This is a nice article by Kate Worteck for Elle. It's well written, funny, and spot on. Here's how it starts:
Last fall, a friend and I were packing up for a weekend of backpacking in the Desolation Wilderness. She's a badass professional guide and I work in the outdoor industry, so naturally we started comparing gear—which led to a list of all of the gear we'd passed on buying because it was only available in "girl colors." At times, we've both resorted to shopping in the boys' section of REI (size-wise, it turns out that I'm either a slim woman or a very strapping 12-year-old boy).
I think that the major problem is that a large proportion of women’s “ outdoor” clothing is sold for “campus casual” rather than for hiking or other outdoor uses. For this market, fashion plays a much larger role than does actual utility.
There are two outdoor stores I visit in my part of the world. REI and Summit Hut, both in Tucson. In both stores the woman’s section is the largest section in the store and the selections are huge and apparently so is the market. I’m sure that if there were a significant demand for more utilitarian women’s outdoor gear, and an entrepreneur or so were aware of it, it would be there.
I think that it is a symptom of the outdoor industry as a whole. It has become more of a fashion statement than a utility market. All of the outdoor clothing now has a large logo displayed so that everyone knows that you are cool. Men's clothing has somewhat the same problem but I think female's have a bigger problem because females are viewed as more fashion conscious. I do not think that is true for the true outdoor female but by not offering true female outdoor clothing it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.