TOP 15 Best Outdoor Clothing Brands 2020 [The Only Ones You Need to Know]

If there’s one thing you come to learn when you’re an outdoor enthusiast (and a travel blogger) – it’s which brands produce the best gear.

And this could be anything random from who makes the best tents to use in high winds (follow that link to find out) to who offers the best hiking boots for wide, flat & narrow feet (you might be surprised).

Many times it’s a matter of option and we all have our personal number one. Nevertheless, you just can’t argue with consistent quality.

There are new, up-and-coming brands being developed all the time, and this is truly exciting as it shows people are still keen to get out into the wilderness while creating the highest quality gear possible.

We’ve not quite lost everyone to mind-numbing technology just yet. And when we do venture out on hiking, fishing, kayaking, climbing, trekking, biking adventure – we demand the best gear and equipment possible.

Those fresh and exciting brands will surely have their day in the sun, but right now let’s talk about the stalwarts. The creme de la creme. The cat’s meow. The top dogs. The big kahunas.

The best outdoor clothing brands in the world.

So, here are my top 15 picks of the companies that have achieved such a revered position – in no particular order.

See if I’ve included any of your favorites.

I’ve also included a couple of top picks from each brand’s product range – just to give you an idea of the quality.

TOP 15 Best Outdoor Clothing Brands 2020

Regularly gracing the pages of Independent Wolf (and many other travel blog and review websites) is arguably the world’s most recognizable outdoor gear and apparel brand.

Even if you’ve never set foot into nature your entire life, you will have come across the North Face at some point.

And if you’ve been living under a rock – it’s probably their gear you’ve been wearing.

They have been producing the finest quality clothing, footwear, tents, bags and other kit and outdoor tech since 1966 – and they show no signs of slowing down now.

Check out some of the best sleeping bags for cold weather – you’ll find the North Face always challenging for the number one spot.

They also have some excellent daypacks for hiking, too.

Founded by two outdoor enthusiasts on a beach in San Francisco (about as far from the north face of a mountain you can get), for over 50 years they have expanded and developed their brand into the well-known, loved and trusted market leader it is today.

The North Face Men’s Gotham Jacket III

Review: This is one of the shining lights in the North Face range, their extremely popular Gotham winter jacket. Made with a dry vent shell, it has sealed seams that allow moisture to escape for added breathability.

It’s packed with responsibly sourced goose down, ensuring you can be super-warm and have peace-of-mind at the same time.

Featuring a fully adjustable hood with removable fake-fur trim, durable rib-knit cuffs and hem to keep the cold out, and loads of storage – it just might be one of the best winter jackets on the market.

Pros
  • Very warm.
  • Excellent pocket options.
  • Zipper storm flap.
  • Inner face/neck protection.
  • Durable construction.
Cons
  • Expensive.
Takeaway

A flagship winter jacket from one of the best outdoor brands on the planet – this is a quality product that will look and feel good while keeping the harshest of winters at bay.

The North Face Recon Backpack

Review: Aside from their clothing range, the North Face does a mean line in backpacks. Any number of models could have been featured here, but I’ve gone for the Recon.

It’s a very popular bag that’s super-versatile, including a laptop sleeve, large main compartment, and hydration port. It features comfortable, padded shoulder straps, mesh pocket to the front, breathable back-padding and a supportive hip belt.

Whether you’re commuting, day-trekking, or doing an overnighter – this backpack will suit your needs.

Pros
  • Well designed.
  • Durable construction.
  • Highly rated.
  • Excellent choice of colors.
Cons
  • There are some issues with compartment access.
Takeaway

A great little backpack for a variety of uses. Check for more quality carry-on backpacks if you’re in the market for a new one.

Founded not all that long ago in 1989 (that’s still 30 years experience), Canadian based Arc’teryx have risen to where they want to be – at the top of the outdoor clothing brand mountain.

They produce some of the highest quality mountaineering gear in the world, the kind of stuff that will last a lifetime – no matter how many times you scale a challenging peak.

They’re certainly not the cheapest brand out there, but they stand head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to the finest quality materials and manufacture. They make some of the best mountaineering pants and hiking rain jackets (a lot of) money can buy.

Made by mountaineers for mountaineers, they’re named after the first reptile to develop the feather for flight.

No wonder they’re flying high as one of the top outdoor clothing brands on the planet.

Arc’teryx Women’s Beta AR Jacket

Review: The Beta jacket has been part of Arc’teryx’s range since 2000 – and it’s easy to see why. It’s one of the most versatile articles of outdoor apparel you could hope to find.

Lightweight and breathable, it’s made using GORE-TEX technology to ensure the best possible weatherproofing while keeping moisture away from your body.

