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Columbia vs North Face: Which Outerwear Wins?

Last Updated: June 2, 2022

The outerwear market continues to evolve by introducing new products, materials, and features that gather the interest of active and outdoor lifestyles. It isn’t difficult to find decent outerwear, but most people are fans of a particular brand for a reason.

Columbia is a company that aims to keep you prepared for the outdoors with reliable essentials, whereas North Face has a much larger catalog that’s also catered to more specific outdoor activities. 

This Columbia vs North Face review is going to dive into the main differences between the two brands and what makes them unique.

Columbia vs North Face Overview

Columbia (winner)North Face
– Tends to be cheaper

– Multiple ways to save at all times

– Offers beneficial rewards program

– Cares about the environment

– Very body inclusive

– Free ground shipping for rewards members
– A massive catalog to sort through

– More gear for extreme weather 

– Student, military, and healthcare discounts

– Blend of functional and casual clothing

– North face app for easy shopping

– Aims to have 100% renewable fabrics by 2030

What They Offer


Both brands may offer similar products that serve the same market, but they come with some unique differences that cause customers to choose one over the other. 

📷 IG @columbia1938

Most of this generally comes down to price and quality, but regardless of those factors, Columbia boasts an unwavering fan base.

Primarily hailed for the quality of their products, Columbia serves the outerwear market and overall lifestyle. 

From clothing that’s beach-ready to full outfits that cover you head to toe for freezing weather, Columbia claims to have it all, along with options the whole family can benefit from.

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North Face

It can be argued that North Face has a more prominent brand presence across the globe, but Columbia has given them a run for their money for quite some time. Nevertheless, North Face isn’t a stranger to the outerwear market, and they offer a clothing selection that’s so vast it’s almost overwhelming.

📷 IG @thenorthface

They may primarily focus on outerwear clothing, but their brand image has become a choice for casual and streetwear fashion enthusiasts over the years. 

This attention from multiple demographics has only helped propel the company into the spotlight it’s in today.

RELATED: Patagonia vs North Face: Which Outdoor Gear Is Better?



When you put the two companies against each other, Columbia is definitely known for their stance on quality. They build their products to last, and numerous current and past customers can attest to that. You can even shop by a specific type of clothing tech to suit your preferred activity.

📷 IG @columbia1938

On their website, you’ll also find an extremely thorough section on product care that teaches how to make your clothing last as long as possible. 

Columbia also prides itself on taking human and animal welfare into account throughout their manufacturing process. They don’t look to take shortcuts when it comes to the durable quality of their clothing.

North Face

With ethical manufacturing practices in mind, the North Face has come a long way over the years, and their clothing will continue to be a leading force in the outerwear market. 

📷 IG @thenorthface

When it comes to the quality of their clothing though, it seems to be hit or miss for their customers. Where some items excel, others don’t tend to hold up to the same quality standards.

Of course, some of this may be on purpose to offer more cost-effective solutions in their catalog, but it’s noticeable enough for some customers to look elsewhere. We don’t feel North Face should be considered low quality, but not all of their clothing seems to be worth the price tag. 

It really depends on what clothing you’re searching for, and if you review the details of their garments, you can find many suitable options for the outdoors.



If you’re looking for quality outerwear at a reasonable price, Columbia is the place to look. With the many clothing categories available, you’ll find a vast range in price across their products, but it’s generally representative of what the product has to offer. 

📷 IG @columbia1938

Compared to North Face, we quickly noticed that Columbia comes out to be more affordable across most clothing categories.

Pair this with the numerous discounts they have available, and you can get some excellent outerwear for a great deal. You can still expect some of their nicer items to range from $300 to $400, but those same items will be found for around double the price on North Face’s website.

North Face

They might be more popular within the fashion community, but they have a reputation for the price tag on their clothing. It’s known to many that a big part of what you’re paying for here is the brand’s name and image. 

📷 IG @thenorthface

When you take a look at their catalog, it can be difficult to justify $60 shirts and $650 winter jackets. At the same time, many customers are more than happy to pay the price and will vouch for how much they love North Face products. 

The company doesn’t seem too concerned about being more cost-friendly as they’re well aware of their hold on the outerwear industry as a brand.



You won’t have any difficulty finding something in your size with Columbia, as they focus on being as body inclusive as possible. Aside from regular small and large sizes, you’ll find a plus-size section that gives shoppers a level of flexibility that’s seldom found elsewhere.

📷 IG @columbia1938

A majority of their clothing is available in a vast size range, making them an ideal choice for a broader demographic of shoppers. Even if it isn’t the most common, the plus sizes go all the way up to 6XL, so everyone can benefit from the quality of Columbia’s outerwear.

North Face

They aren’t as body inclusive as Columbia, but they still have the essentials that the general population might need. For clothing, you can find sizes that range from extra small to 3XL, along with the most common shoe sizes from big to small.

📷 IG @thenorthface

You can find a detailed sizing chart on their website that allows you to find the perfect fit for your dimensions, and their catalog stays updated, so a majority of sizes are always available. Their clothing is also known to be pretty form-fitting, and most customers are happy with the sizes they opt to go with.

What Do Customers Have To Say?

There’s a lot you can learn about both companies by looking at them from a surface level. To really understand how the public perceives them, we searched the internet for public comments and reviews, which you can find down below.

  • Columbia has a great cost to quality ratio
  • Many feel North Face is overpriced
  • Both brands’ clothing has their strongpoints in different weather conditions
  • People like North Face’s blend of fashion and function
  • Higher-end North Face clothing has shown to be more durable
  • Columbia offers a consistent quality across the majority of their products

The Bottom Line

After taking an extensive look into both brands, we feel Columbia is your best bet. You can potentially find some gear that can last you a lifetime, and it’s likely to come at a fraction of the price in comparison to North Face. 

When it comes to Columbia vs North face, both brands have plenty of value to offer, but Columbia is more cost-effective in the long run, and they offer many similar clothing categories to North Face.

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