Haglöfs vs Columbia: Which is Better for Outdoor Gear?

Haglofs vs Columbia Outdoor Gear Comparison

For outdoor gear, the decision between Haglöfs and Columbia is not an easy one. Both brands have a rich and long history and a commitment to quality and innovation.

Haglöfs, with its roots in Sweden, has a strong focus on sustainability and environmental conservation, utilizing advanced technologies and sustainable materials to create products that satisfy outdoor enthusiasts’ needs even in the most difficult environments.

Columbia, born in the USA, offers a diverse selection of reliable outdoor gear at affordable prices, backed by proprietary technologies and a dedication to quality upheld by the founding family.

So, both are great! But which is better for you?

We’ll answer that question in this comparison. Or at least try to make your ideas clearer.

Let’s get started!

Contents:

1. Haglöfs Outdoor Gear

History of the Brand

Haglofs official website
Haglöfs official website

In 1914, Wiktor Haglöf, a skilled carpenter, established the Haglöfs brand in Sweden with the goal of developing a durable backpack suitable for various travel conditions within the country.

Since then, the company has expanded its product range while maintaining a commitment to innovation and excellence in craftsmanship.

Haglöfs is committed to conserving the natural environment for the benefit of future generations and encourages outdoor exploration in all weather conditions, believing that everyone can connect with nature in every possible way, physically and mentally.

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Materials, Fabrics, and Production Process

Haglöfs has set a target to reduce their carbon footprint by 50% before 2030. Their efforts involve utilizing sustainable materials, renewable energy, and enhancing energy efficiency. Additionally, the company is actively involving consumers in its sustainability initiatives.

They are incorporating recycled and natural materials like organic cotton, Hemp, and Lyocell/Tencel into their product range for outdoor activities and outdoor sports. Haglöfs is also implementing eco-friendly dyeing methods and minimizing the use of plastic bags.

The company is dedicated to responsible management of chemicals, water, and energy in their production facilities. Also, they employ the Higg Index to evaluate the sustainability of their products across their entire life cycle.

In sourcing animal-based materials, Haglöfs prioritizes suppliers that adhere to high standards of animal welfare and ecosystem preservation. For instance, their natural down is certified by the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) to guarantee ethical sourcing practices.

Haglöfs also integrates various advanced technologies and quality materials, such as Recycled Polyamide (Nylon), Recycled Polyester, Mimic PLATINUM Ultracluster Graphene insulation, and GORE-TEX membranes, in their products to ensure protection, warmth, and breathability.

Haglöfs L.I.M - As Light as We Can Go

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Where is Haglöfs outdoor gear made?

Haglöfs products are primarily produced in Asian countries including China and Vietnam, as well as in European countries such as Poland and Romania. The company’s dedication to superior standards has led to its widespread appeal in numerous countries, particularly in Scandinavia.

Recommended Products

Haglöfs Men’s Riksgränsen Down 850 Hood Jacket

Haglofs Mens Riksgransen Down 850 Hood Jacket
Image: haglofs.com
Check it out at Haglofs.com

The Riksgränsen Down 850 Hood Jacket for Men is specifically crafted for freeride skiing and snowboarding in cold weather conditions. It utilizes 850-fill-power goose down insulation to deliver exceptional warmth, and the down is water-repellent.

The jacket offers a relaxed and comfortable fit, featuring reinforced shoulders for added protection. A standout characteristic is the generously-sized hood, compatible with helmets, and equipped with an adjustable brim for easy one-handed operation.

Storage options comprise hand pockets, a chest pocket, and an inner mesh pocket. The cuffs are elastic, and the hem can be adjusted for a personalized fit. Constructed from recycled and Bluesign-approved fabrics, the jacket compresses down small for convenient packing into its included pack bag.

Haglöfs L.I.M 35 Hiking Backpack

Haglofs LIM 35 Hiking Backpack
Image: haglofs.com
Check it out at Haglofs.com

The Haglöfs L.I.M 35 Hiking Backpack is a lightweight pack tailored for trekking and hiking, weighing 920 grams and offering a 35-liter capacity. Equipped with an Airback suspension system, it ensures comfort during strenuous activities by promoting airflow and ventilation across the back contact area.

This backpack is designed with elastic side pockets, zippered hip belt pockets, and a flexible cord for gear attachment and compression. Additionally, it is compatible with hydration systems and features a fixed top lid with a pocket, an adjustable sternum strap, a padded hip belt, and load lifters.

Constructed from bluesign® approved Rip-stop Nylon material, it combines durability with sustainability.

Prices

Haglöfs typically offers products in the moderate-to-high price range, with their jackets ranging from $100 to over $600 for the most advanced styles. Similarly, their bags and backpacks are priced between $60 and $300.

Are Haglöfs products worth the price?

We believe they’re definitely worth it! Given the multitude of technologies, an emphasis on eco-friendliness, and a diverse selection of outdoor equipment, we are of the opinion that this brand is a good investment.

Learn more: Why is Haglöfs so Expensive? Is Their Gear Worth It?

