Pacific Crest Trail women’s gear lists oftentimes do not align exactly with the gear lists broken down in the PCT Hiker Survey Gear Guide although this year there isn’t too much difference between the overall PCT gear list and the women’s PCT gear list.
I’ve structured the data here a bit differently than I have in the PCT Gear Guide as I’ve included just a single table. That said, you can sort the tables by average hiker rating if you’re interested in seeing the highest-rated gear in addition to the most common gear.
As always, if you have any feedback on the data or how it could be improved, I’m happy to hear your thoughts (and to add to this data should something be found to be missing).
Notes on the data
- This year’s data has 359 completed surveys from women on the Pacific Crest Trail.
- All weights for products below are for products in a size medium and/or regular unless otherwise noted.
- Backpacks use capacities closest to 55 liters (if multiple options are available) based on this year’s average of 54 liters.
- Sleeping bags and quilts use the highest fill power available and the temperature rating closest to 20°F/-6°C (if multiple options are available) based on this year’s average of 18°F/-8°C
- I only considered gear used and rated by at least ten hikers.
- All ratings listed are the average (on a scale of 1 to 10) from each hiker who rated the piece of gear.
- More detailed posts focused on data from the PCT Survey are always in the works; to be notified of new surveys, click here.
Highest-Rated Gear: Women vs. Overall
Before getting into the specifics, let’s look at how the highest-rated gear used by women compares to the overall gear ratings from all Pacific Crest Trail hikers. Below, is a comparison of the most-common gear compared.
Most Common Gear: Women vs. Overall
Here is a look at the most commonly used gear for women compared with the most commonly used gear overall. In case you missed it, a comparison of the highest-rated gear is above.
|Backpack||ULA Circuit||ULA Circuit|
|Sleeping Bag||Enlightened Equipment Enigma||Enlightened Equipment Enigma|
|Sleeping Pad||Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite (Women’s)||Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite|
|Insulated Jacket||Enlightened Equipment Torrid||Enlightened Equipment Torrid|
|Shell||Outdoor Research Helium||Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite2|
|Fleece||Melanzana Microgrid Hoodie||Melanzana Microgrid Hoodie|
|Shoes||Altra Lone Peak||Altra Lone Peak|
The ULA Circuit was the most common backpack among women on the Pacific Crest Trail. It is a 2.29 lb / 1.038 kg pack capable of carrying up to 68 L and 35 lbs / 16 kg of gear. The Circuit was the third-highest-rated pack by PCT hikers this year (for the second consecutive year). The highest-rated backpack among women on the PCT was the Atom Packs Atom+.
|1||ULA Circuit||8.34||$280||2.29 lb | 1.038 kg||68||35 lb | 16 kg|
|2||Gossamer Gear Mariposa||7.92||$285||1.79 lb | 814 g||60||35 lb | 16 kg|
|3||Osprey Eja||8.00||$260||2.82 lb | 1.280 kg||58||35 lb | 16 kg|
|4||Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest||8.55||$379||2.00 lb | 896 g||55||40 lb | 18 kg|
|5||REI Co-op Flash||8.69||$199||2.75 lb | 1.247 kg||55||30 lb | 14 kg|
|6||Zpacks Arc Haul||7.33||$399||1.30 lb | 590 g||50||40 lb | 18 kg|
|7||Atom Packs Atom+||8.78||$256||1.49 lb | 675 g||50||30 lb | 14 kg|
|8||Osprey Exos||8.11||$260||2.84 lb | 1.288 kg||58||35 lb | 16 kg|
|9||ULA Catalyst||8.44||$300||2.92 lb | 1.324 kg||75||40 lb | 18 kg|
|10||Gossamer Gear Gorilla||8.13||$255||1.90 oz | 863 g||50||30 lb | 14 kg|
The Enlightened Equipment Enigma was the most common sleeping bag (quilt) used by women on the Pacific Crest Trail this year. The Enigma is highly customizable and comes in a variety of lengths, widths, temperature ratings, fill powers, and colors. What’s the difference between the Enigma and the second-most-common Revelation? The Enigma has a sewn footbox (i.e. the Revelation can be laid completely flat). The Western Mountaineering Versalite was the highest-rated sleeping bag used by women hiking the PCT.
