If there’s one thing every traveler should have, it’s good quality outdoor clothing. Invest well and you won’t be that person who lags behind the group because their cheap hiking boots are giving them blisters!
When I think about great outdoor clothing brands, I look to see if they have three things: comfort, durability, and style.
The last of these often tend to be the hardest to find. There’s no point in having a warm coat that lasts a lifetime if it looks terrible. Fortunately, there are plenty of outdoor clothing brands that will make you look fly as you take on the great outdoors.
Just a heads up for first-time buyers: outerwear can get pricey. The first time I bought a heavy duty winter coat I almost had a heart attack. But, that winter coat has lasted me four years so far and helped me brave the winds of Patagonia.
Outdoor clothing is expensive but well worth the investment. I’m a strong believer in buying gear for life—just as long as you get the right travel gear. Here are some of my favorite outdoor clothing brands to help get you started.
Let’s start with the best known outdoor clothing brand out there: The North Face. No doubt you’ve already seen people sporting this mainstay outerwear brand on some hiking route somewhere.
Whether you need a jacket for skiing or pants for yoga, The North Face has got you covered and you won’t look like a dork wearing its gear. This brand is also pretty moderately priced given its excellent quality.
Vancouver-based Arc’teryx has been making waves in the outdoor clothing world. The brand is not cheap but the designs are on point and the products will last forever (literally). They make gear of the highest quality, and it shows. Made for hiking, rock-climbing and other technical outdoor sports, Arc’teryx makes gear for every type of adventure.
A mainstay in my bag is the Atom LT Hoody—an Arc’teryx classic. Warm, lightweight and good-looking, this bad boy ticks all the boxes.
Named after the famous volcano in Ecuador, Cotopaxi is an outdoor clothing brand with a social conscience. The brand funds sustainable poverty alleviation projects, so you can buy its products knowing you’re contributing to something good.
The outerwear on offer with Cotopaxi is on the lower end of the price scale, but the company hasn’t compromised on quality. Llama fiber and goose down are staple materials among the brand’s products—these guys are good.
Columbia has just about everything you could possibly want when it comes to outdoor clothing. Whether you’re skiing, hiking or even fishing, Columbia will fit you out in style.
Having tried out a number of its products, I can vouch for the brand with confidence. The brand’s products are high quality with excellent durability and I wouldn’t have survived Peru’s Sacred Valley without my Columbia hiking boots.
Predominantly focused on mountain-wear, Kuhl has made a name for itself because of its selection of pants. If you’re shopping online, the website allows you to narrow your search based on the fabric you want, the size you need, or even by the activity you’re planning on undertaking.
The outdoor clothing on sale at Kuhl is invariably top quality and is probably the most stylish outerwear on the market at the moment.
If you’re looking for a one-stop shop outdoor clothing brand, Kathmandu has what you need. Originally from New Zealand, this brand has virtually everything you could ever need, from snow boots to sleeping bags to rain covers for your luggage.
Many of the company’s products are made using merino wool, which had all kinds of benefits. These include regulating your body temperature and being odor resistant—a huge help for those showerless, multi-day treks!
Another well-known outdoor clothing brand, Patagonia distinguishes itself in this sector with its commitment to saving the environment. The brand’s new ReCircle line contains clothing made from renewable wood and recycled cotton scraps. This means you can shop for and wear your new gear guilt-free.
In terms of quality, Patagonia is high-end but its prices remain in the midrange region. While jackets can run into the hundreds of dollars, you can kit yourself out reasonably well for an adventure without breaking the bank.
One of the things Give’r is best known for is its hardcore, heavy-duty gloves. These bad boys can handle fire, ice, boiling water – you name it. On top of its gloves, Give’r has a decent collection of headwear, shirts, and accessories.
A far cry from the like of full-service brands, such as Patagonia, Give’r’s product line is somewhat limited. However, the clothing on offer is unique and you’re unlikely to see any duplicates while you’re on the road. Plus, you’re supporting one of the little guys, which always feels nice.
Marmot is one of those outdoor clothing brands that offers the golden combination of good quality and reasonable prices. For $100 you can get an all-purpose jacket that will last you years.
The brand has all kinds of travel gear for sale on its website, including tents of varying sizes. Have you ever gone camping with a sub-standard tent? I have–it’s not pretty. Invest a little in one of Marmot’s quality tents and you won’t regret it next time you’re caught camping in a downpour.
Focusing predominantly on bags, Osprey has a huge range of backpacks for every kind of travel. Within the products section, you can shop by activity – this will help you find the exact bag you need, whether it’s for running, skiing or just your everyday commute.
In addition to backpacks, Osprey offers a range of bag-related accessories, including bag covers and toiletries packs. If you’re looking for a bag that you’ll get some serious wear out of, search no further. While you may be focused on outdoor clothing brands, grabbing the right bag is just as important!
Bambool’s brand mission is all about sustainability. That’s why all of its products are made of a blend of merino wool and bamboo, which can be harvested with no damage to its surrounding environment. They are one of the coolest outdoor clothing brands out there that’s concerned with the environment.
This outdoor clothing brand focuses on keeping you warm in the winter—and it does a pretty good job of it. Its collection of thermal clothing includes products that are breathable, durable and look good. Although the prices aren’t exactly budget-friendly, they aren’t extortionate either and you’ll quickly find that it was worth the investment when you’re all toasty on a snowy mountain-top.