When Winter is ending, outdoor enthusiasts begin looking for spring outfits that they can use for adventures and hikes. Several people believe that outdoor activities are beneficial for physical and mental health. Due to this, several outdoor activities require using the right gear. They approach the two famous brands known for producing outdoor clothing during this time. Patagonia and Columbia are famous American outdoor brands known for producing quality gear and garments people can use to have a safe and comfortable time outdoors. The question then becomes which brand is the better outdoor brand. We’ll be answering that question in our Patagonia vs Columbia comparison.
This article will explain how both brands measure up against each other and how one is better than the other. Below is an in-depth review of both brands and their best offerings. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
Patagonia vs Columbia – Patagonia History
When someone talks about the ideal winter jacket, there’s always someone whose thoughts will go to Patagonia. That’s how famous the brand has become after its launch in 1973. Patagonia started known as Chouinard Equipment. However, Chouinard Equipment went bankrupt after some years and split into two brands. One of those brands is the Patagonia brand that we recognize today. It started as a climbing gear brand people would recommend to their friends looking for top-quality sweaters, jackets, and vests.
Like their main competitors, Patagonia is a very involved brand in sustainable marketing. One of the brand’s main goals is to minimize its effect on its surroundings and the world. This is one of the reasons many people choose Patagonia. This outdoor brand is also a member of many activism organizations and movements whose goal is to protect nature while eliminating unethical means of production and sourcing. Patagonia ensures that the wool used in their jackets and other products is gotten ethically and harmlessly.
Patagonia Materials and Technologies
As we mentioned, almost all the materials Patagonia uses are sourced and recycled ethically. However, this doesn’t mean their fabrics aren’t of the highest quality. The quality of the fabrics is constantly reflected in their price tags. Like their competitors, Patagonia frequently uses Gore-Tex membrane in many garments. They also tend to develop a water-repellent technology that ensures waterproof fabrics in their clothing products. These waterproof fabrics come in different versions that vary based on the layer construction.
Additionally, one cannot ignore the DWR treatment Patagonia uses in its clothing products. This coating method is known for adding longevity to an outfit. Apart from offering buyers durable and premium-quality material, Patagonia is also famous for its testing process. This test includes water-testing and trashing fabrics in a simulation that imitates harsh weather conditions.
Patagonia vs Columbia – Columbia History
When you make a Patagonia vs Columbia comparison regarding who’s been in the industry longer, Columbia is a clear winner. This outdoor clothing company has been around since 1938 and began as a family-owned hat company owned by German immigrants. Even with its enthralling history, Columbia Sportswear constantly devotes its time to improving its products wherever necessary. The company believed that even perfect things could be better, as reflected in the company’s motto. This ideology speaks volumes about Columbia’s product design and business practices approach.
Like Patagonia, Columbia is globally recognized. Most outdoor enthusiasts prefer to go for its family-owned image. This makes the Columbia brand look more trustworthy and reliable in the eye of customers. Although many outdoor brands test their products’ quality intricately, few do it, like Columbia Sportswear. Additionally, their products are available to everyone because of the wide range of prices.
Columbia’s Material and Technology
Like its competitor, Columbia Sportswear is continually striving to reduce its carbon footprint as much as possible. The down insulation used by Columbia is RDS-certified, and almost every polyester the company utilizes is recycled. When you make a Patagonia vs Columbia comparison in terms of their proprietary clothing technology is quite tricky. Columbiana collaborates with various companies to create efficient solutions. Some of these solutions feature in the Omni-Tech technology range.
This technology is specially created and works efficiently in retaining heat. On the other hand, the Omni-Heat reflective can reflect the wearer’s body heat. Beyond Omni-Heat, Columbia Sportswear also utilizes Omni-Freeze, Omni-Shield, Omni-Wick, Omn-Wind, and Omni-Shade in their products. Each technology works to enhance its product’s quality in varying ways. When it comes to DWR products, the brand chooses a coating that isn’t dangerous. Some of these coatings ensure flawless performance and a waterproof membrane. The products can bind heat to the fabric.
Patagonia vs Columbia – Comparing Prices
The Patagonia vs Columbia comparison won’t be complete without comparing both brands’ prices. Columbia is easily the most affordable brand. This outdoor company provides buyers with a wide range of jackets and other inexpensive products. Some of their best models cost half as much as most of their customers.
On the other hand, Patagonia is a high-end brand with top-quality material and excellent craftsmanship. This flawlessness is apparent in their price tags. By providing highly-functional designs and products that go through an extensive testing process, it’s clear that Patagonia is worth the investment. Overall, choosing the best outdoor brand in terms of the price depends on a buyer’s budget.
