Every year, leading outdoor clothing brands compete to deliver to an increasingly educated and demanding customer base.
In 2023, outdoorsy folks expect the full package: exceptional performance, cool designs, innovation, and sustainability measures.
In this article, I’ll introduce you to the best outdoor clothing brands of 2023.
We’ll look at the country of origin, the brand’s offering, the price range, and why they made it in our top outdoor clothing brands list.
Best for Hiking & Climbing
Founded in 1862, Mammut is a Swiss outdoor clothing brand famous for both high-performance techwear and climbing ropes.
The brand’s unique technology, called Phase Weave, can combine multiple pieces of fabric into one material.
In the past, Mammut’s outdoor apparel was designed around snow sports.
Nowadays, the brand is taking steps toward ‘urban performance,’ as with its ‘Delta X’ product line.
Stylish, light, and super functional, Mammut’s outdoor clothing pieces are worth banking on for any adventure, no matter how hard they are.
From skiing jackets to climbing gear, Mammut’s outdoor clothing collection perfectly combines style and function.
First, the material looks damn cool, and second, it hides high-abrasion areas without needing exposed stitches.
Our favorite piece from the Delta X line is the futuristic high-tech Teufelsberg HS.
It is a 10-ounce packable shell cut from a single piece of waterproof polyamide.
Best for Outdoor Running & Skiing
Like Patagonia (wait for it!), Houdini is an eco-conscious outdoor clothing brand that makes extreme sports apparel.
Given its focus on sustainability, the quality Scandinavian company uses some of the most innovative fabrics and textiles.
For example, the brand’s Surpass 2.5L hardshell tech performs better than any tech-core materials.
Additionally, as most of Houdini’s garments are made from recycled materials, the brand makes waves with its planet-friendly mission and performance cred.
Houdini is one of the best sustainable outdoor clothing brands for extreme sports apparel right now, in 2023.
Also, the brand lets users rent its highest-performance gear, making it an affordable option and more accessible for those who need high-quality gear for extreme sports.
Best for Everyday Outdoors
Launched in Newcastle in 1972, Berghaus is a British outdoor clothing brand with a German name recognized in techno music.
Ever since, Berghaus has been producing specialist outdoor gear with loud colors and superb gossamer detailing for a long time.
The label has become a well-known technical apparel maker thanks to its affordable, high-quality outerwear.
An excellent outdoor clothing label praised for its technical apparel and high-quality specialist outerwear, all at super affordable prices
The label’s latest must-have is its Dean Street collection, especially if you’re after an ultimate techwear look.
Best for Trail Running
Launched 25 years ago, Montane is a British outdoor clothing brand created for serious mountain professionals working in hostile conditions.
Made for people who demand the most stringent credentials from their clothing, Montane understands the importance of functional garments of excellent design.
Fabric technology is critical to producing the best products, and Montane works with the world’s leading fabric suppliers to engineer new cutting-edge materials.
Working with the world’s leading fabric suppliers, Montane pushes the boundaries of technical gear, ready for the most challenging weather conditions.
With a wide range of women’s outdoor clothing, the brand also empowers women who love extreme outdoor activities.
Best for Traveling & Backpacking
Launched in New Zealand in 1987, Kathmandu has produced excellent quality outdoor clothing for all kinds of outdoor activities for over 30 years.
The outdoor label is most known for its wide selection of pants, merino gear, and insulated jackets for women.
Also, as it hails from a country with a dramatic landscape that demands exploration, the brand is very conscious of its environmental impact.
Excellent quality and eco-conscious outdoor clothing for all kinds of outdoor activities and weather conditions.
Best for Skiing & Hiking
Founded in 1947 in the French Alps, Salomon is a sportswear company that’s nowadays residing in Annecy, famous for its market-leading footwear.
Launched as a metalworking company for mountain gear almost 70 years later, the runners in the family decided to get into apparel by creating “the ultimate fashion sneaker.”
Since then, the outdoor label makes some of the best hiking shoes available in the market.
The outdoor clothing brand also creates one of the best Alpine ski gear in the world
Salomon is one of the outdoor equipment leaders in Europe, with products such as top-of-the-range ski and snowboard gear and backpacks.
Today, Salomon’s outdoor clothing covers a wide range of outdoor sports, including trail running, hiking, and climbing, and is available in over 45 countries across five continents.
Salomon’s shoes are not only famous for being functional but for their edgy designs that can be considered streetwear.
For example, the brand collaborated with Boris Bidjan Saberi for the Spring/Summer 2017 show.
Saberi’s ‘Post-Humanism’ collection put a spotlight on Salomon’s twisty, morphing, bio-organic designs.
Best for Fishing & Camping
Barbour outdoor clothing brand is a stalwart in the British countryside.
The label has been making outstanding quality outdoor apparel since 1894 and, ever since, has become the very definition of luxury outdoor wear fit for Royalty.
