The best outdoor gear needs to be durable and strong. It also needs to give you the protection you need against the elements.
And it needs to be lightweight enough that you can take it with you without weighing you down or forcing you to sacrifice your other clothing.
If you're looking for the best jackets for any season, check out The North Face vs Patagonia reviews below.
The North Face vs Patagonia Product Comparisons
The North Face and Patagonia are both great companies that offer a wide range of decent outdoor clothing, and their jackets are no exception.
But which one tops the list for the best brand to choose? We'll find out in our jacket comparisons below.
Lightweight Down Jacket
A lightweight down jacket is perfect for those chilly days when you need an extra bit of warmth.
There are also a few advantages to buying down over synthetic insulation.
First, down is much warmer. It retains its loft and shape and can last for decades if you care of your down jacket properly.
Down is also much more compressible and lightweight, making it a better choice for travel.
The body is made of 100% nylon with a DWR finish to keep you dry on those snowy days.
The insulation is 800 fill goose down, which is certified to the Responsible Down Standard, ensuring safe practices when it comes to the geese supplying the down.
As well as being extra-warm, this type of insulation makes a much more packable and lightweight jacket which can be stowed in its own hand pocket for easy traveling.
There are an attached hood and internal, elastic cuffs to help keep you extra warm.
A hem cinch-cord keeps the air from seeping in the bottom of the coat as well. The Morph is also available without atteched hood.
Though the Vislon center front zip is exposed, there is a bit of a stormflap on the inside to block out the cold. There are two hand pockets and one chest pocket, all of which have reverse-coil zippers for less snagging.
If you want a warm, lightweight Patagonia down jacket, this model is a great choice.
The shell and lining are both made of recycled polyester ripstop, which is durable enough to last through some rugged outdoor adventures.
They both have a DWR finish as well to keep the moisture from soaking through the jacket.
The Patagonia Sweater Hoody uses 800 fill Advanced Global Traceable Down, which has the same bird-safe guarantees as The North Face model above.
There is a single-pull hood, which allows you to adjust it for the best protection. A stormflap inside the Vislon center front zipper wicks moisture away while blocking out those icy winds.
The cuffs are nylon-bound elastic for a bit of extra comfort while they protect you from the cold. The hem can be adjusted using the pull cord in the two handwarmer pockets and locks at the front.
There is also an internal zippered chest pocket which doubles as a stuff sack, even including a carabiner clip-in loop for added convenience during travel.
Patagonia's Down Sweater Hoody is a great choice to keep you warm. It is available in women's and men's fit.
The Main Differences?
There are only a few differences when you compare The North Face vs Patagonia down jackets.
The Morph Hoodie uses nylon, while the Down Sweater Hoody is made of polyester.
Both have stuff sack pockets, though one uses a hand pocket and the other uses the chest pocket.
And the Down Sweater Hoody has an adjustable hood, while The North Face model does not.
Lightweight PrimaLoft Jacket
A PrimaLoft jacket is similar to a down jacket, only with a different type of insulation against the cold winter chill. These types of jackets use synthetic insulation. Though down has some advantages, there are a few reasons to choose synthetic instead.
First, it is much cheaper and easier to clean. Synthetic retains its heat much better when it is wet and dries fast. There is also a much lower chance of any allergic reactions to synthetic insulation than there would be with down.
The Thermoball is one of the most popular The North Face jacket lines around.
This lightweight insulated jacket has a nylon ripstop shell for increased durability. The DWR finish lets that moisture roll off instead of soaking in.
This jacket uses PrimaLoft ThermoBall synthetic insulation, which traps heat in to retain as much warmth as possible.
There is a hem cinch-cord and internal, elastic-bound cuffs to lock down these areas and keep the cool air out.
There are two zippered hand pockets, one of which doubles as a stuff sack for easy portability.
There is also a media-compatible inner chest pocket to keep your devices secure but still accessible.
The Patagonia Nano Puff jacket is lightweight enough to wear for any type of outdoor sport or activity.
The shell and liner are made of recycled polyester ripstop, with a DWR finish to keep the snow and rain from soaking you to the skin.
The insulation is 60G PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco, which uses 55% post-consumer recycled content for less waste when making these jackets.
The quilt pattern is brick on the body and horizontal on the sides to stabilize the insulation, reducing cold spots.
The Nano Puff has a moisture-wicking stormflap inside the zipper, and a garage at the chin to reduce pinching and keep the cold metal off your face.
