When it comes to outdoor gear, Jack Wolfskin is one of the top brands that come to mind, especially here in Europe. We have seen their products in almost every outdoor clothing store along with many other popular brands.
They offer a very wide range of products for almost every outdoor activity and for every season. Not only that, but the quality of their products is very good, with a high quality/price ratio.
Columbia, on the other hand, is famous worldwide, also for the quality of its products and for the fact that the brand offers many affordable options.
The range of their outdoor gear is also very wide.
So, “which of these two brands would you choose?”, is the question. Because at this point, these two popular names seem quite similar.
We’re glad you asked because this is the question that we’re going to answer in today’s article.
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* Note: The availability of products on this page may change at any time. Please check the materials, features, colors, and sizes on the various shops (linked on this page) before buying, because sometimes our articles may contain errors. The product images you see here are for illustration purposes.
1. Jack Wolfskin
A Short History of the Brand
Jack Wolfskin is a brand you’ve most likely heard of. Founded in 1981 in Frankfurt, Germany, it has been based in Idstein, Germany since 1997. In the beginning, Sine was its parent company, run by Ulrich Dausien and it opened its own shop in 1993.
Don’t miss: Jack Wolfskin vs The North Face: A Comparison
As a result of an increasing demand and market share, Jack Wolfskin has become one of the leading outdoor brands in Germany, offering a wide range of products. It is also known in other countries.
Today the company offers a large collection of products: clothing, footwear, sleeping bags, tents, backpacks, and more, for different outdoor activities.
Like many brands of outdoor clothing, hiking gear, mountaineering equipment, and so on, Jack Wolfskin has been committed to sustainability, environmental protection, and social responsibility for a very long time. We see this through the products that it produces, which is why we think it’s a good example of a responsible company.
The performance and designs provided by the company are not only attractive to those looking for good outdoor gear but also to those looking for casual clothing in general.
Materials and Manufacture
Have you ever thought about how much recycled polyester goes into the making of every product? Jack Wolfskin is a great brand for people who are looking for quality products for outdoor needs. They also do good for the environment by using recycled polyester in their products.
Having the right insulation choices is extremely important for your apparel. This is why Jack Wolfskin makes use of so many different materials both natural and synthetic for insulating such as RDS-certified Down, Microguard (synthetic), and Fibercloud (synthetic).
As for fabrics technologies, Jack Wolfskin uses Texapore. You’ve probably seen this fabric on jackets or sportswear made by the brand – a windproof, breathable, and waterproof material that is also water resistant and snow-friendly.
Texapore fabrics come in different variations that provide the needed style and protection for various activities.
If you want to learn more, we have compared it to Gore-Tex here.
Where is Jack Wolfskin’s outdoor gear made?
Jack Wolfskin manufactures its products in Europe and Asia. In Asia, their factories can be found in China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, South Korea, etc.
In Europe, you can find them in Italy, Germany, Turkey, and Slovenia.
Their material sources are based in Europe, the USA, and Asia. (source)
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We have picked some of the best-selling items from Jack Wolfskin’s collection.
Jack Wolfskin Men’s West Coast Hardshell Jacket
The WEST COAST jacket will protect you against the rain, snow, and cold so you can get outdoors no matter what the weather is doing, on an autumn afternoon in the rain or winter snows.
It comes with Texapore Herringbone 2L, 2 chest pockets, 4 hand pockets, inner pocket, and adjustable hem.
Jack Wolfskin Men’s Vojo 3 Texapore Mid M Hiking Shoes
The VOJO 3 TEXAPORE MID is a top-selling boot and a great selection for hiking. It provides excellent cushioning and grip, which means your feet will stay fresh no matter how long you’re walking. The boot’s outsole provides a good grip on wet and slippery terrain.
It comes with an EVA midsole, PU insole, and Texapore membrane.
Jack Wolfskin is a brand that offers many affordable products. For budget-conscious shoppers, this brand does offer some items that can fit into any frugal shopper’s collection.
