Would You Like the Regular or Irregular Bag?

sleeping bagIf a company makes two versions, with the same exact name, of say, a 20° sleeping bag, and one version is called a women’s model, then shouldn’t the other one be called a men’s model? Not a “regular,” which implies some sort of irregularity with women and their gear?

I see this fairly frequently with packs, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads from some major outdoor gear companies. I’m glad there are women-specific models of gear available. And I realize some taller women fit better in “regular” gear while some smaller men and teens fit better in “women’s” gear. But having a “regular” model alongside a women’s model just seems a bit insulting.

Hats off to Sierra Designs and other companies that call their bags men’s or women’s models, and pack companies like Osprey, which has men’s and women’s backpacks, and Deuter, which instead call its models regular, short, or long torso.

As long as I’m on this kick, I also hate it when publishers give women’s gear its own "special" section, completely separate from the “regular” outdoor gear and clothing. Obviously men and women want to find the gear designed to fit them best, and taking gender and body type into account is important. But let’s treat all outdoor enthusiasts equally. Not separately or irregularly. 

Filed under: Gear News


0 reviewer rep
3 forum posts
August 20, 2007 at 11:45 a.m. (EDT)

Agreed. Irregular to me sounds like an off-color or blemished product that I would get some kind of bargain on!

Alicia MacLeay (Alicia)
848 reviewer rep
3,902 forum posts
August 22, 2007 at 9:18 a.m. (EDT)

Hey, following that logic, maybe I can get a deal the next time I buy a women's sleeping bag!

David Grimm
5 reviewer rep
1 forum posts
September 19, 2007 at 10:10 p.m. (EDT)

Marketing things as "women's" equipment is just that - marketing. By claiming that products are designed for a certain sex, manufacturers must design for an average or stereotype of the end user. The problem with this is that stereotypes are wrong as much as they are right. Not all women are shorter, and bigger hipped than all men. I know some women who are tall and beefy and some guys that are short and slender.

I feel the better way to do this is to offer different sizes. Rather than a women's and men's bags, how about something creative like small, med, and large. They could even offer a plus size bag for Americans or red necks that is really large in the middle.

33 reviewer rep
202 forum posts
October 3, 2007 at 3:28 p.m. (EDT)

At the risk of getting flamed, I have noticed that some women appreciate the women’s tag on gear and especially on websites. They don't have to weed through pages and pages of burly man stuff. Much of the woman labeled gear is, hmm, approaching danger zone here, "pretty". By that I mean it is a style or color that most men would not be caught out on the trail wearing or using. Just my take.

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