Marmot vs. North Face – Which Brand to Choose For Hiking?

Hiking is a great activity. To people who have never hiked, it might seem like something effortless, like a regular walk. That is not quite so. You need physical and mental preparedness but also the proper gear to go through an entire hike. There are waterproof boots, breathable shirts, and comfortable pants that you will need to have a successful hike.

If you are a newbie hiker looking to buy yourself some gear, you will inevitably come across the names Marmot and North Face. These two famous outdoor gear brands sell everything from tents to backpacks and clothing.

Today, you and I will look into these two brands, their histories, and their materials and technologies. You will also learn the prices at which you can find their products. So, if you want to learn more about all this, stick around for the rest of the guide!

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Short History of Brands

If you are looking for quality hiking gear or outdoor clothing, you must look into Marmot and North Face. These companies have been on the market for years, so they have spent quite a long time developing their products. You can expect nothing but the best for them, as you will come to see by the end of this guide.

Before I get into the brands' materials, technologies, and prices, let us look into their stories and how they came to be. Here is a bit of background on the brands:

Marmot

Marmot was established in the early 1970s by a few friends who were also hiking enthusiasts. They knew the importance of quality outdoor gear at affordable prices, so they decided to try and make their own.

At first, they started by designing a few sleeping bags, some parkas, and jackets. They knew they had made it big when one of Marmot's jackets was featured in a movie. That jacket became a best seller, and soon after, the company became one of the most famous outdoor brands.

Nowadays, Marmot offers a variety of outdoor clothing like jackets, vests, tops, bottoms, a variety of hats, and gloves. To add, they offer sleeping bags, tents, backpacks, and other bags. They were one of the first companies to use Gore-Tex, but they have developed more technologies over the years. Their products have excellent quality and are very durable, making them a wise investment.

North Face

Established a bit earlier than Marmot, North Face is a company that emerged in the 1960s and rose to fame quickly. The people who created the brand wanted to design some backpacks as well as climbing equipment. Their unique designs generated quite a buzz, bringing them a lot of fame and customers.

From a small store for camping gear and clothing, North Face quickly became the most renowned outdoor brand. No matter what kind of outdoor activities you are into, there is a good chance you have heard of this company and its amazing products.

Like Marmot, North Face sells products for men, women, and children. They have many jackets, vests, fleeces, tops, bottoms, hats, socks, gloves, and shoes. They also offer many backpacks, technical packs, duffel bags, tents, and sleeping bags. With this company, you can get everything you need for a successful outdoor trip.

Materials and Specific Technology for hiking jackets

Materials and Specific Technology Used

The materials and technologies these two brands use are what separates them from other brands. They have put a lot of thought into their products, making them quality products with outstanding durability, adaptability, versatility, design, and so on. Let us look into the materials and technologies used by the brands and talk about them in greater detail:

Marmot

Marmot has turned into a very eco-friendly brand recently. They have started mainly using sustainably sourced materials that do not have a negative environmental impact. So, their products do not contain phthalate or PVC, while they also have little to no chemicals.

They did start by using only nylon and polyester but have gone on to use other materials as well. Here are some of the technologies you can find incorporated into their products:

WarmCube

A type of construction forms 3D cubes to enhance the warmth and maximize the loft.

GORE-TEX

One of the first and best protective layers ever created. It makes garments waterproof but breathable. Several types of GORE-TEX products exist, including the Infinium Windstopper, Active, C-knit, Pro, and Paclite.

RECCO

A type of garment reflector that stays on at all times. It can help rescue teams locate you in case of an accident.

Featherless

Instead of regular down, Marmot uses the featherless synthetic down with the perfect warmth-to-weight ratio. It is ideal for winter outdoor gear.

EVODry

A waterproof and windproof layer is added to garments. It has a permanent DWR treatment that ensures the garment will be as durable as possible.

PrimaLoft

A type of fabric that is breathable, compressible, quick-drying, water-resistant, and thermally efficient. It absorbs little to no water from the surface.

MemBrain

A waterproof and breathable fabric that also offers hydrophilic PU lamination. It can keep sweat to a minimum throughout any trip.

NanoPro

A versatile, waterproof, breathable, water-repellant microporous coating found on many Marmot jackets and backpacks.

Polartec

A type of insulation that focuses on thermoregulation. It provides both warmth and comfort even during the most demanding outdoor activities.

