Skip to main content

Columbia vs The North Face: Who makes warmer clothing?

columbia jacket
Columbia

Whether you’re headed for a mountaintop or simply want to keep warm on cool spring nights, you’d do well to look into some quality outdoor clothing. Brands like The North Face and Columbia may immediately come to mind, as they’re two of the most recognized outdoor brands on the market. Each company has a huge lineup of jackets and clothing to shop, and much of it looks similar. In fact, it can be difficult to tell the two brands apart in the wild. We’re here to help set them apart, so grab your skis or your hiking boots and let’s explore whether it’s Columbia or The North Face that should accompany you.

Columbia vs The North Face: Who wins?

Wearing a North Face vest in a field.
The North Face

If you’re looking to get right down to business when it comes to choosing between Columbia and The North Face, we feel you should go with The North Face. While these brands have a lot in common in terms style and functionality, The North Face wins out due to its slightly better quality. The North Face might set you back a little more at checkout, but it’s worth the higher prices to ensure quality and longevity when it comes to keeping warm.

Price

On the surface these brands seem to come in at significantly different price points, though when looking solely at introductory clothing and jackets their pricing is pretty similar. Columbia frequently discounts its products significantly, which makes it the better option if you’re looking to save. But as the outdoor clothing market goes, The North Face is still incredibly competitive with its prices. While Columbia jackets start at around $80, The North Face’s start at around $110. The North Face will max out at much higher prices, but it has a lot of options in the same price range as Columbia’s pre-sale pricing.

Features

Features, as you might expect from two outdoor clothing brands with dozens of different jackets and styles of outdoor clothing to shop, will be all over the place. In general, outdoor clothing has some features to keep an eye out for, and Columbia, more specifically, has a lot of features that will pop up in a number of its jackets and clothing, such as:

  • Waterproof coverage
  • Snap-up collars
  • Elastic cuffs and hems
  • Drawcord adjustable hems
  • Zippered pockets
  • Packable designs

The North Face, too, has a wide range features to look for in its jackets and outdoor clothing. Different styles will be capable of different features, but some of the features you’ll be able to get with The North Face outerwear include:

  • Waterproof coverage
  • Recycled fabrics
  • Lightweight fabrics
  • Detachable hoods
  • Internal pockets
  • Sidewall construction

Quality

Almost any outdoor brand you shop is going to come with quality you can count on, as the more rugged nature of the outdoors is what these brands are made for. With The North Face’s slightly higher prices, however, does come a slightly better quality. In most situations, particularly if you’re simply looking to keep warm, you’ll do just fine with Columbia. But quality and durability is where The North Face distinguishes itself, and if you’re looking for something that can withstand a lot of elements and can do so for a long time, The North Face wins.

Design

Design is something that needs to be looked at a little differently when it comes to outdoor clothing. Modern synthetic materials bring with them superior warmth, but clothing technology can sometimes get in the way of outputting great style. But both The North Face and Columbia turn out products that look great within their respective worlds, and if you’re on the side of a mountain or enjoying one of the best hikes in the U.S., you’ll look as stylish as ever sporting Columbia or The North Face.

While The North Face’s lineup wins out in terms of quality, much of its clothing looks like it’s meant to be worn in the wild. Columbia has a number of more casual styles to choose from, which include jackets and vests that will pair well with jeans or chinos.

Warranty

Quality is something you’re going to get with both of these brands. Columbia stands by it with a pretty decent warranty, offering 1-year of limited coverage on sportswear and accessories. The North Face really stands by its quality, however, and that’s another reason it wins out when standing next to Columbia. The North Face has a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship for the lifetime of its products.

Wrapping up with quality

Smiling person in a North Face beanie and winter coat outdoors.
The North Face Renewed

Both Columbia and The North Face are brands worth adding to your warm weather wardrobe. While Columbia may have more to offer in terms of everyday style and affordability, The North Face wins out when it comes to a combination of daily style and durability. We feel the added quality of The North Face is worth the extra money you’ll spend to get it, particularly for clothing you may be planning on utilizing in the tough conditions of colder weather.

Editors' Recommendations

Andrew Morrisey
Andrew Morrisey is an independent writer, photographer and filmmaker. His interest in storytelling and its many mediums led…
The Best Cheap North Face Jacket Deals for January 2022

When the going gets tough and winter weather strikes, you need to layer up accordingly with one of the best men's jackets, and that's just a fact. It's also particularly true if you want a new North Face jacket for January 2022 and well beyond. This is no time to let your outerwear situation slip, especially if you favor rugged outdoor adventures off the grid. The right jacket, at the right price, can make or break a day hike or an upstate trip. Don't mistake cheap for low-quality, though: One of the best jackets for men from a trusted brand can help you through at a stellar discount. This is especially true if you're going off the grid, and we know a heritage company that can help in a big way. That would be The North Face, but of course, we're not suggesting you break the bank. North Face jacket deals can allow you to get a cheap North Face jacket, no questions asked.  You'll be more than ready for the next polar vortex, and it's all thanks to one of the best jackets for men.
Today's Best Cheap North Face Jacket Deals 

Should You Buy a North Face Jacket?
North Face jacket deals are plentiful, giving you the option to gear up the right way for the current season without blowing your budget. In fact, if it's a cheap North Face jacket you seek, yet one that provides you with all the comfort and utility you need, then you're in luck. The North Face makes some of the toughest, hardest-wearing jackets on the planet, tested in extreme conditions and made to pass muster in just about any inclement weather.

Read more
The North Face x Gucci Chapter 2 Arriving in January
The North x Gucci, chapter two, includes these functional jackets in classic styles and funky colors.

Looking for funky fashion on the slopes this winter? Searching a bit of pop to trail hikes? Or to add a bit of feline fun to your backpack? Don’t fret because The Manual’s got you covered -- the Gucci x The North Face partnership is back. Picking up exactly where it left off in chapter one, chapter two will continue a cutting-edge product selection that stays true to Gucci’s luxury core while celebrating The North Face’s spirit of exploration in a multitude of textile expressions.

Whether it’s the discovery of new places and foreign cultures or simply the adventure that is getting groceries during a deep freeze, this collection once again draws from human curiosity to express the value of self-discovery and self-expression that define both brands.

Read more
Doxa’s Sub 200T watch is a new, smaller version of the Classic 300 design
Doxa introduces smaller version of Sub 300
Doxa Sub 200T series

Doxa watches aren't exactly the word on the tip of anyone's tongue when they think of their favorite brands; however, they have developed their own community, and some might dub them a cult following. The brand recently unveiled its latest Doxa watch, the Sub 200T which has sent a lightning strike through the hearts of fans, as it's unmistakably more compact than the iconic 300T and 600T models. The lack of smaller options has always been a common complaint among fans of the brand, and with consumer behavior veering more and more in this direction, it's no surprise that the latest iteration is just 39mm. The iconic design of the Classic 300 has been shrunk down to something more compact, sleek, and contemporary.
The new Doxa Sub 200T has a color for every taste

On top of that, the kaleidoscope of color options available from Doxa watches will surely satisfy every taste, from those who like bright and sporty models to those who prefer something a little more classic and subdued. The dial features a sunray-finished design with a luminous sunburst effect, and it comes with two strap options: a stainless steel bracelet with a "beads of rice" design and an FKM rubber strap that comes with folding clasps and ratcheting wetsuit extensions.

Read more