Patagonia, once a small company importing shirts for rock climbers, still makes clothes for climbing… and for trail running, mountaineering, paddling, trail running, hiking, backpacking, skiing, snowboarding, fly fishing and just about any other active pursuit you can imagine. If your sport takes you outdoors and doesn’t involve a motor or a cheering crowd, Patagonia clothing and Patagonia gear are for you.
From the Rock/Creek blog:
Now available: Patagonia GORE-TEX jackets!
"Less than 15 ounces for a GORE-TEX Pro Shell jacket? Yep. Intended for ultralight alpinists planning long ascents, it’s hard to imagine a true 3-layer waterproof/breathable jacket being any lighter than this. This is the ultimate minimalist shell jacket, for fast-and-light trips to far-away places that most of us have never even heard of..."
Rock/Creek's Top 10 Green Products
"Picking the greenest Patagonia product is like picking the prettiest sunset; it’s impossible. Patagonia donates 1% of its annual sales to green causes, every single year, and they maintain a Common Threads program which allows you to recycle old Patagonia gear when you finally wear it out. Patagonia’s environmentalism is inseparable from its product philosophies..."
Staff Pick: the Patagonia Ultralight Down Shirt
"We’re all trying to save weight and space in our packs, regardless of which active pursuit is at hand, and a warm layer for those 'what if?' situations is often the one that doesn’t make the final cut. Patagonia scoffs at our excuses; frankly, at just under 6 ounces, we don’t have many excuses left..."
The History of Patagonia:
Yvon Chouinard started climbing in 1953, and by 1957 he'd started making his own reusable pitons to replace the soft iron models of the day. In 1965, Chouinard Equipment was born, and by 1970 it was the largest supplier of climbing hardware in the US, having redesigned and improved nearly every climbing tool. Soon, Chouinard's environmentalism led to the company's introduction of chocks that didn't harm the rock as pitons did. After buying a brightly-colored rugby shirt on a climbing trip in Scotland, climbing friends asked where to get one, and by 1972 Chouinard was selling rain jackets, bivouac sacks, and gloves. Patagonia was born.
Since, the Patagonia brand has led the way for technical fabrics and outdoor apparel. Patagonia is the company that first taught us about layering in the late 70s. In fall of 1985, Patagonia Capilene base layers and Patagonia Synchilla fleeces hit the market, replacing their polypropylene underwear and synthetic boiled-wool predecessors. Patagonia brought vivid colors to an outdoor market previously entrenched in forest greens and drabs. Later, Patagonia would introduce the world to Regulator insulation, Nano Puff insulation and more.
Patagonia is also an environmental leader in the industry. In 1988, they initiated their first environmental campaign, working to deurbanize the Yosemite Valley. For decades, Patagonia has used organic cotton fabrics, and continues to lead the charge by utilizing recycled polyester and instituting the Common Threads recycling program to recycle worn-out Patagonia clothing when its functional lifespan is over. Patagonia also donates 1% of its annual revenue to environmental causes, and strives to reduce the manufacturing footprint for each style produced.