Berghaus vs Columbia: Which Brand is Better?

Berghaus vs Columbia outdoor gear comparison.jpg

Berghaus, with its British roots and history of innovation since 1966, has a reputation for high-quality, durable gear for serious outdoor enthusiasts.

Columbia Sportswear, an American legacy since 1938, offers a broad range of outdoor apparel for a variety of activities, balancing technology with affordability.

In this article, we compare these brands to find out which of the two might serve you better and why.

Contents:

1. Berghaus Outdoor Gear

History of the Brand

Berghaus official website
Berghaus official website

Berghaus is a British brand that was born in 1966 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. It was founded by Peter Lockey and Gordon Davison, both experienced climbers and mountaineers.

Initially operating under the name LD Mountain Centre, the company transitioned to the Berghaus brand in 1972 when it began designing and manufacturing its own outdoor products. The brand’s early focus was on rucksacks, introducing the innovative Cyclops rucksack with an internal frame, a pioneering design at the time.

Embracing Gore-Tex fabric, Berghaus became one of the first European brands to incorporate it into their waterproof and breathable products in 1977. The Gemini jacket, launched in the 1980s, revolutionized the market by featuring zip-in fleece for added warmth and remains a part of their product line today.

Renowned for its high-quality clothing and gear, Berghaus, which in German means ‘mountain house‘, continues to be a leading brand in the UK.

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Materials, Fabrics, and Production Process

When it comes to the primary fabrics utilized by Berghaus and other famous outdoor brands, polyester and nylon are the predominant choices. However, how these materials are sourced sets them apart. Numerous brands are increasingly embracing sustainable manufacturing and environmentally-conscious production, and Berghaus is no exception.

A significant part of the brand’s polyester is derived from recycled plastic, offering environmental benefits without compromising product quality. Additionally, the brand ensures that the down insulation used is responsibly sourced and fully traceable, guaranteeing the humane treatment of birds and the high quality of the down.

As the first British brand to adhere to the bluesign® system, Berghaus’ manufacturing process avoids harmful chemicals. Moreover, Berghaus has developed Colourkind, an Eco fabric that conserves water and reduces chemical usage by 60% during the dyeing process, while maintaining colorfastness and appearance after multiple uses.

In terms of technology, Berghaus incorporates various innovations not only in its clothing designs but also in its footwear and backpacks. Important technologies include Gore-Tex, Polartec, Hydrodown, Pertex, Hydroshell, etc.

Berghaus Thermal Innovations 001 – Hydrodown

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Read also: Berghaus vs The North Face: Which is Better?

Where is Berghaus’ outdoor gear made?

Some of Berghaus’ equipment is manufactured in the United Kingdom, while numerous other products are made in Asian countries such as China, Indonesia, etc.

Recommended Products

Berghaus Men’s MTN Arete Ultra Down Hoody

Berghaus Mens MTN Arete Ultra Down Hoody
Image: berghaus.com
Check it out at Berghaus.com

The Men’s MTN Arete Ultra Down Hoody from Berghaus is specifically designed for the harsh cold of mountain environments, prioritizing warmth, comfort, and longevity. Weighing just 440g for a size UK large, the jacket incorporates a three-zone body-mapped insulation system to ensure warmth without excessive bulk.

It features offset baffle construction with reflective technology to prevent cold spots and retain heat, stitch-through baffles for breathability, and micro baffles for temperature control. Reflect Technology is integrated into the jacket to redirect body heat towards the core, enhancing warmth.

The through-pocket dual hem adjustment allows easy customization, while the dropped hem provides additional coverage. Safety is improved with reflective detailing for visibility in low-light conditions. The insulation is powered by 850 fill-power Hydrodown, for an optimal warmth-to-weight ratio.

The jacket’s durability is helped by the Liquid Crystal mapping in high-wear areas. The helmet-compatible hood is practical for climbers, and the jacket has a five-pocket design for good storage. Finally, the two-way front zip with an internal guard offers added protection against the cold.

Don’t miss: Berghaus vs Patagonia: Which Brand is Better?

Berghaus Unisex MTN Guide 45+ Backpack

Berghaus Unisex MTN Guide 45+ Backpack
Image: berghaus.com
Check it out at Berghaus.com

The Unisex MTN Guide 45+ Backpack is a multi-purpose, all-season mountain backpack with a base volume of 45 liters, extendable for longer trips. It is constructed from 400D recycled nylon and 600D polyester ripstop and incorporates an external TPU coating to enhance resilience and water resistance.

The backpack’s plastic elements are also crafted from recycled nylon and are oversized for additional durability. Weighing 1670g with all attachments and 1150g when stripped, the pack is built for efficiency and adaptability. It offers full back panel zip access for easy gear retrieval, various carrying systems for axes and poles, a dedicated rope lashing system, and is compatible with a hydration reservoir of up to 3 liters.

Other features include daisy chain lashing for gear attachment, reinforced haulage handles, and a unisex fit with a standard back length. The carrying system is customizable with a detachable hip belt and aluminum frame and includes a stashable mesh helmet holder for convenience.

The lid can be removed or adjusted to reduce weight or increase capacity, and the pack is reinforced with bonded TPU patches.

Read also: Berghaus vs RAB: Which is Better?

Prices

In general, Berghaus offers a diverse and affordable pricing range for its gear. The jackets are priced from $100 to $600, while the backpacks range from $50 to $250.

Are Berghaus products worth the price?

If we consider the opinions of those who have tested Berghaus jackets and equipment, these products are a good investment for your outdoor adventures. They have excellent performance and good quality for what you pay.

