Choosing what to wear when you go hiking can be a bit of a task. It’s worse when you’re overweight.
The reality is that hiking wear is not readily available if you happen to be over a size 14/16. The big brands just don’t stock it.
So what do you wear?! I’ve resorted to basic polo shirts which are (if I’m honest) still about a size too small around the arms for me and a pair of old jeans. I simply cannot buy high quality, functional hiking gear in my size.
For all intents and purposes, it doesn’t exist.
I am on a couple of mailing lists for the big name stores and while I love browsing the catalogues I dare not invest myself in the idea of purchasing that awesome ‘quick wick’ purpose-made shirt or those stylish canvas pants because they do not stock my size. Instead, I find myself on the last page of the catalogue eyeing off the various multi-tools and torches.
Apparently, my hard earned dollars don’t buy me the right to feel good in what I wear.
Apparently, it’s not palatable for a size 24 to be seen slogging it in the bush wearing branded clothing. It would seem that active hiking wear brands think their clothes look better on smaller people and so they refuse to increase the sizing range of their apparel – either that, or they truly believe there is no demand for the product… though I’m pretty convinced that is not the case!
Truthfully, I don’t want, nor need high fashion apparel to do what I do BUT I would enjoy the opportunity to wear functional and fit for purpose clothes that offer the latest “moisture-wicking technology” or those super funky looking polyester, quick dry hiking pants- preferably in bright pink!
I found some on Ali Express and got a bit excited only to realise that to get them in my size at the waist I need to order a 9XL MENS (which they don’t stock) and even then I’d have to get them taken up considerably as clearly anyone who is overweight in the middle must also be a giant. Furthermore, the men’s waist to hip ratio wouldn’t work for me either!
The big K… because I don’t want to sound like I’m ‘Mandu-Bashing’ stocks ladies tops up to a size 18… supposedly. All the reviews I have read suggest that the sizing is a snug fit, meaning that the 16 actually fits comfortably on a size 12/14. So, on the VERY rare occasion you could find an 18 in store… it’s really a 16. Interesting!
Upon advice from a friend I checked out Colombia’s range and they do have larger women’s sizes on their sizing chart which is comforting. However, every listing that I clicked on had only up to size 2x which basically converts to approximately a size 16-18 still some two sizes below what I need! Plus, they don’t ship direct to AUS…
Am I alone in this? Does anyone out there know something that I don’t?
I have no magical answer for this problem but imagine how nice it will be when retailers realise they need to stock clothes for the size that we are, not the size that they think we should be.
In other news, I have just bought a pair of purpose-made hiking socks in my size… so I guess that’s a win.