It’s also beautifully designed, packed with features, and available in a choice of stylish colors. It’s little wonder it’s been around a while – and isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

Pros
  • Top-quality materials.
  • Fully waterproof.
  • Excellent fit.
  • Plenty of pockets.
  • Highly versatile.
Cons
  • Depending on the color – they can get very expensive.
Takeaway

A gorgeous jacket that is suitable for a variety of conditions and activities. Whatever you’re using it for – you’ll look good doing it.

Arc’teryx Rho LTW Neck Gaiter

Review: I’ve only just discovered neck gaiters (I know – where have I been?!) and this is one of the very best. Made from Merino wool and elastane, this is guaranteed to keep you warm in chilly conditions and protect your face and neck fromsnow.

It has a thermally efficient layer with moisture-wicking capabilities, ensuring you stay dry as well as nice and toasty.

And with the stylish design and distinctive Arc’teryx logo – it’s basically the Cadillac of neck gaiters.

Pros
  • Lightweight.
  • Natural fibers.
  • Pleasant on the skin.
  • Anti-odor.
Cons
  • Expensive for a neck gaiter.
Takeaway

Designed for use in alpine environments, this is an essential piece of kit if you’re doing anything in wintry conditions. I’d wear it just to pop down the shops.

Easily one of the most trusted and longest-running outdoor clothing companies, Columbia have been on the go since 1938.

Based out of the Pacific Northwest, they’ve been producing a quite-frankly astonishing portfolio of quality gear and apparel for over 80 years.

Their catalog will give you a selection headache covering just about everything you could possibly wear in the great outdoors. I find they’re particularly good at quality hiking boots for summer – but they don’t just stop there.

But there is another awesome reason why they are consistently one of the most popular outdoor clothing brands in 2020.

They’re always affordable.

And yet they don’t sacrifice quality. They are a tried, tested and trusted, budget-friendly company that caters for whatever outdoor activity you’re into.

Columbia Men’s Rain Jacket

Review: It certainly wasn’t hard to choose an example item from Columbia’s range. This rain jacket is one of the most popular items I’ve ever reviewed, bringing with it some of the highest ratings.

It might be because it’s excellent value for money, but it’s also because of the sheer quality throughout. It’s a no-nonsense water-resistant nylon shell which is super-lightweight with a comfortable fit and protective features.

The OMNI-Shield coating keeps you clean and dry, while the elasticated hem and cuffs help keep the elements out. For the price, it really doesn’t get much better than this.

Pros
  • Outstanding value.
  • Super portable.
  • Snug fit.
  • Mind-blowing choice of colors.
Cons
  • Price changes depending on the color and size.
Takeaway

A top-rated rain jacket that is immensely popular, it’s definitely a best seller in the always affordable Columbia range.

Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Pants

Review: Another top-rated and extremely popular product, these moisture-wicking cargo pants from Columbia are a great option for any outdoor adventure. Made from 100% nylon, they’re lightweight and comfortable, with a classic fit that you’ll enjoy wearing again and again.

With advanced evaporation and sun protection, these pants will keep you protected all day long. The Silver Ridge joins a list of other excellent softshell pants that are ideal for multiple uses.

Pros
  • Comfort fit.
  • Security pocket.
  • Durable zippers.
  • Good storage options.
  • Choice of colors.
Cons
  • None to speak of.
Takeaway

One of the most highly-rated cargo pants available, when you eventually wear them out you’ll be right back to buy a new pair.

If you thought that Columbia was the old boy on the block – think again!

Mammut are a Swiss company that has roots right back to 1862, where they first developed climbing ropes. They are one of the world leaders in this regard.

However, they have since expanded significantly into other outdoor gear and apparel, producing premium, Swiss-engineered clothing for all kinds of situations.

They’re also a company that is extremely passionate about reducing their carbon footprint, ethical production and manufacture and animal welfare.

Not resting on their laurels, they also offer an alpine school in Europe, where you can learn anything from glacier trekking and hiking, mountain climbing and even avalanche awareness courses.

Mammut Lithium Speed Backpack

Review: I could have gone with any number of Mammut backpacks (they’re all outstanding quality) but this one is up there with the very best.

With a generous 20 liter volume, it’s ideal for day hikes or city wandering, with a hydration compatible system, comfortable straps and waist belt, and plenty of ventilation.

Designed to be used on the go, it’s ruggedly built with Mammut’s trademark, durable materials, intelligent pocket and compartment design, and stylish look. You could do a lot worse when you’re out and about.

