The North Face vs Patagonia: Which is Better?

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The North Face vs Patagonia outdoor gear comparison

When it comes to outdoor gear, two very popular brands are The North Face and Patagonia. For decades, these iconic companies have outfitted explorers, athletes, and adventurers with apparel and equipment supporting their epic journeys.

But which is truly the superior brand? The choice between these two is not that simple. Both promise cutting-edge design driven by environmental stewardship. Both have a legendary status in the industry.

In this comparison, we’ll explore their main characteristics and help you decide which is your best choice.

Let’s begin!


1. The North Face Outdoor Gear

History of the Brand

The North Face official website
The North Face’s official website

The North Face stands out as a prominent American company in the outdoor gear industry. It has garnered a strong following among outdoor enthusiasts who have remained loyal to its offerings since its establishment in 1966.

The brand has maintained a steadfast focus on creating high-performance mountain gear and attire, including hiking packs, tents, sleeping bags, skiwear, and other outerwear.

Notably, The North Face’s popularity transcended the realm of technical wear in the 1990s, attracting a diverse clientele, including celebrities. For instance, a rapper featured the Steep Tech jacket in a music video in 1993.

The brand’s name originates from the concept of ‘the north face’ of a mountain in the northern hemisphere, renowned for its extreme cold and difficult climbing conditions.

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Materials, Fabrics, and Production Process

The North Face utilizes Nylon and Polyester, common materials in outdoor gear, and integrates various technologies into its products, such as the FUTURELIGHT membrane. FUTURELIGHT incorporates a thin nanomembrane that permits airflow while repelling water, withstanding rigorous outdoor conditions.

Additionally, the brand employs goose down for thermal insulation, offering comfort and lightweight warmth for extended journeys.

Including Gore-Tex technology in many products provides waterproofing, windproofing, and breathability, allowing moisture to escape while preventing water penetration. The brand also features other innovations like DryVent, WindWall, FlashDry, and the renowned ThermoBall synthetic insulation.

ThermoBall™ Eco | The North Face

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Where is The North Face outdoor gear made?

The majority of The North Face outdoor gear is manufactured in Asian countries like China, India, Bangladesh, and Vietnam, although the company also offers collections produced in the USA.

Recommended Products

The North Face Men’s McMurdo Parka

The North Face Mens McMurdo Parka
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The North Face Men’s McMurdo Parka is crafted to deliver exceptional warmth and shield from the elements and wind. This extended coat offers a relaxed fit and is filled with 600-fill recycled waterfowl down, making it a top pick for cold conditions.

The parka is both windproof and waterproof, featuring a seam-sealed DryVent™ 2L shell with a non-PFC DWR finish for breathability. It’s equipped with practical elements such as concealed, secure-zip chest pockets, two dual-entry front patch pockets, and a secure-zip internal chest pocket.

The parka also boasts an attached, three-piece hood with an internal drawcord for adjustability and a detachable faux-fur ruff, along with a storm flap covering the two-way, VISLON® front zip.

It showcases an embroidered logo on the left chest and back-right shoulder, blending style with functionality. Adjustable hook-and-loop cuff tabs ensure a comfortable fit, making the McMurdo a dependable choice for braving severe weather.

Read also: The North Face Diablo vs. Nuptse: Which Jacket is Better?

The North Face Borealis Backpack

The North Face Borealis Backpack
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The Borealis Backpack is a popular and adaptable pack that prioritizes both security and practicality for everyday requirements. Its distinctive bungee cord system and spacious interior compartment ensure the safety of your belongings.

The backpack’s upright structure, detachable waist belt, sternum strap, and safeguarded laptop compartment make it suitable for a variety of pursuits and settings. Equipped with the FlexVent™ suspension system, this backpack emphasizes comfort and stability, ensuring a comfortable fit even during prolonged use.

In terms of organization, the Borealis provides an external bungee-compression system, side bungee cords for compression, and bottom compression. It features a dedicated laptop compartment, a sizable main compartment, a front compartment with internal organization, secure-zip pockets, and a tablet sleeve.

Crafted from a combination of recycled nylon and recycled polyester, this backpack not only delivers functionality but also aligns with sustainable practices. With its practical features and considerate design, the North Face Borealis pack is a versatile option for everyday use.

Read also: How To Wash a North Face Backpack: Step by Step


The products of The North Face are typically priced higher compared to numerous other outdoor gear brands. Despite this, the brand is commonly positioned within the mid-to-high price bracket. For instance, their jackets are priced between $70 and $800, while their backpacks range from $50 to around $300.

Are The North Face products worth the price?

If you are an avid mountain hiker, skier, or adventurer, The North Face is worth it. Their equipment is crafted to deliver the comfort, utility, and effectiveness you can’t do without. When it comes to casual clothing, it depends. In general, you can get a few affordably priced items at The North Face, affirming the value of the brand even in this scenario.

