We are here again today with another brands comparison: this time we will examine in particular the differences, strengths and main characteristics of Columbia and Eddie Bauer.
As we have already done, for example for Eddie Bauer and Canada Goose in a previous article, we will identify some features of each brand, to help you make an appropriate choice of the brand that best suits your needs and preferences.
They both offer a wide selection of outdoor clothing and equipment: from jackets to hiking boots, to technical clothing and backpacks.
So let’s see which of these two would be the better choice for your new jacket, hiking boots, or new backpack.
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A short history of the brand
Born in 1938, Columbia Sportswear was founded in Portland, Oregon, where it still resides. Their production over the years has been very large, so much so as to bring innovations and win numerous awards, such as that of 2013 for Omni-Freeze Zero.
It was also a sponsor of the USA freestyle ski team at the PyeongChang Olympic Games in 2018.
It all started with a small hat factory, purchased by Gert Boyle’s family in 1938. The company has experienced ups and downs, but is still one of the leaders in its sector.
It produces clothing and accessories to allow you to stay in contact with nature, without feeling the cold, the wind and the humidity.
Materials and Manufacture
Regarding materials and technologies, Columbia relies on insulating and reflective materials such as Turbo Down™ Wave and Thermarator™, which offer insulation and reflective materials on linings that retain heat and eliminate humidity, such as Omni-Heat™ 3D and Omni-Heat™ Reflective.
To ensure the waterproof ability of their garments, the company uses Omni-Tech™ and Outdry Extreme™ technologies.
Protected from any weather, their garments are also windproof, fresh and draining. Their shoes are waterproof and guarantee a rubber traction to maintain stability on different surfaces.
You might also like: 8 Columbia Jackets for Outdoor Enthusiasts
As we usually do in brands comparisons, here we have selected two popular products by Columbia. We have picked options for men and women, both available in different sizes and colors.
Columbia Men’s Watertight II Breathable Rain Jacket
Omni-Tech technology has been used for its construction, which helps in remaining isolated from humidity and resists the absorption of liquids. It also offers warmth and comfort, thanks to elastic details and a comfortable zip.
Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boot
Next by Columbia, we chose this hiking boot in leather and rubber (here are some other brands of hiking boots).
In addition to the purely feminine design, this boot has a rubber sole with Omni-Grip traction system, for a safe and stable walk on many types of terrain. Available in many colors, it is waterproof and breathable.
We think that the prices of Columbia’s jackets and other apparel are not very high. Taking in consideration the history of the brand, the quality and the numerous technologies used in their products, in our opinion it is not a very expensive brand.
The jackets start at about $50 and can reach $200. Their boots have more or less the same price range, while accessories and other outdoor equipment in general have also affordable prices.
Are Columbia’s products worth the price?
We can say that given the relatively low prices and the quality and satisfaction of the customers who have purchased from the brand, their products are worth the price: honest prices, for a quality that is definitely in line with the cost of the product.
2. Eddie Bauer
A short history of the brand
Eddie Bauer has 100 years of history. Born in 1920 in Seattle, Washington, USA, it has distinguished itself over the years for having patented several products, such as the first down jacket in America.
It is a winner of several awards for outdoor clothing, especially for shoes and jackets. In addition, they have provided the gear for the first American ascent of Mount Everest in 1963, and later on for other important climbs such as the Dhaulagiri in 1973 or the Makalu in 1980.
The Eddie Bauer company gives great importance to sustainability and renewable sources. Today the company has 275 stores in America and is one of the most important brands for outdoor products.
Materials and Manufacture
Based mainly on Polyester and Nylon, their production uses also WeatherEdge®, a technology developed by Eddie Bauer to make the jackets and other products waterproof and breathable.
Thermafill® is another technology used, for synthetic insulation, while StormDown is used in some products. It is down treated with DWR coating, to help it withstand moisture better.
You probably know that natural down is a great insulator, but it’s susceptible to wet conditions, you can read more here.
Moving to Thindown, an Italian product, an innovative unique fabric of this kind, that Eddie Bauer uses to insulate some of their garments.
It has the same loft and compressibility of natural down, but it is made to be more resistant to bad climatic conditions.
If you are looking for a new backpack, our first pick by Eddie Bauer may be useful. The second pick is a versatile pullover, available in several colors.
Eddie Bauer Unisex Stowaway Packable 20L Daypack
Made of 100% Polyester, this is an ultralight, versatile and unisex backpack. Equipped with different details that make it very versatile, it can be used for different purposes: hiking, trekking, but also for school and work.
Very resistant thanks to the StormRepel DWR water-resistant technology, it is ideal for those who want to have a quality product, without sacrificing comfort, and at a good price.
Eddie Bauer Men’s Cloud Layer Pro 1/4-Zip Pullover
Our second choice is this versatile men’s pullover called Cloud Layer Pro. The fabric is polyester fleece.
Suitable for many outdoor activities as cold weather layering thanks to its light weight, it insulates from the cold and has a 1/4 zip that makes it comfortable to use.
If we were to buy an Eddie Bauer product, we would certainly notice that the prices are not very high. The jackets have a price that starts at around $50 and can reach $250, while for the backpacks we are able to find some for as low as $35.
So, it’s an affordable brand, taking also in consideration the quality they offer.
Are Eddie Bauer’s products worth the price?
To answer this question, we can take as examples the two reviewed products above: if you need something useful and versatile, these two are certainly for you because both are usable in different occasions, for outdoor activities and for everyday life.
So, for versatile products like these, we think Eddie Bauer has fair prices. Their products are definitely worth the price.
3. Which Brand is Better?
Columbia is a brand which is renowned all over the world for their wide range of products, especially jackets. Eddie Bauer also offers quality products with affordable prices. They have a wide range of jackets to choose from as well.
From what we have seen in our previous comparisons, during our research and from the comments that users have left here on our site, Eddie Bauer is popular because of their prices, their great warranty and the simple jackets for those who don’t like flashy logos.
For example, one commenter said this about Eddie Bauer: “…they are very fast at taking care of the customer…”.
On the other hand Columbia is also a very popular brand, as another commenter says: “I am a Columbia fan. The items I have purchased have been great quality, are durable and affordably priced.” You can read more here.
In our opinion, Columbia and Eddie Bauer are great if you don’t have very specific needs when it comes to outdoor gear. Even in that case, if you search among their numerous fabric technologies, we think you can find something from them that satisfies you, though at a higher price.
Which one is better?
In this case the discriminating factor is personal taste. They are both reliable brands with long-lasting products and good prices, so we believe they are both an excellent and versatile choice for outdoor life.
So, choose the design and colors you like, and we are pretty sure you will get good quality for the price you will pay.