Pros
  • Durable construction.
  • Well designed.
  • Very comfortable to wear.
  • Great choice of colors.
Cons
  • None that I can find.
Takeaway

An ideal alpine sports backpack, the choice of bright colors are as stylish as they are safe. It’s just an all-round quality product designed by mountaineers for mountaineers.

Mammut Skywalker 2 Climbing Helmet

Review: Being the Swiss alpine specialists that they are, you’d expect Mammut to come up with an excellent climbing helmet for mountaineering – and indeed they have.

The attractively named Skywalker 2 protective headgear is a solidly robust, plastic shell with an EPS inner and headlamp clips that are integrated into the design.

For the price, it’s regarded as one of the best and most comfortable climbing helmets on the market – and I’m not doubting that for a second.

Pros
  • Life-saving construction.
  • Choice of colors.
  • Excellent breathability.
  • Thumbwheel for easy adjustment.
  • Outstanding value.
Cons
  • Again, none that are apparent.
Takeaway

An excellent climbing helmet at a very affordable price point – this is another great addition to the Mammut range.

The founder of Cotopaxi grew up in Latin America and for several years explored the Cotopaxi National Park in Ecuador. The name is taken from the famous volcano that dominates the landscape in those parts.

Like Mammut, they are passionate about ethics, particularly the impoverished people of the world. Consequently, every time you purchase a product from Cotopaxi, a percentage of the cost goes to help the company’s charities.

As far as their actual clothing goes, they source quality, sustainable materials to produce some excellent gear – and at prices that won’t break the bank.

Their company motto is “do good,” and they’re not doing too badly themselves.

They’ll even send you a free llama sticker if you ask them nicely.

Cotopaxi Women’s Cubre Hooded Fleece

Review: Designed to be used as a cool weather jacket, or integrated as an internal layer when the temperature really drops, this is a stylish and practical hooded fleece from Cotopaxi.

With elastic binding at the hood, cuffs, and hem, it helps keep the cold out, while the hand pockets are nice and toasty if you’ve left your gloves at home.

A contrast color snap pocket is added on the chest, and the garment is made with a PrimaLoft shearling fleece that will keep you warm without ever overheating.

Pros
  • Versatile use.
  • Comfortable to wear.
  • Scuba hood design.
  • Frontal zip.
Cons
  • More color options would have been nice.
Takeaway

A great multi-use garment that will keep you snug as a bug in a rug. As an inner layer, this fleece is a great addition to your outdoor wardrobe.

Cotopaxi Agua Water Bottle

Review: We’re not just featuring clothing and backpacks here, and this stylish and practical water bottle is a great option to keep you hydrated when you’re on the go.

Its double-walled construction locks in hot or cold liquids, and the bottle will not sweat regardless of temperature. All-importantly it’s BPA free and resistant to odors, and it fits most water bottle holders and cup cages.

A great camping or hiking water bottle that is available in several different capacities.

Pros
  • Well designed.
  • Smart aesthetic.
  • Choice of colors.
  • Good size opening.
Cons
  • Not dishwasher safe.
Takeaway

A premium water bottle for hot or cold beverages, this is a practical inclusion to your camping or backpacking gear.

We head over to Germany on our next stop of the world’s best outdoor brands – Jack Wolfskin.

Founded in Frankfurt in 1981, the company has a sweet theme throughout their quality products – “at home outdoors.”

This is reflected in their extensive catalog of mountain and leisure clothing, footwear, rucksacks, sleeping bags, and tents.

For outdoor gear that protects you from the elements, Jack Wolfskin are never too far away from having the best hiking pants for men, as well as a great deal of other high-performance apparel and gear.

They’re generally regarded as a mid-range brand with high-quality and well-made products that are as stylish as they are affordable.

They’re also conscientious of their corporate responsibility and work to improve conditions for staff employed in the garment making industry worldwide.

And they boast the coolest logo out of any of the brands here. But woe betide you if you try to steal it from them. Many have tried and they’ve got their asses kicked as a result!

Jack Wolfskin Men’s Arroyo Jacket

Review: Made with Jack Wolfskin’s signature Textapore material, this outer weatherproof shell jacket is a super-stylish garment that offers unbeatable protection against the elements.

It’s machine washable, highly breathable, and has a fixed hood with adjustable volume and field of vision.

Featuring two hand pockets and a very useful inner pocket, the ergonomic design has plenty of practical additions in a lightweight yet durable jacket that offers a head-turning silhouette.

Pros
  • Attractive design.
  • Excellent cut and fit.
  • Versatile use.
  • Choice of striking colors.
Cons
  • Again, price depends on size and color choice.
Takeaway

A great looking jacket that is ideal for a variety of outdoor activities and ideal for layering for use in any season.