That said, their products are not necessarily low-cost. For example, their warmest jackets can run upwards of $100.00.
Are Jack Wolfskin’s products worth the price?
We believe their products are worth the price. They are known for using quality materials and modern technology for their products, so you can expect top-quality items from them with a high quality/price ratio.
A Short History of the Brand
Based in Portland, Oregon, Columbia (Columbia Sportswear Company) was founded in 1938.
It started out as a hat company and has remained a family-owned business, at the moment run by Tim Boyle the nephew of the brand’s founders.
Whether you’ve been a faithful customer for years or are new to the brand, Columbia provides a wide range of prices that makes it accessible for everyone.
You don’t have to spend an entire paycheck to purchase from Columbia. But, obviously, there are some products that do cost a lot, like the insulated jackets for winter. In general, there are some good deals that you can find on Columbia products.
Materials and Manufacture
Columbia has made solid strides in reducing its impact on the environment, just like Jack Wolfskin. In addition to making their down insulation RDS certified, the company has increased the use of recycled Polyester.
When it comes to insulation, Columbia uses several special insulations in their jackets, including TurboDown and Omni-Heat Reflective. These super insulations are used to give them more warmth and protection.
TurboDown, a combination of down and Omni-Heat is a highly insulating material that helps maintain warmth. The Omni-Heat Reflective technology includes silver dots to reflect body heat. This helps you keep warm when you’re staying active outside during wintertime.
As for fabric technologies, one of their major innovations in recent decades was the OutDry technology. A variation on traditional waterproofing, the innovative material actually breathes to make you feel more comfortable on the trail.
Some of the brand’s products also feature the Omni-Tech fabric technology to ensure maximum comfort.
Lastly, as many other outdoor brands, Columbia has chosen less harmful, more environmentally responsible DWR coatings. These are made out of short-chain PFCs.
Where is Columbia’s outdoor gear made?
Columbia’s products and also those of the brands they own, Sorel, Mountain Hardwear, and prAna, are mainly made in Asia – in Bangladesh, China, India, and Vietnam. However, they still make some products in the USA.
Check out this page to learn more.
By Columbia we have picked:
Columbia Women’s Peak to Park Insulated Jacket
With a Storm-lite DP II Polyester shell and lined with synthetic down insulation, the Peak to Park jacket keeps you snug and dry while shielding you from bad weather.
The hood is removable and adjustable, with removable synthetic fur, and it comes with zippered hand pockets and comfort cuffs for an easy-to-wear style.
Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boot
The Newton Ridge Plus II boot comes with a seam-sealed, waterproof construction and it’s built for protection, comfort, and style, to not let the rain stop you while on the trail.
It comes with Omni-Grip™ rubber outsole, Techlite™ lightweight midsole, and suede, PU coated leather, and mesh materials.
If you are on a tight budget, then Columbia is an affordable brand. As we discussed previously, the brand provides different products that are reasonably priced. For example, the jacket above can cost less than $100, depending on where you buy it from.
Are Columbia’s products worth the price?
If you read the reviews and online feedback, it would depend on the product. Some products perform better than others.
Of course, if you are looking for a cheap product that performs very well, you might need to change your expectations.
However, in general, Columbia’s products don’t disappoint. That’s why we say their products are worth it.
Read also: 8 Columbia Jackets for Outdoor Enthusiasts
3. Which Brand is Better?
Overall Columbia and Jack Wolfskin have quite similar prices and a similar range of products, with both affordable and more expensive options.
Both brands have developed their own fabric technologies over the years, and use both natural and synthetic materials for insulation, so there are plenty of options to choose from for every type of customer.
Moreover, both are worldwide brands, not only because they are popular and sell their products in many countries, but also because their production is distributed between Asia, Europe, and the USA.
So, when it comes to performance and prices, this time we have a draw, and the choice will depend not on the brand in general, but on the specific products that we want to compare and their particular features.
What if the products had very similar features?
In that case, if we were forced to choose between two very similar products, we’d consider design and style, and brand history.
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Read next: Columbia vs Marmot: A Comparison