I’ve been hunting since about 2009 and in that time, I’ve never been brand loyal when it comes to hunting clothes. So many brands used to not even offer women’s options, and now that more have, each one of them seems to offer something different. As with all women’s clothes, women’s camo is not created equal when it comes to sizing. And another reality is that it’s usually super expensive.
I primarily hunt in Idaho, in the mountains, where temperatures swing 30-40 degrees from morning to afternoon, the terrain can be rough, rocky, or wet, there’s thick sagebrush and lots of uphill walking. I need gear that is functional and will hold up in a variety of conditions. I also don’t prefer the traditional Realtree or Mossy Oak tree patterns.
I have seen quite a few women on social media wearing KUIU pants and knew they were men’s, but they looked like they fit those women pretty well. My partner, John, has two pairs of Attack pants and he loves them. I tried his pair on for sizing, and to see how they fit; surprisingly, they actually fit pretty well (not my size, but wanted to get an idea of how they fit). So I broke down and ordered the men’s Attack pants during one of their sales. Surprisingly, they fit great.
A few months later, KUIU announced that they are finally offering a women’s line of hunting clothes after all these years. I bit and ordered the women’s Attack Pants and Ultra Merino 145 LS Crew top.
KUIU Women’s Attack Pants
Features (from KUIU.com)
- 247 g/m2 fabric weight
- 4-way Stretch
- Brushed back for reduced chafing
- Makspec® odor control
- K-DWR® water repellency
- Gusseted crotch
- Open hand pockets – 2
- Open seat pockets – 2
- Zippered cargo pockets – 2
- Mesh backed zippered hip vents – 2
- Articulated knees for full range of motion
Size and Fit
For comparison, I normally wear a size large or 12 in pants. I checked the size chart on KUIU’s website and felt like I was in between 12 and 14 so I ordered both (I also compared these measurements to the FirstLite size chart since I know how those pants fit).
I tried the size 14 on first and they fit, with some extra room. They definitely weren’t huge on me, but a little baggier than I wanted. The size 12 actually fit well. They are higher-waisted and sit above my hips, which I prefer. The back is slightly higher so when you sit, there’s still coverage back there.
These pants have a slimmer design than the men’s version, so the legs are a bit narrower. I have bigger thighs so they seem a little more fitted on me than they might on other women. I was concerned that the bottoms were too narrow and fitting over boots would be an issue, but it wasn’t. Once I tried them on with my normal hunting boots Danner Wayfinders, they are pretty fitted but in a good way. The narrower leg might actually prevent them from getting caught when walking through thick sagebrush, and will probably be more comfortable when wearing leg gaiters since there’s not as much fabric.
The Attack pants are only available in regular length, which is a 32″ inseam (the men’s version has regular, short, and tall inseam options). I’m 5’8″ and usually buy ‘regular’ length jeans. When I tried the pants on with bare feet, the bottoms hit right at the top of my foot. They seemed short, even though they are the same inseam as my favorite Old Navy jeans. After trying them on with my boots, I actually didn’t mind the length. They hit at the top of my foot and didn’t bunch up at the bottom. I think the narrow leg makes them seem shorter.
At the time of writing this, I have not worn these pants outside. Honestly, I have not decided if I want to keep them or not. My initial impression though, is that they have several features that will make them very functional in the field.
The leg vents are a huge benefit for me. It gets hot hiking in the mountains chasing elk, and these vents will allow heat to escape. This is actually one of the features I was most excited about in women’s pants.
The material is durable. It’s thick but not hot thick. I’ve worn the men’s version and these are the same material. Sagebrush and thorns don’t poke through it and make holes. It stands up to thick brush without issue.
Lastly, they are flexible and easy to move in. Even with the slimmer fit and narrow leg, movement is not restricted. I’m able to do full squats, bend over, lift my knees to my chest, etc. without issue. There’s no pull or hesitation with the fabric. Even when lifting or bending my leg, the pants legs do not ride up.
There are 6 total pockets which seems like enough; most of my other pants either have the same or less. They include two zippered pockets on the back (which I typically don’t use), two zippered cargo pockets on the legs, and 2 non-zippered hip pockets. The only thing with the cargo pockets is that they are semi-tight at the leg, so there’s not a ton of room in them. I would usually put my phone in one, and put a knife, my tag/license holder, and chapstick in the other.
Options and Price
Sizes: 2-14, regular 32″ inseam (the size chart shows size 16, so this may be offered later?)
Colors: Valo (shown in my pictures), Verde, Vias
The women’s Attack Pants fit true to size but need to have regular and long options to work for a wider range of women. They seem like good quality pants that are functional for the type of hunting I do. Again, I’m not 100% sure if I’ll keep these yet since I do like the fit of men’s version.
KUIU Ultra Merino 145 LS Crew
Features (from KUIU.com)
- 145 g/m² fabric weight
- 90% Merino Wool / 10% Nylon
- Naturally odor resistant
- UPF 50+ Sun Protection
- Highly breathable
- Anatomical shaping for fit and comfort
- Layered thumbholes
- Flat-lock seams for added comfort and reduced chafing
Size and Fit
I typically wear a medium or large shirt, depending on the style. I assumed this would be on the tighter side, so I went with a large because I didn’t want it to be super fitted. The large was a good choice. It’s fitted but not skin tight. Medium would have been too small/tight for me. (100% honesty…I don’t want all of my rolls showing so I don’t like really fitted designs.)
The length of this crew is nice. Pulled down, it hits right at my hip. So when I sit, no matter if it’s tucked in or not, there’s coverage in the back.
The material is very soft and easy to move around in. It’s thin, which is typical of this type of shirt. This will be a great base layer in colder weather or under a hoodie in mild temps. On hot days, I’ll wear this shirt alone. Merino in general is odor resistant, helps with moisture absorption, and helps regulate temperatures, so it will be a good option for all types of hunting, and for long days in the mountains.
When I ordered it, I didn’t even see that it had thumbholes and I’m glad it does. This is a main feature I look for in hunting shirts. I prefer some hand coverage but don’t always want to wear gloves.
- Sizes: XS-XL
- Colors: Valo (shown in my pictures), Verde, Vias
I definitely like the shirt and will absolutely be keeping it. It will be a good piece to add to my elk hunting gear for the fall, and I’ll use it for the remainder of this turkey season as a base layer.
I’ve had a negative opinion about KUIU in the past because of a specific statement by the founder years ago about women’s gear (I’m not going to include it here, but you can look it up). I was surprised that they finally decided to add women’s options. Even more surprising was that the initial introduction included a complete lineup of functional gear. Plus, according to their website, more is coming.
In my opinion, based on the two pieces I’ve purchased and by looking at the website, they aren’t skimping on the women’s options just to have a women’s line. These pieces are comparable with the men’s versions and have the same features and functionality. And the men’s and women’s versions are the same prices (which is rare), and decently affordable when compared to other brands.
I will continue to keep my eye on KUIU’s women’s line as they introduce more. More brands are offering women’s options, including a few women’s only brands, but I’m picky about camo pattern and conscious of cost. The KUIU line seems like a good option.