When I find an outdoor clothing brand, I often stick with that brand for years. I have separate brands for different gear – you will never find me clothed head to toe from the one company. I have found that different brands are really good for different clothes and shoes. The following is my favorite brands for outdoor gear that will last at a price I can stand.
Premium Outdoor Clothing Brands
The following brands sometimes make me wonder if they are still manufacturing outdoor clothing or if they are now fashion brands.
- Location: Canada
- Popular Products: Beta AR, Atom LT, and Delta jackets
- What I like: The attention to detail and fit is unmatched. Their winter jackets are among the best on the market.
- What I don’t like: It is expensive. The fit is typically very slim, too.
Arc’teryx is a Canadian outdoor clothing brand founded three decades ago in Vancouver, British Columbia. This world-famous brand got its name after the Archaeopteryx, a bird-like dinosaur from the Late Jurassic period.
In my opinion, the name of this company is actually quite fitting. After all, Arc’teryx is a brand that is constantly evolving. It’s one of the most innovative corporations of this type and one whose focus is to always stay on the cutting edge of things.
Arc’teryx specializes in apparel for hiking, trail running, snowboarding, skiing, trekking, and mountaineering. It offers a variety of clothing, including skirts, dresses, fleeces, shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, shorts, pants, coats, shoes, boots, packs, and many accessories for the activities mentioned above. It offers products for all seasons and both sexes.
I consider Arc’teryx jackets and gear to be the best when it comes to technical application, as well as for general outdoor use. The brand’s meticulous attention to detail and the fact that it uses only the best materials and technologies are precisely why it is among the leading companies in the outdoor clothing industry.
- Location: Canada
- Popular Products: Expedition Parka
- What I like: World-class insulation – their jackets are very warm.
- What I don’t like: Very expensive, although worth the cost.
When it comes to keeping folks warm when they’re outside, Canada Goose is the name in the game. Founded all the way back in the 1950s in Toronto, Canada, this company is now well-known for its premium outerwear for men, women, and kids.
All of the brand’s products I’ve had a chance to try kept me toasty warm in freezing temperatures. In addition to the apparel I mentioned above, Canada Goose also designs, manufactures, and sells scarves, gloves, hats, and all sorts of accessories for backcountry escapades.
The company also offers apparel for people of all sizes – from newborns to XL adults – and most of their clothes are hand-stitched. This means that they won’t wear out that easily no matter how much and where you wear them.
I found that CG’s knitwear, jackets, and coats are ideal for most cold-weather sports, including snowboarding, snowmobiling, skiing, and mountaineering. And since a lot of their garments feature goose feather down, they’re not only very warm but also lightweight and flexible.
Interestingly, in the sphere of premium winter wear, discussions often extend to comparisons like Moose Knuckles vs Canada Goose, where consumers explore the balance between aesthetic appeal, warmth, and durability between these two rivals.
- Location: Italy
- Popular Products: Citala, Vezere, and Cluny down jackets.
- What I like: A very insulating, very puffy down filling in all their jackets.
- What I don’t like: Another very expensive brand.
Although an Italian brand, with headquarters in Milan, Moncler was established in France, all the way back in 1952. Its founders were André Vincent and René Ramillon, who were well-versed in the art of creating down-filled coats capable of keeping folks comfortable and warm while they’re exploring Europe’s most extensive mountain range – the Alps.
I’ve noticed how, nowadays, Moncler keeps adapting to the current trends, which is precisely why it’s still one of the most well-known names in the outdoor clothing industry. The company has lines for kids, women, and men, and their garments can be obtained in all sizes and shapes.
One thing I really liked about this brand is its never-ending experimentation with all kinds of patterns and colors on its apparel, and the fact that it often uses high art as an inspiration. I think that it’s pretty safe to say that the company seeks to make its clothes as innovative as possible, trying to become a trendsetter like Patagonia.
I consider Moncler a phenomenal option for folks who don’t only want to be warm while snowboarding or skiing but also look good while engaging in these activities. Most of their apparel works great when it comes to general outdoor use and snow-related activities, but it’s not the best choice out there for cold-weather trekkers – nor for those with shallow pockets, to tell the truth.
