In a somewhat novel concept, Black Diamond recently employed the brains of some female industrial design students at BYU to come up with new product ideas for women's outdoor gear. The all female BYU team interviewed a ton of hardcore female outdoors women, creating a list of innovative product ideas that the predominantly male BD product team readily admitted they "really wouldn't have thought of."
After talking to a bunch of women campers, hikers, and backcountry enthusiasts, the team found a common need for more specific lighting options. After listening to the various requirements, it became obvious that a large selection of women didn't want a super powerful headlamp when outside, they needed just enough light to feel safe and secure.
The female BYU designers came up with a bracelet that doubles as a table-top ambient light. For outdoor activities, the light can be worn on your wrist, hung on a jacket, or worn as a headlamp. It's a thin, pocket-sized device that glows, and can be worn as a headband to hold your hair back when running, while also working with a helmet.
BYU Professor Bryan Howell, mentor of the design team, stated “Black Diamond is testosterone-driven, and it was a challenging opportunity to introduce them to intelligent, meaningful, ‘estrogenized’ products for women. I’m very pleased with their results so far, and so is Black Diamond.”
Initially taking the company by surprise, the research from the BYU team is now being incorporated into a variety of Black Diamond products. No word yet on when we will see the resulting women's gear hit the market but I expect to hear about it at Outdoor Retailer later this summer.