A few days ago, on one of our brand comparisons, we took a look at The North Face vs. Patagonia, to see which one of the two is the better brand and learn more about each of them.
In the past, we have also taken a look at The North Face and the reason for its high prices, as well as whether those prices were justified.
Today it’s time to do the same thing with Patagonia, one of the most renowned brand names when it comes to outdoor sportswear.
With numerous versatile jacket designs, which is our main focus, and high quality materials, it’s no wonder the brand is so reputable. However, the question we ask is simple: Are they worth their price tag?
- 1. The Brand
- 2. Why Are Patagonia’s Jackets so Expensive and Popular?
- 3. Are Their Jackets Worth The Price?
1. The Brand
Patagonia was established in 1973 in California and it was originally part of Chouinard Equipment, and came to be only after the latter’s split due to bankruptcy.
The brand’s founder started out by making climbing gear years before Patagonia was established, and when it did, it was a brand solely focused on outdoor clothing.
The product range includes a variety of clothes, from light outdoor (and indoor, in some instances) wear to underwear and snow clothes, there is something for everyone there.
You might also like: 8 Patagonia Jackets for Autumn and Winter
2. Why Are Patagonia’s Jackets so Expensive and Popular?
While Patagonia is renowned for all of its products, we are mainly interested in jackets, so that’s where we will focus this time as well.
There are several reasons for the brand’s prices and its popularity, including the use of quality materials, the manufacturing process and the use of fabric technologies that turn their products into weatherproof ones.
Materials and Environmental Consciousness
Patagonia is a very environmentally-conscious brand, and as such the majority of its materials are either recycled or naturally-based, in order to reduce the amount of petroleum-based fibers used.
From its down, which is 100% recycled and traceable, hypoallergenic and reclaimed from bedding, cushions and items that are no longer suitable for sale, to its recycled polyester that is sourced from plastic soda bottles, Patagonia is one of the first brands to take such major production measures to reduce its environmental impact, while at the same time delivering some of the best performing outdoor clothing available.
The recycled wool and plant-based fibers they use, along with the reclaimed cotton and denim made out of 100% organic cotton seeds that use no pesticides or fertilizers, are all an important part of the brand’s efforts to manufacture great quality products with the least damage possible.
Fabrics alone are quite lacking when it comes to weather resistance, as such, specialized fabrics that are able to remain dry, windproof and breathable are a necessity for outdoor adventurers.
Aside from its affiliation with the Bluesign® technologies since 2000, Patagonia has also made great strides in developing DWR products that are PFC-free and have the least environmental impact possible.
The Deluge® DWR coating that the brand uses is not only safe for the environment, but it also has a longer longevity than most available DWR products on the market, thus requiring less reapplications and reducing the need for fully waterproof membranes which are notorious for affecting breathability.
The specific fabric technology that Patagonia uses is the H2No technology, which we took a look at several months prior and saw how it compared to Gore-Tex.
The H2No technology is a fully waterproof fabric technology that has a water-repellent shell and it is also highly breathable. Its best quality, apart from being weatherproof, is its next-to-skin comfort, making it one of the most comfortable fabric technologies available.
It consists of three construction layers options, which are the 2L, 2.5L and the 3L.
The 2L is the lightest and most comfortable of the options. The 2.5L is packable and has better weather-resistant abilities than the 2L, and lastly, the 3L is the most durable of the three, designed for heavy wear and strenuous activity.
Other technologies include the Polygiene Odor Control and Regulator Insulation, which deal, respectively, with odor control by preventing bacteria growth and with lightweight warmth and high compressibility.
Quality of Manufacture
With great stitching, quality materials and high performance, Patagonia jackets that utilize the H2No technology are guaranteed to deliver what they claim.
This guarantee comes from the 24 Killer Wash testing process, which is designed to test out the jackets to their limit, in order to make sure that only the best of the best make it out onto the market.
This process runs the fabrics through the worst conditions possible and then moves on to test the water permeability. The fabrics that make it through the process are given the H2No Performance Standard status.
The video below explains more in-depth this rigorous testing process:
Performance and Durability
Due to the factors mentioned previously, Patagonia has a reputation for making great outdoor clothing, and their jackets are often a top choice for many avid outdoor lovers.
The weather-resistance and breathability of their jackets is fail-proof, and the durability is commendable, with jackets lasting for several seasons and performing flawlessly each time.
Variety and Versatility
Patagonia makes a lot of products, not solely limited to jackets but also underwear, accessories, etc. Base and mid-layers are available in their product range, also including pants and even socks and hats, regardless of season you can find exactly the garment you need for your next outdoor adventure.
Options for men, women and kids, including babies and toddlers, are all available, as well as outdoor gear, such as sleeping bags, backpacks, technical packs, etc.
When you can find all that you need in the same place, regardless of the activity you are partaking in, it’s no wonder that Patagonia is so beloved. It provides not just great quality products but convenience, too.
3. Are Their Jackets Worth The Price?
The average Patagonia jacket will cost you upwards of $300, and when considering that even its hats and other accessories retail for around $30-$50, the question of whether their products, especially jackets, are worth such a high price is important.
The answer, in short, is “Yes”.
They are worth the price on their own. What we mean by that is that if we were to look only at how well they perform, the build quality and their durability, these jackets are worth every dime.
The quality of materials and the fact that everything is done in an environmentally-conscious way, are all factors that affect the price of the product, but they also are the reason why people purchase Patagonia jackets and other garments.
However, are they worth for you? Then this depends on what you are looking for.
If you want to purchase a durable, well-made jacket and also want the clear conscience of having affected the environment as little as possible while doing so, then a Patagonia jacket is most certainly worth the price.
Their jackets perform flawlessly and it’s very hard to be disappointed by any of them. Not to mention that the variety of designs is astounding and you do not have to be limited to the bulky and unstylish designs commonly found in sportswear and outdoor wear brands.
With that, we conclude today’s topic and we will see you in the next one!