Popular Outdoor Clothing Brands
The North Face
- Location: California
- Popular Products: Antora, Thermoball Eco, and Venture 2 jackets
- What I like: Insulated collections with a high reputation and lifetime guarantee.
- What I don’t like: The brand lacks versatility between the two extremes – casual and hardcore.
The North Face is probably the most internationally known of all the outdoor clothing brands I listed in this article. Founded in California in the 1960s, this company is now a phenomenon whose garments are worn by the likes of Charlize Theron, Sandra Bullock, Edward Norton, Drake, and other famous people. They have the money to pay for high-profile branding.
The cool and casual appeal of this brand’s jackets undoubtedly speaks to a very wide audience. However, over the years, I’ve come to realize that the North Face garments are also highly functional – whether I went for trail running, camping, trekking, or climbing, the company had a unique solution for each activity.
The North Face designs, manufactures and sells jackets, coats, t-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, pants, skirts, dresses, tank tops, sports bras, boots, shoes, as well as all kinds of different accessories. The brand’s clothing options are available for kids, women, and men.
I especially like their quality backpacks – like the Borealis Backpack – as well as tents and other kinds of camping gear. The North Face offers enormous flexibility and variety, which is probably the brand’s greatest strength.
If you are interested in North Face products, check out my post on the Best North Face Rain Jackets.
- Location: California
- Popular Products: Down Sweater Hooded, Torrentshell 3L, and R1 jackets
- What I like: Functional, stylish, and well-designed apparel that promotes sustainability.
- What I don’t like: Still not the best when it comes to technical garments – the No. 1 place belongs to Arc’Teryx.
Patagonia is well-known for its image of a “brand that sets the new definition of cool”. Founded in 1973 in California, this company certainly knows how to design and sell a stunning product. It has been going strong for almost five decades and is still considered to be the best of the best by many outdoorsmen all over the world.
Most of the brand’s collection focuses on various sporting equipment, a lot of which I’ve had a chance to use in the past in a myriad of different scenarios. However, those looking for clothes made with specific activities in mind will be pleased to find that Patagonia offers garments for mountain biking, fly fishing, climbing, trail running, skiing, surfing, and snowboarding.
It cannot be overstated how insanely huge the amount of Patagonia’s offerings is. I think it might be the most diverse out of all outdoor clothing brands – they have socks, base layers, hats, caps, underwear, bras, waders, swimwear, skirts, wetsuits, dresses, jeans, t-shirts, shorts, sweaters, hoodies, sweatshirts, fleeces, vests, and, of course, jackets.
However, the thing I like the most about this company is that it spends a lot of money and time on sustainable manufacturing practices and various environmental projects. Patagonia is well-known for the fact that it uses responsibly sourced down and a variety of recycled materials in its garments.
If you are interested in Patagonia, check out my post on the Best Patagonia Winter Jackets.
- Location: Washington state
- Popular Products: Foray II, Helium Down, and Aspire II jackets
- What I like: Phenomenal in-house waterproofing and great value for the price.
- What I don’t like: The fit isn’t as precise compared to other brands.
Founded in 1981 by a guy called Ron Gregg, this Seattle-based brand takes the “Research” part of its name quite seriously. I consider it to be one of only a few companies that make genuinely innovative pieces of apparel. Furthermore, it’s a brand with a truly massive range of products – if you would want to, you would be able to easily buy everything you need for a backcountry adventure at an Outdoor Research store.
The company has over 40 different lines of products for both sexes. It produces clothes such as coats, jackets, skirts, dresses, hoodies, sweatshirts, shirts, pants, shorts, and even hats. What is more, each of Outdoor Research’s products doesn’t only benefit the buyer by simply clothing them.
What did I mean by that? A lot of the brand’s garments come equipped with genuinely useful quality of life features, like Gore-Tex or UV protection. It’s a brand that keeps its customers coming back by trying new and innovative things.
Each of their garments is backed by a lifetime guarantee. If there’s an issue with your Outdoor Research piece of apparel, the company will have it replaced. I consider the brand to be an excellent choice for folks who are all about experimental advancements in the outdoor clothing industry.
Many people find Outdoor Research to be similar to Arc’teryx, so I suggest checking out my Outdoor Research vs Arc’teryx comparison as well.
