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Those who know me know that I am a big fan of skirts, and I’ve been thinking for a while now how I could conciliate  this essential  fashion garment (no less!) with my current lifestyle made of crazy hiking trips and unorganized round-the-world travels. It’s true that, prima facie, the skirt doesn’t seem to be the most practical choice when it comes to travel, and modern adventuress will inevitably prefer to put on its famous rivals : the boring  trousers! But sometimes it happens that some women are a bit nostalgic of the charm of the explorers of old, like Alexandra David-Neel, May French Sheldon  or Harriet Chalmers Adams who traveled the roughest part of the unknown world in their petticoats and lace parasols…

Harriet Chalmers AdamsAnd, as a traveler, you also sometimes want to fit more in the local cultures that you’ve got the occasion to come across. You would like to avoid this uncomfortable feeling you get when strolling around in  your tighty-thight hiking shorts or pants when all the other women around are wearing colorful dresses and skirts. Or you might just want to go past the humiliation to be wrapped like a Japanese maki in an old shabby curtain at the entrance of temples (like this time when we were travelling in Bali) or mosques (like this group of funny Japanese girls we saw wearing quite unfitting outfits during our trip to Istanbul) or churches.

For all this reasons, I was quite determined to find a travel skirt for my next adventures. Oui, mais voilà! It was an impossible challenge! It simply doesn’t exist… If outdoor shops are overfull of all kind of declination of hiking pants, they are on the other hand pretty deserted by skirts! So unfair. The rare shops which are actually selling skirts propose only two or three different models which, even if they are really pretty, are way too short to wear in the streets of rural India or Pakistan, for example. Sometimes they also sell a few cotton dresses, but then they are quite limited technically. Not really optimized for hiking, if you know what I mean… The material is  fairly heavy, not quite breathable, took ages to dry and after a few weeks of intense use, it invariably becomes rather ragged and somewhat smelly… Sexy!

Travel skirt by Macabi

So it’s on this sad conclusion that I somewhat abandoned the utopian idea of finding THE skirt and tried to be content with my badly cut hiking pants and my happy seventy-years-old-German-tourist look. Until I found this website: Miracle! It sells only one kind of items: travel skirt!

Carol, la créatrice de la robe, en pleine session de pêche !The story of this brand started with american Carol Louder, who loved fishing in Yucatan. She was dreaming of a skirt which would be « ideal for the climate, and more respectful of the local culture. But it would have to handle the heat and the sun. It couldn’t get tangled in her line. It would have to dry quickly after wading. After all that, it would have to stand uxp to cocktails and dinners. »
Like me, she didn’t find anywhere what she was looking for. So she made one! And started to market it. Very excited by this discovery, I wrote an e-mail to Macabi to see if they could send me a skirt all the way from USA to New-Zealand, where I was travelling at this time.

A week later, I received a beautiful red and white parcel from the American Post. Yeepee! Inside, I found my lovely new long length charcoal Macabi skirt. Awesome! The material is very light and soft, and the quality of the stitching is very good. Thus far, I was very satisfied. Next step : testing the skirt « into the wild »!

The hiking skirt, perfect accessory for traveling girls

The next day, I jump in my travel skirt and in a pair of leggings, and then in the car to drive up the mountains. I forgot to tell you but we are in the middle of winter here in New-Zealand and just came across a huge snow storm. Let’s see how the skirt reacts when hiking in the snow!

First try of the Macabi Skirt in the snow of New-Zealand
First try of the Macabi Skirt in the snow of New-Zealand

Well, let me tell you : this hike was a success! The skirt is really large and comfortable, and doesn’t obstruct my movements in any way, even when walking up a steep slope covered with more than 10 cm of snow. A further advantage is its versatility. Let me explain : say that you intent to climb a ladder, but you don’t want everyone to have a panoramic view on your alluring underwear, or, as in the present case, say that you want to climb up those icy rocks over there. Well, you just have to use a simple clip system to change your skirt into trousers and in only a few seconds time here you are, ready to go!! Clever, isn’t it?

