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Fun and Functional: 10 Women-Owned Brands You’ve Likely Never Heard Of

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Wanting something beyond the run-of-the-mill apparel for women? Then check out these 10 women-owned outdoor brands — some of which you probably haven’t heard of.

Outdoor apparel for women can be boring. More often than not, outdoor apparel comes in neutral colors, has zero flair, or is only made to look cute without lasting power, durability, or functionality.

Despite the fact that many large manufacturers are attempting to bring color back into their clothing, they can lack creativity. Fortunately, several women decided to change that by starting their own outdoor apparel brands.

Here, we’ve curated a list of distinctive outdoor brands created by women for women. So, whether your interests are cycling, fishing, hiking, trekking, snowboarding, skiing, or climbing — these brands will have something to set you apart.

10 Unique Women-Owned Brands

1. Purple Rain Skirts

The Adventure skirt in purple being worn.
The Adventure Skirt; (photo/Purple Rain Skirts)

Purple Rain Adventure Skirts are made for the trail, and that’s because the founder, Mandy Bland (trail name “Purple Rain”), wanted a skirt to hike in but couldn’t find what she wanted. She did something about it by designing her own.

Purple Rain Skirts are handmade and come in a variety of weights for different seasons and a variety of colors, not just purple. These skirts are made to move with you without compromising performance.

  • Sizing: XS-XXL
  • Material: Polyester and Spandex blend
  • Price: $72-99
  • Known for: Comfortable hiking skirts and dress
  • Additional special feature: Pockets and durable water-resistant finish

2. Wild Brush

wild brush
The Wy’east Winds Dopp Kit; (photo/Wild Brush)

Still in its early stages of crowdfunding, Julianna Mahoney, founder of Wild Brush, is on a mission to add color to outdoor apparel and gear.

Mahoney stated, “I was at my wits end after years of tiredly purchasing the same solid-colored gear, designed by people who value profit over functionality.”

Taking action, Mahoney decided to change the industry herself by creating her own brand that focuses on artistic designs in colorful palettes. This brand is anything but dull or boring because it collaborates with local artists to create ongoing designs that stand out.

Check out the fun designs that are not just on apparel but also on chalk bags, hip packs, tote bags, crag packs, wallets, and more.

  • Sizing:
    • Crops and Shorts: XS-XL
    • Tee: XS-XXL
  • Material: Ecopoly and Spandex
  • Known for: Colorful artistic designs
  • Additional special feature: A portion of each purchase goes back to the artists

3.  Miss Mayfly

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The Miss Mayfly MOXIE Chameleon Chest Wader; (photo/Miss Mayfly)

So few fishing garments are designed for women. However, founder Kimberly Ranalla of Miss Mayfly has changed that.

Ranalla didn’t grow up loving fishing but rather discovered the sport after a traumatizing incident that ultimately led her to fishing. After falling in love with the activity, she came across another issue — gear that didn’t fit her or her adult daughter.

Making a splash, Ranalla created Miss Mayfly, a company that creates exceptional fitting fishing apparel with remarkable quality that’s designed for women.

  • Sizing: Waders: 6/7 Slim and 8/10 Supreme
  • Material: High-gauge reinforced polyester with waterproof membrane, neoprene booties
  • Price: $280-370 (waders)
  • Known for: Fishing apparel for women
  • Additional special feature: Fleece-lined hand warmer

4. Chickfly

chickfly
The Chickfly Merino Eucalyptus Leggings; (photo/Chickfly)

There’s been a lot of excitement about the innovative zipper pants made by SheFly that allow women to pee outdoors. So when we discovered Chickfly, who has a similar concept, we had to add them to the list.

Founder Anna Birkás, the creator of Chickfly, created stylish, yoga-like pants that are cleverly designed with no zippers or fasteners of any kind. You just pull the overlapping fabric to the side and go. 

These pants are especially a great alternative for climbers who love living in their yoga pants but don’t like getting slowed down by their harness for every bathroom break.

  • Sizing: XS-3XL
  • Material: Sustainable bamboo fibers
  • Price: $119-149
  • Known for: Yoga-like pants with a zipper-less fly
  • Additional special feature: Deep pockets

5. Nobody’s Princess

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The Zali Snowboard & Ski Pants; (photo/Nobody’s Princess)

“After multiple torn crotches, never quite bending down fully out of fear of ripping the backside of my pants, and still somehow managing to get snow down my backside, I decided enough is enough,” said Maria Baker, founder of Nobody’s Princess.