- Location: California
- Popular Products: Reactor, Highlander, and Precip Eco jackets
- What I like: Affordable but well-made garments for casual hikers and campers.
- What I don’t like: Not as high-quality as brands I analyzed above (e.g. Patagonia or Arc’Teryx)
Next up on my list is Marmot, a company that was founded by three friends in 1974. Back then, the brand’s founders studied together in Alaska, and decided to form a sort of club called “the Marmot Club”. If you’ve ever been to Alaska, you know how cold that place is, so it’s no wonder that it makes people get creative when it comes to staying cozy and warm.
Once their studies were over, the three guys went back home and decided to create a solution to the freezing cold. The solution’s name was Marmot, a brand that still exists today, almost half a century later.
Nowadays, the company offers coats, jackets, bottoms, tops, as well as all kinds of accessories for kids, women, and men. To put it simply, Marmot offers solutions to all those who don’t want to have their outdoor adventures ruined by bad weather.
The brand has products for activities such as ice climbing, alpine climbing, bouldering, camping, and trekking. I’ve had a chance to test many of their best-selling jackets – including the well-known PreCip Eco jacket – and I can attest that they’re all exceptionally well-made, keeping me dry and warm in all weather conditions.
- Location: Germany
- Popular Products: Horizon, Routeburn, and Jasper 3-in-1 jackets
- What I like: European version of Columbia – affordable but well-designed clothes.
- What I don’t like: Not for serious outdoor endeavors.
Back in the early 1980s, a guy called Ulrich Dausien founded a brand new outdoor clothing company – Jack Wolfskin – in Frankfurt, Germany. His vision behind this entire idea was to create garments that will make people who explore the outdoors feel just as comfortable as they feel when they’re relaxing in their homes.
Mr. Dausien managed to achieve this by designing, producing, and selling clothes that feel genuinely comfortable, no matter where and when they’re worn. Jack Wolfskin’s line of products includes things like pants, tops, jackets, boots, shoes, and various accessories.
Over the years, I’ve come to realize that most of the brand’s offerings come with added benefits like mosquito protection or UV protection, and many of them are made out of recycled materials. I should also point out that Jack Wolfskin also manufactures backpacks, sleeping bags, and tents.
While you certainly won’t feel like wearing wolf skin while using one of this company’s jackets, you will feel comfortable, cozy, and warm. Even though this brand’s garments aren’t exactly the best choice for serious outdoor adventures, they’re well-made and worth considering for purchase.
- Location: United Kingdom
- Popular Products: Cirrus Flex 2.0, Electron Pro, and Microlight Alpine jackets
- What I like: A wide selection of technical garments for climbing and mountaineering.
- What I don’t like: Sometimes difficult to obtain in the US.
Here we have a UK-based outdoor clothing brand, which got its name after its founder – Rab Carrington, a climber and a mountaineer. Unlike some of the brands I’ve described on this list, this one was actually created by and for mountain lovers.
Most of the products made by Rab are designed for trekking, climbing, scaling, and general use in brutal, difficult conditions and at high altitudes. The company’s lineup of garments includes shirts, pants, base layers, mid-layers, fleeces, softshells, hoodies, jackets, coats, caps, hats, and belts. Rab also manufactures sleeping bags and general outdoor equipment.
Rab designs clothes for women and men alike. The brand’s goal is to allow climbers to engage in their favorite activity in the most comfortable way possible.
While it’s true that most of Rab’s clothes are mountaineering-specific, I’ve come to realize that a lot of them can be used in a variety of scenarios. It’s a wonderful option for folks looking to get into climbing but don’t exactly know where to start.
- Location: United Kingdom
- Popular Products: Hydroshell, Vaskye, and Paclite 2.0 jackets
- What I like: Very popular in the UK for a reason – top-quality offerings for trailrunners, hikers, and mountaineers.
- What I don’t like: Nowadays, the brand started to cater more towards fashion rather than strictly function.
Founded in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1966, Berghaus is one of the most renowned British outdoor clothing brands. Both of the guys who founded the company – Gordon Davison and Peter Lockey – were mountaineers and climbers.
