Don’t Overlook
Women’s Hunting Apparel


Próis has carved out a reputation as a woman-focused hunting apparel brand, offering several
collections for a variety of conditions. (Pictured: Próis Dionla Rain Jacket & Pants)

Women were already one of the fastest-growing segments of hunters in the United States, but last year hunting saw a boom in popularity that has continued into 2021. It’s estimated more than 1 million American women will take to the field this season.1 And while last year was one of growth for new hunters, this year is all about retention.

Female hunters may make up a small segment of your current customer base, but they certainly aren’t to be overlooked considering women drive 70–80% of all consumer purchasing decisions through a combination of their power and influence.2

Addressing A Pain Point

One consumer pain point many physical retailers have historically failed to solve is that of women’s hunting apparel. Female hunters will often enter a store only to find a single rack in the back or off to the side of the hunting section with scant selection and limited sizing — if they find any at all.

It wasn’t long ago women were relegated to making do with men’s or youth hunting apparel. Thankfully for both new and seasoned hunters alike, women’s hunting apparel has changed drastically over the past 15 years.

One of the pioneers of hunting apparel made by women for women is Kirstie Pike, who founded Próis in 2008 on the belief women hunt hard and deserve the gear to support their hunting and outdoor passions.

“When we first started, most companies were simply ‘shrinking and pinking’ to try to attract the female consumer,” recalled Pike. “While it worked for some, women became pretty vocal about the need to have apparel and equipment actually tailored to their bodies, not just small men’s clothing and equipment.”

While Pike said the market has improved overall for female hunters, she emphasized there’s still work to be done. For retailers who don’t currently or are on the fence about stocking women’s hunting apparel on their shelves, Pike encourages them to take a leap of faith.

“Work with companies that offer reasonable minimums and re-order options,” she advised. “Also, ensuring retailers maintain a complete size run on their shelves at all times is imperative. We hear from many women who leave stores empty-handed because their sizes weren’t stocked.”
According to Pike, Próis’ workhorse items continue to be the Tintri and Torai lines.

The Tintri line is lightweight and ideal for warmer seasons, whereas the Torai collection is a mid-weight line for cooler seasons.

“Our pants have many unique features that accommodate a vast variety of women’s body types,” she said. “The pants have four-way stretch, more room in the rear and thighs and a hidden elastic band in the waist allowing women to adjust to their own body.”

Keep Women’s Hunting Products Together

Another suggestion Pike offered is for dealers to assign one employee to oversee the women’s hunting category.

“It often goes overlooked, and stock sells out and isn’t replenished. Building a separate section, if space allows, with all of the women’s hunting products is also a fantastic way to help get and keep this customer,” she added.

Recognizing this was an area many stores were lacking is part of what led to Kelle Adams to open Badass Outdoor Gear in Salt Lake City, Utah.
According to its website, the idea struck Adams after years of shopping in sporting goods stores and watching customers struggle to get helpful information from the employees about hunting packs.

“[Badass Outdoor Gear Co-Founder] Russ [Kocherhans] would jump in and explain the packs and suggest which one would best meet their needs. We would tease Russ and ask if he thought he worked there. Then Kelle found herself helping the ladies find the right fit in camo and other gear. The light bulb went off … if we enjoy helping others find the right hunting gear then why don’t we start doing something we enjoy?”

Badass Outdoor Gear now has two locations in Sandy and Price, Utah. Adams has made it a priority to meet the needs of female hunters. The store offers a selection from brands made just for women including Próis and Girls with Guns Clothing, as well as women’s items from First Lite, Rivers West and StormKloth II.

Size Inclusivity Key

While many mainstream brands have added women’s options to their lines, Jen O’Hara of Girls with Guns Clothing (GWG) said retailers should consider a brand created and tested by women who hunt.

“Norissa and I have been hunting in our gear since 2014 and we have made multiple upgrades over the years to make each piece of our hunting collection the best in the field,” she said.

The Artemis collection is GWG’s core product line; it includes a softshell jacket and pants made with high-pile fleece backing and four-way stretch.
They’re durable, water repellent and windproof, but one of the most distinguishable features of the Artemis softshell pants is an adjustable inseam to accommodate women of various heights.

“Women are vital to the future of the hunting industry and should have access to quality, durable apparel just like their male counterparts. Retailers should focus on stocking items designed with fit and functionality in mind, particularly those designed not just for women, but by women and tested by them.”

The collection is also one of the most size-inclusive women’s hunting apparel lines on the market, available in XS to 2X.

This season, GWG is adding a few new accessory pieces to their lineup, including a fleece head band and buck patch hat. Other popular pieces are the lightweight neck gaiter and fleece ponytail beanie designed with women’s longer hair in mind.

The most size-inclusive women’s hunting apparel brand on the market, however, didn’t start out as a hunting brand at all.

Wendy Austin Gavinski founded DSG Outerwear in 2010 when she recognized a need for functional outerwear in the snowmobile world. In 2017, the hunting line was launched to fill a similar need.

DSG’s hunting apparel line is highly functional with an emphasis on a feminine and fashionable fit. Designers and specialists with more than 40 years of experience making outerwear use quality materials and components in the line that offers sizes ranging from XS to 5X.

Melissa Bachman, hunter, conservationist and host of the Sportsman Channel TV series, “Winchester Deadly Passion,” partnered with the brand in 2019 to wear DSG Outerwear’s clothing in her TV series and during her outdoor adventures.

“As an example of their superb functionality, all of the jacket hoods snap on or off, their inseams are adjustable and every piece has multiple pockets for storage. The brush fabric is quiet in even the coldest weather, helping during those close encounters,” said Bachman. “Their layering pieces and jackets kept me warm and dry during the cold fall hunting season we had in the Midwest.”

DSG Outerwear’s women’s hunting apparel line offers matching camo pants and jackets with every piece sporting their signature aqua accent colors, as well as blaze pink and blaze orange outerwear.

The Takeaway

Women are vital to the future of the hunting industry and should have access to quality, durable apparel just like their male counterparts.
Retailers should focus on stocking items designed with fit and functionality in mind, particularly those designed not just for women, but by women and tested by them. Key features to look for in a product line include adjustability, stretch and size inclusivity.

Lastly, women’s apparel sizing is notoriously inconsistent. If you’re truly going to offer women’s apparel, make sure you have a fitting room!

1: “Why Women Are The Fastest Growing Segment Of The Population Who Hunt,” Chris Dorsey, Forbes,
2: “Top 10 Things Everyone Should Know About Women Consumers,” Bridget Brennan, Forbes,

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