Macabi Skirt

The rather unusual Macabi Skirt was designed by a fisherwoman but has found a whole slew of uses from hiking to telemark skiing to traveling.
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The rather unusual Macabi Skirt was designed by a fisherwoman but has found a whole slew of uses from hiking to telemark skiing to traveling.

What makes the skirt so unusual? It has little hooks and straps built into the front, sides and hem so you can go "abracadabra" and transform into something resembling pantaloons. You can also hike up the sides to make wading into water or over shrubbery easier. Or you can make pantaloons out of it AND hike up the sides to make shorter pantaloons.

Our testers took it wading in streams, scrambling on rocks, hiking, kayaking, telemark skiing and traveling. Heck, they even used it to change out of shorts or a swimsuit after runs, biking or paddling – pulling it on, then modestly slipping off the shorts or other bottoms – then were dressed to run errands in town, do more hiking or simply hang out at the beach.

One of our testers hiked up a snow-covered mountain in it for some backcountry skiing, then telemarked down and said she loved the feeling. "It performed great! Not only does it bead and wick water -- very helpful for spring skiing -- it also wears well. I tried it pinned up on the sides, in the middle and full length. Either way it was very comfortable. I could get full leg extension going uphill and was able to make some beautiful tele turns coming down. Can you tell I was overall very pleased?" In fact, she was so pleased, she already planned to pack it for an upcoming trip to Nepal, where she could be more modestly dressed if needed because of the skirt length but still be comfortable.

Another found it quite useful for paddling, as well as changing afterwards, but found some drawbacks too. "It dried really quickly, was relatively cool, and offered good sun protection so it was good around camp and whatnot. However when I tried to load boats onto the car or carry them down to the river all of the excess fabric kept getting in the way, and I couldn't see where I was putting my feet."

Another tester took it rock scrambling and in and out of streams and found it pretty nifty to hit a slightly deeper place and simply clip it up shorter and move along, but be ready to let it down for sun protection later.

Our group, however, didn't find it particularly suitable for true single-track off-road hiking since even if you clip it up, it can still get caught on bushes and trees. But for mellower tramping on wider or clearer trails, it would be great, as it would be for touring cities.

The material is a quick dry, the pockets have a hidden zippered security pocket, the waistband has elastic for an easy fit. It comes in three lengths – regular, long and so-called short, which is not really short but rather a shorter long. None are truly short since that sort of defeats the purpose. It also comes in eight colors and sizes XS to 3x.

The price raised a few eyebrows among our testers and a few we bounced the price and concept off. But our testers also noted the skirt's durability would mean many years of wear.

Another quibble would be with the sizing. Our testers had to size down one size or perhaps two – one tester who is normally a medium took a small and still had lots of room, another who wears XS found she swam in the XS – but there wasn't anything smaller to opt for.

Summed up one tester, "Given the merits (cool, good sun protection, dries quickly), I think this skirt would be perfect for traveling or trekking around in a country where women are expected to wear clothing that is not especially revealing. It's an item that will always have a place in my gear bag. I like the idea, and it's cool to have a skirt that's designed with adventure in mind."

SNEWS® Rating: 4.0 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)

Suggested Retail: $75.00

For more information:www.macabiskirt.com or 1-888-550-7540

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