Jack Wolfskin Women’s Hiking Pants

Review: The German company manufactures some truly awesome hiking pants for women (follow the link for more) so it would be amiss not to include at least one model here.

This is the women’s Zenon softshell pants, with a windproof, water-resistant, two-way stretch, extra robust softshell fabric with fleece reverse side for additional comfort.

It’s warm and breathable and designed for use in colder conditions – as all quality winter sport/hiking apparel should be.

Pros
  • Rugged design that will last.
  • Very comfortable.
  • Excellent weatherproofing.
  • Zippered ankle for boots.
Cons
  • More colors would have been nice.
Takeaway

Another stylish and practical garment from Jack Wolfskin – but you wouldn’t expect anything less. They continually knock it out of the park with their attractive, dependable designs.

We drop in on New Zealand on our continuing world tour of the best outdoor clothing brands. Kathmandu have been operating out of these parts since 1987.

They have a particularly strong connection with their heritage here, hailing from a country with a dramatic landscape that demands to be explored. Just ask anyone who is a fan of The Lord of the Rings movies.

They have flagship stores in New Zealand, Australia and the UK.

As such, Kathmandu have been producing top quality outdoor gear for all kinds of activities for over 30 years, while at the same time being very conscious of their environmental impact.

They’ve recently branched out to acquire US footwear brand Oboz, with whom they share similar passions regarding sustainable forestry.

As such, Kathmandu should be properly breaking into the North American market real soon.

Kathmandu Women’s Benmore 5 in 1 Jacket

Review: The Benmore jacket from Kathmandu is a five-in-one garment that is so versatile you’ll wonder what you did without it all year round.

It’s able to be worn in five ways – as a down jacket, down vest, waterproof outer jacket, waterproof outer with vest zipped in, and a waterproof outer with full down jacket zipped in.

Filled with 550 fill power Responsible Down Standard (RDS) down, it has an adjustable hood and hem, with plenty of pockets to keep all your belongings organized.

Pros
  • Highly versatile.
  • Very warm.
  • Cord port for media device.
  • Durable material and construction.
Cons
  • Only one color.
Takeaway

A quality all-in-one travel jacket you can use anywhere, anytime. Include it in your luggage the next time you go on an adventure.

Kathmandu Men’s Tomar Merino Shirt

Review: It’s not always about the outerwear as this stylish, checked shirt shows. Made from Merino wool, it provides natural breathability while offering superior warmth and comfort.

It’s the ideal travel shirt, designed to be worn as a layer whenever you’re out and about.

Featuring hidden patch pockets, a rear pleat for improved movement, and double-buttoned, adjustable cuffs, this slim fit shirt should be in any wandering man’s collection.

Pros
  • Machine washable.
  • Smart, eye-catching design.
  • Excellent fit.
  • Very comfortable.
Cons
  • I would have liked to have seen more colors.
Takeaway

An attractive checked shirt that’s designed for the traveler. Another quality garment from the environmentally-conscious Kathmandu.

Originally hailing from the French Alps, this sportswear company are based in Annecy and were founded back in 1947.

They’re predominantly most famous for their market-leading footwear, but are one of the premiere leaders in outdoor equipment in Europe. This includes top-of-the-range ski and snowboard gear.

However, they also produce apparel covering a vast myriad of outdoor sports, including trail running, hiking and climbing. This they do in over 40 countries across five continents.

They’ll never be too far from inclusion in winter hiking reviews, producing some of the best winter hiking boots anywhere in the world. Check some of them out at that link.

Not bad for a husband, wife and son team that started making ski edges in a tiny workshop in the shadow of the alps.

Salomon Women’s Speedcross 4 Trail Runner

Review: If trail running is your game you’ve come to the right place. This Salomon Speedcross 4 is a very highly-rated performance running shoe with an improved and impressive lug for maximum control.

It’s beautifully designed to follow the contours of your foot, wrapping you up with ultimate protection and support for all-day aggressive use. Featuring a quick-lace system, molded footbed, and synthetic sole, this is probably one of the best women’s trail running shoes that money can buy.

Pros
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Well designed sole.
  • Outstanding traction.
  • Lightweight.
  • Choice of stylish designs.
Cons
  • Prices vary depending on color and size.
Takeaway

Trail runners take note – you need these shoes in your locker. Superbly designed with ergonomic support, these babies will help you improve your time with ease.

Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 3 GTX Boots

Review: We’ve got your trail runners covered, now let’s turn our attention to the backpackers. Probably one of the best men’s backpacking and hiking boots on the market, the Quest is a top-of-the-line shoe that ticks all the boxes for tough terrain.