Must read: 9 Premium Hiking Brands for Clothing and Footwear

2. Columbia Outdoor Gear

History of the Brand

Columbia official website.jpg
Columbia official website

Columbia is another outdoor gear label that provides a large collection of clothing suitable for various outdoor activities such as skiing, fishing, camping, backpacking, and hiking. They also have casual wear.

The company, established in 1938 by Gert Boyle’s family after fleeing Germany, initially operated as the Columbia Hat Company before transitioning to Columbia Sportswear Company in 1960 to reflect its expansion into outdoor apparel.

Today, the company is led by Tim Boyle, Gert’s son, maintaining its legacy of outfitting outdoor enthusiasts.

Don’t miss: 10 Alternatives to Columbia Sportswear

Materials, Fabrics, and Production Process

Columbia Sportswear leverages its proprietary technologies to optimize its outdoor equipment. For instance, the Omni-Tech technology adds waterproof and breathable properties to Columbia’s jackets.

Similarly, the Omni-Heat Reflective technology, employed in select jackets and apparel, facilitates efficient warmth retention while allowing the release of excess moisture and heat. Additionally, the incorporation of recycled Polyester and RDS-certified natural down insulation, along with efforts to minimize the use of harmful DWR coatings, are important characteristics of the company.

Columbia Sportswear adheres to the high standards advocated by Gert Boyle, resulting in the creation of high-quality apparel. The brand offers a diverse array of dependable outdoor gear at affordable prices, representing a commendable quality-to-price ratio.

Omni-Heat Innovation

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Read also: Mammut vs Columbia: Which is Better for Outdoor Gear?

Where is Columbia outdoor gear made?

Columbia continues to make outdoor equipment in the USA and Europe. However, the majority of their products, which also include their owned brands such as Sorel, prAna, and Mountain Hardwear, are manufactured primarily in Vietnam, China, Bangladesh, and India. (source)

Recommended Products

Columbia Men’s Bulo Point II Down Jacket

Columbia Mens Bulo Point II Down Jacket
Image: columbia.com
Check it out at Columbia.com

The Bulo Point II Down Jacket for men by Columbia is a water-resistant and insulated outerwear option perfect for cold conditions. It utilizes 700-fill-power goose down for warmth while maintaining a sleek profile and incorporates Columbia’s Omni-Heat Infinity thermal-reflective lining to preserve body heat.

The jacket is crafted with a detachable, adaptable hood, chin guard, and adjustable cuffs and hem to deliver a secure fit and additional warmth. Additionally, it includes an interior security pocket and zippered hand pockets for essential items.

This lightweight jacket can be packed into its own storage sack, making it convenient for travelers or those who need to conserve space. With a 28-inch center back length, it offers optimal coverage while ensuring durability.

Read also: How To Wash a Columbia Jacket (Omni-Heat, Down, Fleece, Rain)

Columbia Atlas Explorer 26L Backpack

Columbia Atlas Explorer 26L Backpack
Image: columbia.com
Check it out at Columbia.com

The Atlas Explorer is a multi-functional backpack with a 26-liter capacity, offering two primary storage sections, a front pocket organizer, dedicated compartments for a laptop and a tablet, adjustable sternum and shoulder straps, as well as dual water bottle pockets.

Additionally, it is designed with Twin Slot webbing for versatility, a padded laptop sleeve suitable for laptops up to 15 inches, a separate tablet sleeve, and front pocket organization. The backpack also includes two water bottle pockets, reflective zipper pulls, and a padded bottom panel.

Read next: Mountain Hardwear vs Columbia: Which Brand is Better?

Prices

Columbia is mostly an affordable brand. Columbia’s jackets are priced from $50 to $300, their backpacks are priced under $100, and the hiking shoes begin at around $100.

Are Columbia products worth the price?

For casual and general outdoor pursuits, we believe the brand’s gear is worth it. For example, their jackets offer the protection you need while outside.

If you are a specialist or at a higher experience level, you might need more specialized gear from other brands. But even in that case, Columbia has a very large product range so you will surely find something useful for your outfit.

Must read: 8 Best Sustainable Outdoor Clothing Brands: Our Top Picks

3. Which is Better? Columbia or Berghaus?

And now the decision! Here’s what to keep in mind:

Berghaus is a UK-based company known for its high-quality, durable, and technically advanced outdoor gear. It’s often favored by serious hikers, climbers, and mountaineers who need equipment that can withstand extreme conditions. Berghaus focuses on functionality and performance, often incorporating innovative materials and technologies.

Columbia, on the other hand, is a well-known American brand that offers a broad range of outdoor apparel and gear, including items for casual outdoor activities as well as more technical pursuits. Columbia products are recognized for their good value, versatility, and the use of their patented technologies like the Omni-Tech waterproof-breathable fabric and Omni-Heat reflective lining for insulation.

Which is better?

  • Activity: If you’re engaging in high-intensity outdoor activities or expeditions in challenging environments, Berghaus would be our choice due to its focus on technical gear. For more general outdoor activities or casual use, Columbia is great.
  • Weather protection: For extreme weather, Berghaus often has gear that is specifically designed to protect against severe cold, wind, and rain. Columbia also offers weather-resistant products, but we think Berghaus has an edge for harsher environments.
  • Prices: Columbia is generally more affordable. If budget is a major consideration for you, Columbia has a good price-to-quality ratio.
  • Style: Columbia offers a wider range of styles and designs that are more suitable for everyday wear or casual outdoor activities.

Read next: Marmot vs Columbia: Which is Better for Outdoor Gear?

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