Inclusivity in the outdoors - why we're stocking plus size clothing

Inclusivity in the outdoors - why we're stocking plus size clothing

New plus size outdoor clothing from Vampire Outdoors

The outdoors is for everyone, right? Except, that for some people it can feel like it isn't a welcoming place, or they feel excluded from participating because of real or perceived barriers.

Clothing can be a barrier to participation in outdoor activities if you have a plus-sized body. We know this as a fact, because one half of the Vampire Outdoors team has personal experience of the lack of plus size clothing options.

 

Why is Vampire Outdoors selling plus sized clothing?

Rebecca (Vampire 2) is one half of the Vampire Outdoors team. She has a plus sized body, a UK size 16-18, and has struggled for many years to find the right clothing and equipment she needs to support her hiking and outdoor activities. Waterproof coats and over-trousers, as well as hiking trousers have always been a particular problem (and let's not even talk about shorts...).

Rebecca - Vampire 2 - on the South West Coast Path

Rebecca (Vampire 2) on the South West Coast Path taking part in a 50km ultramarathon

Rebecca is also one of the founding members of Every Body Outdoors, a UK campaign group fighting for clothing, gear and representation for plus size bodies in the outdoor movement. 

When we heard that US brand Outdoor Research had a new plus size range of clothing which they couldn't persuade UK retailers to stock, we had to act.

Outdoor Research worked with plus-sized members of the outdoors community in the USA to re-work their plus-sized women's clothing patterns to ensure that larger sizes FIT PLUS SIZED BODIES! 

This is currently the only brand we know of that offers technical outdoor clothing (including waterproof coats) up to a 4X (UK size 30-32). This is a game changer for plus size women!

A plus sized woman wearing an Outdoor Research coat in the outdoors

Outdoor Research Aspire II Plus Size Rain Jacket

What plus size clothing will Vampire Outdoors stock?

Autumn 2022 is our first step into offering plus size clothing for women. We have very limited stock available from Outdoor Research, with a slightly larger range of products, sizes, and colours available from spring 2023.

Our ambition is to increase the number of products we stock from the Outdoor Research women's plus size range and introduce some men's plus size products too. As a small retailer we need to do this in a slow and sustainable way.

Shop the Outdoor Research plus size collection 

Women in plus size rain jacket


Will you be stocking other plus-size kit?

Yes! This is about more than just clothing, we want to support the plus size outdoors community in the UK to get outside in comfort and safety.

This summer we heard the news that Gregory Packs plus size range of backpacks will be available in Europe from spring 2023. In a similar vein to Outdoor Research, the brand has been struggling to get UK retailers on board.

These packs have been developed in conjunction with plus sized adventurers, including Unlikely Hikers, a diverse, anti-racist, body-liberating outdoor community in the USA.

Backpacks can cause quite a lot of problems for plus size people (poor fit, waist straps too small, shoulder straps digging in/poorly positioned etc), so we are excited to be able to offer these to the UK plus sized community. Sign up to our newsletter to get notified when they're available!

Gregory Packs plus backpacks

Gregory Packs plus size backpacks will be available from spring 2023 


Will you stock my size?

While we have a limited range of products available this autumn, we want to be able to help you find what you need. If there is a particular size or product from Outdoor Research that you want to buy, please contact us and tell us the product name, size and colour you're interested in. We will discuss this with you, with a view to ordering it in.

We will provide clear size charts for all the products we stock. In addition to the manufacturer's size charts (usually based on body measurements) we will also be providing you with garment measurements, to help you find the best fit.

By stocking these plus size ranges we are helping to put pressure on other manufacturers to extend their sizing ranges by demonstrating that there is a market for plus size clothing. Through Rebecca, we are supporting the work of Every Body Outdoors to engage with brands, improve plus size representation, and make the outdoors a more inclusive place for everyone. 

If you have any questions about fit or which product would best suit your needs, or just want to ask some advice about adventuring in a larger body, please get in touch with Rebecca

Rebecca - Vampire 2 - standing on Parkhouse Hill

Rebecca (Vampire 2) on Parkhouse Hill, Peak District