2. Columbia Outdoor Gear

History of the Brand

Columbia official website.jpg
Columbia official website

Columbia is a well-established outdoor gear manufacturer that offers a wide range of clothing suitable for various outdoor activities such as skiing, fishing, and hiking, but also for everyday wear.

The company was established in 1937 by the family of Gert Boyle after they emigrated from Germany and settled in Portland, USA.

Initially known as the Columbia Hat Company, the business evolved into the Columbia Sportswear Company in 1960 as it expanded its product line to include outdoor apparel. Presently, the company is under the leadership of Tim Boyle, Gert’s son.

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Materials, Fabrics, and Production Process

Columbia Sportswear employs proprietary technologies to maximize the functionality of its outdoor gear. For instance, the Omni-Tech technology enhances the waterproof and breathable qualities of Columbia’s jackets.

Additionally, the Omni-Heat Reflective technology, featured in some apparel, enables efficient heat retention while facilitating the release of excess moisture.

The use of recycled Polyester and RDS-certified down insulation, along with efforts to minimize the use of harmful DWR coatings, further underscores the brand’s commitment to sustainability.

Columbia Sportswear adheres to the exacting standards set by Gert Boyle, resulting in top-quality apparel. The brand offers a diverse selection of reliable outdoor gear at affordable prices, representing a commendable quality-to-price ratio.

Omni-Heat Innovation

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Where is Columbia outdoor gear made?

While Columbia continues to manufacture outdoor equipment in the United States and Europe, the majority of its products, including its subsidiary brands (Sorel, prAna, Mountain Hardwear), are produced in Vietnam, China, Bangladesh, and India. (source)

Recommended Products

Columbia Men’s Whirlibird IV Interchange Jacket

Columbia Mens Whirlibird IV Interchange Jacket
Image: columbia.com
Check it out at Columbia.com

The Whirlibird IV Interchange created by Columbia is a versatile jacket suitable for mountain outdoor activities such as skiing and snowboarding. It comprises a waterproof-breathable shell and a thermal-reflective insulated liner that can be worn separately or together to maximize warmth.

The jacket has ski pass, chest, security, goggles, and hand pockets, adjustable hood, underarm vents, powder skirt, cuffs, and hem, ensuring comfort and readiness on the slopes.

The Omni-Tech™ waterproof/breathable material and the critically-sealed seams effectively prevent water from entering inside.

It also uses Omni-Heat™ thermal reflective technology to retain body heat and Thermarator™ insulated liner for extra warmth with no bulk. This jacket combines style and functionality!

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 represents a versatile and convenient backpack suitable for a range of uses. With a 26-liter capacity, it includes two primary storage sections, a front pocket organizer, individual compartments for a laptop and tablet, adaptable sternum and shoulder straps, and dual water bottle pockets.

This backpack has adaptable Twin Slot webbing, a padded laptop sleeve accommodating laptops up to 15 inches, a dedicated tablet sleeve, and front pocket organization. It also has two water bottle pockets, reflective zipper pulls, and a cushioned bottom panel.

Prices

Columbia Sportswear’s gear is generally priced more competitively than Haglöfs’ gear. Typically, Columbia’s jackets are priced in the range of $50 to $300, their backpacks below $100, and their hiking shoes usually begin at approximately $100.

Are Columbia products worth the price?

For light and casual outdoor pursuits, we believe the brand’s gear justifies its cost. Specifically, their jackets offer the essential features and protection that you’ll need while outside in nature or in the city streets.

Should you operate at an expert or advanced level, you may wish to seek a more specialized and technical brand. Nevertheless, even for those use cases, you can find a few suitable items within Columbia’s extensive product range.

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

3. Which is Better? Haglöfs or Columbia?

As we said at the beginning of this comparison, both are great. Here are the things to keep in mind that will help with your decision:

Haglöfs is a Swedish brand founded in 1914 that specializes in technical outdoor gear. They are known for high-quality jackets, pants, base layers, and footwear built to withstand rugged Nordic conditions. Materials tend to be on the more premium side. They use technologies such as Gore-Tex membranes and MIMIC synthetic insulation.

Columbia is an American brand founded in 1937 that offers a wide range of outdoor and casual apparel at varying prices. While not quite as technical as Haglöfs, Columbia offers good value and versatility for hiking, fishing, and everyday wear. They use proprietary technology like Omni-Tech membranes and Omni-Heat reflective for warmth.

In terms of styling, Haglöfs tends to have a more minimalist European aesthetic while Columbia has bolder graphics and colors popular in North America.

Quality: Haglöfs is generally considered the more hardwearing and technical choice, especially for colder weather activities in alpine and arctic environments. Columbia is better suited for milder conditions and more casual outdoor use.

Price-wise, Haglöfs tends to be more expensive reflective of higher-end materials. Columbia offers many affordable options but you do pay more for their top-of-the-line gear. As an example, Haglöfs jackets can exceed $600, while those by Columbia usually don’t cost more than $300.

Sustainability: both have advanced programs for using recycled materials, ethically sourcing raw materials, and reducing waste.

In the end, for serious Nordic and mountaineering pursuits, Haglöfs would be our choice. For general outdoor use at varying budgets, Columbia gives you more versatility and value.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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

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