Is Patagonia A Good Brand? A Backcountry Gear Review

Patagonia Brand Review
Patagonia Brand Review

Is Patagonia A Good Brand? A Backcountry Gear Review

Back in the height of rock climbing’s early days, people were living in Yosemite National Park while broke as can be, eating cat food out of tin cans and making their own gear just to survive. It was from the love of climbing that people sacrificed just about all other comforts in order to keep getting on the rock and finding ways to afford it. 

It was straight out of these desperate, yet creative, measures that Patagonia first arose. A group of friends started making climbing gear in a garage. It was just a bunch of young folk with a small smth in a garage that started hammering away and making new nuts, bolts, and all other types of climbing gear you can imagine. The name didn’t come until these outdoor-driven youth took a long road trip in an old van down to Patagonia to go on the most epic surfing trip they could imagine. 

Now, the founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, still spends a huge amount of his time down in Patagonia, working to protect massive swaths of land there. He still climbs mountains and still loves to surf at any chance he gets. 

The word patagonia on a road with mountains in the background.

Is Patagonia a good brand?

Patagonia stands out as one of the best brands on the market today. They’ve proven themselves to be a highly reliable brand that backs their clients with a great warranty and quality production. Not only do they make great stuff, but they also work hard to be one of the most sustainable outdoor brands out there. They’re well-known for how much they encourage buying used gear and never buying anything new unless you need it.

Their newest drive is to buy and sell used Patagonia clothing on their website. This encourages people to waste and consume less material goods in general. The company makes massive donations to wildlife funds all around the world and incorporates a lot of new technologies to make their clothing sustainable.

Overall, Patagonia has defined what “good” really means for outdoor brands. Their ethics and quality are what most other brands hope for, while still making a massive profit every year.

Is Patagonia made in the USA?

Patagonia outsources to 43 different factories across the world. They talk about how they started outsourcing early on because there simply wasn’t anywhere to make their clothing in the US. The textile industry is dying here and in order to make their products with better quality, they needed to look elsewhere.

That being said, there are still nine factories in the USA that make Patagonia products. There are thirteen in China, and the rest are spread out across the globe. They are impressively intentional about why they have their products made elsewhere. A lot of this has to do with their desire to provide fair labor and treat their employees as best as possible. While this isn’t always the perceived reputation of factories in China, it can still be found.

Who is the CEO of Patagonia?

Patagonia Works is the technical company that serves as an umbrella for all of its ventures. Ryan Gellert, a long-time Patagonia employee, just recently took over as CEO in September of 2020.

Patagonia Inc., the part responsible for apparel, packs, and other gear, is run by Jenna Johnson.

Two pictures of a man and a woman in front of a rack of clothes.

Who was the founder of Patagonia

Yvonne Chouinard is the founder of Patagonia. He is an outdoor enthusiast who has spent a lot of time hiking, climbing, fishing and building Patagonia. He has a very entrepreneurial spirit and a unique mindset on business management. You might like to read a book about how he started Patagonia and what it does to help the planet.

I also love this podcast by NPR which is an interview with the founder of Patagonia.

Does Patagonia have an app?

Back in 2016, Patagonia had a mobile app where consumers could shop and buy all of their gear. Then, they announced that they were going to completely disable the app and worked to optimize their website for mobile browsers instead. This essentially came from a shift in technology, where the website could be used more efficiently on a mobile device and the app was no longer necessary.

What is the mission of Patagonia?

For a long time, Patagonia’s mission statement was, “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” They had this for over 45 years until someone may have decided it was a bit too wordy.

The mission statement was simplified down to, “we’re in business to save our home planet.” They completely shifted their mission to be about saving the planet, rather than making gear. It shows with their move towards selling used gear and pairing up with more sustainable companies around the world.

Even though their mission statement changed dramatically, the products that they put out and sell are still of the highest tier in the entire outdoor industry. 

Can you buy Patagonia stock?

Because of the company’s focus on environmental activism, they don’t allow anyone to buy stock. It’s a privately-owned company, rather than being publicly traded. The company is well-known for putting their desire for profit to the side, providing a massive amount of time off to their employees, and not focusing on marketing as much as they are focused on their impact. 

Yvon Chouinard would proudly say that the business isn’t about money. It’s in their mission statement. All they want is to do the work necessary to save the world. 

What mountain is the Patagonia logo?

Mount Fitz Roy (Cerro Chaltén or Monte Fitz Roy) is located near the El Chaltén village in the southern Patagonian Ice Field between Argentina and Chile. This mountain had stood as the brand’s symbol for years on end.

The mountain itself was named after the captain of the HMS Beagle, the same ship that carried Charles Darwin around as he began to theorize about evolution. 

A road leading to the mountains in chile.
A mountain range in argentina - argentina stock videos & royalty-free footage.

Why is Patagonia more expensive?

The price of Patagonia clothing isn’t something that can be easily ignored. They charge a lot for their clothes, sometimes even showing some ridiculous prices for a simple t-shirt. It’s understandable when you start to look at where they are spending their money.  Sustainable sourcing is significantly more expensive than getting materials from any vendor available. That’s exactly why most brands outsource to China and don’t care about the environmental impact they make. To lower their impact, they need to charge more. The company also works to provide living wages for their employees. If they threw minimum wage at everyone that worked in their stores, you could probably get a black fleece significantly cheaper. Instead, the company chooses to support those who work hard to make them thrive in the business. 

Is the Patagonia down sweater worth it?

Patagonia makes fantastic down clothing. All of their materials and designs are utilized in just the right way to make their clothes as durable and comfortable as they can be. The down sweater jacket is a bit pricier but is incredibly worth making the purchase.  This is a perfect layer to wear underneath a softshell on some frigid days, but can also stand alone as a jacket to keep you warm enough on a brisk autumn evening. The 800-fill down makes it an incredible ratio when you look at weight to warmth. 

Is the Nano Puff a winter jacket?

The Nano Puff is a lighter-weight jacket that can still provide a lot of warmth, especially when you’re active. It’s made for climbing and skiing. It’s not meant to be a standalone winter jacket, but it should be worn as a part of a solid layering system.  The Nano Puff doesn’t use down, rather it’s a synthetic material of Primaloft Gold Eco to give the best weatherproofing available. It’s only a winter jacket when you wear it above and under other layers. If you use it right, it can definitely help to keep you warm, but won’t do so on its own. 

What is the difference between a Patagonia Nano Puff and Micro Puff?

The main difference between the Nano and Micro Puff is the 3.5 ounces of weight put into the Nano. Other than that, they’re made very similarly, but for completely different activities. The Micro Puff works well in cold weather, granted you are still moving, as does the Nano. People love both jackets and you’re sure to stay warm in either.

What brands are comparable to Patagonia?

Patagonia has a long-standing relationship with The North Face, as both of the founders were close friends. In general, the products that The North Face puts out are similar to Patagonia’s, but there’s less action being taken on the environmental front. Other notable brands would be Marmot, Salomon, and Arc’teryx. They’re all similar, but Patagonia still stands out as the most environmentally-friendly company that’s producing clothes in this particular market. 
A person hiking with a backpack in the mountains.
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