Since 1974, Barbour has held three Imperial warrants to supply waterproof and protective clothing to the British Royal family.
Nowadays, the brand has a wide range of outdoor clothing, from Merino sweaters, shirts, and moleskin overcoats with scrupulous quality standards.
The waxed cotton green Barbour jacket is recognized as the brand’s flagship item; beautiful, iconic, and award-winning.
Best for Mountain Climbing
Marmot is an American outdoor clothing company based in Rohnert Park, California and part of Newell Brands.
Launched in 1974 by two university students, in their students’ slang, Marmots were friends climbing mountains.
In this case, ‘Marmot’ has taken the moniker from a larger, social, human-like squirrel.
The idea was catchy, and an eccentric club was formed.
The label struck gold when the producers of a Clint Eastwood film requested 108 “very puffy” jackets, to which they dutifully obliged, despite barely having gotten off the ground as a company at the time.
Known for its large selection of pants and puffer coats, Marmot is a much-loved and respected outdoor brand among outdoorsy folks for its commitment to the highest quality gear and apparel.
Best for Outdoor Equipment
About Black Diamond
Launched in 1950, the Black Diamond outdoor clothing brand is one of the hardest to beat when climbing and skiing.
However, the brand was weren’t officially established until 1989, and ever since branched out worldwide.
From water-repellent climbing jackets to socks, Black Diamond offers a wide range of outdoor clothing, accessories, and equipment.
The outdoor brand’s collections are designed for both women and men mountaineers, professional climbers, skiers, and other mountain-based and winter athletes.
Best for Hiking & Trail Running
About Outdoor Research
Outdoor Research was founded in 1981 by Ron Gregg, a nuclear physicist.
During an expedition up North America’s highest peak, Gregg’s climbing partner suffered frostbitten feet in extreme conditions and had to be airlifted to safety.
The whole experience inspired Gregg to leave his science career behind and seek the best ways to prevent such problems from happening again.
Based out of Seattle, the brand offers alpine pursuits, paddling, rock and ice climbing, backcountry skiing, snowboarding, backpacking… the list goes on.
Outdoor Research covers almost everything outdoor apparel-related, from women’s sneakers to tops, trousers, and jackets.
From technical wear to impact vests, high-performance insulation gear, and ranger wind pullovers, Outdoor Research infuses tech into outdoor clothing for higher functionality and durability.
Best for Hiking & Camping
KÜHL’s story as an independent brand began in the snow-covered peaks of the Wasatch Mountains, US.
According to the founders, the brand was designed for:
“relentless weather and challenging conditions, for courageous, humble, hungry, and kind people“
The brand’s superb selection of hiking clothes (under $100) places them as one of the most affordable brands out there right now.
I currently find KÜHL to be one of the most stylish outerwear companies on the market.
Best for Ourdoor Backpacks
Fjällräven was founded in 1960 in Örnsköldsvik, a small town in Sweden.
The Swedish outdoor clothing brand is committed to making nature more accessible.
Hailing from a place where mountains and forests meet the sea, the outdoor accessories equipment company focuses on simplicity and practicality with the utmost respect for the environment.
Fjallraven is most famous for its stylish backpacks.
However, the outdoor brand also offers jackets, coats, trousers, and shirts with an authentic Swedish vibe and style.
Best for X
Founded by climbers in 1989, Arc’teryx is a Vancouver-based outdoor clothing brand that has 30 years in tech apparel.
Arc’teryx clothes are light and blizzard-ready, built for outdoor extremes and the most severe weather conditions.
Expensive but stylish, Arc’teryx also owns Veilance, a technical menswear collection.
However, the brand is expanding its outdoor clothing and techwear collections.
Right now, with a distinctive dead bird logo, this label is fighting to become the sleekest outdoor gear-maker on the market.
While they say quality does not guarantee style, Arc’teryx is also considered one of the best streetwear brands.
The brand’s Alpha SV Jacket is the best example, built on the latest design and tech.
It has evolved from a baggy and oversized style to a slim and modern silhouette.
Best for Backpacking & Camping
Named after the famous volcano in Ecuador, Cotopaxi is an outdoor clothing brand with a social conscience.
The brand has founded the Cotopaxi Foundation, designed to support poverty alleviation projects by donating 1 percent of its annual revenue.
Cotopaxi outdoor clothing is not only one of the best sustainable clothing brands but also on the lower end of the price scale.
However, the company does not compromise on quality.
The brand’s parkas and fleeces are comfortable and made from upcycled and organic materials.
Best for Everyday Outdoor
About Jack Wolfskin
Jack Wolfskin is an outdoor clothing brand often described as ‘The North Face’ of Europe.
The German brand is known for its attention to quality and emphasis on the environment.
Right now, all products are made from recycled plastic.
Moreover, the ‘Fair Wear Foundation’ honored the outdoor clothing brand for its efforts to build and maintain an ethical supply chain.