Learn more: Why Is The North Face So Expensive and Popular? Are Its Jackets Worth It?

2. Patagonia Outdoor Gear

History of the Brand

Patagonia official website
Patagonia official website

The origins of Patagonia can be traced back to 1957, when Yvon Chouinard, a climber and the company’s founder, wanted to pursue blacksmithing. In the same year, he crafted his initial pitons, which he marketed to fellow climbers.

Subsequently, Chouinard set up a small workshop in Burbank to produce his climbing gear, which he then distributed by personally traveling throughout California to make sales.

In 1965, a collaboration with Tom Frost resulted in the formation of Chouinard Equipment, and by 1973, Patagonia emerged as a separate apparel brand following the division of the Chouinard Equipment company.

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Materials, Fabrics, and Production Process

Patagonia believes that every individual’s actions have a global impact. The brand uses recycled materials in its premium clothing, including fishing nets, cashmere, wool, polyester, and cotton.

Additionally, Patagonia incorporates Nylon and Polyester in their jackets and gear, along with advanced fabric technologies such as H2No and Gore-Tex.

Recycled down is used for insulation against cold temperatures, and the fabrics undergo rigorous testing before being used in the final product.

Patagonia is well-known in the outdoor community for its commitment to sustainability, fair labor practices, and donating a portion of revenue to environmental causes. For more information on the brand’s materials, visit Patagonia’s official website.

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Where is Patagonia outdoor gear made?

Patagonia’s outdoor equipment is predominantly manufactured in Vietnam, China, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Thailand, and various other nations, with a minor portion produced within the United States.

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Patagonia Triolet Men’s Jacket

Patagonia Triolet Mens Jacket
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The Patagonia Triolet Men’s Jacket is intentionally engineered to endure harsh, wintry conditions. Constructed from a 3-layer GORE-TEX material, it offers waterproof, breathable, and windproof properties, complemented by a 100% recycled polyester exterior for enhanced resilience.

This jacket is PFC-free and is made in a Fair-Trade-certified facility. It has a helmet-compatible hood, two welted front pockets, two chest pockets with zips, and an interior drop-in pocket. Additionally, it includes welted, watertight two-way pit zips for increased ventilation and a dual-adjust drawcord hem to effectively block out the elements.

Equipped with a concealed RECCO® reflector for searchability, the jacket is produced in Vietnam.

Patagonia Terravia 28L Pack

Patagonia Terravia Pack 28L
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The Patagonia Terravia 28L Pack offers great versatility for day trips or slightly longer hikes. With a 28-liter capacity, it is made from durable 100% recycled nylon, ensuring both strength and environmental friendliness.

The backpack includes a highly breathable back panel and shoulder straps, a front-loading stuff pocket, and an automatic lid closure when the drawstring is pulled. Its suspended mesh back panel design promotes airflow and prevents moisture, enhancing overall comfort.

The Regulator® airmesh shoulder straps and hip belt ensure a comfortable fit, while easily accessible side pockets and hydration compatibility add convenience. Additionally, it comes with a rain cover, zippered lid, and internal security pockets for safe storage of belongings.


Patagonia is recognized as a premium brand within the outdoor enthusiast circle. The price range for their jackets begins at around $130 and extends up to $700, while their backpacks are available in the $70 to $300 range.

Are Patagonia products worth the price?

We think that the gear provided by Patagonia justifies your investment. The company is dedicated to using sustainable materials, advocating for environmental conservation, and delivering long-lasting, high-performance items.

Learn more: Why Is Patagonia So Expensive and Popular? Are Its Jackets Worth It?

3. Which is Better? The North Face or Patagonia?

Both are some of the best brands of outdoor gear! Here is what to keep in mind during your decision:

Quality: Both brands are known for making high-quality, durable outdoor gear. In general, Patagonia uses more environmentally friendly materials and has a very strong commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

Style and Design: Patagonia tends to have a more technical, mountain style while The North Face offers a wider variety of styles including casual wear and fashionable pieces.

Sustainability: As mentioned above, Patagonia leads the industry in sustainability efforts and activism like using recycled materials and advocating for environmental causes. The North Face is improving but not quite at Patagonia’s level yet.

Price: On average, Patagonia gear is priced slightly higher than similar equipment from The North Face.

Technology: Both use advanced technologies and rigorous testing. For example, Patagonia uses H2No membranes, while The North Face uses DryVent and FUTURELIGHT membranes. Both also use the industry-standard Gore-Tex membranes.

In the end, for extreme outdoor enthusiasts, serious climbers and mountaineers, or those who prioritize environmental ethics, Patagonia is our recommendation. But The North Face also makes very reliable, well-designed gear and could be of good value for many, especially if you also like stylish gear.

Read next: The North Face vs Columbia (Outdoor Gear Comparison)

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