There are many brands of winter coats, including two that have proven quite popular, Columbia and North Face. While these coats share many things in common, there are some basic differences.
Columbia Sportswear began in 1938 in Portland, Oregon, as a hat company and has since expanded to include all outdoors wear. The North Face Company began in 1966 in San Francisco, California, as a retailer for “high performance hiking and backpacking equipment.”
In 1984, Columbia began what it refers to as the “mother of all ad campaigns,” sponsoring events such as the Olympics and, until 2005, the X-Games. North Face expanded its brand by sponsoring expeditions to uncharted places. Its popularity spread by word of mouth after athletes and explorers used the brand and offered positive reviews.
Columbia utilizes Gore-Tex to keep in warmth; Omni-Tech, a waterproof, breathable material; and PFG-comfort technology. North Face offers Windwall and Polartech material to protect from the elements. These technologies are patented by the brands, but overall have the same uses. The difference is in the feel and look of the fabrics.
Both jackets have signature styles and strategically placed logos that can identify the brand without the name being seen.. Columbia mixes colors with different designs and includes its diamond/line logo. North Face is typically two colors, one on top and one on bottom, with its logo.
Both Columbia and North Face winter coats are used as casual wear and for winter sports and exploration activities.