Patagonia VS North Face: Which Brand Has Better Outdoor Clothing & Gear?

When going out into the outdoors, it’s important to be well prepared. You need to bring water bottles for hydration, proper outdoor clothes like jackets, and backpacks to carry all of your essentials. So, when thinking of getting clothing and gear, which brand should you trust?

We will be focusing on two brands that are considered to be veterans in the industry: The North Face and Patagonia. Both founded in California, these two brands are well known for their outdoor products ranging from clothing to camping gear.

The North Face was founded in 1968, while Patagonia was founded 5 years later in 1973. While Patagonia may be younger than North Face, it doesn’t change that both companies are competitive against each other.

But which brand does it best?

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What Do Both Brands Have?

The North Face – Amazing Jackets

Both brands offer a variety of outdoor gear to help people make it a little more comfortable when going on a hike. With hiking in mind, we’ll focus on the clothing and gear you need such as jackets, hiking pants, hiking shoes, and backpacks.

Both brands offer a lot of these products, so we’ll focus on specific products.

For North Face, we’ll focus on the Thermoball Jacket, Paramount Convertible 3.0 hiking pants, Ultra 109 WP hiking shoes, and the Borealis backpack.

For Patagonia, we’ll use the Nano Puff jacket, Quandary hiking pants, Drifter A/C GORE-TEX hiking shoes, and the Refugio backpack.

Battle Between Patagonia & North Face

Nano Puff Jacket & Thermoball Jacket Review

The number one thing you should focus on when getting outdoor gear is comfortability. You’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors and you need to be comfortable enough to move, otherwise you’ll just be irritated while walking.

Patagonia offers the Nano Puff Jacket, which is water repellant and is made out of recycled polyester. It comes with 16 variety of colors, though most of them are just different shades of red, blue, green etc. It comes with sizes from extra small up to double XL.

North Face has the Thermoball Jacket, which is made out of nylon ripstop with a durable water-repellent finish, similar to the Nano Puff Jacket. It comes with less colors, up to 8, but they do come with much bigger sizes. The Thermoball Jacket goes from small to triple XL.

Though both offer similar products, North Face provides something a little bit better due to the triple XL size they offer, which allows more comfortability.

Nano Puff Pros & Cons:


  • Water repellent


  • Color variety is just different shades of primary and secondary colors

Thermoball Jacket Pros & Cons:


  • Sizes go up to triple XL
  • Water repellent


  • No extra small size

Quandary & Paramount Convertible 3.0 Review

Similar to the jacket, your hiking pants needs to offer comfortability, since you’ll be primarily using your legs when hiking. It’s important to keep your legs comfortable during the whole hike, as you’ll get tired easily if you don’t.

The Quandary hiking pants by Patagonia is a stretchable hiking pants with a UPF sun protection, meaning your legs will be saved from the warmth feeling when under the sun. It offers only 3 colors, but has a variety of sizes available, as well as inseams for more options.

The Paramount Convertible 3.0 is a hybrid product that allows the wearer to unzip the zippers around the knee areas to turn these hiking pants into hiking shorts. Similar to Quandary, it features a stretchable fabric that allows for more maneuverability, but does not have UPF sun protection. It offers 3 colors as well and the sizes mostly match with Quandary, but no inseam options.

Quandary seems to be a better option for hiking pants, but the Paramount Convertible 3.0 is still a must have for those who want to have the option to turn their pants into shorts mid-hike.

Quandary Pros & Cons:


  • UPF sun protection
  • Variety of sizes and inseams options


  • Less color variety

Paramount Convertible 3.0 Pros & Cons:


  • Zippers around the knee area for the ability to change the pants into shorts
  • Variety of sizes


  • No UPF sun protection
  • No inseam options

Drifter A/C GORE-TEX & Ultra 109 WP Review

Hiking will give your legs a good workout, especially your feet. Your feet have to be protected at all costs when moving a long period of time, which is exactly why hiking shoes were invented. But you also have to be light on your feet when moving, otherwise you’ll be left behind.

Drifter A/C GORE-TEX by Patagonia not only offers a very complicated name, but it also offers sizes comfortability with a 2.55 lbs weight.

A variety of 8 colors can be chosen, as well as sizes going from 7 to 14. Ultra 109 WP, on the other hand, substitutes a little bit of comfortability to be lighter, sporting a 2.04 lbs weight.

Though the only option for this footwear is black, they do have sizes going up to 16, making a lot of people with big feet happy.

Drifter A/C GORE-TEX is a great option for those who like to be comfortable and want to have a hard time telling people their shoes, but the Ultra 109 WP is perfect for those quick on their feet.

Drifter A/C GORE-TEX Pros & Cons:


  • Comfortability


  • 2.55 lbs weight

Ultra 109 WP Pros & Cons:


  • 2.04 lbs weight
  • Big sizes up to 16


  • Only black color available

Refugio & Borealis Review

Backpacks made by outdoor companies are really great, to be honest. They’re durable, they have a lot of space, and they’re quite big. Which is exactly what you need when going outdoors.

The Refugio backpack is a big backpack, with its dimensions being 19″ x 12″ x 8″. It’s also light compared to most backpacks, being only 1 lbs, but all backpacks are technically light if they’re empty. Patagonia’s Refugio only offers 3 colors, so not a lot of options.

The Borealis backpack is slightly smaller, the dimensions only being 12″ X 6.5″ X 19.5″, but still pretty impressive. The backpack is 2 lbs heavy with nothing in it, only being 1 lbs heavier than the Refugio. The colors for the backpack being offered is 3 times that of Refugio with 12 different color options.

While the Borealis may be colorful, the Refugio has more space in its pockets due to its size and dimensions, allowing for more necessities to be carried during hikes.

Refugio Pros & Cons:


  • Big dimensions


  • Less color variety

Borealis Pros & Cons:


  • More color options


  • Slightly smaller dimensions

Head-To-Head Comparison

It seems like these two outdoor giants offer some that the other doesn’t. But if you’re still unsure which is better, the next part might sway your decision.

Patagonia VS North Face – Which Is The Better Brand?

Patagonia Outdoor Clothing & Gear

Both brands have been around for a long time now, but North Face has been around longer. North Face knows how the business works, so they’re able to branch out to other businesses as well.

Creating products that not only can be used for the outdoors, but also for everyday living such as school and work.

Patagonia offers the same thing, but not on the same comfortability as North Face. Doesn’t mean they’re not as good, it just means they have a lot to learn from North Face if they want to stay on the same level as them.

The Verdict: Outdoor Clothing & Gear Brands

The North Face – Made For Extreme Conditions

With the world slowly opening up for tourism and travel where people will want to explore the world and the outdoors, brands such as Patagonia and North Face will have to innovate more in order to adapt to the world we live in today.

Things aren’t the same anymore, and it might take a long time for things to go back to normal.

But that won’t stop brands such as these two from helping people make their adventures in the great outdoors a little safer and prepared.

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About the author: Borut's expertise extends to his passion for product exploration. With a discerning eye for quality and a keen sense of what consumers value, he shares his insights on various products, unveiling their unique features and benefits. Read more by Borut Udovic