With a versatile fit, ergonomic support, and a contra-grip outsole that provides excellent traction and grip in all kinds of conditions.

Added to the anti-fatigue technology, and packed with so many other walking-friendly features, here you’ve got a boot you can wear all day long and own those thru-hiking trails in superior comfort, support, and protection.

Pros
  • Unbeatable quality.
  • GORE-TEX construction.
  • Technically impressive.
  • Quick-lace.
  • Choice of colors.
  • 4D cushioning chassis.
  • Toe bumper.
Cons
  • Again, prices vary depending on color and size.
Takeaway

If you’re a backpacker or hiker and you don’t own a pair of Quest 4D boots – you’re doing it wrong. Top-drawer quality from Salomon.

Named after the beautiful, remote, mountainous and glacial region of southern Argentina and Chile, Patagonia is yet another one of the best outdoor gear brands in the world.

They were founded in 1973 by US rock climber Yvon Chouinard – himself an avid outdoorsman and a passionate environmentalist. Interestingly, their logo is the famous Monte Fitz Roy mountain skyline on the border between these two South American countries.

Today, like many of the outdoor clothing companies here, they are known for their ethical and environmentally conscious focus. They consider themselves to be an “activist” company, using their business and resources to engage in the protection of the world we live in.

Clothing wise, they’ve pretty much got everything covered, offering an enormous selection of quality gear for a wealth of outdoor pursuits.

With a particular emphasis on wet-weather apparel, you’ll find Patagonia offering some of the best hiking pants for winter.

But they don’t just stop there, and they’ll have something for everyone when it comes to the great outdoors.

Patagonia Men’s Down Sweater Jacket

Review: This men’s down jacket is a classic Patagonia staple. With a DWR finish and padded with 800-fill-power goose down, it’ll keep you warm and dry through the season.

Designed for use with a variety of styles and outfits, it will never look out of place as a versatile outdoor garment.

The durable outer material is a tough ripstop polyester, and altogether the sweater design provides excellent windproof protection and comfort. Two zippered pockets are included, as is the minimalist Patagonia logo.

Pros
  • Traceable goose down.
  • Very warm.
  • Super-lightweight.
  • Choice of colors.
Cons
  • The price depends on color and size.
  • No hood included – but that depends on preference.
Takeaway

Another versatile outdoor garment that offers warmth and protection all year round. Just make sure you’re ordering the right color and size.

Patagonia Atom Sling Backpack

Review: Made from a tough and durable 630-denier nylon, this eight-liter sling bag is built to take the knocks it’ll no doubt receive when you’re on a day trip.

Designed to hold the essentials while you’re exploring, the asymmetrical harness fits close to the body for hours of comfortable use. Exterior compression straps assist in ensuring your load is compact, or you can use them to hold gear externally.

The teardrop shape is specially designed to stay behind your shoulders for as much maneuverability as possible when you’re negotiating the crowds.

Pros
  • Large main compartment.
  • Padded tablet sleeve.
  • Zippered outer pocket.
  • Key clip.
  • Moisture-wicking padding.
Cons
  • Only one color.
Takeaway

A functional, efficient day-bag for keeping the essentials to hand when you’re exploring a new city. Surprisingly roomy considering its compact size.

Like many outdoor clothing suppliers, Berghaus started small when two outdoor enthusiasts were disappointed with the quality of gear and apparel available to them on the market at the time.

Mountaineers Peter Lockey and Gordon Davison from the North East of England founded their outdoor clothing and equipment manufacturing company back in 1966.

In the early days, they were distributing other outdoor brands, and it wasn’t until 1972 that they begin producing their own line of clothing and equipment and selling them in their shop.

They were one of the first companies in the world to incorporate an internal frame in a rucksack.

In 1977, they pioneered the use of Gore-Tex, and as such they still make some of the best waterproof rain pants available. Check out that link if you don’t believe me.

Although named after the German word for “mountain house,” this is a UK company that has grown from strength to strength, with award-winning gear, world-wide distribution and a team of sponsored athletes from all over the globe.

Berghaus Men’s Deluge Waterproof Pants

Review: Made using Berghaus’ own Hydroshell fabric, these rain pants are perfect for emergencies when you’re about to be caught in a downpour.

They’ll provide you with outstanding waterproofing, breathability, and durability, as you stay cool with the ¾ length side zips and upper leg venting facility.

The elasticated waist with side adjustment ensures a comfortable fit – even if you’re layering the pants over another garment, and articulated legs offer the best freedom of movement when you’re hiking the trails.

