New Plus Size Outdoor Apparel
Sizes XXS – 3X Available Now
Outdoor Research Ambassadors, Bennett Rahn and Megan Banker
Women's Plus Sizes Now Available to Shop
Getting more people outside begins with more options. Starting today, you can find even more sizes of our best-selling outdoor gear, now available in sizes XXS-3X and 16W-24W.
These new sizes are relaxed, roomy, built for stretch and coverage, and perfect for layering throughout your adventures all year long. Hiking, climbing, skiing, or whatever else you have on your agenda – this gear was designed to accompany you anywhere.
More good news: Take the stress out of shopping with easy returns and exchanges for different sizes. Every Outdoor Research product is backed by our Infinite Guarantee.
“We’re assessing not just fit, but function—guaranteeing that these pieces will truly perform for all athletes and adventurers, regardless of size.”
-Liz Wilson, VP of Product
Bennett wearing the Trail Mix Snap Pullover in Quartz
"This fleece is so soft and cozy it's like wearing a hug...I love the big kangaroo pocket and the little secret pocket to keep my phone from falling out."
Meet Our Team of Advisors
Outdoor Research’s new sizes are the result of years of interviewing, prototyping, testing, and collaborating with a team of advisors and outdoor experts. Combining data with stories from real people with different fit needs, we’ve crafted a solution that not only fits athlete’s bodies’ better, but helps them perform in technical outdoor sports while feeling comfortable and confident.
My name is Megan Banker. I live in Portland, OR. I am an ambassador for the PNWOW group and a climb leader in training for the Mazamashere in Portland. I am an avid rock climber, mountain climber and recently this summer a river rafter. Last year, with the help of another plus size climber in Portland we started teaching Plus Size Rock Climbing classes at our local climbing gym and the response has been incredible.
I've always lived in a bigger body and I've always been athletic. I was a swimmer and rugby player in college. I've always been one to challenge the idea of what is "socially accepted". I was one of three women in my masters program at UC Davis studying Neuroscience and am now a Chiropractor in a male-dominated field. I actively reject the idea that body size dictates your health or ability. My practice focuses on Health At Every Size (HAES) and teaches people that true health relies on how our body is functioning, not on how it feels or what size/shape it is.
I am passionate about empowering people to try things that are outside their comfort zone. I want people to know that you don’t have to change your body to enjoy the outdoors. I'm so excited that brands are finally starting to recognize that if they actively participate in the plus size journey that it will benefit both the company and consumer.
Sam Ortiz (she/her) is a plus size, Latinx, rock climber, mountaineer, and adventure photographer based in WA state. Sam is the founder of Climb Big, a group she started to make climbing more accessible to fat folx after struggling to find a place in the outdoors, herself. (When there’s not a pandemic...) Sam hosts meetups with other female and non-binary plus size folxto offer a safer space to share her outdoor skills and discuss tips on finding gear for plus size bodies.
Sam has been featured on the cover of Mountaineer Magazine, on the REI co-op blog, on the SheExplores podcast and in Outside Online’s “Plus Size Adventurers You Should Follow".
My name is Bennett Rahn and I'm a plus size climber/adventurer living on the stolen indigenous homelands of the Duwamish tribe as part of the Coast Salish peoples, in Seattle Washington. I use she/her pronouns.
In my day job (sometimes I call it my alter-ego) I'm a tech bro software engineer for a local consulting firm, but my true love is being outside. I'm very passionate about working toward Justice Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (JEDI) in the outdoors and I see it as my responsibility as a person with privilege to bring others with me. To this end I've been working on mentoring other folks, especially fat women, gender non-conforming folks, and people of color, as well as working toward getting guide certified so I can lead climbing trips and teach more people that climbing is for them!
Some of my favorite outdoor adventures include: backpacking, hiking, sea kayak touring, and skiing. I love a good type 2 fun adventure, and my closest wilderness is the North Cascades, which has no shortage of those.
A fun fact is that I'm also a downhill ski coach for Mt Baker's alpine race team - it's a non-profit ski team that aims to increase accessibility to the sport, sponsor a lifelong love of skiing, and create excellent skiers in all terrains and weather.
I started the instagram account @fatwanderbabes to highlight plus size women in the outdoors and travelers that have photos taken of them in beautiful places, because on a lot of the classic outdoors instagram wander lust photos we see thin or straight sized women on top of mountains, in front of alpine lakes, in hot springs, etc. Plus size women can do those same things too, and that is why I started the account!
Behind the Fit
Our team has done a lot of listening and asking questions this year. Dive into the behind-the-scenes process of researching, fitting, prototyping, and testing to see how we created the most technical outdoor gear in inclusive sizing.
Looking for more sizes? Plus sizes coming soon. Sign up to be notified when available.
Why are you making these new sizes?
At Outdoor Research, we make products designed to get people outdoors. And we believe that the more people who get outside, the better we, and the world, will be.
