A couple of weeks ago we took a look at Marmot vs. Patagonia and earlier than that we took a look at Patagonia vs. The North Face, where we learned more about the brands’ history, their products and the manufacturing process.
As you have seen in the title, it’s now time to look at two of those brands again, this time Marmot vs. The North Face, and determine which one would be the best choice for you.
At the beginning of Spring, considering that usually the weather becomes unstable, it’s really necessary to have the proper attire for outdoor activities and both these brands provide some of the best designs out there when it comes to technical clothing and especially jackets.
We picked them in particular as they are quite comparable in regards to the products they make and how those products perform, leaving quite some room for discussion as to which of the two is the better brand.
With that being said, let’s get right into today’s comparison!
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A short history of the brand
Marmot is an American brand established in 1974 by three friends, who were outdoor enthusiasts and on the search for a quality puffy jacket to keep them comfortable and warm during harsh weather.
One of their first designs was the Golden Mantle, a puffy jacket that soon became the brand’s best-selling product and was also featured in the movie The Eiger Sanction.
Read also: Marmot vs Arc’teryx: Which Brand is Better?
Marmot also holds the reputation as being one of the very first brands in the U.S to use Gore-Tex in their jackets and products, which further boosted the performance of their designs and increased the brand’s popularity and reputation.
While outdoor clothing is Marmot’s main focus, they also make excellent bags and tents, which are raved about by outdoor lovers as being among the best tents available both in setup and quality.
Materials and Manufacture
Marmot takes special interest in ensuring that their means of production and sourcing are sustainable and with as small of an environmental impact as possible.
The use of inks that are Phtalate-free and PVC-free also minimizes the harm done to the environment, along with the other measures taken by Marmot to use as little chemicals as they can in their products.
Read next: Marmot vs Mammut: A Comparison
In regards to the technologies used by the brand, Gore-Tex has been the staple of the brand’s products for decades now, but their MemBrain® and NanoPro™ technologies are worthy of mentioning as they focus on improving the breathability and durability of the clothes that are made out of them.
The EvoDry and Eco Featherless are two of their other developed products that are meant to be eco-friendly, while the Eco Featherless substitutes down insulation by mimicking it, without actual bird sourcing.
The first jacket we have picked is the Featherless design for men, a quilted jacket made of 100% Nylon and insulated with 700-fill power Thinsulate™ Featherless insulation, which provides considerable insulation and also performs well in bad weather.
This is a hoodless design, with elasticized cuffs and two side pockets. It is part of the Zippin™ system, which allows it to connect to the pants, completely shielding you from the elements.
The design for women is the Montreal Puffer Parka, a beautiful design made of 100% Polyester and insulated with 700 fill power down. To help prevent the down from losing its insulating ability in wet conditions, it has been treated with Down Defender that helps it resist moisture for longer.
The hood is attached on this design and it is also lined with artificial fur trim. It comes with a two-way full-length zipper and an interior drop pocket, aside from the two pockets on the outside.
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Marmot provides variety not only in their designs but also in their prices, with affordable options that start at around $100. Their price range is varied and the most expensive ones are the parkas and down jackets, which are still reasonably priced.
Are these jackets worth their price?
Yes. That is the overall experience of those who try Marmot jackets as they are well-made and perform really well.
2. The North Face
A short history of the brand
One of the most renowned American brands, The North Face was established in 1966 and during the last 50 years they have become a popular choice among avid outdoor lovers.
The North Face started out with equipment for climbers and backpackers and then moved on to functional outdoor clothing.
The brand makes some of the best quality jackets and outdoor clothing on the market, also providing a good range of product designs that are modern and stylish for both casual and technical wear.
Materials and Manufacture
In their efforts to reduce environmental impact, The North Face use recycled materials in their products and also opt for PFC-free DWR treatments, which are not as harmful to nature.
While Gore-Tex is one of the brand’s staples in their products, as it was originally one of the first available fabric technologies, The North Face, too, have developed their very own fabric technologies, the most renowned of which is DryVent.
Comparable on all regards to Gore-Tex, DryVent is a high-performance technology that we have previously looked at to see how it measures up against Gore-Tex. You can find that article here.
In regards to insulation, those who have heard of The North Face have most certainly heard of ThermoBall, one of the closest synthetic insulations to down, without the downside of getting wet and losing its insulating ability (further reading: ThermoBall vs Real Down: Differences and Comparison).
The first design is for men, the Tall Thermoball jacket, which is one of The North Face’s most renowned designs for winter wear.
Made of 100% ripstop nylon for its shell, which is DWR-treated, and insulated with ThermoBall insulation, this jacket is great for cold weather and it comes with a high collar and two side pockets.
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The design for women that we have chosen is the Dunagiri parka, an elegant coat that comes with DryVent 2L shell and 550-fill power down for insulation.
It has an attached hood and removable faux fur trim on it, and the waist is elasticized and cinched for a feminine silhouette. It comes with oversized outer pockets and inner pockets, too.
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You might also like: 8 Best The North Face Down Jackets for Winter
When it comes to price, The North Face is not the most affordable brand, especially when it comes to designs for harsh weather and technical wear. But that is to be expected as high-performance jackets are also made of high-quality materials that cost quite a bit.
Are these jackets worth the price?
All things considered, they are definitely worth the price as they perform really well and are high quality.
3. Which Brand Is Better?
As to which one of the two is better, it depends on what you will be using their products for and the type of weather you will be in.
Overall, The North Face jackets perform better in cold weather and provide good cuts and designs. Marmot jackets are lighter and have higher weather-performance, as well as more affordable prices.
The North Face also provides Lifetime warranty for their products, which is commendable, whereas Marmot’s is more limited, so take that into account as well, especially if you will be taking your jacket or any other product through harsh conditions.
If you are looking at outdoor gear and tents, Marmot’s tents are the ones to go with.
Overall, out of the two, The North Face jackets perform better in many regards, but they come at a high price, whereas the Marmot designs are lighter, comfortable and highly functional.