There is a drop-tail hem that is adjustable using a drawcord for extra warmth.
Two hand pockets keep your fingers warm. The inner chest pocket can be used as a stuff sack when it gets too warm for the coat, and even includes a reinforced carabiner clip-in loop for easy hanging.
The Main Differences?
When comparing The North Face vs Patagonia PrimaLoft jackets, you'll notice the Patagonia model uses recycled materials.
It also has a drop-tail hem and zipper garages at the chin and on the hand pockets, which the Thermoball lacks.
But The North Face added media-compatibility on their jacket, which isn't found on the Nano Puff.
There is both, a men and a women version of The North Face Thermoball or the Patagonia Nano Puff jacket.
Lightweight Rain Jacket
You'll be dealing with rain for three seasons a year, especially if you love to spend as much time as you can outside on the trail or camping in the woods.
To make sure you stay dry in such damp conditions, you need a quality rain jacket like the two in The North Face vs Patagonia reviews below.
Both brands make high-quality rain jackets, with durable materials and great features. Even the prices are similar, making it hard to decide which one is the best travel rain jacket for you.
To deal with those changing weather conditions, you need a durable jacket that will keep you comfortable and dry.
The North Face rain jacket is made of strong Dryvent 2.5 layer nylon ripstop, which is waterproof, breathable, and windproof.
This keeps the moisture and cold out without overheating you on the inside. The Venture 2 also has pit-zips for venting if you do start to sweat.
The seams are fully sealed, plus there is a Velcro stormflap over the front zipper, both of which eliminate leaks.
The cuffs are also Velcro adjustable and there is a hem cinch-cord to keep the cold air from chilling you from the bottom.
There are two covered hand pockets with secure zips to keep any of your belongings from falling out on the trail.
The Venture 2 can also be stuffed into one of the hand pockets, making it a great lightweight rain jacket for travel.
If you are looking for one of the best budget rain jackets that The North Face makes you'll want to consider the Resolve 2 jacket---read our full comparison of the Resolve vs Venture jackets here.
If you want the best packable rain jacket for travel, the Patagonia Torrentshell is definitely a contender.
There are two zippered handwarmer pockets, one of which has a carabiner clip-in loop inside. This lets you stuff the jacket into its own pocket and hang it off your pack or belt for easy carrying when the rain stops.
The Torrentshell jacket is also lightweight, thanks to the 2.5 layer H2No Performance shell, which is recycled nylon ripstop.
This shell has a waterproof and breathable barrier for extra comfort, plus has a DWR finish to keep the rain rolling off instead of soaking in.
Another handy feature is the 2-way adjustable hood, which has a laminated visor for extra protection. This hood is also stowable when you don't need it, using a simple cord-and-hook design.
The neck is lined with microfleece for a bit of extra comfort, plus it keeps the waterproof and breathable barrier intact.
Other handy features include the interior stormflaps, zipper garage chin, hook-and-loop cuffs, and an adjustable hem.
The Patagonia Torrentshell is very similar to the Marmot Precip, which is one of the most popular budget-friendly lightweight rain jackets on the market.
The Main Differences?
When comparing the Patagonia vs North Face rain jackets, both are available for women and men, both are packable, waterproof and breathable, with many of the same features.
But Patagonia's jacket has the microfleece-lined neck and a laminated visor, plus the hood can be stowed.
There is also a stormflap and a DWR coating over the hand pockets on the Torrentshell.
They also have different types of cuff closures and are made of different materials.
The North Face does have the windproofing, is a bit lighter in weight, and comes in an extra size.
Fleece doesn't weigh much, but it is extra cozy on those chilly days when you need a warm layer over your other clothing.
The North Face and Patagonia both have a variety of fleece jackets to choose from, all with great features that keep you toasty.
But the Denali 2 and the Better Sweater are some of their best models, which you'll see for yourself once you know what they have to offer.
The Denali 2 is one of the most durable fleece jackets The North Face offers. It uses recycled Polartec polyester fleece with a DWR finish to repel moisture.
But along with this sturdy material are abrasion reinforcements found on the shoulders, forearms, and chest. This keeps your jacket from tearing at the slightest tug when brushed across a rough surface or snagged by a branch.
But as well as durability, there are also some features added to increase the comfort. These include the stretch fabric found on the cuffs and the cinch-cord at the hem to lock in your body heat while keeping the chilly air out.