When terrain is not easy or that wind is blowing, the Macabi Skirt can be turned into a trousers with a very simple clip system
When terrain is not easy or that wind is blowing, the Macabi Skirt can be turned into a trousers with a very simple clip system

Since I have this skirt, I wear it any time I go in the wild. It’s been lashed by nasty thorny plants, sprawled in the mud when I wanted to take a picture at ground level, soaked by heavy winter rains… Well after all that, it doesn’t have even one scratch, nor a wrinkle. It’s apparently never dirty, surprisingly warm and it dry really really fast! The only negative word I could say is by stormy days. When the wind is very strong, the skirt flies around like a crazy flag and reveals your legs to the world up to the knees (Ouh la la..!).

Thanks again to the ingenious clip system, you can also transform the Macabi Skirt into a short in a matter of seconds! As you can see on the picture, it can be very useful when strolling along a beach, or when you are a keen fisherwoman in Yucatan for example. It’s especially invaluable (and a lot more convenient than pants) when your walking path takes you through a river!!

When you want to put your feet in the water, or just enjoy the sun, you can turn the Macabi Skirt into a short!
When you want to put your feet in the water, or just enjoy the sun, you can turn the Macabi Skirt into a short!

Last but not least : the pockets! Two extra large Mary Poppins like pockets are sewed on the sides of this awesome travel skirt. And secret smaller pockets are hiding in the bigger pockets, including a zipped security one to carry your valuables around without fear of pickpockets! With all that, you’ve got enough room to carry a beautiful mess with no need for an easily forgotten/lost/stolen handbag.
Final trick, the whole skirt can be packed up in it own security pocket, so it takes a minimum space in your backpack.

In conclusion I am really looking forward to wear it during our next travel project along the Mekong River wich starts in a few days now !

Find the skirt online with all the different models (even some for men) and colors on

Below, a selection of pictures of the travel skirt and its silly owner wandering around the world!

Cet article comporte 6 commentaires

  1. You make it look so good! i have exactly the same skirt and just look horrendous, like a nun on a bad day! I’m thinking of lopping it off and making knee length

    1. Really ? We’ve never heard of a hiking nun 🙂
      Is it that bad ? We’re quite surprised, we’ve made a few friends try it and it was OK on all of them.

  2. I had no idea that it could be packed into its zippered pocket — when I travel I wear mine every day, so I have never had the occasion to pack it! I agree with everything you wrote, and can add: It sheds dirt. I find mine doesn’t need to be washed but maybe once a week or ten days of daily wear.
    I am 5’3″ (160cm) and while the old Macabi skirt long length was fine, the new long length is down to my ankles. I solved that with a sewing machine; just took 3″/8cm off. Parfait! I am not at all embarrassed to wear mine several times a week at home. Pockets, baby! I don’t have to carry a handbag.

  3. Thanks for a great and very useful review. I have looked at Macabi for more than a year now and made my final decision today after reading your blog post. I do a looooot of hiking and am so curious how this skirt will work out. Welcome to visit us at our hiking blog caminolife dot com. Best regards Marie

  4. Thank you for all of this information and for the beautiful pictures! Out of curiosity – do you have the regular Macabi or Macabi Slim version? I keep wondering, as I am a small troll, will the regular be too much? On you it looks astonishingly comfortable and classy, I fear on me it will be only comfortable.

    1. Hi !
      I have both, but I prefer the regular.
      There isn’t much difference between the two versions, but the slim one is less « ample » (Wide ? I don’t know if it’s correct in english and I don’t know how to explain it correctly, sorry). It fits a bit closer to the legs. The material is also a bit lighter. Still, don’t get me wrong it’s not a pencil skirt 😉 It still has plenty of room to move your legs under it. But as As I’m more of the lanky street lamp kind, my strides are quite long so I’m more comfy in the regular.
      That said, I’m sure a small troll in a skirt will definitely be awesome and good looking ! 😉

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