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Who Makes the Best Outdoor Clothing?

You’ve got everything planned out for your next winter adventure: hiking trails, transport, sleeping arrangements, etc. But wait, there’s still one more important thing to do: buy suitable outdoor clothing.

Thankfully, there are lots of top outdoor clothing brands on the market to help you get dressed for your next winter adventure. To help you with your search, we picked out the 10 best outdoor clothing brands in 2021. We selected brands with a mix of price ranges, styles, and materials. We selected some of the biggest and best outdoor brands in the world as well as a few niche brands we just had to tell you about. While we deliberately went for a diverse range of brands, we only picked brands offering the best-quality outdoor clothing and avoided low-quality budget options. Why? Because when you’re up the top of a mountain with no signal, you want to know your winter clothing will give you what you paid for.

1. The North Face – Best outdoor clothing brand overall

Founded in 1968 to supply climbers, The North Face has grown to become a fashion label in its own right. These days, it’s just as common to see people wearing The North Face jackets in bars and parks as it is on the summits of mountains. Reasons for The North Face’s mainstream success include the comfort and style of their apparel as well as the familiarity of their logo (which draws inspiration from Half Dome at Yosemite National Park). But rest assured, if it’s high-quality outdoor clothing apparel you’re after, The North Face is as good as any option on the market.

2. Patagonia – The other best outdoor clothing brand

Patagonia was founded only 5 years after The North Face and has been its main rival for the title of best outdoor clothing brand ever since. The debate over Patagonia vs. The North Face is much like those over Coke vs. Pepsi, Nike vs. Adidas, and Nintendo vs. Sony. In fact, Business Wars, the popular podcast on business rivalries, actually did a 7-part series on the Patagonia-North Face rivalry. Truth be told, it’s a flip of the coin between these 2, and ultimately it depends on your fashion preferences. If it’s quality, comfort, reliability, and a growing focus on sustainable manufacturing, then Patagonia has you covered.

3. Kathmandu – Best budget outdoor clothing brand

The first entry on our list from outside the U.S, Kathmandu is a New Zealand-headquartered company offering the best-quality outdoor clothing at a fraction of the price of its bigger rivals. With almost 200 stores in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, Kathmandu recently announced its first stores in the U.S.–and it already serves most of the United States through its website.  While its apparel isn’t as iconic as The North Face or Patagonia, it does the job just as well. Plus, it was focusing on sustainable clothing well before other big names in the industry. Kathmandu is actually a certified B Corporation, meaning it meets the highest social and environmental standards possible for a private company.

4. Arc'teryx – Best for skiing and other winter pursuits

Unsurprisingly for a Canadian outdoor clothing brand, Arc’teryx is a specialist in making apparel for technical pursuits–especially winter ones. If you’re looking for an outdoor clothing brand that will fit you out from top to bottom for your next skiing or hiking trip, then it’s hard to look past Arc’teryx. Over the years, Arc'teryx has built a reputation for producing apparel that’s warm, lightweight and also great-looking–a winning combination for an outdoor clothing company.

5. Columbia Sportswear – Best mid-range outdoor clothing brand