|1||Enlightened Equipment Enigma||9.30||$410||19.3 oz | 547 g||20°F / -6°C||950 duck||13.8 oz / 392 g|
|2||Enlightened Equipment Revelation||9.23||$410||20.9 oz | 593 g||20°F / -6°C||950 duck||14.4 oz / 408 g|
|3||REI Co-op Magma||8.48||$399||28.2 oz | 799 g||16°F / -9°C||850 goose||15.9 oz / 451 g|
|4||UGQ Bandit||9.39||$345||19.2 oz | 544 g||20°F / -6°C||950 goose||13 oz / 369 g|
|5||Western Mountaineering Versalite||9.79||$670||32 oz | 907 g||10°F / -12°C||850 goose||20 oz / 565 g|
|6||Katabatic Gear Flex||9.58||$420||22.8 oz | 646 g||22°F / -5.6°C||900 goose||14.3 oz / 405g|
|7||Zpacks Classic Sleeping Bag||7.50||$449||18.8 oz | 533 g||20°F / -6°C||900 goose||14.5 oz / 411 g|
|8||Katabatic Gear Sawatch||9.22||$470||26 oz | 737 g||15°F / -9°C||900 goose||17.9 oz / 507 g|
|9||Western Mountaineering UltraLite||9.56||$580||30 oz | 850 g||20°F / -6°C||850 goose||16 oz / 454 g|
|10||Feathered Friends Egret UL||8.25||$589||27.2 oz | 771 g||20°F / -6°C||950 goose||17.3 oz | 491 g|
This year, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite (Women’s) was the most common sleeping pad among Pacific Crest Trail hikers. This air pad has an R-value of 5.4, weighs 12.5 oz / 354 g, packs to 4.1 x 9 in / 10 x 23 cm, and is 2.5 in / 6.4 cm thick. Note that Therm-a-Rest has now released the XLite NXT which no longer offers a separate women’s version. The highest-rated sleeping pad among women on the PCT was the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm.
|1||Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite - Women's||8.35||$210||12.5 oz | 354 g||4.5||2.5 in / 6.4 cm|
|2||Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite||8.06||$210||12.5 oz | 354 g||4.5||2.5 in / 6.4 cm|
|3||NEMO Tensor (Insulated)||8.57||$190||14.5 oz | 411 g||4.2||3 in / 7.6 cm|
|4||Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm||8.93||$230||17 oz | 482 g||6.9||2.5 in / 6.4 cm|
|5||NEMO Switchback||7.68||$55||14.5 oz | 415 g||2||0.9 in / 2.3 cm|
|6||Sea to Summit UltraLight Insulated||8.21||$150||16.9 oz | 480g||3.1||2 in / 5 cm|
|7||Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite, Small||8.35||$180||8.3 oz | 235 g||4.2||2.5 in / 6.4 cm|
|8||Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol||8.46||$55||14 oz | 397 g||2||0.75 in / 1.9 cm|
|9||Exped SynMat HL||8.86||$169||12.3 oz | 349 g||3.3||2.8 in / 7.1 cm|
|10||Sea to Summit Ether Light XT||7.00||$199||17.3 oz | 490 g||3.2||4 in / 10 cm|
The Enlightened Equipment Torrid was the most common jacket among Pacific Crest Trail hikers this year. The 7.75 oz / 220 g jacket uses 2oz/yd² CLIMASHIELD APEX synthetic insulation and is available with either a 7D or 10D nylon shell. You can get it customized in a variety of colors and there’s a pullover version available as well. The Arc’teryx Cerium was the highest-rated insulated jacket among women on the PCT.
|1||Enlightened Equipment Torrid||9.15||$185||7.75 oz | 220 g||Yes||2 hand|
|2||Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Hoody||9.35||$325||7.8 oz | 220 g||Yes||2 hand|
|3||Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody||8.92||$299||9.3 oz | 264 g||Yes||2 hand | 2 drop|
|4||Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody||9.47||$279||10.8 oz | 306 g||Yes||2 hand | 1 internal chest|
|5||Arc'teryx Cerium Hoody||9.56||$400||10.2 oz | 290 g||Yes||2 hand|
|6||Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2||8.44||$300||6.9 oz | 197 g||No||2 hand|
|7||Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket||8.13||$229||10 oz | 284 g||No||2 hand | 1 internal chest|
|8||Arc'teryx Atom LT||9.33||$260||10.9 oz | 310 g||Yes||2 hand|
|9||Patagonia Micro Puff Jacket||8.78||$279||8.3 oz | 235 g||No||2 hand | 2 drop|
|10||Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket||8.89||$295||14.6 oz | 414 g||Yes||2 hand | 1 chest|
The Outdoor Research Helium was the most common rainwear used by women on the Pacific Crest Trail this year. It’s a 6.3 oz / 178 g jacket made with (nylon) 2.5-layer Pertex Shield featuring an adjustable hem and hood. There are two zippered hand pockets and no pit zips. The highest-rated shell used by women on the PCT was the Black Diamond StormLine Stretch.
