Patagonia vs Arcteryx: Top Outdoor Brands Compared

There are many outdoor clothing brands that make some awesome outdoor gear. Two of these brands are Patagonia and Arc’teryx. Both have some very impressive jackets and kit that can …

There are many outdoor clothing brands that make some awesome outdoor gear.

Two of these brands are Patagonia and Arc’teryx. Both have some very impressive jackets and kit that can make any outdoor adventure even more comfortable and enjoyable.

Choosing between Patagonia and Arc’teryx can be a tough thing to do though. While some people will have a personal preference between the two brands – for many, the similarities between them can make things a bit more challenging.

In this article, we look at both of these big players in the outdoor clothing market and delve into their history, their manufacturing processes, and some of their best outdoor adventure gear.

By the end of the article, you should have a much clearer idea of which one of these brands is the right one for you.

Patagonia and Arcteryx Reviewed


Patagonia Manufacturing Details

Patagonia is a company known for its commitment to sustainability.

A large portion of the materials Patagonia uses in its clothing is recycled. Obviously, there are some materials that can’t be made from recycled products and they need to be sourced directly. In these instances, Patagonia put a lot of time and effort into sourcing what they need ethically, fairly, and as sustainably as possible.

To further show that the environment is one of the brand’s top priorities, Patagonia doesn’t use non-biodegradable chemicals in the manufacturing process.

Patagonia uses polyester and nylon (recycled) in the majority of their products. Fabric technologies are also used to make sure all Patagonia jackets perform to a very high standard in the wild.

One of the technologies used in Patagonia gear is Gore-Tex. This is a very well-known technology in the outdoor world as it is waterproof, lightweight, and breathable. Patagonia doesn’t just rely on existing fabric technologies though – as a brand, they have created their own in the form of the Deluge Coating (a more environmentally-friendly durable water repellent) and H₂No (another water-repellent but this one acts as a breathable membrane that goes over insulation).

Apart from its commitment to sustainability, Patagonia is known for being a brand that thoroughly tests all of its products before making them available to buy.

The infamous 24-hour killer wash is one of the most well-known tests that involves saturating an item of clothing in water for 24 hours to simulate years of usage in a short period of time. Only the best pieces make it out of Patagonia’s rigorous testing process so you can be sure your Patagonia jacket has what it takes to keep you protected.

All of Patagonia’s products are made to a high standard, they look good, they are comfortable to wear, and (most importantly) they do a great job at protecting you from the elements while you enjoy your time in the wild.

Types of Jackets

Patagonia has a wide range of jackets in its catalog. Some of the most well-known are the Patagonia Nano Puff (get the best deal here), the Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket, and the Patagonia Torrentshell.

The Torrentshell, in particular, is an awesome jacket that has been a top-seller ever since its release.

It has the H2NO membrane mentioned earlier so it offers impressive levels of weather protection. The outer shell of the Torrentshell is made from a recycled nylon-based material that is tough, durable, and very thick.

Despite being a very simply designed jacket, there are two large pockets on the Torrenthsell that are ideal for keeping your hands warm or for carrying some extra gear with you on your adventures.

Patagonia jackets come at a fairly hefty price but they more than prove their worth once you wear them outdoors. They are made exceptionally well, are long-lasting, and will give you all the protection you need from the elements.

Other Gear

As well as jackets, Patagonia also offers a huge range of outdoor-related products. Whether you are looking for a sleeping bag, waterproof pants, shorts, shirts, hats, bags, water bottles, or wet suits – Patagonia will likely have you covered.

All of the brand’s products are made to the same high standards which has given Patagonia the reputation of being one of the best outdoor brands out there.

Patagonia Philosophy & History

Patagonia is a Californian brand that began in 1973 when Chouinard Equipment split into two separate brands (one of them being Patagonia).

They have been a clothing brand right from the start and have built a strong reputation for offering some of the best outdoor clothing you can find.

Although Patagonia has always been manufacturing clothing, the brand has expanded its product range quite substantially throughout its history.

Patagonia is a brand that holds the state of the environment (and our planet as a whole) in high regard. From using recycled materials to working in a fair, ethical, and sustainable way, Patagonia plays their part in keeping our planet in a livable state.

The outdoor products created by Patagonia are always made to last and the brand has a great reputation for having very high levels of customer service.

Patagonia is an outdoor brand that truly cares about nature and the great outdoors – and that is always an important point to keep in mind.


Arcteryx Manufacturing Details

Arc’teryx uses premium-quality fabrics in all of its products to make sure they are made to last and are tough enough to handle the rigors of outdoor life.

The majority of the materials used are Bluesign Certified which means they don’t have any harmful chemicals in them that are bad for the environment and for people.