For too long, we heard stories from athletes who told us that a lack of technical apparel was preventing them from skiing, climbing, and pursuing their passions. Outdoor Research Ambassador Bennett Rahn was stopped short when she couldn’t find technical climbing pants in her size for a Single Pitch Instructor Course, an item on the required gear list. Another Ambassador Megan Banker was turned off from the entire sport of skiing when a shop employee told her “your calves are just too big.” People who have found plus size winter clothes that fit are often compromising on function. Until now, there’s been no apparel made for this market that both stands up to technical demands and fits and feels great. These stories are the reason we began our journey.
If you believe that the outdoors is better when shared by all, join us in the journey to creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive outdoor community.
Read more on Outdoor Research Ambassador Bennett’s search for plus size ski pants, VP of Product Liz Wilson’s discovery of an entire online community of adventurers searching for plus size hiking pants, and our commitment to intentionally creating inclusive spaces for more people outdoors.
What about plus sizes 4X and above?
Based on a tremendous amount of interest and feedback, we are excited to share that we will start offering sizes 4X in Fall 2022. Creating cold-weather apparel in 4X means that our 3X customers can comfortably layer up, and it also gets more people who traditionally wear 4X the technical clothing they need to adventure outdoors in the winter safely and with more confidence.
These sizes are our first step to becoming a more inclusive brand. Our journey to 3X and 4X sizing was fast, and we need to make sure customers tell us that we’ve nailed it before we continue onto 5X+ sizing. Beyond inclusive sizing, we’re exploring even more opportunities to create greater access to the outdoors via technical gear. We are in this for the long haul.
How do you design a new fit for different types of bodies? How do you standardize these fits?
Developing a new size or fit for any body type means gathering information to understand the new size demographic and mindset. We initiated our information-gathering process by going right to the source. We met with a group of women actively searching for Plus size technical outdoor clothing to improve their outdoor hiking, climbing, and adventuring experiences. They shared the challenges they faced to find technical apparel that fit them well and had the right features to meet their needs for staying protected from the elements in women’s styles. We refer to these women as our advisors, and the direction they provide is invaluable.
Armed with the knowledge of what our focus group was looking for, we researched measurement and sizing data from multiple sources:
- ASTM is an international standards and testing methods organization renowned for highly accurate sizing and measurement data. ASTM follows traditional measuring techniques compiled by experts who measure bodies by hand, using a measurement tape following specific placements on the body. Their measurement guidelines are a "gold standard" in the apparel industry; our takeaway from ASTM is that the science behind the numbers is crucial to consistency between our straight and Plus-sized styles.
- Alvanon is another source of measurement data. They are a global corporation and use body scanning to gather measurement and demographic information. The demographic data they collect can provide sizing information based on age, geographic location, and activity level. They are an industry leader in Brand fit and sizing studies and are providers of the mannequins many apparel companies use for product fitting. Fit mannequins are our first line of sizing consistency in product development, and this is where we check the balance and proportion for every style.
- Industry Brand Information is readily available on websites and provides insight into how other brands are sizing. All brands differ slightly based on the demographic they market to, but the goal is to be in general alignment. Consumers know when a brand runs small, large, or "true" to size. Sizing and fit consistency is key to customer acceptance, and we need to find the sweet spot within the brands that we compare. Research is our north star, and following the data, accurately defining our size and measurement guides, and being consistent with industry standards for any size range will guide our customers to purchase the correct size. We will be known as a brand that runs true to size and is consistent with consumer-facing information.
Our advisors were surprised to learn that every Plus style we make started from a straight-sized style. When the straight size is approved, we apply a measurement conversion formula to garment specs to determine the Plus sizing. This method ensures that we follow the design intended, provide fit consistency, stretch, and layering capabilities. Additionally, we review every style on a live fit model who can give feedback on areas that are uncomfortable when moving in and layering the products together. We also have a team of wear-testers who help us make sure the garments perform during active use in the outdoors.
Will the plus sized tops accommodate women with large busts?
Yes! Our team has done a lot of listening this year, including working with a company that performs fit studies on thousands of bodies. Since every body is a little different, being able to use a hybrid model with both data and real people testimonials has been key to designing our fit.
According to our VP of Product Liz Wilson, “We've put this product on both professional fit models and our ambassadors so we’re assessing not just fit, but function—guaranteeing that these pieces will truly perform for all athletes and adventurers, regardless of size.”
Will there be more men’s sizes, petite sizes, big and tall sizes, or maternity sizes?
We chose to focus on women’s plus size apparel because we found that this group was drastically underserved when it came to technical outdoor gear. Right now, we plan to continue our focus on this group until we’ve fulfilled their needs. Who knows what the future holds!
Will plus size styles cost more than the straight sized versions?
No. All of our sizes are the same price.
Where will Outdoor Research plus size styles be sold?
All Outdoor Research sizes will be available on our website, outdoorresearch.com. Give a local Adventure Dealer a call to see if they offer new Outdoor Research sizes at their store.