Pros
  • Durable construction.
  • Lightweight.
  • Packable and portable.
  • Highly breathable.
Cons
  • European sizing – be careful when you’re ordering.
Takeaway

For emergency rain pants you can throw in your backpack and quickly throw on when the clouds burst – the aptly named ‘Deluge’ is a quality option.

Berghaus Men’s Prism Polartec Vest

Review: With an incredibly soft feel for superior warmth and comfort, this Polartec fleece vest is a great option to add an inner layer to your outdoor wear.

It’s also ideal to use on sunnier days still with some chill in the air, and it has excellent heat retention while still offering good breathability.

The mid-weight garment features an interactive zip, allowing it to be integrated to any compatible Berghaus jacket, so it’s the perfect accompaniment to your camping, hiking, or backpacking gear.

Pros
  • Highly versatile.
  • Hand warmer pockets.
  • Drawcord hem adjustment.
  • Made from 50% recycled materials.
Cons
  • Again, runs European sizing – take care when ordering.
Takeaway

A quality mid-weight fleece that’s versatile for all your outdoor layering needs. It’s an attractive design that will look good with anything.

Let’s sail over to Norway next in our continuing world tour of the best outdoor clothing brands. Helly Hansen has been producing some top-quality kit since way back in 1877.

Specializing in waterproof survival gear for extreme conditions, they just might make some of the best hiking rain jackets on the market. Ever. Period.

This all came about when veteran sea captain Helly Juell Hansen and his wife Maren Margarethe started making jackets and other garments soaked in linseed oil.

Today they are one of the most popular outdoor brands in the world, making high-end gear that is trusted by the pros. HH are particularly well known and used by professions that are at home on the sea or in the mountains.

Their stuff doesn’t come cheap, but you know you’re getting the very best quality from Helly Hansen. They’ve been at the forefront of innovative design and outdoor style for over 140 years.

A trend that is thankfully set to continue well into the future. For their target market, Helly Hansen are up there with the best of the best.

Helly Hansen Men’s Seven J Rain Jacket

Review: This popular and sharp-looking rain jacket is one of Helly Hansen’s bestsellers. The waterproof, windproof and breathable shell features their efficient Helly Tech two-ply fabric that keeps water out and allows sweat to evaporate to keep you dry.

It’s fully seam-sealed for total weather protection, and the fixed hood has multiple, one-hand adjustment points to keep it securely in place in the wind and rain.

Anti-chafe chin guard, bottom hem cinch-cord, adjustable cuffs and two zippered pockets are convenient for hiking, biking or any outdoor activity where the weather is trying to do its worst.

Pros
  • Superior weatherproofing.
  • YKK zippers with storm flap.
  • Moisture-wicking technology.
  • Excellent choice of colors.
  • Value for money.
Cons
  • I can’t fault it.
Takeaway

Probably one of the best all-round weather jackets on the market, this is a beautifully simple, classic design from HH that smacks of quality throughout.

Helly Hansen Women’s Pier 2 Pants

Review: These durable winter/water sports pants are also made with the same Helly-tech performance fabrics as their jacket range.

Highly waterproof, windproof, and breathable, the three-ply construction is quick-dry, fully seam-sealed, and with a mesh lining.

They also feature seat and knee reinforcements, with a high back for extra protection, adjustable suspenders, and adjustable waist. Ideal for sailing, skiing, and snowboarding, you’ll seriously look the part wearing these on deck or on the slopes.

Pros
  • Durable construction.
  • Stylish look and feel.
  • Quality weatherproofing.
  • Articulated knees.
  • Cargo pockets.
Cons
  • Poor choice of colors.
Takeaway

Helly Hansen should have lit up the rainbow with color choice for these rugged outdoor pants – but other than that they’re right out of the top drawer.

A stalwart of the British countryside, Barbour have been making outstanding quality outdoor clothing since 1894.

Beginning in a market place in South Shields, they’re still hand-making their products in a factory in the area, and are now a 5th generation family-owned business.

Barbour are the very definition of luxury outdoor wear that is fit for Royalty. Indeed, the company holds three warrants to supply waterproof and protective clothing to the British Royal family since 1974.

Their most famous and flagship item of clothing has to be the iconic green Barbour jacket, a beautiful, award-winning waxed cotton garment. However, they also produce sweaters, shirts, moleskin and corduroy outdoor clothing – all to their meticulous standards.

You’ll find their products grace the most upmarket department stores around the world – having a retail presence in over forty countries across six continents.

But they sure don’t come cheap and expect to pay a king’s ransom if you want this sort of quality.

Barbour Men’s Classic Beaufort Wax Jacket

Review: Barbour’s signature style and look is the classic green wax jacket, in that distinctive olive shade the company is known for.

