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The North face vs Arc'Teryx which brand to choose?

It all started in 1991 in North Vancouver, British Columbia. At the time, Dave Lane was just an avid rock climber, hiker and other sports enthusiast. A carpenter by trade, Dave Lane dreamed of designing more comfortable climbing gear. With the help of his financial friend Jeremy Guard, they founded the company Arc'Teryx.

Today, the brand has its own identity and a committed vision for the design of outdoor clothing in relation to its environment. Before continuing we wrote an article Our opinion on ArcTeryx clothing and accessories we present you all the specificities of the products of the brand. The label has another important element that stands out from the rest, its logo.

You must have already seen this logo so particular, but terribly effective and which represents the skeleton of an archaeopteryx. Since its creation the brand wants to be as close as possible to the environment, so it is quite natural that their logo represents one of the first birds to have been born.

Dave Lane fondateur de Arc'Teryx

What could be better for an outdoor fashion brand than to be represented by a bird, symbol of freedom. Moreover, in our article "Our opinion on ArcTeryx clothing and accessories" we return to the specifics of the brand's pieces and what makes them special.

But enough chit-chat, let's get to the point of our article. You want to learn more about techwear, but you hesitate between North Face and Arc'Teryx, let us introduce you to these two brands so close and so different.

Heading the North

As said before, Arc'Teryx is not the only brand we will talk about in this article. So let's start with The North Face. Before getting into the heart of the matter and presenting the specificities of each brand, a quick reminder of the history of The North Face seems to be welcome.

The North Face logo

The North Face is an American company from North Beach in San Francisco, USA. Founded in 1964 by an environmental activist Douglas Tompkins, the brand initially offered only accessories and other winter clothing for camping or climbing.

It is in 1966 that The North Face knows a real explosion thanks to the evolution of the tents and more particularly the tents with flexible poles which will make all the success of the brand. T.N.F will also offer down comfort in the face of a strong heat wave or bad weather.

Today, The North Face is a well-known and recognized brand in the world of techwear and outdoor hiking. For a few years now, we can easily notice a common craze for the brand's winter clothes as well as its luggage.

The flight of the dinosaur

On the other side, we find Arc'Teryx, a Canadian brand founded by a carpenter passionate about climbing and his friend working in finance. Contrary to its counterpart of San Francisco, the Canadian label is known at first thanks to the manufacture of climbing harnesses, more comfortable and robust.

A real success story will follow, during the year 1990 after having obtained a license to use the Gore-Tex fabric, Arc'Teryx will develop a range of clothing for the outside, including shoes, coats, down etc.

At the same time, in our article "How to wash an ArcTeryx jacket", we present you the brand's coats. So, whether you are in the rain in the mountains or at home, different tips to take care of your pieces.

Logo Arc'Teryx

Then comes 1992, which will be marked by the launch of a whole range of backpacks specifically developed for the outdoor.

As a result of its many advances, the Canadian label was praised by the British press specializing in techwear, such as Backpacker, Outside and Climbing, to name a few. Nowadays, Arc'Teryx is a real pillar of outdoor and technical clothing. Thanks to its worldwide influence, its vision of fashion and its atypical style, Arc'Teryx is now known to the general public.

The must-have pieces

Let's start by presenting the essential and mythical pieces of the North Beach brand.

It seems obvious to us that if we talk about The North Face pieces, it is completely unthinkable to miss their puffer down jackets par excellence. Also known as the Nuptse Jacket, these puffer jackets are ideal for withstanding very cold temperatures and winter weather. Over the years, its use has been democratized and it is found more and more in the city centers on the backs of both women and men.

Puffer Jacket, The North Face

Who says mountain climbing or road trip says shoes but especially luggage and more particularly bag. In the case of The North Face, a "backpack" has proven itself over the years and it is none other than the base camp model. This utilitarian piece offers many storage compartments, a strong waterproofing against the rain and can be worn at arm's length or on the back as you wish.

North Face is a very complete brand that offers many pieces for your outings of all kinds.

Let's now come to our second brand, Arc'Teryx. As we work on this brand, we are forced to note that this label transpires the techwear. The more the drops go by, the more the quality of the pieces, the fabric and other technical characteristics are worked. Here is a non-exhaustive list of our favorites.

Before presenting you the pieces we invite you to have a look at our article Patagonia vs ArcTeryx, which brand to choose ? we present you the essential range of each of the two brands.

Jacket Atom LT de Arc'Teryx

How can we not talk about Arc'Teryx jackets without mentioning the Atom Jacket. This jacket gathers all the characteristics that the brand wishes to propose in its ranges of clothing. Combining waterproofing as well as the contribution of heat and windproof, we can say it is an all-in-one jacket. Moreover, the jacket is neither too big nor too small, so it will know how to adapt to any morphology.

We will now do a small exercise to present the second piece. Imagine, in January in the heart of winter, a sudden desire crosses your mind, go for a walk in the forest, so you decide to put on your Gamma MX jacket. If we had to summarize this piece in one word, it would surely be "simplicity". Waterproof, breathable material, many pockets, a sober and refined look, this is what the Gamma MX represents.

In short, Arc'Teryx or North Face ?

You must surely begin to understand that choosing between the two brands can be a real headache. There's no denying that these two giants of techwear and outdoor more generally have many qualities.

Look Arc'Teryx pleine nature

T.N.F. has very warm clothes and much more "all-purpose" than its Canadian counterpart. Also, its offer of climbing equipment and accessories have been successful over the years.

On the other side, we find all the know-how and technicality of Arc'Teryx. The North-Vancouver label knows its subject only too well and always offers excessively worked pieces, with the techwear DNA clearly visible. In short, Arc'Teryx is a tasty mix of passion, technicality, research and nature.

Check out other posts about Arc’Teryx:

  • Patagonia vs ArcTeryx, which brand to choose ?
  • How to spot a fake Arc'Teryx ?