Predictable. Meindl hiking boots, jeans, a T-shirt, jacket and ballcap. I found myself snatching one of the same three T-shirts every match, if not a one-style-fits-all cotton trophy from the Nationals the previous year. Tight jeans not because I was trying to make a statement, but because Jennifer Lopez jeans are the only brand that fit the way I like. However, I now realize there are fantastic actual rangewear offerings designed for women who enjoy the outdoors—you just have to know where to look.
Shirts can be tricky, but both of the offerings I tried were flattering and fashionable. Wearing shirts designed for women rather than men can really make you feel better and more confident. The Kadri and Girls with Guns brands share this philosophy, and seek to empower women by producing functional, well-fitting clothes for all their adventures.
For example, Kadri’s Accalia Tee comes with a message, featuring wolves along with female eyes and silhouette. According to Latin legend, Accalia was the she-wolf that raised the human twins Romulus and Remus who later founded Rome. The image for this shirt was selected from that story and also because the alpha female of a wolf pack displays power, assertiveness and wisdom. MSRP: $24.00 kadriclothing.com
The moment I slipped on the Girls with Guns’s 22 Jersey Tee, I knew what I’d be wearing this summer. Comfortable, light and breathable, the fit—not tight—still accentuated my figure. Moisture wicking and antimicrobial, this jersey is especially suitable for long days on the range in the hot sun and for use in competitive disciplines that require hot shooting jackets and sweaters. MSRP: $29.99 gwgclothing.com
Anyone else a freeze-baby? Though not marketed as rangewear, L.L Bean’s Sweater Fleece Full-Zip Jacket is great for cool early mornings with deep pockets that can fit a small pistol if you so choose. The full-zip allows for quick and easy changes without removing your baseball hat or ear muffs. MSRP: $89.00 llbean.com
Shooting the Ruger SR22. L.L. Bean’s Sweater Fleece Full Zip Jacket was perfect for a cool afternoon. Photo by Max Crotser
Kadri Valkyrie Field Pant
While impressed with all of the items on this list, Kadri’s Valkyrie Pant set a new standard. It is also made in the United States! Flexible yet durable, this pant has 11 functional pockets and reinforced knees and seat with a unique crotch gusset. I was skeptical at first, but this innovation allows you to move freely and stretch in ways that jeans do not without exposing your backside. Whether hiking tough trails, seeking out better photography angles, or engaging challenging targets on the range, I did not feel restricted. I especially appreciated Kadri’s custom sizing system that uses three points of measurement (waist, hip, inseam) to create a semi-custom fit. Rather than choosing one size, these pants were designed so that the measurements fit different sizes on areas of my body (e.g. 2 waist, 6 hip). With an MSRP of $226.60, these pants are truly an investment. kadriclothing.com
The Valkyrie Pant’s unique crotch gusset allows for comfortable moving and bending. (also shown: L.L. Bean’s Sweater Fleece Full Zip Jacket). Photo by Max Crotser
Girls With Guns Carbine Pants
Available in three colors, GWG’s Carbine Pants earned NRA Women's 2021 Golden Bullseye Award for Gear of the Year. Budget-priced by comparison to others in the same class, they allow for customization to your waist and inseam through use of Velcro and snaps. This allows you to share with those who are close to your size … if you can stand to give them up for a day. With zippered pockets, four-way stretch, asymmetrical design lines and a durable water-repellent finish, they are easy to move in and so comfortable I kept them on after a long day on the range (when I’d normally rip off my tight jeans and switch into something more forgiving). My favorite feature of this offering is the built-in concealed carry holster in the waist. Secured by hook-and-loop, it may not be as fast as a holster to remove, but it was convenient, held the firearm safely and securely, and prevented the firearm from digging into my midsection. MSRP: $79.99 gwgclothing.com
Girls With Guns' Carbine Pant has an adjustable Velcro pull-tab at the waist. Photo by Max Crotser
Snaps allow you to adjust the inseam of the Girls with Guns Carbine Pant from 28” to 35”. Photo by Max Crotser
The author sporting the Girls With Guns Carbine Pants with 22 Jersey Tee and Tacticool hat. Photo by Max Crotser
5.11 Shella Pant
Professional with pockets. These are the words that came to mind while wearing one of 5.11’s newest offerings. I opted for the black version, which I can pass off as business clothes in a professional setting, as well as wear to award ceremonies following big shooting competitions. While I love pockets, there are definitely times that you have so many you begin to temporarily lose things. The 5.11 Shella Pant’s pockets are sleek and minimal, but large enough to fit essentials. Back pocket zipper closures allow for peace of mind. MSRP: $69.99
5.11’s Shella Pant is professional and pairs well with a belt for concealed carry. (Note that my CCW is hidden.) Photo by Max Crotser
I had never considered tactical leggings. To be honest, I never imagined leggings having pockets. I had resigned myself to the idea that choosing to wear them just meant having nowhere to store things. Though I personally would not choose to wear leggings during a shooting match, I do appreciate them for exercise, quick trips to the store and around the house, as well as casual shooting in the backyard.