With a corduroy collar that is studded for adding an optional hood, two large bellows pockets, handwarmer pockets and wallet storage, and an internal zip that allows a warmer lining to be added if required.

It’s a timeless wax jacket that will last for years to come, which is what you’d expect from the historic British company.

Pros
  • Built to last.
  • Tough and durable.
  • Comfortable fit.
  • Good pocket options.
  • Two-way zipper for ventilation.
Cons
  • Expensive.
Takeaway

Barbour jackets don’t come cheap – but you certainly get what you pay for. High-end classic quality for the outdoorsman, here – and women’s versions are also available.

Barbour Women’s Annis Quilted Jacket

Review: Made from 100% polyamide, this stylish diamond-quilted jacket is comfortably lined and features a warm, polyester fill.

With a protective, stand-up collar, snap-button closure and long sleeves, this attractive garment will keep you toasty during the colder weather.

An ideal layering item for colder weather, it’s another timeless, highly-fashionable design from Barbour that will be an attractive addition to any woman’s outdoor wardrobe.

Pros
  • Attractive look and feel.
  • Classic design.
  • Lightweight.
  • Very warm and comfortable.
  • Angled pockets with stud closure.
Cons
  • Limited color options.
  • Not waterproof.
Takeaway

When it comes to outdoor apparel, style and practicality are always encouraged, and this quilted jacket from Barbour has both in spades.

I have to say that Marmot has one of the most fun and unique start-up stories of them all. They began back in 1974, when two university students decided that to become a “Marmot” you had to climb a glaciated peak with another Marmot.

A sort of bizarre club was formed, taking their moniker from a large, sociable ground squirrel.

But aside from these youthful shenanigans, they also had a desire to create their own outdoor clothing brand, and Marmot Mountain Works was born.

They struck gold when the producers of a Clint Eastwood film requested they provide 108 “very puffy” jackets, to which they dutifully obliged, in spite of barely having gotten off the ground as a company at the time.

Today, Marmot has grown into a much loved and respected outdoor brand with a commitment to the highest quality gear and apparel. They’re particularly adept at making some of the best camping tents available.

Marmot Women’s Montreal Puffer Coat

Review: With a moisture-resistant Down Defender treatment on the 700-fill power down in this knee-length puffer coat, you’re guaranteed to stay super warm and dry.

It’s probably one of the warmest clothing garments available, with a zip-off hood with faux-fur trim and microfleece-lined zip handwarmer pocket and internal cuffs to increase comfort and protection from the cold.

It’s highly breathable design will wick moisture away from your skin, with a regular fit that will look attractive on most body types. Ideal for wintery weather, including short-term exposure to snow and rain, this is a smart every-day wear jacket for your commute.

Pros
  • Stylish and practical.
  • Very warm.
  • Lightweight.
  • Knee-length.
  • Highly rated.
Cons
  • It won’t stand up to really wet weather.
Takeaway

A gorgeous, attractive and flattering garment from Marmot. For freezing cold and dry locations – this is the jacket for you. Just don’t allow it to get too wet.

Marmot Men’s Shadows Hat

Review: Made from 70% acrylic and 30% wool, this is a super-stylish men’s hat that will keep your head nice and warm for your commute, hiking the trails, skiing the slopes, camping, or any other outdoor activity where you should be covering your bonce.

Offering a low-profile, the beanie also has a clever microfleece headband lining adds warmth and wicks away sweat while you’re on the move, so you’ll never feel uncomfortable.

The distinctive Marmot logo and subtle stripe design complete the look.

Pros
  • Classic beanie design.
  • Wool blend.
  • Durable.
  • Choice of colors available.
Cons
  • Not suitable for larger heads.
Takeaway

A simple, but stylish beanie that anyone would look good in and keep you warm at the same time. Providing you don’t have a big head, of course.

While not known as being part of the best hiking clothing brands, when it comes to climbing and skiing, Black Diamond are hard to beat.

They certainly make some of the best winter gloves to keep your hands nice and toasty.

They began life back in the 1950s, but they weren’t officially founded until 1989. Now they have branched out worldwide, operating as the go-to mountain company of choice for a great many professional climbers, skiers and enthusiasts of other mountain-based and winter sports.

They moved to their Salt Lake City base in 1991, but have far-reaching distribution in both Europe and Asia from Austria and China respectively.

In addition to their eclectic range of quality apparel, they’re also famous for their mountain hardware, such as just about everything to do with rock climbing you can think of, as well as world-class tents and shelters, lighting, trekking poles and backpacks.

Black Diamond Mercury Mittens

Review: These heavy-duty, winter outdoor gloves are specially designed to keep your hands super-warm on even the coldest days when you’re enjoying your alpine adventure.