Even though Berghaus used to design, manufacture, and sell only rucksacks, the brand now also offers all kinds of different clothes and outdoor gear. Some of these include shoes, boots, coats, jackets, shorts, pants, and long-sleeved shirts.
One thing about Berghaus I find particularly interesting is that this brand takes environmentalism quite seriously – the company is all about sustainable manufacturing. For example, they get a vast majority of their polyester from recycled plastic, which doesn’t affect the quality of their clothes in any way (but undoubtedly helps the environment).
It’s a good mid-priced option for all eco-conscious outdoorsmen looking for a diverse selection of outerwear. I can attest that the performance of their products is thoroughly impressive even though they’re available at genuinely affordable prices.
- Location: United Kingdom
- Popular Products: Byron, Lorton, and Kiwi 3-in-1 jackets
- What I like: High-quality, versatile outdoor apparel.
- What I don’t like: Their garments are not as aesthetically pleasing as those of premium brands.
Another outdoor clothing brand based in the United Kingdom, Craghoppers is a company that specializes in protective apparel, like insect-proof and sun-proof clothes. Many of their garments are made out of recycled materials – always a big plus in my book.
Founded all the way back in 1965 in Batley, the brand has always been focused on becoming a leader in the industry of quality outdoor apparel. Besides protective garments, Craghoppers also has plenty of excellent options for everyday outdoor wear. They also manufacture trekking poles, luggage bags, rucksacks, and standard backpacks.
Craghoppers offers clothes for men, women, and kids, although most of their apparel is adult-oriented. Besides a lifetime warranty, the brand also offers something called a price match – those who find Craghoppers clothes that are cheaper than the ones offered on their website will then have that price matched by the brand itself.
The last thing I should point out is that most people know about Craghoppers because of the brand’s Kiwi line of products, which includes everything from jackets to trousers to backpacks.
- Location: Italy
- Popular Products: Mostly tents, like the Manaslu Tent.
- What I like: The brand’s tents are among the sturdiest on the market.
- What I don’t like: Not the best choice if you’re looking for anything else besides specialized outdoor gear.
Ferrino is one of the oldest outdoor clothing brands on my list, established all the way back in 1870 by Cesare Ferrino. This Italian-based brand started its journey by making tents, snowshoes, and all kinds of accessories.
Over the years, Ferrino has grown into one of Italy’s largest and most well-known outerwear manufacturers. Its voyage to success was helped mainly by the fact that Cesare was one of Italy’s very first creators to use water-resistant fabrics while designing and manufacturing apparel and accessories.
This kind of innovation led to the brand’s fame which is still present today. No matter the conditions or climate, Ferrino offers outstanding products that successfully suit the needs of most outdoor enthusiasts. While they’re still quite well-known for snowshoes and tents, the company keeps creating more approachable – and better – outerwear with each passing year.
Ferrino has an extraordinary lineup of coats, jackets, pants, and shirts. From trekking to skiing and climbing to trail running, Ferrino focuses on creating premium-quality garments for all those who are in love with the Great Outdoors.
- Location: United Kingdom
- Popular Products: Panther 65 rucksack and Summit walking shoes.
- What I like: Fantastic entry-level and technical hiking shoes and boots.
- What I don’t like: Their footwear is a tad heavier compared to competitors.
Just like Rab, Karrimor is a well-known (and beloved) UK-based brand. The company was established in 1946 in Lancashire, just after the Second World War, and it slowly grew into an internationally renowned brand we all know today.
While it’s true that Karrimor is mostly known for its high-quality trekking boots and shoes, the brand also creates some of the market’s best rucksacks and lightweight jackets. Rather than manufacturing multifunctional products, the company focuses on making pieces of apparel that are uniquely qualified for specific purposes.
The primary niches that this company seeks to fill include camping, trekking, and trail running. The only product of theirs I’ve owned and used for several years is the Orkney walking boot – the support and stability it provided me with was something I had a hard time finding later with other brands.
Like all other companies on my list, Karrimor has offerings for both sexes. I consider this brand an ideal choice for all those looking to upgrade their clothes (or footwear) to their specific needs.
- Location: Australia
- Popular Products: Peak 700 and Resurge 700 down jackets
- What I like: Well-made jackets that provide a great value for the money.
