1. Black Diamond Women's Mercury Mitts
Those of you that know me know that my hands freeze in the winter time. I need a pair of go-to mitts that I can pull on easily when my fingers are frozen and fumbly. The BD Mercury mitts are my favourite - kept in my pack until I need them, and when I do they don't disappoint. I bought my second pair in 2017.
2. Outdoor Research Women's Ascendant Hoody
Brand new Polartec Alpha Direct active insulation technology is one of the best jackets I have ever worn. Keeping your temperature regulated by dumping heat in active mode or trapping heat in sedentary mode, I can wear this jacket over a wide array of temperatures. This jacket also cuts wind, and is water resistant. Mine weighs only 10.9oz making it a one-of-a-kind all purpose jacket in my books.
3. Enso Silicon Rings
Being an adventure-seeking outdoorswoman, I often have to leave my wedding rings at home. Time spent paddling, backpacking, climbing, travelling and weight lifting can now be done with a ring on! Enso silicon rings are flexible, durable, stylish, and so comfortable you don't know you have one on! I bought two in 2017, and they have been incredible.
4. Mountain Safety Research Autoflow Gravity Filter
After using a manual pump filter for 20 years, I am now a convert to the gravity filters. There are a few companies that make gravity filters but after doing some research and having a longstanding, trusting relationship with MSR products I chose the 4 Litre Autoflow Gravity Filter. I used it on 4 trips this summer and found the MSR filter easy to use, easy to backwash, and easy to maintain post-trip. I love how this filter makes thinking about filtering water so much less of a hassle on canoeing and backpacking trips.
5. Mont Bell Women's Wind Gloves
Mont Bell has made a fantastic product with it's Wind Gloves. Think of a nylon shell gloves with a super grippy synthetic leather palm with a polyester brushed interior to wick moisture. I wear these gloves in windy alpine environments, canoeing in cold rain storms (they work well in the rain), and can always be found in my rain coat. Weighing in at 1.1oz, these gloves are so light there is no excuse not to pack them! Buying tip: The gloves are Asian fit, so I had to size up to large.
6. Osprey Exos 38
A new addition to my Osprey pack quiver in 2017, the Exos 38 is a feature-filled, superlight day hiking pack. While not women's specific in design this pack (in the appropriate frame size) is super comfortable and perfect for it's intended use. The mesh Airspeed Suspension makes high output ascents a breeze and the ExoForm hipbelt is padded and has 2 hip pockets. The fliptop pack top is removable shrinking volume for missions that don't require the extra space. There are two pockets on the shoulder straps perfect for carrying GPS and two side water bottle pockets as well as well thought-out water bladder compartments. It's amazing that Osprey can jam pack so many features into one lightweight package.
7. Big Agnes Q Core SLX
As a side sleeper I often get pressure points on my hips from sleeping on standard camping mattresses. Not any more! The Big Agnes Q Core SLX is a super compact, lightweight, quilted sleeping pad that is 11cm (4") thick! I love how it packs up to the size of my Nalgene bottle. This 3 season pad is rated down to 15F and after using it for three seasons it passes the test. What I like best is the I-beam technology that creates a comfortable, consistent shape so that I can get comfortable backcountry sleep.
8. Werner Carbon Bandit Canoe Paddle
As whitewater paddling ladies we need a paddle that will grab and move water with one powerful stroke. The aggressive spoon face and carbon construction provide the perfect performance when whitewater canoeing as a female. Upgrading from a plastic version, this paddle has brought my paddling to a new level. After having a Werner carbon whitewater kayak paddle since 2004, I know Werner makes durable products.
9. Marmot Women's Variant Jacket
This midlayer is one of the warmest insulation layers I own. With stretch fleece on the back and sleeves and Thermal R insulation on the front, this layer has kept me toasty for years ice climbing, and downhill skiing. I loved my hoody that I bought a few years back so much that in 2017 I bought the hood-less version. It's no surprise to me that Marmot keeps selling year after year.
10. Outdoor Research Stormtracker Heated Gloves
Hands down my favourite gloves for winter. Windstopper softshell outer with a goat leather palm, these Primaloft insulated battery heated gloves are the only reason I can ice climb in the damp cold in the east. I can't say how much I love these gloves. No more screaming barfies, no more issues with Raynaud's syndrome. Worth the investment if you can't wear gloves in the winter.
Need other ideas? Check out my lists from 2016 and 2015.