Ther are two zippered hand pockets and two zippered chest pockets, one of which is media compatible for easy access to your devices without exposing them to the elements.
There is one more handy feature of the Denali 2 fleece jacket. It is zip-in compatible with many other garments from The North Face, so you can match it with outer layers when needed.
The Patagonia Better Sweater uses polyester knitted fleece for this jacket. This may not seem too special until you consider the fact that this fleece is dyed with a low-impact process.
This creates a significant reduction in not only the amount of dye used but how much water and energy is needed, especially when you compare this process with more conventional dying methods.
The inner fleece wicks moisture away to keep your sweat from soaking you underneath the jacket.
There are raglan sleeves, which consists of one full piece from the cuff to the hem and a diagonal seam for increased comfort and less chafing, especially under a pack.
The rest of the seams are flat as well for the same reason. The front zipper goes all the way up to the top of the stand-up collar.
The cuffs and bottom hem are trimmed in abrasion-resistant micropolyester jersey, which adds comfort while maintaining the shape.
There are a couple of zippered handwarmer pockets for storage or to keep your fingers warm on chilly days.
On the left side it also has a zippered chest pocket for those extra items you can't do without.
The Main Differences?
When comparing The North Face vs Patagonia fleece jackets, you'll notice the differences in the fabric-dying process and the recycled content.
The seams of the Patagonia Better Sweater are also flat to reduce chafing, which the Denali 2 doesn't offer.
But The North Face has added the abrasion reinforcements and an extra media pocket, both of which are not found on the Better Sweater.
Lightweight Down Vest
Sometimes you want the warmth of down but still have some freedom of movement a bulky jacket can't offer.
What's the solution? The best packable down vest is the best choice.
They give you the core warmth you need while leaving your arms free to do as they please.
Neither brand has too many down vests to choose from, so the two below could very well be the top models they have to offer.
The North Face down vest uses 800-fill goose down to keep you extra warm. But this insulation is extremely light and compressible enough to stow the vest in its own hand pocket when the weather warms up or you want to bring an extra layer when traveling.
The material is sturdy nylon, which has a DWR finish to keep you dry in damp weather. The ThermoBaffle design also adds warmth and durability by keeping the insulation in place and reducing the number of cold spots.
There is a hem cinch-cord that can be adjusted for a tight fit. Two handwarmer pockets and a chest pocket give you room for all your little necessities.
The Vislon front zipper goes all the way to the top of the collar to keep your neck warm and reduce the chilly air that can sneak inside this area.
This Patagonia down vest uses durable recycled polyester ripstop for both the shell and the liner. This reduces tears in your vest while the DWR finish repels light moisturerain .
The 800 fill goose down is traceable, so Patagonia knows their down is coming from responsible sources.
The armholes have nylon-bound elastic around them, which is not only comfortable to wear but locks out the cold air and seals in your natural body heat.
The hem is adjustable using a pull cord in the hand pockets and the cord locks positioned at the front hem.
The Vislon center zipper has a stormflap inside which wicks moisture away for a drier vest. There is also a zipper garage at the chin for added comfort.
The two handwarmer pockets also use Vislon zippers and have garages, plus one of them doubles as a stuff sack. This stuff pocket even has a carabiner clip-in loop for easy hanging during travel.
The Main Differences?
The main differences between The North Face vs Patagonia down vests are the materials used for the shell and liner.
Though both have hem zip cords, there are also slight differences in how you use them.
The Patagonia Down Sweater Vest also adds a carabiner clip-in loop to their stuff sack/pocket for easy toting.
What To Consider When Choosing The North Face vs Patagonia
The North Face has been in business since 1966. Their mantra has always been "Never Stop Exploring" and their gear gives you exactly what you need to do so. This began with backpacking and climbing gear but soon expanded into equipment for skiers, hikers, and runners as well.
As well as empowering those who love to explore, The North Face also focuses on protecting the places being explored.
This includes constantly evolving their products to ensure they leave as small a footprint as possible.
They also ensure the materials they use are responsibly sourced at all times. And they incorporate recycled materials whenever possible to reduce their waste.
The North Face has even convinced their suppliers to reduce the number of chemicals, water, energy, and waste that goes through their mills.
Patagonia's mission statement is "Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire, and implement solutions to the environmental crisis."
This company began small, making tools for climbers, then added ski, snowboarding, surfing, fishing, trail running, and paddling into the mix. But they believe in simplicity and utility, and their products reflect this with their minimalist design.
