Columbia Sportswear is a popular and widely known brand for its large number of various and high quality outdoor products. The company produces innovative and technical clothing and gear, with affordable prices.
Their technologies are great for harsh weather conditions with waterproof, windproof, and insulation features.
Today’s selection is a bit different though, as we are going to take a look at some outdoor brands that are similar to Columbia in terms of products quality, performance and focus on sustainable means of production.
We will talk about their history, their products’ features, and the materials and technologies they use.
This way, you will not only have more options to choose from, but you will also have a better understanding of these brands when the time comes for a new purchase.
- 1. Patagonia
- 2. The North Face
- 3. Arc’teryx
- 4. Under Armour
- 5. Merrell
- 6. Mountain Hardwear
- 7. Montbell
- 8. Helly Hansen
- 9. Eddie Bauer
Patagonia is an American brand established in 1973 by Yvon Chouinard, a rock climber. His business started by making some handmade climbing equipment. Afterwards, he worked on improving his tools’ strength and efficiency.
Don’t miss: Patagonia vs Columbia: Which Brand is Better?
The company uses environmentally-friendly recyclable materials and organic materials for their products. This helps minimize the negative impact on the environment and wildlife. Their mission reads, “We’re in business to save our home planet”.
Patagonia offers a variety of gear, accessories, and clothes for outdoor activities. Still, their products are also suitable for everyday use.
They also offer the Worn Wear program giving you the option of purchasing functional used gear and clothes.
Why we love it? Because of their minimal designs with just the essential features.
2. The North Face
With their motto to “inspire a global movement of exploration”, The North Face works on developing their technology to offer durable and sustainable clothes and gear.
Their technologies include breathable waterproof fabrics and materials for thermal insulation. Both features help you not only to survive, but also have a great time in harsh and cold weather conditions.
The company was started by two hikers in 1966 as a store for climbing and backpacking equipment.
Since then, the business kept on delivering high-quality gear, while focusing on protecting the environment at the same time, by using renewable energy and recycling programs.
Why we love it? Because of the “infinite” number of outdoor gear that they offer, for all needs and personal tastes.
The Arc’teryx company was founded in Canada by Dave Lane in 1989, focusing mainly on sustainability and innovation. They work on producing durable and long-lasting gear, thus reducing environmental impact.
The brand produces mainly outdoor clothing and gear for climbing, skiing, hiking, for professionals and beginners alike.
Among the technologies they use, we can mention Gore-Tex and AC2, the latter developed by them and used for their backpacks.
As we have seen in the past, the Gore-Tex technology makes their products breathable in humid, hot weather, and waterproof in rainy, harsh weather conditions.
Why we love it? We like very much Arc’teryx’ jackets, which are high performing and with streamlined designs. We think they are worth it despite their high price.
4. Under Armour
Under Armour was founded in 1996 in Washington, D.C., now based in Baltimore, Maryland. The company then grew to offer a great variety of sustainable outdoor clothing, footwear, and sports clothing for basketball, football, and golf.
The company started with “a simple T-shirt” and grew to develop its materials. Their aim is to provide durability and sustainability in different weather conditions while maintaining affordable prices.
They use long-lasting, recyclable materials with good performance after reducing elastane use since 2014. In addition, they utilize recycled materials in the production of some clothes to reduce environmental waste.
Why we love it? Because in their product line you can find equipment for many sports, with affordable prices.
Merrell is an American brand with three main focuses: comfort, performance, and fit. Designs are made to offer comfort through insulation and ventilation.
They offer high-performance products including waterproof and durable clothing and footwear.
The brand focuses on durability to reduce any landfill waste caused by the industries over time. In addition, it uses recycled (polyester and rubber) and recyclable materials to create outdoor clothing and gear.
Why we love it? We love their quality hiking shoes, with many designs for every type of customer, and with a good price-to-quality ratio.
6. Mountain Hardwear
The Mountain Hardwear brand has been around since 1993. It provides customers with outdoor clothing and climbing gear, as well as tents. Its products are suitable for professionals and day-hikers alike.
The company produces waterproof jackets by using water-repellent down fibers, Q.Shield Down. They have also developed the Ghost Whisperer Fabric to create super-lightweight, water repellent and windproof designs.
In addition, the brand focuses on using technology to increase the breathability of their products in hot weather. They use the Gore-Tex technology and Pertex® Quantum Air, for breathability, durability and insulation.
Why we love it? Because if you are into mountain activities, be it hiking, climbing, backpacking, or camping, this brand provides you with everything you need.
The Japanese brand, Montbell, was founded in 1975 by the renowned climber Isamu Tatsuno. It started as a business for supplying outdoor equipment suitable for the rainy Japanese weather. The company then developed to produce outdoor clothing, gear, and accessories such as backpacks and tents.
The brand’s philosophy is to create designs that work best for specific use and function. Even though this can be limiting for some customers, the company follows this method to provide the best quality possible.
It also focuses on the Light & Fast® philosophy that maintains the products’ lightness and flexibility without affecting their quality.
The company offers a variety of options to satisfy customers’ needs, following their motto “Light & Fast, yet designed to last”.
Why we love it? As you may have guessed it, we love their light jackets with minimal designs.
8. Helly Hansen
The brand provides gear, clothing, and accessories for outdoor activities such as skiing, sailing, and many others. It also relies on using durable materials to produce long-lasting products for minimum environmental impact.
Some of their designs are famous for using the LIFA® technology. It works as a base layer that moves moisture out and remains warm and comfortable.
The brand is also known for its H2Flow™ technology that stores warm air pockets to keep you warm and provides a ventilation system with zippers to cool you down, thus keeping the body temperature regulated.
Another fabric technology developed by Helly Hansen is Helly Tech, which we have reviewed here.
Why we love it? By Helly Hansen we like their winter jackets and parkas, with great insulation and attention to details.
9. Eddie Bauer
Eddie Bauer was an outdoorsman who started the Eddie Bauer brand as a store in Seattle in 1920. It now offers a range of outdoor clothing, as well as casual clothing and footwear.
Many of the company’s products are usually tested and used by a large professional team of guides and athletes.
Don’t miss: Eddie Bauer vs Columbia: Which Brand is Better?
The company produces affordable technical clothing with different materials like Polyester and Nylon.
Among the technologies that Eddie Bauer uses, we can mention Thermafill® for insulation, and the Italian Thindown down fabric that provides warmth in harsh weather.
Why we love it? Because of their technical products with quite affordable prices.
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That’s all for this selection! The brands listed above offer sustainable and efficient products to improve your next outdoor experience.
They also focus on minimizing the environmental impact of their production, and have developed similar technologies and materials to provide essential features like waterproofness, insulation, breathability and durability.
For these reasons, we think these companies are like Columbia.
What do you think? Do you have any other brand suggestion? Let us know in the comments.