AirExchange

A type of technology that makes fabrics more breathable and quick drying.

COOLMAX

The best moisture-wicking fabric from Marmot. It is also soft, breathable, and lightweight.

Down Defender

A type of treatment used to make outdoor gear water-resistant and durable. You can find it on most of Marmot’s sleeping bags and insulated garments.

DriClime

A technology that helps make outdoor clothing more comfortable no matter what kind of activity you are taking part in.

Drirelease

Quick drying system that enables moisture transport in all garments. It contains a mixture of synthetic and hydrophilic fibers.

M Softshells

A series of soft shell garments with windproof and waterproof technologies.

SolarShield

A lasting technology that protects garments from negative sun exposure. It has been used in a Marmot products apparel collection that offers protection from ultraviolet rays.

SpiraFil

Special fibers that help create extra loft with added softness, lightness, and warmth.

Thermal R

A technology used to give winter garments the needed insulation. It is polyester insulation created using only recycled fibers.

North Face

Like Marmot, North Face is also an eco-friendly company that uses mostly recycled materials. All their materials are sustainably sourced, while those with DWR treatments do not contain any PFC. North Face also uses several technologies for its products, and here are some of them:

VECTIV

A footwear technology that helps lower the impact of each step you take. You can find the 3D VECTIV Plate on most hiking or running shoes created by this company.

FUTURELIGHT

An advanced waterproof technology that keeps the material breathable. All layers are sustainably crafted with more than 90% recycled materials.

FlashDry

This is a type of fabric technology that makes the garment breathable and quick drying while also keeping it comfortable. You can rely on it to keep you dry and cool while hiking or any other outdoor activity.

DryVent

Another fabric technology that makes the garment windproof, waterproof, and breathable. All garments with this technology have a water-repellant outer layer that gives extra protection.

Polartec

A durable and dynamic fabric with solid insulation properties. It helps enhance garment performance.

Windwall

A wind-resistant, windproof, lightweight layer is added to soft shell products.

TKA

Thermal Kinetic Advancement technology is added to fabrics to make them wear-resistant and give them excellent insulation properties.

Goose Down

Goose down is very effective in thermal insulation. It provides comfort and warmth while keeping the garments as lightweight as possible.

ThermoBall Eco

In a partnership with PrimaLoft, North Face created Thermoball, alternative synthetic insulation. Instead of relying on goose down, you can use this extra warm and lightweight insulation option.

Prices

After reading about the excellent materials and technologies both companies use when creating their products, even I am tempted to get a few things from them. It is inevitable to want quality gear. If you want to act on that urge, there is nothing better than investing in Marmot or North Face products!

But before you invest, let me tell you a few more words about the prices you can expect to pay for products from these brands. Then, you can decide which company better suits your budget:

Marmot

If you are on a tighter budget, you should look into Marmot first. They are known as one of the more affordable outdoor gear brands. But their low prices do not mean you will have to compromise the quality. All products they offer are high-quality and made with durable and breathable materials.

You should only know that Marmot products come with a limited warranty. Depending on your product, you can expect a warranty anywhere from a few years to ten years. You will have to check your product's warranty to know how long it lasts.

North Face

North Face is the more expensive brand of the two, while it is also known as one of the most expensive outdoor gear companies. Even with the high prices, many people decide to invest in gear from this brand because of the quality, great fabrics, and durability. The company’s dedication to preserving the environment is commendable and attracts many customers.

Most products from this company come with a lifetime warranty, while some come with a direct replacement option. These are only some reasons why I recommend you look into North Face. Their products are worth every penny – you can trust me on this one!

Wrap Up - Which Brand to Choose For Hiking?

As someone who has tried hiking gear for various brands, I consider Marmot and North Face two of the best brands you will ever have. They both sell multiple products of excellent quality.

If you are a newbie hiker, I recommend North Face for all outdoor clothing you want to get. They are a bit more expensive than other brands. Still, the durability and quality of the clothing make the investment worth it.

As for outdoor gear like tents, wear, shoes and everything else, you should look into Marmot. They offer more options, which are all listed at affordable prices. Their equipment can withstand harsh weather conditions and remain in perfect shape.

Ultimately, it will all come down to your preference and budget. Take your time to make a wise decision. Then, let me know in the comments below which company you decide to go with. I would love to know what persuaded you to go in that direction!

Andrew Mullen
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