At Outdoor Research, we excel at creating technical outdoor gear that gets more people outdoors. For too long sports like climbing, skiing, running, mountaineering, among others, have required gear or other types of access that were exclusive to a narrow group of people. Women who wear hijabs for reasons of religion and modesty previously didn’t have a head covering option that could perform the way their technical apparel and gear did. Today we are proud to chip away at that gap of accessibility, by providing hijab-wearers a new solution that makes it easier to try a new outdoor sport, or excel at a sport they already love, with a higher-quality, technical product backed by over 40 years of protection and preparedness.
Designed specifically for use with a helmet, this hijab has a fitted stretchy knit around the face. The hidden shock cord back adjustment cinches the hijab down for high exertion activity and keeps hair off the neck. The ActiveIce™ cooling fabric combined with lightweight UPF50+ sun protection makes this hijab perfect for all day in the outdoors.
We collaborated with Marjana Tafader of Young Women Who Crush in the development of this project, from ideation, to design, to testing. (YWWC is a rock climbing and leadership program that empowers women and gender expansive youth from New York City public schools.)
Our prototyping included both athletes and our hijab-wearing manufacturing team in Indonesia, as well as fit sessions on different head sizes and hair lengths. The result is the first technical hijab for outdoor sports. As we researched, we listened to comments from hijab-wearing YWWC climbers about their current hijabs. We heard complaints like:
“I’m worried that my hijab will get stuck in my belay device.”
“The pins I use come loose and are uncomfortable under a helmet so I have to keep fixing my hijab.”
“It gets hot, sweaty, itchy, and doesn’t stay in place.”
With the huge strides in material innovation that go into outdoor apparel, it’s due time that hijabs receive the same amount of attention, design focus and fit expertise.
Athletes should not have to sacrifice comfort or performance for modesty.
After hours of Zoom calls with Marjana, numerous prototypes, and a handful of fit sessions on different head sizes, we created the first technical hijab for outdoor sports.