day Pack: This 1200 cubic inch backpack is durable and versatile with 2 zippered compartments.
  • Pro Hat: Made from ripstop Codura, this adjustable brim is very comfortable off-road.

How I tested Kuiu Women’s Gear

I’ve been able to test the entire system listed above in snow, rain, sleet and sun – all while participating in rugged activities. A team of female hunters and backcountry experts wore the new Kuiu women’s apparel while hiking, paddling, bushwaking and horseback riding in the Bighorn National Forest this past June. Although technically summer, I wore the gear through extreme weather swings that highlighted the full scope of the clothing’s performance. Test conditions also included river crossings, rock climbing and bushwhacking in temperatures ranging from 30℉ to 70℉. The varying conditions and temperatures served as the perfect proving ground for this apparel, reproducing the rapidly changing weather patterns experienced by backcountry hunters.

Hunter hiking over rocks
The author climbs over rocks during a Wyoming snowstorm while testing the new Kuiu women’s clothing line. Kuiu

How the equipment performed

The women’s Kuiu line excelled in the harsh conditions of the Bighorn mountains. It’s a high-performance system that will support the huntress in the backcountry. While some outdoor brands create a women’s version by simply doing the “shrink and pink” conversion of men’s clothing, this line is specifically designed for women. From the newly engineered fabrics to the detailed woman-friendly features like fit and shape, these clothes are the real deal. While the entire line performed admirably, there were a few standouts.

Women’s Kenail Hooded Jacket

KUIU Kenai women's jacket

I’m not lying when I say I haven’t taken off this jacket for three days. It kept me warm and dry in freezing temperatures and served as a cozy indoor hoodie at room temperature. At 13 ounces, this jacket is extremely lightweight, making it perfect for backcountry weight limits. As a tall person, I was impressed with the long sleeves and reasonable torso length. The hood was crucial to protect me from snow and retain heat. The new no-quilt design is built as a mid-layer for even insulation and no seam holes. The jacket also has a stretchy design that allows freedom of movement, riding, hiking and shooting.

Attack pants for women

KUIU attack pants for women

The women’s attack pants have a well thought-out design that was well received by all testers. We’ve been through a lot in these pants – riding for hours on horseback, wading through rivers, trekking through bush by sticks and scrambling over rocks. The pants held up. The Primeflex fabric is soft and stretchy. In addition, they did not stretch over several days of use. The attack pants stayed true to size and allowed me to move easily while protecting my legs from the elements. On a full day hike in the mountains, the cold morning gave way to a warm and sunny afternoon. No problem. The zippered hip vents allowed me to remain comfortable in the pants. Also, I soaked the bottom of the pants while crossing a river and they were completely dry in half an hour. The DWR treatment serves both as a water barrier and as a quick drying garment. My only complaint is that Kuiu offers a very limited size range. Size 2 to 14 means there is no option for plus size women or large/small lengths. At 6ft 1in I loved the pants but the length ended above the top of my boot.

What I didn’t like about Kuiu’s new women’s collection

While the Kuiu women’s line is a home run overall, there are some caveats. Kuiu currently offers this collection in three camouflage patterns: Valo, Verde and Vias. I would love to see them offer these pieces in the same solid colors that we see in the men’s line. Additionally, as mentioned above, I would like to see a sizing option to accommodate a wider range of women’s sizes. This is Kuiu’s premium line of women’s hunting gear, and having access to a wider range of women hunters would be beneficial.

Is it worth the money?

Field & Stream has previously investigated this question. Is premium hunting gear really worth the money? Kuiu women’s hunting collection is not cheap, but in my opinion the price corresponds to the quality of the equipment. So if you’re looking for premium women’s hunting clothing then you’ve come to the right place. This layering system equips you with protection and comfort from the base to the exterior. Similar to the men’s line, the price tag is well worth it for the die-hard hunter. For beginners and casual hunters, a budget option might be a better place to start.

As a female backcountry adventurer, I spend most of my time hiking, backpacking, and paddling. While intended for the hunter, these items easily convert to any outdoor recreation setting and rival some of the best hiking apparel brands. If you’re on the fence, I recommend women invest in a few key pieces of this system and grow your system over time.

Tested: Kuiu's new line of women's hunting clothing
Kuiu’s new women’s collection has performed well in the changing conditions of the Bighorn mountains. Kuiu

What’s next?

Since my early summer tests, Kuiu has expanded its women’s line. They launched the women’s Chugach rain jacket, Tiburon warm-weather hunting pants, and women’s-specific hunting backpacks. Kuiu also released the women’s super down ultra hooded jacket and women’s super down ultra jacket. Attention to function, fit and detail ensures quality for the dedicated hunter who desires top quality hunting apparel. After days of putting these clothes through their paces in the Bighorn wilderness, the new Kuiu women’s line passed the test.

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