But along with their simple, yet quality, products, Patagonia also fights to save the world they are equipping their customers for.
They donate 1% of their sales to a wide variety of grassroots environmental groups around the world to help reverse the environmental damage already caused by human pollution. But they also donate their time and their services to this cause.
Patagonia has implemented a Worn Wear initiative, which means they repair their clothing when possible, and recycle the materials when it isn't.
They have altered the lighting in their stores and their dying processes to reduce pollution and waste.
This company also focuses on their supply chain, ensuring all of their products are created under safe, legal, fair, and humane processes from start to finish.
When you look at the prices in The North Face vs Patagonia products reviewed above, you may notice that most of The North Face models are a bit pricier.
But the Patagonia jackets are all pretty costly as well. So, why are The North Face and Patagonia products so expensive?
Well, both brands use quality materials for their jackets and vests. The down products also cost more than the synthetic models because down itself is more expensive in general.
But with the high prices comes decent jackets that will last for years, so they may all be well worth the cost.
When looking at any type of product, the materials used is one of the most important things to consider, especially if you want it to last. The North Face vs Patagonia jacket comparisons is no exception.
The North Face uses a lot of recycled fabrics in their products, especially recycled polyester. They also use cotton, though they make sure it is organic and farmed efficiently with little environmental impact.
The insulated products filled with down are all supplied from traceable sources to ensure the down doesn't come from force-fed or live-plucked birds. And of course, this company also uses nylon, because it is sturdy and durable.
Patagonia also uses a variety of materials. This included hemp, due to its low environmental impact, organic cotton, and traceable down.
There are also a number of recycled fabrics added to reduce waste, including Refibra Lyocell, which is made of 80% wood and 20% cotton scraps, down, polyester, wool, and reclaimed cotton, which is a combination of cotton remnants from their factory floors and raw organic cotton.
When comparing The North Face vs Columbia products, the way they fit is something to consider.
If a jacket is known to fit large or small, this may alter the size you should buy, even if you normally buy the same size for all your other clothing.
All of the jackets and vests in our reviews of both brands seem to run true to size. Of course, some may find them to be a bit small or large, but this all depends on the length of your torso or arms.
So, as with all other types of clothing, it is always better to try before you buy, especially if you plan on layering other clothing under these jackets.
The North Face warranty for all its products is a limited lifetime warranty. This means the original owner is covered for defects in the materials or the workmanship for the lifetime of the product, even after extended use. They will repair the product if possible or replace it at their discretion.
This warranty does not cover any damages caused by improper care, negligence, accident, or normal wear and tear.
They will repair the product if such damage occurs, but you will be charged for these repairs, plus the cost of return shipping.
Instead of a warranty, Patagonia offers an Ironclad Guarantee. This means that if you aren't satisfied with their products or if it doesn't perform to your satisfaction, you can return it for repair, replacement, or refund.
Any damage from normal wear and tear isn't covered by this, though repairs will be offered at a reasonable charge.
The North Face vs Patagonia - Who Makes the Best Outdoor Clothing?
Jackets are necessary, no matter what time of year it is. But you have to have the right jacket, or you won't enjoy your time outside.
Thankfully, both brands we've reviewed here have the right jacket for any type of weather. But which one ranks top model in our The North Face vs Patagonia jacket comparisons?
In our lightweight down jacket category, The North Face Morph Hoody and the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody are similar in most features. But the Patagonia jacket is a bit cheaper, uses recycled polyester, and has that adjustable hood for added convenience.
A rain jacket needs to keep you warm and dry, and both brands have this covered. The North Face Venture 2 has added windproofing as well. Plus, this is the only jacket from this brand that has a lower price than the competing Patagonia model. But the Patagonia Torrentshell has added a few extra features, including the microfleece-lined neck, stowable hood with laminated visor, and the extra moisture protection on the pockets.
In The North Face vs Patagonia fleece jacket comparison, both jackets use quality materials. Though the Patagonia Better Sweater has those flat seams and raglan sleeves, The North Face Denali 2 has a bit more to offer. This includes the abrasion reinforcements over the high-stress areas, the DWR finish, and the media pocket. But all this comes at a much higher price.
For the vests, there are very few differences between The North Face Morph Vest and the Patagonia Down Sweater Vest other than the materials used. The Morph Vest is nylon while the Down Sweater Vest uses recycled polyester ripstop. And Patagonia adds that carabiner clip-in loop for easy carrying, plus has a much cheaper price.