This article appeared in Rock and Ice issue 247 (January 2018).
At first glance, the extra-wide Solaris looks like a corset. Then I put it on and forgot all about it. The women’s Solaris is an exceedingly comfortable all arounder focused on the vastly varying shapes of women’s hips, from straight and narrow to Scarlett O’ Hara. Seeking to accommodate all, the company came up with a double buckle that cinches the upper and lower edges of the hip belt separately. The system uses one continuous loop, so you can adjust both buckles in the same motion. The hip belt also flares outward where the waist widens to hips and the leg loops are fully adjustable.
The Solaris comes in XS, S and M. At five-foot-seven in height and with a medium frame, I am always a medium (at least in this lifetime). The M, however, was too large, and I had to trade in.
Another plus is a reinforced “abrasion protector” at the tie-in point, adding durability to a spot vulnerable to wear.