Those looking to buy clothes for sports or activities such as hiking, camping or any other outdoor activity, will have certainly come across Patagonia and Marmot.
These are two of the biggest brands when it comes to outdoor wear and are raved about by many loyal and new customers alike.
But which one is the one for you?
This question brings us to today’s comparison review, where we will be taking a look at the brands’ history, the materials they use and some of their representing jackets. This will then lead us to determine, as best as we can, which one of the two would be the better choice depending on what you are looking for in your jacket.
In the past comparisons we have mainly looked at Canada Goose versus a number of brands, and also The North Face vs. Patagonia.
Let’s get started with today’s comparison between Patagonia and Marmot.
A short history of the brand
Founded in 1973, in California, Patagonia was part of the original Chouinard Equipment company, which originally made climbing gear. After the company split into two, Patagonia came to be, and it was since that moment a brand that manufactured and sold outdoor clothing.
Apart from being one of the biggest outdoor brands currently on the market, Patagonia is also renowned for the serious efforts it has made to reduce environmental impact and to move away from traditional products and manufacturing processes that greatly affect nature.
Ethics also play a big role in the brand’s way of doing business, as it strives for ethical means of sourcing and production, which include the fully traceable down, wool and the other naturally-sourced products that are guaranteed to be as cruelty-free as possible, while also having minimal impact on the environment.
Materials and Manufacture
When it comes to the materials that Patagonia use in their products, a great deal of them are recycled. Those that require direct sourcing, are ethically and responsibly sourced from animals that were treated humanely and from suppliers that use sustainable means of production.
One key material found in some of the brand’s jackets is Gore-Tex, the renowned waterproof and breathable fabric technology. We have looked at Gore-Tex in detail in previous comparisons, where we also put it up against other fabric technologies that are developed by renowned brands.
One such technology is Patagonia’s H2No fabric technology, which is one of the best rivals of Gore-Tex, as it not only performs considerably well, but it also has very comfortable, next-to-skin comfort in wear, unlike most fabric technologies, which tend to be stiff.
This technology also uses DWR treatment, which helps repel water. The DWR product used by Patagonia is the Deluge® DWR coating, which is a much better choice for the environment and it is also longer-lasting than most DWR products, thus requiring less often reapplication.
Now, looking at the brand’s manufacturing process, which is evident in the high quality of the finished products, it also features a 24 Killer Wash testing process. This process puts the fabrics, especially the H2No technology, through extremely harsh simulations, which test them for water-resistance and durability.
Those products that make it out unscathed are those that meet the H2No Performance Standard, and thus guaranteed to be durable and weatherproof.
The first design we have picked is the men’s 84674 down jacket, which is insulated with 800-fill goose down that is sourced from Europe. Its shell is made out of Polyester ripstop shell, and the lining is also Polyester, which is sourced from recycling.
This is a windproof jacket, with DWR treatment that makes it highly water-resistant, which comes without a hood. There are two side pockets with zipper closures and the sleeve cuffs are elasticized for a better fit and insulation.
The second design is for women, the Nano Puff jacket, and it is made of recycled Polyester shell and lining, insulated with PrimaLoft Gold Eco, which is the closest to down out of all synthetic insulations.
This is a water-resistant jacket, with chin guard and with a stand-up collar. However, it lacks a hood. There are two side pockets on the outside, and the sleeve cuffs are elasticized.
Much like other high-end brands that hold the reputation that Patagonia does, the prices are high and usually start at over $100 and then go quite up there.
Are these jackets worth the price?
It depends on what you are looking for, but if we were to solely focus on the quality-to-price matter, most definitely. The brand makes some of the best jackets.
For a more in-depth look at why the prices are so high, this article gives a summary of the reasons.
A short history of the brand
Marmot’s history begins in 1971, but the brand itself was established in 1974 by three friends, Eric Reynolds, Dave Huntley and Tom Boyce.
The Golden Mantle was their original design, a puffy jacket that was designed to be featured in the movie The Eiger Sanction, and it is also one of their best-selling designs.
Since then, Marmot has grown to become one of the most renowned brands in the outdoor clothing market, as they are held in high regard for the great performance of their products and their quality.
Marmot is also one of the first American brands to have incorporated Gore-Tex into their products, which took the performance of their designs to the next level, that of being nearly flawless.
Aside from outdoor clothing, the brand also designs bags and tents. Their tents are considered to be some of the best available due to their performance and setup.
Materials and Manufacture
Marmot uses mainly nylon or polyester for their jackets, ensuring that the process of sourcing is sustainable.
Just like Patagonia, Marmot also is determined to minimize environmental impact and strive to make efforts at practicing ethical sourcing and also staying away from inks that contain Phthalates and PVC during their printing process, as well as reducing chemical applications to their products.
Something that is notable is that, despite the brand’s decision to use chemical applications as little as possible, they make great efforts to improve on the natural performance of their fabrics and raw materials, in order to make the best out of their natural qualities.
EvoDry and Eco Featherless are two of their latest product developments, which are sustainable and also free of harmful chemicals.
EvoDry is DWR-treated with PFC-free coating that reduced environmental impact greatly, whereas Eco Featherless is a down-mimicking insulation, without the ethical issues of direct bird-sourcing.
In regards to fabric technologies, Marmot’s choice has been Gore-Tex for more than 40 years.
However, the brand has also developed technologies of their own, which are the MemBrain® and the NanoPro™. These are technically advanced laminates that greatly improve the weather-resistance and breathability of the products that are made of them.
As for their manufacturing process, Marmot are also renowned for the very well-made products, especially their jackets, which have a long-lasting wear time and also perform as new for several seasons.
The men’s jacket we have chosen is the Tullus Hoody, made of 100% Nylon and insulated with 600 fill power down.
This is a puffer jacket, which packs well and it is also treated with Down Defender in order to minimize the risk of the down getting wet. This greatly improves the jacket’s ability to remain insulating when wet, which is not the case for many other down jackets on the market.
Its hood is also well-designed as it provides good coverage and stays put. It comes with two handwarmer pockets on the sides and elasticized sleeve cuffs.
The design for women is the lovely Williamsburg down jacket, made of Nylon on the outside and lined with Polyester, with 700-fill power down insulation.
It comes with a removable fur trim, which is artificial and an attached hood that adjusts with drawcords. There are two side pockets on this design and its sleeve cuffs, as well as hem, are knitted and elasticized.
You might also like: The Best 700 Fill-Power Down Jackets for Men and Women
Overall, Marmot provides variety in regards to its prices, as there are some affordable options available, although the majority of the jackets range between $100-$300 on average. The most expensive designs are those made of down, which are jackets and parkas suitable for freezing weather.
Are these jackets worth the price?
Judging on their performance, the general consensus online and the quality of the materials used, Marmot’s jackets provide a really good overall performance, thus justifying their price tag.
3. Which Brand Is Better?
Because both Patagonia and Marmot are comparable, due to their products being very highly performing and have great weather-resistance, it is a bit difficult to really determine which of the two is the ultimate best.
The online reported experiences of those who have tried jackets and products from these two brands also make this very difficult as there are raving reviews on both sides, with very few complaints.
Patagonia offers the Ironclad Guarantee that covers product returns, replacements and refunds from the moment you receive it, as well as offering repairs for a reasonable fee.
Marmot also provides warranty of their products, but it is a bit more limited than that of Patagonia.
In regards to jackets, those by Marmot tend to be lighter, especially the rain jackets, and the prices are a bit more affordable in closely-matched designs.
It all comes down to what you are looking for in a jacket and the style you prefer. These are both top quality brands and the chance that you will be disappointed by either is very slim.