The REI Trailmade Collection: Top Picks From REI’s New Inclusive-Sizing Technical Line
This is a sponsored post brought to you by REI.
If anyone can attest to the importance of fit and function in technical outdoor clothing, it’s me. In 2014 I was invited on my first overnight backpacking trip, and my lack of proper clothing almost resulted in disaster.
My cotton hoodie and leggings got soaked, temps dipped into the 30s overnight, and I nearly became hypothermic from the combination of wet clothes, freezing temps, and a sleeping bag that wouldn’t zip over my shoulders. Ultimately, I decided to pack up camp in the middle of the night, hike out, and spend the remaining early morning hours in a trailhead bathroom at the bottom of Mount Rogers.
I’d trained my body for weeks for this trip, but it simply wasn’t possible to prepare myself to face the elements because I couldn’t find technical clothing or backpacking gear in my size. Lacking access to those things put me in danger.
That trip made me realize the importance of technical outdoor clothing for people of every size and every skill level. I’m happy to report that in the past nine years, many companies have stepped up to fill the void. Enter the REI Trailmade line: a new collection of gender- and size-inclusive gear and technical clothing.
REI created the Trailmade line with input from BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and plus-size industry leaders and co-op members. What came to light as a result of these collaborations was that new hikers struggle most with finding the proper fit and also with being intimidated by complicated products.
With this input in mind, the collection was designed to provide flattering and comfortable fits and fabrics, minimize complicated features, and incorporate user-friendly designs that can be used by anyone—regardless of their size, body type, and skill level.
The line also features gender-free sizing in products like the Trailmade sleeping bag, pad, and trekking poles, and colorways that focus on gender-free expression in apparel.
The best part? Trailmade items are offered IN STORE, not just online, in the full range of sizes. I recently had the opportunity to test out a few items in this new product line, and what follows is my review of these key pieces.
Shop the REI Trailmade Collection
REI Co-op Trailmade Amphib Shorts – Women’s
- Available in sizes XS – 3X
- Comes in 4 colors (2 prints, 2 solids)
- 89% nylon/11% polyester with durable water repellent (DWR) finish
- MSRP: $49.95
These shorts are for the outdoor enthusiast who wants to be able to go from the water to the trail and back. Lightweight, quick-drying, and comfortable to wear, the Amphib shorts blur the line between hiking and watersports gear.
I tested these shorts while hiking along the Little Stoney National Recreation Trail, hopping in and out of streams, wading into plunge pools to photograph waterfalls, and inching into the spray zones. My favorite thing about these shorts is the lightweight fabric and the three large, useable pockets.
Note: While the shorts have enough stretch to be easy to move in and provide a looser fit through the upper thigh for maximum mobility, it is important to know that the waistband doesn’t have a ton of stretch. This will keep them from slipping off of you when you fall off your raft and into the river or decide to hop off your paddle board into the lake, but it means you definitely need the correct size if you want to be able to get them over your hips.
Shop the Women’s Amphib Shorts Shop the Men’s Amphib Shorts
REI Co-op Trailmade Soft-Shell Anorak – Women’s
- Available in sizes XS – 3X
- Comes in 3 fun color combinations
- 88% nylon/12% spandex (bluesign approved) windproof/water-resistant fabric
- Weight: 14.1 ounces
- MSRP: $99.95
I was thrilled to see the Soft-Shell Anorak offered in REI’s new Trailmade line. This shell provides a flattering fit, just the right amount of stretch to be able to move freely while still maintaining its wind-proof and water-resistant properties, and comes in colors other than black!
This product is for hikers who believe there’s no such thing as bad hiking weather and who want functional clothing to prove it.
I tested this shell on an unseasonably cool, windy, and drizzly day hiking in southwestern Virginia and was impressed with its comfort, breathability, and function. I stayed dry, felt protected from the elements, and did not overheat.
As a plus-sized hiker, I have never owned a wind shell before because I’ve never found one that fits. This shell is the perfect addition to my hiking wardrobe, and its durable materials and design will make it a staple in my kit for years to come.
Shop the Women’s Soft Shell Anorak Shop the Men’s Soft Shell Anorak
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