Arc’teryx put a great deal of effort into making sure all of the products from the brand are made as ethically and as fairly as possible. This is something that both Patagonia and Arc’teryx have in common.

For Arc’teryx, the commitment to sustainability and ethical working goes beyond being environmentally friendly, and the brand does all it can to make sure working conditions are appropriate and employees are treated fairly. This isn’t limited to the company’s own working conditions and employees though, but also those of any company they partner with for materials and alike.

Arc’teryx manufactures products in such a way to avoid a high natural cost. A great example of this is how Arc’teryx makes sure any animals used to make materials for products are treated as humanely as possible. This does result in the brand’s products being on the expensive end of the outdoor clothing market though. That being said, a lot of outdoor enthusiasts would rather pay a higher price for quality gear that helps look after our planet – this is where brands like Arc’teryx come in.

In a similar way to Patagonia, Arc’teryx uses a lot of polyester and nylon in their products. Fabric technologies like Gore-Tex are also used and the brand has created some of its own fabric technology too in the form of AC2 which is commonly used in Arc’teryx backpacks.

Types of Arcteryx Jackets

Arc’teryx jackets come in a range of models, shapes, sizes, and colors. Whether you are looking for a winter weather jacket, a highly breathable insulated jacket, or any other kind of outdoor jacket, the chances are you can find one you like in the Arc’teryx catalog.

One of the most popular Arc’teryx jackets is the Thorium AR which fits in well with outdoor adventures but also for everyday use too.

The Thorium AR (get the best deal here) uses 750-fill power goose down insulation which provides exceptional warmth on cold days. As well as the down insulation, synthetic insulation is also used to add some extra protection. Most of the synthetic insulation can be found in the hood of the Thorium AR so your head will be nice and warm whatever you are doing.

It probably works best as an outer layer as the 30-denier fabric shell is tough and durable and has a DWR coating to add some water resistance to the jacket.

Like the Patagonia Torrentshell, the Arc’teryx Thorium AR has two deep handwarmer pockets. It also has a chest pocket that acts as a stuff sack that the jacket stows inside when not being used.

The Thorium AR Jacket has good levels of weather resistance and can keep you dry and protected from the cold wind while out in the wild.

Arc’teryx jackets are incredibly well made, tough, and perform to very high levels.

Other Outdoor Clothing and Gear

Another similarity, Arc’teryx has with Patagonia is that both brands have a wide selection of outdoor-related products.

As well as offering some very impressive outdoor jackets, Arc’teryx also makes bags, pants, shorts, fleeces, hats, gloves, and even climbing gear.

No matter what outdoor activities you like to do, it’s highly likely you will find something of use from Arc’teryx.

Arcteryx Philosophy & History

Arc’teryx is an outdoor sports brand formed in the ’90s. It’s a Canadian brand that takes its name from a prehistoric animal called the Archaeopteryx.

The Archaeopteryx is also known as the original bird which makes it a very clever choice of name for an outdoor brand. It makes you think of evolution and how millions of species have adapted to the environment to survive long enough to make it into their current forms.

Outdoor gear needs to adapt to the environment so it’s a great choice of name!

Initially, Arc’teryx only made climbing gear but, after getting a license to use Gore-Tex, the brand quickly expanded into the world of outdoor clothing.

Since then, it has built a reputation for making some of the best outdoor kit and clothing you can find.

Patagonia vs Arcteryx: Who Makes The Best Outdoor Gear

In the battle of Arc’teryx vs Patagonia, it’s tough to choose a clear winner.

Patagonia has been around for longer and has built and maintained a reputation for making some of the best outdoor products available while minimizing environmental impact during the manufacturing process.

Jackets like the Patagonia Nano Puff (get the best deal here) that uses Primaloft Gold Eco Insulation are prime examples of how the brand makes exceptional jackets while still working in an environmentally friendly way.

Arc’teryx may not have been around for as long but have already built a strong reputation for making awesome outdoor products while still prioritizing the environment in all that they do.

Arc’teryx jackets like the Agrium (get the best deal here) are very impressive. The Agrium is just one of the many high-end down jackets the brand offers.

Both brands have pretty heavy price tags on the majority of their products so price probably won’t be the biggest factor in this choice.

For us, it comes down to the fact that Patagonia has been doing what they do for longer than Arc’teryx and they have continued to do it extremely well.

That’s why (for us at least) when it comes to Arc’teryx vs Patagonia – Patagonia comes out on top!

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Rob Harvey is an experienced outdoor writer with a passion for using and writing about all the gear that makes camping, hiking and fishing fun. He's been a freelancer writer for more than five years and loves sharing his experiences with readers.
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