Baker took on the task and produced snow pants that are both well-fitting and stylish. Additionally, this Australian brand sells waterproof shred hoodies, t-shirts, beanies, and other items if you’re interested in more than just snow pants.

  • Sizing: US4-US18
  • Material: 4-way stretch poly fabric with 15K/15K waterproofing, 40/60g insulation
  • Price: $178
  • Known for: Snow pants that fit all women
  • Additional special feature: Stretch panels, gusseted crotch to prevent tears

6. Funluvin’ Fleecewear

The Georgie Funluvin’ Skirt; (photo/Taylor Miller, Funluvin’ Fleecewear)

Kelli O’Keefe wanted to add her creative touch to outdoor clothing based on her passion for outdoor adventures, especially as a “female boatman.”

Funluvin’ Fleecewear, designed by O’Keefe, consists of skirts, shorts, snuggle buddies (sleeping pad covers), coffee chat blankets, sun hoodies, caps, and beanies that are all covered with wild, vibrant, and you guessed it, funluvin’ patterns.

In addition to wanting to give outdoor clothing color, she also attempts to be environmentally friendly. “I’ll keep supporting local manufacturers and fabric suppliers as much as I can!” O’Keefe said.

  • Sizing: S-XL
  • Material: 100% polyester
  • Price: $52-60
  • Known for: Skirts with pockets and drawstrings
  • Additional special feature: Apparel products for men and children too

7. Youer

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Treasure Dress; (photo/Youer)

Mallory Ottariano, the founder of Youer, has always used style and clothing as a form of self-expression — standing out from the crowd as much as possible.

Now with her own brand, she offers bold, bright colors as a means to encourage women to celebrate their uniqueness and embrace the many different ways they explore nature.

  • Sizing: XXS-XXL
  • Material: Recycled materials
  • Price: Varies
  • Known for: Athletic apparel that stands out
  • Additional special feature: Made in the USA and ships in plastic-free packaging

8. Machines for Freedom

The Endurance Bib 2.0; (photo/Machines of Freedom)

Jennifer Kriske was nearly hospitalized after a long-distance bike ride in France that left her with debilitating saddle sores. It didn’t take Kriske long to realize that existing cycling apparel for women wasn’t cutting it.

Kriske founded Machines for Freedom, which makes high-quality cycling apparel for women of all skill levels. On the website, you can also find cycling bibs and bottoms, jerseys, MTB+ trail shorts, outwear, base layers, and more.

  • Sizing: XS-XXXL
  • Material: Varies
  • Price: $168-235 (for the endurance bib pictured)
  • Known for: Incredibly high-performance apparel for women who ride
  • Additional special feature: High-compression and high-wicking fabric

9. Ik’splôr

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The Adult Performance & Kid Iksplorer Set; (photo/Ik’splôr)

Ik’splôr is an apparel line created by two sisters who came up with the idea that performance outdoor apparel should be made for the entire family — no matter the age.

“To encourage families and kids to have amazing experiences outside, through making the highest quality and most earth-friendly clothes possibly,” said Ik’splôr’s founders.

Ik’splôr offers matching performance sets made with merino that are perfect for the next family adventure.

  • Sizing: Baby (0-24m); kid (2-12 years); adults (S-L)
  • Material: Merino wool
  • Price: Varies
  • Known for: Base layers and mid layers
  • Additional special feature: Layers made for babies, kids, men, women, and nursing women

10. Comfortable Adventures

send hemp pants
Hemp Send Pants; (photo/Comfortable Adventures)

Jeein Shin, a Seoul, South Korean native, fell in love with climbing but not with the industry’s clothing. Shin made the decision to start Comfortable Adventures after working for renowned brands, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Converse, J.Crew, and Woolrich. Her clothing line focuses on creating soft, low-impact attire for women to go out and adventure.

What’s more to love is that Comfortable Adventures’ sustainable approach uses hemp, a natural fiber that absorbs CO2, making it carbon negative.

  • Sizing: XS-XL
  • Material: Hemp, organic cotton
  • Price: $45-145
  • Known for: Climbing clothing
  • Additional special feature: Carbon-negative apparel
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