|1||Outdoor Research Helium||7.94||$159||6.3 oz | 178 g||2.5-layer Pertex Shield (Nylon)||No|
|2||Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite 2||7.33||$25||5.5 oz | 156 g||Three-layer polypropylene||No|
|3||Montbell Versalite||8.31||$249||5.8 oz | 165 g||2-layer GORE-TEX Infinium Windstopper||Yes|
|4||Patagonia Torrentshell||8.64||$179||12.4 oz | 352 g||3L 3.5-oz 50D ECONYL Recycled Nylon||Yes|
|5||Marmot PreCip Eco||8.42||$100||9 oz | 255 g||NanoPro 100% Nylon||Yes|
|6||Arc’teryx Beta||8.89||$400||9.5 oz | 270 g||GORE-TEX w/ GORE C-KNIT backer||Yes|
|7||Black Diamond StormLine Stretch||9.11||$170||9.5 oz | 270 g||BD.dry2.5L w/ DWR||Yes|
The most common fleece on the Pacific Crest Trail, for the second year in a row, was the Melanzana Microgrid Hoodie. Despite only being available locally at their store in Leadville, Colorado, most hikers with a fleece had a Melly – a 12.2 oz / 346 g pullover with a hood and a kangaroo pocket in the front. Know what goes through (past) Leadville? The Continental Divide Trail – if you needed a sign you should hike the CDT, here it is. The highest-rated fleece was the (not discontinued) The North Face TKA Glacier Quarter-Zip Pullover.
|1||Melanzana Microgrid Hoodie||9.49||$78||12.1 oz | 343 g (L)||Polyester||None|
|2||Patagonia R1 Pullover||9.14||$139||9.7 oz | 275 g||93% Recycled Polyester, 7% Spandex||Quarter|
|3||Patagonia Micro D Fleece||9.56||$69||6.6 oz | 187 g||Recycled Polyester||Quarter|
|4||The North Face TKA 100 Glacier 1/4 Zip||9.88||$59||7.54 oz | 214 g||Recycled Polyester||Quarter|
Most Common PCT Shoes
The Altra Lone Peak was the most common shoe on the feet of Pacific Crest Trail hikers this year – for the sixth year in a row. They cost $150 per pair, have a 0 mm heel-toe drop, and weigh 22 oz / 624 g per pair. On average, thru-hikers burned through five of these on the trail (4.9 to be exact). Altra (typically) releases a new version of the Lone Peak every year; at the time of publication, the latest version is the Lone Peak 7. The highest-rated shoes used by women hiking the PCT were the Brooks Cascadia.
|#||SHOES||RATING||PRICE||WEIGHT||HEEL-TOE DROP||# USED|
|1||Altra Lone Peak (M/W)||8.48||$150||22 oz | 624 g||0 mm||4.90|
|2||HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat (M/W)||8.70||$155||20.6 oz | 584 g||4 mm||5.02|
|3||Altra Olympus (M/W)||8.06||$180||24.6 oz | 697 g||0 mm||4.89|
|4||Topo Ultraventure (M/W)||8.37||$150||21 oz | 595 g||5 mm||4.35|
|5||Brooks Cascadia (M/W)||9.24||$130||19.1 oz | 542 g||8 mm||4.84|
|6||Topo Ultraventure Pro (M/W)||8.25||$150||20.8 oz | 590 g||5 mm||5.17|
Support the Survey
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Overall, there’s a lot of overlap in the gear used by women and the gear used overall – particularly when looking at the most-common gear. Hopefully, this helps some of you decide what might be worth trying (or not trying out on the trail).
If you have any questions, suggestions, concerns, or awe-inspiring statements to make regarding the data here (or the data in the PCT Survey Gear Guide), then leave a comment below and let me know.
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