With a goat-skin palm for grip, they’re made with a combination of spandex and nylon, with a 100% polyester lining. Lightweight and abrasion-resistant, the Pretext Shield shell with four-way stretch will keep you protected while ensuring maximum comfort.

Perfect for extreme cold, but if you’re looking for other hiking gloves follow the link to find more top-quality hand protectors for all seasons.

Pros
  • Durable construction.
  • Very warm.
  • Removable fleece liner.
  • Pull-on closure.
  • Kevlar stitching for strength.
Cons
  • Very expensive for gloves.
  • Breathability could be improved.
Takeaway

Providing you use them in the colder temperatures, these gloves will certainly keep your hands nice and warm whatever your activity. They also offer decent dexterity considering they’re mittens.

Black Diamond Storm Headlamp

Review: A very popular and highly rated storm headlamp, this powerful light is very useful in all kinds of situations.

One quad power LED and one double power white LED emit 350 lumens for a super-bright beam, while red, green and blue single power LEDs for night vision have dimming and strobe settings and can activate without cycling through white mode.

The power-tap technology allows for instant transitioning from full to dimmed power, and the whole unit is waterproof and dustproof so you can really put it through its paces.

Pros
  • Tough and durable construction.
  • Super-bright.
  • Choice of modes.
  • Very highly rated.
  • Long-running time.
  • Lightweight.
Cons
  • On the bulky side.
Takeaway

For a super-powerful, blinding headlamp – you’ve come to the right place. Pick one up for camping, climbing, hiking – whatever you need to do when the light is low – and you won’t be disappointed. It’s like having a miniature sun attached to your head.

Based out of Seattle, what Outdoor Research don’t know about the wilderness isn’t worth knowing.

They cover just about everything, including alpine pursuits, paddling, rock and ice climbing, backcountry skiing and snowboarding, backpacking…the list goes on.

They were founded in 1981 by Ron Gregg, a nuclear physicist no less. During an expedition up North America’s highest peak, Denali, Gregg’s climbing partner suffered frostbitten feet in extreme conditions and had to be airlifted to safety.

Gregg was inspired to leave his science career behind with a mission to discover the best possible solutions for preventing such an occurrence from happening again.

Since then, they have grown rapidly into becoming one of the most trusted outdoor brands in the world today. Their initial X-Gaiter product led the company to producing some of the best cold-weather hiking gaiters you’ll find anywhere.

But whatever your sport or activity – if it’s in the great outdoors, you can bet your bottom dollar that Outdoor Research will have clothing for it.

Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero

Review: The aptly-named Seattle sombrero has been tested in the kind of downpours you would expect from the city itself.

It’s an award-winning sun/rain hat that’s constructed of a three-layer 70D Taslan GORE-TEX fabric, which provides the wearer with ultimate protection and breathability.

Other features include a 2-3/4-inch brim, foam-stiffened brim floats, color-matching hook/loop tabs on brim and dome, and a removable chin cord with cord lock. Come rain or shine, this hat is a real winner.

Pros
  • Excellent design and construction.
  • Premium materials.
  • Built to last.
  • Great choice of colors.
  • Comfortable and easy to adjust.
  • Highly rated.
Cons
  • You’ll have a hard time choosing the color.
Takeaway

If you’re going anywhere with even a chance of sun or rain, you won’t be caught out if you’ve packed this wonderful sombrero from Outdoor Research. Well researched, indeed.

Outdoor Research Men’s Crocodile Gaiters

Review: Constructed using GORE-TEX technology, these crocodile gaiters from Outdoor Research offer outstanding weather protection, while ensuring as much breathability as possible from the garment.

Able to stand up to the worst wind and rain, they’re abrasion resistant, with a tough and durable laminated construction.

The larger circumference down the leg accommodates rubber boots, while the lightweight, biothane instep strap is heavy-duty and built to last. They’ve got a good chance of being the best gaiters on the market today.

Pros
  • Very strong.
  • Buckle closure.
  • Market-leading weatherproofing.
  • Highly rated.
  • Good choice of sizes available.
Cons
  • Expensive depending on size and color.
Takeaway

An outstanding pair of solid gaiters that will stand up to whatever you throw at them. With GORE-TEX fabric and a rugged design, they’ll last you for years to come.

Summary

While this list is by no means exhaustive (and I apologize if I have left out your favorite) I genuinely feel that these are the best outdoor clothing brands in the world.

However, you can tell me off and have your say in the comments below on who you think I’ve missed and why.

Or, just let me know which brand you think is number one.

In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for more articles on the best outdoor gear, equipment and apparel money can buy.

Because getting outdoors is life.

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