Tactica’s concealed carry leggings are designed for just that, with built-in holsters in the front and back of the waistband. A strip of hook-and-loop material holds the gun in place and a combination of high waistband and reinforced material prevent printing. Though removing the hook-and-loop does add an extra step, it is effective in keeping a firearm secure during exercise and more rigorous activity. MSRP: $69.99 tacticafashion.com
Tactica’s concealed carry leggings with back holster pocket in use. Photo by Max Crotser
5.11’s new Kaia tight takes a more traditional approach, combining the familiar feel of yoga pants and tights with slim pockets and feminine lines. With a wicking and anti-odor finish, they are specifically designed for training and activity. While they do not have a dedicated concealed carry pocket, they do have a small waistband pocket for valuables and keys. MSRP: $59.99
At some point, leggings all begin to look the same, but the bottom line in choosing between these options depends on your needs. Tactica’s leggings are geared towards self-defense and are high waisted. If you are looking for an expansion to your current workout wardrobe and prefer a lower waist line, the Kaia tight may be the best fit for your needs. 511tactical.com
Tactica IWB Holster
I’ve quickly learned that when carrying daily or frequently, it is best to have a variety of holsters to fit your needs. Tactica’s Inside the Waistband holster is comfortable against your skin with dual holster clips for a stable connection. I did not have to adjust the cant or retention, but I appreciate the ability to do so. It is larger so fit best for me in the small of my back or front of my waist, but was comfortable and stable when paired with a belt. MSRP: $59.99
Close up of the Tactica IWB Holster for the Kimber Micro .380 (right-handed draw) and my custom belt from the Stampede Shop. Photo by Max Crotser
Stampede Shop Belt
Though I may be biased, I received my new favorite belt for concealed carry as a gift several years ago. The Stampede Shop is run by a talented brother-and-sister team in Florence, Alabama, specializing in custom leather and western wear. Ornate and beautiful, this handcrafted belt has held up through the years and is fashionable and comfortable. I was impressed that it paired perfectly with the Tactica IWB Holster, allowing me to repurpose a wardrobe favorite. Prices vary. Contact [email protected]
GWG Half Vest
Weary as I am of stuffing my pockets with shells and mixing them with other essentials every time I head out to shoot sporting clays, I was thrilled to try GWG’s half vest. Though not a brand-new offering for 2021, the half-vest is unrestrictive and allows me to wear whatever coat, etc., I choose. It has double oversized shell pockets as well as an easily accessible rear pocket for storing shell hulls for disposal or reloading. MSRP: $49.99 gwgclothing.com
The Half Vest is designed for shotgun shooting and evenly distributes the weight of boxes of shells (when one in each pocket). Hulls can be stored in the back. Photo by Max Crotser
GWG Tacticool Hat
If you know me, you also know my love for baseball hats. A slim fit that does not crush my ears paired with a hook-and-loop closure made for a new favorite addition to my collection. It is well-suited for those with smaller heads, with room for adjustability. (I am not on the lowest setting!) The hat comes with two Girls with Guns patches that can be substituted with your favorite patch as well as a hook-and-loop spot for a nameplate patch on the rear. An American flag adorns the side. MSRP: $19.99 gwgclothing.com
While I never imagined myself doing a photo shoot or enjoying clothes shopping, these companies have changed that. Wearing range clothes that you feel good in not only boosts confidence but can elevate your performance. These offerings are not just for show, but comfortable and designed with active women in mind.