- What I don’t like: Their other products aren’t particularly impressive.
Based in Brisbane, Australia, Mountain Designs was established in 1975. Its founder was Rick White, who was well-known in his home country for his discoveries of various rock-climbing destinations all across Australia.
Back in the 1970s, finding adequate climbing gear in Australian shops was all but easy, so Rick decided to establish a brand of his own and use it to import quality mountaineering equipment from the US. Over the years, the company grew and started manufacturing its own branded products.
Currently, Mountain Designs has lines of boots, shoes, t-shirts, vests, coats, jackets, thermals, pants, and accessories for climbers, trekkers, and all those in love with nature. While it’s true that many of the brand’s clothes are designed for rough terrain, many of them sport that casual, urbanite appeal too.
The company offers a vast selection of garments for both sexes and quality thermals for kids. However, what I like the most about this brand is its lineup of jackets – Mountain Design shells are an excellent option for long adventures in the backcountry. This brand is a great choice if you’re looking for genuinely well-made garments for your backcountry expeditions.
- Location: Washington state
- Popular Products: Insulated Work Vest, Men’s Original Briefcase, and Watch Cap
- What I like: Their apparel is made out of thick, hard-to-tear fabric
- What I don’t like: It’s slowly becoming a fashion-oriented brand.
At the tail end of the 19th century, a new kind of outerwear was born. Founded by Clinton C. Filson (hence the name), the Filson Company is one of America’s oldest corporations of this type and a truly renowned name in the outdoor clothing world. It was originally founded to meet the needs of folks who, traveling to Klondike, were passing through Seattle, where Filson was established.
The company manufactures products that are not only backed by a lifetime guarantee but can also be repaired at Filson repair shops. On the clothing tags of its garments, the brand claims to be the complete outfitter of prospectors, miners, and lumberjacks. While it’s true that most people buying Filson clothes do not have these occupations, I think it’s great to be able to buy a jacket that is genuinely tough and durable.
Much of Filson’s branding is focused on activities such as trekking, horseback riding, and, of course, outdoor work. The brand offers various types of apparel, including pants, chaps, overalls, vests, sweaters, button-up work shirts, hoodies, fleeces, rainwear, down jackets, synthetic jackets, and coats.
Filson’s garments are great for outdoor enthusiasts who want their outfits to be tough and capable of withstanding all kinds of wear and tear. Regarding sheer durability, this is definitely one of the better brands out there.
- Location: Sweden
- Popular Products: Unisex Siljan Daypack and Women’s Spire Jacket
- What I like: Very tough, hard wearing, and usually waterproof pieces.
- What I don’t like: Some of their offerings are quite expensive.
This is a Scandinavian outdoor clothing brand (Swedish, to be more precise) and, as a European outerwear manufacturer, it must be great – or is that just a stereotype? I wouldn’t say so – Haglöfs is held in high regard for a good reason.
The company was founded more than a century ago, in 1914, by Wiktor Haglöf and has since risen to become one of the planet’s largest corporations of this type. It is active in 25 markets worldwide and is one of those few brands genuinely focused on sustainable manufacturing practices.
With its products being based around trail running, mountaineering, and hiking, Haglöfs has something for all types of outdoor enthusiasts. In addition to high-quality clothes, the brand also designs backpacks, sleeping bags, and all kinds of accessories related to the activities mentioned above.
One thing I really like about Haglöfs is its “price-match guarantee” policy. Potential buyers who find Haglöfs products sold at lower prices will then have those same prices matched by the brand itself. Pretty convenient, wouldn’t you say?
Lower Price Outdoor Clothing Brands
This is the category of outdoor gear where I spend most of my money. The outdoor hiking brands here are not low quality, though the designs are not at the same level as the brands in the two categories above. However, they make good quality gear that lasts.
- Location: Washington state
- Popular Products: 650 Down, Stormhenge Hybrid, and Rainier jackets
- What I like: A great balance between performance and cost.
- What I don’t like: The style and overall quality fall short of premium brands.
REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) is an American outdoor retail company that was founded in 1938 by Lloyd and Mary Anderson. The Andersons were outdoor enthusiasts who were frustrated by the lack of quality outdoor gear available at the time, so they decided to start their own company to meet the needs of fellow outdoor enthusiasts.
