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Columbia and The North Face are two clothing brands that are just about synonymous with outdoor apparel. Both brands offer their customers quality designs and multiple products for meeting outdoor adventures needs. So, which Columbia vs The North Face? Which is best? Read below for brand, price, and product comparison to help you decide which apparel is right for you.
Columbia was founded in 1938 by Paul Lamfrom who started it as a family-owned hat distribution company. Originally Columbia Hat Company, the company transitioned to Columbia Sportswear Company in 1960, when they decided to start manufacturing their own products.
In 1988, Columbia became a publicly traded company and started acquiring smaller footwear and mountain hardware companies as it expanded its portfolio. The Company ultimately established its headquarters outside Beaverton, Oregon in 2001 where it has remained since.
Columbia Sportswear distributes its products in more than 72 countries and over 13,000 retailers. Columbia also has their own chain of retail stores located across the country.
Columbia Materials and Initiatives
Columbia boasts the use of down-insulated products that meet the Responsible Down Standard, which recognizes best practices in animal welfare and verifies responsible sourcing of raw material.
Columbia also has a commitment to extending the life of their products and keeping them out of landfills by launching their ReThreads program which encourages customers to bring in their used clothing. The company sorts and reprocesses the products which ultimately go towards items like cleaning cloths, insulation, or carpet padding.
Columbia’s Most Popular Items
The Men’s Steens Mountain Half Snap Pullover Fleece is a classic fleece look that comes in multiple colors to suit your style. The Pullover Fleece is crafted with 250g MTR filament fleece for ultimate warmth and the microfleece material is perfect for the outer or mid layer of any winter outfit.
The Columbia Women’s Benton Springs Full Zip Fleece Jacket brings the classic fleece look right to your fingertips. It comes in a multitude of different colors and sizes to fit your needs. The collared neck and full zipper gives you versatility and comfort for everyday wear.
The Columbia Women’s Suttle Mountain Long Insulated Jacket is a great winter jacket if you’re looking for ultimate warmth. The interior of the jacket is lined with Columbia’s metallic dot pattern designed to retain heat and the faux-fur trimmed hood with sherpa lined hood protects your head and face from cold weather.
The Columbia Mens Powder Lite Insulated Jacket is a great outerwear option if you’re looking to stay warm and dry. This jacket features water resistant fabric that keeps you dry with insulated lining to keep you warm. The jacket includes two zippered pockets and a drawcord adjustable hem to fit the jacket snug against you.
The North Face Background
The North Face was founded in 1968 by Douglas and Susie Tompkins as a climbing equipment retail store in San Francisco. The company was acquired two years later by Kenneth Klopp. The company was acquired in 2000 by VF Corporation for $25 million dollars.
Throughout the 1990’s, The North Face worked to expand their products within the outdoor arena and launched a multitude of items for rock climbers, hikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Currently, The North Face has 5,000 stores globally across 50 countries.
The North Face Material and Initiatives
Like Columbia Sportswear, The North Face uses down-insulated products that meet the Responsible Down Standard. They are also committed to improving the environmental performance of their products through the usage of recycle fabric.
In order to prevent their used jackets from ending up in landfills, The North Face has a program called “Our Clothes the Loop” that encourages people to drop off unwanted clothing and footwear at The North Face Retail and Outlet stores by giving out $10 rewards towards the next purchase of $100 or more.
The North Face’s Most Popular Items
The North Face Women’s Apex Bionic Softshell Jacket is a classic looking softshell jacket that is 100% windproof and water-repellant. It is fleece lined with a hem chinch-cord to keep you warm through any weather. The softshell jacket comes with an invisible-zip chest pocket and two hand zip pockets to keep your valuables and hands safe and warm.
The North Face Men’s Canyonlands Full Zip Fleece Jacket is a stretch, smooth-face fleece that provides warmth while still feeling lightweight. The jacket has a roomy fit that allows for layering. As with most The North Face jackets, it includes two side zip pockets and a zip chest pocket for storing valuables.
The North Face Women’s Osito Full Zip Fleece Jacket has a luxurious feel with its silken raschel fleece that provides warmth and comfort. The jacket also comes with a stand up collar and full zip for extra warmth.
The North Face Men’s Apex Bionic 2 DWR Softshell Hooded Jacket boasts a classic look with 100% wind and rain resistance perfect for any season. The jacket comes with an adjustable hood and a hem clinch-cord to keep out any wind and rain on your next hike.
Columbia vs The North Face
Both Columbia and The North Face offer a variety of outerwear apparel to suit your next outdoor adventure. Although The North Face tends to skew higher in price, both brands offer a wide range of products to suit your budget. However, if you are looking for a simple design that is budget friendly, then Columbia is a good place to start. If you are looking for a structured build with plenty of storage, then The North Face is a good place to start.
Basic Shell Jacket
Looking for a basic softshell jacket to keep out the wind and rain while keeping you warm? Both Columbia and The North Face offer classic designs that deliver on performance.
The North Face: The North Face Women’s Apex Bionic Softshell Jacket
Looking for a soft and comfortable jacket that will keep you cozy? Try out a fleece jacket that fuses comfy with practical.
The North Face: The North Face Women’s Osito Full Zip Fleece Jacket
Don’t quite need the full warmth of a long sleeved jacket? Check out a vest that allows for layering during those in between months.