10 Best North American Outdoor Clothing Companies (USA)

Welcome to our pick of the best North American Outdoor Clothing Companies (USA).

It follows that developed regions, closely associated with adventure, would likely produce the most competitive outdoor clothing companies.

In North America, the great expanses of tall forests, arid mesquite-spotted deserts and heady coastal metropolises have long stoked the hopes and ambitions of avid travellers.

From that rafting vagabond and banished Romantic called Huckleberry Finn, to those roving alcohol-fuelled city hoppers of the Beat Generation – this continent is a land of endless skies and unsmiling frontiers.

Get outside ©Mathilda Khoo

Only the brave and well-prepared can survive in the barren red-rock landscapes and gushing canyons, immortalised by writers and poets over time, like John Muir, or Jack London.

So, whether you’re venturing out into the Great White North, or riding monstrous rapids into the Grand Canyon’s gullet, you’ll need the most durable and element-tested techwear clothing on offer.

In this article, we’ll examine a few innovative North American clothing companies and take a look at a selection of eminent and highly functional designs, which are worthy of the vast outdoors.

Best North American Outdoor Clothing Companies (USA)

This is our pick (in no particular order) of the 10 Best American Outdoor Clothing Companies:

10. Cotopaxi (Salt Lake City, Utah)

The ethos of this company is as simple as it gets: ‘Do Good’. And these two words extend into every aspect of what this brand represents. Sustainable product design. B Corp-certified.

Determined to funnel 1% revenue into poverty prevention and community development. They have also given 42 grants out across six different focus countries.

Their namesake, Cotopaxi, is an active stratovolcano in the Ecuadorian Andes – sacred to the local indigenous communities, which was chosen by founder Davis Smith, who grew up in Latin America and spent years in Ecuador, roaming and camping in Cotopaxi National Park.

9. Outerknown (Culver City, California)

The brainchild of designer John Moore and champion American surfer Kelly Slater, this ethical clothing brand leads with a strong ethos focused on environmentalism.

All their materials stand the test of time and their methods of production meet the most stringent standards to protect this planet’s natural resources.

You can get a quick sense of the discipline behind this brand – their first clothing collection never reached the public due to a lack of partners who were willing to meet their ambitious levels of sustainability.

To give you an example: Outerknown high-performance trunks are made from 100% renewable or recycled fibres.

8. Patagonia (Ventura, California)

You might’ve expected to see this name on our lists again – Patagonia are industry-leaders and part of the sustainable apparel coalition, rejecting fast fashion in favour of high-quality, durable products.

They even discourage customers from buying too many of their items! You won’t find many American clothing companies so wholeheartedly committed to their principles.

man in american outdoor clothing companies
Into the wild ©Patrick Henry

And, ironically, that’s part of the reason for Patagonia’s worldwide success. Founded by Yvon Chouinard, in 1973, this brand has now opened stores across 5 continents and has long represented a powerful ethos, which states: ‘doing good is good for business’.

7. Western Mountaineering (San Jose, California)

Based in the heart of Silicon Valley – San Jose, California – Western Mountaineering specialise in the kind of sleeping bags you mummify yourself inside and never want to leave.

They’ve been in business for over 30 years and their products have been refined and bolstered over the decades to keep you toasty in temperatures as low as -40C.

best American outdoors companies man in nature
Yosemite Valley, CA ©Nina Luong

The company was founded by two mountaineers from northern California.

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6. Outdoor Research (Seattle, Washington)

Headquartered in the Pacific Northwest – in Seattle, Washington – where mountains and evergreen forests both sprawl in abundance, Outdoor Research is a hugely popular company, drawing in droves of outdoor enthusiasts across this particular region.

Trails in the woods of Washington
Trails through Washington ©Karsten Winegeart

It was founded by Ron Gregg – a mountaineer who saw one of his climbing partners develop frostbite on Alaska’s Denali in 1980, due to a pair of shoddily-designed gaiters.

Gregg was then inspired to focus on creating a brand that would specifically cater for extreme outdoor adventures, from ice-climbing to skiing, offering an award-winning selection of technical apparel, with real-world tested shells and insulation.

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5. REI Co-op (Kent, Washington)

Straight out of a King County city called Kent, REI Co-op have a range of popular products and are well-respected in the local outdoor community.

American outdoor clothing companies REI
On the road ©Tyler Nix

Reasonably priced, without losing much in terms of performance, this company has expanded to 165 stores across the United States and become a favourite brand for many, partly due to their involvement in various environmental initiatives and conservation projects.

Sustainability is a key principle in the development of their own outdoor apparel line – they have been making their own pieces with premium materials since 2014 – which includes everything from winter parkas to down jackets.

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4. Hyperlite Mountain Gear (Portland, Maine)

Close to Portland, Maine, in the humble town of Biddeford, you’ll find the Hyperlite Mountain Gear company housed in an old mill.

It’s here that they design and manufacture their unique outdoor gear and outerwear, using plenty of lightweight Dyneema non-woven composite material, which is strong enough to fend off Maine’s harshest.

Dyneema is not only waterproof, but is also 15 times stronger than steel at the same weight.

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3. The North Face (Alameda, California)

The North Face is a brand known the world over. Their insulation and down collections are as likely to be seen on paved high streets as storm-bearing mountaintops – perfect for both casual travellers and gritty explorers alike.

Woman in North Face Jacket
The cold North ©Lucas Ludwig

This mountain brand has been present in many historic high-altitude moments and their tents are found scattered in huddled basecamps from Peru to Indonesia.

North Face cap and map
Prepping for the wild ©John Matychuk

One of their greatest strengths has been their ability to outfit influential athletes and photographers, like Alex Honnold and Jimmy Chin. To many, their outerwear is unparalleled and proven to outlast some of the harshest and most punishing conditions our planet can conjure up.

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2. American Outdoor Clothing Companies – Duckworth (Dillon, Montana)

From ‘Sheep to Shelf’, Duckworth specialise in warm woollen clothing, provided by Merino sheep way up on the Montana Rockies. The sheep are shorn and their wool is whisked down from those high elevations, to Helle ranch in the railroad city of Dillon.

Fibres are graded and 100% Montana-grown textile production follows in the Carolinas. Finally, this coveted fleece appears in everything from hiking socks to cosy hoodies.

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1. Columbia Sportswear (Portland, Oregon)

Finally, this stylish brand out of Oregon, takes a more casual and affordable approach to outdoor apparel.

The company started in 1938, when they distributed hats, and has since grown into a budget contender in the outdoor clothing industry.

Their collections are extensive and rife with cool designs that undercut the closest competition. Seek out graphic-stamped tees and 2-layer rain jackets for less demanding adventures off the beaten tracks.

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North American Outdoor Clothing Companies

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