Are you ready for a new “brands like…” article? If you’ve followed us for some time, you probably know that in these types of articles we take a popular outdoor brand and try to provide you with several similar brands.
This way you get to know more outdoor companies and have more outdoor equipment options for your adventures.
Today, we’ll take a look at 10 brands that are similar to Helly Hansen. The Norwegian brand, founded by sea captain Helly Juell Hansen has come a long way since its beginnings in 1877.
After focusing on sailing gear for some time, Helly Hansen has expanded over the years to skiing gear and outdoor clothing and equipment in general. Nowadays it’s an all-round company where you can find all you need for any outdoor activity.
But you probably know all this, right? So, let’s move on to the brands like Helly Hansen that we have picked for you!
We’ll start with the obvious The North Face, Patagonia, and Columbia Sportswear. After that, we’ll move to more “particular” brands like 66°North, Mammut, Bergans of Norway, etc.
- 1. The North Face
- 2. Patagonia
- 3. Columbia Sportswear
- 4. 66°North
- 5. Mammut
- 6. Bergans of Norway
- 7. Haglöfs
- 8. Jack Wolfskin
- 9. Norrøna
- 10. Fjällräven
1. The North Face
The North Face logo on a jacket
We said above that we’ll start with the obvious brands. And The North Face is one of these. But why? Well, because it is one of those brands that are so popular that you’ve probably heard about it even if you don’t have much experience in outdoor sports.
The American brand The North Face was founded in 1966 in San Francisco, California by Douglas Tompkins, an outdoor enthusiast, and his wife Susie Tompkins Buell.
The logo of the brand is a stylized drawing of Half Dome in the Yosemite National Park in California.
Since the year 2000, The North Face is part of VF Corporation which also owns many other outdoor brands.
You’ll find everything you need from The North Face. Be it a winter down parka, a school or a hiking backpack, or a good pair of hiking shoes, the company covers almost every outdoor sport.
They are also innovators with many fabric technologies under their belt which they have introduced over the years. For example, we have already talked about DryVent and Thermoball, the former a waterproof / breathable fabric and the latter a synthetic type of insulation imitating natural down.
The North Face is an expensive brand overall, but you can find some affordable pieces in their collections.
As for sustainability, in the last years, the brand has made many steps forward trying to reduce its footprint on the environment and using recycled materials.
Patagonia official website
Patagonia is another popular outdoor brand from Ventura, California, USA. Founded in 1973 by Yvon Chouinard a rock climber, Patagonia is known for its simple minimalist designs and for its focus on environmental sustainability.
Patagonia is also an all-round company when it comes to outdoor wear as you’ll find everything you may need in their collections. They have jackets, pants, backpacks, T-shirts, and hoodies, for men, women, and kids.
Born as a brand for outdoor experts, Patagonia uses technical fabrics too. For example, H2No and Gore-Tex are their breathable and waterproof membranes.
Patagonia’s prices are usually on the expensive side but their products perform really well as many of their customers say. We have discussed Patagonia’s high prices here if you’re curious to read more.
3. Columbia Sportswear
Columbia Sportswear official website
Columbia Sportswear, also called simply Columbia, was founded in 1938 by a family who fled Germany and moved to Portland, Oregon.
Always known as a small family business even though with a worldwide presence, Columbia too offers a very wide range of products for the outdoors.
The brand’s popularity has grown over the many years of its history and one of the factors has surely been its affordable prices. Columbia offers good products with prices for every budget.
As for materials and technologies, Columbia doesn’t fall too far behind the first two brands above. In fact, they have a wide range of technologies introduced over the years.
For example, Omni-Tech is one of their waterproof / breathable fabrics, while their thermal reflective systems used in winter jackets are very interesting and perform well.
So, all in all, a very good alternative to Helly Hansen at lower prices.
66°North official website
Now let’s move on to the less obvious brands. 66°North has a name that recalls that of the homonymous geographical parallel, the 66th parallel.
The brand comes from Iceland and has been founded in 1926 by Hans Kristjánsson. Originally the brand was focused on creating clothes for Icelandic workers and fishermen who had to resist harsh weather each day.