Popular Patagonia Products
The Patagonia vs Columbia comparison is incomplete without comparing both brands’ most popular products and their design. In this section, we’ll be exploring the best products from Patagonia.
Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody Jacket
This is one of the most common jackets from Patagonia. Although it isn’t necessarily the highest-performing jacket available, it is stylish and durable. To begin with, this brand offers the most crucial feature any outdoor enthusiast looks out for in a jacket –warmth. To provide insulation, this Hoody Jacket utilizes PrimaLoft Gold Eco. The jacket’s stitching holds the insulation in place to keep you warm. It is also exceptionally lightweight and functional. It offers buyers an excellent fit with micro-fleece patches forming a zipper garage when you zip it up to the user’s face. On the other hand, the hoot is non-adjustable and features a snug-fitting design that allows you to fit in under helmets.
The Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody Jacket comes with two hand pockets like many similar jackets. There’s also an internal chest pocket, where you can store the entire jacket in. All three pockets come with easy-to-grab zipper pulls. This jacket is a classic and is quite stylish on the wearer. Although its pricing is on the high side, it provides you with the best value for your money. Overall, this jacket is excellent for backpacking, skiing, and hiking.
Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket
When you’re making a Patagonia vs Columbia comparison in terms of popularity, Patagonia wins. However, the brand owes its popularity to jackets like the Torrentshell, which many outdoor enthusiasts believe to be the best jacket in today’s market. The Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket isn’t overly fancy. However, it is pretty stylish and looks sleek. Beyond its excellent design, this jacket effectively balances functionality, stylish looks, and toughness.
The jacket is warm, waterproof, and comfortable. It is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a storm-worthy jacket. It comes with a 50D outer fabric that’s exceptionally durable and offers excellent weather protection, especially when comparing the quality with its affordable pricing. One of its prominent qualities is the large hood features. To prevent the cold from touching your neck, you simply tighten the hood using the elastic cord its features. It also has two standard handwarmer pockets that sit pretty low on the jacket. Affordable and top quality, this jacket is an excellent choice for those looking for a model that efficiently retains their body heat while keeping the cold and the rain at bay.
Popular Columbia Products
Like the Patagonia brand, Columbia Sportswear has several impressive outdoor products that people love. Below, we’ll be reviewing a couple of them; let’s take a look.
Columbia Watertight II Jacket
When it comes to affordability and comfort, this stylish jacket offers it. It is one of the best products from the brand and is popular amongst outdoor fans. This jacket is functional budget-oriented and offers you all the features you need when heading outdoor. It is a rain jacket that works effectively in keeping the user dry. The jacket uses the Omni-Tech technology mentioned above. It is form-fitting comfortable and will provide your arms with all the freedom they need.
Additionally, this jacket’s nylon face fabric is quite thick and will serve the wearer for years. As an affordable option, it sure gives you more than its value. It comes with storm flaps and a simple hood to keep your head and neck dry. It is an excellent option for anyone looking for a stylish, functional jacket for their outdoor activities.
Columbia Whirlibird IV Jacket
Many people overlook jackets when they go shopping for their outdoor gear. However, when they’re out in the cold, they wonder why they never made the purchase. The Columbia Whirlibird IV Jacket is comfortable, versatile, and affordable. Its outer shell is weather-resistant and breathable; thanks to the brand’s Omni-Tech waterproof membrane, its outer shell is weather-resistant and breathable. It is everything you need to make the most of your outdoor adventure. This is one of the best snow jackets, and it offers users a great fit.
If you’re looking for a sturdy jacket that offers several features, this jacket is the ideal option for you. Although it isn’t entirely war, you will have to combine the jacket with additional layers on freezing winter days. However, it sufficiently gets the job done on chilly autumn days due to the Omni-Heat technology it features. This jacket features a sleeve pass pocket, an external chest pocket, and handwarmer pockets when it comes to pockets. It is an excellent choice for a versatile, waterproof, and functional jacket with an affordable price tag.
Patagonia vs Columbia – Final Thoughts
The question of which outdoor brand is better pops up again. This is where Patagonia vs Columbia comparison comes to an end. Both brands offer fantastic outdoor garments that are durable and will keep you warm and dry outdoors. Patagonia and Columbia are also ethical and use a sustainable process in all their products. Patagonia seems to take the lead in pricing as it is known as a premium brand.
Additionally, the outdoor brand’s performance and quality are difficult to match. On the other hand, Columbia jackets wear greatly, are waterproof, and provide many features that make them versatile. Patagonia offers technical wear that is highly comfortable and will last the wearer for years. In contrast, Columbia offers insulating jackets that you can get for reasonable prices. Therefore, there is no apparent winner in the Patagonia vs Columbia comparison. The better brand simply depends on your budget and personal preference.