After several personal tests with the brand, I can say that its products are worthy of any urban exploration.
Like any other German brand, this label is known for its attention to quality and focus on the environment.
Best for Trail Running & Hiking
Craghoppers is a British outdoor clothing brand founded in 1965 in Batley, West Yorkshire.
Its founders, Brian Gaskin, and Roy Holmes, were approached by the mountaineering expedition team of Chris Bonington to design their weather wear for the successful 1975 Everest Expedition.
Designed by Gaskin himself, the Everest collection was a great success.
In 2008 Craghoppers partnered up with TV’s survival expert Bear Grylls to produce a range of clothes for extreme weather conditions.
In October 2014, Craghoppers became an exclusive National Geographic licensed apparel partner for North America.
Worldwide renowned for its walking gear Kiwi range, Craghoppers makes stylish and functional outdoor apparel that can also be used around the town.
Also, from the use of recycled fleece to the use of natural fabrics such as merino wool, the British brand is committed to sustainable fashion.
Best for Skiing & Hiking
Hailing from Portland, US, a city famous for its rainfall, Columbia has a reputation for affordable but high-quality outerwear.
Columbia was founded in 1938 and can be summed up in two words: “tested tough.”
In recent years the brand has started to advance into the fashion space.
Affordable but high-quality outerwear, Columbia is one of the outdoorsy’s favorite clothing brands.
The latest collab with KITH and Opening Ceremony wanted to revive classic outdoor apparel through a lens of contemporary silhouettes.
The outdoor brand’s must-have product is Mountain™ jackets.
Best for Luxury Resorts
Italy’s more popular outdoor clothing brand, Moncler, is the archetype of techwear luxury.
With roots tracing back to the ’50s ski scene, Moncler brings the craftmanship of top designers such as Craig Green and Kei Ninomiya to technical outdoor apparel.
Above all, Moncler is a luxury brand, so don’t expect cheap products at all.
In fact, the Italian label is listed as one of the top fashion brands in 2023.
Yet, Moncler is one of the few brands able to infuse runway glamour into alpine ski equipment, as seen in its Genius and Grenoble lines.
Best for Hardcore Outdoor
About Helly Hansen
The Norwegian outdoor clothing brand, Helly Hansen, is one of the OGs of the landscape.
Back when ‘performance fabrics’ meant textiles soaked in fat, Helly Hansen invented waterproof garments designed for sailors working in the cold North Sea.
For the last 140 years, Helly Hansen has been producing outdoor apparel built for frozen oceans, mountain tops, yacht runs, and street-style scenes all over the world.
With the use of highly innovative and technical fabrics, Helly Hansen outdoor clothing is designed for frozen oceans, mountain tops, and yacht runs.
The brand has mixed its craftsmanship and heritage with some of today’s bleeding-edge brands, such as GmbH and WTAPS.
THE NORTH FACE
Best for Mountaineering
About The North Face
Like Columbia, The North Face is a leading outdoor clothing brand from the US.
Named after the north face of Yosemite’s Half Dome, the California-based outdoor giant is an industry shaper.
The brand dictates the latest styles, materials, and technologies through which the industry creates techwear.
You can say that The North Face is also the face of techwear and outdoor apparel.
Yes, there were outdoor clothing brands before 1968, when Eddie Bauer introduced the down jacket.
However, it was The North Face’s constant innovations and focused on functionality that made the brand a standard.
Best for Sustainable Outdoor
With a fly-fishing heritage, Patagonia is an American outdoor clothing brand with a cult-like following.
Named after one of the world’s most pristine environments, Patagonia cares about Earth.
According to their website, Patagonia is in business to save our home planet.
Personally, I feel that Patagonia should be in the top fashion brands ranking, for sure.
Designed for exploring the earth, everything Patagonia does revolves around “saving our home planet,” from repairing products for free to donating their tax cuts!
It seems that Patagonia’s business strategy has inspired other outdoor clothing brands, particularly American brands.
In comparison to 2019, the top outdoor clothing brands are now dominated by US and UK brands.
The US leads with 7, and the UK follows in second place with 4.
As a takeaway, we see a growing interest in small outdoor brands that create with sustainable materials.
We also see the emergence of ‘techwear styles’ inspired by outdoor clothing brands.
I hope you have enjoyed my article covering the best outdoor clothing brands in 2023.
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Which one of these outdoor clothing brands do you own?
Are there any other great outdoor clothing brands we’ve missed that you think I should add to this article? Let me know.
Should all outdoor clothing brands follow in Patagonia’s footsteps and introduce return and repair programs?
Please leave your comments below so other outdoor clothing lovers can benefit from your expertise.
After years of managing hundreds of fashion brands from London's office of a global retailer, Mandy has ventured into freelancing. Connected with several fashion retailers and media platforms in the US, Australia, and the UK, Mandy uses her expertise to consult for emerging fashion brands create top-notch content as an editorial strategist for several online publications.