Today, 66°North creates clothing not just for workers but also for everyday activities. Their clothing is very comfortable, durable, and able to withstand the most unpredictable weather such as that of Iceland.
The brand covers different outdoor activities with its jackets, vests, pants, and accessories for men and women. The prices are on the expensive side.
Mammut official website
Next, we have Mammut, a brand from Switzerland with over 100 years of history. Founded in 1862 by Kaspar Tanner, the company started as a rope manufacturer.
Today it has evolved into a global outdoor brand offering products for mountaineering, climbing, and hiking.
Footwear, clothing, and equipment are the main products that Mammut will offer you so you can conquer your preferred mountain trail.
Among their designs, you’ll also find casual products to wear in the city.
The prices are on the expensive side here too, but the products are beautiful, equipped with the latest technologies, and perform really well.
6. Bergans of Norway
Bergans of Norway official website
Bergans of Norway comes, you guessed it, from Norway. Founded in 1908, the brand is among the most important innovators in the outdoor market.
They patented the backpack as we know it today which was then used in famous expeditions by polar explorers such as Amundsen.
Today Bergans is very passionate about outdoor life and it’s an important point of reference not only in the Norwegian market but has expanded with its stores in Europe and in the USA.
Currently, the brand covers many outdoor activities with its products such as hiking, fishing, skiing, and expeditions.
You might also like: 9 Norwegian Clothing and Jacket Brands You Should Know
Haglöfs official website
Haglöfs is another important brand from Scandinavia where it’s one of the first brands in the outdoor market.
It was founded in 1914 in Torsång, Sweden by Wiktor Haglöf. The brand covers activities such as hiking, mountaineering, skiing / snowboarding, and has also lifestyle products.
Haglöfs has a wide selection of jackets for different uses with the Gore-Tex technology. The prices are a bit high but nothing too far away from the usual prices of outdoor technical wear.
8. Jack Wolfskin
Jack Wolfskin official website
We’ll now move to Germany with Jack Wolfskin, a company founded in 1981 by Ulrich Dausien.
The brand’s mission is to become a motivator for people to go outside and enjoy the outdoors with friends and family. And their products are there to make all this possible, safely and comfortably.
Speaking of their products, Jack Wolfskin offers such a wide range of outdoor clothing and equipment that it can be considered The North Face of Europe.
Prices are also affordable for many products so you’re sure to find all you need for your next adventure out in nature.
Norrøna official website
Another Norwegian brand, Norrøna‘s history begins in 1929 with Jørgen Jørgensen who was searching for durable outdoor gear to use in the difficult territory of Norway.
Today the brand is still a family business with headquarters near Oslo. They have always had a focus on innovation and this can be seen in the design and manufacture of their products. For example, they were the first to use the Gore-Tex technology in Europe.
Always associated with snow sports and expeditions, over the years Norrøna has expanded its reach to also include many other activities such as mountaineering, hiking, mountain biking, etc.
Prices are, you guessed it, expensive, but you can find a piece or two with a lower price tag.
Don’t miss: 6 Norwegian Shoes & Boots Brands: Our Favorites
Fjällräven logo on the Kånken backpack
We’ll end this selection with Fjällräven which means “Arctic Fox” in Swedish.
Yes, the brand is from Sweden, founded in 1960 by Åke Nordin while trying to create a hiking backpack. After he managed to bring the backpack to life, he started selling it to local communities. And so the Fjällräven company was born.
We have talked a lot about this brand, for example, here we have discussed the reasons behind Fjällräven’s high prices. You’ve probably heard about it too, with its famous Kånken backpack very popular among school kids.
Fjällräven has many other products for the outdoors some very famous and some others a little less. You’ll find down jackets, canvas jackets, wax jackets, pants, etc. for a safe and comfortable time outdoors.
The brand is also making great strides to preserve the environment with its company programs and is trying to use more and more recycled materials.
That’s all for this selection! We hope you found one or two outdoor brands that you didn’t know in this list. Let us know what you think in the comments or if you have any other brand suggestions.