We are officially in Autumn, although you wouldn’t really be able to tell looking at the weather and the heat that persists. With the season upon us, we are now fully justified to discuss jackets.
Well, technically we will be discussing brands that make great jackets in today’s comparison.
As we have started to turn our focus to outdoor gear, too, in this comparison we will not include just jackets, as we have done in the past, but will look at some other best-selling products from the brands.
Both L.L. Bean and Patagonia have been previously featured in our work, and it is now time to see which one of the two would be the better choice for your next purchase.
1. L.L. Bean
A short history of the brand
We often come across brands that have been around for nearly half a century, but brands like L.L. Bean, the history of which begins over 100 years ago are not too common.
It was established by Leon Leonwood Bean, in Freeport, Maine. Originally, Leon Leonwood Bean, who was a fisherman, gained popularity in his local community for his rubber boot that was made for those spending time in the woods, hunting, or in the water, fishing.
With that same philosophy of making innovative and high performance products, he went on to establish L.L. Bean and develop designs that catered to both avid outdoor enthusiasts, as well as to those who wanted a quality and well-rounded product.
Over the years, the brand gained quite a bit of popularity and currently has over 50 stores, located in the U.S and Japan, as well as a recently launched branch in Ontario, Canada.
This is a brand that has also been featured in TV shows and other productions for its quality and reputation.
We also said it the first time we compared L.L. Bean to Eddie Bauer, this is a brand that has innovation as the core of all designs and products.
Materials and Manufacture
Brands like L.L. Bean, which focus on creating high performance products, do not rely solely on typical fabrics (such as polyester or nylon) for their performance pieces, but also incorporate renowned technologies or even develop their own.
In the case of L.L. Bean, the brand relies on some of the best fabrics currently available on the market, which include Gore-Tex, the top-performing fabric technology when it comes to durability, weather resistance and breathability, and fabrics by Loomia, as well as PrimaLoft®, from which they use the synthetic insulation, too.
Cotton is also a material they use, and it is typically waxed in order to improve its weather-resistance in jackets that are made to be light and wear comfortably.
Natural down is part of several winter coats of theirs, along with PrimaLoft’s high quality insulation, which provides reliable insulation in jackets that are made to withstand harsh weather conditions.
L.L. Bean products are primarily manufactured in Maine, especially their classic designs, whereas the rest are mainly manufactured in Asia.
L.L.Bean Stowaway Day Pack
As mentioned above, we will include an outdoor product aside from a jacket, and for this comparison we chose the Stowaway Day Pack.
This is a colorful design, which is extremely lightweight but capable of holding nearly 100 pounds of weight (45 kg). It is made to be functional and comfortable, as evidenced by the padded shoulder straps and back panel, which also comes with a mesh lining that helps with moisture wicking.
There are numerous pockets on this design, which make it possible for you to carry a number of belongings, aside from clothes and other gear.
You might also like: Backpack vs Rucksack: What’s the Difference?
L.L.Bean Maine Guide Wool PrimaLoft Parka
The jacket we picked is an interesting wool parka, the Maine Guide design, which comes with PrimaLoft Infinity insulation for added warmth.
It is made of a wool and nylon blend, with reinforced forearms and tactical pockets that will ensure your safety in harsh conditions.
It is a hoodless parka, which resembles a shirt more so than a jacket, and it wears very comfortably due to its design and cut.
Neither Patagonia, nor L.L. Bean are low-end brands. With that being said, in the case of L.L. Bean, the price range is so varied and full of options for all buyers.
Some of their designs start at around $70-$80, which is more than reasonable, whereas other designs, those that are high-performance or made with materials to withstand the worst of conditions, can go for more than $250.
Are their products worth the price?
L.L. Bean is a brand that has quite a reputation when it comes to the comfort and quality of their products, thus, depending on what you are looking for, the price for their designs can definitely be worth it.
A short history of the brand
It is one of the brands that comes up most often when looking for brand recommendations, and for a very good reason: their designs are beyond impressive.
This is one of the brands with a very wide product range that is not solely limited to jackets or clothing.
Everyone, whether you are looking for a casual jacket or a high-performance, flawless one, odds are that Patagonia has one just for you.
Materials and Manufacture
Patagonia is one of the most environmentally conscious brands you will come across. A great deal of their raw materials are sourced through recycling and the rest is responsibly and ethically sourced.
The brand is renowned for their 24 Killer Wash testing process, which puts their products through the worst of conditions in order to ensure that the ones who are launched to the market are only those that perform impeccably.
They make long-lasting designs, incorporating renowned technologies, such as Gore-Tex, along with their popular H2No fabrics, that we have compared to Gore-Tex in a previous piece.
Their water-resistant designs are treated with coatings that require less re-applications, namely the Deluge® DWR coating.
Patagonia Atom Sling 8L Backpack
The backpack we chose is Atom Sling 8L, an interesting design, which is made of 50% recycled nylon and 100% recycled polyester for its lining.
It is a comfortable backpack that comes with a compressible exterior, in which you can carry a jacket or other belongings. There are several pockets on this design, some of them special ones to protect sunglasses, or to safely store keys and electronics.
It also comes with a mesh lining on the strap and back panel, which helps with moisture wicking and improves air permeability.
Patagonia Men’s Better Sweater Jacket
This comfortable and cozy sweater jacket, the Better design, is made of bluesign® approved 100% Polyester and comes with a medium-height collar, and elasticized sleeve cuffs.
Its sleeves are designed for mobility and the fleece lining on the inside improves moisture wicking. There are two outer pockets on the sides and one on the chest.
It comes with a full-length central zipper and it is a jacket designed for mild conditions and preferably dry weather.
Patagonia prices vary quite a bit, but those looking for designs that will last for a very long time and perform flawlessly are looking at prices of over $250.
Are these products worth the price?
We would say that they are, judging from their performance, durability and comfort. In our piece on Patagonia, we have explored some of the reasons behind the brand’s prices and its popularity.
3. Which Brand is Better?
Both of them are brands that make products for a variety of people and feature a wide range of designs and choices.
L.L. Bean comes with more affordable options compared to Patagonia, the prices of which are considerably higher in most designs.
Their technical pieces are quite impressive, and here you will have to decide for yourself based on which particular design you are looking to buy.
In our opinion, Patagonia makes some of the most reliable products on the market, but L.L. Bean’s winter gear is quite impressive, too, and some of the prices are more affordable.
Both brands offer great warranty on their products, but Patagonia’s replacement policy is like few other brands’, not to mention their environmentally-conscious production means.
All in all, we would go with Patagonia for high performance clothing, and rely on L.L. Bean for more affordable and good quality clothing and gear.