REI was initially a cooperative, meaning that it was owned and operated by its members. Customers could join the co-op by paying a one-time fee, and as members, they were entitled to discounts on gear and other benefits. This business model allowed REI to grow quickly, and by the 1950s, it had become a major player in the outdoor retail industry.
In the 1960s and 1970s, REI continued to expand, opening new stores and expanding its product line to include a wide range of outdoor gear and apparel. The company also began to focus on sustainability and environmental conservation, partnering with organizations such as The Nature Conservancy and The Wilderness Society.
Today, REI is a well-known and respected brand in the outdoor industry, with over 150 stores in 35 states and an online store that serves customers worldwide. The company is still owned by its members, and it continues to focus on providing high-quality gear and promoting outdoor activities and environmental conservation.
REI is a retailer that sells a wide range of outdoor gear, apparel, and accessories from various brands.
Merrell Outdoor Gear
- Location: Michigan
- Popular Products: Moab 3, Adventure Mid, and Yokota 2 shoes
- What I like: Some of the best hiking boots and shoes available on the market.
- What I don’t like: Not the most aesthetically pleasing footwear.
Just because a brand is under this last category is not an indication of quality. I use and will continue to use Merrell’s gear – they make excellent hiking shoes at a sensible price.
Merrell is an American company specializing in outdoor gear, including footwear, apparel, and accessories. The company was founded in 1981 by Randy Merrell, a bootmaker based in Vernal, Utah. Merrell began by creating custom-made hiking boots for customers in the Rockies and eventually expanded to create a line of high-quality, performance-oriented outdoor gear.
In the 1980s, Merrell introduced its first mass-produced hiking boot, the Wilderness Boot. This boot was designed to be lightweight, durable, and comfortable, and it quickly gained popularity among hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. In the 1990s, the company expanded its product line to include a range of footwear for different activities, including running, walking, and casual wear.
In the 2000s, Merrell continued to innovate and expand its product line, introducing new technologies such as Gore-Tex and Vibram soles. The company also began to focus more on sustainability, using recycled materials and partnering with organizations that promote environmental conservation. Today, Merrell is a well-known and respected brand in the outdoor industry, offering a wide range of products for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels.
- Location: Oregon
- Popular Products: Watertight II, Ascender, and Whirlibird IV jackets
- What I like: Affordable gear and clothing in a wide variety.
- What I don’t like: The designs are rarely long-lasting – it’s more of a casual brand.
Certainly one of the most beloved brands in the United States, Columbia Sportswear has a long and rich history. It was established all the way back in the 1930s by Paul Lamfrom, in Portland, Oregon. Like most other companies on my list, Columbia Sportswear focuses on making functional but great-looking products for various activities.
A lot of Columbia’s garments are designed specifically for hunting, skiing, golf, trail running, fishing, and trekking. In other words, the brand has a solution for everyone, regardless of your or someone else’s outdoor interests.
The company offers garments for all ages and body types, from kids to adults. An important thing I should mention here is that the company also focuses on flexible clothes that can be used for more than just one activity. Their apparel often tends to be relatively affordable, too.
Some of Columbia’s offerings include dresses, skirts, vests, shoes, puffer coats, jackets, short and long-sleeved shirts, hiking pants, and all kinds of accessories. It is a fantastic choice for all those looking for relatively inexpensive and flexible clothes that can be used in a vast range of scenarios.
If you are interested in Columbia products, check out my Columbia Omni-Heat Jacket and Apparel Line review.
What are the Best Outdoor Clothing Brands?
I deliberately have not tied myself to pick only one brand as the best. If I had to pick only one brand, that would be The North Face. As an allrounder outdoor brand, they do a great job at just above a reasonable price.
My second choice is Marmot, as I like their merino wool socks, shoes, sandals, and boots.
I love hiking, backpacking, and camping. From the Camino de Santiago to the West Highland Way in Scotland or simply a great day hike on the weekend. Hiking refreshes me, my mind, and keeps my body reasonably fit. So far I have walked three Camino routes and many other long distance hikes in the UK, Canada, and around the rest of Europe. One of the best was my hike up Ben Nevis.