Home/ Blog/ Product Knowledge/ Trailblazing Women Leading the Way for Brands

Trailblazing Women Leading the Way for Brands

Product Knowledge



Celebrate National Women’s Day with our guide spotlighting outdoor brands led by women! Discover top-notch products recommended by female experts and explore how women’s representation influences design.

Blazing new trails for women in outdoor gear

There’s nothing like finding a piece of gear that feels like it was made for your body. We’re spotlighting the pioneering women at brands who create more of those moments. 

Note: ExpertVoice relies on the recommendations of experts to create these guides — brands do not pay to have products featured. 

1. Krimson Klover: Sophisticated slow fashion

Rhonda Swenson has always viewed sweaters as a “signature of love.” Growing up on a farm, she spent her days climbing hillsides in search of wildlife, going on hikes and collecting frogs with her mother — and then she’d sit down and knit with her grandmother.  

Years later, Rhonda’s twin loves of nature and knitwear would lead to a new line of outdoor apparel for women: Krimson Klover.  

Today, Rhonda and her team are still inspired by the outdoors, crafting sustainable pieces for a lifetime of adventure. 

You just want to make sure that what you’re making is going to stay in somebody’s closet for a really long time, be worthy of living in someone’s closet for a long time.”

 Rhonda Swenson
Founder & CEO of Krimson Klover


The big picture

Rhonda believes in creating pieces that aren’t fussy — she understands women want products that will ultimately help them “look good, feel good [and] perform well” — but that doesn’t mean the designs are simple. Look for bold, custom illustrations on everything from beanies to base layers.

Creating for diverse needs

The Krimson Klover team is comprised of women of all ages, backgrounds and body types. Everyone is involved in different sports at different levels, something Rhonda believes results in a more well-rounded product line. 

We all need something different, want something different. And I think when all of these women come together, and talk about products, it really helps us create something that is going to appeal to a broader, more diverse group of women.”

 Rhonda Swenson
Founder & CEO of Krimson Klover

2. Kari Traa: Fearless, functional design

Founded by a 3-time Olympic medalist in ski moguls, Kari Traa offers a collection of functional and feminine sportswear for hiking, skiing and beyond.  

Every Kari Traa product is designed, built and produced by a passionate team of 22 women committed to comfort and functionality. Experts frequently praise Kari Traa base layers for their warmth, comfort and flattering design.  

Best base layer for everything

“I absolutely love this brand.  It’s a company that is for women and owned by women.  When you have that combination, you know that someone like you is sitting at the table and thinking about what women specifically want and need. Read more…

 Brooke Goudy
ExpertVoice Ambassadors
ExpertVoice member since 2019

3. Columbia: Tested tough apparel

Columbia’s mission is to unlock the outdoors for everyone — and you can thank Gert Boyle for that. When her husband died three months into running what would become
Columbia, Gert took over, quickly building an irreverent yet dependable outerwear brand. Her motto?  “It’s perfect; now make it better.” 

While Gert Boyle died in 2019, her legacy lives on in Columbia’s tested tough products for all seasons.

4. Tiger Tail: DIY muscle care

In spring 2006, Spring Fausett tore her ACL. After spending hours in physical therapy, she decided to develop products to aid her rehab at home. Her company, Tiger Tail, offers a variety of massage guns and myofascial release tools for athletes and anyone experiencing sore muscles.


Women-designed or inspired collections

While not every brand has an all-women staff, many brands rely on the expertise of female designers looking to improve products for both men and women heading outdoors.

1. Outdoor Research: Dedicated to downhill

Outdoor Research is breaking into the mountain bike category, relying heavily on the expertise of its VP of Design and Product Innovation, Kat Schoewe. New to OR, Schoewe brought years of experience in the cycling industry to her role, developing a line of technical mountain bike tops, bottoms and outerwear built around fit, fabric and function.  

2. Garmin: A sports bra’s best friend

Garmin employed several women — and many more female product testers — when designing its HRM-Fit™. Purpose-built for women’s needs, this real-time heart rate monitor clips to a medium- and high-impact sports bras and tracks metrics such as steps, calories burned, intensity minutes and more. It was built to stand up to sports from running to cycling, HIIT and more. 

3. Keen: Wade, walk, wander on

Keen’s new Astoria West sandal is a women-designed take on the brand’s bestselling hybrid sandal. This trail-to-town-to-river-trip offering features a fit tailored to women’s biomechanics as well as sustainable details like Eco Anti-Odor and recycled P.E.T. plastic materials. 

Great gear fuels great adventures

ExpertVoice ambassadors Andrea Daniels and Neyra Rosa spend their spare time outdoors, testing products, developing skills and pursuing their passions. 

As an avid runner, Neyra has experienced many issues finding women’s clothing that fits the way she wants — and has the features she needs.

My advice is to fit your body to the brand. By that I mean wear what feels good on you. Some women fit Brooks better than Salomon. Rabbit better than say Nike.  Or Smartwool better than Balega. Try different brands. See what your body likes.”  

 Neyra Rosa
ExpertVoice Ambassador

Andrea offered tips as well. Watch the video to hear from her, and follow her advice by checking out expert reviews on products you’d like to purchase. 

Empowering women to explore

As we acknowledge the remarkable women leading outdoor gear brands, it’s clear that we’ve only scratched the surface. These women, leading brands, developing high-quality products, testing gear in the real world and supporting one another in selecting the best products, are instrumental to innovation in the industry. From crafting functional designs to ensuring the perfect fit, they’re reshaping outdoor experiences for women everywhere.

Are you an expert? See if you qualify.

Related Content

Expert Profile: Allie Ball

Hiking season is here – one of our trail experts shares her thoughts on how ExpertVoice has helped her to take part in outdoor activities.

Read More

Expert Profile: Gabriel Chez

Gabriel “Gabe” Chez is an expert in skiing, especially backcountry skiing. He spends 50+ days earning his turns every winter, has his Professional Avalanche Training (AIARE Pro 1) certification and is an outdoor guide for Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides. But skiing didn’t always play a big role in Gabe’s life. ExpertVoice sat down with […]

Read More

Expert Profile: Neyra Rosa

When Neyra Rosa isn’t running the trails or competing in marathons or ultras, she’s sharing her passion for trail running in other ways — like with her customers at The North Face Outlet in Berkeley, California or through Black Girls Run, a running group that helps Black women and girls maintain healthy lifestyles. She’s also […]

Read More